Campgrounds In Maine Can't Compete Against Free... So Want It Outlawed

from the ain't-that-great dept

Chris was the first of a few of you to send in the news of a proposed law in Maine that would outlaw the ability of any company to let RVs park overnight for free. The battle basically pits campgrounds, which charge fees, against Wal-Mart, which has always allowed RVs to park in their parking lots for free, recognizing that many who stay overnight in their parking lots will likely pick up supplies at Wal-Mart as well. There doesn't seem to be any actual rationale for the "no free overnight parking" law, other than that the campgrounds are upset that they're losing business. The whole thing seems rather silly, though. A Wal-Mart parking lot is hardly a scenic location. Are these campgrounds offering so little that they can't compete against a giant empty concrete parking lot? Of course, if this law does pass, the end result is pretty predictable. Rather than driving more RVs to campsites, RV owners may just start avoiding Maine altogether.


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  1.  
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    Lumpy Dog, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:00am

    Washington State/Maine - Dumbest Legislation, FIGHT!

     

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    Jezsik, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Or Walmart can charge a spite fee

    If the law passes, Walmart could just charge a voluntary one dollar a night to anyone using their parking lot.

     

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    Ima Fish, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:07am

    I love how businesses praise the free market without government interference, until they face competition, then suddenly they demand that laws be passed to protect their failed model.

    I'm from Michigan, and in the old days, like back in the 60s and 70s, all state campsites were free. Of course they had no amenities, just pit toilets and hand-pumps for water. But you really shouldn't need anything else for camping. If you need electricity on your camping trip, stay in a fricken motel!

    Ok, I'm done ranting.

     

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    Smelly Bastard Is Bastard who smells, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:17am

    Which comes with the free contental breakfast and shower?

    Oh... that would be Holiday Inn!

     

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    A Dan, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:19am

    Well that's embarrassing

    I agree, that's a stupid law. Maybe the campgrounds shouldn't charge so much? And I would guess that RV traffic in general is depleting everywhere. No amount of legislation will change that. The last thing Maine needs right now is to drive away more of its tourists.

    Nice tie-in to the "compete with free" concept, by the way. I wouldn't call this a tech article, but it's interesting to see that the same basic concepts apply to non-tech industries.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:21am

    Maybe pass a law that says campgrounds don't have to supply anything in terms of electricity or water.

    Level the playing field, I am sure they can compete. Of course, maybe they will just pave over their park to fit in more campers.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:27am

    Was this an idea inspired by fermented beverages?

    I guess Maine has moved onto protecting the "authentic rustic backwoods lifestyle"..?

    Next, burning oil drums will have to be licensed to the homeless so they can keep warm by having a fire.

    The whole concept it isn't that bad of an idea: I see a department of 50 put on Maine's Payroll to protect this "authentic rustic backwoods lifestyle"! Raise sales and property taxes 0.1% to finance it. Wow, the possibilities for spending taxpayer dollars are endless!

     

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  8.  
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    Joseph M. Durnal, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:27am

    Who wants to camp in a parking lot

    I don't have an RV, but it is on my list of things to shoot for in the next 5 years. I've seen the occasional RV in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Wal-Mart is not the destination, but a convenient place to park and get some overnight rest on your way to that destination. My bet is 1/2 of the folks who park their RV at Wal-Mart in Maine are on their way to a campground in Maine. I guess folks will just stop in New Hampshire or New Brunswick or Quebec (I really wanted to write New Quebec) on their way to Maine.

    Joseph Durnal
    Joe's Blog

     

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  9.  
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    Ima Fish, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    Re:

    Heck, why not pass a law making it illegal to live in a home, apartment, condo, hotel, etc... and requiring all residents to buy RVs and live only in government approved camps?!

     

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    Nick Stamoulis, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:31am

    I don't know how this will stand up. Walmart is private property and if they allow someone on their property to park and sleep there I don't see the problem.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:35am

    Re: Or Walmart can charge a spite fee

    And as an extra bonus, give a $1 coupon in return, further encouraging them to buy supplies. Brilliant!

