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Author Topic: WalMart?  (Read 19156 times)

Elk Oil

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WalMart?
« on: June 09, 2010, 04:01:36 PM »
I'm new and ignorant to RVing, so please excuse my naivete.  I also did a lot of searching and haven't found what I consider a good answer, so please forgive what may be a question that asked way too frequently to the veterans out there.

Why is WalMart specifically a popular parking spot?  Do they allow it more frequently than others?  Are they particularly RV-friendly?  Is there something special about a WalMart lot that makes it an attractive option?  It's such a popular topic that there's even a message board here dedicated to it.

Tom

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2010, 04:09:35 PM »
Run a search on WalMart and you'll find lots of prior discussions here. Alternatively, just browse this Camping at Wal*Mart and other non-campgrounds boards.
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John From Detroit

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010, 05:34:30 PM »
You more or less have it.. Wal-mart, as a General rule (All but the Small "Neighborhood" stores) Welcomes overnighters cause... Well, you tend to shop where you stop.

On the other hand some cities, counties and even a few states have laws against overnighting anywhere but a paid for campign spot.  (I kind of wonder what will happen if/when the Chief Justice of SCOTUS parks in one of those states overnight and gets a ticket)

Also, wal-mart tends to have very low prices.. Making shoppign there attractive to many.. Of course that low price is not without a secondary hidden cost or 2 or more, but..  What can I say.. I just had to put a new end on a wall-mart water hose.  The wal-mart quality one. (Very ilght weight metal) blew right off
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jobriant

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2010, 11:38:12 PM »
...some cities, counties and even a few states have laws against overnighting anywhere but a paid for camping spot. ...

Cities and counties, yes.

There is no state in the US that has a banned Overnight RV Parking statewide. However, ARVC (The Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds) has attempted state-wide bans in several states, but all have failed so far. A similar law proposed last year in Maine (proposed at the request of a campground owner) met with such ridicule that the legislator who had introduced the bill soon withdrew it.

Jim O'Briant
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2010, 07:29:37 AM »
     Sam Walter was an RVer, and the ultimate merchandiser as such, he made it a corporate policy to allow RVs to park in their lots.  I think that even to t6oday, t6here is no proof that Walmart sales are increased significantly through this privilege, but it continues to be a part of their policies.  Anecdotally, we have seen figure here saying that average sales to RV overnighters exceed $100, but who really knows.
     From the RVer standpoint, a Walmart lot is usually near a major road/highway.  It is well lit, and relatively well patrolled.  Many are 24 hour, so offer convenience if you are trying to stop late.  Usually, they are quiet, and offer easy access/exit if you are pulling a toad.
     From our standpoint, we will only use a Walmart/Flying J or similar place when we are trying to make time.  We will never put down our jacks, or put out the slide.  We will never use it as a site, and disconnect the toad to explore the area.  It is for overnighting, and moving on in the morning, yet we have all seen people who set up with lawn chairs, awnings, BBQ's, etc and stay for a while.
    I hope that's what you were looking for.

Ed
« Last Edit: October 07, 2010, 08:45:47 AM by Hfx_Cdn »
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COMer

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2010, 08:16:13 AM »
We prefer the 24hr stores as they have "security" and lighting all night.  I realize that the security person would be limited to calling the local police in the event of a problem but I assume that his presence might deter some of the issues that could develop in a dark, unpeopled, parking lot.

You asked why W/M is so popular and I guess that's partly because there is so much information on how to find them.  I have several books that list the stores along the way to where I am heading and give directions and addresses.  It's just a lot easier to find their stores.  We have often stopped and immediately gone in to pick up some items we needed and returned with three bags, a short time later.  And as we are entering our trailer, we see another rig pull in and the people get out and go in and soon they are returning with three bags, etc.  Seems like a win-win situation.
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Jim Dick

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2010, 08:29:25 AM »
As others have stated, WalMarts are relatively safe and convenient when traveling.

Due to the varying rules, such as local ban on parking or WalMart not owning the parking lot, it is wise to check first before stopping. That can be done easily by calling 1-800-walmart. When prompted put in the zip code of the store where you wish to stay. That will give you a phone number so you can call the manager and ask if it is OK to stop. I can't remember any time when we were told we could not stay overnight. Sometimes they will ask you to park in a specific area of the lot. We always try to stay on the perimeter away from the front entrance.

