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RVing message boards => Destinations, RV Parks, Routes => Camping at Wal*Mart and other non-campgrounds => Topic started by: jglass on March 03, 2015, 02:23:12 AM

Title: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: jglass 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: camperAL 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!
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Rene T 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: John From Detroit 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Jim Dick 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: jglass 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Great Horned Owl 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Rene T 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Sam! 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Jeepinbob 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Tom 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: mikef 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: mariekie4 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Dog Folks 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!!
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Bill N 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.'
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: BruceinFL on March 06, 2015, 11:33:31 AM
What Tom said......this time.  ;) ;D
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: bucks2 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Paul & Ann 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Bill N 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Paul & Ann 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: elliott-maine 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. 
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: DearMissMermaid 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: RodgerS 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Great Horned Owl 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Paul & Ann 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
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Rene T 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: MN Blue Skies 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.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G 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!   ;)
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Tom on March 07, 2015, 06:35:18 PM
Too bad we don't have boondocking/dry camping areas at more campgrounds. Prior to the Olympics in Southern California, the state put in a bunch of dry camping sites at numerous state parks along the length of the state. They were intended for travelers who merely wanted a place to sleep with no frills while transiting to the Olympics. They were called "Olympic sites", and they became a site of choice for us when we used to tow our fishing boat to local waterways in the 80's.

The sites were gravel, no frills. Since we were on the boat fishing all day, we just needed a place to sleep for several hours, before heading out to fish again the next morning. The state park charged $5/night. They also had a small marina where we could rent a slip for the boat. The slip fee was $5/night and, if we rented a slip, they'd give us the dry camping (Olympic) site for free.

We used these so often that, as we turned into the entrance of the SP on Friday afternoon/evening, the rangers would have our registration form completed with our coach registration number.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Rstrahan on March 07, 2015, 07:01:53 PM
We were driving back from Texas, and saw a billboard saying Walmart welcomes campers, then on the side of the building a large banner welcoming overnight campers. 

All depends.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Tom on March 07, 2015, 07:03:21 PM
Was it welcoming overnighters, or merely welcoming campers to shop at their store?
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on March 07, 2015, 07:23:44 PM
Too bad we don't have boondocking/dry camping areas at more campgrounds. Prior to the Olympics in Southern California, the state put in a bunch of dry camping sites at numerous state parks along the length of the state. They were intended for travelers who merely wanted a place to sleep with no frills while transiting to the Olympics. They were called "Olympic sites", and they became a site of choice for us when we used to tow our fishing boat to local waterways in the 80's.

The sites were gravel, no frills. Since we were on the boat fishing all day, we just needed a place to sleep for several hours, before heading out to fish again the next morning. The state park charged $5/night. They also had a small marina where we could rent a slip for the boat. The slip fee was $5/night and, if we rented a slip, they'd give us the dry camping (Olympic) site for free.

We used these so often that, as we turned into the entrance of the SP on Friday afternoon/evening, the rangers would have our registration form completed with our coach registration number.

That would be a great deal, that is where I would stop most of the time, even at $10 a night.  If it was quiet and secure, that's all I'm looking for in a place to park.  I've been a WM's where after shopping, I didn't "feel" secure, so I moved on.  I've been know to tip workers in the parking lot that are going to be there all night to watch my unit for me.  I sleep better that way.  The guards at WM that rove in those cars with the flashing yellow light are worth tipping if they're going to be there all night.  One they don't make a lot of money in the first place, but are trying to supplement their SSI, so, after talking with them a little, and finding out how late they are going to work, I'll give them 5 or 10 and sleep like a baby.  I even had one ask me when I wanted to get up, and at 06:30 he knocked on my door and had a cup of coffee for me from the McD's!  How's that for value.  I'm not a real "camper" in setting up, hooking up electric, water, etc., unless I'm at my destination.  So I guess one would call me a destination camper. 

But as I get to a CG I'm always amazed by ya'll senior RV'rs that are set up and rolling, and I'm still going over my check list, not even close to set up.  My average is about an hour, for a basic set up.  That doesn't include setting up the screen room and getting the furniture set up. 

