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Old 04-23-2021, 08:00 PM   #1
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Another Walmart bans overnight parking

I tried to do the first of the year test run of the RV tonight. Here is a picture of the Menomonie, Wisconsin Walmart, and the sign that says no overnight parking. (Yes, I did check the web site first.)
The person at the service counter said that the order came from corporate. If you know of others not listed, please use the “contact us” to add them to the list. https://www.walmartlocator.com/no-park-walmarts/
It is getting harder and harder to find a place to stop for a few hours. I have also found places that allow nothing over 6 feet tall to be parked along the highway. That bans even my tow vehicle. A campground nap for 50$ + is just too much to spend.
After seeing what people have left behind at many free and/or public sites I totally understand, but it hurts all of us.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:12 PM   #2
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Was bound to happen. I've seen people set up camp, chairs, stove, tip outs, awning, the whole works. Washing dishes, dumping the water in the lawn. Doesn't take many to kill this traveling asset.

In my town right now, we have people parking on Main St, living in their pickup trucks. Not very stealthy. I've got my pre-pandemic overnight spots. It will be interesting to see how many are now gone.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:24 PM   #3
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My local Walmart

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Originally Posted by thrifty bill View Post
Was bound to happen. I've seen people set up camp, chairs, stove, tip outs, awning, the whole works. Washing dishes, dumping the water in the lawn. Doesn't take many to kill this traveling asset.

In my town right now, we have people parking on Main St, living in their pickup trucks. Not very stealthy. I've got my pre-pandemic overnight spots. It will be interesting to see how many are now gone.
My local Walmart (intersection of US 53 and WI 29) had someone there for several days. They had no problem with him until he plugged into their electricity. I will need to check that one for new signs also. There were still RVs there last fall. In another vein, last fall in Montana I found someone that had unplugged the rest area vending machine and was charging her electric car with a long cord across the walkway.
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Old 04-23-2021, 08:33 PM   #4
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There are a few towns which have passed these ordinances to support the local campgrounds.
They are the rare exception.

The next one down the road will welcome your business.
Actually I have stayed overnight, parked directly under a similar sign and right next to other campers and motorhomes.
Walmart has a camper friendly corporate policy for in route overnight parking(NOT CAMPING)
Don't forget truckstops ,rest areas and CrackerBarrel.
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:34 PM   #5
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My local Walmart (intersection of US 53 and WI 29) had someone there for several days. They had no problem with him until he plugged into their electricity. I will need to check that one for new signs also. There were still RVs there last fall. In another vein, last fall in Montana I found someone that had unplugged the rest area vending machine and was charging her electric car with a long cord across the walkway.
There are several nice State Park Campgrounds ( Brunet Island & Lake Wissota ) plus numerous county campgrounds ( Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties ) in the area of Hwy 53 and Hwy 29 . Most leave sites open for drive ups
We especially enjoy Brunet Island in the Fall- Lots to see in Chippewa Falls Wi. We are planning to stop and camp there in late May
Check out Wood , Clark , Marathon, and Jackson counties in Wisconsin. They have some excellent county campgrounds / parks that are reasonably priced .
Our favorites are East Lake Arbutus and Dexter Lake
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Old 04-23-2021, 09:53 PM   #6
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Actually I have stayed overnight, parked directly under a similar sign and right next to other campers and motorhomes.
Walmart has a camper friendly corporate policy for in route overnight parking(NOT CAMPING)
Don't forget truckstops ,rest areas and CrackerBarrel.

That sounds like such a wonderful experience. How bad is where you live, and how bad is the food, to leave and go parking at a CrackerBarrel?
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
That sounds like such a wonderful experience. How bad is where you live, and how bad is the food, to leave and go parking at a CrackerBarrel?
Overnighting at WalMart, truckstops or CrackerBarrel are not destinations , nor are they Campsites.
(but you knew that, didn't you?)

