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Author Topic: Asked to leave Walmart  (Read 12494 times)

jglass

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Asked to leave Walmart
« on: March 03, 2015, 02:23:12 AM »
After a restful night in the Walmart parking lot in Miramar Beach Florida I heard a knock on the side of
our motorhome at around 6:30 AM.   Saw a Walmart employee walking around outside our motorhome.
I opened the driver side exit door and said hello.   The employee said over night parking is not allowed at this Walmart and asked me if anyone said anything the night before.   I told her, "no, never heard anything".     She told me I better leave before the boss arrived.   I said, " I'm on my way" and  left the parking lot in less than 5 minutes.   Another motorhome was also there and asked to leave.

It was dark and late (around 9:00PM) when we found the Walmart on highway #98.   While it was a newer Walmart store the parking lot was not large and it was not a super Walmart.   I had already heard overnight parking at some Florida Walmarts was not allowed but they usually have signs posted in those cases.   It is understandable in the more popular areas like Daytona.  RV's would take over the place for some events.

We drove down highway #98 about 8 miles to Destin Florida and found a Super Walmart with a huge parking lot with a couple of RV's parked.   My wife said, "let's pull into Walmart and have coffee", so we did.   We noticed this Walmart had a Macdonalds inside so we went in and had breakfast.   Had I known this Walmart was there, I would have gone there in the first place.

We have spent many nights at  Walmart parking lots while traveling from Rockford to Florida and this was a first.    We usually pull in around 9:00 PM, park out of the way, shop, leave at day break, no problems.  It is all about convenience.
Jim
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 02:56:46 AM by jglass »
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camperAL

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2015, 04:42:40 AM »
Hi Jim,

From what I have read, it is good protocol to go in and ask if parking is allow when you stop. I've also read if you see other RV's in the parking lot that it's considered alright to park as someone has probably already asked and it would be redundant to ask again. If it were me and I only saw one other RV I would go in ask to just make sure, in the event that the other RV didn't ask.

Probably one of the Walmart maps they sell that list Walmarts that allow the parking might be in order or some of the websites that list which ones allow parking and those that do not.

If you park at enough of them, sooner or later your bound to get uninvited. At least you got your sleep and morning coffee at the next one down the road!
CamperAL (Indiana)
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Rene T

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2015, 05:13:54 AM »
I always stop and ask the store manager if it's OK to park just for the night even if there are other campers already there. I usually do it with a shopping cart in front of me with a couple of items in it. I also tell him/her that I will be out early in the morning.  I don't make it look like I'm camping. I don't pull out the gas grill or open the slides unless I absolutely have to. If I do, it's usually over a grassy area so I don't interfere with traffic. I typically don't unhook my 5vr. I may just drop the front landing legs just for a little stability.
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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2015, 06:10:21 AM »
Wal*mart improvershes workers at at least 3 classes of stores.. "Neighborhod" stores are closed at night and do not have enough parking or overnight RV parking.

Standard Wal*marts may or may not.

Super Centers the company policy is to allow, but sometimes the city, county or state prohibits thanks to the Campground Owner's Assn.

I am getting kind of anti-Wal*mart as I find out more and more about them.. Like over half their workers get food stamps,,,, legally... Wal*mart needs to go on life support.
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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2015, 07:39:42 AM »
We don't do it often but we always ask if parking is allowed. If you get the Walmart version of the Road Atlas, they have their stores listed in the back. You can call 1-800-walmart and a recording will ask for the zip code of the Walmart in which you are interested. Key the zip in and the recording will give you the telephone number of that store. You can then call ahead to see if parking is allowed.
Jim

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jglass

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2015, 07:47:22 AM »
The last time we pulled into a campground for a few hours of sleep I had to unhook the towed vehicle because the campsites were small.   It was 9:00 PM and the camp office was closed.   The next morning at sunrise the camp office was still closed.   No way to self register so I slide $20 under the door with a description of our RV and my name and address.    Never heard back so I assume the $20 was acceptable.   Leaving the interstates in the dark and searching out a campground that may or may not have a pull through site quit frankly frightens me.   I also do not find setting up in the dark very attractive.    I have also seen campgrounds with closed gates at night with no easy way to get turned around if I'm towing something.

More often than not we can see a Walmart from the interstate highway.   It is just so darn convenient to pull in, run the RV on batteries for the night and leave in the morning.   If Walmart wanted to charge for overnight parking, I would gladly pay.

