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Old 05-11-2009, 05:31 AM   #15
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The problem for the campgrounds is that they have no way to manage the use of their facilities if they have both "no frills" and "full service' campers. Would have to put gates on pools and rec areas, issue & check passes or provide access keys to full service users, etc. PITA for everybody.

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Old 05-11-2009, 10:19 AM   #16
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Thank you for your email of concern regarding Bill LD114/HP98. The Maine Tourism Alliance and the Cumberland County Representative are looking at the proposal.
I received the response above from one of the many Emails I sent to various Maine agencies. I emailed them explaining how we usually boondocked about 20% of the time and that if they passed the proposed law, we would not be coming back to their state. The Maine campgrounds would be losing the 80% of our business as well as the many 1,000’s of dollars we spent in other Maine businesses. My wife can not go to Maine without stopping at Freeport shopping centers and we ate so much lobster we starting avoiding hot water. The author of the bill saying that they would not lose much doesn’t understand that most people staying at Wal-Mart are driving 6 figure coaches and spend a lot of money all over Maine. She seemed to be saying boondockers were all freeloaders dumping our sewage in the parking lots and not spending a dime. Yonder Hill, who started the whole thing, is exactly the kind of campground that many of us avoid. It is set up for kids and their activities. Although we had kids, we try to avoid kids and their associated problems when we camp. There are many kids oriented campground and many adult oriented campgrounds. Many chose the latter

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Old 05-11-2009, 10:29 AM   #17
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Usually in order to get a campground license you have to offer selected services, IE: Sewage dump (in fact that's the biggie)

I think one solution would be for Wall-Mart to install dump stations at stores in the restricted states, and charge you a fee for parking and dumping in the "RV" section of the lot.

Said fee to be waived if you spend say $25.00 in the store
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:30 AM   #18
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When we travel,,,,,and States that I consider virtually RV unfriendly,,,,,,I fill up in one State,,,,,,drive through the unfriendly State,,,,,,fill up on the other side.......If a state isn't going to allow more than 2 hours in a rest area,,,,,,,a-fore gett'n $hi$$ie about it,,,,,,,,,,,,toooooo big a country to waste my time and $$$$. FREEEEDOMMMMMMMM!

I tell my DW,,,,,ain't leaving one dime,,,,,,,,,,

Sure glad Texas is RV friendly,,,,,,,would play helllllll getting through it on fumes........

It's not just about $$$$,,,,because we spend them liberally,,,,,,,,It is about FREEEEEEEEDOMMMMMMMMM!,,,,,OMG,,,,I said the L word,,,,,,,,does that mean???????? Naw,,,,never accused of that!
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Old 05-11-2009, 02:58 PM   #19
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Here's a link to an interesting article about this in the Kennebec Journal (a local newspaper) Maine may ban RVs from overnight parking lots
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:10 PM   #20
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Janet, thank you very much for posting the link to that article. Reading it confirms several things for me:
1. the proposed ban in Maine IS a concerted, coordinated effort by the campground owners in Maine.
2. the "evidence" being produced to support it is anecdotal - one of the CG owners saw someone parked in a Wal-Mart for 4-5 days. It is just wrong to accept that kind of input. The legislature should be demanding hard evidence, through an independently run study, that confirms or denies information like that. Allowing someone with a vested financial interest to present someone else's data (the length of stays in a Wal-Mart lot) shows bias, IMHO.
3. we have yet another elected official with an attitude. For a representative to essentially say "if you don't like it, stay away", shows the same kind of arrogance that has caused many (most?) of our problems.

I'm planning to vote with my feet, too. We had been considering a trip to Maine in our plans. Until and unless this ban is defeated, that part of the trip is off the table. And this comes from some who has never spent a single night in a Wal-Mart lot. I'm telling them so in writing.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:39 PM   #21
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I posted this in the Kennebec Journal's blog:

"I left Maine many years ago and still enjoy visits although it is a long way. We have elected to live in a motorhome for the first years of retirement. We stay in rest areas, Walmarts etc., when between campgrounds while traveling. It has never really been an issue in the places we have visited. We are very discriminating towards the campgrounds we stay at as some are run down or cater to groups we wish to avoid. If this law passes I sincerely doubt we will be coming to Maine for a visit. It would make travel far more complicated than it needs to be. I'd strongly encourage the Legislature to table this. I do not know the economic impact if RVer's avoid Maine but I do know many of these folks are driving rigs that are six digit homes on wheels. Generally they do spend a lot of money where ever they go."

I can understand a campground owner putting a lot of money into his CG and then driving by Walmart and seeing a gaggle of potential customers parked there. On the other side if he has a CG I want to visit by all means we will be there. Perhaps these owners need to look at what they have, do what they they need to get business and not attempt to legislate business.
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Old 05-11-2009, 06:57 PM   #22
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I just mailed 3 letters- Governor Baldacci, Anne Perry & John Piotti, as follows:

re: Anti-RV Legislation

Honorable Governor Baldacci and Legislators,

It has come to my attention that you are considering passing anti-RV legislation restricting businesses in your state from allowing RV visitors to use various facilities overnight. This is an anti-competitive ruse used by a narrow segment of your business community to try and get more money out of people like me. I would like to remind you of why that isn't going to work, even for the idiots who are asking for this legislation.

