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Anti RV Law in Maine



Update: The bill was killed in the legislature. Thanks to the hundreds of people who contacted everyone involved in Maine. It made a difference. There was mention by the lawmakers of a lot of nasty emails and letters. That really doesn't work by itself and it may only make some more determined to do what they want to do. A firm note with a purpose is all it really takes. – Adam

I have been thinking about visiting Maine for some time. I have been close but have never made it all the way up there while in the northeast. There is a law (HP 98, LD 114) under consideration there that could make it much more difficult for RVers to visit and spend money in the state. The proposed legislation would make it illegal for RVs to park overnight in “any public parking structure” anyplace in the state of Maine. This means you can't park anywhere but a RV park, campground or mobile home park. No more parking in store lots, any public lot or any business lot even if they give you permission to do so. Violation of the law would be a $100 fine for the RVer and not the business allowing it.

So you may ask what's the big deal as you stay in campgrounds any way? Well a short black and white law like this doesn't take some things into consideration:

  • Do they really want to deter people from coming to their state and spending money in times like this?
  • Some businesses like to have guests be able to stay and spend money. Casinos, truck stops, a garage where you are having work done first thing in the morning. Maybe you can't even safely drive anywhere else.
  • Many of us are self-contained and don't always need amenities. Sometimes it's just sleep and move on.
  • Tourist season doesn't always go with our plans. This law basically says that the state is only open during tourist season and wants no visitors at any other time of the year. I personally like to travel just outside of peak seasons. So what does an RVer do in the fall or spring when most places to stay are closed? I often encounter closed campgrounds in other states. The weather is beautiful and they are closed because it's not Memorial Day yet. If I sit there near the entrance for a short break, someone else inevitably comes along and is turned away as well. Lost business.
  • This law is not active at the moment and has not passed. Now would be a good time to contact some officials in Maine to let them know what you think. Remind them of how much business some small towns will lose. Remind them that Maine is not exactly a state that you pass through on the way to someplace else. It's location means you probably want to go there and visit. With the way the world works, much of time you can dig deep enough to find that someone has a relative who owns an RV park and is upset about lost business somewhere. Or they live near a place that allows the overnight parking and it interferes with their view. Something like that is what starts these kinds of things. What they don't realize is that news like this spreads, RVers pass on by to spend money somewhere else and the whole area suffers. Look up past stories about Billings, Montana or Laughlin, Nevada. Reno recently had to reverse course on a stupid legal move.

    Here is a link to the bill. It is a pdf file and it opens in a new window :

    The sponsor of the bill is Rep. Anne C. Perry from Calais, ME.
    Information on the Maine Legislature Website.
    Mail: 474 South Street, Calais, ME 04619. Call her at (207) 454-7338.

    The House Majority Leader in the Maine Legislature is John F.
    Piotti from Unity, ME.
    Information on the Maine Legislature Website .
    Mail: 1075 Albion Road, Unity, ME 04988. Call at (207) 437-2493.

    The Main Chamber of Commerce is here and at 125 Community Drive, Suite 101, Augusta, Maine 04330-8010.

    Contact the Maine Governor by mail him at this address

    Office of the Governor
    #1 State House Station
    Augusta, ME 04333-0001
    Ph 207-287-3531
    TTY 207-287-6548
    Fax 207-287-1034

    What is your view on laws like this? Share them here and with the people in Maine.




    Adam | May 8, 2009 | Category: RV Tips

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