I'll never forget we were in a small town eating at a local restaurant.    I whispered to the store manager if it would be acceptable to spend the night in his parking lot.   He said no but told us another place in town we could spend the night.   I was apprehensive but the restaurant manager said, "it will be fine, I'll tell the police when they stop in for coffee".   It didn't take long and there was a knock on the door, a police officer outside.   I told the officer my story.   He was nice about it and told us another place we could spend the night and went on to say, "I'll keep an eye on you out there tonight".

There was another time,  in Southern Illinois, we encountered icy roads and took the first exit, Herrin, and soon found a bar and grill. We pulled in and ordered drinks and their dinner special of the day.   The owner of the bar and grill invited us to stay in his parking lot. 

I guess, off grid camping will always be an adventure.
Jim
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 08:05:47 AM by jglass »
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Great Horned Owl

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2015, 07:53:02 AM »
When a particular Walmart does not allow overnight parking, it is generally not their choice. More often, there is a municipal ordinance that prohibits it.

Joel
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Rene T

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2015, 08:10:01 AM »
No way to self register so I slide $20 under the door with a description of our RV and my name and address.    Never heard back so I assume the $20 was acceptable.

If it was cash, the campground probably never saw it but the worker who opened up that morning did and was thankful.   ;D
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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2015, 08:27:35 AM »
This Destin Walmart does have the signs on the street side of parking lot. there where some RV's there late in the evening when i went shopping. Right across the street is the state rv park, where i stayed.

It was dark and late (around 9:00PM) when we found the Walmart on highway #98.   While it was a newer Walmart store the parking lot was not large and it was not a super Walmart.   I had already heard overnight parking at some Florida Walmarts was not allowed but they usually have signs posted in those cases. 

We drove down highway #98 about 8 miles to Destin Florida and found a Super Walmart with a huge parking lot with a couple of RV's parked.   My wife said, "let's pull into Walmart and have coffee", so we did.   We noticed this Walmart had a Macdonalds inside so we went in and had breakfast.   Had I known this Walmart was there, I would have gone there in the first place
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2015, 08:29:06 AM »
In case others travel in this area:
I think you are talking about the Santa Rosa Beach Walmart, just east of Miramar Beach on 98.  The Destin Walmart is about the same distance west of Miramar Beach and 9 miles away according to the Walmart store locator. Both are "No Overnight Parking" Walmarts but the Destin location is listed as "Not Enforced" on overnightrvparking.com .    Walmart does not list any store in Miramar Beach itself.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2015, 08:32:38 AM by Gary RV Roamer »
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Jeepinbob

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2015, 12:08:41 AM »
Generally speaking, if it is a 24/7 walmart, it is okay to stay as long as you talk to the people at customer service.  Advise them that you are passing through, and that you need to pick up a few things.

If the store closes for the night, it is almost certain that you cannot camp.  Check this web site at allstays, and it will tell you, based on travlers reports, whether you can stay or not.  They are not always accurate, but you can kinda use it as a guide.  Good luck, and travel safe, Bob

http://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm
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Tom

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2015, 12:37:33 AM »
On the rare occasions I comment on this subject, I get ostracized...

In 21 years on this forum, and more years RVing, we've yet to have the need or desire to camp overnight in a WalMart parking lot. I've heard/read all the rationale, including "Sam Wal was an RVer", "I spend more than a campground fee in the WM store", and "WalMart security will protect us".

On the rare occasions that my driver says "I'm tired, let's stop at that WM for the night", I say "We don't know this town, nor do we know this part of town (WM usually doesn't build in the best parts of town), let's move on and stay at a campground".

There are many RVers who do whatever they can to avoid paying campground fees, and there's even a group called WalMart Bound who apparently travel between WM parking lots. Why not stay home and camp in your driveway? You'll save the gas in addition to the campground fee.

I understand the folks who just want a few hours sleep and don't wish to stay at a campground. But there are alternatives to staying at a WM parking lot.
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mikef

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2015, 01:01:29 AM »
When the need arises and it's late, I'll seek out a truck stop, rather than a Wal-mart.
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mariekie4

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2015, 06:31:05 AM »
What Tom says. ;)
Different strokes for different folks............Personally we do not drive till late at night, therefor you can find a suitable campsite easier.
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Dog Folks

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2015, 08:23:34 AM »
On the rare occasions I comment on this subject, I get ostracized...

In 21 years on this forum, and more years RVing, we've yet to have the need or desire to camp overnight in a WalMart parking lot. I've heard/read all the rationale, including "Sam Wal was an RVer", "I spend more than a campground fee in the WM store", and "WalMart security will protect us".

On the rare occasions that my driver says "I'm tired, let's stop at that WM for the night", I say "We don't know this town, nor do we know this part of town (WM usually doesn't build in the best parts of town), let's move on and stay at a campground".

There are many RVers who do whatever they can to avoid paying campground fees, and there's even a group called WalMart Bound who apparently travel between WM parking lots. Why not stay home and camp in your driveway? You'll save the gas in addition to the campground fee.

I understand the folks who just want a few hours sleep and don't wish to stay at a campground. But there are alternatives to staying at a WM parking lot.

Agreed. And well said.

If there is a road emergency, maybe.

Heck, we don't even drive after dark!!
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Bill N

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #15 on: March 06, 2015, 11:16:03 AM »
Wal*mart improvershes workers at at least 3 classes of stores.. "Neighborhod" stores are closed at night and do not have enough parking or overnight RV parking.

Standard Wal*marts may or may not.

Super Centers the company policy is to allow, but sometimes the city, county or state prohibits thanks to the Campground Owner's Assn.

I am getting kind of anti-Wal*mart as I find out more and more about them.. Like over half their workers get food stamps,,,, legally... Wal*mart needs to go on life support.

There is a Yahoo Walmart Groups site that is maintained very well and offers a listing stores that do not allow overnight  parking.  Usually it is city ordinances that dictate if ONP is allowed or not but some lots are just too small and others too dangerous.  Our local lot is always loaded with 6-10 semi trucks whose drivers live in town and leave them there when they are home.

John, you seem to have a problem with Walmart that is not likely to be solved here.  I happen to think differently but see no reason to put out a lot of inaccurate nonfactual gossip.  Labor unions are usually found to be the root of a lot of those so called 'facts.'
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BruceinFL

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #16 on: March 06, 2015, 11:33:31 AM »
What Tom said......this time.  ;) ;D
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bucks2

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #17 on: March 06, 2015, 12:12:39 PM »
There is a Yahoo Walmart Groups site that is maintained very well and offers a listing stores that do not allow overnight  parking.  Usually it is city ordinances that dictate if ONP is allowed or not but some lots are just too small and others too dangerous.  Our local lot is always loaded with 6-10 semi trucks whose drivers live in town and leave them there when they are home.

John, you seem to have a problem with Walmart that is not likely to be solved here.  I happen to think differently but see no reason to put out a lot of inaccurate nonfactual gossip.  Labor unions are usually found to be the root of a lot of those so called 'facts.'

Well said Bill.

Ken

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #18 on: March 06, 2015, 12:15:00 PM »
"Labor unions are usually found to be the root of a lot of those so called 'facts.'"  ????

Where did that come from?

Paul
Paul & Ann  Iowa
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Bill N

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #19 on: March 06, 2015, 12:44:32 PM »
"Labor unions are usually found to be the root of a lot of those so called 'facts.'"  ????

Where did that come from?

Paul

Paul, I guess I just put that in there as my opinion based on the two occasions I have seen Walmart stores being picketed by a couple dozen people with preprinted signs referring to that food stamp claim and other signs referring to the "poor" people working at Walmart.  On both occasions the "picketers" arrived in a rented bus and were paid in cash as they got off the bus and each protest lasted almost exactly 1 hour and then they loaded back on the bus.  The organizer was wearing his union badge as were some of the picketers.  Actually, a couple of the Walmart workers who were on the job that day were laughing at the pickets.  It is a well known 'fact' that the unions have been trying to organize Walmart for many many years - without much success.  So I guess that's where that came from.
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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #20 on: March 06, 2015, 12:50:09 PM »
Paul, I guess I just put that in there as my opinion based on the two occasions I have seen Walmart stores being picketed by a couple dozen people with preprinted signs referring to that food stamp claim and other signs referring to the "poor" people working at Walmart.  On both occasions the "picketers" arrived in a rented bus and were paid in cash as they got off the bus and each protest lasted almost exactly 1 hour and then they loaded back on the bus.  The organizer was wearing his union badge as were some of the picketers.  Actually, a couple of the Walmart workers who were on the job that day were laughing at the pickets.  It is a well known 'fact' that the unions have been trying to organize Walmart for many many years - without much success.  So I guess that's where that came from.

Ok, thanks.  Just not sure how that fit in with staying at WalMart overnight.
Paul & Ann  Iowa
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elliott-maine

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #21 on: March 06, 2015, 04:25:40 PM »
In the late  fall and early spring, there are not a lot of campgrounds open in New England that are along the highway.  Rather than doing a round trip of 100 miles to the nearest open one along my route, I stay at a Walmart. 
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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #22 on: March 07, 2015, 08:23:11 AM »
In my  5 short years of fulltiming, I've never understood the thrill of camping in parking lots at Walmart. I have never camped in one and I don't plan on it either.