They are simply "in transit" stops on the way to destinations.
Stop late at night to sleep, wake in the morning, have a really good breakfast at CrackerBarrel and set off on another day of travel.
Traveling with a travel trailer gives an enhanced sense of freedom, a rare feeling these days.
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Old 04-23-2021, 10:30 PM   #8
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Wisconsin state parks

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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
There are several nice State Park Campgrounds ( Brunet Island & Lake Wissota ) plus numerous county campgrounds ( Eau Claire and Chippewa Counties ) in the area of Hwy 53 and Hwy 29 . Most leave sites open for drive ups
We especially enjoy Brunet Island in the Fall- Lots to see in Chippewa Falls Wi. We are planning to stop and camp there in late May
Check out Wood , Clark , Marathon, and Jackson counties in Wisconsin. They have some excellent county campgrounds / parks that are reasonably priced .
Our favorites are East Lake Arbutus and Dexter Lake
Wisconsin state parks are the highest priced of any I have ever camped in.

Note also that Camping reservations are required! Although same day reservations are now allowed. I like serendipity, that is no longer allowed, every thing must be planned. No more "that looks interesting" let's stop. Its now we need to keep driving to stay on schedule.

I just spent some time on the Lake Wissota site and could not find prices. But I recall it being high for me and higher for my out of state relatives. When we held our reunion there most stayed in motels.
County parks are a good deal in Wisconsin and federal are great. The old guy pass gets it down to about 10$. Highland Ridge Campground Spring valley Wisconsin is my favorite. We had three Scamps in a row when this picture was taken.
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Old 04-23-2021, 11:05 PM   #9
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Overnighting at WalMart, truckstops or CrackerBarrel are not destinations , nor are they Campsites.
(but you knew that, didn't you?)

And, they are still not places I would voluntarily spend my time. I choose to drive two or three hours and get a nice site in the early afternoon, leave the next day around ten.

I prefer to enjoy the journey, not just the destination ( which I also enjoy ).
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Old 04-24-2021, 01:08 AM   #10
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And, they are still not places I would voluntarily spend my time. I choose to drive two or three hours and get a nice site in the early afternoon, leave the next day around ten.

I prefer to enjoy the journey, not just the destination ( which I also enjoy ).
I'm not so certain why you feel your opinion of something matters to all of us.
We all have our opinions of what is acceptable.
By your statement you never voluntarily use rest stops, truck stops or restaurant parking lots. I find that somewhat suspect.
If you choose to express your opinion a little tact goes a long way.
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:20 AM   #11
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I'm not so certain why you feel your opinion of something matters to all of us.
We all have our opinions of what is acceptable.
By your statement you never voluntarily use rest stops, truck stops or restaurant parking lots. I find that somewhat suspect.
If you choose to express your opinion a little tact goes a long way.
I would point out that you are are expressing an opinion so your very first statement, by your way of thinking, would also be questionably suspect.
FGRV and most online forums are powered primarily by opinion and knowledge/experience (which in some cases can also be suspect). Just because a person posts that he had a rotten meal at Bubba’s Diner doesn’t mean Bubba serves rotten food; it just means that some people may not like the fare at Bubba’s. Or, I had a blowout with a Brand X tire so everyone who is reading my post should avoid Brand X tires.
I do not agree with some of Mr. Baglo’s opinions, but he causes no harm in expressing them other than to perhaps raise ire in those who might disagree. OTOH, I agree with some other opinions he shares here. However, he did not insult nor try to force his opinion of overnight stays on anyone, and I fail to see that demonstrates any lack of tact on his part. I guess that since my take on this matter differs from yours, in your opinion I should also lack tact. You should be happy that he doesn’t want to stay at rest areas or truck stops; you won’t have to compete with him for a spot!
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Old 04-24-2021, 05:42 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Glenn Baglo View Post
And, they are still not places I would voluntarily spend my time. I choose to drive two or three hours and get a nice site in the early afternoon, leave the next day around ten.

I prefer to enjoy the journey, not just the destination ( which I also enjoy ).
I'll call myself a "destination traveler".

