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Old 12-01-2005, 07:37 PM   #1
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I'm bring this over from anther forum because it affects us all.

You may recall that some weeks ago there was discussion of a "no RV
Parking except in licensed campgrounds" ordinance in city of
Billings, MT. Following the publicity that this ordinance received on
many RV-related forums, the mayor and city council of Billings
received a large number of letters and emails from RVers. Many stated
their intention to boycott Billings, specifically because of this
city ordiance. There was also an editorial in the Billings Gazette
questioning the wisdom of the ordinance.

On August 15, 2005, the city council entertained public comment on
the existing ordinance, with a view toward possibly repealing it. On
another Yahoo group, one devoted to Wal-Mart Parking information, a
subscriber just posted the text of the official city notes of public
comments by two Billings area campground managers:


the RV ordinance in place for several reasons:

1) to collect the bed tax used to benefit buildings, rest stops, and

2) the voluminous numbers of RVers using the West End Wal-Mart
parking lot

3) campgrounds generate most business during the summer months of the

4) many of the people writing to complain are "escapees" from
Livingston, TX who are fulltime RVers with no fixed address who live
free in RVs. These people drain their tanks into storm drains and
along roadways and dump their trash in other peoples receptacles

5) local campgrounds send campers to other tourist facilities that
bring dollar into the community

She asked the Council to look at the big picture and keep the
ordinance in place.

CAROL LINDE, BILLINGS KOA, said the KOA, Eastwood Estate, Trailer
Village and Yellowstone River Campground all advertise. She said they
are outraged by the Gazette's editorial regarding the RV matter. She
noted that the campground owners were never contacted for their

She submitted a letter outlining her views, objecting to
the "boondocking" practice of the freeloading RVers that use public
services without paying for the benefit. She noted the bed tax that
is a portion of the campground fees that goes directly to the state
general fund and for the legislators to spend as they wish.

Ms. Linde said Montana is lagging in tourism promotion compared with
other states. She also noted that the campground's profits are kept
and spent locally. She asked if Billings wants "freeloaders" in their
City, as most of the letter writers are from out-of-state. She asked
the Council to continue to enforce the RV ordinance.


Well, now we know what these two campground owners think of RV
owners. We're a bunch of vagabonds with no fixed addresses. We drain
our tanks along roadways and dump our trash into other people's
receptacles. We're nothing but a bunch of freeloaders who live free
in RV's. (I certainly WISH it were free!)

I'd like to see the RV community as a whole make an example of
Billings, MT, with a total boycott of the community -- don't stay
there, don't stop there, don't even go into Montana -- until they
become an RV-Friendly city again. On the other Group, this is being
called the "BBC" -- the "Boycott Billings Campaign." I for one will
participate and publicize it.

Jim O'Briant
Gilroy, CA

Looking at Moving On Up :)
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Old 12-01-2005, 08:14 PM   #2
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Well, this free traveling trailer that spends almost $100. per day according to my expense report, will NOT spend one penny in Montana till they wize up. There are other great places to stop and see, and spend money. Their loss!!

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Old 12-02-2005, 06:40 PM   #3
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Keep in mind that this is not all of Montana, just Billings. A better way of fighting this is 2 fold.

One let the town of Billings know you will not stop and will not spend money there. Make sure you pass the information on and definately bypass the KOA campground which is owned by the main protagonists for this law.

Second ask at any campground is they are a member of the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds. This organization is promoting legislation like the Billings ordinance and offer packages to "help" campground owners lobby for laws to require all camping to be done in a "licensed campground" to protect their business. In short they want to promote a law mandating that their business be used or face legal consequences. If they are a member of that organization pass on staying there and let them know why.

Of course I am assuming you will boycott KOA and also let them know why. If you go to the ARVC web site ( you will see KOA is VERY prominant.
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Old 12-03-2005, 03:39 PM   #4
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Insurance companies did basically the same thing sucessfully.
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Old 12-04-2005, 10:34 PM   #5
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In WIFI post the letter from the KOA as I read it, say the bed tax goes to the state to spend as they wish. This makes them in part just as respondable as a NARP camp grounds in all of MT.
I think in most of the public camp grounds we stay at (very few) the city charges the bed tax not the state.
While more and more Wall Marts are stoping overnights stops. No Truck Travel Stops are. Which is becomeing my choice, I can still stop at Wall Mart to shop and tell them they may lose $ if they do not fight city/state non RV ordinances.
Larry & Kathy
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