I travel on a super modest budget and folks tell me over and over I need to be camping at Walmart to save money.

DUH?????

I still don't get it. My goal isn't to see as many parking lots as possible. No thanks. I want to see beautiful nature.

I am a fool. I budget my time and money for campgrounds and arrive before closing so as not to irritate the staff. I like to pick beautiful places to stay and many are no where near a Walmart.

Last fall I was traveling and super sick. The campground I had stayed at for several days had no more room, so I had to shuffle along. About a half hour into my trip, I realized I couldn't continue much longer. Another half hour and a A Flying J appeared on the horizon, so I pulled over. I planned to nap and try to patch myself up to locate and move to a campground. It was before 11am (yes that is morning, before noon.) Much to my surprise, the Flying J was FULL of campers who had their slides out, their steps out, several even had tables and chairs outside. I was amused to watch a couple sit outside eating their lunch while viewing the interstate.  A few had blocked some of the RV parking spaces by putting their slides out, preventing me or others from parking in those RV spots. Others had taken up multiple car spaces to cram in their RV's and toads.

I was ashamed to be an RV-er and embarrassed I had pulled over at all.

A few RV-ers had parked over on the separate truck only side in spite of the numerous signs that read trucks only. Matter of fact, I think one RV-er might have upset some truckers. He parked in the middle of empty open spaces on the truck side. About 10 minutes later, I noticed two truckers pulled in on either side of him, parking ridiculously close to his RV, so close, I don't think he could have opened up his entrance door more than a few inches. Middle of the day too!

I am in an old 20 year old Class C rig, yet these folks were in very expensive new looking Class A's and fifth wheels. It makes me think some of these folks can afford the rig finance payments but can't figure out how to budget in RV parks.

For good measure, I topped up my gas tank at Flying J before parking, I would never dream of asking to stay without spending some money. I managed to back into a corner car spot that was up against a grassy trashy area and a fence, so that I was only taking up one car parking space since the 2 spare RV spaces were both blocked by slideouts in the out position.

To my right (entrance door side) was about a dozen car spaces. Within the hour, a truck pulling a 40 foot fifth wheel came in and took up 8 parking spots. I think they could have fit in 6, but they wanted the extra room of taking of 8 so that a car could not fit at either end between the lines. We are talking NOON. And the car side of the parking lot is crammed full of RV's with only a hand full of cars able to fit in.

If I were the restaurant manager, I would have been hopping mad. In my brief stay there, I saw many cars enter the lot, circle around looking for parking then leave again. After awhile the cars couldn't even circle around because an RV-er parked right down the aisle, not in any spaces at all.

I think it's a miracle Flying J puts up with this kind of foolishness but I am super grateful I was able to rest up some in view of my own illness. After my nap, I found an RV park less than an hour away that had plenty of room. It was more than my typical overnight budget, because it was a resort type place,  but I was sick and needed to rest, so I paid and stayed several nights. That's what emergency funds are for, well emergencies, like getting sick on the road.

I guess you could say I am NOT boondocking at parking lots so that leaves plenty of room for everybody else who loves that. It's just not my cup of tea to go out see all the parking lots I can see.
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RodgerS

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #23 on: March 07, 2015, 09:05:04 AM »
Very inconsiderate, though I have done it myself, parking outside a private residence or in a private parking lot without permission. Suggest you be a bit more creative next time or get permission up front.
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Great Horned Owl

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #24 on: March 07, 2015, 09:14:51 AM »
In my  5 short years of fulltiming, I've never understood the thrill of camping in parking lots at Walmart. I have never camped in one and I don't plan on it either.

I travel on a super modest budget and folks tell me over and over I need to be camping at Walmart to save money.

DUH?????

I'll explain it to you.

You are correct in one respect. Walmart is not a place to "camp." However, it is a perfectly suitable place to "park."

In my younger days, I would drive nonstop, where ever I was going. I can't do that anymore. After 8 or 10 hours of driving, I need to get a few hours of sleep. It is generally dark by then, so I don't expect to be seeing ant scenery. I don't need any hookups, or any of the other amenities found in camp grounds. I just need a place to park. I will do my camping when I get to where I am going.

