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RVing message boards => Destinations, RV Parks, Routes => Camping at Wal*Mart and other non-campgrounds => Topic started by: Rvliberty on September 16, 2012, 06:59:18 AM

Title: Walmart update
Post by: Rvliberty on September 16, 2012, 06:59:18 AM
Walmart corporate recently restated their RV overnight policy to say that RVs can stay at ANY Walmart. We sent an email comment to their corporate email and they called us back within 24 hours. During the conversation they restated their policy. This holds at all Walmarts unless city ordnances prohibit it. The message is stop at any Walmart then ask to make sure you are not greeted by the local constabulary or worse, a ticket.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: John From Detroit on September 16, 2012, 11:30:26 AM
When folks yammer about "Wal mart won't let us park overnight" i keep telling them it's not Wal Mart, it's the local Campground Owners Assn.  They lobby the city/county/state to prohibit overnight parking anywhere OTHER than a licensed campground.

Folks who get mad at wal-mart and occsionally do damage or other stupid stuff because of a city ordinance only make the COA's job easier in this regard.

If I stay at Wal-Mart, I shop at Wal-Mart, if the city/county/state does not want me stopping at Wal-mart then I shop elsewhere (Different city/county/state that is).

This costs the state the taxes on my business, the COA does not get any either.

Heck, in many cases "Overnight" is drfined as a specific hour, I actually like to drive at night.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on September 16, 2012, 04:15:14 PM
I'm not clear on what the policy change is, unless they intended to eliminate the local store managers discretion to deviate from the corporate policy where local conditions dictate. To the best of my knowledge, it has always been that RV overnight parking is allowed unless there was some specific reason prohibiting it, as determined by the local store manager.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on September 16, 2012, 04:39:57 PM
The reason I leave late in the afternoon, and spend the first night at my Wal0mart in Paris, TX is because of my sometimers disease.  Sometimes I remember, most times I don't.  So staying at Wal-mart the first night, I usually walk inside about three times for purchases before I leave.  Once I get to my farm, where I boondock, it takes an hour out of my way to go pick up what I forgot. 

Hopefully, the more I do this RV thing, the less I'll need to spend that first night to pick up what I forgot. I've only been at this since July of this year.  But if there was a campground right next door with full hook ups, I definitely would use the CG and walk to the Walmart the first night, then leave later in the morning. 

When I just stop in the Walmart parking lot that first night, I feel an obligation to leave shortly after I wake up, even though, the Walmart always makes me feel welcome.  When I'm at a CG, I enjoy a lazy morning before I leave.  This relaxed attitude is what I want the RV to be all about.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Rvliberty on September 16, 2012, 05:48:21 PM
Gary

Apparently corp saw too many managers using their veto for no reason. They have recently gone out to strengthen their resolve to support RVs. Also of note is their very fast response time if there is  an issue. I continue to be impressed by these folks.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: John From Detroit on September 16, 2012, 07:33:44 PM
I'm not clear on what the policy change is, unless they intended to eliminate the local store managers discretion to deviate from the corporate policy where local conditions dictate. To the best of my knowledge, it has always been that RV overnight parking is allowed unless there was some specific reason prohibiting it, as determined by the local store manager.

I will answer that one Tom.. The O/P said they RESTATED it, not that they revised it.. In short, no change, just repeated it in case someone was not listening.

Which by the way. Seems to be a common problem (Someone not listening).

Example: How many threads have you seen withtles like "Hoboken Wal-Mart Unfair To RVers" and it's all about how the poster was not allowed to overnight at the Hoboken Wal-Mart.

This is an example of the O/P in those threads not listening.  You see it is not Wal-Mart but HOBOKEN that is the bad dude, or the county or the state.

Thus Wal-mart felt the need to restate, Cause if you are not allowed to park there it is because of the Government, not the management!!!!
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Lesh on September 17, 2012, 01:41:00 PM
I'm glad to see this post.  My husband and I are planning a trip for the holidays and were looking for places to say during night traveling for a couple of our days.  I kept telling him that Walmarts allowed RVs but he read many places that some don't allow RVs overnight.  If we want to stay at one do we ask for the manager to get permission?  Do we not need permission since we are allowed to be there via corporate?  What if the manager tells us no?  Is there a letter or something we can carry that shows what corporate has stated so the manager can't veto the decision?
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: tstumpf on September 17, 2012, 01:54:19 PM
It's my understanding  the Walmarts that don't allow you to park there, are following a city ordinance. If you park there, they won't kick you out, the police will. Probably at about 3 a.m.