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Jeff

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2010, 09:21:56 AM »
Jim:

We have always called ahead to ask permissionj but this month we have had two occasions where the response has been "Our management cannot approve overnight parking". In  the case of the first in Pooler, Ga we stayed nearby and observed many RVs there that night and at the second in Port Charlotte, FL the lady answering the phone said the same but added "we don't really mind if you park out on the north side of our lot."

I wonder if this is a reaction to that ridiculous lawsuit in California?

John From Detroit

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2010, 10:23:39 AM »
     Sam Walter was an RVer, and the ultimate merchandiser as such, he made it a corporate policy to allow RVs to park in their lots.  I think that even to t6oday, t6here is no proof that Walmart sales are increased significantly through this privilege, but it continues to be a part of their policies.  Anecdotally, we have seen figure here saying that average sales to RV overnighters exceed $100, but who really knows.

Thought it was Sam Walton.  I have ask for permission at several 24 hour stores, Wal-Mart, Meijer's, V-G's (a food store near me) and more.. Only been turned down once (NO surprise as that store did not have a good place for me to park) and he gave me a very good alternative spot to park it. (Right near)

As for sales.. No matter where I park I try to Patronize the store..  For example.. When I parked at Meijer's I picked up some Propane for my "Match" (A Brenz-o-matic torch) that I use for campfires, I also got some tape for my Brother TZ Label maker (NOTE: Best price on TZ tape I have EVER seen) and some other things.

I also try to park "out of the way"   At Wall-mart Security came by and checked on us from time to time during the night.. Which is better than the other stores I've parked at.

At Cracker Barrel (We had both dinner and breakfast at the same store) One employee said "I did not see you"  This rig is 38' long (not counting the cargo tray) 12.5 high and fully set up (We were not) 13 feet wide (About 11 feet without the main slide out)   And the only way to get into the store parking lot is to drive right past us.

(Funny sign: Parking for BLIND only)
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2010, 11:28:58 AM »
    Oops, John, when you're right you're right. Sam Walters is a former neighbour, Sam Walton is the founder of Walmart.  Sorry  :-[

Ed
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Jack D

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2010, 02:11:19 PM »
RV's used to park at the Eugene, OR Walmart, but it recently was posted "No RV Overnight Parking". No explanation.
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John From Detroit

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #11 on: October 07, 2010, 06:47:35 PM »
No problem Ed.. No problem.

And for Jack D... (Humm, I'm John D and Jack is often a nickname for John)

Usually when "no overnight parking" signs go up at a Wall Mart the reason is the same.

An organization of campground owners has petitioned and lobbied either local, county or state government to pass a "Onlly park RV's at campgrounds or your own home" law.

I know one of the companies that is involved with this is the Affinity group (Camping World) since they own campgrounds (Oasis for one) and the other private campground owners in that area are often right beside them in the government meeting house.

My Recommendation is that you find out if this is the case, then post the results of that search, then thank the folks who caused the law to happen in every way you can.. IE: Shopping elsewhere,,,, (Note that elsewhere includes Wall-mart) and/or Voting for the other guy if you can (Sometimes the aroma of the other guy is so overpowering you simply can't vote for him)
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Just Lou

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #12 on: October 07, 2010, 07:56:09 PM »
Quote from: John From Detroit
Usually when "no overnight parking" signs go up at a Wall Mart the reason is the same.

An organization of campground owners has petitioned and lobbied either local, county or state government to pass a "Onlly park RV's at campgrounds or your own home" law.

  I'm not sure how you can know this to be the "usual", or predominant,   reason. 

My inquiries would indicate that the main reason for "No Overnight   Parking" signs at Wal-Mart locations is in circumstances where Wal-mart   is either not the only, or not the anchor, tenant in that location and   the decision to allow or disallow parking falls to the resident property   management company.
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #13 on: October 07, 2010, 08:05:44 PM »
I dunno Porky. I've run into an awful lot of WalMarts who posted "no overnight parking" sigsn because the city councils, pushed by local campgrounds, made them. Two examples in my neck of the woods are Cortez and Durango.
 
