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bsherryg

Beware Of Van Horn, Texas

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Perhaps the Van Horn city officials and merchants should take a look at what happened in Billings, Montana a couple of years back. The city of Billings passed a similar ordinance, spearheaded by the owner of the local KOA. The immediate response among RVers was pretty much universal - we will just drive on by. RVers that overnight in a WM parking lot or truck stop usually spend a great deal of money in those places. But few of us HAVE to stop in a given locale. There is always another place just down the road.

Word of "RV unfriendly" places spreads exponentially with the advent of the internet.

Just from the posts here, how many RVers are just going to keep on driving?

For the record, I have never spent a night anywhere but in an RV park or campground.

GM

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Here we are, still in Van Horn. This city is not one of the best tourist sites to visit. Hotter then the depths of ---- in the summer and colder then a witche' ---. Most people going through Van Horn and needing a stay longer then 3 or 4 hours will stay at the local RV park. Most RVers know that at todays prices of fuel ($3.95+) a short stop to rest for 2 or 3 hours only cost about $12 to 15.00 to run the gen set. Longer then they will go to the park. So what the city mothers and fathers have done is caused the local RV parks and businesses to lose money. But hey now they don't have to worry about those very bad elements like RVers loitering in their wonderful pristine city.

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I have to wonder if the 18 wheelers get ticketed also. Many have a sleeper with the same amenities a Motorhome has. They just have less living space. So do they get ticketed also if they have reached there limit in regards to staring at white lines.

Rest Areas are in my mind just that. A spot to stretch ones legs and get a nap.

If they can not be used this way then set a time of day when an officer closes a gate or just close the rest stop entirely. Then everyone will just drive on by, problem solved.

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We travel that way anytime going west, Van Horn is now out of the question for a stop, will plan otherwise.

I have run my own business for the past 30+ years, never would I consider doing business with someone one who does not like me.........and expect my customers to do the same.

The navigator

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I agree that on many trips you may just want to pull over and sleep for a few hours, (it may go over 4 hours, it may stay under 4 hours). In such cases, you're not looking to hookup, take advantage of amenities, etc. You just want a place to park, shut the curtains and catch a bit of shut-eye. Such laws are ridiculous. Do some people in RV's abuse it, like dumping right into a parking lot, probably. But deal with these specific instances, don't make a blanket law forbidding, "whatever". That's one of the problems with this country today. Instead of dealing with a certain specific issue, they pass a law that affects the 98% who are not causing a problem, as well. I'll avoid Van Horn and anywhere else that does things like this. I wonder if in Sherry's case, if they actually checked her time parked and then checked again to be sure 4 or more hours had passed before giving the ticket. And what is wrong with knocking on the door, informing the RV'er about the ordinance and giving them a chance to move on? Guess there's no money in that.

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I too was ticketed by Van Horn City for over night parking at the Pilot Truck Stop. I wonder why they choose to violate their own ordinance? Haven't they taken the time to look at Pilot home page in reference to RV parking? Pilot home page for free RV parking reads as follows: "Had enough driving for one day? Pull in to one of our RV reserved parking spots or any other open parking space. Grab some dinner, stock up on supplies, and spend the night to get ready for that long drive ahead of you tomorrow." This constitutes written permission!

Are they intentionally harassing RVers?

Sincerely,

Carl Girven Email girvencna@hotmail.com

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To those with money $35.00 for 5 to 7 hours sleep then moving on is to high for my blood. One reason I carry my own bed.

Not to pay for a few hours sleep.

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Does any police department have jurisdiction on private property?

As a property owner, I invite you to my house and tell you to park in my driveway. Then, my local police rush to the scene and write you a ticket for being there? I don't think so.

Ticketed in a Pilot parking lot, my initial response is xerox the ticket and mail it back, informing Van Horn you've sent the original to the owners of the truck stop with a request that their legal team return it unpaid to City Hall with a reminder that they invite the traveling public to sleep there. Personally, I'd also suggest that Pilot's legal eagles -- they love doing stuff like this -- frame their reply in such a way to clearly convey the notion of an abrupt and unwelcome underside insertion of said document, figuratively speaking :blink:

How 'bout FMCA demands a list of ticketees under the Freedom of Information Act, see if truckers are excluded, ergo RV'ers targeted. I'd say there is a lawsuit there, if that is the case.

StopCityFraud is a site whose members fought back.

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This is an old thread, but interesting to read. Does anyone know if the rules were revised? The issue may have been resolved, but what caught my eye were a couple of things that make me think all the hoorah was pointless, and not aimed at RVers at all. Consider:

**********************************************************************************

12.12.030, Section B-2 - Definitions. [emphasis mine]

B. The term "camp" means to use a public area for living accommodation purposes for a period of time in excess of four (4) consecutive hours, for activities such as, but not limited to, the following: So... you have to be there over four hours to be in violation of anything, no matter who you are.

