So What About Parking at Walmart Overnight? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-25-2010, 08:46 AM   #1
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When I'm getting this thing home 745 miles, can't I just pull into a Walmart parking lot to sleep overnight? I don't want to have to worry about hooking and unhooking and can just get in my sleeping bag. I know some Walmarts allow that but not all, right? Is that a good idea? (Definitely in my budget!)



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Old 01-25-2010, 09:15 AM   #2
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:36 AM   #3
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There are websites and such that can tell you whether it is or isn't allowed. I tend to drive late into the night, so by the time I pull into a Wal-Mart (infrequently), there are usually already a number of rigs there. So I just plan my parking spot from afar, and then ease in next to the other rigs and shut my engine off quickly (so as not to wake the other RVers up).

If I don't see any other RVs there, that's when I might figure it's not allowed at that Wal-Mart. Of course if you arrive early, then you might not have those other campers there to give you the idea.

The reason I don't favor Wal-Marts is because they often seem to be really noisy. I think about half the times I've stayed at one (maybe a half dozen in all) they've decided to Zamboni the parking lot at 3 a.m. Maybe the folks in the big rigs don't hear it past their generator, but I sure do! On the other hand, it's free, so you can't complain. And for one night --- simple.

I've car camped hundreds of nights in my travels (usually sans egg), and only once have I ever had the 'ol tap on the window. It was at a Wal-Mart on I-95. I'd pulled in at about 3:00 a.m. and settled right down. There were a half dozen big rigs around me, snoozing peacefully. Jammies on, lights out... ahhhhh.

Then, not five minutes later, a flashlight and a "rap, rap, rap." "Oh geez, now what?" I had two windows open an inch or so, because it was warm, so I just sat up and said "Hi, can I help you?" or something like that. I was expecting to be hassled, questioned, told to move along, or worse, by this mysterious figure in the dark.

The voice came back: "Welcome to Wal-Mart #3256. Will you be spending the night with us?"

Me: "Yes, if that's alright. I'm on my way to my brother's place and got a bit tired."

The voice: "That's just fine. My name is "Mike," and if you need anything please just let me know. Enjoy your stay and Welcome to Wal-Mart."

Wow, okay! Took me a few minutes to settle back down but....that could have been worse!

And no Zamboni!
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:41 AM   #4
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There are websites and such that can tell you whether it is or isn't allowed. I tend to drive late into the night, so by the time I pull into a Wal-Mart (infrequently), there are usually already a number of rigs there. So I just plan my parking spot from afar, and then ease in next to the other rigs and shut my engine off quickly (so as not to wake the other RVers up).

If I don't see any other RVs there, that's when I might figure it's not allowed at that Wal-Mart. Of course if you arrive early, then you might not have those other campers there to give you the idea.

The reason I don't favor Wal-Marts is because they often seem to be really noisy. I think about half the times I've stayed at one (maybe a half dozen in all) they've decided to Zamboni the parking lot at 3 a.m. Maybe the folks in the big rigs don't hear it past their generator, but I sure do! On the other hand, it's free, so you can't complain. And for one night --- simple.

I've car camped hundreds of nights in my travels (usually sans egg), and only once have I ever had the 'ol tap on the window. It was at a Wal-Mart on I-95. I'd pulled in at about 3:00 a.m. and settled right down. There were a half dozen big rigs around me, snoozing peacefully. Jammies on, lights out... ahhhhh.

Then, not five minutes later, a flashlight and a "rap, rap, rap." "Oh geez, now what?" I had two windows open an inch or so, because it was warm, so I just sat up and said "Hi, can I help you?" or something like that. I was expecting to be hassled, questioned, told to move along, or worse, by this mysterious figure in the dark.

The voice came back: "Welcome to Wal-Mart #3256. Will you be spending the night with us?"

Me: "Yes, if that's alright. I'm on my way to my brother's place and got a bit tired."

The voice: "That's just fine. My name is "Mike," and if you need anything please just let me know. Enjoy your stay and Welcome to Wal-Mart."