     

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    Paul Reinheimer, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:35am

    Offer Service

    I stayed at campgrounds coast to coast growing up. We stayed at camp grounds that were great: well spaced lots, nice trees and privacy, scenic walks, etc. We also stayed at crappy ones, essentially poorly gravelled grass lots with power outlets.

    Given the choice between paying $40 and staying in, what is essentially a parking lot anyways, or for free in a WalMart lot, I'll take the lot (with the money saved go see a movie, or put it towards a sig-flags pass).

    Compete on service, not legislative power.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    It's, uhm... dangerous! Yeah, it's dangerous. These people could, y'know, get mugged or something... while in a Wal-Mart parking lot. For free, and stuff. See, we need to outlaw it to protect people! They simply don't know any better. They don't know how dangerous it can be.

     

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  14.  
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    TheStuipdOne, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:39am

    Re:

    I use electricity when camping ... flashlights, gps, digital camera

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 7:55am

    Even if Walmart agreed to charge the fee, how would they enforce it. I don't see them hiring more employees just for that purpose and how will they know whether a RV is there to stay the night vs late night shopping as to my knowledge there is no limit to how long you can shop in the store so at what point would they make the determination that you are not actually in the store shopping?

     

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  16.  
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    Ima Fish, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re:

    Actually, I was thinking about the time a "camper" had a bread maker plugged into an outlet in the public bathroom. First, it was utterly gross, who'd want to eat bread baked in a bathroom? Second, if fresh bread is that important to you, stay the frick home.

    Needless to say, we didn't have GPS and digital cameras back in the 70s. Flashlights... er... I seem to remember those. But back then they were large sticks wrapped with oil-soaked rags which we'd light on fire by rubbing sticks together. You're probably to young to know this, but electricity was not invented until June of 1986.

     

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    Nick (profile), May 14th, 2009 @ 8:09am

    Shouldn't the campgrounds compete by offering more value than they currently do?

     

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    Esahc (profile), May 14th, 2009 @ 8:22am

    Re: Re:

    A cheap solution that my grandparents have been using for years; solar battery charger.

     

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  19.  
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    Adam (profile), May 14th, 2009 @ 8:23am

    RVs at Walmart

    Nova Scotia tried this a few years ago with precisely the expected result: RVs stayed away in droves. Now I see on RVTravel.com (http://www.rvtravel.com/rvforum/viewtopic.php?p=26196) a topic featuring a letter from someone in the government of NS assuring the writer that parking in Walmart parking lots is perfectly legal. Maine, if this legislation passes, will have precisely the same experience. RVers communicate with each other via several forums -- prospective tourists will know to stay away in no time.

     

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  20.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:24am

    Re:

    Finally someone said it.

    Walmart is not going to provide free fresh water. You can get it but you have to pay for it. Walmart will not, and cannot, provide waste disposal, too many health codes. Walmart will not provide an outlet to plug into. Walmart cannot provide privacy or scenic walks. I'd bet I'm missing a few things, I don't go camping in an RV.

    If the RV drivers want to deal with these sever limitations instead of paying for parking then something seems insanely wrong with the pay option.

     

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  21.  
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    Eponymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:27am

    Re:

    Nick, I thought your area of expertise was search engine marketing. What the hell, man?

    I could see a "Parking with validation" development, where you're 'charged' a nominal fee to park, but the fee is waived with any purchase at Wally-World. Similar to the spite fee mentioned above, but in reality still free.

     

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  22.  
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    tennsmith, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:31am

    Free Parking for RVs

    I think it is a great idea and I don't think it hurts campgrounds that much. Most folks, including myself, use this convenience for a "one night stopover" while enroute to the ultimate destination.

    I agree with the author who says if the law passes, RVs may avoid Maine altogether...it could happen.

     

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  23.  
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    Jake, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:35am

    An Interesting Contrst In Attitudes

    I take it the United States either doesn't have any gypsies or Irish travelers left, or doesn't have national newspapers demanding that the government -and I quote- 'Stamp On The Camps'.

     

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  24.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:48am

    $1 fee for parking + $1 coupon!

    As others have said, I don't see how this is enforceable if Walmart puts in a program that is a $1 fee for parking and $1 off any purchase coupon.

