CNN Article on camping at Walmart

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PancakeBill

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To follow up on my comment, 1st time in a Walmart, older teens kicking a soccer ball at their car protected by the goalie, if the ball got past him, it would hit the car and set off motion alarm.  Next time in an overnight Walmart in Lake City FL, shoppers having trouble finding their car in the empty parking lot would hit the panic button on their remote.  A Walmrt we skipped, parking lot was not very level and as I was walking in to find a manager and see if it was OK, I was getting stinky from locals, and into restore and just not a good feeling, turned around and found a CG. 

I will say, I overnighted in Rexburg, ID because it was late and I was bushed, checked with manager, overnighted and it was fine.  Out by 7AM. 

All in all, I stand by The Last Resort.  Would I stay again?  Yes, but need to really check it out first and feel no other options.  If I need heat or AC, more likely to look for CG. 

The Bozeman Walmart is a popular stop.
 

Tom

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Also on the lighter side, Cliff Rodman, an RVer and singer/songwriter, read some of the earlier WM discussions here and wrote a song called "Waltzing Through Walmart". It was published on one of Cliff's CDs, and was a hilarious story about folks setting up camp in a WM parking lot, complete with fake grass, lawn chairs, sat dish on tripod, flower pots, and awning deployed.
 

Oldgator73

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PancakeBill said:
  Next time in an overnight Walmart in Lake City FL, shoppers having trouble finding their car in the empty parking lot would hit the panic button on their remote. 

Well those shoppers are doing a lot better than me. The only time the panic alarm works for me is when the key fob is in my pocket and I sit just the right way. Usually in a restaurant or several times while I was in PT.
 

Dragginourbedaround

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docj said:
I've never quite understood this logic.  If I didn't have the RV, I'd be paying ~$100/night to stay at a lower priced hotel these days.  If you haven't looked for hotels along the interstate lately, that's a pretty common rate even using Trivago, Priceline, etc. 

So if  a campground charges me $30-50 for the same short, overnight stay I don't consider that outrageous.  They're providing me several dollars worth of electricity plus other incidentals and a measure of security.  Furthermore, I get a place to walk around in the evening that isn't simply a parking lot.  JMO
Well that?s one of the reasons I have an RV, I don?t want to pay $100 and more a night. Having a dog with us reduces the number of places to stay and raises the price. I also don?t need electricity, water, or any other incidentals. I?m completely self contained. All I need is a patch of land to park six tires on. I like having my own bed, bath, kitchen and living room.

As far as security I?ve never felt insecure at a Walmart, but there have been a few campgrounds that were sketchy. Wherever we stay we always spend money as a way of saying thanks and helping the local economy. 

If You?re happy paying $30-50 for an overnight stay so you can have place to walk around in the evening, great I?m happy for you.
 

Ex-Calif

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Don't get me wrong, I like my RV but it makes no sense financially compared to hotel rooms.

Let's say I finance $80k at 5% - That's $4,000 a year in interest - 40 nights in a hotel.

Let's say I pay cash - My investments make 10% so it makes even less financial sense. 80 nights in a hotel

The only way it makes sense is if you are in it for more than 80 nights a year.

Buy something in the $150k range and the breakpoint looks like 6 months... Sure we can argue the incidental costs of eating in, doing laundry in a RV etc. But I doubt any of us are buying RVs to avoid a Denny's breakfast bill...

All of the savings which is probably more than overwhelmed by the ongoing maintenance, insurance etc. costs.

I only say this because newer folks (of which I am one) need to know there is the initial investment plus on-going maintenance costs.
 

Lou Schneider

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Ex-Calif said:
Don't get me wrong, I like my RV but it makes no sense financially compared to hotel rooms.

Let's say I finance $80k at 5% - That's $4,000 a year in interest - 40 nights in a hotel.

Let's say I pay cash - My investments make 10% so it makes even less financial sense. 80 nights in a hotel

The only way it makes sense is if you are in it for more than 80 nights a year.

Buy something in the $150k range and the breakpoint looks like 6 months... Sure we can argue the incidental costs of eating in, doing laundry in a RV etc. But I doubt any of us are buying RVs to avoid a Denny's breakfast bill...

An RV makes even less economic sense if you include the fuel cost.

300 miles in a 30 MPG car uses 10 gallons of gas.  At $3 a gallon that costs $30.

300 miles in a 6 MPG RV uses 50 gallons of gas.  At $3 a gallon that's $150 for fuel.

