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Old 06-30-2013, 10:13 AM   #15
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Our rest areas generally limit parking to 4 hrs. (I don't know if it is enforced or not.) I don't think I'd feel very secure at a Walmart unless other RVs were there. No Cracker Barrels here, don't know about Flying J. I think Fred Meyers in some places may allow overnight parking in some places but I've never checked on the few I pass (there is one in Brookings, Or- anyone know if it does?)
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:19 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jeanbella View Post
Hi all, I'm new here but have been an egg owner for a few years now. We love it and cannot believe how easy it is to hook up and go! I was just wondering how many of you stop for the night in parking lots? When we are traveling more than 5 hours away, we look for the closest Walmart or Cracker Barrel. I always check city-data.com to make sure it seems like a safe area. We also walk through the Walmart or eat at Cracker Barrel to see the type of clientele. We have only ever seen one other RVer each time. I was wondering if that wasn't as common as I thought? If you do dry camp in parking lots, just wondering what other safety tips you could recommend. BTW, we always have bear mace next to the bed when sleeping in parking lots. Thanks!
I've NEVER seen a bear in a Walmart parking lot, and I live in the Chicago area!
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #17
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There seriously needs to be a thumbs up section on this forum! Too funny about the bear Floyd! Great tips for parking in a truck stop too. So happy I found this site!
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:23 AM   #18
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Anyone ever dry camped at small town church yards.
Fatherinlaw stayed in a cemetary once, OOOWWWWW!!
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Old 06-30-2013, 11:19 AM   #19
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We almost had a bear in our Wal-Mart parking lot and I live no where near bear country.
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Old 06-30-2013, 03:57 PM   #20
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I believe there are a couple websites devoted to free parking locations like Walmarts and such. I think I have them wrote down at home but we're out camping right now. If this thread doesn't die out I'll try to find them when we get home. Only problem we had overnighting at a truck stop was that it was on a hill so a lot of Jake brake noise all night, and part of the yard was dug up so campers were really jammed into a small area. We left early in the morning to avoid being hit by the rear of the big camper next to us when he swung out. To add to Floyd's list of what to avoid, don't park next to a reefer truck or trailer.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:08 PM   #21
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We have overnighted many times in Walmarts parking lots. Most were very large, with places off from most used sections.

Many if not most Walmarts have security guards driving around at night.

Never were bothered by noisy teenagers or really anyone else.

At a few. the parking lot sweepers (somewhat like a street sweeper) was a noise bother. But not for too long.

We have used Wally Worlds to overnight in Las Vegas, NM, Pueblo, CO, San Antonio, TX, Wichita Falls, TX, Lubbock, TX, Eagan, MN (next year closed to overnighting), Liberal, KS, Pierre, SD, Goodyear, AZ, Santa Fe, NM, Spearfish, SD (now do not allow), Cody, WY, Trinidad, CO & at Sam's Clubs in Fargo, ND & Glendora, CA (don't believe they allow it now).

An Aid in Finding WalMarts that Allow Overnighting: http://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm

Personally, I like the "Map of Walmart Stores", such as http://www.allstays.com/c/walmart-ne...ations-map.htm
Red W = No Overnighting
Yellow W = Overnighting is OK
Also gives phone numbers & address of the Walmarts.

They have all had other RVs overnighting. Once I had to move to another parking site in Spearfish, a large MH parked next to us (we were in a small MH then) & was blocking any cooling breeze. In Trinidad, I asked a MH if he needed to park so close to our Scamp. He asked why & said he would be blocking an breeze from us. He moved down a little from us.

The morning after an overnight in Trinidad:

Cody Walmart was our neatest Walmart Overnight Site yet:


Only noise from teenagers (maybe teens) was in San Antonio. We had moved from the more lighted Walmart parking lot to a nearby Home Depot parking lot. After closing time, we were awaken by the sound of baseball bats hitting baseballs.

A baseball "game" was going on closer to the Store. Not wanting a fly ball to bounce onto the MH, I drove it back to the Walmart.

