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Old 08-27-2005, 11:57 AM   #29
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I have to admit that I was an avid user of "cheap" or free camping including Walmarts, church parking lots, schools, Truck Stops etc. etc. Yes, my reason was money related but convenience as well. If I needed to shop for supplies, Walmart. If I needed to do laundry, truck stops. When I chose to spend my hard earned dollars at a campsite, it was when I could pull in before 3pm and get some rest and work done and be able to leave at noon the next day. But if is was already dark and I needed to leave first thing, it made no sense to me to spend that much money for a plot of dirt.
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Old 08-29-2005, 05:26 AM   #30
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Beabop:
I have told several cmpgrnd owners that if they would offer a safe,quiet,easy in/out no hook up place to park at a resonable price, many would take it for overnight. Passport America has really worked for us. It pays its way every year just on our way to and from FL. $12 for a quiet place to sleep,with elec,we don't use the rest of the FHU provided in that price. Pull thru sites with no untrimmed trees to damage the MH. We have used the mentioned South of the Border but some of those sites are tight and have seen some really big rigs over nighting just outside the gate. I like S of the B though because you can go over to the hotel and use the swimming pool. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Well, this wouldn't work for me. Price isn't the only reason I stop at Walmart. Not only is it free but I know what to expect before I ever pull off the interstate. I know there will be a big level lot with lots of lights and no issues or complications checking in. If I knew a local campground supplied this service I would still probably opt for the Walmart because I know what to expect.

For these single night stops, I would, however, consider a chain of quickie, cheap campgrounds that were near an exit and were all the same so I knew what to expect. One reason why McDonald's got so big so fast is because of their consistency. I know that a quarter pounder is the same in Maine as it is in Nevada.

Later.
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:19 PM   #31
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I am new to all this so that my why I think that exploring different camp grounds is fun. I am amazed at the differences I have seen. So far I have seen a la-dee-da grounds at a KOA in Buckeye Lake where our little C class seemed out of place to a mostly permenant sites in PA that looked like a hobo camp. A KOA outside Pittsburg was very active with lots of friendly folks. At Indian Lake in Oh, a C-class was near the upper end among the tents and pop-ups. Near Kalamazoo there is a place that sits on a narrow peninsula in the Kalamazoo river that is very nice.

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Old 08-29-2005, 04:38 PM   #32
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Go here to read the discussions on KOA and the city
http://www.billingsgazette.com/cgi-b.../UltraBoard.pl



This is the KOA head quarters folks !!

Carol Linde's letter to the editor of the Billings Montana Gazette. This gal is--- " Your hosts: 1998 "KOA Franchisee of the Year" honoree s, Marvin & Carol Linde".
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++++++++++++++++

Out-of-town freeloaders don't deserve free camping
I'm against allowing RVers to do what is known as boondocking (freeloading) in a parking lot such as Wal-mart. People who boondock go from town to town freeloading on the community in which they spend the night. While they park for free in a big-box store lot, they enjoy the benefit of police and fire protection. They dispose of their trash in someone's Dumpster and find a place to empty their sewage holding tanks while filling up with fresh water. All for free, thanks to the generous taxpayers of Billings.

I know that the City Council, mayor and The Billings Gazette have received e-mails from people who will tell you that if the city continues to enforce the ordinance, RVers will bypass Billings. Why do we owe them a free place to camp overnight? Most of the people who write these e-mails are from out of state. They have nothing better to do than sit in Internet chat rooms and complain to one another about free boondocking sites. They most likely have no plans to come to Billings in the first place, yet they somehow feel we are infringing on some right of theirs to camp free. Instead, all I ask is that they camp in a licensed campground.

Please, let's not let a bunch of out-of-state freeloaders tell us what to do. Instead, let's show some support for our local small businesses by continuing to be the leader in Montana and discourage boondocking.

Carol Linde
Billings
------------------------------------------------------
One reply to the Billings Gazette located at the news discussion under "RV Parking"
http://www.billingsgazette.com/cgi-b.../UltraBoard.pl

Let's see,- --- a free loader stops and purchases goods in your town, fuel and other commodities such as entertainment . Perhaps they stop at Pierces RV and purchase needs, or even a RV , (what % of sales at Pierces or the other RV dealers in town, are from out of town ?
Yes they do dump trash --probably in a receptacle owned by a store that they patronized . They will dump holding tanks at Pierces or Tour America, both are places with a large payroll that is supported by (out of towners), and locals both. I don't think that any of these activities are from the largesse of the Billings taxpayer, the holding tank dumping and garbage services are paid via the vendors garbage service and in the case of dumping holding tanks are paid by the RV dealers.
Now, do you believe the merchants who benefit, and of course their employees (IE trickle down moneys) none of these people need the business of out of Towner's? Somehow I don't believe you would be included in the list of generous taxpayers of Billings, as you are railing on a subject you have not thoroughly researched.
Lady you need to study the economy !!!!!


