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RVing message boards => Destinations, RV Parks, Routes => Camping at Wal*Mart and other non-campgrounds => Topic started by: pcshme on January 22, 2017, 06:24:07 PM

Title: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: pcshme on January 22, 2017, 06:24:07 PM
On most forums EVERYONE says they never had a problem staying at walmart
I am looking for comments from those who have had a problem and how they dealt with itl

I wonder about those folks have HAVE HAD A PROBLEM AT WALMART,, I mean robbery attempts,,pan handlers, people parking for hours with engine running next to rv...

I would like to hear what you do to make yourself feel comfortable at Walmart.

My short story is pulled into Walmart around 1am and finally got to sleep around 4am, when at 5am a fellow in a white stealthy van (no windows etc) bangs on my door with a story about his mother in law, hospital and forgot wallet (get the idea).  I would have not responded but he banged a second time,,I looked through window, and I decided to give him a small amount of money hoping he would leave.  I gave him my smallest bill which was $10.00 and he left , saying he would be back in a hour to pay me back for the gas money.  Right,,,,

So now I am nervous,, what should I do,, not answer at all ,, what if someone or a group of people get violent and break a window or jump on my rv?

Here is what I think I can do,,
1. Since I have a small Class C, just get in the driver seat and pull away
or
2. Dont respond and see what happens
or
3. Respond and give them a small amount of money like $5.00, explaining that I am poor and don't have cash.
or
4. dial 911

what do you think, i really prefer boondocking and really don't like commercial campgrounds.

m
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 22, 2017, 06:27:01 PM
I have spent hundreds of nights in Walmart parking lots and the only problem I ever had was Walmart security telling me I could not stay there.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: jackiemac on January 22, 2017, 06:28:29 PM
If someone has harassed you, you could report it and move on. Do what is safest.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: UTTransplant on January 22, 2017, 06:53:01 PM
I never give panhandlers money - never. I would have called 911. This is for my personal safety and for the other people this guy will targeting the future. I might hit the panic button on my vehicle too. Nothing like loud noises to draw attention to a situation.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Tom on January 22, 2017, 06:55:48 PM
WalMart doesn't buy land and build stores in the best parts of town. There have been numerous reports of issues by folks who have done so, and we never stay overnight in WM parking lots. To the folks who say "we've never had a problem", I'd say "YET". Drive on to the next campground and sleep soundly.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 22, 2017, 07:05:06 PM
Walmart is building a store right down the street from me in the best part of town. ;D
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: NY_Dutch on January 22, 2017, 07:08:03 PM
I've never had a problem while overnighting in the RV at a Walmart or other parking area, but I have been approached by a panhandler with a similar sob story while in my car in a parking lot. I told the fellow I had no cash, but I would call 911 for him and have an officer come help him find an agency to assist him. He grumbled a bit and then left...
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: NY_Dutch on January 22, 2017, 07:10:39 PM
Walmart is building a store right down the street from me in the best part of town. ;D

Yep, I've seen quite few Walmart stores in quite nice locations. The one closest to me now is across the road from The Villages in Florida. And I'm sure Tom can vouch for the kind of bucks it takes to buy a house there...  ::) ;D
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Tom on January 22, 2017, 07:17:00 PM
Quote
Walmart is building a store right down the street from me in the best part of town. ;D

A trailer park in the best part of town  ???
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: robertusa123 on January 22, 2017, 07:30:04 PM
A trailer park in the best part of town  ???
I can  guarantee that town with pass a local ornitaze banning overnight parking
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 22, 2017, 07:33:37 PM
A trailer park in the best part of town  ???
Several nice ones. A real nice KOA right across the street from it. ;D
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Tom on January 22, 2017, 07:35:04 PM
Quote
A real nice KOA

That's an oxymoron  ;)
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 22, 2017, 07:49:54 PM
I can  guarantee that town with pass a local ornitaze banning overnight parking
They probably already have one. We have another Walmart downtown and I have never seen anyone parking there. Homes in my town start at about $250k and go up from there. Osceola County is one the fastest growing counties in the nation. Tenth fastest in 2014.

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-home-construction-in-one-of-floridas-fastest-growing-counties-300346062.html

The KOA is an extremely nice one. Very beautiful right on a large lake.

  http://koa.com/campgrounds/orlando-se/
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on January 23, 2017, 08:54:18 AM
We've stayed in some Walmarts that were busy (and noisy) at night, whether open 24 hr or not. Lots of folks other than RVers use the parking lots as a rendezvous or temporary parking area. Big trucks come & go at al hours, shady looking characters meet up, and once we had a touring concert group show up next to us after their show was over. Two buses + 3 cars, repacking gear and noisily sorting themselves out and enjoying themselves after a nights work. All at 2 a.m. In another one located in a big mall, we happened to be there the night a crew cleaned up the parking lot and storefront areas, running a big sweeper washing down sidewalks, etc, from roughly 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. It happens occasionally, and is one of the reasons we did not often use Walmarts/Sam's/Kmarts/etc unless we had been there before and knew it was relatively peaceful. At one Walmart a security guard came to our door shortly after arrival and "suggested" we might be more comfortable if we used the other Walmart in a different part of town (we moved!).