    The real biggie is that this is how to value services. If the free option doesn't give you water, sewage dump, or electricity, and no one is going to the paid version that does, then the paid version is asking way too much for these services.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 8:51am

    Are these campgrounds offering so little that they can't compete against a giant empty concrete parking lot?

    lol.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    Re: Or Walmart can charge a spite fee

    Unfortunately, they can't charge any fee, because then they would have to comply with state regulations regarding mobile vehicle facilities. They would have to provide designated spots with potable water hookups, showers, etc. My guess is that they would just turn a blind eye and let people still do it until the state starts to make a big stink trying to regulate what is extended parking vs. camping.

     

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  27.  
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    James Saunders (profile), May 14th, 2009 @ 9:03am

    You are wrong on this one.

    Sorry Mike, but you missed the mark this time. I agree with most of what is said on this site, but either you haven't been given the whole story, or you are missing some important distinctions that make this more than a "compete against free" situation.

    The issue, which has been fought in several states before with varying results, is not that Walmart is allowing RVers to park in their lot overnight. It is that they promote their program as "camping," and they do so without conforming to the numerous regulations that the campgrounds are required by law to conform to. The number one example is access to waste facilities. Campgrounds are required to be able to facilitate a certain amount of waste based on the number of sites they offer, which is a major overhead cost, especially for seasonal campgrounds that need to winterize their entire water network. If Walmart were made to abide by the same legislation as a campground, they would conceivably need to offer facilities proportional to the number of parking spots they have available, and they would quickly see that it probably wasn't economically feasible for them to continue promoting "camping" in their lots.

    Because they are somehow exempt from the rules that campgrounds need to follow, they are being given an unfair market advantage, which they can exploit by offering as a free service because they have essentially no additional regulatory overhead. I figure someone who constantly preaches the power of markets to balance themselves can see how this sets up an environment that the campground owners are justifiably opposed to.

    All that said, it is unfortunate that the response from campers and most press coverage ultimately views the campground owners negatively on this issue. They get painted as money-grubbing grinches who are trying to avoid "competing" with free, rather than (more often than not) small businesses trying to make sure the "Big Guys" have to play by the same rules.

     

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  28.  
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    Buster, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:11am

    Seriously?

    OK so wait let me get this straight... Thte camp grounds in Maine are getting all worked up because a Wal-Mart, as in a basic store is putting them out of business? This is entirely stupid!

     

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  29.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:20am

    Re: You are wrong on this one.

    Like I said before, I don't go camping in an RV so I may have missed this, but can you show me where WalMart is advertising "camping" in their parking lot? Or was it more of someone walking in and asking an employee "can we camp* here overnight?", the employee said sure, and the campers spread the word that WalMart lets them camp* there for free?

    *Campers would use the word "camp" instead of "stay" since they are in that frame of mind.

     

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  30.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:23am

    Re: Re: You are wrong on this one.

    PS: and even if they do use the work "camp" and it's just a legal issue (witch would be easily gotten around by not using that word) then campers would see that walmart doesn't offer all the amenities that true campgrounds do. Then it just gets back to campgrounds still can't compete with an empty stretch of concrete.

     

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  31.  
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    lulz, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:24am

    Re: You are wrong on this one.

    I see your point, but I still disagree because Wal-Mart isn't claiming to be a campground facility. Just letting some people in an RV park in your lot doesn't make you a campground.

     

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  32.  
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    Kevin M, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Transient behavior

    I am in the RV rental business and most of our customers only stay at Walmart for a quick rest and are transient in nature. Obviously no one would want to stay in a Walmart parking lot as a destination spot. But Walmart does provide a handy and relatively safe alternative to drivers who became drowsy and need a rest.

     

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  33.  
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    CastorTroy-Libertarian, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:28am

    Re: You are wrong on this one.

    so what your saying is that wal-mart promotes camping and you still can't compete with a LARGE NOISY CONCRETE PARKING LOT WITH A HUGE BUILDING...God help us all..

    Cause i know every year me wife and i sit down and plan a trip around the country in an RV by hitting just wal-marts cause all the hot big concrete parking lots are great stress reducers and much much prettier than say WOODS and stuff, or natural beauty... and cheaper to boot...

