May 082009

Boy, can I draw a crowd! As I wrote in yesterday’s blog, when we arrived at the Elks campground Wednesday we had it all to ourselves except for a sailboat on a trailer. Then shortly after we got parked a motorhome pulled in. Yesterday morning three big motorhomes came in together. The place is filling up, and with yesterdays temperature in Phoenix topping out at 104 degrees, I’m sure more folks are headed for the high country.

RVers are facing a new challenge from the state of Maine, which has slipped a bill in under the radar that makes it illegal to park overnight in any commercial parking lot anywhere in the state! Not in a WalMart, not even in a truck stop. As the law is written, even if your son owns a business and gives you permission to stay in his parking lot overnight, you are subject to a $100 fine! Here is a link to more information on the Escapee website.

We all need to send e-mails and letters to the state of Maine to let them know that we disagree with this nonsense and will take our tourist dollars elsewhere if they insist on making us feel unwelcome.

We often stay in commercial parking lots overnight and have dinner in a nearby restaurant on our way to a destination, where we then spend our money with a local campground. But I don’t want to pay some campground owner $20 or more a night (usually a lot more in places like Maine) just to sleep in my own self-contained RV.

Folks, I need your help. In the last two weeks I have received e-mails from a number of subscribers who spent the winter traveling away from home, and did not send us their winter address, which resulted in them not getting their Gypsy Journal. We try to accommodate our readers by sending out replacement copies if we still have them available, even though this adds up to quite a bit of additional expense to us over the course of a year.

For example, just this week we have sent out several envelopes with two back issues each in them, at a cost of $2.19 each. When you consider that a subscription is $20 a year, and that this time of year we usually have anywhere from 50 to 100 subscribers who contact us asking for the back issues they missed because they did not send us a change of address, it adds up.

Since we run our business from the road, storage is a problem and many times we just don’t have the missing issues to send them. Then people get mad at us because they didn’t get their paper.

Please, please, please send us the temporary address if you are doing the snowbird routine! The post office will not forward the Gypsy Journal unless you upgrade to First Class, which is an extra $5/year. Just send us a quick note or e-mail when you head for your snowbird destination, or back home in the spring. It will really help us a lot.

Thought For The Day – Middle age is when broadness of the mind and narrowness of the waist change places.

Register Now For Our Ohio Gypsy Gathering Rally

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  6 Responses to “Maine Passes RV-Unfriendly Legislation”

  1. I just sent Ms. Perry the following e-mail:

    Regarding Bill #LD 114(HP 98) “An Act To Amend the Laws Regarding Overnight Parking of Recreational Vehicles.” and your boilerplate response to those who have questioned the purpose of this bill… “I introduced this legislation for the small rv campgrounds who pay property and business taxes and are struggling to stay afloat as people park freely and then dump their waste without camping. These small business people struggle to keep their seasonal business open. Please, Spend some time and money in the beautiful locations where campgrounds are available throughout our state.”

    Just as I suspected, the “small rv campgrounds” (your words), are at the root of this. Here’s the situation: These “small rv campgrounds” are just that — SMALL RV campgrounds! I have a BIG RV! I travel in a 40′ RV with four slide-outs. I do not tow a car. My RV is my only transportation.

    Obviously, I have money to spend. I was planning to spend lots of it in Maine. However, even when the “small rv campgrounds” can accommodate me, they are often filled which leaves me with no alternative but to avoid Maine altogether. Oh, I may drive quickly through your state but be assured that I will buy my fuel before I enter and wait until I leave to buy more (I have a 100 gal. deisel tank. Do you know how much it costs to fill that thing?). I’ll also eat on-board my RV and forgo your luscious seafood!

    In addition, I never dump my waste without camping or paying!

    I believe that you are misguided when you are protecting “the small rv campgrounds” because I am not a “Camper,” and I do not “camp.” I am a traveler/tourist with a big vehicle. I stopped “camping” when I gave up my tent and pop-up. When I park my large vehicle for a short overnite rest, I do not put out my awning, my slides, my rug, my chairs, my grill, nor do I lower my levelers. I simply PARK, just like any other large vehicle/bus/truck/car-towing-boat, etc. (Did you know that the phrase “Recreational Vehicles” in the industry also refers to boats, four-wheelers, motorcycles, golf carts, folding airplanes, and a variety of other large towed or trailered “toys.”)

    I would appreciate a non-boilerplate explanation from you as to why you really want me to skip a visit to Maine. Perhaps your response will include the fact that you had no idea what you were going to cause.

    Respectfully yours,

  2. Well done Claire,
    This brings up a few questions, what if you are parked at a RV dealership for repairs, and now that the campground owners have got this law passed I’ll bet all there rates go up 10%-20% this year.
    We are planning to be in New England later this summer and fall but now we’ll stop at the boarder and start our journey south instead of entering Maine.
    I guess that the Rest areas will be filled with RV’s since they are not commercial properties, hope the small cg owners notice this.

  3. Claire —

    That was an exceptionally well-written response. Mine was not nearly as well done, but I did contact everyone I thought had a hand in this.

  4. Nick – I know I am one of the people requesting back issues. I also hope I am one
    getting 2 back issues. However, I fully intend to reimburse you the cost of mailing
    these issues. When our subscription expires I will renew with 1st class mail. Thanks
    for all yours and Terry’s troubles.
    One of our postal employees here said that we could request mail that isn’t 1st class
    to be held until we return home. Some people may like that option.
    Thanks again.

  5. Here’s a solution to your lost reader problem – offer a PDF copy.

  6. I just talked to my local legislator; this is not law yet, it is going soon to the house, and if enacted would likely not take place until after this summer season upcoming. In talking to the state CoC I’m told that they’ve been inundated with emails objecting to this proposed law, and I added some of my own. Office of Tourism I couldn’t get through on. The links in the Escapees notice would be good to use, most particularly the legislative ones. Points that usually count with folks here are 1) lack of income if such parking is not allowed and 2) lack of adequate parks/parking within reach/range of desirable activities and shopping. SJ

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