The only time we felt a bit unsafe was a Sam's Club in Anchorage, AK.  Several rather unsavory types showed up and were pretty rowdy. Fortunately there was another coach with us that night, so we kept some lights on so it was evident we were awake & aware. And kept a cell phone handy to call for help.

I'm not anti-Walmart for overnights, but it's not something we did everywhere either. I came to rely on OvernightRVParking.com for info about the specific location and its environs for info about safety, noise, nearby restaurants and shopping, etc. The detailed first hand reports are excellent sources.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 25, 2017, 09:15:35 AM
Today was the grand opening of the new Walmart so I went down there this morning. It is ten miles closer to me than the downtown Walmart so I went to change my prescriptions to the new store. Absolutely amazing Walmart. The largest and nicest Walmart I have ever been in and I have been in hundreds of them. They have a great new feature there called Pay and Go. You pick up a scanner as you enter the store and scan your items as you put them into the cart. Then when you check out there is no line and no waiting. Just scan and go and bag the stuff. Really simple and smooth. But the high point is that you have a running total of what is in your cart so there is never a surprize at checkout.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Tom on January 25, 2017, 10:08:06 AM
Might be time to move to the nice new WM parking lot  :)
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: utahclaimjumper on January 25, 2017, 10:18:15 AM
  It's certainly interesting how one word in a post will get it deleted out of hand,,,mysteriously,,mysteriously....
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 25, 2017, 10:30:20 AM
Might be time to move to the nice new WM parking lot  :)
My RV does not run or else it would be an option. ;)
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: John From Detroit on January 25, 2017, 10:41:37 AM
I hate to tell you this but you have given me yet another reason to NOT LIKE Wal*mart.

That said. Glad you like it.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 25, 2017, 10:45:50 AM
I hate to tell you this but you have given me yet another reason to NOT LIKE Wal*mart.

That said. Glad you like it.
I don't know why you hate Walmart. They have a giant selection, very low prices and a great return and exchange policy.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Tom on January 25, 2017, 12:36:59 PM

Quote
It's certainly interesting how one word in a post will get it deleted out of and,,,mysteriously,,mysteriously....


No mystery, just recognition that a message will likely become a lightning rod, followed by a discussion going downhill. FWIW nothing was deleted  ;)
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 25, 2017, 12:38:08 PM


No mystery, just recognition that a message will likely become a lightning rod, followed by a discussion going downhill. FWIW nothing was deleted  ;)
There is a post that has disappeared. It listed five reasons for defending your RV.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Tom on January 25, 2017, 12:40:42 PM

Quote
My RV does not run or else it would be an option.



Call Coach-Net and ask for a tow  ;D 


That does sound like a very nice store, with the added bonus of being much closer to you. Although we don't overnight at WM, we do shop their stores. We have family members who won't step foot in a WM store  ???
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Tom on January 25, 2017, 12:43:11 PM

Quote
There is a post that has disappeared. It listed five reasons for defending your RV.


Actually, two messages were moved out of sight, but none were deleted. As I said in my other message, we were merely removing a potential lightning rod. Discussions can go downhill in a hurry.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on January 25, 2017, 12:59:13 PM
So there is a difference between removing a message and deleting it? ???
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Tom on January 25, 2017, 01:28:16 PM
It's a long story, but yes.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: scottydl on January 25, 2017, 06:36:57 PM
I have to agree that in most cases, panhandlers sob stories are almost never true and giving them money only encourages them.  If I was stopped in a Walmart parking lot and someone started banging on my door in the middle of the night, I'd covertly take one look out the window... if it wasn't a Walmart employee or some other authority figure, I'd call the local police for a "Suspicious person" complaint.  Pay attention to person descriptions and vehicle information / license plate if you can see it.  Use 911 if you don't have the non-emergency number. 

I don't think you need to rush to the driver's seat and pull off, unless you have some information to suggest there is a risk of immediate danger.  It seems like it would be pretty unlikely for a group of people to break any windows or jump on your RV, as mentioned.  Just doesn't make sense.  That guy knocked on your door to get a handout (which worked for him), and causing damage would probably just get him arrested which I'm sure he didn't want.

As a side note... for the OP and other newer members of the forum, I want to point out we have a section dedicated to this type of topic:

Camping at Walmart and other non-campgrounds (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/board,75.0.html)

You may find some more useful information there.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Bill N on January 26, 2017, 07:16:38 AM
I've never had a problem while overnighting in the RV at a Walmart or other parking area, but I have been approached by a panhandler with a similar sob story while in my car in a parking lot. I told the fellow I had no cash, but I would call 911 for him and have an officer come help him find an agency to assist him. He grumbled a bit and then left...
Similar story Dutch.  While waiting on the wife who was fabric shopping, a young lady approached me with a very disjointed story about needing money to catch a bus to the hospital where her mother was a patient.  #1 there is no nearby bus; #2 The hospital is about 3 blocks away. So she is obviously panhandling and I just told her NO.  Two weeks later, exact same story but this time I got nasty with her and told her to leave the area or I would call the  police. She did but I doubt the police would do anything.  Recently the city had to rescind an ordinance prohibiting panhandlers from holding up signs at intersections.  ACLU threatened suit because it was 'free speech'.  So now we have panhandlers on every intersection even sitting in traffic islands with signs - four to a corner at times. Thanks to the ACLU from which I have seen nothing of value to general society.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: John From Detroit on January 26, 2017, 07:43:41 AM
Bill.. Laws vary from state to state as to what the POLICE can do but this one is common law so it applies to at least some degree WORLD WIDE.

