San Diego – trapping RV tourist in fines of hidden rules and perhaps false information

I am a German citizen RV tourist who arrived in San Diego via my long RV tour, which started months ago in Florida. At first I checked into an RV resort called ‘Campland on the Bay’. I discovered quickly that it is an area I would like to spend the cool winter time before continuing my RV trip toward Oregon and Washington.

I figured that staying for many weeks in my small 24 feet B-Plus RV can be a bit tight and I looked at vacation rental condo solutions.  January 22nd 2019 I contacted a larger, local short term rental agency who were advertising a condo for short-term-rent online.  Despite the high rent I liked the condo. Recently, I  sold property in Europe and I thought that I can spend some of that money for a more comfortable vacation in San Diego. The property manager said that there is no private parking for my 24′ RV on the property but I could park on the public street, but better confirm with a street-code enforcement officer to make sure there are no problems with that.

That is exactly what I did. On January 24th 2019 I left my Campland Camp-side on bicycle in order to find a police office or vehicle to ask my questions about parking. I got lucky and meet just a few hundred yards from Campland an street-code enforcement officer riding in a small golf-cart-like vehicle called ‘Interceptor 3″.

It was exactly 11 A.M., Jan 24th, corner Reed Ave / Olney St., I drove my bicycle to the driver side of  “Interceptor 3” and I ask the street-code enforcement officer: “I am about to sign an vacation-rental-lease located on Sail-Bay/Mission-Bay, would it be permitted to park my RV over there on the public street?” The officer turned his walky-talky-radio down and answered with an question: “Is your RV 27 feet or bigger?” I said “No, it’s only 24 feet”. He said: “When you are fine as long as nobody is sleeping in the RV and you move it at least every 72 hours to a different street”.
I rode away from the “Interceptor 3” officer, on my bicycle. Two minutes later, I returned to him and  asked him: “Can I get some sort of written approval just to make sure that I don’t run in the future into an officer with a different opinion?” The street-code enforcement officer answered: “That is not necessary, your are fine, your vehicle is under 27 feet, and I am the officer for this area” I said “Thank you again for your time” and I apologized for stopping him twice on the same matter.

Based on this very clear San Diego street-code enforcement officer’s answer I was now felt comfortable  to signing a 3 month Bay-front-condo lease. Jan 24th I phone-SMS-texted the rental property manager right after I spoke to the  street-code enforcement officer:


Next I signed the lease term starting Feb 1st 2019 until April 30th 2019 (3 months) for the fully furnished vacation rental condo and paid the rent and deposit, a significant amount.
Everything was fine. I used my small RV, my only vehicle, as my daily commuter and never parked over 72 hours in one spot.  Suddenly, March 5th 2019, I found this ticket under my windshield wiper:

The ticket states “No RV Parking on Street 2 – 6 A.M.”
Wow! That is very different from what the street-code enforcement officer told me on Jan 24th. Additionally there was not any street signs displaying a warning.

As a tourist, coming for my vacation to San Diego, I cared more than just looking at street signs to make sure I am not falling into a hidden-law-parking-trap, but there is was, the unexpected ticked and me stuck with a prepaid vacation-rental-contract until April 30th.

Here I am facing now not only the unfair ticket of $112.50 but also a day of my vacation spent on this case and how this parking problem will affect my remaining  7 weeks here, at this very costly vacation rental.
My small RV is my only commuting vehicle and I trusted the twice asked street-code enforcement officer of Interceptor 3, that there will be no problem for my short 24 feet RV.

Today, March 6th 2019, I am disputing the ticket now online at an “Administrative Review” and hope for an positive answer. Hopefully the ticket will be waved and I will be okay to park my RV, for the rest of my non-refundable, prepaid vacation rental commitment, until the date of April 30th 2019.

Update: March 6th 2019 at 1:58 PM – San Diego online dispute system can’t find the ticket yet:


Update:  March 30th 2019 at 10:05 AM – intend to file the administrative review online still returns the same message above.

Update: April 8th 2019 at 9:15 AM – finally I was able to submit the online administrative review: