The City Will Take Your Busted Camper For Free on Oct. 29 To Reduce the Number of Zombie RVs on Portland’s Streets

On Wednesday, City Council banned the sale of "hazardous" recreational vehicles, a practice that had encouraged people to sell their broken-down RVs for as little as $1.

An RV parked along "The Strip" on North Lombard Street in St. Johns. (Daniel Stindt)

Portland officials have had enough with the hundreds of decrepit recreational vehicles lining the city's streets.

City Council banned the sale of "hazardous" recreational vehicles on Wednesday, a move designed to shrink the number of RVs being used as makeshift homes and havens for drug users.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation also offered to take residents' old campers off their hands for free on Oct. 29 at Portland International Raceway. The cost to dispose of an RV at a car-crushing lot could be as much as $2,000. To dodge the fee, people had sold their derelict RVs for as little as $1, as WW reported earlier this summer.

Related: Portland is towing caravans of RVs off the streets. Here's what it's like inside those motor homes.

In the past two years, the number of RVs parked on Portland streets has increased ten-fold. City officials estimate that if the rise continues, it could cost as much as $1.3 million to remove the abandoned or dangerous trailers from the streets this fiscal year.

"Portlanders are justifiably concerned by the growing public health and safety threat posed by abandoned or derelict RVs on our streets," Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement. "Portland Police have been working closely with transportation staff to address this issue and this ordinance and turn-in day will help catch unsanitary RVs before they get to our streets and become a problem for our community."

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