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Author Topic: CNN Article on camping at Walmart  (Read 1291 times)

UTTransplant

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #30 on: August 02, 2020, 11:21:19 AM »
Spent last night in a Walmart parking lot. Noisy until just after 8:00, then very quiet. It was In a small town 70 miles south of St. Louis, and we wanted to head through STL early. Not many campgrounds available on a summer Saturday night. We had called ahead, and they told us where they wanted us to park. We were out by 7:30 after a restful night. Best part is it just a dayís drive from home. We will be there tonight.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
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docj

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #31 on: August 02, 2020, 11:52:49 AM »
Our preference would always be a campground. But they're not always available and when they are they're usually too expensive for a quick overnight stay.

I've never quite understood this logic.  If I didn't have the RV, I'd be paying ~$100/night to stay at a lower priced hotel these days.  If you haven't looked for hotels along the interstate lately, that's a pretty common rate even using Trivago, Priceline, etc. 

So if  a campground charges me $30-50 for the same short, overnight stay I don't consider that outrageous.  They're providing me several dollars worth of electricity plus other incidentals and a measure of security.  Furthermore, I get a place to walk around in the evening that isn't simply a parking lot.  JMO
Sandie & Joel

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Dreamsend

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #32 on: August 02, 2020, 12:48:06 PM »
Hey Folks

I'm thankful that there are still some Walmarts that will allow parking.  I've stayed at 5-6 so far in my nearly two years of full-timing.  Really never had any problems, no problem sleeping, maybe a little road noise from interstate now and then.  I don't go out of my way to stay at one, BUT, as someone already mentioned, there may not be a park or CG near one's route, so a Walmart, or Cracker Barrel, etc. comes in handy.  I pull-in by mid-afternoon usually so it's been easy to find a space.

I have a route planned from Grand Teton NP to Carson City, NV coming up in a bit.  Now I know most of you probably drive more hours in a day than I do -- but by the time I stow everything, hitch-up, get the cat settled, travel, and then set-up again at a destination, it's enough of a full day for me.  The route takes me from Gros Ventre CG to Pocatello, Twin Falls, Elko, Fernley, NV, and finally Carson City (staying at park for couple of days here).  Travel time each day is between 3.5 and 5 hours, and each of the first 4 cities have a Walmart that reportedly allows an overnight stay.  Those overnights at the Walmart allow me to keep my travel distances where I'm most comfortable.  So I'm grateful to have an opportunity for a Walmart parking lot.  The fact that it's free is just a superb bonus, and I can shop if necessary. 

Linda
Linda with kitty Sara
2019 Outdoors RV Timber Ridge
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garyb1st

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #33 on: August 02, 2020, 12:53:23 PM »
I've never quite understood this logic.  If I didn't have the RV, I'd be paying ~$100/night to stay at a lower priced hotel these days.  If you haven't looked for hotels along the interstate lately, that's a pretty common rate even using Trivago, Priceline, etc. 

It's not just the money.  While I hate to pay $35+ to park for the evening, if we need to dump, refresh the water and maybe do laundry, it's a bargain.  But when we're heading to a destination and just want a place to get some sleep, the hassle of dealing with an RV park isn't what I want to do.  That said, if we know the park and it's an easy in and out, we'll do it.  Also, if we need a break for a few days, then we'll find a park. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

Lou Schneider

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #34 on: August 02, 2020, 01:12:57 PM »
I have a route planned from Grand Teton NP to Carson City, NV coming up in a bit.  Now I know most of you probably drive more hours in a day than I do -- but by the time I stow everything, hitch-up, get the cat settled, travel, and then set-up again at a destination, it's enough of a full day for me.  The route takes me from Gros Ventre CG to Pocatello, Twin Falls, Elko, Fernley, NV, and finally Carson City (staying at park for couple of days here). 

Hey Linda, a bit of thread drift but consider going south to Ely, NV and then west on US50 (The Loneliest Road in America).  It's 90 miles further than heading west on I-80 but Ely, Eureka and Austin are neat little towns to stop and explore.  You avoid the Interstate traffic and there's lots of boondocking along the way.