Wow, okay! Took me a few minutes to settle back down but....that could have been worse!

And no Zamboni!
Wow, a Walmart parking lot greeter!!
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:52 AM   #5
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And at 3 a.m.!
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:58 AM   #6
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we have been in all lower 48 states and stayed at many walmarts.
in kings something az we were met by a women in a covered golf cart and "parked". couldn't have been nicer.
in salinas, ca we were kicked out.
we live near sacramento, ca and the walmart parking lots have curbs that do not allow rvs.
we have found that the middle states has the best attitude towards rvers.
the two coasts the worst.
generaley(sp), walmart has been good to us.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:34 AM   #7
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You can also stop at any flying "J Truck stop" Petro, 76 etc.... I usually park on the cars only side but the truck side will also work..... nobody will bother you there.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:53 AM   #8
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I agree that WalMarts can be noisy. I have always felt safe there though.
The truck stops that are open 24 hours are usually safe.
Many years ago we would stay at roadside parks-we don`t do that anymore-just too dangerous.
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Old 01-25-2010, 12:04 PM   #9
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Many years ago we would stay at roadside parks-we don`t do that anymore-just too dangerous.
Your right about that!
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Old 01-25-2010, 04:14 PM   #10
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Wal-Mart no overnites
Haven't used this in awhile but it used to tell you whether they allowed overnighting or not at the specific wal-marts.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:26 PM   #11
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Wal-Marts, we have used them many times, a few times they did the street sweeper deal, but didn't last toooo long. The All Stays site has been a help finding them & if they allow overnighting, as for always ask permission at customer service. Maybe polite, but when tired at night or just tired or just not wanting to bother the workers doing their jobs, I have never asked, exept once I asked the greeter who seemed surprised I would ask (Liberal, KS it was). There would be signs saying not allowed. If you feel safer not walking across a parking lot at night, I would not bother. IMHO.

All Stays Wal-Mark locator: http://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm by state. Worked in Canada as well.

If traveling alone, be careful espc at rest areas, a young man 21 yrs old was killed by 3 teens, 15 16 and 18, just inside of New Mexico from El Paso....some jerk gang-bangers wanted money. Really sad. He was on his way from San Antonio TX to San Diego CA. Gang-bangers from the very small town of Anthony NM or was it TX the place is on the state line. The rest area is a little deserted, but just across from the town, believe it was the NM Anthony. It can happen, not an everyday happening but it can at times.
http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_14227641
From this report he was taken not from the Anthony Rest area and visitor center but the rest area above Las Cruces on the west mesa. But this report has it at the Anthoney rest stop/visitor center with makes more sense, where the car was found.
http://www.lcsun-news.com/ci_1424440...e=most_emailed

Wanted to warn you and all of us to be deligent when we stop at rest stops, gas stations and even Wally World. Not to scare you or anyone. It is a dangerous world we live in, if we cross path with someone with evil in their heart(s). Don't not travel, just be careful.

Consider your surroundings carefully and if you feel uncomfortable with the area, move somewhere else. I feel comfortable when there are one or two (more so if more) RVs are overnighting at a location.

This has worked for us several times: http://www.freecampgrounds.com/

Here are some places people use:
Parks - City, County, State, and Community parks often have free RV camping. We have done this a few times, city parks.
Churches - You can almost make "reservations" by calling ahead for permission. Stayed one night in WY asked after services.
Hotel Parking Lots - Assuming a nightclub/bar is inside, had one too many or just pretending? Not done.
Truck Terminals - Parking areas for large trucks might allow you free RV camping permission
RV Dealers - Pretty brave to us, but you could fit right in. Not done my self. Except when waiting for a weekend to end and needing repairs and I asked.
Cracker Barrel - These nationwide restaurants usually allow free overnight RV parking. Not done but seems many do. There is a site which says if can or not, but I can not find it now.
http://www.freecampgrounds.com/detail.aspx?id=2334

