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Author Topic: Walmart and Saftey?  (Read 16767 times)

skirk55

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Walmart and Saftey?
« on: October 31, 2010, 07:23:24 AM »
I was reading some posts about Walmart and some strange people. I am always thinking about our safety when traveling. Back in the early 80's a campground we pulled into put us all the way in the back by ourselves away from all of the lights nice and quiet. The next morning we found our truck broken in and they stole my CB and my toll money I kept in the ash tray so my wife could sleep. The Florida police told us the campground employees were in this scam ripping off campers. My best friend last year had his flat screen TV taken. It was the people picking up the trash in the campground. They would tell someone who to hit  when using a cell phone. The police took care of that but my friend never got his TV back.We have seen campground employees rip campers off. I know theft is all over but is spending the night in a Walmart parking lot Safe??

COMer

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2010, 07:36:25 AM »
There are a lot of thoughts about this and many opinions.  We use Wal*Mart quite a bit and consider the 24 hour stores, with adequate lighting n the parking lot, and their security vehicles, as safe as any place we could stop.  Not perfect of course, but no place is as you found in a campground. 
John & Darla
Home near Erie, PA
Spend half the year with Campers on Mission

Dick Zeiter

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 07:40:45 AM »
     We have never had a problem. However we have a motorhome. I'd be leery if I had to leave a tow vehicle (pickup) outside at night. We are normally towing a concession trailer that is very secure. We also only overnight at 24 hour Walmarts. I feel safer at a 24 hour, well lit Walmart than at a dimly lighted rest center or a closed Cracker Barrel.
     The majority of our nights on the road are in January and February during a long trip from Toledo to California and back to Nashville. During the summer, we usually get to our destination in one day.
     Since we drive late, we appreciate Walmart and are happy they finally have them in Toledo so that we can demonstrate our appreciation throughout the year. Walmart is quieter than the flying J's and the rest areas because there is not constant truck traffic arriving and departing.
Dick, Char and our Shih Tzu. Muffin
Toledo Ohio
2000 Newmar Dutch Star (160K miles)
Retired from part time bluegrass vending
but still working at a garage door company.
Now using motorhome less frequently.

skirk55

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 08:05:30 AM »
We are leaving for our first trip in our 5th wheel Friday after work and we want to get past the Baltimore area we can not use the tunnel. I hope to make Richmond Virginia and stay in a Walmart. This way we get the Phil I-95 and the Baltimore
area past us Friday night. We are going to Tybee Island by Georgia the next day.  Thank you for the help.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 08:10:06 AM »
I don't think Walmarts are exceptionally risky and your campground robbery stories indicate the risks are everywhere, not just Walmarts.  Anytime you are in a metropolitan area with lots of people coming and going, there is a risk that some of them are going to try to take advantage of you.

Large Walmarts in metro areas usually have a security patrol. We keep the bay doors locked and of course the toad as well. Never had a problem, but that doesn't mean we never will.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

skirk55

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2010, 08:16:46 AM »
With all of the miles we have traveled and places we have been so far we have been lucky. I told my wife the harder times get the worse people steel. We have found that RV people watch out for each other. We know this is something new to us and we will get more on the road experience. We just got more information on what to look out for and where to pull in. When people go by they will think we know what we are doing!

SargeW

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 08:44:24 AM »
The problem with being in a place like a Wal Mart is that with a lot of people around, it's easier for someone to snoop around your rig and not be noticed. A well used camp ground is always a better bet than a public parking lot. And I guarantee that Wal Mart security will take no overt action to protect your property. They are hired by Wal Mart for Wal Mart. Too much liability involved. Thats why in every Wal Mart or shopping mall, you can spot the sign that says "We are not responsible for loss, damage, ect, ect."  The most you could hope for is that the $6 an hour security guard would call 911.  Don't let wandering unarmed security give you too much sense of security.

Sarge
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2010, 09:26:14 AM »
Sarge is right - all the guards do is patrol, i.e. provide a presence that is looking for trouble makers rather than "not getting involved". It's a modest deterrent to small time crooks, opportunists and vandals.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2010, 11:54:27 AM »
Spent quite a few nights at Wall Mart myself in the last couple of years.

One thing to consider.. When something happens. I very likely see at least 10 threads and sure as I'm typing someone will come back in 6-12 months and re-activate the story.