Wonderhussy on Youtube just spent 3 days on US 50.  Look up her videos if you're interested.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 01:22:12 PM by Lou Schneider »

Tom

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #35 on: August 02, 2020, 01:44:04 PM »
Quote from: garyb1st
... if we know the park and it's an easy in and out...
Good point. Over time, we've come to know which parks/campgrounds are easy in/easy out on routes that we've previously taken multiple times. In some cases, the easiest is a fairground. e.g. the Antelope Valley fairgrounds in Lancaster, CA is one of the easiest places to get in and out. A couple of short roads off the highway, enter the gate, and drive straight into an oversize level concrete pullthrough site. Self registration (after you're settled in) - use a provided envelope and drop it in a box. Of course, we check that they're not hosting a large event the day we plan to stay there.
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Len and Jo

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #36 on: August 02, 2020, 01:45:48 PM »
People might need more alternate places to stay for a night while on vacation.  Michigan's U.P. is seeing a large surge in campers and travelers this year.  Most likely caused by the coronavirus and people heading to out of the way places.  We have a favorite state forest camping ground we have been going to off and on for the last 40 years.  This year it was crazy.  Most years very quite with only the sound a the county road grader every few days.  This year very heavy traffic into the campground of people looking for campsites.  Talked to several other campers and most have been coming to this campground for 10-20 years and this year staying for extended vacations.  Very few sites available for people coming in.  Our daughter who was camping next to us had a person put an occupied tag under hers so they would have the site in four days when she left.  They came as we pulled out but there was already another RV getting ready to pull in.  Just say a post from the Tahquamenon Falls State Park that there visitor parking lot is filling up. Recommending people come in the morning or evening.
Len & Jo
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garyb1st

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #37 on: August 02, 2020, 03:17:12 PM »
We've stayed at Kit Fox RV park in Patterson CA when traveling to the Bay Area.  It's only a mile or two off I-5 and has convenient fuel and a couple restaurants. 

The increased number of RVers has been a concern.  I'm hoping that things will slow after the Labor Day weekend.  The big question mark is whether or not schools reopen and if not, how many of those that home school will realize they can do that from any location where they have a wifi connection. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

Lou Schneider

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #38 on: August 02, 2020, 03:56:26 PM »
Along those same lines, Allegiant Airlines and the Las Vegas Tourism Bureau are offering "work from Las Vegas" vacation packages since work at home can be anywhere with a wifi connection.

Tired of the same old view?  Fly to Las Vegas, work out of your resort suite and take advantage of the restaurants and night life instead of staying home and watching TV.

https://www.reviewjournal.com/business/tourism/working-from-home-why-not-do-it-from-las-vegas-2085173/
« Last Edit: August 02, 2020, 03:59:36 PM by Lou Schneider »

garyb1st

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #39 on: August 02, 2020, 04:26:12 PM »
Vegas hotels and casinos would be a great location to teach kid math.  They would excel in subtraction. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.

Heli_av8tor

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #40 on: August 02, 2020, 09:10:11 PM »
We will be there tonight.

Just in time for some home-grown Iowa sweet corn!
Tom & Theresa
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PancakeBill

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #41 on: August 03, 2020, 10:03:31 AM »
To follow up on my comment, 1st time in a Walmart, older teens kicking a soccer ball at their car protected by the goalie, if the ball got past him, it would hit the car and set off motion alarm.  Next time in an overnight Walmart in Lake City FL, shoppers having trouble finding their car in the empty parking lot would hit the panic button on their remote.  A Walmrt we skipped, parking lot was not very level and as I was walking in to find a manager and see if it was OK, I was getting stinky from locals, and into restore and just not a good feeling, turned around and found a CG. 

I will say, I overnighted in Rexburg, ID because it was late and I was bushed, checked with manager, overnighted and it was fine.  Out by 7AM. 

All in all, I stand by The Last Resort.  Would I stay again?  Yes, but need to really check it out first and feel no other options.  If I need heat or AC, more likely to look for CG. 

The Bozeman Walmart is a popular stop.
Bill & Jolene & Chancey
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Tom

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #42 on: August 03, 2020, 10:27:35 AM »
On the lighter side, here's the story and photo of the one time we (accidentally) "almost" camped at Walmart.
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Tom

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #43 on: August 03, 2020, 10:41:34 AM »
Also on the lighter side, Cliff Rodman, an RVer and singer/songwriter, read some of the earlier WM discussions here and wrote a song called "Waltzing Through Walmart". It was published on one of Cliff's CDs, and was a hilarious story about folks setting up camp in a WM parking lot, complete with fake grass, lawn chairs, sat dish on tripod, flower pots, and awning deployed.
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Oldgator73

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #44 on: August 03, 2020, 01:44:39 PM »
  Next time in an overnight Walmart in Lake City FL, shoppers having trouble finding their car in the empty parking lot would hit the panic button on their remote. 