1. Sleeping, or making preparations to sleep, including the laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping; It is significant that they included this wording about preparing bedding.

2. Parking of a motor vehicle, motor home, or trailer for the apparent purpose of overnight occupancy; NOTE: "motor vehicle". This wording establishes both RVers and truckers as equally vulnerable to citation.

12.12.040, Section A - Regulations and restrictions on camping.

A. Except in designated areas or in areas in which prior written permission has been granted by the owner or agent in charge of the real property, it shall be unlawful for any person to camp within the city limits of the town of Van Horn, Texas.

If you have the permission (written) of the truck stop manager, then you are exempt from citation.

12.12.040, Section B

Remove the repetitious references and superfluous legalese, and what you have is:

B. The activities... shall constitute camping when it reasonably appears... that the participants... are in fact using the area for... accommodation purposes regardless of ... any other activities....

In other word, if it looks like you're "camping", then you're camping, regardless of what else may be going on.

***************************************************************************************

I think this ordinance was written to make it easy for the local LEOs to keep Lot Lizards and drug dealers out of their rest areas and truck stops. It doesn't sound like anyone's singling out RVers.

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Carl mentions a ticket in his message from May 2012. I would not call that an old thread. Carl doesn't mention the date of his ticket but if it is recent then that means the actions of the Van Horn community continue. I'm betting Carl doesn't fit the lot lizard and drug dealer profile. Whether they are singling out RV'ers or not, they are ticketing our members. Jim in his April 2012 posting indicates sending a message to Patricia Golden and apparently hasn't received any response. I won't spend the night there.

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I hope you don't mind me freshing up this topic, but ever since the "Occupy Wall Street" and the later, copycat "Occupy XXX" campains begain, some cities have or are thinking of putting "no camping" ordinances in their books. I wonder how these ordinances would affect camping in city parks, truck stops, Cracker Barrell, Wal Mart and other places in those city limits?

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Sounds like the town won't miss much revenue from you bunch of cheapskates. I always try and stay at the KOA. Great Wi-Fi and fabulous homecooked food. Try it you'll like it. Campgrounds are much safer and one's like this one are really providing more than just a place to sleep.

So we heard from the owner of the KOA...

After reading this thread this spring I didn't buy a meal and fuel in Van Horn, as we have in past years. We are returning and will pass the exits again and spend our money elsewhere.

They have certainly lost some business, I wonder how much they gained???

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Does any police department have jurisdiction on private property?

As a property owner, I invite you to my house and tell you to park in my driveway. Then, my local police rush to the scene and write you a ticket for being there? I don't think so.

Ticketed in a Pilot parking lot, my initial response is xerox the ticket and mail it back, informing Van Horn you've sent the original to the owners of the truck stop with a request that their legal team return it unpaid to City Hall with a reminder that they invite the traveling public to sleep there. Personally, I'd also suggest that Pilot's legal eagles -- they love doing stuff like this -- frame their reply in such a way to clearly convey the notion of an abrupt and unwelcome underside insertion of said document, figuratively speaking :blink:

How 'bout FMCA demands a list of ticketees under the Freedom of Information Act, see if truckers are excluded, ergo RV'ers targeted. I'd say there is a lawsuit there, if that is the case.

StopCityFraud is a site whose members fought back.

I own a townhouse in the city. According to the bylaws I can park my motorhome there for up to seven day. There is a city ordinance that prohibits its use for "living" that includes sleeping. If it were my own house and lot the same ordinance applies. I expect that these kinds of ordinances are fairly common and that is what FMCA and other RV associations devote a lot of time to preventing or ameliorating.

Van horn is certainly within its rights to pass such an ordinance, but they must apply it equally to all and as noted by others they wrote it to apply to all motor vehicles, which include trucks. The fuel operators may not miss my 80 gal diesel fill up, but they certainly will miss the many large trucks buying 2 and 300 gal at a time.

I must say I have never stayed over in Van Horn in my many trips through because I felt welcome at Walmart in Fort Stockton and moved on through El Paso. Did stay in Sierra Blanca one night, that was enough.

As for the cost of KOA, $35 is not serious money to me, but I won't spend it if I have a lower cost choice, especially on a 6 months long wander. I pay for what I want and need and do not pay for useless amenities when all I want is a place to rest for a few hours. If I am at a destination and the park has what I want I am more than happy to pay a fair price.

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I'm glad that I read about Van Horn, TX in the FMCA forum. I am presently in Leadville, CO and will be traveling in our RV to Phoenix, AZ this fall before heading home in South Florida. We haven't made formal plans on our route yet which will be on I-10 going East but I will make sure that it doesn't include a stop in Van Horn, TX. Usually towns, especially in this day of tight purse strings, are happy for tourist dollars. When I can save some money on an overnight I feel obligated to support another business in town, ie. restaurant, gas station, tourist attraction etc. Good luck with your towns philosophy.

eazmann

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OK, this is an old thread, but...