If you can't park there, it is because of the city, not that particular Walmart.

If you're planning to spend the night in Walmart lots while traveling, call ahead and ask if it's okay. The person answering the phone usually has the answer for you, but if not, they connect you to the manager. If they say no, call another Walmart or stay at a truck stop, camp ground.

It's not Walmart being unfair to RVer's it' the city. If you have an issue, take it up the city. Not Walmart.

-Roni
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Lesh on September 17, 2012, 01:56:47 PM
If we stay in truck stops is there a certain place that RVs should park?  Are the truckers ok if we are parking with them?
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: SeilerBird on September 17, 2012, 02:08:08 PM
http://www.overnightrvparking.com/ is the best place I have found for up to date info on free places to stay all over the country. It costs $25 per year and is well worth the money if you plan on spending the night in Walmarts, Flying Js, etc. If you do stay in truck stops the noise of diesels running all night long will not be pleasant. Park as far away from them as you can.

If you park in a Walmart that doesn't allow overnight parking you will be told by Walmart Security to leave. I have never had a policeman tell me to leave.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: tonyandkaren on September 17, 2012, 04:16:25 PM
 Lesh - here's another website with Walmarts designated as okay for RV overnighting or not okay. http://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm (http://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm)

 Occasionally you'll find one that's marked wrong but most of them are accurate. We've only been asked to move a few times. If there are no signs up prohibiting overnight parking we don't bother asking the manager since Walmart policy is to welcome RVers. Recently we stopped at Walmart in a small town ( not opened 24 hours) and the manager walked across the parking lot to tell us that we were in a good spot to watch the fireworks display that another store was putting on that evening. He hung around talking for about an hour - wonderful welcome to his town!

 The only truck stop that we stay in are Flying Js because they have a separate RV section , usually close to the gas pumps and store. Sometimes it's even too noisy there.

 Another good overnight spot is casino lots. Most allow RVs to park overnight and they are usually quiet.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Lindsay Richards on September 17, 2012, 05:11:50 PM
Allstays also has a Smart Phone app for a one time fee of $4.99. It list the Wal-Mart as No overnight and Ask Overnight. It will also work with the Smart Phone GPS and give you a turn by turn directions. It make overnighting at Wal-Mart much easier. I used to ask my wife how far. She would say about an hour (always). Now she says something like, "48.2 miles and 56 minutes exit 78 go right 1/4 mile." Smart phones have changed things considerably.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Jim Dick on September 17, 2012, 05:53:31 PM
If we want to stay at one do we ask for the manager to get permission? 

It is a courtesy to ask permission even if Corporate says it's OK. You won't necessarily know if there is a city ordinance against parking overnight. What we do is carry the Walmart Road Atlas which lists all their locations throughout the country. Once we know where we will be for a night my wife will call 1-800-walmart. When the recording asks for the zip code of the town where the store is located, she will enter it and the system will give her the phone number of the store. She then calls the store and asks the manager if it's OK to stay overnight.

Sometimes the manager will ask that we come into the store when we arrive so he/she can tell us where to park if they have an area they prefer to locate the RVs. We always find something to buy while we are there. We do try to find a SuperWalmart since they have groceries and, usually, a night time patrol of the parking lot. We don't use them often but it's nice to have the option.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: John From Detroit on September 17, 2012, 07:49:38 PM
In truck stops it depends on the truck stop. Most Flying-J's for example DO have designated RV parking and frankly I'm ticked when I find a bob-tail Semi tractor there.  Loves, Pilot, T/A and others, Generally do NOT have dedicated RV parking, so good luck finding a space you can pull through (if you tow 4 down or dolly tow).
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: babylunatic on September 17, 2012, 09:48:40 PM
I'm a 3-week-old fulltimer, and already spent half of the nights at WalMart while traveling I-90 westbound. I only encountered 2 scenarios so far: 1. There are already a few RVs in the parking lot, which signals me that it's most likely ok to stay there, and I would park where other RVs (or sometimes 18-wheeler) park, and 2. There are signs everywhere saying No overnight parking/camping. At Rapid City, SD, according to the store person, there was a city ordinance against RV overnighting. I was about to leave and head over to the nearest Rest Area, but a fellow RVer said that it was late and he needed a shut-eye, and asked if I would park right next to him to keep him company and if we got kicked out together, we'd get kicked out together, and so we did. Slept through the night, and luckily no one bothered us.