Well those shoppers are doing a lot better than me. The only time the panic alarm works for me is when the key fob is in my pocket and I sit just the right way. Usually in a restaurant or several times while I was in PT.
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Dragginourbedaround

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #45 on: August 03, 2020, 04:48:44 PM »
I've never quite understood this logic.  If I didn't have the RV, I'd be paying ~$100/night to stay at a lower priced hotel these days.  If you haven't looked for hotels along the interstate lately, that's a pretty common rate even using Trivago, Priceline, etc. 

So if  a campground charges me $30-50 for the same short, overnight stay I don't consider that outrageous.  They're providing me several dollars worth of electricity plus other incidentals and a measure of security.  Furthermore, I get a place to walk around in the evening that isn't simply a parking lot.  JMO
Well thatís one of the reasons I have an RV, I donít want to pay $100 and more a night. Having a dog with us reduces the number of places to stay and raises the price. I also donít need electricity, water, or any other incidentals. Iím completely self contained. All I need is a patch of land to park six tires on. I like having my own bed, bath, kitchen and living room.

As far as security Iíve never felt insecure at a Walmart, but there have been a few campgrounds that were sketchy. Wherever we stay we always spend money as a way of saying thanks and helping the local economy. 

If Youíre happy paying $30-50 for an overnight stay so you can have place to walk around in the evening, great Iím happy for you.
Gene

2013 Winnebago Adventurer 37F
2011 Honda Fit

Ex-Calif

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2020, 05:33:25 AM »
Don't get me wrong, I like my RV but it makes no sense financially compared to hotel rooms.

Let's say I finance $80k at 5% - That's $4,000 a year in interest - 40 nights in a hotel.

Let's say I pay cash - My investments make 10% so it makes even less financial sense. 80 nights in a hotel

The only way it makes sense is if you are in it for more than 80 nights a year.

Buy something in the $150k range and the breakpoint looks like 6 months... Sure we can argue the incidental costs of eating in, doing laundry in a RV etc. But I doubt any of us are buying RVs to avoid a Denny's breakfast bill...

All of the savings which is probably more than overwhelmed by the ongoing maintenance, insurance etc. costs.

I only say this because newer folks (of which I am one) need to know there is the initial investment plus on-going maintenance costs.
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Lou Schneider

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2020, 12:34:19 PM »
Don't get me wrong, I like my RV but it makes no sense financially compared to hotel rooms.

Let's say I finance $80k at 5% - That's $4,000 a year in interest - 40 nights in a hotel.

Let's say I pay cash - My investments make 10% so it makes even less financial sense. 80 nights in a hotel

The only way it makes sense is if you are in it for more than 80 nights a year.

Buy something in the $150k range and the breakpoint looks like 6 months... Sure we can argue the incidental costs of eating in, doing laundry in a RV etc. But I doubt any of us are buying RVs to avoid a Denny's breakfast bill...

An RV makes even less economic sense if you include the fuel cost.

300 miles in a 30 MPG car uses 10 gallons of gas.  At $3 a gallon that costs $30.

300 miles in a 6 MPG RV uses 50 gallons of gas.  At $3 a gallon that's $150 for fuel.

The $120 difference right there is more than enough to get a decent motel room for the night.  With money left over to eat in a restaurant if you include what you'd pay for an overnight RV space.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2020, 12:37:14 PM by Lou Schneider »

jayc2640

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #48 on: August 04, 2020, 06:08:50 PM »
An RV makes even less economic sense if you include the fuel cost.

300 miles in a 30 MPG car uses 10 gallons of gas.  At $3 a gallon that costs $30.

300 miles in a 6 MPG RV uses 50 gallons of gas.  At $3 a gallon that's $150 for fuel.

The $120 difference right there is more than enough to get a decent motel room for the night.  With money left over to eat in a restaurant if you include what you'd pay for an overnight RV space.