I don't know about the rest of the RV community but after seeing what she / they KOA are doing and attempting in Billings I Know I will be staying at the local Holiday inn which I understand has RV parking places and a city permit for $20.00
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Old 08-29-2005, 05:34 PM   #33
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I have never understood why some business owners don't or won't understand....<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">(IE trickle down moneys) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>.
Good first post and welcome to iRV2
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Old 09-01-2005, 05:22 AM   #34
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Is it common for Holiday Inns and other motel chains to accomodate RVs?

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Old 09-06-2005, 06:01 PM   #35
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Dan no not many do but there are those who do and in my previous post I was wrong their charge is like $25 but that gives you power and access to the pool and other amenities the other guests enjoy.
As an aside Mrs.Linde was not the only complainer of rv camping . the following is from the City councils work session minuets. as you can see A lot of the local campgrounds are against walmarters and freeloaders actually some pretty vitrolic language. See below

RE:R.V. Parking Rabblerouser

To those who are replying to the RV situation.
These forums are not read by the folks of Billings for the most part.
By sending letters to the editor of the Gazette " speakup@billingsgazette.com " or to the Chamber of Commerce, perhaps the "message" will be more widely disseminated. The City Council and Mayors positions are going up for election currently. Due to a lot of problems lately in the city, few of the councilmen will be reelected,and the mayors position will be a new man too, So sending messages to them may be a waste of time . If enough of the citizens of Billings can be made aware of this attempt of restricting property owners rights, and the free enterprise system . I feel that when they vote, they will attempt to install councilpersons who will more closely follow the wishes of the general public and not those who try to pass special laws for friends and cronies. (Maybe even remove an antiquated law against Rv parking !) Most Montanans know the importance of tourisim to the economy of state and local businesses. I've heard that one councilman (BROWN)was going to ask that this law be removed from the books , but as far as I know nothing has ever come from it.


I doubt that any council members will do any thing as they will continue their record of cronieisim and doing nothing--hoping some one else will step forword and shoulder the responsibility that they were elected for.
RV owner#1 I guess that would be these records, that I copied from their site.


" JUDY BARNES, YELLOWSTONE RIVER CAMPGROUND, asked the Council to keep the RV
ordinance in place for several reasons:
2
1) to collect the bed tax used to benefit buildings, rest stops, and tourism
2) the voluminous numbers of RVers using the West End Wal-Mart parking lot
3) campgrounds generate most business during the summer months of the year
4) many of the people writing to complain are "escapees" from Livingston, TX who are fulltime
RVers with no fixed address who live free in RVs. These people drain their tanks into storm
drains and along roadways and dump their trash in other peoples receptacles
5) local campgrounds send campers to other tourist facilities that bring dollar into the community
She asked the Council to look at the big picture and keep the ordinance in place.
" CAROL LINDE, BILLINGS KOA, said the KOA, Eastwood Estate, Trailer Village and
Yellowstone River Campground all advertise. She said they are outraged by the Gazette's
editorial regarding the RV matter. She noted that the campground owners were never contacted
for their viewpoint. She submitted a letter outlining her views, objecting to the "boondocking"
practice of the freeloading RVers that use public services without paying for the benefit. She
noted the bed tax that is a portion of the campground fees that goes directly to the state general
fund and for the legislators to spend as they wish. Ms. Linde said Montana is lagging in tourism
promotion compared with other states. She also noted that the campground's profits are kept and
spent locally. She asked if Billings wants "freeloaders" in their City, as most of the letter writers
are from out-of-state. She asked the Council to continue to enforce the RV ordinance.