Wal*mart management can declare the woman "Person not wanted" (Personna non grata is I think the phrase but my spelling sucks more so in Latin).

Once she is so declared she is not to set foot on the property. Then the police can act.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: utahclaimjumper on January 26, 2017, 10:55:59 AM
  One thing I will say,, and abide by,,,if you own the joint you get to make the call..>>>Dan
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Bill N on January 26, 2017, 06:42:49 PM
Bill.. Laws vary from state to state as to what the POLICE can do but this one is common law so it applies to at least some degree WORLD WIDE.

Wal*mart management can declare the woman "Person not wanted" (Personna non grata is I think the phrase but my spelling sucks more so in Latin).

Once she is so declared she is not to set foot on the property. Then the police can act.
Sorry, I neglected to mention this was NOT on a Walmart lot but in a strip mall lot. But your point still applies - private property - but the owners are probably so cowered by perhaps losing one customer they would not ask her to leave.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: John From Detroit on January 27, 2017, 07:31:57 AM
Yes, Wall*mart, Strip Mall, Grocery Store, Private driveway, all the same as far as this issue goes,, Sidewalk in front of the parking lot... Varies big time (some are owned by the city some by the "property owner"

Store owners cowed by the fear of loosing even that quality of customer...  Universal.

Something else:  One mall not far from my Wife's Cousin, there was a man ther with the old "Will work for food" sign.. Several store managers had offered him employment but he was not interested....

He was clearing like 20-30 dollars an hour TAX FREE holding that sign.

So she might be a very good customer of that mall.

(When, eventually, the government catches on they could remove those folks... Income Tax Evasion,  Same as AL Capone)
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: BoonDocker Bob on February 04, 2017, 06:18:18 PM
Well , being an AVID boondocker .....  I first would like to ask ----- do ALL you folks that replied ,  consider "boondocking" is going to a WalMart parking lot ?
And next ....   I joined here thinking I would get some new ideas or helpful hints  , or even possibly helping others about boondocking , ( seeing as to how I believe you NEVER stop learning new things )  , but , in turn I find that even though it clearly states at the category description -
Quote
Boondocking

A place to discuss issues unique to boondocking. Note that this message board is not intended for discussions related to overnighting at WalMart and similar locations; Such discussions have their own message board here.

So......    Maybe I will hang out in the shadows and see where this might lead ( again ..... seeing as to how I signed up here so I can hopefully either help others , or they could help me with some new ideas/locations on BOONDOCKING .... ---------------- NOT WALMARTING ...... :-X :o
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: scottydl on February 04, 2017, 07:27:29 PM
Hey BoonDocker Bob, welcome to the forum! :)

Well , being an AVID boondocker .....  I first would like to ask ----- do ALL you folks that replied ,  consider "boondocking" is going to a WalMart parking lot ?

This particular discussion thread made it into this "Boondocking" area, but we actually have a dedicated area for that type of conversation: Camping at Wal*mart and other non-campgrounds (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/board,75.0.html).  That's a subforum of our Destinations, RV Parks, Routes (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/board,4.0.html) category.

I'd say generally Boondocking refers to camping pretty much anywhere with NO hookups.  Of course Walmart stops aren't exactly "camping" ... more like a quick overnight sleeping spot in the middle of a long drive.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: DearMissMermaid on February 05, 2017, 08:07:20 AM
I just never understood the joy of camping at Walmart. So I have never stayed at one.

Sure I would love free camping but I prefer grass, trees, electric and water hookups.

One time I did pull into one at night, it scared me. A rowdy group of people were running around the parking lot harassing shoppers leaving the store and pushing carts into parked cars. This was in a nice upscale neighborhood. The lot was lit up and cameras on poles. If there was security they were unconcerned with the mayhem in the parking lot.

I run into folks who ask me about Walmart camping and seem so shocked when I tell them I never have and hope I never do!

I was camped in a nice RV park and met a guy from a fancy big rig. He looked at my modest Class C and said "So I guess you spend a lot of time in Walmart parking lots!" I was insulted and said "I have NEVER spend a night in a Walmart ever! What on earth gave you that impression?" He had no answer and I felt a tad bad for being rude, but he was talking to me in a nice RV park where we both paid the same rent.

Oddly that comment was said to me 3 times

Now about SECURITY!

NEVER open your door at night. The door opens OUT, you can't slam it shut again if you don't like the person on the other side. Last time I heard someone banging on my door in the middle of the night, I yelled "Honey, you get the gun and I'll get the door, then I roared at the top of my lungs WHAT DO YOU WANT?" I had no "honey" with me but I didn't want them to think I was alone.

All I heard was running foot steps.