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Just Lou

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2010, 08:51:50 PM »
Quote from: Wendy
I've run into an awful lot of WalMarts who posted "no overnight parking" sigsn because the city councils, pushed by local campgrounds, made them. Two examples in my neck of the woods are Cortez and Durango.

Wendy, I'm sure a lot of that exists in and around popular (end destination) tourist locations.  However, I don't think the average Wal-Mart, in the average town, along the average Interstate is going to find themselves in that situation.  My experience with Wal-Mart parking, in less exotic en-route locations (i.e. Resume Speed, TN and/or Lizard lick, NC) has been somewhat different.     
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Jim Dick

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2010, 11:26:20 PM »
Jeff,

Might be several reasons for their response. I'm sure Walmart may not care but they might not own the parking lot or there may have been some complaints. :)
Jim

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #16 on: October 08, 2010, 11:14:52 AM »
I've only seen it prohibited in a couple of places one in Tn that walmart most likely dosen't own the lot and one in Ky that they may not.
That was the one i went by a few years ago and there were 3 trailers "camping " in one corner of the lot disconnected from the TV and people sitting in chairs around them.
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Wendy

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #17 on: October 08, 2010, 11:28:03 AM »
The WalMart in Bend Oregon no longer allows overnighting because RVers (bad RVers) were practically homesteading there. They'd park, get out all the goodies, put out the slides, and stay for weeks at a time. Ruined a good thing for everyone. In that case, I think it was more Wal-Mart's decision rather than a city ordinance or someone else owning the property.
 
Wendy
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FrontrangeRVer

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #18 on: October 08, 2010, 11:28:44 AM »
I dunno Porky. I've run into an awful lot of WalMarts who posted "no overnight parking" sigsn because the city councils, pushed by local campgrounds, made them. Two examples in my neck of the woods are Cortez and Durango.
 
Wendy

In Woodland Park CO (near Pikes Peak) also....no overnight "camping" the signs say.  It's a City Ordinance.
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Jack D

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #19 on: October 08, 2010, 11:34:14 AM »
My post was just an observation. I live in the area, so no need for me to stay there. One reason may be that Eugene is very friendly to the homeless, allowing them to camp on city streets in any industrial zoned area. And they do. Perhaps some were using Walmart PL for permanent quarters????? Homeless, or not, anyone can "camp" on a Eugene city street in an industrial area. I think there are time limits, however. Looking around, those limits must be generous, judging from the piles of trash/garbage laying around the "campers". Not a pretty sight. Still they must have some place to hang their hat.
Jack

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Jeannine

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #20 on: October 08, 2010, 12:16:20 PM »
We've been at Wal Marts with signs banning overnight parking.  I've gone to customer service and told them we were traveling through the area and that I planned on doing some shopping.  Then I asked permission to park there for the night.  So far, they have always said OK, and told us where to park.

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jkaelin

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #21 on: November 17, 2010, 06:23:08 PM »
I'd like to put my 2 cent's worth in here from Wal-Mart Headquarter's country...in 2005 right after Katrina hit the gulf coast, I subbed myself out to the Phone Company in Hollywood, Fla. I didn't have a RV then but I did have my $80,000 Horse Trailer yes with full living quarters! no place to park it cause it seems as tho Fla. would rather rent to Canadians. So being from Arkansas and thinking that the local Wal-Mart store would allow me to park in their parking lot, I chose to stop at the nearest one to the Phone Co. now keep in mind they just had a Cat 4 or 5 Hurricane there, so needless to say there wasn't much left of Wal-Mart, there were employees and even the Mgr's and of course the Rent-A-Cops there. I first asked for permission to Park in this VERY LARGE PARKING LOT with my GREAT BIG 38 foot Horse Trailer, after all I had gone down there to HELP THEM! well I was refused, no clear reason given except NO! very unfriendly folks! so while I was near what appeared to be a working water faucet, I asked if I could fill my fresh water tanks with fresh water! you guessed it, NO> anyway, my 2 cents.....and I'm sure as heck not ever going back to the Miami area EVER.......

