RV Unfriendly Cities

 Posted by at 12:02 am  Nick's Blog
Jan 262013

I was back at it again all day yesterday, working on the new issue of the Gypsy Journal pretty much nonstop all day long, and into the evening. I got a lot accomplished and by the time I gave up for the day I had 15 of 36 pages done. That feels good.

About 5 PM I did take a break so we could drive into Clermont and I could get my Chinese food fix at Green Garden, our favorite Chinese restaurant in the state of Florida. We only discovered this nice little place tucked away on the side of a strip shopping center about six weeks ago, but we’ve been there often enough that they know us. Emily, the manager, welcomed us and knew my order by heart – house fried rice with no onions or vegetables. Terry ordered the hot and spicy shrimp with vegetables, and as always, everything was delicious and the service was excellent. This is a hidden gem and I’m glad we found it.

Back at the campground, I worked on the paper until about 10 PM, then decided to call it a night. Well, at least called it a night for that project. I had several e-mails to reply to, one of which was about the ban Van Horn, Texas has taken on RVers parking overnight anywhere in town except for RV parks. I did some internet research, and basically, the local RV parks have pressured the City Council to prohibit overnight RV parking at truck stops and places like that, claiming that the practice hurts their businesses.

We used to stop for fuel at Van Horn on every trip west, but I will let the City Council know that from now on I’ll fill up in Fort Stockton or Pecos and drive past without stopping. So not only will the RV parks not get my business, neither will the truck stops or restaurants, and the city won’t get any sales tax on my purchases. When a town does this, they are being shortsighted and unfair not only to RVers, but to other businesses that lose out on money RVers would spend there.

A few years ago we were hassled by the cops twice in one afternoon in Flagstaff, Arizona, when we were passing through on our way to Kingman and stopped at Sam’s Club and a shopping center. It was mid-afternoon, and at both places the police quickly showed up to tell us we could not park overnight. I told them we were just passing through and stopped to buy some things, but the officers were pretty rude about telling us we had better be gone very soon. I wrote to the mayor who replied, basically telling me that we could take our business elsewhere. We have done just that ever since.

We make it a point of avoiding a town when we run intro that kind of crap, or hear from RVers who have. Here is a list of some other RV Unfriendly Cities across the country. Somebody told me a while back that Missoula, Montana had eased up on overnight RV parking, but one couple we know were told to move on, back in September, so apparently they’re back at it.

Thought For The Day – I know I should behave, but there are just too many other options.

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Nick Russell

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  22 Responses to “RV Unfriendly Cities”

  1. Maybe another guide is in order, ie “Guide to Unfriendly RV Towns & Cities.

  2. Whether we actually end up living full time in an RV or not (and that is being discussed) I am happy to know about places that run off RVers…cause they don’t need our business either!! Thanks for telling!!

  3. Titusville, Florida Walmart has signs that prohibit RV’s from spending the night, however the local area Moose, Elks, Eagles and American Legion are happy to have you stay there.

  4. Say Nick, once you had a favorite Chinese restaurant in Brooksville that you thought was the best. Do you recall that name? I believe that you said it was a buffet style. Thanks!

  5. I stopped in Missoula on June 10, 2008 while delivering a brand new Class C motorhome for an RV Rental place in British Columbia. We weren’t hassled I think because there was fresh snow on the ground and another 6″ the next morning with another foot supposedly coming that day. I had parked at the Cracker Barrel with 2 other gentlement representing other delivery companies with similar coaches going to Seatle. At the time I hadn’t heard about the RV ban nor seen any of the signs, I was just glad to make it through the passes around Billings where my windsheild wipers had clogged so heavily they were no longer moving. It is said to see such an unfriendly city because it is supposed to be the most biking commuter friendly city in the USA. Like all RV p[arking bans, the laws are certainly short-sighted and always not representing what they would do if they had walked a mile in our shoes. Of course on the flip side a few of us RV’ers always act like homeless bums to ruin the open arms some communities formerly had for us!

  6. Our western trip is planned for this coming summer and we’ve decided that Illinois will be a “pass through” state. No stops whatsoever. The anti gun crowd, including most of the northeast states have sure affected our traveling plans.
    We may just be passing by Billings and Missoula too.

  7. Add Casa Grande to your list that has a city ordiance prohibiting overnight parking.

  8. And then there are small towns like mine that put in a couple RV pads and a dump station in the small city park along the highway, only asking for a small donation to be put in the box by travelers to help pay for electricity & upkeep.

  9. Yes, Flagstaff not only is anti RV but the parks are very expensive. This past summer we looked into a monthly rate there and it was double what is was in Phoenix INCLUDING electric! I know they only have six months to make their money but ours has to last for 12……….

  10. Sandy, that was City Buffet in Brooksville.

  11. Linda, what town is that? We enjoy stopping at small towns with RV parking and like to support them.

  12. There is a guy boondocking in a business parking lot (building is for sale) for over
    4 months now in Nashville. Apparently we are very rv friendly!

  13. We do not stop in Van Horn ever, it just did not feel safe the one time we did stay and that was in a RV Park. Just of information if you feel safe staying in rest area’s TX does allow 12 hr parking, no camping. We have stayed in a couple and felt perfectly safe as they are patrolled by both the highway troopers and border patrol.

  14. Gina, that’s the type of abuse that makes all RVers look bad.

  15. In Montana, the small towns of Columbus and Roundup have very nice city parks with free boondocking for up to 14 days. They do suggest a “donation”, but it is not required. Both places have local police patrols with a friendly police force.

  16. Thanks Jim Sathe. Roundup is on our list to try to find an old USAF buddy.

  17. We’ve overnighted at several small city parks that ask for a donation. I am wondering how often RVers take advantage of these places and don’t leave a donation. I feel if you don’t want to donate, go to WalMart or someplace else. We appreciate these little towns and their welcoming of us us RVers.

  18. That guy does need to move on, I don’t know what his story is, but I think it would
    be a sob story from the shape and look of things.

  19. If you don’t spend money to stay in a campground, we don’t want you to spend any money ANY where else….Sounds like a good John Stossel story.

  20. When I stop to rest or spend the nite…If I am told that I must move, because of some silly city law, I don’t fuss or complain, however I do ask the officer to sign a statement, saying that he accepts all responsibilty because I have had two cocktails after stopping…That will send them packing.. Have done this twice, FL and AZ, worked fine both times…

  21. Deerfoot Mall Wal Mart in Calgary Alberta is definitely RV unfriendly. I have noticed the mall security circling my RV whenever I go into Wal Mart. Last time I stocked up there was a uniformed security officer parked 30 feet from my back door, leaning on his hood as I came out of the camper after storing the perishables and he winked at a Calgary City Police Van that drove by at that moment. There are no overnight parking signs in the entrance areas, but I guess they don`t even want us shopping there, Boycott Deerfoot Mall when passing on through to Alaska brothers.

  22. When I was driving around the new Deerfoot Mall (new Walmart) I saw a sign saying RV Parking. We tried finding that sign today and could not.

    Try calling the Walmart in Deerfoot Mall (I think they call it “Deerfoot City Mall” now.

    New Walmart means they may have their own land now. So….. call it for updated information.

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