     

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  34.  
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    Comboman, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:29am

    Re: You are wrong on this one.

    I have to agree with James. It's NOT free-market competition if campgrounds have to meet regulatory requirements that Walmart doesn't. Additionally, many of these "Walmart campers" will stay 4 nights at Walmart then 1 night at a licensed campground to dump the 5 days of waste from their storage tank. Waste management is a significant portion of the operating cost of a campground, so these people are basically being subsidized by the other campers, causing prices to rise for everyone. Making a law against free camping may not be right answer, but the issue is not as simple as most of you (Mike included) are making it out to be.

     

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  35.  
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    Joshua, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:32am

    Free?

    This can't be right. Haven't you heard: "Free is not a business model." Somebody tell Wal-Mart.

     

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    Common Sense, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:36am

    Campgrounds can compete

    They just need to let RV's park in their parking lots for free, and not grant them access to certain things that paying customers get to use. Of course, most people willing to sleep in a parking lot will still probably head to Wal-Mart as like mentioned before, they're probably after some cheap supplies more than anything.

     

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  37.  
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    lulz, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:38am

    Re: Re: You are wrong on this one.

    But Wal-Mart isn't claiming to be a campground; because RV's park there doesn't mean that they are camping.
    They have no expectations of electricity, waste disposal, or any other campground amenities, because it isn't one.
    If they wanted to camp, they would go to a camping ground that does provide those amenities.
    Maybe the campgrounds are losing money from the people that are just passing through that don't want to pay for something they don't need.

    You can't force people to pay money to park in a public parking lot (that doesn't charge of course).

     

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  38.  
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    tubes, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:41am

    This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. When I was younger we used to go on trips with my aunt & uncle in their RV. We used to stay in the Wal-mart parking lot for a little while so my uncle could get a few hours of sleep so he could drive on to the campsite that we would STAY at which provided electricity, water & waste disposal. Thats why we paid to stay there. There is absolutely no comparasion between the two.
    The thing I questioned while reading this, what about the RVs that park at rest areas on the highways cause we used to stay there also and are they going to do the same thing with truckers too because they use Wal-mart parking lots too?

     

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  39.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Re: Re: You are wrong on this one.

    I have to ask. You're saying that if walmart had the capabilities and was legally allowed to remove the waste then all campgrounds would go out of business instantly? No one would ever go to a campground that offered things like water, outlets, privacy, security, mechanics, wooded surroundings?

    No, I still think this falls under "if you can't compete with a concrete parking lot then you're doing something wrong." Hell, if you can't compete with a concrete parking lot you can't compete with the side of the road or someone's driveway or one of those rest stops that I see truckers sleeping in every time I drive down the highway.

     

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  40.  
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    Josh, May 14th, 2009 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    @ Ima

    Oh my god. Thanks Ima. I needed that laugh today. It's been a rough morning and it's barely 3 hours old (work wise anyway).

     

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  41.  
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    Bob (RV owner), May 14th, 2009 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re: Or Walmart can charge a spite fee

    Exactly! Except make it a $3.00 coupon and a 50 cent fee (coins, not bills). The dispenser would probably be overwhelmed because every customer would make a bee line for the machine, RV or not, so the coupon would have to have a time limit (24 hours) and require some evidence of RV ownership and parking. Heck, Walmart should adopt this idea, law or no law. A great traffic increaser!

     

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  42.  
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    rjk, May 14th, 2009 @ 10:00am

    Re: You are wrong on this one.

    blah, blah, blah

    If what you are saying is true, than really what people should be demanding is that Walmart not use the word "camping" when promoting their program.

     

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    Bob (RV owner0, May 14th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re: Or Walmart can charge a spite fee

    Not so. Parking lots and parking facilities charge fees and certainly are not classified as campgrounds. I've
    pulled into center city parking lots that were willing to charge reasonable overnight fees, allowing us to spend a night on the town in many a major city (no Walmarts in downtown Chicago).

     

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    slr001, May 14th, 2009 @ 10:05am

    Sounds like the campgrounds have hired the same lawyers that the recording industry has been using.

