Dear Diana, 4/8/19
I am wondering what your thoughts are about neighbors keeping RV’s in their driveways. My wife and I have lived in our home for a short time and when we purchased it, our neighbor did not have their RV. Since we have moved in, they have purchased a decent sized one and keep it in their driveway.
We are not slighting their right to own the vehicle. People should be able to own what they want without neighbors like us giving them trouble. We aren’t trying to make trouble but are troubled by the obstruction of our views out our windows. Instead of being able to see the pretty landscaping and fields we thought we were going to be able to see, we are staring at their camper.
We aren’t the types to talk behind people’s backs, so haven’t mentioned our feelings to any other neighbors. We haven’t talked to the couple who own the RV either. We are very torn over what to do or if we should even do anything at all.
Missing our pretty view
Dear Missing our pretty view,
You’ve got an understandable dilemma on your hands. You sound like a nice couple who literally got blind-sided by your neighbor’s RV. That is a tough one, because as you said, and I agree, people should be able to own the things they want to. I checked the city you told me you were from for any related ordinances and did not come up with any, so unless your neighborhood has a set of covenants that prohibits the placement of campers, RV’s or mobile homes in the driveway or on the property, there is likely no “official” reason they should remove it.
I can see two points of view to consider. The first is that especially if it is a new RV, maybe the hope is that your neighbors are planning to use it often and will take it out on some adventures. Maybe waiting to see how often it is actually there and blocking your view might help you decide how much it really bugs you.
Otherwise, at least for the time being, tolerating the vehicle and where it is may end up being a new part of your landscape, even though it may not be what you thought you were bargaining for. I didn’t get a sense from your letter that you thought your neighbors were unreasonable or thoughtless. I am hoping they are nice people. They may well have been looking forward to purchasing their RV and have been excited about getting it without any idea of how their new “baby” is affecting anyone else.
I try not to second guess people or try to decide how I think they feel about something. I have learned a long time ago, too, that things are not always the way they seem. You two have to decide how much you don’t like looking at their RV 24/ 7 and if your decision is that you really can’t stand it, then my second point of view comes into play. Taking a big gulp and going next door to have a heart to heart could be a helpful next step.
I am going to bet that you and your wife have at least, between the two of you, pondered over where else they could plant that camper besides their driveway that could still be convenient for them, but not obstruct your view.
Based on your sweet demeanor, I would only imagine you two taking a friendly and caring approach with your neighbors. That would likely be the only way that could afford you any chance they may understand, let alone do something different.
Before you go, keep in mind that not everyone has the means or the resources to house a sizable RV somewhere other than their driveway or backyard, so be prepared to leave no better off than when you started. If you decide to talk to them, I would recommend letting them know you are not trying to tell them what to do. No one likes their neighbors telling them what to do. You could also let them know that if they aren't comfortable with any other options, that there are no hard feelings on your end. You can help them understand that you thought you would just give it a try in case there were any other alternatives that could make sense for them and for you. The last thing you’d probably want to do is create an awkwardness between your families, especially having to live next door to each other.
I understand the risk you probably feel in talking with them, especially if you haven’t lived in the neighborhood very long. Keep in mind your neighbors are people, like you. If you handle them the way you would hope someone would handle things with you, hopefully, (fingers crossed!), things will end up at least better than they were when you started out. Personally, I love to see neighbors work things out together. It makes for a much nicer sense of community!
I’m routing for you!
Thanks for writing,
Readers: Tell us what YOU think! This household debacle is not uncommon. Many neighbors are "faced" with a similar scenario. Maybe something you can suggest can be helpful, as well. Please use the comment section below to share your thoughts.