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RVing message boards => Destinations, RV Parks, Routes => Camping at Wal*Mart and other non-campgrounds => Topic started by: Karsty on April 15, 2012, 06:57:36 PM

Title: SIZE DOES MATTER
Post by: Karsty on April 15, 2012, 06:57:36 PM
After reading through this thread several times over the past few months, I am convinced that size does matter. Perhaps I can clarify that.

I have the Winnebago ERA on the Mercedes/Sprinter chassis. At first glance it might look like a tall van. It is 24 feet long and 10 feet high. If you look closer you will notice the typical signs of an RV. A/C on the roof. Various outlets on the sides and windows all around ... albeit they are blacked out from looking inside from the outside. There are times when I have parked when I felt totally inconspicuous. It was like I wasn't even there. People would pass by and never give me a second glance. I have never had a problem parking at any Walmart, or anywhere else for that matter. Like others, I ask permission if possible. (not all places are open 24 hours) I park in an area that will not interfere with their normal operations and  I DON'T CAMP!! I would likely make a comment to someone that I saw abusing a parking privilege at a Walmart. (awning, lawn chairs, BBQ etc. - more so in Canada than the US because some of y'all south of the border are just a little too gun crazy to suit me :-\)

In most cases I wind up going in and making purchases when necessary. Sometimes on arrival and on departure to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables before I leave. I have only stayed at one Walmart for two nights and again that was with permission. In fact, they invited me to plug in near their automotive department overnight on the second night (middle of December) because it went below freezing. I was also invited to refill my portable water supply before I left in the morning.

Perhaps it is the larger rigs and the vehicle/trailer combinations that draw more attention and definitely take up more space. I seldom take more then one parking spot when parked overnight because I generally back in with the rear of my vehicle over the curb and a grass island thus only needing one spot.

I have parked in church parking lots ... I have parked in farmer's driveways. I have parked at RV Dealer's lots. In fact their is one RV Dealer near me that has about a dozen parking spots for RVer's and trucks where you can PLUG in overnight. About 5 have water as well. It is first come first serve and I suspect come summer it will be hard to find a place.

I guess the bottom line is that if you are polite and courteous to the people you are dealing with and respect their property, they will respond in kind. I have met some great folks on my travels so far and made some new friends. And I am just getting started on my serious travelling.

Happy and safe travel to all ...

Karsty