Parking at Walmart - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 09-12-2017, 09:11 PM   #21
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What has always amazed me are the people that can afford a $40,000 to $65,000 trailer ( Think Escape ,Oliver Bigfoot , Airstream ) and then go camping at Walmarts , Cracker Barrels , truck stops or way side rests and brag about how they took a 2 month trip and spent an average of 38 cents / day on camping fees.
We do not camp at Walmarts , never have , never will , it just doesn't set right in my conscience. . We don't shop at Walmart so Walmart owes me nothing nor am I entitled to anything.
I would just rather pay my own way through life.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:22 PM   #22
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We don't overnight at Wal-Marts or Cracker Barrels, but it's not out of conscience. If they allow it, there is nothing shady about it, whether we shop there or not. We avoid it because we hate the idea of sleeping in a parking lot, and because truth be told I would not get much rest worrying about security in such a setting. For us it's better to just find a cheap rv park or campground and sleep soundly - or to plan our trip so that an overnight in a parking lot is never necessary.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:39 PM   #23
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Perhaps we FGRV owners, if we are willing, should set up a registry of those of us who are not restricted by deeds, ordinances, etc. who will allow other FGRV owners to "moochdock" at our homes. I have constructed a campsite along my driveway with water and 30 amp and have had a few guests use it. Just a thought.
Such an idea already exists - it's called "Boondockers Welcome" Check it out.
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:39 PM   #24
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I can think offhand of four Walmarts in Colorado Springs. A few days ago there were several RVs and semis in the lot at the Walmart side and several RVs on the Sams Club side at the location on S. Academy. Of course I didn't know how many were over-nighters. A few weeks ago I saw a travel trailer with a "please go away" sign attached to it. While I haven't inquired I'd guess that non-abusive RVs would be tolerated or accepted at S. Academy.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:36 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
What has always amazed me are the people that can afford a $40,000 to $65,000 trailer ( Think Escape ,Oliver Bigfoot , Airstream ) and then go camping at Walmarts , Cracker Barrels , truck stops or way side rests and brag about how they took a 2 month trip and spent an average of 38 cents / day on camping fees.
We do not camp at Walmarts , never have , never will , it just doesn't set right in my conscience. . We don't shop at Walmart so Walmart owes me nothing nor am I entitled to anything.
I would just rather pay my own way through life.
We have never camped at Walmart, Cracker Barrel or a truckstop. Ever try to find a campground at 10:30PM while on a trip across country? I don't think that parking at Walmart at 10:30PM is any different than parking there at 10:30AM. They want your business and offer free parking for the privilege. When they install parking meters I will quit shopping there, day or night!
I submit that most of those who overnight at Walmart have payed their own way through life (and that of many others) just as you have.

When I must pay $6 per hour to park at a campground while in transit, and disturb sleeping campers in the process, plus make detailed plans and reservations months in advance for the privilege, it will be time to sell my travel trailer.
Meantime , simply being called a mooch for taking a nap in a parking lot between two shopping visits won't stop me from availing myself of something as common as free parking.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:49 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
What has always amazed me are the people that can afford a $40,000 to $65,000 trailer ( Think Escape ,Oliver Bigfoot , Airstream ) and then go camping at Walmarts , Cracker Barrels , truck stops or way side rests and brag about how they took a 2 month trip and spent an average of 38 cents / day on camping fees.
We do not camp at Walmarts , never have , never will , it just doesn't set right in my conscience. . We don't shop at Walmart so Walmart owes me nothing nor am I entitled to anything.
I would just rather pay my own way through life.
That story certainly does not apply to me. I get tired just like anyone else and it becomes safer to stop than to press on to an organized campground in the middle of the night. Rest stops are great for this and I keep an eye out for them and how far to the next one. Even the dog needs a pit stop occasionally. I have a few favorite "nap" spots on the routes I know best. But I also recently spent three nights at a KOA at over $40. per night just because we were having fun exploring the area. We also spent two nights in different friends driveways which allowed an easy destination, no hassles and a nice visit at each place. Next, we were in the National Forest, miles from anyone.