I never camped in that park again. The guy that checked me in asked me about 3 times if I was the only occupant, it should have set off red flags. He was probably the creep banging on my door, but I will never know. Now I always reserve for 2 and if they insist about the 2nd person when I check in,  I tell them the other one is on their way in the car (I don't tow).
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: NY_Dutch on February 05, 2017, 01:04:38 PM
If you're "camping" in a Walmart or other parking lot, you have the wrong idea. The whole concept is just that it's a convenient place to stop for a night's rest. It should not be seen as "camping" in any sense of the word. If you don't mind paying for all the amenities at a campground just to get a night's sleep, that's fine. Just don't knock those folks that find it a waste of time and money while in transit. We have pulled into parking lots where the surroundings didn't suggest a good environment, so we just moved on to a more suitable location. I can also say exactly the same thing about RV parks. If it doesn't feel right, don't stay there...
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: denmarc on February 05, 2017, 01:57:46 PM
Well moderated topic. Well done. That said...

IMHO, It really doesn't matter if it's a clean and well lit Walmart lot, or a secured CG. In comparison to a ghetto Walmart or a free county camping site out in the woods somewhere. It's all the same to me. The key is if you don't feel comfortable spending even one night anywhere, and you have a choice, don't do it. Those accustom to boondocking would be more prepared for a stay in a parking lot or rest area. Others, including newbies, may not be so prepared. Planning is the key. Experience is the best teacher.
As far as personal safety for you and your family, it still doesn't matter. Regardless of where you lay your head down for the night.
Bluntly put, one can get mugged, robbed, or shot in any Walmart lot. As well as any campground. How much do you want to worry about it?

My point is our place is out in the woods. My property borders over a 100 acres of national forest. Open to anyone.  100's of acres of private land surround our property on the other 3 sides. When we are not there, all bets are off. I could loose everything. I do have a neighbor who lives next to my place (approx. 150 yards away), but he can't babysit it! When we are there, a firearm is handy, but not relevant in this case.
If an unwelcome visitor becomes a problem, they are first greeted by our dog (German Shepard). No problem.

It really all depends on how comfortable/prepared you are, where you are, and how well you can handle a situation. A lot of common sense is also involved. I do give Walmart kudos for making their lots available to RVers, Most retail chains do not. In a pinch, you have the option.   




 
 
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Bill N on February 05, 2017, 01:58:50 PM
  this might lead ( again ..... seeing as to how I signed up here so I can hopefully either help others , or they could help me with some new ideas/locations on BOONDOCKING .... ---------------- NOT WALMARTING ...... :-X :o

Boondocking in my view is for destination RVing.  Walmarting is only for stopovers enroute to destinations.  Very different viewpoints.  I do neither.

Bill
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Steve from Indiana on March 20, 2017, 09:12:17 AM
From our own experience, we park in a lighted area where other rvs or semis park, out of the area where most store shoppers park. Personal safety is your responsibility and that means if you don't know who is banging on your door in the middle of the night, there is no need to respond. You could open the door and be looking down the barrel of a pistol.  If the interruptions persist, call 911 and ask for police help.  We always carry defensive weapons in our rv in case matters take a turn for the worse and someone gets violent, tries to break in, and might attempt to hurt us.  Of course, this applies no matter where we are staying the night. 
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: OutdoorFT on March 20, 2017, 09:30:36 AM
Not a Walmart story...but another big name you may recognize...7/11. Rarely do they place those in nice neighborhoods. But, it was about 11pm the day after the storm last week. Roads were still a disaster and required 4wd. Got some snacks and a pizza. As we are checking out, I see a little hooded guy standing outside at the door (cold, hoodie okay)...but he stood outside. Not smoking, constantly turning to looking in. One would think to just come in, right?

As my wife and I walked out, he mumbled something and we kept walking. I knew he was right behind me, so a quick turn caught him off guard. With a little voice raising, he turned and walked up to the store. I dont go anywhere like that unarmed.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: muskoka guy on March 20, 2017, 11:43:45 AM
One thing we noticed is that lots of the Walmart's in the USA are smaller than in Canada. In Canada the Walmart's are generally associated with a large commercial plaza that includes many other stores. They partially share a very large parking lot. In the US, lots of the Walmart's are stand alone stores that have much smaller parking lots that don't accommodate large motorhomes pulling toads without impeding the flow of their parking lots. I could see in these cases they wouldn't want you blocking up good parking spaces, especially if it was a 24 hr store. Funny story happened to us in California I think it was. It was about an hour after dark and we pulled into a Walmart for the night. We were enjoying a beverage after the long day and this couple in a pick up truck pull up beside the coach with the lights shining on our drivers side wall. After a few minutes of sitting there, they pulled even closer to us with the headlights shining brightly through the windows. They lifted the hood of the truck and were fiddling under the hood. I went out and asked if they needed help. The man said he had replaced the headlights and they were out of adjustment. He said he had travelled an hour in the dark, and could hardly see where he was going. What at first seemed like it could be an issue, turned out to be a couple in need of a wall to help adjust their headlights. We stayed at many Walmart's and rest areas with no problems. If the area looks less than desirable, keep going till you find something else. With the gun laws the way they are in the USA, i would have to assume most of those motorhomes have a gun on the other side of the door. This might discourage most people from wanting in there too badly.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: BIG JOE on March 20, 2017, 12:21:55 PM
Not a Walmart story...but another big name you may recognize...7/11. Rarely do they place those in nice neighborhoods. But, it was about 11pm the day after the storm last week. Roads were still a disaster and required 4wd. Got some snacks and a pizza. As we are checking out, I see a little hooded guy standing outside at the door (cold, hoodie okay)...but he stood outside. Not smoking, constantly turning to looking in. One would think to just come in, right?

