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Author Topic: RV Parking ban vote coming soon we need to act now  (Read 4308 times)
HighTechRedneck
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« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2009, 08:41:01 AM »

I just sent the mayor this email expressing the points and elaborating on the alternative Rick suggested:

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Dear Mayor Snedecor,

It has come to my attention from a thread on our member forum that the Hobart City Council is preparing to vote on a ban of overnight RV/truck parking in retailer parking lots.  As a full time RVíer, I would like to voice my concern and offer an alternative approach.

I can certainly understand that in parking lots close to residential housing that could be a noise problem.  But in retail districts where the big box stores typically reside, it is less of an imposition on residents.  Further, RV travelers and truckers commonly buy where they park. The fact that there are enough RVís/trucks parking there to be deemed an issue makes it a sure bet that thousands of dollars per day/night are being spent in Hobart by these visitors.

Wal-Mart teaches their management the reason behind their corporate acceptance/welcoming of RV/Truck overnight parking in their parking lots.  Especially with regard to RV travelers, they have minimal supply storage and have to restock regularly.  The last figure I saw published, Wal-Mart estimates that the average RV traveler that parks overnight at their store will spend $60-$100 at their store.  It is also not unusual for them to spend at the local restaurants while there.

Truck drivers donít usually need to restock supplies, but they do buy meals, snacks, sodaís, coffee, cigarettes,  etc.  And all that adds up significantly as well in retail sales and sales tax revenues. They will typically do that where they park.

Are there gas stations with pumps that are accessible to RVís in the area near these parking lots?  If so, you can be sure that they receive considerable revenue from the RVís parking overnight in your city.  That will be lost if such an ordinance is passed.

Does Hobart benefit from tourism?  If such an ďanti RV/truckĒ ordinance is passed, you can count on it being communicated on all the RV/travel enthusiast forums, trucking forums, related newsletters and magazines.  Such negative publicity will create a sense of ill will and further impact your tourism revenues..

Alternative:

Consider how this could be turned into something positive and profitable for Hobart.  Acquire some land near your Wal-Mart and restaurants.  Set it up as a legal place for them to overnight park for free.  It doesnít have to be blacktopped, it could simply be gravel with adequate rainwater drainage to keep from becoming a problem during rain events.  Perhaps with a small paved area reserved for RVís with handicap tags.  If it is easily accessible to retail stores and restaurants, you will recover the cost.  

You could even set up optional fee based amenities such as a waste dump where RVís can pull up, pay a fee and dump there waste tank(s) into a sewer connection and refill their fresh water tank with potable water.  You wouldnít need personnel to make that work, you could put a code operated gate on it and let the local merchants collect the fee and issue a code for the gate (same system as car washes at convenience stores).  Other amenities could include a coin operated laundry room, paid wifi Internet access.  You could even put in a RV/truck sized coin operated wash bay.  There are lots of ways to make money on it in addition to the retailer/restaurant revenues.  Just keep the parking free and make money on the amenities and sales.

This could then be a positive PR for Hobart in all of the previously mentioned venues.  If you did such a thing, I can assure you a nice article on it in our magazine.  And Iím sure you could get similar positive press in several of the RV/trucking publications.

Mike Sullivan
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Bus Conversions Magazine
 
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« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 08:42:50 AM by HighTechRedneck » Logged
gmbusguy1
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« Reply #16 on: May 29, 2009, 09:06:36 AM »

Mike, Thanks for writing a very Positive letter

Chris
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JackConrad
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« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2009, 09:51:34 AM »

  Although I'm sure it does happen occasionally we've never seen the kind of camping at Wallymart that people refer to.   

This was a very frequent occurrance in the Orlando area (home of many tourist destination). I am sure the campground owners used this to help get the no overnight parking passed. We have friends that live in Orlando that said they had seen RVs set up camp in parking lots for a full week to 10 days. I also know persoanlly a coiu[ple that would spend over a month in Venice, Forida spending every day in the parking lot at the public beach and the night at a local parking lot until the city banned this. They then started going to Texas in the winter.  Jack
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« Reply #18 on: May 29, 2009, 10:13:37 AM »

e-mail sent
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« Reply #19 on: May 29, 2009, 11:30:03 AM »

...  Although I'm sure it does happen occasionally we've never seen the kind of camping at Wallymart that people refer to.  We've seen slides out but some rigs simply aren't useable without extending the slides.  Other than that what we've seen is pretty clearly people stopping rather than camping.  I think Wallycamping is one of those bogeymen that campground owners like to trot out to get legislation passed that they believe will benefit their businesses.  ...


Believe me, Bob, there are definitely some people who are helping that image along:
http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/06/camp-wal-mart-hall-of-shame-part-iii.html
http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/04/camp-wal-mart.html
http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/03/wild-horses.html
http://ourodyssey.blogspot.com/2008/01/coos-bay-at-last.html

Just FYI.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #20 on: May 29, 2009, 06:08:22 PM »

Couple of things come to mind:
- clearly there are problems, at least in some locations
- Sean & Louise have travelled more than we have
- its probably good that we haven't seen some of these abuses because I have a short fuse and little patience with fools

Nevertheless we have travelled a big chunk of North America and have never seen the kind of abuses that Sean has documented and Jack has referred to.  I'm sticking to my contention that this is not a widespread problem.  Clearly where it is a problem it is a major problem but I still don't believe that it is endemic. 

