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Author Topic: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.  (Read 1749 times)

Warhorse

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Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« on: September 04, 2017, 06:55:15 AM »
When traveling longer distances I plan on overnighting at rest stops and Walmart's.

Should I run the levelers down when I use the slide out for the rear bedroom?

Can I even use the levelers while my toad is hitched to the coach?
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Don & Carol

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 07:09:47 AM »
I never use levelers while in a Walmart or Rest Area's.   If I'm not comfortably level, I'll keep going, or find a more level spot.  I don't use the slide outs.
2003 American Dream
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 07:19:59 AM »
If you feel that it needs to be more level, you can do so.

Some people feel that using the levelers indicates a more permanent stay, but whether that is perception or fact is another matter.
Gary
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Rene T

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 07:30:05 AM »
I never use my slides. If I have to just to get to something, I'll extend the one I need then put it back in. I usually remain hooked up to my truck and just extend my front jacks a little to give a little stability.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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SuzanneH

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 07:38:35 AM »
My coach requires that jacks be down prior to slide deployment.  With that being said, the times I have stayed in WM lots, I have always chosen a spot as far away from the store as possible, out of courtesy to the shoppers and the store host.  Often this requires parallel parking at a curbside.  I will choose to deploy the slide over the curb simply to be able to access the bedroom.  This does not impact any other user of the parking lot but me, and the jack is required to do so.

I think it is important to minimize my footprint in the lot out of respect for the store's willingness to host me and to allow others to use the other available space.  I'm going to do the right thing for my coach and to respect the host's property; other folks opinion on whether using my jacks is appropriate doesn't really figure into that equation, nor does it reflect "camping" vs. a simple overnight stay.

Old Racer

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 09:21:04 AM »
One thing to watch for is on asphalt, especially hot temps, jacks can leave marks in the asphalt. We did not use them, which also allowed us to leave immediately if necessary. (Never did) plywood squares can prevent marks.

Rene T

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 10:40:57 AM »
I always go into the store, grab a shopping cart, add a couple of items to it then ask a store manager if it's OK to spend the night in his parking lot and where would he want us to park even if there are other RV's already parked.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
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Robt

  • Posts: 3
Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2017, 11:20:40 AM »
Call ahead and ask if they allow overnight parking. Also google the store with sat. Image and see what the parking lot looks like, how to get in and out, etc.

A Traveler

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2017, 07:41:50 PM »
I've stayed overnight in my share of Walmart lots. I have never understood why people are so concerned about extending a slide or two when in this situation!

I have to extend both of my bedroom slides to use it comfortably. No one has ever said a word about it. In two cases, I have had a nice chat with the store manager in the parking lot during my morning walk as he arrived at work. In both cases I asked about extending slides, since it seems to be a "hot button" subject for so many. His answer? Both said if you aren't blocking a parking spot or a driving lane with the slide, they don't care one way or another.

Isaac-1

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2017, 09:39:08 PM »
I have slept in a few rest areas, though not in a Wal-Mart, at least not yet, though I have used them for lunch breaks, etc.  And while they do work as a place to sleep of last resort, I have found that with a bit of planning, better, more peaceful low cost options are out there.  These include community parks with RV hookups, Forest Service campgrounds often without hookups, State parks, etc.  While most of these are not free, sites can often be found in the $15-$20 per night range for sites with water and electric hookups, and often less for dry camping sites.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

John Stephens

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2017, 11:37:05 PM »
I also try to minimize the cost of travel by overnighting at safe locations. That doesn't always mean a Walmart, for many of them are in lesser desirable areas of towns. I like Cracker Barrel because they cater to RV'ers and will allow you to put out a slide or two. In my last one on the way back home last week, I talked to the manager to let him know what I was doing, had dinner with friends as my way of saying thank you, and put out two of my slides and jacks. I put down jack pads before dropping the jacks so they wouldn't make impressions in the asphalt and parked next to a curb so the two slides on that side would not interfere with anyone else wanting to park next to me. As long as you are respectful to the property and stay only one night, they don't mind. I can't say the same thing for other overnight spots. I avoid most Walmarts and won't stay in a rest area since there are only a few states where it is legal to do so.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