I don't pride myself on having the cheapest possible trips, and that cost has nothing to do with the cost of my Oliver. I don't want the organized night stay to always be on a certain night at a certain distance away. Being spontaneous and stopping to see unexpected sights means arrival at the next place is a big variable. I also decide on the run if I like a town or not. Sometimes it's better to press on. Stopping for lunch and a nap at a rest stop by a river, or some other convenient place reduces stress, makes the trip easier, safer and is a chance to see sights I didn't anticipate.

We have joked about stopping at Walmart in the middle of the night and there are always a couple of big rigs and a couple of trailers at the one near us in Gardnerville. We haven't stayed at one yet, even though we do shop at the one near us, but doing so offers a chance to stretch your legs, pick up anything you might need, from ice, a hose, to coffee, ammo, a hat or bread. It's not taking advantage of them. They offer it for a reason. I'm certainly not cheap and fully pay my way, but I don't particularly like organized campgrounds with all the checkin/out, noise, expense and crowds, etc, just to take a break for a few hours. I don't see anything wrong with stopping under a parking lot light, in a well travelled spot, where it is an accepted store policy to allow it.
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:10 PM   #27
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A couple months ago I was making a left turn and caught my left trailer tire on the divider curb and broke a wheel. Big pop and aluminum flew.

With the tandem axle setup, I was able to hobble to the Walmart a half mile away. I disconnected and made the 80 miles round trip to my house for a tire and wheel. I had a very old tire with me buried under a lot of stuff in the box trailer, but it was strictly for emergencies.

All included, it took me about four hours to get out of there and I was grateful for the no-hassle attitude as I changed it out under a light. The trailer sat by itself for most of that time. I know of no other place in town where that would have been as easy.
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Old 09-13-2017, 04:34 AM   #28
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I see absolutely nothing wrong with parking for a few hours in a Walmart parking lot when enroute to a long distance destination. For instance, when we travel to FL in the middle of winter from the frozen North, there is often a small window of opportunity to make the 1,000+ mile trip without running into snow and ice storms. We try to make the trip in 2 days. We've covered up to 750 miles on day one. At 60 mph, that is one long day. We don't know how far we'll get, so making reservations is not a good idea. Dodging winter storms is our priority.

They say Sam Walton was an RVer, and he made it clear Walmart parking lots would always welcome RVs for weary travelers like us. We're customers, not free-loaders. It doesn't make sense to us to try to find a CG on the fly at 10 or 11 PM, pay good money to pull into a dark CG and hit the road at 5 AM while it's still dark. It could be the most beautiful CG in the world; but if dark, we wouldn't know or benefit by that. Seems foolish to throw your money away just because you're too proud to park where it's free, and you're welcome. As Floyd said, we're not camping, we're parking. I usually let customer service know in case they have an area they prefer we use. The lots are nearly empty when we pull in. We buy things we might need for the trip, and it seems like a no-brainer, win-win for Walmart and us.

As far as safety is concerned; we use the app I described earlier and look for reviews with clues like "Near new shopping center" or "Located in a good neighborhood". I was born in the Motor City and spent many years there and around the Windy City. I stay alert and consider myself a street-wise sheepdog. I also tend to spend my time and money in "2A friendly" states. 'Nuff said about that.

I used to belong to the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America. They published a paperback book called "The Anonymous Book" every year. It was a listing by state and city of any of the members who offered their homes, to fellow riders traveling across the country. It didn't list names, but included phone numbers and a set of codes that told you what was offered, for instance, a place to sleep, mechanical help, tools, towing, etc. You called a phone number and made arrangements accordingly. It was pretty popular among members. Now it could be done on the internet, and accessed with your phone. People with a common interest helping each other. What a concept! Good idea CPW!

