Jasper Sunshine lives full time in his camperized cube van. He said he knows many people living a similar lifestyle that are struggling without access to recreation centres, public libraries, coffee shops and restaurants to do things like take showers and connect with others. (Black Press Media file photo)

Full-time campers face various struggles amidst COVID-19

One camper advises others to find a way to work together

While the B.C. government announced new measures to ensure renters and landlords in the province get some relief in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, those who live in vans or recreational vehicles year-round face different struggles.

Provincial campsites, visitor centres, playgrounds, washrooms and day-use facilities have closed and municipalities are taking steps to limit crowds at parks and beaches. The City of Colwood announced Tuesday that parking areas adjacent to Esquimalt Lagoon beach, – where campers are sometimes found, despite signs saying they cannot overnight there – Royal Beach and at city parks are closed starting March 25.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: A roundup of park and recreation closures across Greater Victoria

Jasper Sunshine, a Canadian military veteran who lives in a camperized cube van, previously told Black Press Media he does so for the lifestyle and the affordability, noting that he would be homeless without the van.

He said the closure of campsites and parking lots hasn’t affected him much, since he has friends with large plots of land and knows how to be resourceful when finding free Crown land to park on. In fact, he said the social distancing measures have been enjoyable for him, because it has always been his “norm.”

However, Sunshine said the closure of public spaces such as recreation centres, public libraries, coffee shops and restaurants has taken a toll on people he knows.

“Those are all places that a lot of people living this lifestyle go to every day to provide to the economy and use facilities like showers at recreation centres, using WiFi, staying connected,” Sunshine said. “To the average person that lives at home or in a condo, a community centre might not be a big deal but for someone that uses that gym for exercise or a shower every day, it’s difficult.”

READ ALSO: Dallas Road is not an RV park: Residents fed up with overnight parking

Sunshine said he understands the need for park and campsite closures in order to keep socially distant, and said that while this may be a big obstacle for many, “we can get through it.”

His advice to those living the camper and van life like himself is to take a deep breath, remember why they started this lifestyle and don’t be consumed by emotions. He recommends asking questions, communicating and starting a conversation to work through problems together.

“A lot of people are going through a hard time right now,” Sunshine said. “We just all have to work together.”

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CampingCoronavirusRVs

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

“Isolation is normal for us,” says Saanich dad with cystic fibrosis

Gordon Head man says now’s the time to approve life-saving cystic fibrosis drug

Victoria business still busy as people turn to books while in self-isolation

Russell Books says certain genres have gained popularity during COVID-19

Farmers’ markets still open in Greater Victoria

The Moss Street and Esquimalt Farmers’ markets are scheduled to take place, with slight variations

Minor earthquake hits Greater Victoria Saturday morning

Earthquake ‘lightly felt’ in the area, Earthquake Canada says

UVic offers students Pass/Fail grading option as COVID-19 impacts spring studies

Students given three options for final grade presentation

COVID-19: A message from the publisher

We will be making some changes to our print editions during these unprecedented times

B.C. VIEWS: Small businesses need our help

Just as integral in neighbourhoods in Vancouver and Surrey as they are in Prince George or Kelowna

‘Tremendous’ response from blood donors has supply keeping pace with demand

About 400,000 of Canada’s 37 million residents give blood on a regular basis

Morning world update: Cases surge past 600,000; positive news in Germany

Spain suffers its deadliest day as Germany considers April 20 to possibly loosen restrictions

VIDEO: Penguins roam empty halls of Vancouver Aquarium

COVID-19 has forced the Vancouver Aquarium to close access to guests – leaving room for its residents

COVID-19: Qualicum Beach youngster gets car parade for his sixth birthday

Friends get creative after party cancelled due to ongoing pandemic

Kids get back to learning in B.C., online

Ministry of Education rolls out new tool for school

Most Read