UTTransplant

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2017, 08:05:27 AM »
I've stayed overnight in my share of Walmart lots. I have never understood why people are so concerned about extending a slide or two when in this situation
Walmart doesn't care if you use your slide as long as it doesn't interfere with others. Neither does Cabelas. I doubt any overnight spot is concerned about slides. The big push for "no slides" comes from the Escapees organization. They have this list of what you have/need to do for overnight spots that has no basis in reality. Then you get all these people who say you MUST do exactly these things or you are a terrible, no good, disgusting person. I don't belong to Escapees, and their attitude toward this type of thing strongly inclines me to never be one! Sorry for the rant.

The only thing to worry about is to follow the property owner's requests and not damage their property.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
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SeilerBird

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2017, 08:17:03 AM »
Walmart doesn't care if you use your slide as long as it doesn't interfere with others. Neither does Cabelas. I doubt any overnight spot is concerned about slides. The big push for "no slides" comes from the Escapees organization. They have this list of what you have/need to do for overnight spots that has no basis in reality. Then you get all these people who say you MUST do exactly these things or you are a terrible, no good, disgusting person. I don't belong to Escapees, and their attitude toward this type of thing strongly inclines me to never be one! Sorry for the rant.
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2kGeorgieBoy

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2017, 01:02:14 PM »
I've followed these discussions for a while. Our Maverick doesn't have any slides so it's not a concern for me. That being said, I have to agree with those that feel this "no slides out" idea has run it's course. Maybe years ago, when slides were a new idea and most people were not familiar with them, their use gave the impression of "putting down roots" in a Walmart, etc. Now days, I would venture to say that a large percentage of people not even closely familiar with RVs, know what slides are and what they do and why people extend them, even in a parking lot. I have been watching RVs that I see in Walmart parking lots as I travel around Canon City, Pueblo, Colorado Springs, etc. Just last night, the Walmart in Pueblo West had about 8 to 10 RVs parked there. All but one had their slides out (those that had them). One person with a relatively long bumper pull trailer had actually disconnected his TV, I suspect because the only really level area where he was, required him to park in 2 parking spaces. NOTE that all  of these units were parked far away on the edges of the lot.

That being said, a while back I saw a smaller Class C in a Walmart, with chairs out, kids bikes parked around the unit and a generator running. This was an older unit with NO slides. So much for those RVers putting slides out, giving us all a bad name?
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Tangled Hair

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2017, 01:38:43 PM »
I'm new to this and have wondered about stopping when you haven't quite made your planned destination.  I've known that Walmart/Sam's Club don't mind RV'ers stopping in their lots, but what do you do if you're not near a place like this?  Or a local campsite?  Do you just pull off the road to rest, preferably at a highway rest stop facility?  Obviously I should plan my routes carefully.  Are there do's and don'ts I should be aware of. 
Thanks, Jan 

blw2

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2017, 03:37:19 PM »
only additional comment I have is re. jacks....
Just this past weekend we were pout into a handicapped pot at the state park, paved asphalt site.  It had a really nice collection of round and square dimples in the surface.
Putting a bunch of those in a parking lot might make some stores a bit less than happy to encourage RV's
But generally I'd say that like with slides they really don't care all that much.
Brad (DW + 3 kids)
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Oldgator73

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #16 on: September 05, 2017, 04:48:52 PM »
I'm new to this and have wondered about stopping when you haven't quite made your planned destination.  I've known that Walmart/Sam's Club don't mind RV'ers stopping in their lots, but what do you do if you're not near a place like this?  Or a local campsite?  Do you just pull off the road to rest, preferably at a highway rest stop facility?  Obviously I should plan my routes carefully.  Are there do's and don'ts I should be aware of. 
Thanks, Jan

We either find a truck stop or rest area. If we are traveling any distance I'll drive till about 11pm or midnight and stop for about 5 hours. Never had any problems with Walmart, truck stops or rest stops.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
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skydivemark