As my wife and I walked out, he mumbled something and we kept walking. I knew he was right behind me, so a quick turn caught him off guard. With a little voice raising, he turned and walked up to the store.[ I dont go anywhere like that unarmed.]

    I VERY seldom tuck in my shirt. I carry my Cell Phone in a horizontal holder, on my right side. I Often rest my hand on it, especially/occasionally when the "Hoodie/Shady Types" are around, showing reference to......

Hmmmm ?  ;) :)


Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: SeilerBird on March 20, 2017, 12:34:22 PM
I can  guarantee that town with pass a local ornitaze banning overnight parking
No ordinance yet and no "No parking overnight" signs in the lot and I see overnighters there.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: camperAL on March 20, 2017, 08:04:59 PM
Hi pcshme and all,

Maybe the way to go about it is say you are out of gas and were on the way to visit your (father,mother,_fill inblank_) in the hospital and could they spare any of their dollars with you.  ::)

Agree just tell them you called the police to assist them and they will be there very soon. Regardless, you still loose sleep to these people praying on you.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Rvtex on March 25, 2017, 07:02:53 AM
Only did Walmart once, there was just no other choice. Didn't unhitch or even pull out the slides, just put my head on a pillow for a couple hours. I would try to avoid Walmart parking lots if at all possible.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Oldgator73 on April 24, 2017, 07:14:13 PM
We are destination campers. When we travel I normally drive till about midnight or later. We have stayed in our share of Walmart parking lots, rest stops and truck stops. If we stay at Walmart or a truck stop we always try to purchase something even if it's only coffee. Haven't had any problems yet. At Walmart I try to stay only if there are other RV's there and try to park close to them (safety in numbers). I guess I just don't like paying for a spot at a campground for just a few hours.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Dutch and Di on April 24, 2017, 07:39:37 PM
99% good experience at overnighting at WallyWorld.  We do not open our door for anyone when dry camping unless there is a siren and/or flashing lights.  One experience at WM  in Alaska was because we had delayed our departure to help a novice RV'er get ready to head to Canada to get the RV to her sister {too long a story for now} but we enjoyed a meal with them and helped as much as we could.  Didn't know them but were glad to help. They had seen our 5th wheel in the parking lot while golfing. It was dark when we left so we pulled in to WM and I ran into several stores.  When I returned DH said we had to move. What??? It's 10 pm.  I took my loaded shopping cart into WM and asked for the manager.  I asked her to help me return everything.  When she asked why, I explained & she said:  We don't own the property so we have to go with the rules BUT if you pull out of here, make a left, drive 2.3 miles and make another left, you will be at a WM that is not in this county and you'll have no problem staying the night.  Smart manager IMO.  We did so and had no problems.
At a Sam's Club which we also use on occasion,  we pulled into the closed down store lot and turned in. We were rudely awakened at 5 AM by a cop.  We explained that we had gotten in very late and would be leaving in several hours which didn't sit well with him  & he ordered us to leave or get a ticket  so we pulled out-half asleep & half dressed {which is dangerous}. We drove to a shopping mall, parked &  walked across the street and had breakfast until it was daylight and we were awake.  We did have a view of our RV IF another cop came by.   After we were on the road, I called the precinct and the head honcho didn't care a lick.  I also never received a reply to my letter of complaint sent a week later. Of course that is why we don't go to Yuma, AZ anymore.  We have used many different types of places to park when necessary and 2 times our of 21 years of fulltiming isn't really that bad.  If you to try WM again, I hope you have a better experience.  Hugs, Di
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: RebelWithoutAClue on April 25, 2017, 03:43:41 PM
I've been staying at the mart of wal for a while (it's free!) and so far I've only had one bother (not really a big bother, just a few eggs short of an omelet and outgoing but nice.)  As a precaution I keep all my doors locked, take the keys out of the ignition and I carry utility knives, a baseball bat, a walking stick, heavy dowel rods and those spiked wrist cuffs from Hot Topic, i.e, as much weaponry as I can get away with, without inviting any legal hasslement.  Key thing is to forgo things like guns, knives, samurai swords, nunchucks, etc. and stick to weapons that have non-weapon uses so it's plausibly deniable if anyone sets out to give you trouble for being armed.  The rv has a door alarm but I haven't figured out how it works yet.  So far it seems like the walmarts in nicer neighborhoods are, paradoxically, the least inviting for overnighters.  I like to relax with a few wine coolers in the evening, and if Officer Friendly comes nosing around and sees that I've had my seagram's, I could be in (unreasonable, ridiculous, pointless) trouble.  The less uptight the neighborhood, the safer.  Also in persnickety neighborhoods, the kids raising a ruckus are well-protected, spoiled entitled brats and probably have rich parents so they get away with much more than they should.  They're the ones to worry about...I used to live in a town like that and I was that type of rowdy delinquent kid so I know.  Drunks, homeless, crackheads, etc., they're just desperate and if you make clear that you don't have what they're after/you're not an easy mark, they'll go away.  But spoiled suburban kids...they just want to see the world burn because that's how bored and narcissistic they are.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: whiteva on April 26, 2017, 08:32:37 AM
Knowing my route and planed stops I look for a large church parking lot (Google earth). Calling the church ahead of time I have always received a cheerful approval for my overnight stop. Occasionally on a Wednesday evening we have been invited to an evening fellowship meal.