http://www.freecampgrounds.com/detail.aspx?id=2958

http://www.freecampgrounds.com/detail.aspx?id=2888

http://www.freecampgrounds.com/detail.aspx?id=2681

From this summers trip report: We made a 3 day trip to Minot, North Dakota. We left Las Cruces, New Mexico on Tuesday around 4 pm. We had a good trip, I-25 to Las Vegas, NM of 345 miles, overnighted at Wal-Mart. Arrived around 10:25. The cool night proved to be great sleeping weather. Found we needed some repair on my repaired converter cover. I bought some Gorilla glue at Wal-Mart to do the repair. We were able to get a fairly early start the following morning. 2nd time to stay here.

The trip via I-25 from Las Vegas to Wheatland, WY was for another 495 miles. We had a good drive through Colorado Springs & Castle Rock and Denver was not too heavy into rush hour when we got through it. We enjoyed a good night at Wheatland's Lewis Park (where we had stayed going & returning last year) which offers free camping with electric hook-up (there is a donation box). Three very long & noisy trains came by during the night, the campground being very close to the tracks. Other times no trains.
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Old 01-25-2010, 05:34 PM   #12
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I've stayed in WalMarts with no trouble at all as there are generally other RV's there. Even so, I go in and speak with a manager to make sure it's OK to stay the night and where would they like me to park. I'll always park under a light when possible, makes the interior of the Scamp bright but it doesn't bother me.

I've also stayed in many Flying J's. I've found that most of the newer ones have RV parking out front near the pumps and entry. I find it a bit noisy but it's better than being back with the Trucks running motors all night long and the in and out traffic.

Amarillo Texas had an old Flying J and it was so bad I finally drove around and found a WalMart to spend the night in.

There are other truck stop chains that you can consider as well. Oh I know, T/A truck stops seem to be all over the place.

Don't forget to go into a community and look for a city park. While I don't find city parks out here in California that allow overnight camping, I did find them in states east of the rockies. Some with hookups and some without. Some charge a very nominal fee and others charge nothing, hook ups or not.

County fairgrounds often have camping facilities although I've found that they are on the high side dollar wise.
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Old 01-25-2010, 09:32 PM   #13
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I needed to stop at a hospital ER in Ellensburg, WA several years ago. When I was patched up it was into the evening and the ER doctor suggested I park in their lot. I did and it worked out just fine.

When I recounted this to several old friends with motor homes they said they'd often ask to stay in an ER lot even though there was no immediate medical reason.

In one case the wife was quite fragile. He'd mention this to the ER folks and they'd be happy to let them stay. The net result was that his wife would be happy to RV for several years more than she would have otherwise.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:18 PM   #14
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Hi Joy M - We are pleased your Egg has found you. Lots of good advice and suggestions here already ... I'll add our thoughts.

We have used WalMarts and truck stops often during our travels, even pre-Egg when we were van-camping. At Wally World, first we scope out the lot for other RV's and/or signs citing local ordinances prohibiting overnight parking. If we see other rigs and/or no signs, we shop for any needed supplies, then. carrying our purchases, we locate the CSM (Customer Service Mgr) on-shift at the time and ask "Do you permit RVer's who are WalMart customers to park for a few hours in your lot?" We have only been turned down once, and that was due to local restrictions. I usually put a couple of WM bags with our purchases on the dash.

Once in Southern California, the Security Officer was beside us before we had turned off the ignition - that freaked us out! We asked if we had to leave - with a broad grin, she said "Oh, no - you can stay up to 3 days if you don't unhook! I just wanted to ask if I could see inside your cute little trailer!

As Joy A stated, truck stops can be really noisy so do look for newer ones with RV spaces away from the tractor-trailers.

Near Brenda, AZ there is a sign in a church parking lot which reads "tired RVer's are welcome to rest overnight here".

We wish you safe journeys and many, many happy memories. Perhaps our travel paths will cross in the future. Regards, L 'n D
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