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2011, 05:37:25 PM »
The Wal-Mart in Florida City allows overnight parking and I guarantee you that there are probably 15 or more rigs there right now in the busy season. I see people all the time even in the middle of the day there some with their toads disconnected and even awnings out. When they have the Nascar race here it can be downright crowded with rigs.
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John From Detroit

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #23 on: February 09, 2011, 09:58:09 AM »
Just remember.. Usually when a Wll-Mart denies you parking.. It is because the local authorities have declared RV parking anywhere other than a licensed campground to be illegal.

However in the case of the post hurricane story... It might be other reasons.

But usually it's a case of the law of the land and NOT wall-mart's fault.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

DaveandMari

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2011, 02:43:26 PM »
In Woodland Park CO (near Pikes Peak) also....no overnight "camping" the signs say.  It's a City Ordinance.

Weird, the one here in the springs off of Woodman has a guy who's been living there for at least 6 months
Dave and Mari

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terry thiessen

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #25 on: March 31, 2011, 08:30:10 PM »
I plan on keeping a list of towns that have rules against parking at stores such as wal mart ..and will not stop or spend any money in these towns. will also e-mail these cities and state that fact.
terry

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #26 on: March 31, 2011, 08:49:00 PM »
Just returned from Florida 2 weeks ago. We stoped overnight at a Walmart in central Ohio before returning to Michigan. There must of been a no over night parking sign on every light post!
There must of been a dozen plus 18 wheelers beded down for the night when we turned in for the night there also. No problems, sleep like a baby too!

Scott  :-X

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2011, 02:29:14 PM »
I just picked up my first travel trailer.  A 16' Toy hauler.  On my way to Mesa, AZ one early morning, about a week ago, we crossed a walmart in Deming, NM and noticed a ton of RV's.  I hadn't picked mine up yet, but I told my wife that on the way back we would be stopping there to sleep or in Las Cruces, NM as these two walmarts had a lot of RV'ers.  well, we only made back from Mesa to Deming so we just stopped and slept in the Trailer.  It was pretty cool, seeing as how this was my first time to have stopped and seen so many RV'ers.  I would say there were about 20 to 30 RV'ers.  From class A down to a little Casita.  Was a pretty nostalgic feeling.  I have heard that about 95% of Wal-Marts are ok with overnighters, particulary those situated near main highways.
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2011, 02:42:33 PM »
You should read this this page from the Escapees web site on overnight parking.  Pay particular attention to the Good Neighbor Policy Letter.  There is an etiquette to spending the night in the parking lot of a commercial business.

Congratulations on your new RV.  You will have many happy experiences with it.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 02:44:16 PM by Ned »
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jje1960

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2011, 04:43:08 PM »
Ol' Walmart definitely gets plenty of posting!  Simple facts from our experience... never been asked to leave, never asked permission, never tried to stop at one next to a huge stadium event like Nascar which we using common sense would expect problems, never stayed past one night without leaving, never stopped without buying something, never pulled out the lawn chairs like it was a campground, always look for perimeter spot before considering putting out a slide so as not to impede vehicle movement in the parking lot, never leave trash laying next to our unit upon departure (ours or other)... and the big one... use common sense, which has most likely been responsible for us never being asked to leave.....
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Dar

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2011, 07:05:24 PM »
I contacted Walmart rescently with a completely different question but received this canned response. I believe as soon as they saw "RV" in my email they immediately assumed that it was regarding parking.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us with your inquiry.  While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and truck drivers and considers them among our best customers.  Consequently, we do permit RV and tractor-trailer parking on our store lots, as we are able.  Permission to park is decided by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws.

Please contact management at each store to ensure accommodations. To find specific store information such as the address, you may purchase a special Walmart edition of the Rand-McNally Road Atlas in our stores that includes Walmart/Sam's Club locations in the US, Mexico and Canada.  The cover says "Walmart Store Directory Included."  If you cannot locate this special edition, contact a store associate or ask for assistance at the Customer Courtesy Desk. For our most current store information, including the store phone number, please visit our web site at www.walmartstores.com and select 'store finder' at the bottom of the page.  You may search by city/state or zip code and view a map and directions to each store.
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2011, 08:53:57 PM »
We just discovered an alternative to the Walmart in Gallup, NM where we had planned to stop for tonite. We are at Fire Rock Casino, about 2 miles east of I-40 exit 26 on old Rte 66. After checking with security as we pulled in, we are all alone in the employee lot except for the shuttle buses. VZ wireless and Sprint cell both work here.
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2011, 10:22:52 PM »
Bernie,
 
Thanks for the info about the casino.  I was looking at the Gallup Walmart as a possible stop on the way to Moab next month.  I found some notes about that store that said the parking lot was noisy with train & truck noise.  I'll look into the casino.
 