As far as answering the door late at night I have a sign on the windshield with my cell number... Banging on my door will be received with a loud demand to call the number listed. If they persist I would not hesitate to 911.

So far in 25 years I have had zero problems. Still the nation is moving in the wrong direction, so be observant and prepared.

Cheers
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: TonyDtorch on April 26, 2017, 09:42:03 AM
around here,.... the 24 hour Walmarts have become magnets for homeless people living in their cars out in the busy parking lots.
 
They often stand out in front with small children and panhandle money,  They eat at the McDonald's and use the restrooms to take "Bird baths" in.

 It hurts me to see children and families living like this ...  and for that reason I don't patronize Walmart. 

 
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Bill N on April 26, 2017, 04:29:40 PM
around here,.... the 24 hour Walmarts have become magnets for homeless people living in their cars out in the busy parking lots.
 
They often stand out in front with small children and panhandle money,  They eat at the McDonald's and use the restrooms to take "Bird baths" in.

 It hurts me to see children and families living like this ...  and for that reason I don't patronize Walmart.

I have not seen any of that at our local Walmarts - there are at least 8 of them within a 25 mile radius.  I suppose tht some of that may happen from time to time but the ones in my area seem to have pretty good security plus this is not really a high crime area (but not crime free either).  Actually, more than RVs, I see 18 wheelers camped at the store closest to me but this is because the drivers live in town and can't bring their trucks to their home - mainly on the weekends.

Bill
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: TonyDtorch on April 26, 2017, 05:14:24 PM
I believe the mild climate we have here in so. Cal is very attractive to many people down on their luck and living in cars on the streets. 

  So unless there is a actual public complaint  (and here we have all become tolerant of the homeless problem) 
 the cops are overwhelmed and tend to turn a blind eye to the monumental homeless problem that we have here in California....
 
 on the plus side !   soon we are going to have this really cool 98.6 billion dollar bullet train that goes from nowhere to somewhere else   :o
 
 In the meantime the downtown urban areas,  the Walmarts, and the riverbeds here are lined with large homeless encampments of that fall between the county/city enforcement zones,    and they continue to grow,  often they have several hundred families living in tents in any one river bed encampment. We take blankets and clothes down to them around Christmas time,   it's really sad.

the Walmarts around here have a no overnight rv parking policy,  so as a result the industrial streets and Home Depot parking lots are swamped with barely running old class C's every night. ( no offence meant to class C's or DearMissMermaid   :) )   

  I've seen enough misery in the world, . ... so I rather pay more than go to Walmart.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: MN Blue Skies on April 26, 2017, 05:47:26 PM
I never give panhandlers money - never. I would have called 911. This is for my personal safety and for the other people this guy will targeting the future. I might hit the panic button on my vehicle too. Nothing like loud noises to draw attention to a situation.

The panic button on my vehicle while dialing 911 would be my first thoughts.  Let Walmart security/managment know that I'm there. 
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: UTTransplant on April 27, 2017, 08:00:25 AM
Thank you for moving this thread! It was always about Walmarts not boondocking.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: VGS on June 17, 2017, 02:25:43 PM
I've never had a problem while overnighting in the RV at a Walmart or other parking area, but I have been approached by a panhandler with a similar sob story while in my car in a parking lot. I told the fellow I had no cash, but I would call 911 for him and have an officer come help him find an agency to assist him. He grumbled a bit and then left...

I like this answer, "I have no cash, but I will call 911 for you and have an officer come help you find an agency to assist you."
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Bill N on June 18, 2017, 07:34:03 AM
I like this answer, "I have no cash, but I will call 911 for you and have an officer come help you find an agency to assist you."
I recently used something very similar.  My wife likes to got to JoAnn Fabrics on some of our shopping trips so I just sit in the car and read my Kindle.  On no less than three separate occasions while sitting in the parking lot I have been approached by the same young lady who is very decently dressed and she has the same story - something about wanting to see her mother in the hospital and the bus stop is close by and she has no money.  The first time I just told her no because the story didn't fit with my knowledge of the area (The hospital is 4 blocks away).  The second time I told her that I knew her game and to scram - which she did.  The third time I just frankly told her that she was too stupid to recognize that she had approached me and my car twice previously and I would call the local police to give her a ride to the hospital.  At this point she literally ran away.  Been back to that lot a couple of times but haven't seen her again.