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2017, 03:31:20 PM »
We almost always stay at rest areas between destinations. Never had problems. We've found that most walmarts are too far out of the way. Plus finding a big enough spot for a 33.5ft+toad at some walmarts could be challenging.
In the rest areas we try to find an end spot or shoulder to park so our slide(s) don't interfere with others, our bedroom has to be out to get around the foot of the bed.
Plus Walmart lots don't usually good areas for walking the dogs.
We try to stay from truck stops due to too much trash & "lot lizards" .
2015 Thor Four Winds 31L
Clermont, FL

UTTransplant

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2017, 04:48:03 PM »
Different states have different rules about rest area overnights. Some say you can stay for 8 hours, some say no overnights or no camping. Note that a lot of Lowe's Home Depot, and Cabelas stores allow overnights. The Cabelas we stayed at a couple of times was much, much quieter than any Walmart we have stayed at.
Pam and Kevin plus Minou and Lily (the cats) plus Lexi (the grand-dog)
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phil-t

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #19 on: September 06, 2017, 06:19:18 PM »
We've had some good Walmart nights.  Cracker Barrels are also good.  They generally close early and the lot gets quiet.  We try to find lots that are just a bit away from the busy roads.  Haven't had any really bad experioences yet.  We put the jacks down and the bedroom slide out.  Do some Google earth views of potential lots - you can pick out the ones that will likely be quieter and have some out-of-the-way parking space.  We always call ahead and ask permission and where in the lot we can park.
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hwy17v

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #20 on: September 06, 2017, 11:09:33 PM »
We stayed at a Cabela's in Mitchell SD a week ago. They had a huge parking lot just for RVs and trucks. They had dog kennels and corrals for horses, and several eating establishments within walking distance. It was a great spot to overnight, and they are very welcoming to RVers.

Lenae
2005 Gulf Stream Crescendo

John Stephens

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #21 on: September 08, 2017, 09:36:43 AM »
We almost always stay at rest areas between destinations. Never had problems. We've found that most walmarts are too far out of the way. Plus finding a big enough spot for a 33.5ft+toad at some walmarts could be challenging.
In the rest areas we try to find an end spot or shoulder to park so our slide(s) don't interfere with others, our bedroom has to be out to get around the foot of the bed.
Plus Walmart lots don't usually good areas for walking the dogs.
We try to stay from truck stops due to too much trash & "lot lizards" .

I'm curious to know what states you are in when you stay in rest areas. I have been kicked out of rest areas in Florida and Georgia if I stay for longer than two hours and if security sees you set out a slide, he'll knock on your door within minutes.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

Oldgator73

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #22 on: September 08, 2017, 10:05:09 AM »
I'm curious to know what states you are in when you stay in rest areas. I have been kicked out of rest areas in Florida and Georgia if I stay for longer than two hours and if security sees you set out a slide, he'll knock on your door within minutes.

We have stayed in rest areas in almost every state. Never been asked to leave. Normally there are signs indicating how long you can oar there.,are you parking in the car area or the truck area.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

Oldgator73

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #23 on: September 08, 2017, 10:06:17 AM »
We stayed at a Cabela's in Mitchell SD a week ago. They had a huge parking lot just for RVs and trucks. They had dog kennels and corrals for horses, and several eating establishments within walking distance. It was a great spot to overnight, and they are very welcoming to RVers.

Lenae
2005 Gulf Stream Crescendo

I will certainly take Cable's under consideration. Sound great.
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JoelP

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #24 on: September 08, 2017, 10:31:03 AM »
I'm curious to know what states you are in when you stay in rest areas. I have been kicked out of rest areas in Florida and Georgia if I stay for longer than two hours and if security sees you set out a slide, he'll knock on your door within minutes.

