Overnight parking of recreational vehicles in all public parking lots of Maine will be illegal if pending legislation passes the Maine Legislature.
LD114/HP98 would make it a civil offense to park an RV overnight on any public parking lot in the state, according to the rvnewsservice.com
The text of the bill reads, in part:
“A person may not park or occupy a recreational vehicle, as defined in Title 10, section 1432, subsection 18, in a commercial parking facility overnight. For purposes of this section, ‘commercial parking facility’ means a parking structure or area open to members of the public for the purposes of parking their vehicles while patronizing one or more commercial establishments, but does not include a mobile home park or recreational vehicle park allowed by a municipality or a camping area licensed by the department. A person who violates the provisions of this section commits a civil violation subject to a fine of no more than $100, which must be suspended for the first violation and may be suspended for subsequent violations.”
Due to the way this is worded, these restrictions will apply to any publicly accessible parking lot including those at casinos, truck stops, Wal-Marts (popular overnight stops for many RVers) and even dirt or gravel areas commonly used by truckers and RVers.
This is not the first time that RVers have been faced with such a challenge. Several years ago, similar legislation was introduced in Montana and Nevada. Due to the protests from RVers all over the country, the attempts to ban RV parking failed.
Typically, RVers make significant contributions financially to places that welcome them and, many times, will return to an area for an extended stay if they have been received in a friendly manner. Signs banning RVs from parking areas do not appear very friendly to an RVer who may simply be looking for a quiet place to sleep and have no need for a full-service RV park.
“In most cases there is a huge uproar from the RV community any time this type of legislation is proposed,” said Chuck Woodbury, editor of RVtravel.com. “I suspect that Maine lawmakers will back off this time. RVers value their freedom to stay where they want, as long as they are welcomed. Maine will be perceived as RV-unfriendly if this should pass, and it will likely cost the state significant tourism dollars.”