Panhandlers are a real problem in this city and they won a court battle that lets them hold up signs for their begging (free speech) but they stand in the traffic islands  and freeway exits and are general nuisances - sometimes 4 to a corner.  So the city comes up with this plan to buy a small bus, paint it up and arrange to pick up these panhandlers in the morning, take them to a day job where they are paid at the end of the day and then return them to wherever they want at the end of the day.  This program just started and results:  6 people on the first couple of days.  That probably only leaves 100 still out there.  I could go on and on but this is not the place to get too vocal about a problem that a lot of cities are having.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on June 18, 2017, 07:46:05 AM
Panhandling at busy intersections and malls is so profitable that there is a guy in the Ft Lauderdale area that operates it as a business. He hires people to panhandle for him on a commission basis, equips them with suitable signs and delivers them to prime locations. He himself lives in a swank area and drives a luxury car on the profits. Wonder if he pays income taxes, though?  Truly America is a land of opportunity!

I always wondered why his hires don't just panhandle on their own and keep all the donations instead of a percentage.  I figure that either they are just drifters who move on as soon as they make a few bucks, or he has a knee-breaker to make sure that free-lancers don't cut in on his action. Maybe both.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: mel s on June 18, 2017, 11:28:36 AM
On most forums EVERYONE says they never had a problem staying at walmart
I am looking for comments from those who have had a problem and how they dealt with itl

I wonder about those folks have HAVE HAD A PROBLEM AT WALMART,, I mean robbery attempts,,pan handlers, people parking for hours with engine running next to rv...

I would like to hear what you do to make yourself feel comfortable at Walmart.

My short story is pulled into Walmart around 1am and finally got to sleep around 4am, when at 5am a fellow in a white stealthy van (no windows etc) bangs on my door with a story about his mother in law, hospital and forgot wallet (get the idea).  I would have not responded but he banged a second time,,I looked through window, and I decided to give him a small amount of money hoping he would leave.  I gave him my smallest bill which was $10.00 and he left , saying he would be back in a hour to pay me back for the gas money.  Right,,,,

So now I am nervous,, what should I do,, not answer at all ,, what if someone or a group of people get violent and break a window or jump on my rv?

Here is what I think I can do,,
1. Since I have a small Class C, just get in the driver seat and pull away
or
2. Dont respond and see what happens
or
3. Respond and give them a small amount of money like $5.00, explaining that I am poor and don't have cash.
or
4. dial 911
what do you think, i really prefer boondocking and really don't like commercial campgrounds.

pcshme
If you simply call the store and report a "pan handler" they will send someone who will deal with him.
(but any "illegal activity" should be reported to 911).

However if someone parks next to your RV and leaves his engine running you will have to put up with it, ask them to turn their engine OFF.... or better yet MOVE.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Bill N on June 18, 2017, 05:24:15 PM
If they bang on my door at 5 am, my repsonse will be.  " I am armed.  State your business or leave immediately."  I would not open the door but may display the pistol in the window next to the door.  Just saying - stand up for yourself.  Of course this would NOT be my reaction if the door banger is wearing a police uniform and has a squad car.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: TonyDtorch on June 18, 2017, 09:43:40 PM
I'll look out the window,  if it isn't a cop knocking...   they will hear me rack a round in my shotgun.

Dial 911 ?  ???    ...     when seconds count,  the police are only minutes away.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Dragginourbedaround on June 19, 2017, 07:51:02 AM
Recently while driving back to FL from Salisbury, MA because of a family emergency we had the dreaded knock on the door at 2 in the morning. Only it wasn't a knock it was a pounding. We were at the MGM Casino at National Harbor MD. He was a big guy standing all alone. I do have a pistol, but normally wouldn't bring it out unless there was an emergency (lucky decision on my part my DW and I both have concealed carry permits from FL and they are not recognized in MD). A moment later a MD state trooper stepped into view. The big guy was casino security (no uniform) telling me we couldn't overnight there. I explained we had permission from another security guard at 9 pm and we had been playing and drinking in the casino. He called the hotel and verified that information and left us alone and I could hear him pounding on door of the 18 wheeler near us. First time in four years that we ever had a problem dry camping anywhere.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: kdbgoat on June 19, 2017, 11:25:26 AM
  I would not open the door but may display the pistol in the window next to the door.

I'm a firm believer that if the pistol comes out, it won't be for show. If the situation has progressed that far, someone will be getting a double tap. That's just me though, other's may have a different opinion. Displaying the pistol in a window next to the door won't help much if the other person is armed. The doors and walls of an RV will slow down a bullet from them, but I wouldn't depend on it stopping the bullet.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: BIG JOE on June 19, 2017, 12:21:35 PM
I'm a firm believer that if the pistol comes out, it won't be for show. If the situation has progressed that far, someone will be getting a double tap. That's just me though, other's may have a different opinion. Displaying the pistol in a window next to the door won't help much if the other person is armed. The doors and walls of an RV will slow down a bullet from them, but I wouldn't depend on it stopping the bullet.

X2

In the CCWP class, they kept Stressing..

Do Not Display Your Weapon Unless You Have Been Committed To Use, Or Fire It.

