Dickinson’s New Campground Ordinance Limiting RVs’ Stay To 270 Days

I have worked in the oil field in Texas, Utah, and North Dakota.  For some occupations, especially welders, pipe fitters, electricians, equipment operators, and Union workers, it is sometimes easier and more practical for the workers to own and live in RVs and travel trailers because work project duration can last from two months to two years.

Other factors that make owning and living in an RV or travel trailer more practical are that some projects require a peak amount of welders, pipe fitters, electricians, equipment operators, and other workers at certain times to get a particular phase of construction completed, then once this phase of construction is completed, the number of welders, pipe fitters, electricians, etcetera is greatly reduced.  No one knows ahead of time, which welders, pipe fitters, electricians, equipment operators, and workers will get to remain on the project, which ones will be let go, and when exactly the layoffs will happen.

With some people working in occupations where they really do not know if they will get to work on a project for two months, two years, and when exactly they will be laid off from a particular project, these people have found that it is more practical to own and live in RVs and travel trailers.  It would be foolish and a mistake to sign a lease for an apartment or a house when you could very likely get laid off in a couple of months.

Try to think about this and realize this, though real estate agents, appraisers, accountants, and city employees may remain in their job in a town for five, ten, twenty years, people who make their living working on pipeline construction, oil storage terminal construction, refinery construction, and other large industrial projects, they no longer have a job once their pipeline, oil storage terminal, or refinery construction is completed.  They have to move on to the next large industrial project, where again they will not know if they will get to work on this project for two months or two years, because the number and type of occupations needed for each phase of construction varies and changes.

Welders, pipe fitters, electricians, equipment operators, and Union workers may purchase a new or newer RV or travel trailer for as much as $80,000.  They may expect this RV or travel trailer to last them eight to ten years.  One of the benefits of living in an RV or travel trailer, is that your personal possessions, important paper work, clothing, cookware, food, bed, furniture, TV, stereo, computer, is all right there, and you don’t have to pack everything up, and carry it down stairs out to a moving van, every time you move.

But in cold climates, there are a few laborious and time consuming things that RV and travel trailer owners have to do when they park in a campground.  They have to install tight-fitting insulated skirting along the bottom perimeter of their RV or trailer in order to keep their grey-water tank, black-water tank, and fresh water lines from freezing.  They will likely have to install electrical heat tape on both their sewer line and their fresh water line.  They may need to construct a 6 ft x 6 ft mud room at the entrance door to their trailer in order to be able to take off muddy boots, and muddy overalls before entering their trailer, and also to keep from letting all of the heat out of their trailer when there are high winds.

But the City of Dickinson, the City Commissioners, the residents of Dickinson, and the property owners in Dickinson do not care about what is convenient or practical for other people.  They don’t care, and in fact, the property owners, property managers, and real estate agents like the idea that by putting a limit of 270 days on living in an RV or travel trailer, that this would potentially force workers to rent an apartment, rent a house, or buy a house.

I have tried to point out again and again, that when Dickinson “does things to people”, like quadrupling the price of rent during the oil boom, over aggressive stopping of everyone for DUI by Police, over aggressive following of people by Police, trying to convict people for a 20 year sentence for seeking sex, a Civil Service Commission that has never once decided in favor of a City employee, and generally treating out of state workers like shit, no one wants to come to Dickinson or stay in Dickinson once they find out what it is like.

Limiting the amount of time that a person working in Dickinson can stay in a campground in their RV or travel trailer to 270 days, is not going to turn all of these people into apartment renters, house renters, or house buyers in Dickinson.  Many of them, who may have spent up to $80,000 on their RV or travel trailer, will just plan on moving on in nine months.  Not only not renting or buying a home in Dickinson, but not renting in a campground or living in Dickinson at all.

I don’t know when, if ever, the people in Dickinson will realize that they are driving people out of Dickinson to such an extent that Dickinson will eventually look like Belfield, Richardton, Taylor, Gladstone, New England, Dodge, or Haliday.  To the property owners that are so greedy, what will your property be worth when no one wants to come to Dickinson and more and more people leave Dickinson?

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