ONCE AGAIN
RE:R.V. Parking Rabblerouser

To those who are replying to the RV situation.
These forums are NOT read by the folks of Billings for the most part.
By sending letters to the editor of the Gazette at " speakup@billingsgazette.com " or to the Chamber of Commerce, perhaps the "message" will be more widely disseminated. The City Council and Mayors positions are going up for election currently. Due to a lot of problems lately in the city, few of the councilmen will be reelected,and the mayors position will be a new man too, So sending messages to them may be a waste of time . If enough of the citizens of Billings can be made aware of this attempt of restricting property owners rights, and the free enterprise system . I feel that when they vote, they will attempt to install councilpersons who will more closely follow the wishes of the general public and not those who try to pass special laws for friends and cronies. (Maybe even remove an antiquated law against Rv parking !) Most Montanans know the importance of tourisim to the economy of state and local businesses. I've heard that one councilman (BROWN)was going to ask that this law be removed from the books , but as far as I know nothing has ever come from it. Now he is not going to run again, probably can't stand to associate with the others!!!
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Old 09-13-2005, 05:29 AM   #36
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by George Miklas: </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

...RVers say it's not always about saving money. Most Wal-Marts are easy to find, the lots are lit up at night and usually have security cameras. Campers can restock their supplies, get something to eat and be back on the highway with ease--which is important to people who have someplace else to be...[/QUOTE]

I guess I have a different take on this. I have heard a distressing number of RV'ers express pride in the percentage of nights they are able to camp for free in WalMarts, Flying J's, etc. And while we seldom use WalMarts for overnight ourselves (two nights in twelve years of RV ownership), we do like to stop at them for lunch breaks. They aren't nearly as easy to find as most campgrounds are (campground directory gives explicit directions, WalMart directory does not) and I often find myself seeing the store just as I have passed the exit.

In my opinion, I think the RV community can shout itself hoarse that it isn't about money and it is about convenience and the communities aren't going to buy. It is about money on both sides.

The problem is, of course, made worse by the abusers. People who stay for more than one day in a free campsite, put out their awnings, get out lawn chairs, etc. And all it takes is one getting caught dumping holding tanks down a storm drain to brand us all as polluters.
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Old 09-13-2005, 09:05 AM   #37
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My question is, how can a town or city pass an ordinance telling a private property owner who and what can park in their private parking lot. They have parking lots in downtown areas of many major cities. Some allow overnight parking and some do not. The ones that do not usually have chains, or gates to block vehicles from entering. But if a property owner allows it, whether the charge or allow it for free, since when does the city have the right to tell the property owner he can or can't do that. Many if not all Walmart's are open 24-hours a day. What determines someone is staying the night or just parked while shopping. If one goes in and shops then goes back to their RV and catches a couple of hours sleep, this certainly isn't staying the night, it's just parking.

I think this whole thing is ridiculous and against the store owners constitutional rights, and Walmart or any other property owner should challenge any such ordinance, no matter what city or state it's in.

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Old 09-13-2005, 09:23 AM   #38
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IF THE RV PARKS WOULD LOWER THEIR PRICES THEY WOULD ATTRACT MORE RVER'S TO PARK OVERNIGHT.
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Old 09-20-2005, 07:50 AM   #39
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Alan554:
In my opinion, I think the RV community can shout itself hoarse that it isn't about money and it is about convenience and the communities aren't going to buy. It is about money on both sides. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

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Old 09-20-2005, 08:14 AM   #40
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I too agree with many posts that say if CG's offered a low cost, no service place to park for the night I would use it.
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Old 09-21-2005, 05:32 AM   #41
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From where I sit, it's strictly a matter of convenience. Money is secondary. If I'm traveling late, get tired and need to stop, the exit with the Wal*Mart is going to be the easiest and best way to get off the road. The campground that is 5 miles off the interstate on a dark 2 lane country road with an office that closed at 9pm is just not an option for me. And.....backing into a strange campsite in a strange campground in the dark gives me the willies.
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Old 09-21-2005, 09:06 PM   #42
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We have a 39 ft. Dutch Star. We spent a lot of money to make it completely self-contained: 8 deep-cycle batteries; 3 solar panels; a 2000 watt inverter. We carry 100 gals. of fresh water and have 60/45 gallon capacity gray/black.
We neither need nor want a full-service campground.

We are full-timers and seldom stay at any commercial business overnight. We do boondock almost exclusively, aside from a few stops at Escapees parks or Passport America.

Carol Linde denigrates the very people from whom she hopes to make a living. She has not only shot herself in the foot, but the city of Billings, too.

By the way, Bozeman has a Wal-Mart Supercenter. I don't know if you can stay overnight there or not, but I do know Billings has seen the last of us.
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