I once pulled an embedded BB out of our Fiberglass Boat (shot to low at a Crow), so I don't think an RV wall would stop anything, either.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: JFN on June 19, 2017, 12:48:50 PM
I have pepper spray over the door, one item of concern is my door window is frosted can't see in or out, thinking of changing it, Thoughts? Have not had a problem to date.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Oldgator73 on June 19, 2017, 01:25:41 PM
I guess I'm just gonna die since we don't carry a gun or pepper spray. Must be something I could use as a weapon. Be my luck the intruder would close the assist handle and we would be stuck in the RV until help came.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: kdbgoat on June 19, 2017, 01:51:08 PM
Be my luck the intruder would close the assist handle and we would be stuck in the RV until help came.

I almost did that to Deb one morning when I left for work. I'm sure you figured out enough about her, that you know that wouldn't have gone over very well. ::)
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Oldgator73 on June 19, 2017, 01:57:15 PM
I almost did that to Deb one morning when I left for work. I'm sure you figured out enough about her, that you know that wouldn't have gone over very well. ::)
I was just looking at Pinterest and there was a pin there that showed how to fix that problem. Maybe I should post that here.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: mel s on June 20, 2017, 08:41:08 AM
I have pepper spray over the door, one item of concern is my door window is frosted can't see in or out, thinking of changing it, Thoughts? Have not had a problem to date.

JFN
In 2005 I ordered a pane of tinted tempered glass to match the windows in my coach and replaced the frosted glass in my entry door...(but not because I had a problem).
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: aguablanco on June 20, 2017, 12:41:43 PM
around here,.... the 24 hour Walmarts have become magnets for homeless people living in their cars out in the busy parking lots.
 
They often stand out in front with small children and panhandle money,  They eat at the McDonald's and use the restrooms to take "Bird baths" in.

 It hurts me to see children and families living like this ...  and for that reason I don't patronize Walmart. 

 
200mb

Those people are probably Wally's  employees.
RichH
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: Bill N on June 20, 2017, 02:09:46 PM
200mb

Those people are probably Wally's  employees.
RichH

You and Tony DTorch seem to have a pretty broad brush you got there buddy.  I have over 11 Walmarts within 25 miles of my home and never seen any like you describe.  Their security people are pretty good about keeping that stuff minimized. Plus you seem pretty quick saying that Walmart employees are the ones being described.  Easy to criticize.  Must be one of those RV owners who think they are better than the working man.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: TonyDtorch on June 20, 2017, 03:06:40 PM
there is a big difference in Walmarts here in Ca...

the Walmart I went to in Laguna Hills,  was different than the Walmart I saw in Inglewood.

and you can't boon-dock in the Laguna Hills one.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: BIG JOE on June 20, 2017, 04:12:51 PM
there is a big difference in Walmarts here in Ca...

the Walmart I went to in Laguna Hills,  was different than the Walmart I saw in Inglewood.

and you can't boon-dock in the Laguna Hills one.

Agreed.

Most all of the Big Box stores and Shopping Centers here in the I-5/SR99 North/South corridor.. No Problem with Overnighters.

ALL the ones along any part of the Central Coast (SR 1 & 101).. anywhere near the Beaches.. are ALL posted: No Overnight Camping, or No Camping. Rightly So (?).. their parking lots would be FULL of campers skipping any camping fee's ? City revenue's too ?

On Edit: Anywhere NEAR a Beach area (say 10 miles).. even a Wide Spot in a road will have a sign saying: No Camping. 
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: NewmanRacing on July 09, 2017, 03:04:08 PM
there is a big difference in Walmarts here in Ca...

the Walmart I went to in Laguna Hills,  was different than the Walmart I saw in Inglewood.

and you can't boon-dock in the Laguna Hills one.

Correct me if I am wrong Tony, as I remember it, you can not get a big rig into the Laguna Hills parking lot! Entrance too steep and twisty!
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: NewmanRacing on July 09, 2017, 03:27:26 PM
  But spoiled suburban kids...they just want to see the world burn because that's how bored and narcissistic they are.

Off topic but this reminds me...

In the mid 1990's I had an old 1976 class C that I took my kids camping in regularly. I managed and resided at a very high end apartment complex in a very well to do town. I had a great storage spot for my rig by our garages.

It was New Years Eve, 1999. I rung in the New Year with my kiddies and we all went to sleep. Shortly thereafter I heard a loud knock on my apartment door. It was the fire department notifying me that a vehicle was burning on my property. I threw on my carhart coverall, ran outside and discovered it was my beloved motorhome burning.

Unfortunately the fire department put it out and did not let it burn to the ground. No one would tow it to scrap in its maimed condition. I had to personally demo the thing down to a flatbed truck to dispose of it. Some of the most distasteful distressful work I have ever done (and I have done alot of dirty jobs!)

Upon investigation, a side window was broken out and an incendiary device tossed into my rig. Local spoiled rotten kids attempting to entertain themselves on New Years Eve.
Title: Re: WALMART and Safety personal experience
Post by: TonyDtorch on July 09, 2017, 09:23:19 PM
Correct me if I am wrong Tony, as I remember it, you can not get a big rig into the Laguna Hills parking lot! Entrance too steep and twisty!
Not really, I just take the 405 fwy to Alicia parkway and it's a 4 lane road all the way to the entrance of the Walmart parking lot.