     

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    Andrew, May 14th, 2009 @ 10:19am

    But this just proves Mike's point

    Here is a classic example of the argument that instead of complaining about someone giving away something for free, they should be competing by showing the added value of what they charge for.

    And if the issue is with having to comply with regulations while others do not, well, that is a case for persuading government NOT to create long lists of restrictive regulations.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re:

    Think of the children. They might have to cross the Wal*Mart parking lot to use the facilities, or they might have to go in the store to buy something, and then they are at risk of being kidnapped. Kids that arrive in cars are, of course, safe from that.

     

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    Bob (RV owner), May 14th, 2009 @ 10:36am

    Re: You are wrong on this one.

    Campers vs. parking.....see my other comments. I've spent the night in many a Walmart parking lot and never recall the word "camping" being utilized on signs, stores or websites......just as highway barebones rest stops will usually post signs saying "No Camping" but allow overnight parking. I've shared many a "pull-over" area with several long haul truckers who, like me, have simply run out of steam and need the rest......and, like me, have cabs with all of the comforts of my RV. This is not about fighting for a level field or "competition." There are fewer RVs on the road because of current economics and those that are out there are seeking as many ways to economize as possible.....including avoiding campgrounds that haven't lowered fees to reflect the current economy. Many have....see Good Sam Association and others that offer all kinds of incentives. Enough government.....More Lehman and less AIG!

     

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  48.  
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    Occasional Camper, May 14th, 2009 @ 10:42am

    Why not...

    Why not pass a law saying people can't stay overnight at your house, and require everyone's guests to stay at hotel/motels?

    What kind of country is this becoming?

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), May 14th, 2009 @ 11:00am

    That reminds me of an interview I recently heard of a poet. He simply posts his poems online. He was attacked by other writers who said that he was preventing them from making a living. They were arguing that he was a disloyal competition in the anti-trust law sense. It was ridiculous and similar to this. Competition is good. If the service that you are offering can be offered for free, that is good for the economy, not bad. Also, this is honestly a very easy problem to solve. Make your campground free and open a restaurant. (Or rent out a building to a restaurant if you don't want to move from your primary business) One of the bill's supporters said that people were going to him to get their waste pumped. Offer that as a paid service! It's easy!

     

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  50.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 11:00am

    Re: Or Walmart can charge a spite fee

    And give a $1 discount on anything in the store.

     

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  51.  
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    Sam Walton, May 14th, 2009 @ 11:04am

    Walmart isn't advertising itself as a campground at all. RV owners, on the other hand, seem to be constantly talking about "Walmart camping". The simple fact that the Walmart customer service experience includes free overnight parking for RV's doesn't make it a campground, or make it compete with campgrounds. It's also free to park an RV at a lot of other places, including almost all Bureau of Land Management land and National Forests (though most have a 2 week limit). You don't see the KOA suggesting that National Forests be shut down because it's hurting their business model. Of course, there are a lot more Walmarts than there are National Forests (OR RV campgrounds). BTW, K-mart also offers free overnight RV parking, as do Costco and Flying-J Truck Stops. Legislating away free overnight parking certainly is no way to increase business, it simply makes RV owners avoid your locale.

     

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  52.  
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    James Saunders (profile), May 14th, 2009 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: You are wrong on this one.

    I'm not sure about your claim that there are fewer RVs on the road; I'd be interested to see some sources. I am aware that RV sales have taken quite a hit over the past couple years, even before the major downturn last fall, but overall campground occupancy rates haven't been much affected (see RV Business Indicators1-20-09). People are still camping, although they tend to take shorter trips closer to home, etc. Actually, MORE people are turning to camping because it is cheaper than many other vacation options.

    I also see the difference between someone spending a few hours late at night parked at a Wally-world and someone setting up their awning and firing up the grill. Most people would feel that the latter is ridiculous. And it is unlikely that anyone is taking their family vacation in a parking lot.