Just the opposite here, my trips tend to be destination focused (trips usually have multiple destinations). And I have traveled so much through the central and plains US, I prefer to minimize my time in KS, MO, TN, IL, NE, and others. Instead, I spend my time at my destination. Once I reach the Rocky Mountains, I tend to slow down with multiple destinations.

I would rather maximize my time in SE UT for example, and minimize my time crossing TX. Been there, done that, got the postcard....

I find simple overnight stops: Walmart, truckstops, Cracker Barrel, to be much more efficient than finding the campground, setting up, and then breaking camp in the AM, just to continue on my journey. Campgrounds are often no where close to the highway, while Cracker Barrel and truckstops are adjacent to the exit. Overnighted at the Flying J in Limon, CO last trip. The closest campground was Burlington, which didn't even have bath facilities. Meanwhile, the Flying J had a 24 hour restaurant, bathrooms, showers, convenience store, and of course, gas. Next night was a Cracker Barrel. No gas or convenience store (both next door), but good food and I was traveling solo. So I chose a nice late dinner and early breakfast in their restaurant.

Its really not an economic choice in my case (saving money), its about saving time and convenience. The one thing money can't buy is TIME. So if I can save time along the way, SCORE. And while not every town or area has a campground, there is an abundance of Walmarts and similar. And in some areas. if you find a campground, it can be disgusting. Exhibit A: mosquitoville campground. Many state parks are neither convenient to the overnight traveler, or available (reserved months ahead). Exhibit B: the campground I stayed at in NE who only had port-a-pottties for bathrooms. I left google reviews on both of those "gems".
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:14 AM   #13
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Wisconsin state parks are the highest priced of any I have ever camped in.

Note also that Camping reservations are required! Although same day reservations are now allowed. I like serendipity, that is no longer allowed, every thing must be planned. No more "that looks interesting" let's stop. Its now we need to keep driving to stay on schedule.

I just spent some time on the Lake Wissota site and could not find prices. But I recall it being high for me and higher for my out of state relatives. When we held our reunion there most stayed in motels.
County parks are a good deal in Wisconsin and federal are great. The old guy pass gets it down to about 10$. Highland Ridge Campground Spring valley Wisconsin is my favorite. We had three Scamps in a row when this picture was taken.
We already have our site reserved for Highland Ridge COE for mid May
Yes ; Wisconsin State Parks are overpriced but that was a political - anti public spaces decision so I won’t go any farther
Lastly , I knew owning / camping / traveling with a travel trailer was an expensive hobby going in ( trailer , tow vehicle , fuel , maintenance , park & camping fees , insurance, depreciation , storage , etc - etc . )
When things get so bad that a Walmart parking lot looks like a viable camping option then I will sell my trailer . Walmart / Cracker Barrel owe me nothing and are under no obligation to provide me with a free camping spot just because I bought a 3 piece chicken dinner or a skillet breakfast , I prefer it that way
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:16 AM   #14
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The rest of the story

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I tried to do the first of the year test run of the RV tonight. .
It was , I guess, a successful trial run. Everything worked, and the Scamp has survived another Wisconsin winter. Now I'm draining the water system because the forecast is for temps in the twenties (f) tonight. It could be worse, the forecast north and west is for SNOW.

SIde note: If you are looking for a destination REST AREA, try the Chamberlain, South Dakota rest area on I-90. (also no overnight parking)
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:39 AM   #15
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We do not like change

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Walmart / Cracker Barrel owe me nothing and are under no obligation to provide me with a free camping spot just because I bought a 3 piece chicken dinner or a skillet breakfast , I prefer it that way
The big thing is that people do not like change. In my case, I live in an area where there are NO Cracker Barrels, so when I see one and it is getting late I stop. I always get the same meal as a carry out. There are always left overs for an early breakfast and then I can hit the road before rush hour.