Hundreds of RVers have spent nights, many nights, at Wall mart, Even a Supreme Court Justice often overnights at Wall Mart (Imagine the look on the face of the jerk who attacked him when he gets to the highest court) (Joking, defendants do not appear there, Just lawyers)....

(I do know a story or two not far removed from that picture though.. Lower courts)

When you distill all the stories down.. There are not really very many of them

When you look at campgrounds and other places...

Let me put it this way

I've never had a problem at Wall Mart.. NEVER

I woke up one morning in a very nice state park and found I'd lost my breakfast... Not to mention lunch and dinner (All the food, including the cooler, were gone) Theives in the night cleaned out the Campground.

Fact is.... Many thousands of RV-Nights are spent per year in Wall Mart lots.. But if I hear about 1 attack or incident per year.. IT's a bad year.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
My Home is where I park it.

yagi73

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2010, 09:07:11 AM »
I have spend several nights (actually naps for 4-5 hours) at Walmarts.  So far no problems.

I have a questions though,..do most of you go in and talk with the manager?  I never have.  I park near other RVs.  I usually go in and purchase any items I might need, but never have talked with the manager.  I tried once. I asked a checker where to find manager and explained why,..she rolled her eyes and told me not to bother him,..it was ok to park there.
 :P
Roadtrek

Ned

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2010, 01:05:09 PM »
On the few occasions that we have parked at a Walmart we have always gone in, done some shopping, and asked for permission to park and where they would like us to do so.
-- Ned -- Fulltimer 1997-2013
1997 Holiday Rambler Endeavor LE
2007 GMC Canyon

skirk55

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2010, 08:45:12 PM »
That is what we will do Friday night. Thank You for the help with overnight guest At Walmart.

Dean & Linda Stock

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2010, 09:19:03 AM »
I don't think Walmarts are exceptionally risky and your campground robbery stories indicate the risks are everywhere, not just Walmarts.  Anytime you are in a metropolitan area with lots of people coming and going, there is a risk that some of them are going to try to take advantage of you.

Large Walmarts in metro areas usually have a security patrol. We keep the bay doors locked and of course the toad as well. Never had a problem, but that doesn't mean we never will.

Dean and I always stop in Wal-Marts when we are traveling through.  We use RV camps when we are going to stay and visit a place.  When traveling, I would take a Wal-Mart over an RV camp, even if they both were free.  I always call ahead and tell them we would like to stop and buy supplies and stay the night,  There are some cities where laws forbid it, and it saves us the disappointing sidetrip.  We've probably spent 70 nights at Wal-mart over our 4 years of RVing, and we only had 1 problem.  In Steubenville, Ohio, someone stole a hubcap when we were sleeping.

Advantages beyond those already stated include not having to unhook the toad, no narrow roads like in some RV camps, and being well-lit, so if you come in after dark, you don't have problems.  Some RV camps are very poorly lit.  The last RV camp we came in to after dark had multi-levels and a maze of roads.  We were both concerned we might inadvertently go over a drop-off, and I swore that i would never again come into an RV camp after dark unless I had thoroughly questioned the managers about lighting and asked for an escort--it never hurts to ask.  My Wal-Mart Locator is my second Bible.
Dean and Linda Stock
and Sherlock (the cat)
Cypress, CA
2006 Airstream Motor Home
2006 Jeep Liberty (Towed)

diehard

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2010, 09:53:27 AM »
Now I'm not very experienced at RVing (our first year), but I've overnighted at a Wal-Mart a few times already and have never felt insecure.  Petty criminals aren't looking to commit crimes in well-lit areas (at least not the ones with more than 2 brain cells), especially one where many people are likely to be (you really can't imagine how many people are in a 24h Wal-Mart in the early morning until you experience it for yourself).

Although I know this information changes frequently, there is a Wal-Mart atlas available (comes with a small booklet of Wal-Mart's where it is known you can not overnight) available somewhere.  I know it wasn't expensive when I picked it up. 
1999 Itasca Sunrise
2010 HHR frog
Travels with DW, DD and a Boston Terrier

Pierat

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #14 on: November 08, 2010, 10:39:01 AM »
We bought the 2011 WalMart atlas recently: $6.97 (and no sales tax in Oregon). Has a detailed list of Sams Clubs and WalMarts, including what departments they have, freeway exits if applicable, etc. It has no info about parking which probably changes too often to include in an annual publication. Otherwise, it's the usual Rand McNally road atlas.
We Have Hung Up The Keys!
Washington State

Joezeppy

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #15 on: November 08, 2010, 12:19:01 PM »
... Some RV camps are very poorly lit.  The last RV camp we came in to after dark had multi-levels and a maze of roads.  We were both concerned we might inadvertently go over a drop-off, ...