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Old 09-13-2017, 07:01 AM   #29
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I fully understand the occasional overnight at a Walmart / Cracker Barrel after a long day of driving. When I read / hear about people who plan their whole trip so they can camp in one Walmart / Cracker Barrel parking lot after the next Walmart /Cracker Barrel parking and then brag about how smart they are
because they figured out how to take advantage of the system and some businesses generosity it strikes me as cheap and
WRONG !

Again if you can afford a $50K trailer then you can afford to pay for camping.

There are too many people in our society that are always looking for a free ride at someone else's expense .Example they leave their trash in the Walmart / Cracker barrel lot for someone else to cleanup or dump their black tank in the parking lots storm drain.

A Walmart parking lot is not a campgrounds nor is it an entitlement and just because something is free doesn't mean you should take as much as you possibly can .

Today they are handing out free bread and cheese at the local church , I won't be there to make sure I get my fair share .
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:25 AM   #30
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On the one occasion where we have overnighted at a Walmart it was late at night and done for convenience (finding a campground at 11PM can be difficult). This stop was on the way home (one day to go) at the end of a long trip where I miscalculated where I would be that night.

I really try to finish days early with a plan on where we are going to stay. But on the way home sometimes I get the "time to get home" fever.

As bad luck would have it, all the rest areas that might be last night or first night trip stops have short time limits in our area of the country. We typically will be in one of these states: TN. KY, IL and IN, that all have short limits. We have worked out where to stay in IL, which is our most common heading west first night stop. We haven't figured out KY or TN yet for convenient, relatively quiet, places to spend one night.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:37 AM   #31
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Just a couple of weeks ago on a trip south from Alberta to WY to pick up a new (to us trailer), we drove on our second day from Great Falls, MT to Casper, WY, and then back with the trailer from Casper, WY to Billings, MT. By the time we arrived in Billings (after about 1300km of driving that day), it was near mid-night and I was super tired. In Billings, we welcomed the opportunity to pull into a Walmart parking lot with our new trailer and catch a few hours sleep. We were gone again by about 7am to continue our journey home.
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:40 AM   #32
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We have overnighted at Cracker Barrel's a couple of times. Our stops had nothing to do with saving money and everything to do with safety. We always plan to overnight in a campground but sometimes events beyond your control take over. The one time we stopped at a CB just before closing I went in and asked if it was OK if we overnighted in one of their RV spots. I was told "sure, honey, that's what they're there for! We'll have your breakfast ready at 6:00." In the morning there were two other RVs that arrived after us. Mike
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Old 09-13-2017, 07:54 AM   #33
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I think Ed Harris said it best: this is a slippery slope on both sides.

I have no particular opposition to the practice, nor how often you take advantage of the privilege, provided you come in late, leave early, and don't leave a mess. I will never know you were there, as I don't make a habit of shopping at Walmart late at night. I think that describes everyone participating in this conversation. As Tom says, sometimes ya just gotta get there.

Anything "free" eventually attracts abuse, and it doesn't take much to create enough ill will to provoke a reaction from the store or the local community. That's what we're in the midst of now. The '08-'09 recession was something of a trigger point, producing a substantial new class of folks living out of RVs (and we're not talking late model Airstreams). A number of them squat at our local Walmart and Home Depot throughout the cool summer months. It's probably only a matter of time.

Enjoy it while it lasts. I don't see the current Walmart being particularly committed to the ideals of its founder, whether it be RVing or retailing. But that thought is a slippery slope, too...
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Old 09-13-2017, 08:55 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
On the one occasion where we have overnighted at a Walmart it was late at night and done for convenience (finding a campground at 11PM can be difficult). This stop was on the way home (one day to go) at the end of a long trip where I miscalculated where I would be that night.

I really try to finish days early with a plan on where we are going to stay. But on the way home sometimes I get the "time to get home" fever.

