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Old 08-17-2005, 07:32 AM   #57
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First, let me say I am a resident of Billings, Mt. and I think that Billings is no more RV friendly or RV UN-friendly than other places I have traveled to and from recently. I just returned from a month long 2500 mile trip through Mt, Or, Id, and Wa. I found no camping signs in store parking lots and pull outs in nearly every place I visited. I only saw one rest stop friendly place which had a sign posted that stops should be limited to 8 hours. I think this was in Washington. Cool.

As noted in the article published in this thread, the Billings law has been in existence since before gasoline but is enforced on a complaint basis. I think this is a very good and necessary way to handle the situation. One the one hand you might complain about having this law but think about how you would deal with the abusers. Abusers are the folks who pull into the Walmart or other free spot, unhitch, pull out the lawn chairs, bbq, dog kennels and green lawn mats. They then proceed to leave in the tow vehicle for hours. They stay here for multiple days, often leaving the dog barking. Don't say it's not so because I have seen it here and elsewhere. Now before you flame, I realize that not everyone is an abuser but don't you think having a law in place to deal with the occasional abuser is a good idea? If not, why do we have things like speed limits?
Now, having said all that, I too am angered that the campground owners assiciations and KOA and the like are campaigning for these laws to restrict camping in other than licensed campgrounds. This is analagous to Safeway or Albertsons or Piggly Wiggly getting laws passed to prevent home vegatable gardens. What other example is there of a business using the law to make it unlawful not to do business with them?

I like the Holiday Inn's solution to just apply for a campground license. How about a fund to donate to so we can help Walmart apply for the same license? I think a neat job would be to be the campground host at a Walmart.

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Old 08-17-2005, 08:09 AM   #58
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...I think a neat job would be to be the campground host at a Walmart. ...
I think we just found us a good one here.
Welcome RvButterfly to iRV2 !
... and thank you for your insight on your area of Montana, and this subject itself.
This subject, often passionate, is nice to have ongoing thoughtful input, and is sure to keep going here.
We look forward to hearing of all your RV tales RVButterfly,
thank you very much,

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Old 08-17-2005, 08:21 AM   #59
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Originally posted by RVButerfly:
I think a neat job would be to be the campground host at a Walmart.
Hmmm....my retirement planning had been limited to being a WalMart greeter or the guy who gathers up the shopping carts on the parking lot. This opens up a whole new world of possibilities!!

As Mike said, welcome to iRV2.com - glad to have you on board.

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Old 08-17-2005, 08:34 AM   #60
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Originally posted by RVBUTERFLY:
How about a fund to donate to so we can help Walmart apply for the same license?
Welcome to iRV2.com We are glad you joined our band of merrymakers! And thanks for your thoughtful post on a volatile issue, but I don't think WM needs the fund-they already got all my money! ED
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Old 08-17-2005, 03:20 PM   #61
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camping in other than licensed campgrounds. This is analagous to Safeway or Albertsons or Piggly Wiggly getting laws passed to prevent home vegatable gardens.
I think home vegetable gardens SHOULD be banned.
Too noisy and ya always got neighbors trying to dump off tomatoes and rutabagas etc. because their gardens are too d*mn big.

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Old 08-17-2005, 04:41 PM   #62
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Originally posted by RVButerfly:
...I think a neat job would be to be the campground host at a Walmart.
Welcome to iRV2.com And thank you for adding yet another dimension to this controversy. It does provoke thought into what could become a new area of "workamping"

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Old 08-17-2005, 04:51 PM   #63
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just remember you heard it here first.
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Old 08-21-2005, 12:52 PM   #64
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Last year we were part of the mandatory evacuation of hurrican Charlie at Myrtle Beach. We had a pop-up at that point. All hotels/motels were packed, and we eventually found a walmart off the path of the evacuation route. They were gracious enough to everyone there, and there were quite a few parked with us, to allow everyone to put up or slide out (we did not, however, and slept in our car instead.) By the way, I did shop until the evacuation was lifted - not only Walmart, but almost everyone else in the shopping strip with them.

OK... let's bash Walmart. Are we forgetting the other "free" campgrounds out there? Camping World, Flying J, Pilot, T & A, every rest stop on every highway in the country!!! So if the government is going to allow this ban at Walmart, they are going to have to ban the parking at all the rest.... including themselves!! Will the campgrounds have a spot for the truck driver who muststop and rest, with his refrigeration unit going all night long?

Gee... think they'll back off on that thought?

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Old 08-21-2005, 02:34 PM   #65
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I am afraid "they" have already thought of this. Truck Drivers fall under a different set of rules and you will see this posted at some locations. I have seen the signs in rest areas in, I think, South Dakota that said "No stopping for over 2 hours except Truck drivers governed by .... "

Truck drivers are required to drive x hours, sleep x hours etc under some very restrictive laws. Log books, inspections, drug tests, driver license test physicals etc. It's complex but I think it's best to leave the trucks out of the discussion as they are "regulated' business and we are, generally not.
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Old 08-25-2005, 07:44 AM   #66
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Hey Folks,
Some very good points have been expressed and a great discussion
going on. I think good things are begining to happen as a result.
In 1997 I made a 2600 Mi. trip from Port Arthur, Texas to Morgan
City, Louisiana and on up the Atchafalaya and Mississippi Rivers to
Oquawka, Illinois in my 40 foot houseboat.
I stayed overnight at yacht clubs, casinos and marinas but in Morgan
City, Louisiana and in Quincy, Illinois they had free city owned
overnight slips and a dock with electric and water hookups. And in
Quincy the free dock was right next door to the Quincy Yacht Club.
These folks saw no conflict but rather a united effort to promote
boating. Needless to say, we shopped and spent money in Quincy and
Morgan City.
My point is this.
RV Campgrounds as well as Marinas cannot stay in business if they
depend on overnighters to pay their bills. RV Campground's best
interest would be better served by becoming a destination point
rather than trying to be a water stop, and by working together to
promote RVing as a whole rather than creating a split in our
If you follow their line of thinking motels would have been outlawed
years ago in favor of downtown hotels.
Just my opinion,
Bob Sammons
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Old 08-29-2005, 09:19 PM   #67
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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" honorees, 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

Go here to read the discussions on KOA and the city

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