Other Overnight Parking: http://www.allstays.com/c/camping-ov...rv-parking.htm

RRJR, Way back When, we did an overnight in a church parking lot (after asking permission). We were having a little trouble shifting with our pickup & wanted someone to ask about it. Turned out just need transmission fluid added. Towing a Komfort Lite back then. Even used their water for showers. Parked next to a grass lawn. In Buffalo, WY. Early '90s.

We noticed many RVs overnighting at Fred Meyers in Alaska.

We have found these sites useful in finding nice overnighting sites:
http://www.freecampgrounds.com/

http://freecampsites.net/

Such as the one in Wheatland, WY:

http://www.freecampgrounds.com/detail.aspx?id=1757
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:17 PM   #22
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Adrian,
I was looking at your picture show and in several your Ford looks like it is loaded to where your headlights are high, even unhitched. Do you carry a lot in your truck bed?
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:54 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
I've NEVER seen a bear in a Walmart parking lot, and I live in the Chicago area!
I have seen one at Walmart & at out local Safeway in my area, not all that unusual difference here is not many folks carry bear spray around with them as yelling or banging a pot normally works as well if not better at scaring them off. Don't have to worry about where the spray goes. People do carry bear spray when hiking in the backwoods but mostly as an added safety item in the event of a cougar encounter.

Personally not a fan of Walmart overnights prefer rest stops or Casinos.
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:59 PM   #24
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My husband and I did a cross country trip and stopped at Walmarts, casinos and Camping Worlds along the way when we were just passing through. There's a website that has free and cheap (up to $10/night) places to park. We'd always check to see what was listed because they were rated by other campers. On or near the interstates there were 24hr Walmarts. While staying at one, late one evening an employee knocked on our door. I thought she was going to tell us to move out. Instead she said there was a tornado warning in effect and if there was a sighting at any time during the night, store personnel would come and get us and get us into their "safe area" in the store. Nice to know that they look out for their parking lot campers. We've had nothing but good experiences, but we're careful and thoughtful about where we overnight.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:10 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
I have seen one at Walmart & at out local Safeway in my area, not all that unusual difference here is not many folks carry bear spray around with them as yelling or banging a pot normally works as well if not better at scaring them off. Don't have to worry about where the spray goes. People do carry bear spray when hiking in the backwoods but mostly as an added safety item in the event of a cougar encounter.

Personally not a fan of Walmart overnights prefer rest stops or Casinos.
It was a joke! but yelling and banging a pot doesn't seem to work anyway!
I did see a Cougar in a Walmart once though...but I'm way too old to worry about an attack!
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:27 PM   #26
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On Dry camping...
My wife and i DC all the time, but out in the "back country". We've not tried the asphalt route but we do, like the OP head out after work, though usually we will drive through to the destination camp. Like others, I think we'd be more comfortable at a truck stop.

On Bear Spray...
We carry it all the time we go out and about as we live on the Oregon coast and have sighted bear, cougar, and wild-dog(s). I've only used it once on purpose in the direction of a cougar. The other two times were by accident! And i really don't want to experience that again. One of them i was basically blind for about 20 minutes, lungs on fire for ~10 minutes, and took about two hours to fully recover.

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Old 07-01-2013, 06:04 PM   #27
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Our last two long cross-country trips I found it much more convenient in early evening to watch for the familiar Wal-Mart sign, than looking for a real camping site as a stopping place for the night. All were well lit, safe, have the finest restrooms, food, and you knew where to park, because other RVs always got there first. Flying Js, TAs, etc. have great advantages too, unless at 10 PM an 18 wheeler decides to park beside you and run their engine all night. Been there.

9PM at the Joplin TA some woman came knocking on our Scamp door! Startled, (we had retired), I demanded to know what he heck she wanted! Then listened through my (it was unlocked) door to the most tearful of stories, a request for money, to help her get back to Kansas City. I advised her to go inside where the police could be called, happy to help her out.

Might not encounter rowdy teenagers at a truck stop, but do not rule out your trailer as a target for prowling scam artists. Yes, that dear old woman sounded exactly like my grandma.
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