My last time was in Missoula, MT. Some one in this group suggested that I take US 12 for a nice drive. It was well worth getting the drone out for pictures along the way. (Although it was September, the temperature was 30 degrees.) OH NO, I HAVE A SUN RISE PICTURE FOR THAT!
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Old 04-24-2021, 07:58 AM   #16
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I'm not so certain why you feel your opinion of something matters to all of us.
We all have our opinions of what is acceptable.
By your statement you never voluntarily use rest stops, truck stops or restaurant parking lots. I find that somewhat suspect.
If you choose to express your opinion a little tact goes a long way.
Glenn stated his honest experiences / opinions as did everyone else including you , so your point is ? After all this is a discussion forum !
I happen to be in Glenn’s school of thought but if you wish to call a Walmart parking lot home you don’t need my approval , in fact you can have my space .
The “ They owe me “ philosophy never appealed to me and that especially applies to Walmart
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:22 AM   #17
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That sounds like such a wonderful experience. How bad is where you live, and how bad is the food, to leave and go parking at a CrackerBarrel?
Obviously you have a different read on this comment than I do
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:34 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by steve dunham View Post
When things get so bad that a Walmart parking lot looks like a viable camping option then I will sell my trailer . Walmart / Cracker Barrel owe me nothing and are under no obligation to provide me with a free camping spot just because I bought a 3 piece chicken dinner or a skillet breakfast , I prefer it that way
It’s not camping, it’s an overnight stay. People that use it as a campground are going to ruin it for the rest of us. You wouldn’t set up camp at a freeway rest area and you shouldn’t at an overnight stop either.

And to me at least, it’s not about saving money, it’s about saving time and efficiency.

These truck stops, Walmart’s, whatever can be viable over night stops but should not be treated as campgrounds.

And yes, campgrounds have gotten so full anymore you have to plan months ahead, which I do for my destinations. I’ve ID’d a couple spots on my return routes ~150 miles from home so if I get tired, I can stop and arrive home fresh the next morning.
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Old 04-24-2021, 08:43 AM   #19
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Overnighting in transit while traveling is neither camping nor making Walmart a home. It is simply a convenient travel stop.
Stopping for a meal or for a fuel stop is not qualitatively dfferent.
Many times Walmart offers fuel, food, supplies, and a few hours of respite for a weary traveler with a destination.
Personally, I like driving and find it to be a relaxing and enjoyable part of travel.


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Old 04-24-2021, 09:22 AM   #20
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Overnighting in transit while traveling is neither camping nor making Walmart a home. It is simply a convenient travel stop.
Stopping for a meal or for a fuel stop is not qualitatively dfferent.
Many times Walmart offers fuel, food, supplies, and a few hours of respite for a weary traveler with a destination.
Personally, I like driving and find it to be a relaxing and enjoyable part of travel.


Floyd if everyone was as ethical & considerate as you and followed your example by using Walmart as rest stop , we would probably not be having this discussion

Here’s my experiences with Walmart campers

1) Stopped at Walmart on Friday AM - Trailer parked in Walmart lot . I returned on Sunday , same trailer still parked in lot - chairs out —BBQ smoking away
2) Walmart campers emptying black / gray tanks in storm drains
3) Walmart campers emptying black / gray tanks into rain water holding / settling ponds
4) Leaving bags of trash in parking lot or next to dumpsters for other’s to dispose of , if they catch it before the wind blows it around
5) Setting up charcoal grill on blacktop making rain water collection points
6) Lighting wood campfire on asphalt pavement / lawn
7) Playing music loudly late into the night
8) Plugging their trailers into available receptacle and stealing power from Walmart

This occurred at a small Walmart in our area until the local governing authority shut it down due to local residents complaints
The stupidity of this whole affair is that there was a public campgrounds less than two miles down the road from Walmart - Fees less than $10 /night with electricity
After years of reading this and other like forums , it became abundantly clear that Walmart parking lots are often chosen not for convenience but because some people are CHEAP
Bragging that you camped for 200 days for less than $1 / day says all I need to know .
I have no desire to see every Walmart parking lot between here and the West Coast / East Coast
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