As bad luck would have it, all the rest areas that might be last night or first night trip stops have short time limits in our area of the country. We typically will be in one of these states: TN. KY, IL and IN, that all have short limits. We have worked out where to stay in IL, which is our most common heading west first night stop. We haven't figured out KY or TN yet for convenient, relatively quiet, places to spend one night.
Everybody has ignored the signs at the rest areas in IllAnnoy for at least as long as they have existed. Unless you set up residence you will not be rousted or bothered. If you stop there to sleep... better stop early because they fill up early with overnight sleepers in trucks and RVs.
One point... park far enough back in your parking spot so that the big rigs will see you as they approach. This will avoid a possible accident or having a straight truck running two feet from your bumper all night. As for the other states mentioned its pretty much the same.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:13 AM   #35
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Steve Dunham;
I know that your perspective has no malicious intent and is really aimed at unappreciative abuse, which really is not all that common.

Anytime you come south, give us a call. We are located just a few hundred yards off I-80. We have a flat driveway, electricity and water available and invite you to overnight with us as our guests while on your way, for FREE!
We would love to have you and you can stay as long as we like.

If you wish to pay it forward, you can give something to the charity of your choice or stop to help a stranded motorist.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:18 AM   #36
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The Walmart in Colorado Springs is now posting signs that say no Truck, RV or Trailer parking overnight. I thought they were RV friendly
So, which Walmart(s)? There are several in the Springs.

Thanks,
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:34 AM   #37
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The Walmart in Colorado Springs is now posting signs that say no Truck, RV or Trailer parking overnight. I thought they were RV friendly
A point just occurred to me...
The problem of squatters or abuse of privilege must be much more pronounced in "destination" areas rather than in "in transit" areas, and in cities rather than rural areas.
That would explain why we have always been welcome where we stop and why we haven't witnessed the problems described in this thread.
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Old 09-13-2017, 09:45 AM   #38
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Steve Dunham;
I know that your perspective has no malicious intent and is really aimed at unappreciative abuse, which really is not all that common.

Anytime you come south, give us a call. We are located just a few hundred yards off I-80. We have a flat driveway, electricity and water available and invite you to overnight with us as our guests while on your way, for FREE!
We would love to have you and you can stay as long as we like.

If you wish to pay it forward, you can give something to the charity of your choice or stop to help a stranded motorist.
Thanks Floyd , you are correct my frustration is with the few who screw it up for the many . I admire people who are frugal but not the people that are cheap at the expense of others.
I've got 2 cord of firewood to unload and stack so back to work.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:12 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
A point just occurred to me...
The problem of squatters or abuse of privilege must be much more pronounced in "destination" areas rather than in "in transit" areas, and in cities rather than rural areas.
That would explain why we have always been welcome where we stop and why we haven't witnessed the problems described in this thread.
That's it exactly. I live in a "destination" area, and squatters are an issue 5-6 months of the year. They disappear from one parking lot and reappear in another. They are rather territorial, laying claim to the shady corners of the lot. During the day they man every entrance and exit with signs asking for money.

I try to remind myself that I should be grateful to have a house to live in AND an RV to travel in rather than judgmental toward those who live in an RV by necessity, not choice. They probably can't move on, or at least not far, due to the cost of fuel.

For now it's an uneasy truce at the local Walmart. As long as they keep everything inside the unit and the panhandling low key, the community seems inclined to look the other way. But it would probably only take one serious criminal act to tip the balance.
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Old 09-13-2017, 10:18 AM   #40
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I just recently went through hurricane Harvey here in Angleton TX. and it was more rain and flooding than I have ever seen. I noticed that there were quite a few travel trailers and motor homes that had taken refuge in our Walmart parking lot during the storm and for several days afterword as many of the roads out of town were flooded. I know there is a lot of people that bad mouth Walmart but to me they stepped up to the plate to help people out when they were under no obligation to do so.
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