    The problem is simply that campgrounds are being undercut on a large scale by a company that has the reach to promote something even without having "official promotional material". Google "RV Walmart" and you will see the number of other sources promoting the practice of hopping from Walmart to Walmart for "free camping" without Big W Corporate having to even bother. The response is to try and hamper the practice. It might not be the right response. I am merely providing the counter-argument, and maintain that this is certainly not a simple "can't compete with free" situation.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 11:10am

    Re:

    Are you seriously under the impression that campgrounds are required to provide electricity and water? They're not.

    Campgrounds provide a value add experience and charge for it. Consumers are apparently deciding the value add isn't worth the price. Outlawing the cheaper and less scenic competitor is a bizarre response to a changing market.

     

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  54.  
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    Valkor, May 14th, 2009 @ 11:15am

    Re: Re: You are wrong on this one.

    "many of these "Walmart campers" will stay 4 nights at Walmart then 1 night at a licensed campground "

    Are you serious? Your anecdotal assertion is directly contrary to my gut reaction of complete disbelief, therefore we are at an impasse. I would really like to see some citation that there is a large, or even significant, number of people vacationing in parking lots anywhere. Feel free to include homeless people living in RVs in your argument.

     

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  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Or Walmart can charge a spite fee

    more rationally, they can carge $5.00 per night, and give $5.00 off groceries in the morning, with your parking receipt

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 12:23pm

    Re:

    I don't know how this will stand up. Walmart is private property...

    I really don't know where some people seem to the the idea that laws somehow can't be enforced on "private property".

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 12:36pm

    Re: Re: You are wrong on this one.

    Additionally, many of these "Walmart campers" will stay 4 nights at Walmart then 1 night at a licensed campground to dump the 5 days of waste from their storage tank. Waste management is a significant portion of the operating cost of a campground, so these people are basically being subsidized by the other campers, causing prices to rise for everyone

    The same thing would happen if the RV were on the road for 4 days before arriving. So, if that's a problem then the problem really isn't Walmart, it's the campground's business model.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Vincent Clement, May 14th, 2009 @ 1:29pm

    Re: Re: You are wrong on this one.

    Then charge a separate fee for waste management based on volume discharged. Next?

     

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  59.  
    identicon
    Joe NYC, May 14th, 2009 @ 2:18pm

    I'm not "camping". I'm merely getting to the store 12 hrs. early so I don't have to wait in line!!

     

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  60.  
    identicon
    Bill Jackson, May 14th, 2009 @ 4:13pm

    WalMart Lawsuit & free overnight parking

    I'll tell y'all this... as much as I love your beautiful state and nice people, I won't go there if this law passes. Don't need to. If your private campgrounds can't compete with folks doing OVERNIGHT camping - mayber 1-3 days, then y'all don't have much to offer, huh? And why should we go to a state where where an industry lobby forces me to do it's biding? Sure hope your state politicians aren't that cheap to be bought off for so little. It's not WalMart thats causing these private campgrounds to go out of business, it's the prices they charge and... well, CAPITALISM! Business doesn't need welfare!

     

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  61.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 14th, 2009 @ 6:15pm

    Journalism at its best - not

    "The Yonder Hill Campground in Madison used to be filled to capacity every summer night with recreational vehicles. But that was years ago."
    - Was that BEFORE Wallmart opened a store nearby ?
    I doubt it.

    "The campground's owner, Allen York, said he often sees 25 to 30 RVs parked at the Wal-Mart."
    - Has this number increased proportionally in the past few years?
    Probably not.

    - Reading this article, one gets the impresion that they think the number of RVs is constant and are going elsewhere. Most likely the number of people driving RVs has taken a nose dive. But the author seems to skip over that minor detail.

     

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  62.  
    identicon
    nasch, May 15th, 2009 @ 9:46am

    Re:

    If I were managing Wal-Mart and this law actually passed, I would put up the smallest reasonable sign indicating the fee, and then make absolutely no effort to enforce it. What are the campground people going to do, stake out the parking lot and call the cops? I'm sure Maine's finest would be thrilled to get called out to settle a parking dispute. The law would not even have any effect.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Greg, May 16th, 2009 @ 11:04pm

    Ridiculous! Ponder tomorrows news headlines; "Government Bails Out Maine Campgrounds" or, my personal favorite "Maine, first state annexed to Canada!"