What is really puzzling to me is why anybody would want to "camp" on blacktop with what might as well be a big neon sign saying "Here parks a cheap, stupid slob".
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« Reply #21 on: May 29, 2009, 06:32:26 PM »

Not long ago, I was run out of the neighborhood my kid lives in.  The ironic part is this, I was run out, when I had a sheet off the City of Pasenda (Houston suburb) website "that specifically said that I was allowed to park there for 48 hour periods."  I had the public codes, the numbers and documentation supporting my "right" to park there.

I showed the documentation to the officer and other paperwork that proved without a doubt, that I had only been there about two hours all total.

His response was, "I don't care.  Move it or have it towed."

Texas .... It's like a whole other country, y'all.

The manager of the Cracker Barrel in Flagstaff told me that the city fathers had recently ennacted a no overnight stay at business facilites within the city limits.  Kingman has one too, seems  two knot-heads disagreed on something, had a little gunfight in parking lot, one went to the pearly gates and the other to the sate pen.

I saw a guy camp out at a WalMart in Okie City for "six weeks" at one time. The local RV park owner in Durango was behind the ban there, read it in their newspaper. I have stayed in dozens of areas, and seldom do I have a problem, but there are always going to be a few that muck it up for everyone else. 

Oh yeah?  What is a sticky tag, jus wonderin

BCO

« Last Edit: May 29, 2009, 06:48:07 PM by boxcarOkie » Logged

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« Reply #22 on: May 29, 2009, 08:32:32 PM »

I'm betting that with the economy the way it is right now, it will be a banner year seeing extended stay Walmart squatters.

I must honestly say however, I haven't seen the big time abuses at Walmarts, like others have documented.  Personally, I have more than a dozen Walmart nights under my belt. Like other folks have eluded, I think the key is whether the Walmart is in a "passin' thru town" or a vacation destination. I am always hitting the former ones.  Once I get where I am going, we hit a commercial campground or stay with friends. My primary reason I stay at Walmarts is that I try never to pull into a campground after 9 pm.  No way I can slip into a site late at night without the 2 stroke waking up the entire place.  When I am making time from Point A to Point B, I drive till I'm tired and roll into a Walmart 11pm to 1 am.  I hit the road the next morning by 8:30 or 9, after picking up a few items in the Walmart.

The Hobart thing is perplexing.  The police have stated that ther haven't been any problems sited in the last two years. No vandalism, No streetwalkers, nothing. No mention of the actual stores or land owners complaining. Sorry, but I don't picture Hobart as a resort town, and none of the newspaper comments hint that there are "extended stayers" holding BBQs in the lot.  Wonder which Council member's brother-in-law owns the nearby KOA?
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« Reply #23 on: May 29, 2009, 11:22:29 PM »

...
Nevertheless we have travelled a big chunk of North America and have never seen the kind of abuses that Sean has documented and Jack has referred to.  I'm sticking to my contention that this is not a widespread problem.  Clearly where it is a problem it is a major problem but I still don't believe that it is endemic. 
...


Sorry, Bob, I should clarify:  I don't think it is a widespread problem either.  The problem spots tend to be in or near major vacation destinations, or in major urban centers.  Geographically speaking, that ends up being a very small percentage of the country.

I do think it is incumbent upon us to "police ourselves" -- peer pressure within the RV community is better than the alternative of having these opportunities legislated out of existence.  This is why I've ranted about it on the blog (we have some ~500 or so readers, most of whom are other RVers), and we've even stuck copies of the etiquette letter (which I referenced in those blog posts) under rigs' windshield wipers.

More than once we have been told to shut up and mind our own business.  I have pointed out that when others' behavior jeopardizes our continued access to these resources, it is our business.

We should also keep up the political pressure -- the letter-writing campaign discussed in this thread is an excellent example.  Just be aware that, sometimes, complaints about RVer behavior are real and justified.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #24 on: May 29, 2009, 11:46:25 PM »

Oops...  I meant also to add the following:

One resource we use to find out whether Wal-Mart allows overnight parking in any given location (and, usually, the Wal-Mart status in any city is a good indicator of the city at large) is the WalMart RVing Yahoo group:
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/walmartrving

Access is free and open, but you will need to register.  In addition to providing a list of all the Wal-Marts in the US along with current overnight parking status (as best is known) in a handy PDF file, updated regularly, one can also search through the extensive message archive to read the discussions about particular locations, which can be very illuminating.

Group members are encouraged to report to the group the overnight parking status of Wal-Marts as they travel.

The information available through this Yahoo group has saved our bacon more than once, either by confirming that parking would be available someplace where we could not find any other alternatives, or by informing us that parking would be difficult at a chosen stopping point, allowing us to choose an earlier stop rather than having to press on.

This group is also often one of the first places that new parking bans or proposed bans get discussed and circulated on the Internet.

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #25 on: June 09, 2009, 07:04:14 PM »

I just got a notice on the walmart parking rv group that the ordinance wash sent back to a committee due to the large amount of negative letters written about it.  Way to go guys.

David
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