There are only 6 states that officially allow overnight parking in their highway rest areas.  See the link below for the details.

http://rvlife.com/overnight-parking-at-rest-areas/
Joel from San Jose

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Oldgator73

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #25 on: September 08, 2017, 10:42:43 AM »
There are only 6 states that officially allow overnight parking in their highway rest areas.  See the link below for the details.

http://rvlife.com/overnight-parking-at-rest-areas/

The USDOT lists 19 or 20 states that allow overnight parking. Some other states allow anywhere from 2-6 hour stays.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
Air Force Retired
It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

John Stephens

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #26 on: September 08, 2017, 10:57:48 AM »
We have stayed in rest areas in almost every state. Never been asked to leave. Normally there are signs indicating how long you can oar there.,are you parking in the car area or the truck area.

Whether we want to stop for lunch for an extended period of time, or simply relieve the dogs and ourselves in a matter of 15 minutes, we always pull to the truck side of a rest area because we tow and there won't be room for the rig on the car side.

The USDOT lists 19 or 20 states that allow overnight parking. Some other states allow anywhere from 2-6 hour stays.

I'm not sure if the USDOT is the final authority on the subject or if it is in the hands of the individual state's DOT. All I know is, I have been asked to leave rest areas by security if we stay for longer than two hours on several occasions and in several states, and I'm certainly not going to tell the security officer that the USDOT says I can stay. It seems the eastern states are the strictest. I have always gotten the impression that RV's are much more accepted in the western half of the country.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

Ernie n Tara

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #27 on: September 08, 2017, 04:24:50 PM »
I stay a FL rest stops at least four times per year and usually put the  slides out on one side (in the truck area).  Never a problem and they advertise security overnight. Georgia posts a lot of signs so I don't test them.

Ernie
Ernie 'n Tara

2011 Winn Journey 34y
2012 Jeep Rubicon - Dozer (orange - kinda)
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A Traveler

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #28 on: September 08, 2017, 06:40:27 PM »
...Some other states allow anywhere from 2-6 hour stays.

LOL! This is an almost unenforceable law. The police in the states involved would have to make regular patrols of each rest area, taking notes of the vehicles that are there. Then come back in 2 hours and see what vehicles are still there, comparing his notes from 2 hours earlier. I'm sure they have much more important things to do than roust a driver in the middle of the night because he's been there more than the allotted time. I've spent the night in many rest areas, with slides out and TV on during the evening. No one has ever said a word to me.

Ridiculous.

Oldgator73

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #29 on: September 08, 2017, 07:01:43 PM »
Just leave a box of Krispy Kreme donuts on the step. They'll let you stay all night.
2016 Winnebago Winnie Drop
2016 Nissan Frontier 4x4 Crew Cab
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It's not the weight of the load, it's how you carry it.

Isaac-1

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #30 on: September 08, 2017, 11:00:36 PM »
They missed Texas where sleeping overnight in rest areas is allowed (up to 24 hours, but "camping" is not allowed) on that "official" list.  Some years ago Texas had a problem with homeless people setting up tents and living in rest areas, so I suspect the no camping rule means no tents or setting up a camp site..
2002 Safari Trek 2830

Bravesoul

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #31 on: September 10, 2017, 02:39:45 PM »
I have to say that I have stayed in rest areas in Texas, Mississippi and Georgia with no problem.  I drive a 42' and tow a 16" trailer with my toad and always park in the truck area.
Joe and Lisa Barrow, Gadget and Gizmo (4 legged)
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John Stephens

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #32 on: September 10, 2017, 06:51:04 PM »
We are staying in a rest area 25 miles east of Pensacola right now and five minutes ago got a knock on the door by the security officer that patrols the spot. He said that because of the evacuation from the state, all RV's would be allowed to spend the night and tomorrow. If not for the storm, however, he would make everyone leave after two hours.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

