1st Walmart Overnite

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Marsha/CA

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Tim and I have now started coming back west along the TranCanada Highway in CAnada and are in Parry Sound at the moment.  We couldn't find anyplace to camp last night as all the campgrounds were full.  Several places suggested we stay at Walmart because the next city was a good distance drive.  So.....we bit the bullet and stay in Walmart's parking lot.  There were about 3 other big rigs and 4 5th wheels/trailers here so we felt comfortable and safe. 

Now, no offense to those of you who like to stay at Walmart; but Tim and I would rather be in a campground and prefer to avoid Walmarts.  However, this one worked out well.  We met another couple from the States and shared information.  We bought things we needed at Walmart, so felt we did our part.  We were prepared to keep the slide in and not put down the jacks; but others had their out, so we did too.

We are off this morning to Espanola near the Killarney Provincial Park.  Apparently it's beautiful.  WE have reservations at a small campground with only 20 amp service.  We've also learned a lesson, make reservations on weekends and check to make sure we know when their holidays are as their campgrounds fill up fast.

Another bit of information.  We were completely surprised at the amount of heavy traffic in and around Toronoto.  It was bumper to bumper...looked just like Interstate 5 between LA and San Diego.

Marsha~
 

Wendy

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We prefer boondocking away from pavement and roads but an overnighter at a Wal-Mart can come in mighty handy sometimes.

p.s. Didn't know you guys had gone so far east ! Sounds like you're enjoying yourselves.
 

rhmahoney

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I came through Toronto westbound about 5 yrs ago on a Sat eve. Yipes! That much traffic gives me hives. The locals didn't seem to know that it was the weekend.
 

Marsha/CA

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Russ, we were amazed at the Toronto traffic.  We thought we would have no trouble as we too went through on a Saturday; but it was mid-day!

Wendy-we went back to see family in both Indiana and Ohio.  WE seem to keep making that trip...<g>  Remy is getting very good at "RVing".

Marsha~
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Marsha,

We have stayed at a few WalMarts. I prefer a campground but when I only need a few hours sleep a WalMart can be the answer. I don't condone "camping" at Walmart. The biggest problem I have seen is shopping carts. They can come out of nowhere!!! 
 

Marsha/CA

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Now shopping carts coming out of no where I had not thought of.  I'll have to keep that in mind when we do it again.  I should have thought of that as one hit my big truck right after I bought it in 93.  We parked way out of the way to avoid a cart and as you say......one came out of no where.... :eek:

I was surprised at Tim (husband).  He said it wasn't as bad as he thought it would be.  It made us feel better that other campers were there.  I think we would have been more leary if we were the only ones.

Marsha~
 

Betty Brewer

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Jim Dick said:
We have stayed at a few WalMarts.  The biggest problem I have seen is shopping carts. They can come out of nowhere!!!?

Jim and Marsha ,
Forgive me if you have heard this  story before but  for others...The one and only Wal Mart stay we made was someplace in Wyoming.  I purchased LOTS of stuff as the motorhome was pretty new and I needed things.  To "Make up" for free camping I thought I should do something, so I walked all over their huge parking lot gathering up loose shopping carts.  When the guy  came out to do it, he was surprised and pleased.  I got exercise, he got a break from cart gathering.  A win.  For me, Wal-Mart  stop overs are a very expensive deal!

Betty
 

Jim Dick

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Betty,

I'm sure he was very pleased that you had taken care of the carts. Less for him to do. :) It also kept them away from your new coach.

Yes, Walmarts can be expensive BUT usually the stuff you buy is needed. You would spend the money elsewhere if you weren't parked at Walmart. Pat likes the Supercenters because she can buy food which we always need.
 

Ken & Sheila

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Jim,

Hard to believe, but we've only stayed at Walmart twice. I as going to say once, but I think we (you & Pat, us and and a few other RV Formers stayed at one at the end of the Des Moines FMCA rally. The other time was a whole 20 miles from home so we could beat some traffic and make a 7am Cummins appt on the way to a small Forum Rally at Deadhorse State Park (AZ).

But then in Alaska we did Kmart (Anchorage), Juneau Mall, and Fred Myers (Ketchican). As you know mostly on the road we do Truckstops, although in Alaska we did some "roadsides".

None of the above were for anything more than overnight except Juneau and Ketchican. Both places I had permission to stay a few days BEFORE I arrived. The Mall lot in Juneau was large and no problem (Good Sam had a booth and controlled RV parking). The Fred Meyers lot in Ketchican much was smaller. After arriving and finding a place at the end of a row of cars (and nicely facing the water), I went in the store and talked to th manager. He assured me that because the campground had such limited space for large rigs, that we were welcome to stay. If it were not for these to places we could not have taken the MH&car on the ferry trip south because I could not get CG reservations for a 36 ft rig at either city.