My wife and I own a nice motorhome. It has wheels under it, so it can move where we choose to go. In the near future we would like to visit all 49 continental United States except those who don't want our money. And we are like many other RV'ers about where we choose to visit. Airlines have taught us we have a choice when we fly. The same is true about where we spend our fuel tax dollars, our restaurant dollars (is there sales tax on restaurant meals in Maine?), our grocery dollars (any sales tax collected there?), our vehicle service dollars (you can ask truck service outfits whether they would like to miss this income), and our travel entertainment dollars. This is not to mention our campground dollars.

We can and will choose to avoid spending any of the above money in your state if you tell us we are not wanted. Which would be really stupid. Other jurisdictions who have “served” the narrow minded constituencies militating for this type of short sighted “safety” measure have found that even campground owners who put you up to floating this legislative imbecility suffer when large groups of RV'ers boycott your state.

We travel in packs, and we educate ourselves about where to travel on the internet. We are generally more affluent than average, older and with time on our hands, and relatively well informed. We know our rigs and their sanitation needs, and are way more law abiding than average (goes w/age and affluence). When we travel we usually stay in local RV parks 80-100% of the time, with occasional overnight stops in truck stops, WalMart and Camping World parking lots (they have websites that let us know where this is permissible), and the like. So ~95% of our nights are in paid campgrounds!! That is a demographic I'm citing, applicable to my travel but also accurate across virtually every stratification of RV'er insofar as the local economy of Maine is concerned.

How much is a sit-down restaurant dinner for 8 or 10 or 12, with several bottles of wine? We do that once or twice a week with our crowd. How much fuel tax is there on 65 gallons of diesel (my average fill up)? Were you aware RV'ers buy groceries in local stores as well as all the other stuff Maine's permanent residents buy? How much does the average RV visitor frequent local tourist & entertainment establishments?

It probably isn't apparent from the whining of the jerks trying to skin a little extra from your traveling visitors, but the choice here is a few more paid overnight campground fees vs. nothing from a large group of RV'ers; vs. hoards of potential visitors choosing other destinations entirely.

We have a choice when we travel. Maine can tell us we are welcome. Or Maine can tell us to shop in other states, Canada and Mexico with our dollars.

Thanks for whatever you can do,
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Old 05-11-2009, 08:43 PM   #23
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I posted the following in the comments section of the Kennebec Journal comments about the proposed law.

Lind of Tavares, FL
May 11, 2009 9:45 PM
As a multiple RV visitor to the beautiful state of Maine, I can report that this proposed law has gotten a huge response on the internet and many, many Rv’ers will not be going to your state as it is perceived as anti RV. The RV community has come together on this new stance on RV’ing from Maine and will respond by just going elsewhere in this beautiful country. There are many choices out there. We usually stay about 3 weeks in Maine and spend 1,000’s of dollars. My wife does lots of shopping damage in Freeport and I had to have a pair of the original duck boots. We stay in campgrounds about 5 or 6 nights a week and have stayed a numerous parking lots for the balance of the time. Last year we stayed one night at a Freeport parking lot and then checked in at the Maine Desert campground for 2 additional nights. The gypsy profile reported is completely wrong. We eat out a min of 1 meal per day and frequently 2. When cooking in, we usually eat lobster we purchased locally. (They are so much better than our Florida lobster.). We support many different businesses. To make such a large segment of your tourist mad and run them off is certainly a false economy. This is going to cost many businesses a lot of money and will even cost the campgrounds business from the campers who boycott the state. RV’ers do not dump their waste in parking lots. I have a $100,000 plus coach with sufficient water and sewage capacity for 5 or 6 days. We generally do not dump the sewage at a campground until it gets nearly full and the levels are monitored and managed in a “green” way. Most RV’ers are environmentalist at heart. Surely the legislators in Maine can see through the short sightness of this proposal and do the right thing
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:22 PM   #24
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LD114 Overwelmingly defeated!

Per a recent email from my representative with in the hour, " The bill was overwhelmingly defeated".

Thank you to all who wrote or called. You can boondock in my back yard anytime. And if your 4" line is long enough, I know where my septic tank cover is!

Come on up!
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Old 05-12-2009, 03:30 PM   #25
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Maine legislature kills parking bill after sponsor withdraws support

More info here.

Maine newspaper sounds off against aggressive parking ban
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:10 PM   #26
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Thank You Bdaball. This should be watched again as sometimes they pop back up. It was nice to see the RV'ers come together to stop this from happening. It would have hurt the industry it was designed to protect. Typical situation of the Ready Shoot Aim that we see from our elected officials. I am glad as I loved Maine and want to go back. The campground owners have to adjust their business plan to attract a bigger share of the declining market during the recession. All businesses are having to adjust and the sucessful ones will make it.
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Old 05-12-2009, 04:23 PM   #27
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I agree on campground owners having to adapt. I am another campground user who would favor a reasonable overnight section for those who are just looking for a place to spend the night. I believe this is doable by campground owners, and would be one way of adapting to the economic times we are in.

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Old 05-12-2009, 04:26 PM   #28
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I was so glad to read earlier that this bill was killed. I hope Rep Perry and many others in the state learned a lot about the RV community through this. Yesterday I read an article from the Portland newspaper in which Rep. Perry, the bill's sponsor, said "if RVers avoid the state because they aren't allowed to park for free, that's not a great loss". Evidently she changed her mind rather quickly. Hopefully she and others learned it's not just about the free parking.

Way to go evryone.

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