BTW, I personally do not ask the store manager, because I thought they'd probably have better things to do. My take is that if there are already tons of RVs all at the far side of the parking lot, it's common sense that it's alright to park there overnight. I counted last night and there were 26 RVs and 2 trucks at the Cody, WY WalMart parking lot. :)
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on September 17, 2012, 09:53:23 PM
In truck stops it depends on the truck stop. Most Flying-J's for example DO have designated RV parking and frankly I'm ticked when I find a bob-tail Semi tractor there.  Loves, Pilot, T/A and others, Generally do NOT have dedicated RV parking, so good luck finding a space you can pull through (if you tow 4 down or dolly tow).

That's OK, they're ticked we're in there with an RV.  The big deal to them is that they used to be "truck stops," catering to those that spend over a thousand dollars a week there.  Now are "travel stops" catering to RV'rs, who don't "have" to depend on them.  Truckers have to be on the road, and by law have to stop for a 10 hour break.  Then they get to a truck stop to find spots taken up by RV's and no place to stop.  So as they can't legally drive on the roads, they park next to the scale, dumpsters, car lot, etc. where ever they can.
We on the other hand, don't legally, ever have to stop.  Without training in most states, we can operate a 40+ foot long vehicle, and drive around the clock without any breaks.  We have places called CG's, they have places called TS's, how would you feel if a truck parked in your CG?

So, as I drive both, each side has an understandable argument to me.  I just try to be thoughtful where ever I am. 
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Lesh on September 18, 2012, 08:50:32 AM
Thank you all for the great information!
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Sweet Hitchhiker on September 19, 2012, 10:00:29 AM
We've stayed at both Walmart and Truck stops out east and south. Always asked the customer service person if it's ok to stay overnight at Wally World and never were refused. At the truck stop, we use ear plugs to block the noise. Works very well! 8)

Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on September 19, 2012, 01:53:44 PM
Well, I started out early in the morning instead of afternoon as usual, so this is the first time I got out here without stopping the night before at Walmart.  And wouldn't you know it, I forgot a bunch of stuff.  On the bright side, as I didn't stop by Walmart, I have an extra $100+ in my pocket.  It's not all bad, I'll just make due with what I have. I emailed myself a list so hopefully next time I'll bring it with me.   So I guess there is an upside to not stopping at WM.
Title: Re: Walmart update
Post by: Karsty on September 22, 2012, 12:31:06 PM
Allstays also has a Smart Phone app for a one time fee of $4.99. It list the Wal-Mart as No overnight and Ask Overnight. It will also work with the Smart Phone GPS and give you a turn by turn directions. It make overnighting at Wal-Mart much easier. I used to ask my wife how far. She would say about an hour (always). Now she says something like, "48.2 miles and 56 minutes exit 78 go right 1/4 mile." Smart phones have changed things considerably.

I use the ALLSTAYS app as well. So far it has been very accurate and provided me with current information in almost all circumstances. When I have found an error I send them feedback via their app and on the next update of their smart phone app it is usually corrected.

Case in point ... I stopped at the Batavia, NY Walmart where the ALLSTAYS app indicated no overnight parking. I went in and asked the manager. He told me that it was fine and just asked that I not park near a fenced area near a residential area. It is posted NO PARKING as a result of neighbour complaints of noisy generators. The apps has since been updated to reflect this information.

There are some great Internet & Smart Phone resources available for the travelling RVer and I try to take advantage of them all. The old days of carrying around large books and lists is slowly fading. :)