But my wife and I dreamt of having a Class A for the last 25 years or so.  We thought we would never be able to afford it.  So we camped.  First in a tent, then a bigger tent, then in a pop-up, and three years ago, we were able to achieve our dream!  A 30' 2015 Monaco Lapalma gasser!  We had it for a little over a year before we traded it for our current rig, a 2018 Winnebago Forza 38F.  Is it responsible?  No.  No luxury whether it is a candy bar or a masseratti is ever responsible.  But it was our dream, we've been full-timing for over 2 years and we love it!  So, who cares?  We're in our 60s, and we might as well spend it while we can enjoy it!
- John Coffey
2018 Winnebago Forza 38F
2016 Chevrolet Equinox

ChasA

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #49 on: August 04, 2020, 06:19:50 PM »
But my wife and I dreamt of having a Class A for the last 25 years or so.  We thought we would never be able to afford it.  So we camped.  First in a tent, then a bigger tent, then in a pop-up, and three years ago, we were able to achieve our dream!  A 30' 2015 Monaco Lapalma gasser!  We had it for a little over a year before we traded it for our current rig, a 2018 Winnebago Forza 38F.  Is it responsible?  No.  No luxury whether it is a candy bar or a masseratti is ever responsible.  But it was our dream, we've been full-timing for over 2 years and we love it!  So, who cares?  We're in our 60s, and we might as well spend it while we can enjoy it!
Right on John ! It's my money and I'll spend it as I like.
Apex, NC
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phil-t

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2020, 07:16:40 PM »
Not in it for the economics!!! ----  Put a value on the enjoyment the RV brings to your life.  In our minds it is "priceless"!  So we do not even look at the costs of owning and using our motorhome. 
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UTTransplant

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2020, 09:47:55 PM »
Let's say I finance $80k at 5% - That's $4,000 a year in interest - 40 nights in a hotel.

Let's say I pay cash - My investments make 10% so it makes even less financial sense. 80 nights in a hotel

There are no hotels in most of our favorite spots. KOFA? Joshua Tree? Hyalite Canyon between Bozeman and Yellowstone? Even if there is a hotel, it isnít the same experience. Furnace Creek Ranch at Death Valley is about $200 a night or more. I get a mountain view of the sunrise for $7 (with my geezer pass at least). If anyone goes into camping to save money, they are losing the best reasons - seeing places that just canít be seen from a hotel room or at least in a way that canít be seen.
Pam and Kevin plus Lily the cat
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NY_Dutch

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2020, 10:15:54 PM »
RV'ing is a lifestyle, not an investment. As fulltimers with an older long ago paid for motorhome, our average per night costs are about a quarter of what a hotel room costs these days. And we know exactly who slept in our bed last and who used our bathroom last... ;)
Dutch
2001 GBM Landau 34' Class A
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Ex-Calif

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2020, 06:00:40 AM »
Is it responsible?  No.  No luxury whether it is a candy bar or a masseratti is ever responsible.  But it was our dream, we've been full-timing for over 2 years and we love it!  So, who cares?  We're in our 60s, and we might as well spend it while we can enjoy it!

I didn't mean to infer that owning an RV is irresponsible or a bad idea. It's probably a bad idea if you make $80k a year, have a $350k mortgage kids in school and two $400 car payments.

But the reason we work is to position ourselves to live the life we want!  I think you are totally responsible.

And as @UTTTransport says, an RV can take you places where there may be no hotels or accommodation.

"Marvin" - 1997 Georgie Boy Pursuit 3150 - P30 Chev 454
Various classic MGBs
Ex-liveaboard boater - Class A newbie in sponge mode

Lynx0849

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2020, 09:08:31 AM »
Not having to drag luggage and a cooler into a motel each night, pack it back up in the morning, load ice from the ice machine labeled no coolers, then find someplace to eat breakfast... rinse, repeat... that is one set of benefits to the rv.
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garyb1st

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Re: CNN Article on camping at Walmart
« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2020, 11:39:23 AM »
We RV because it's what we enjoy.  To compare the costs of RVing to staying in a motel is both specific to the individual and usually meaningless to everyone else.  RVing comes in all shapes and sizes.  From $180 for a 7 month camping pass at a BLM location to well over $100 a night at seaside resorts.  Getting there is no different.  Both can be reached in a new luxury motorhome or used truck and trailer.   

Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler


Poverty exists not because we cannot feed the poor, but because we cannot satisfy the rich.