I won't disagree with this statement. I will say, however, that I consider this a benefit (the "poorly lit" part, not the "go over a drop-off part" :o). I do not enjoy parks with "parking lot" type lighting. I prefer strategically placed lighting - on the office, bath houses, a marker light here and there. I would guess that most parks go easy on the lighting so as to cater to the majority of campers, not the small percentage that arrive after dark each day. And I have arrived after dark now and then - it can be a challenge finding the right balance between navigating through the park safely and not blinding the neighbors sitting around their campfire. Luckily, we don't have to do it much.

Closer to the topic at hand, I have stayed at various Wal-Marts a handful of times and have not had any problems.
Joe & Kim
Upstate NY - Kuyahoora Valley
2010 GMC Sierra 2500HD - 6.0L
2017 Keystone Hideout 295BHS
Andersen Ultimate Aluminum 5th wheel hitch

skirk55

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2010, 07:37:02 PM »
We spent the night in a Walmart last weekend for the first time. Everyone was a big help getting us started. We picked a 24 hr one. There were 4 campers in the parking lot. With everyone's help we did it and on the way back we did it again. This time we figured out how to run the heat on 12 volt. That was a but plus. Thank you all for helping us experiencing the RV lifestyle. 

Tom

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2010, 07:41:48 PM »
Please don't rely on WalMart parking lots, 24 hours or otherwise, as a guaranteed place to be safe. Lots of folks quote the fact that WM security roams around their lot. But, WM security is there to protect their property, not RVers (or truckers) who park overnight in their lots.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 01:48:06 AM by Tom »
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SteelHeadR

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2010, 08:11:05 PM »
Please don't rely on WalMart parking lots, 24 hours or otherwise, as a guaranteed place to be safe. Lots of folks quote the fact that WM security roams around their lot. But, WM security is there to protect their property, not RVers (or truckers) who park overnight in their lots.

OK, so some folks like to go on shopping safaris instead of "camping out".  If that floats their boat, more power to 'em says I.   ;)

As to safety in store parking lots... no, they are not perfectly safe but they are pretty good.  Crooks like darkness and no witnesses to their shenanigans.  Parking lots tend to be well lit and have both customers and security folks moving around.

As to our local Walmarts... they used to offer free over-night stays to roaming RVers.  Many of these folks were just passing through our area and needed a quick few hours of sleep or a mid-way stop between home and their campground.  I used to see 3-4 RVs of various types in their parking lot.  I never ever heard loud music or voices coming from them.  Also never saw any spilled liquids near them, garbage, food, etc.  Somehow, the local city or county commissioners (commissars?) decided that this was not good for our community.  They managed to pass a new rule that prohibits over-night stays in any store parking lot around here.  I suppose that those RVers now move on and buy their supplies in a friendlier location.  This episode has me wondering whether or not some commissioner's brother-in-law runs an RV campground around here and just did not like the free competition.  This would not stretch the limits of credulity, IMHO.

Ed & Charlie
Vancouver, WA

skirk55

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2010, 08:58:57 PM »
My wife and I went in and asked to talk to a manager and see if we could spend the night in the parking lot. We were told yes and he had us meet the security man that roamed the parking lot. We were not by ourselves and big motor coach pulled in for some sleep also. It was flat clean well lit. I am not cheap! We had less than 5hr sleep. We did not want to pull into a campground wake people up and pull out hrs later. This was an experience for my wife and I. We liked it and when we travel we will use it. I also have two Golden Retrievers and a Flat Coat in out 5Th Wheel. They are very good watch dogs.   