So Tom.. How long until you have this network of Boondocking stations set up for all of us "destination campers?"   ;)
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: jglass on March 07, 2015, 07:25:19 PM
We made it back home today after our 2 month Florida vacation.    Yep, parked at a Walmart in Paducah, ky last night.

Just learned today an "Iron Skillet" truck stop on I-39 in Northern Illinois has a FREE dump station and parking places for RVs.   The RV spaces are also FREE for overnight parking.    They also have water and sell propane.

I always stop there and use their dump station before arriving home.   Dump station always was $5 plus a $5 deposit on the dump station key, but this time they only asked for the $5 deposit.  Could have been a mistake, how knows.

Hearing some of the replys makes me sad to hear how some people take advantages of certain situations.   The way it always is, a few ruin it for others.

Iron Skillet truck stops are well known for their buffet restaurants.
Jim
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Tom on March 07, 2015, 08:30:11 PM
I'll make a note of "Iron skillet".
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Gary RV_Wizard on March 07, 2015, 08:34:41 PM
Iron Skillet restaurants are usually at Petro fuel stations (at least in our neck of the woods). Pretty good chow, too.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: COMer on March 07, 2015, 08:42:30 PM
Back when he was starting Good Sam and founding his magazine empire, Art Rouse had the same idea that Tom suggested.  He started a bunch of places where campers could stop at campgrounds and only have a spot to park and it was inexpensive.  I think it was $5 but that was some time ago.  It seems like it would have been a great idea as many campers claim they would stop if they could pay a small amount that did not include all the services we don't need if we are just parking.  Apparently it didn't work.  Maybe some of you remember it better than I do but it went bust pretty quickly.  Not sure why but the idea sure seems to make sense.  A campground that offers  a lot where people can just pull in and park, and charges an appropriate amount, should be successful.  If they are near an interstate exit.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: ArdraF on March 08, 2015, 05:10:37 PM
Art may have been ahead of his time.  Back then there were many more open spaces where you could park without hassle.  There also weren't as many city ordinances against said parking.  Heck, even the interstate rest areas were safer and not as full as they are today.  We parked in many places in the 1970s and 1980s that we would not or could not stay in now.  One of our favorite nights was on the Lexington to Concord road where the famous Shot Heard Round the World was fired.  It went through a lovely woodsy residential area and we joked about hearing the Redcoats coming.  We made sure the local residents who were out walking their dogs saw us picking up the beer bottles and other trash left behind by their local neighborhood kids.  They were all quite pleasant but I'm sure you can't park there today.

ArdraF
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: rebelsun on March 08, 2015, 07:05:02 PM
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.


 


I would have been ashamed too, with the behavior you described.
It sound like a shanty town, complete with Cousin Eddie dumping the grey and black tanks into the storm drain.

There is a WalMart in Fort Pierce, Fl., which fills up with Canadians mostly, but other RVers as well, who spend the night in the WalMart parking lot, which has a security patrol, because it's not in the nicest part of town, and then spend their day at Pepper Park Beach north parking lot, about 7 miles away.  The County doesn't allow overnight parking in the beach parking lots, but they are allowed to stay there all day, then retire to the WalMart parking lot at night.

They spend the winter doing this, day after day, week after week, month after month, to avoid paying the campground fees.  I always wondered where they dump their tanks, but maybe I don't really don't want to know, after all.

The County I live in (Brevard), is attempting to stop camping on the side of the 528 Hwy on the shore of the Intercoastal Waterway, between the Kennedy Space Center Causeway, and the Cape Canaveral AFS launch facility, and near Port Canaveral, which also has a very reasonably priced County campground at Jetty Park, in the Port, because they have observed the campers dumping their RV holding tanks into the Intercoastal Waterway at night.
It only takes a few to ruin it for everyone!
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Tom on March 08, 2015, 07:16:05 PM
The "Olympic sites" I mentioned were like dry camping in a gravel parking lot. Easy in/easy out, and no frills. They allowed generators (within limited hours). The $5/night fee was in the 80's, and I'd gladly pay $15-$25 a night for something similar at a commercial campground for the times we just need a good night's sleep. OTOH since this would take up real estate, it may not be financially viable for a campground to offer it.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Lou Schneider on March 10, 2015, 11:32:37 AM
Escapees has had boondocking spaces in all of their parks ever since they first started building campgrounds in the 1980s.