skydivemark

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #33 on: September 10, 2017, 08:00:18 PM »
I'm curious to know what states you are in when you stay in rest areas. I have been kicked out of rest areas in Florida and Georgia if I stay for longer than two hours and if security sees you set out a slide, he'll knock on your door within minutes.
We've  stayed in rest areas from Fla to WV, to CA, but this RV with our first slides is a recent purchase -  (last year) so we've  only -so far- stopped at rest areas overnight in 8 states (SC, NC, MS, TX, LA, VA, OK, GA). We live in FLa so stopping at rest areas here is not frequent. As long as we pick a spot with no parking spots on the "slide side" of us we don't have problems (we try to not appear like residents). The bed slide is on the passenger side so it's usually easy to find a shoulder spot as long as it's  not too late, obviously the bed slide is all we need for overnight stops.
2015 Thor Four Winds 31L
Clermont, FL

skydivemark

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #34 on: September 10, 2017, 08:15:20 PM »
We almost always stay in the truck areas, except for MS &LA.
2015 Thor Four Winds 31L
Clermont, FL

Rene T

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #35 on: September 10, 2017, 08:59:22 PM »
I don't extend my slides while stopping overnight anywhere for 2 reasons:
 1) I don't want it to look like I'm camping and 2) less square footage to heat. Typically we're heading to or from FL from NH and it could still be somewhat cold. I can open the fridge and get in bed without opening any slides.
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
AKA  Pep N Mem
2011 Chevy Duramax 2500 HD 4X4
2011 Montana High Country 343RL
From the Granite State of NH
& Florida Snowbird in Lakeland FL

Dragginourbedaround

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #36 on: September 11, 2017, 12:20:24 AM »
Last night we were going to stay at a Walmart in Glennwood Springs, CO, but couldn't find a near level spot. So we went to Lowes and spent the night there. Put our bedroom slide out over an unused area. When we got up in the morning there was a fifth wheel with two slides out.
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit

Isaac-1

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #37 on: September 11, 2017, 12:38:58 AM »
I personally don't see what the big deal is about putting slides out as there are so many floor plans are not functional with slides in.  On some the bed mattress doubles over when the slid is in making it so the bed is useless, and in some extreme cases one can't get into the bathroom with the slide in.
2002 Safari Trek 2830

A Traveler

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #38 on: September 11, 2017, 06:08:42 PM »
If an extended slide in a Walmart lot is not hindering traffic or parking, what's the big deal? THEY DON'T CARE!!

I simply don't understand why some of you think that extending a slide in a Walmart lot is almost a capital crime.   ::)

John Beard

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #39 on: September 11, 2017, 06:19:23 PM »
I don't stay at Walmarts, I kinda look at others parked at Walmart and other odd places all sprawled out and wonder why.
John & Susan
2014 Winnebago Aspect 30J
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malexander

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #40 on: September 11, 2017, 07:37:50 PM »
I stay hitched up, run down the levelers, and run the bedroom slide out, wherever I stop for the night. I do make sure the bedroom slide is going to go out over a grassy area, or at least it's not going out in an area that's susceptible to getting hit by something.
Marshall Alexander
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KandT

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #41 on: September 12, 2017, 04:21:46 PM »
I always go into the store, grab a shopping cart, add a couple of items to it then ask a store manager if it's OK to spend the night in his parking lot and where would he want us to park even if there are other RV's already parked.

Do you push the shopping cart over to the Pepsi and then leave? :o
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John Stephens

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Re: Overnight stops at rest area's, Walmart, etc.
« Reply #42 on: September 12, 2017, 10:40:59 PM »
I think the whole idea is to not give the impression to the powers to be that you are going to camp out and become a problem for their other patrons. In the last few days, I have stayed at varying stops including rest areas and Cracker Barrel parking lots. If I can't find a reasonably level spot, I move on, and did so at one CB when I realized I couldn't get the coach level enough to keep the fridge running. But the idea is to make sure the powers to be realize you're only there for one night and not planning on camping out. Putting down jacks or setting out one slide isn't going to call attention to yourself, but setting out a grill for cooking dogs and burgers is, in most people's opinions, going too far. Of course, there are always those who think that any rules, written or implied, do not apply to them. And it is those people who will ruin it for the rest of us who try to be unassuming and unobtrusive.
John

2005 Winnebago Adventurer 38J

 

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