The $120 difference right there is more than enough to get a decent motel room for the night.  With money left over to eat in a restaurant if you include what you'd pay for an overnight RV space.
 

jayc2640

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Lou Schneider said:
An RV makes even less economic sense if you include the fuel cost.

300 miles in a 30 MPG car uses 10 gallons of gas.  At $3 a gallon that costs $30.

300 miles in a 6 MPG RV uses 50 gallons of gas.  At $3 a gallon that's $150 for fuel.

The $120 difference right there is more than enough to get a decent motel room for the night.  With money left over to eat in a restaurant if you include what you'd pay for an overnight RV space.

But my wife and I dreamt of having a Class A for the last 25 years or so.  We thought we would never be able to afford it.  So we camped.  First in a tent, then a bigger tent, then in a pop-up, and three years ago, we were able to achieve our dream!  A 30' 2015 Monaco Lapalma gasser!  We had it for a little over a year before we traded it for our current rig, a 2018 Winnebago Forza 38F.  Is it responsible?  No.  No luxury whether it is a candy bar or a masseratti is ever responsible.  But it was our dream, we've been full-timing for over 2 years and we love it!  So, who cares?  We're in our 60s, and we might as well spend it while we can enjoy it!
 

ChasA

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jayc2640 said:
But my wife and I dreamt of having a Class A for the last 25 years or so.  We thought we would never be able to afford it.  So we camped.  First in a tent, then a bigger tent, then in a pop-up, and three years ago, we were able to achieve our dream!  A 30' 2015 Monaco Lapalma gasser!  We had it for a little over a year before we traded it for our current rig, a 2018 Winnebago Forza 38F.  Is it responsible?  No.  No luxury whether it is a candy bar or a masseratti is ever responsible.  But it was our dream, we've been full-timing for over 2 years and we love it!  So, who cares?  We're in our 60s, and we might as well spend it while we can enjoy it!
Right on John ! It's my money and I'll spend it as I like.
 

phil-t

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Not in it for the economics!!! ----  Put a value on the enjoyment the RV brings to your life.  In our minds it is "priceless"!  So we do not even look at the costs of owning and using our motorhome. 
 

UTTransplant

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Cedar Falls, IA
Ex-Calif said:
Let's say I finance $80k at 5% - That's $4,000 a year in interest - 40 nights in a hotel.

Let's say I pay cash - My investments make 10% so it makes even less financial sense. 80 nights in a hotel

There are no hotels in most of our favorite spots. KOFA? Joshua Tree? Hyalite Canyon between Bozeman and Yellowstone? Even if there is a hotel, it isn?t the same experience. Furnace Creek Ranch at Death Valley is about $200 a night or more. I get a mountain view of the sunrise for $7 (with my geezer pass at least). If anyone goes into camping to save money, they are losing the best reasons - seeing places that just can?t be seen from a hotel room or at least in a way that can?t be seen.
 

NY_Dutch

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Where our wheels take us!
RV'ing is a lifestyle, not an investment. As fulltimers with an older long ago paid for motorhome, our average per night costs are about a quarter of what a hotel room costs these days. And we know exactly who slept in our bed last and who used our bathroom last... ;)
 

Ex-Calif

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jayc2640 said:
Is it responsible?  No.  No luxury whether it is a candy bar or a masseratti is ever responsible.  But it was our dream, we've been full-timing for over 2 years and we love it!  So, who cares?  We're in our 60s, and we might as well spend it while we can enjoy it!

I didn't mean to infer that owning an RV is irresponsible or a bad idea. It's probably a bad idea if you make $80k a year, have a $350k mortgage kids in school and two $400 car payments.

But the reason we work is to position ourselves to live the life we want!  I think you are totally responsible.

And as @UTTTransport says, an RV can take you places where there may be no hotels or accommodation.

 

Lynx0849

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Not having to drag luggage and a cooler into a motel each night, pack it back up in the morning, load ice from the ice machine labeled no coolers, then find someplace to eat breakfast... rinse, repeat... that is one set of benefits to the rv.
 

garyb1st

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Southern California
We RV because it's what we enjoy.  To compare the costs of RVing to staying in a motel is both specific to the individual and usually meaningless to everyone else.  RVing comes in all shapes and sizes.  From $180 for a 7 month camping pass at a BLM location to well over $100 a night at seaside resorts.  Getting there is no different.  Both can be reached in a new luxury motorhome or used truck and trailer. 

 
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