Usually there are at least a few spaces near the park entrance, and these serve a dual purpose.  The first obviously is for people who just want to pull off the road and get some sleep before moving on, but they also work as an after hours holding area.  The parks don't have after hours check-in, instead if you arrive after office hours you stay in a boondock space for the first night, then if you want to stay longer you register in the morning.  This saves everyone else from being disturbed by someone coming in late and setting up camp in the wee hours.

Boondockers get to use everything in the park just as if they were in a full hookup site.  For a long time boondocking was free for up to 2 weeks per year, but a few years ago they changed the price to free for the first night, then $5 a night after that to help defray some of the park overhead.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on March 10, 2015, 01:42:42 PM
Escapees has had boondocking spaces in all of their parks ever since they first started building campgrounds in the 1980s.

Usually there are at least a few spaces near the park entrance, and these serve a dual purpose.  The first obviously is for people who just want to pull off the road and get some sleep before moving on, but they also work as an after hours holding area.  The parks don't have after hours check-in, instead if you arrive after office hours you stay in a boondock space for the first night, then if you want to stay longer you register in the morning.  This saves everyone else from being disturbed by someone coming in late and setting up camp in the wee hours.

Boondockers get to use everything in the park just as if they were in a full hookup site.  For a long time boondocking was free for up to 2 weeks per year, but a few years ago they changed the price to free for the first night, then $5 a night after that to help defray some of the park overhead.

That's still a good deal.  I need to rejoin Escapees.  The first year or two I was a member, but the parks were less than I expected, so I didn't use them.  I went to one park that literally looked like someone put hookups in a wheat field, and about nothing else.  It certainly was cheap enough, but if I'm going to all the trouble of setting up, I want something nicer.  But if it's just to boondock for the night, I'd rather stay there than WM if I don't need to shop. 

One other reason I guess I stay at WM, is while driving my truck I have to take 10 hour breaks, uninterrupted.  Which means I can't move the truck for the entire 10 hours.  So I'll stop at WM, shop, eat near by, then go back to the truck, which has killed about 2 hours, now an 8 hour rest and I'm done.  So with the MH, it's the same type of driving experience, only without all the gauges.  I've thought about adding more gauges, I already have enough, switches on the dash.   :D  So, just out of habit, and with more room for stuff, I stop at WM, only I don't have to stay 10 hours.  So I shop, eat, sleep, and leave.  If there were an escapees park near the road that I could BD at, it would be quieter, darker, and I'd probably get a better rest there.  What would be nice is a visual of the parks near interstates, then I could plan my trips out that way. 
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: cadee2c on March 10, 2015, 02:47:34 PM
Quote
What would be nice is a visual of the parks near interstates, then I could plan my trips out that way.

Not sure if this is what you are talking about but.... if you go to Google Maps and find your interstate off ramp where you need to pull over, you can zoom in on it and in the maps search bar, enter the term "campground". Any campgrounds in that area will be displayed. Then you can either zoom in and go to "satellite view" or in some cases "street view". With Street view you can follow your route right up to the driveway.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: 99WinAdventurer37G on March 10, 2015, 02:54:29 PM
Not sure if this is what you are talking about but.... if you go to Google Maps and find your interstate off ramp where you need to pull over, you can zoom in on it and in the maps search bar, enter the term "campground". Any campgrounds in that area will be displayed. Then you can either zoom in and go to "satellite view" or in some cases "street view". With Street view you can follow your route right up to the driveway.

I was thinking of a major highways map with red dots on the map to indicate the campgrounds.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Ned on March 10, 2015, 03:23:51 PM
The POI-Factory has a CSV file with all the Escapees parks.  You could use that with your favorite mapping software to produce your own map.  If you want more than just the Escapee parks, they have several other files with thousands of campgrounds listed.

Here's (https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid=z-Hdq8Oq6VyQ.kaonWLDBJ6cc) a Google map of the Escapees RV Parks.  It took just a few minutes to build it.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: capt.morgan58 on April 05, 2015, 11:39:28 AM
Got to get in on this LOL! on my limited budget 5000 mile trip last summer i did "park" in walmart lots overnight only, camped when i reached a destination, but googled and called the stores to verify first, other options are home depot, lowes, and other big box stores. It pays to be considerate.