Tom

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2010, 03:37:42 AM »
Apologies, didn't mean to offend anyone with my comments. I tend to be overly cautious (some might say paranoid) about overnighting in store parking lots. We have numerous friends who stay at WalMarts without concern, although some of them feel safe because they carry one or more weapons aboard.
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seilerbird

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2010, 06:33:34 AM »
I find this whole topic about Walmart and safety strange. I bet a lot more people are killed in their bed than at a Walmart parking lot. I bet a lot more people have their house robbed than have their vehicle broken into in a Walmart parking lot. People, there is no such thing as a "safe" place. I have spent hundreds of nights in a Walmart parking lot and never have I felt unsafe nor the need to carry weapons.

Dick Zeiter

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2010, 06:56:44 AM »
I have spent hundreds of nights in a Walmart parking lot and never have I felt unsafe
Ditto. I have, however, removed my self from some dimly lit rest centers. 90% of my road driving is in January & February. Driving until 7:30 PM, I refuse to enter and negotiate dark roads in a campground.
Dick, Char and our Shih Tzu. Muffin
Toledo Ohio
2000 Newmar Dutch Star (160K miles)
Retired from part time bluegrass vending
but still working at a garage door company.
Now using motorhome less frequently.

seilerbird

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2010, 07:19:21 AM »
I was almost attacked by a crazy tattoed idiot in a campground. The campground was almost empty and if he would have I would have been pulverized. My cell phone didn't work their either. The moron was allowing his pit bull to roam through my campsite and when I objected he came after me. The only thing that saved was he was an ex-con and if he would have come after me he would have gone back to jail. No one has ever tried to attack me in a Walmart parking lot nor have I ever been threatened by a pit bull in one.

skirk55

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2010, 06:09:26 PM »
Our first night we almost froze. I did not know how to operate the heater. The trailer is high tech and I am low tech. We got the heater working on the way home and it was nice. After pulling all day and into the night it was nice to walk around and shop with no one in the store.
We never noticed people sleeping in a Walmart before because we had kids and by 5 pm they needed to get out of the truck. Now we can just stop get some sleep and keep going. This has changed our miles per day and we enjoy the pull over sleep.

SteelHeadR

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #25 on: November 17, 2010, 04:22:19 PM »
Apologies, didn't mean to offend anyone with my comments. I tend to be overly cautious (some might say paranoid) about overnighting in store parking lots. We have numerous friends who stay at WalMarts without concern, although some of them feel safe because they carry one or more weapons aboard.

Not a problem, Tom.  I don't think that anyone here was offended.  We're just putting our $0.02 into the pot.   :)

Personally, I think that it is a sensible precaution to have a weapon or two of some kind handy.  I'm not advocating having anything that violates the laws.  One need not have a Rambo arsenal on tap but a good bat or some hornet spray can be a pretty good discourager for those who think that the others owe them their property.

A good watchdog is also very helpful.  Even a small but noisy dog brings a lot more attention to thieves activities than they want.


roughin smoothly

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #26 on: November 17, 2010, 05:35:40 PM »
We have overnighted at Walmart many times.  We usually ask permission from customer service or manager.  We park in a well lighted place and have never felt unsafe.  We don't stay at WM except when passing through for brief time.  It is usually close to interstate where we can get off and back on with no trouble.

skirk55

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #27 on: November 17, 2010, 08:00:31 PM »
Watch Dog I have two  golden retrievers and a flat coat. They are very good watch dogs. We keep the door locked so they don't let the bad person in to play.

Tony_Alberta

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #28 on: November 17, 2010, 08:10:52 PM »
A good watchdog is also very helpful.  Even a small but noisy dog brings a lot more attention to thieves activities than they want.
Dick Francis in one of his fiction books a decade or two ago mentioned an exterior motion detector hooked up to a speaker inside of a large dog barking.  I've always liked that idea. 

A few buttons near the arm chair, bed or computer so that as soon as someone knocks or you hear some noise you hit the button.  A few deep "woof, woof"s and the bad guy ain't hanging around.

skirk55

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Re: Walmart and Saftey?
« Reply #29 on: November 17, 2010, 08:37:57 PM »
I always kept a 45 cal hand gun in my trailer. The gun was used for protection from Bears and also used shark fishing. The word has changed now and if I am over the state line and get caught that might be a problem. Plus now that I am older I would most likely shoot myself loading it. Walmart seems to be safe but there are nutty people everywhere. We looked at the rest stops and they were packed with 18 wheelers after 8 pm.  We looked at a Flying J but it was too noisy and crowed. Walmart had good lighting and a place to unwind by shopping.

 

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