I think that what leads to anti-RV laws is people stopping ay Wally World or the like and Camping, not overnighting. You see the with the awning out, the jacks down, slides out TV antenna up, I've even seen a BBQ set up and lawn chairs. This sort of visitor gives us all a bad name. it only takes a couple, maybe one in a small town and we get legislated out.

As for $32 or $35 being too expensive for a night, try it in a car, you need a hotel and meals, you are getting a secure place to stay for well under the cost of a motel. You'll still get to cook and eat your own meals.

As a side note, sometimes the local CGs might be involved in getting laws passed against overnighting in a rest stop. After all you are taking away their business. If you had a diner, would you appreciate a food cart parked outside your door?

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If I had a diner and a McDonald's opened across the street I would do more to attract business and not start a petition that says no one is allowed to go to McDonald's.

CG's need to do more to attract overnighters or just write them off. I would love to stay at a campground, even a bit out of my way, if I could pay a fee appropriate to my stay. In after 5, power only, out by 9 or 10. I am going going to pay $30-$40 when I can get everything except the power at a Wal-Mart and the only thing it costs me is a bit of fuel to run the genny.

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Howdy doody, I will start by saying that I am a citizen if Van Horn TX, and while myself and hand full of others do work at improving our town, we recognize that a town with out the proper leadership will always find it very hard to prosper, and while I applaud all of your responses to the stupid ordinance regarding your short stays in and around our area.

I must with all due respect ask you for a little more tolerance, we in Van Horn have identified the problem, and are working to make the changes. We have, for sometime, had to endure the pompus, arrogance of a handful of city leaders without a vision, but without a doubt some influence over this small community but if you choose to believe me or not we need you, to help us the willing, and open minds to help make the transition.

For more info please contact me at my e-mail: uriasfamily77@att.net

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Well, the postman just delivered my new Big Rigs Best Bets campground directory. I then read all three pages on this Thread, since we will be passing through Van Horn on the way to Mississippi next April. I then checked for Van Horn Texas in the new campground directory and sure enough right there on the bottom of page 383 is Van Horn listing two RV Parks (www.vheaglesnest.com & www.vanhorntexaskoa.com). First thing I did was to go to each website, get the Contact email address and sent them an email message saying that he11 would freeze over before we would stay in their parks because of that #$%^&*(*&^% City ordinance. Then I crossed off those two parks on the bottom of page 383.

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To bad for Van Horn Texas ...Look to see how many wonderful kind caring RVers they will miss out on and the money they spend too...an $85 ticket will keep me from stopping there. Politicians need to look at these issues more closely before making decisions?

Klondike Mike

2010 Journey

2010 HHR

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OK, after reading this entire thread, I see that at least one member who lives there and another named Patricia who works at the Van Horn Chamber of Congress have made postings in regards to this situation. However, what is the final resolution and what has the city of Van Horn done to rectify this idiotic ordinance? Talk is cheap but action takes character and persistence.

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Howdy doody, I will start by saying that I am a citizen if Van Horn TX, and while myself and hand full of others do work at improving our town, we recognize that a town with out the proper leadership will always find it very hard to prosper, and while I applaud all of your responses to the stupid ordinance regarding your short stays in and around our area.

I must with all due respect ask you for a little more tolerance, we in Van Horn have identified the problem, and are working to make the changes. We have, for sometime, had to endure the pompus, arrogance of a handful of city leaders without a vision, but without a doubt some influence over this small community but if you choose to believe me or not we need you, to help us the willing, and open minds to help make the transition.

For more info please contact me at my e-mail: uriasfamily77@att.net

Having spent a lot of money in Van Horn and knowing the ex mayor, before the Hispanic community booted him and put their lady anti gringo, anti Rv, anti everything not hispanic into office, Van Horn went to he11 very quickly. The area behind the Pilot station that is now a truck parking area, did belong to the Catholic church and they had given us permission to park there over the years, when we were in town. We now go through town without stopping but long for the good old days where we could stop, fuel, eat at the cafe next to Pilot, shop the small stores on Rt 66 and get some much needed rest. Hopefully someday it will return to the friendly Texas town it was, but I doubt it will happen.

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I too was ticketed by Van Horn City for over night parking at the Pilot Truck Stop. I wonder why they choose to violate their own ordinance? Haven't they taken the time to look at Pilot home page in reference to RV parking? Pilot home page for free RV parking reads as follows: "Had enough driving for one day? Pull in to one of our RV reserved parking spots or any other open parking space. Grab some dinner, stock up on supplies, and spend the night to get ready for that long drive ahead of you tomorrow." This constitutes written permission!

Are they intentionally harassing RVers?

Sincerely,

Carl Girven Email girvencna@hotmail.com

And what was the reaction when you contested the ticket using this statement from Pilot. Did it work?

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