The Cannons don't Thunder there's Nothing to Plunder!1  ARRRRGG!
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: OLDRACER on May 25, 2015, 08:33:55 AM
I suspect that campground owners are amongst the most vocal anti-Walmart parking posts on many forums.

Many have  been very active campaigners against Walmart allowing parking.

Food for thought.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Bill N on May 25, 2015, 12:33:40 PM
On the rare occasions I comment on this subject, I get ostracized...

  (WM usually doesn't build in the best parts of town)
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.

Okay Tom, let me do a little bit of friendly ostracizing.  In our town and its suburbs, there are nine Walmarts and two Sams clubs plus five or six Walmart Neighorhood stores.  All of these stores are built in what I call 'business areas' meaning there are several other chain stores located in the same area or even use the same parking lot.  There is only one of these Walmarts located in what I would call  'not the best parts of town' meaning not the safest part of town.  So, maybe in the larger cities with high crime rates, your statement may be true but not in the vast majority of Walmart sites.  So now consider yourself whipped with a wet noodle (and thanks for all you do here).
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: John From Detroit on May 25, 2015, 12:53:42 PM
I suspect that campground owners are amongst the most vocal anti-Walmart parking posts on many forums.

Many have  been very active campaigners against Walmart allowing parking.

Food for thought.

In every state there is a Campground Owner's Assn.. Affinity belongs to many of them (The folks who own Camping World, Good Sams,Woodalls Et-al)  They lobby for anti-overnight at places like wal*mart laws trying to mandate "Only park in licensed campgrounds" so as to maximize their profits.

They cite stories of the RVer who dumps in a sewer drain, and other things which are very very very rare so that they can push their agenda.. Anything something bad happens to an RVer or by an RVer they are right there to make sure legislatures know it so they can push their agenda.

Can not say as I blame them... I mean it is their profit they are trying to protect and as the song says (modern Old Time Religion) Though the love of it roots evil still there's those who seem to feel though that ALMIGHTY GOD'S a DOLLAR and there's not enough for me (This verse is copyright public domain,,By me)

Now as for Wal*mart..  Fully half their employees qualify for FOOD STAMPS.. Which half?  Well the ones who stock shelves,, Mop floors,, Unload trucks and otherwise WORK their behinds off.

Which ones do not qualify?  Well the store manager does not of the above work and likely is paid over 100,000/year.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: grassy on May 25, 2015, 01:44:48 PM
Wallmart night stopping for my DW is a dead no..it gives her the willies and with what many of these folks are driving, they can afford to go to a park.  She says that same for us..and if you cannot afford to RV, you should be...it reminds us of that don't tip when they travel...and the list goes on..

The comment about the Canadians is a shame but probably well deserved..

We are making a major dash this summer..not leving the major highways..no desire to stop and sight see (this time) would mean over nighting at a couple of truck stops..we look the part and no slides..she is still saying no..
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Tom on May 26, 2015, 06:06:59 AM
Bill, understand the friendly whipping, but you know the WMs in your town and the areas where they're located. Folks don't usually stay at WMs in their local area, and therefore don't know if any given WM is in a "nice" area or the other type you have in your town:

Quote
There is only one of these Walmarts located in what I would call  'not the best parts of town' meaning not the safest part of town.

This lack of local knowledge is a major reason we don't stay overnight at WMs.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: John Beard on May 26, 2015, 06:17:48 AM
This lack of local knowledge is a major reason we don't stay overnight at WMs.

Good point.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Quillback 424 on May 26, 2015, 07:15:51 AM
Wow! So, Walmart's business model is to build mega-stores in areas where the locals don't have enough money to shop there and where those who don't live in the immediate area but do have money wouldn't even consider shopping there!

This model not only turns every member of your family into a billionaire but also gets a call from The First Lady to collaborate with her to build some stores in even less desirable inner city neighborhoods in the future.

Some of the comments on this forum are so... so... comical.
Title: Re: Asked to leave Walmart
Post by: Tom on May 26, 2015, 07:48:43 AM
Now might be a good time to end this discussion before it goes further downhill.