the important thing
The gate of the Saint-Gaudens motorhome area will be closed from November 15 to March 1, 2023. However, the situation is more complicated on site, with some owners of motorhomes rejecting this closure. For them, who need this area on a daily basis, closure amounts to pure and simple expulsion.
Motor vehicle excursions are common during the summer. The vacation is really suitable for this life on the road from area to area for motorhomes. However, not all camper-home owners chose this way of life only during the summer period. Many users have exchanged classic houses for these houses on wheels. This is the case of Elisabeth and Jean-Claude, Samir, Paule, Terry, all residents of the caravans in Saint-Gaudens.
A total of nine households went to the location of the town hall and realized that the area will be closed from November 15 to March 1, 2023. The information was later confirmed by the city hall.
This decision does not delight these motorhome owners who have decided to come together as a collective to make their voices heard. That’s how the Clacc collective (Collective for the Liberation of Motorhomes) was recently created.
“Above all, you have to understand that we all have different life paths. If we live in a motor home, we chose that,” explains Samir.
Indeed, these nine households have as many different origins as the motorhome model, Elizabeth and Jean-Claude for example: “If we live in a motorhome, it is to take care of my wife, she has a serious illness and has periodic appointments at the Saint- Gaudens. Otherwise we wouldn’t be there every day.”
Like the couple, Terry also chose to live in the motorhome zone after scheduled operations at Saint-Gaudens Hospital.
She confides in this atypical situation: “I have four planned operations, I have them until June 2023 if we count the recovery periods. It is not my pleasure to stay in Aire! I am seasonal, so otherwise I should prepare my vines for the winter. By staying in the blockade, I lose 9 months salary”.
Feeling of deja vu
However, this is not the first closure the collective has experienced. Already last year, the city hall decided to close access to the area. “We can only remember him! At the same time, who would forget the sound of the communal police knocking on his door one morning to ask us to leave? But last year, the people who closed the area was a mild time, we could , for a small group of four, to enter the field and live a little hidden on it,” recalls Samir.
So this year, when the city hall formalized the closure of motorhomes for the entire winter period, motorhome owners said: No.
“We are not looking for a confrontation, we remain pacifists, for us there is only one solution: to be allowed to stay in that area. This is not a whim, it is a necessity for everyone, we are an integral part of the life of the city, we shop in the city, we go to stores, to restaurants!” members of the collective were carried away.
At the town hall, Joël Guillermin elected in charge of the camper area still remains firm: “The Saint-Gaudens camper area is intended to accommodate campers passing through for one or several days. The latter must pay a fee of €8 per day. Purpose this area does not accommodate a sedentary population. In winter, attendance decreases, which is why we close during this period.”
In addition, the elected official remained attentive to the users: “One of the owners of the camping house called me to ask about the situation, I reminded him of the temporary mission of the area and confirmed that it will close soon”.
The closure that the collective disputes: “We called a lawyer who confirmed to us that the home corresponds to the place of our life, that is, our car dealership. We will complain about the winter break. This decision annoys us, we will fight to stay, but not violently”. Terry, for her part, is ready for anything: “I have the right to legal aid and I will use it if necessary. I can’t go anywhere else, I don’t have a shower in my motorhome, and I just got a toilet… I have nowhere to go. If I’m not connected, I don’t have no water, no electricity, nothing to take… It’s inhumane”.
Always wanting to communicate, the collective is ready to meet with someone from the city hall to find a solution: “What we would like is to meet in person. In the meantime, we have sent a letter to Jean-Yves Duclos, the sub-prefect, the deputy and even the president of the region, he will be able to read our personal situations as well as our requests there.
Motorhome owners are living on borrowed time until November 15th.