     

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  64.  
    identicon
    cKarlGo, May 18th, 2009 @ 6:04am

    Apparently, this silly proposal has been canned.

    As a long time RVer, I can tell you that some campgrounds are so badly maintained that a Wal-Mart parking lot is a step up.

     

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  65.  
    identicon
    BTR1701, May 18th, 2009 @ 11:42am

    Re: RVs at Walmart

    > RVers communicate with each other via
    > several forums -- prospective tourists will
    > know to stay away in no time.

    Well, then we obviously need to outlaw/ban RV communication sites on the internet as well.

    Simple solution.

     

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  66.  
    identicon
    paray, May 29th, 2009 @ 3:51am

    This conversation is going no where. It’s lacking the place of a good leader to head the things to come out on conclusion. above statement seems to be contradictory. The situation is very critical and need an experienced campaigner to resolve it. paray camper trailers

     

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  67.  
    identicon
    EGLord, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 6:40pm

    Free overnight parking for RVs at WalMarts

    This is not a frequent event. Just drive around and see for yourself. Camping at WalMart is really not considered parking, is it? I suppose it would be a rare occasion ~ do not be so greedy as to want to pick up such a minute amount of business. I would encourage camground owners to take a serious look at their fees and consider giving RV owners a break. Now that would be a great topic of disucssion.

     

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  68.  
    identicon
    EGLord, Aug 12th, 2009 @ 6:42pm

    Free overnight parking for RVs at WalMarts

    This is not a frequent event. Just drive around and see for yourself. Camping at WalMart is really not considered parking, is it? I suppose it would be a rare occasion ~ do not be so greedy as to want to pick up such a minute amount of business. I would encourage camground owners to take a serious look at their fees and consider giving RV owners a break. Now that would be a great topic of disucssion.

     

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  69.  
    identicon
    Michael, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 2:49pm

    Wal-Mart Lawsuit

    Easy fix for Wal-Mart...Charge $1 for campers and then discount it if they make a purchase...

     

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  70.  
    identicon
    Wendell T. Fleming, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Maine.....

    Like Maine's not on the way to anyplace. Even better, much of Maine has outlawed big box stores over a certain square footage like Wal Mart, Target, Home Depot, Lowes. Maine's Opressive taxes have driven out the rich, no opportunities for good jobs runs off the youth of the state. All this next to a state with no sales tax and no income tax that welcomes anything that comes to it,the flourishing New Hampshire. Maine has one of the worst economies in the US. Wonder why?....Besides, the weather sucks about 330 days a year...........

     

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  71.  
    identicon
    Wendell T. Fleming, Jun 23rd, 2010 @ 6:16am

    how about a 1cent honor box payment system out in a far corner of the lot........Don't lock it or somebody will bust it open for the riches inside........

     

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  72.  
    identicon
    Jim Lynch, Jun 24th, 2010 @ 6:53pm

    Maine no free camping

    Wal Mart is providing service that campground can not or won't provide- low cost overnite place tostop while traveling. Don't let Maine pass this law!

     

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  73.  
    identicon
    Mark, Sep 9th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: You are wrong on this one.

    I happen to live in an RV and park at Walmart lots, not all of which allow this. We come in late at night and leave early, and make sure to buy everything we need from Walmart. Many states either do not have any regulations, or they are seriously lax. I have stayed in campgrounds that don't offer any waste removal, water, or power, and all configurations otherwise. We have never been in a lot more than 12 hours, usually more like 8. Hard to enforce that. Still, Flying J offers dump services for $5 for members, and that was free until recently. Of course, some Flying J's offer electric, water, and dumping, FREE! Ohio's interstates now have $15 nightly parking with water, power, and dumping at some of the rest areas. Surely, these are governed being owned by the state. Also, MOST campgrounds, if you ask to dump waste, will charge $20 to let you dump. They are making the money, I talk often with small campground owners who are doing just fine, thank you. They also don't care about Walmart.

     

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  74.  
    icon
    regcure (profile), Sep 11th, 2010 @ 3:31pm

    Ban

    Wal-mart should not be allowed to give free parking. It is called cheating. Smart is park free at wal-mart and buy supplies some where else.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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