If a camp ground were to offer basic "parking" spaces at a reasonable price, I would be happy to stay there. However I object to paying $40 or more for a space equipped with electricity, water, sewer, & cable tv hookups. Then there is the rec room, play ground, pool, etc. I won't be using any of them.

Interstate highway rest areas work too. They are usually more scenic than Walmart, but in the dark, I don't care.  If they weren't so noisy from all the trucks running their engines all night, they would be my first choice. Truck stops frequently have the same problem.

Given my needs, a conveniently located Walmart is a perfect place to park while getting some sleep.

Joel
Joel & Dorothy
Retired electronics engineer. Avid photographer, paddler & birder.
2011 Silverado 2500HD, Duramax, 4x4,crew cab, 8' bed
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Paul & Ann

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #25 on: March 07, 2015, 09:20:31 AM »
Rutt-roo... here we go.....  ;)

How are you Paul?  Long time!  Hope ya'll are doing well, thaw'in out here in WV, can't wait to hit the road this year, been a heck of a winter here.... Almost 12" yesterday...

As for Walmart.... Love that place, both local store and the half dozen or so we've stayed at on the road.

We are well and enjoying our winter in Arizona. I see it has been a rugged winter for many across the USA.  We are thankful that we are able to escape the cold and snow.

As far as WalMart goes, we have stayed over night at a couple as sometimes when we travel we drive well into the evening so we can get to where we need to be on time.  I dont consider it "camping" at WalMart if all one does is park for the night and be on your way in the morning.

Paul
Paul & Ann  Iowa
2005 Winnebago Voyage 38J
http://stoughrvadventure.blogspot.com/

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #26 on: March 07, 2015, 10:26:05 AM »
LOL. Any Walmart discussion eventually devolves into a debate between those who do and those who do not. As with anything else that is done out of personal choice, all the reasoned arguments in the world aren't going to change anybody's opinion on the subject. Folks have various reasons for using parking lots instead of campgrounds and that's just the way it is.

For ourselves, we stay in parking lots only on rare occasion. If there is a campground reasonably close to our route and under $30/night, we will always choose that simply to have the comfort of electric power and a more peaceful venue. But if not, a parking lot will be considered as an alternative.
Gary
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Rene T

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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #27 on: March 07, 2015, 10:34:44 AM »
We are leaving FL in 2 weeks and making our way back to NH. We are taking a side trip to visit a cousin in Arkansas. I just mapped out my route yesterday and marked where all the Walmarts are on the route. We will be stopping after dark and will be back on the road before 5:00 AM. Much easier than a campground. Oh Yea. I will be asking the store manager if it's OK to park for a few hours.  ;) :)

PS: You can find Walmart's and Sam's Club by going to a Walmart and in the book section, pick up a Road Atlas by Rand McNally. At the top of the cover there will be the words "Includes Walmart and Sam's club store directory". All the states are listed in this book. I just map out my trip in the various states and highlight where the Walmart's are.  I also mark out where all the Flying J's, Pilot and Cracker Barrels are.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2015, 10:40:29 AM by Rene T »
Rene & Lucille & co-pilot Buddy
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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #28 on: March 07, 2015, 05:30:15 PM »
Wal*mart improvershes workers at at least 3 classes of stores..

We haven't stayed overnight at a Walmart but if we ever do I would be sure to talk to the store manager on duty first.  That will most likely be an assistant manager.

As far as Walmart impoverishing its employees I question the source of information.   I am a field rep for a company that supplies merchandise to both Walmart and Target stores.  In my area the starting wage at Walmart is higher than Target, Penneys, or Macys.
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Re: Asked to leave Walmart
« Reply #29 on: March 07, 2015, 06:08:15 PM »
My first stop after I take off on a trip is WM.  I go in and get everything I forgot to bring.  Then as soon as I'm rested ready to take off again, I seem to remember something else I need.  If I could remember everything I need, not forget anything, then I would not need to stop.  But it always seems that if a WM is not handy, I end up paying at least 50% more for those things I need. 

I wish setting up at a CG was easier, and I'd use them more often.  But unless I'm going to stay a couple of days, it seems to be too much work to set everything up.  At a WM, Casino, RA, I just stop, shower, bed, breakfast, gone.  Seldom are these kind of stops over 8 hours.

One recently though, I was trying to fix my front TV.  I was back and forth in the store buying tools, cables, etc..  But once I got the TV fixed, my adrenaline was pumping too much for me to sleep, so I made it another 3 hours before I stopped. 

Now if I could just figure out how to take my S&B to Lowes, it would save me so many trips on a project!   ;)
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