Proposed changes to recreational vehicle regulations were the hot topic at the Jan. 28 Security and Access Committee meeting in Laguna Woods Village, Calif. About 60 people attended the meeting, most of them RV users concerned with some of the proposed changes, according to the Orange County Register.

An annual inspection for all vehicles parked in the retirement community’s RV lots was the most controversial of the proposed new rules. As part of the inspection, RV owners would be required to drive their vehicles once around the lot to test for roadworthiness. They would also be required to open their RVs for inspection.

Ed Bauman, treasurer of the RV Wheelers Club and organizer of a petition against the new rules, said the annual inspections would be an invasion of privacy and a waste of time. He said the existing rules governing the RV lots were sufficient, but needed to be better enforced by staff.

However, Committee Chairman Ray Gros said the interior inspections would help ensure that RVs are not being used as storage containers and creating a fire hazard.

“We’re not just being nosy,” Gros said. “We’re mandated to make sure everyone is safe. If we do not take care of what we have to do, we are in deep trouble.”

Committee members disagreed on whether the inspections would violate RV owners’ privacy. Ken Hammer said that he would feel comfortable having his own RV inspected by staff members.

“I see nothing wrong with letting (Laguna Woods Village Security Manager) Mr. Hart open the door to my RV and look inside … just to make sure I don’t have a grand piano stored up there,” Hammer said.

However, Larry Souza, also an RV owner, argued strongly against the interior inspection requirement.

“You have no more right to inspect the inside of my mobile home than you have to inspect the inside of my manor,” Souza said. “I don’t give a damn what’s inside of it.”

There was also debate over the proposed requirement to have RV users drive their vehicles around the lot.

Mike Epstein, president of RV Wheelers, said that not all RV owners can drive their RVs. Requiring them to do so each year as part of the roadworthiness inspection would be dangerous, Epstein said.

“It’s at your insistence that some little 94-year-old lady will have to drive around the lot,” Epstein said. “If that lady slams into my rig, I don’t hold her responsible. I’ll hold GRF responsible because it’s their rule.”

Committee member Carol Skydell suggested that those not able to drive their RVs could appoint others to do the roadworthiness trial for them.

However, Souza said this would make it easier for non-Laguna Woods residents to park their RVs under residents’ names.

“It should be the people that own the rig doing the trial,” Souza said.

Committee member Linda Wilson said requiring RV owners to do the trial themselves would penalize those who cannot drive their vehicles because of failing eyesight or disability.

“I don’t think it’s fair that I wouldn’t be able to park my RV if I can’t drive it,” Wilson said.

Souza suggested two amendments to the proposed regulation changes: That the registered owner of the vehicle should be the one to do the drive around the lot, and that the interior inspection requirement be deleted altogether. Both amendments passed a committee vote.

The proposed rule changes and the committee’s suggested amendments to them will now for further approval.