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #33 on: April 06, 2011, 07:42:04 AM »
Mike

When we drove by the Walmart, it looked like all the spaces were already taken :( . The casino is about 1/3 mile north of I-40 and 1/3 mile south of the railroad tracks. While traffic on both is reasonably heavy, we weren't bothered by the sounds, specially since there are no grade crossings nearby for the trains to whistle at. We both slept very well last nite. From the east, take exit 33, turn right and then left about 5 miles following the signs toward Red Rock State Park and keep going west on old 66.
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #34 on: April 06, 2011, 10:30:58 AM »
Bernie,
 
Thanks for the directions.  I found the casino in the S&T Megafile.
 
Mike Wagner
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #35 on: April 06, 2011, 10:37:10 AM »
Glad to hear about the casino. We stayed at the Gallup WalMart ONCE. It is crowded and noisy, not just with train and highway noise but with people coming and going in the parking lot at all hours of the night. I would park just about anywhere other than the WalMart.
 
Wendy
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #36 on: April 06, 2011, 01:39:27 PM »
I think noise & Walmart parking lots go together.  We overnighted in a Walmart parking lot in rural Elkin NC on our way home last month.  It was Saturday night & I think every guy in the area with a loud muffler on his car or truck was driving around the parking lot.  There was even a little scooter zipping around & it sounded like a Harley wannabe, at least as much as a 49cc engine can.   ;D  But it's free so no complaints.
 
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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #37 on: April 06, 2011, 04:13:35 PM »
I think noise & Walmart parking lots go together.  We overnighted in a Walmart parking lot in rural Elkin NC on our way home last month.  It was Saturday night & I think every guy in the area with a loud muffler on his car or truck was driving around the parking lot.  There was even a little scooter zipping around & it sounded like a Harley wannabe, at least as much as a 49cc engine can.   ;D  But it's free so no complaints.
 
Mike Wagner
Yup, free = noise.  Maybe that's why I've never been asked to leave... could not hear them banging on the door... while wearing the ear plugs.
Jim
2011 Ford F350 DRW 6.7 Diesel
2011 Cougar SRX

BernieD

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #38 on: April 06, 2011, 09:29:19 PM »
Glad to hear about the casino. We stayed at the Gallup WalMart ONCE. It is crowded and noisy, not just with train and highway noise but with people coming and going in the parking lot at all hours of the night. I would park just about anywhere other than the WalMart.
 

Wendy

We are parked at one of your favorite casinos :-* , Sandia in Albuquerque but need an answer. The question is, where can you dump trash, there is nothing on site and we're going to be here at least 3 nites.
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Wendy

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #39 on: April 06, 2011, 10:03:16 PM »
There used to be a couple of trash cans in the upper parking lot where the RVs all park. If they're gone, I guess you just have to take your trash with you when you go anywhere, or drop it at the convenience store across the road.
 
Great view there, eh?
 
Wendy
home in Cortez
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BernieD

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2011, 10:04:58 AM »
Quote
Great view there, eh?

Sure is, you can almost see Canada ;D ;D ;D
Bernie & Marlene Dobrin
Home is Goodyear, AZ
Missing our Travel Supreme

Rancher Will

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Re: WalMart?
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2011, 05:06:13 PM »
We recently had an unusual experience at the Wal-Mart store location off I-25 at 136th Ave in Westminster, Colorado. We stopped late in the evening, intending to leave fairly early the next morning. There were two truckers also parked in the back lot. After we stopped the Security person came  by and told us that the City has an ordiance prohibiting over night parking. However, the Security man told us that the store policy was that if we were ever contacted by City Police in that lot, we were to say that we were parked to shop in the Wal-Mart Store and that we would be shopping before we left in the morning. He stated that the city ordinance permitted parking to shop and there was no time limit for shopping. We did do some shopping.
I had never heard of this before and we were not contacted that night.

 

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