NOTE: I do not use Truckstops in large urban areas and I have have stopped at a few and driven on because Sheila or I wasn't comfortable.

ken



 

Wendy

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I'm more comfortable at Wal-Marts and find them more quiet than truck stops even though we use them for basically the same thing...an overnight stop.
 

woodartist

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Well, we prefer the truck stops over Wal-Mart..in general. Noise doesn't bother us or the dogs and we feel more secure. However it is nice to get a roasted chicken dinner at Wal Mart:) There are some really nice truck stops that are not stereotypical. Don't care for the seedy ones ;)
 

Shayne

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Woody  thats what we had for dinner tonite from
Sam's Club.  HMMMM HMMM Good.  Hate to go there cause almost always buy one.
 

Jim Dick

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Hi Ken,

Yes, I remember that Walmart but it was Ames. Hotter than Hades. We've probably only stayed at Walmart a half dozen times. Always call the Manager ahead of time to be sure they allow parking and then go in and let them know we are there. Have never been refused yet but there are some that can't allow it. If it's a Supercenter then we spend quite a bit for groceries. :)
 

Jim Dick

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woodartist said:
Well, we prefer the truck stops over Wal-Mart..in general. Noise doesn't bother us or the dogs and we feel more secure. However it is nice to get a roasted chicken dinner at Wal Mart:) There are some really nice truck stops that are not stereotypical. Don't care for the seedy ones ;)

One must be very careful in truck stops. Some truckers have been known to take off your mirrors as they pull out. They don't like RVs taking up their spots. It's best to ask at the fuel desk if it's safe. If we ever stay at a truck stop it will be a Flying J. They have an area for RVs and the newer ones have pull throughs.
 

Ken & Sheila

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Jim,

Yes it was Ames. My good friend Larry who lives in Ames would not forgive me for not remembering correctly. But I also made a second mistake, the store we stayed at in Ketchican was a Carr's not Fred Meyers.

And your very right about being careful at Truckstops. Just after we a our Windsor repaired, including a new Drivers side mirror we stopped at a Truckstop in Santa Nella and the trucker next to us pulled out a scraped the mirror housing. I believe it was deliberate. But in all our many nights at truckstops. that is the only problem we have had. Again as I said before we are selective at which truckstops we stay at and Flying J is a the top of the list. We have found many other really nice truckstops to overnight at, but no other "brand" like Flying J.

My cats really liked the FJ in San Antonio, TX. We were instructed to park on the far side of the restaurant parking lot. It was right near the on ramp to the freeway and a tree with lots of birds. Obviously the cats like to watch birds, but mine also like to watch trucks at night with all the lights.

ken
 

woodartist

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Flying J's are starting to prohibit RV's from parking over night. We have never had problems at truck stops and prefer them over the Flying J's anyway........less Rv's:)[br]Date Posted: August 18, 2006, 09:56:56 PMFlying J's are starting to prohibit RV's from parking over night. We have never had problems at truck stops and prefer them over the Flying J's anyway........less Rv's:)
 

cheryl

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I think is a place to mention this.  First off, I think an overnite at a Walmart once in awhile is ok.  We have done it a couple of times on a long day traveling to another location for a stay.  Putting out the slide and jacks, well I guess when in Rome...... BUT while we were in Cody, WY the Walmart should have been named Walmart RV Park.  We stayed right outside of Cody for a week and went into Cody 5 of the seven days.  Each time (in the middle of the day) we would count 11 to 12 units, several we saw day after day.
There are many RV parks in Cody and around so I think this would rate as abuse of a good thing in case you need one for a night out on the road with no parks around or just passing through.  Just my thoughts!
Cheryl
 

woodartist

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Well Cheryl, it is like so many things where a few ruin it for the rest of us. I've seen the RV'ers put their slides out, fire up the outside stove, spread out the lawn chairs, etc. No attempt to be discreet. Same thing with casino lots........oddly the worst offenders seem to be the folks who could afford a campground ;)
 

Just Lou

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I snapped this pic in the Sam's Club parking lot in Anchorage, Alaska in July of this year.? They stayed there two days.  The curtains stayed closed and the generator ran the whole time.  How do I know this?  I sat there too.
lou
 

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CeeBeeEll

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Our first time in a Walmart on the way to New Mexico last year.  It was our second night out after spending nearly $30 dollars on the honor system at a campground that we got to at 11:00 PM and left at 6:30 AM.. still no one in the office.

Anyway that night was the first time I discovered what hours the parking lot sweepers work!  I think he started about 3:00AM and finished an hour later.  I could have sworn he spent the entire time circling our coach.  I think thats the only time since we've had that happen.  I think they are great for a quick overnite stop.
 
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