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Reader Chides South Dakota Paper for Short-Sightedness

Editor’s Note: This letter to the editor was published in the Sioux Falls (S.D.) Argus Leader and¬†pertains to that community’s attempts to legislate how long campers may stay within a given campground.¬†

I am writing to respond to your July 10 editorial relating to the proposed time limit for campers in a campground.

I managed Duane Spader’s campground in Sioux Falls for 25 years. I am writing to correct some misconceptions about the campground business that the city has created. The Argus Leader editorial promotes these misconceptions.

The editorial begins by stating, “Campgrounds are designed for temporary, recreational activity.” It goes on to say that RVs are not designed to be someone’s permanent home.

What source do you have that says that campgrounds are designed only for temporary recreational activity? This simply is not true. A quick check on the Internet will lead you to multiple listings of campgrounds that offer services for long-term — even full-time — campers.

The following are excerpts from an RV industry publication that further reinforce the concept that RV stays often are extended and even permanent across the U.S.

From RVBusiness in September 2008: “Just about every weekend in August, Indiana computer technician Tom Mackowiak packed up and headed out to meet his wife and teenage children at their “summer cottage” in a campground. The Mackowiaks spend their summers in something called a recreational park trailer, complete with luxuries such as high-speed Internet, central air and satellite TV.”

From RVBusiness in November 2007: “Recreational vehicle parks in Gulf Shores are numerous but generally the traditional type in which travelers rent space, be it for a summer weekend or a full season.”

Good friends of mine sold their home several years ago, purchased an RV and have been full-time RVers ever since. Their RV is parked in a campground along with many other RVs serving as the residences for other folks who enjoy the same lifestyle.

RVs can serve as an alternative home for people in many situations.

What about individuals who are temporarily working in the Sioux Falls area and wish to stay in their RV while they are here? What about people who have a family member hospitalized in Sioux Falls for an extended period of time and wish to be close by? What about families who can’t stay in their home for an extended period of time because of fire or building of a new home?

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#1 Comment By Dick Ackerman On July 29, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

What I find quite interesting is a very large number of full-time RV’ers select South Dakota as their residence state due to favorable tax rules which does net the state income with very little commensurate expense. Now it seems we have one city wishing to shoot itself in the foot and alienate the golden goose. ???

However, it is far from the first time local yocal politicians have tripped over their feet and stubbed their nose due to not having the “big picture”.

#2 Comment By Orv Hazelton On July 30, 2009 @ 11:27 am

My wife of 39+ years, 5 month old puppy and I travel and live FULL-TIME in our 2001 Tiffin, Allegro Bay. As we travel in retirement, visiting family, serving as volunteers, helping others, as well as seeing this wonderful nation that we live in we do so in our Class A motor home. We no longer have a “sticks and bricks” home, and can’t imagine going back to one. Thanks for listening to this old man. Orv Hazelton