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trazoe

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I agree with Tom, if the day comes that we cannot afford to fork over $25 or so for a CAMPground, it will be time to sell the trailer.  Nothing makes me laugh more than seeing an $100,000 rig camping in the parking lot at Walmart.  Of course, maybe you are the smart ones hence the reason you can afford such rigs....  Anyway, if it is your thing, go for it.  It isn't mine.

Recently out in Nebraska we were forced to use Wallyworld parking lots for 'gotta go breaks' and a couple of lunch breaks.  They have REALLY small rest areas that can only hold about 6 semis each and every one that we passed through was full.  After 150 miles of our tummies grumblin' and our bladders burstin' we were happy to whip into the parking lot.  But to camp there, overnight....no.  I don't even go to my local Walmart after dark, why would I want to park my RV there and try to sleep when I don't know if the area is any better or worse?

And I am really bothered by those of you who say you pull in there because you are dog-tired.  My gosh, you don't get off the road until you are dog-tired?  How safe is that?  If you are driving that big rig down the road PLEASE pull over much sooner than that.  If not for your safety then for mine!  RVing is supposed to be for fun, what is the point in pushing yourselves that hard?  You won't have to worry about where to park for the night if your rig is up against a tree or worse!

There are plenty of campground directories that you can bring with you to help you locate a campground.  Anyone ever heard of Woodalls?????  Or nowadays so many of you even bring laptops along.  The only 'pinch' I could see that would really even be cause for a Walmart stay would be if all of the campgrounds were full.  But, if traveling during the busy season, reservations will prevent that anyway.  I never feel like they cramp our style any, although I am sure that is why many people don't bother.
 

camper1b

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trazoe said:
I agree with Tom, if the day comes that we cannot afford to fork over $25 or so for a CAMPground, it will be time to sell the trailer.? Nothing makes me laugh more than seeing an $100,000 rig camping in the parking lot at Walmart.? Of course, maybe you are the smart ones hence the reason you can afford such rigs....? Anyway, if it is your thing, go for it.? It isn't mine.

I've heard this argument before and it is rather weak. ?Do you also try to find the most expensive campground when you are at a location? ?Do you make sure you always buy your clothes, etc at boutiques and not sometimes at discount stores? ?I try to save money when I can and it's got nothing to do with the value of my rig.

Saving money is only one of SEVERAL reasons I overnight for free when I can. ?I get in late at night and don't want to fool with a checkin or trying to find a site and bothering my neighbors. ?I also know that every Walmart will be the same with lots of lighting and big parking lots so I know what to expect. ?I only do this for overnight stops. ?My final destination is NEVER a Walmart.
 

Tom

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camper1b said:
I've heard this argument before and it is rather weak.

Rich, just for clarification, since my name was mentioned in the message you quoted, my "sell the coach" comment wasn't offered as a reason for not staying at WalMart and wasn't meant to be argumentative.

Do you also try to find the most expensive campground when you are at a location?

Definitely not, but I prefer to stay somewhere safe. I've stayed at lots of inexpensive campgrounds and usually avoid the most expensive ones or complain if I don't have a choice.

I get in late at night and don't want to fool with a checkin or trying to find a site and bothering my neighbors.

What about the other folks at WalMart who might have gone to bed early? Or don't they count? As for check-in, most CGs will leave a tag on the office door with a map of how to get to the site for late arrivals.

We just spent two weeks at a factory service center with their own free campground and lots of other freebies. They told us when we arrived "we're in no hurry to get you out of here" and they weren't kidding. We thought we'd be there only two days and I finally had to light a fire under someone to get out when we did.

The camground was full and folks were dry camped in the parking lot and staging area waiting for a campsite to open up. Some of them were naturally upset that they'd made the service appointment months in advance and now had to dry camp. (The campsites aren't reservable). Meanwhile, a number of folks we talked with boasted about how long they'd been there and how often they come back so they can stay for free and meet their old buddies, kinda like an unofficial rally. One guy was sent to another nearby facility, also with its own campground, for some of the work part way through his stay; He insisted they give him a (free) campsite at both campgrounds at the same time. A number of folks even took off to a nearby rally for several days and made sure they had a site to come back to, meanwhile the dry campers were still waiting for a site.
 

Ned

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Tom said:
A number of folks even took off to a nearby rally for several days and made sure they had a site to come back to, meanwhile the dry campers were still waiting for a site.

If the sites are nonreservable, how could they do that?
 

John From Detroit

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trazoe said:
There are plenty of campground directories that you can bring with you to help you locate a campground.  Anyone ever heard of Woodalls?????  Or nowadays so many of you even bring laptops along.  The only 'pinch' I could see that would really even be cause for a Walmart stay would be if all of the campgrounds were full.  But, if traveling during the busy season, reservations will prevent that anyway.  I never feel like they cramp our style any, although I am sure that is why many people don't bother.

When I travel there are basically two kinds of trips.. "Around the state" I can reach most anywhere in the LOWER half of Michigan in a day w/o problems... Though I do need to get up a bit early for a few towns.  The other kind of trip is "Vacation" where I may be 2 or 3 days getting to the park,,,, or longer

Now, when I'm doing "long" trips. I tend to visit mapquest, use my onboard map programs (Street finder/Router planner) and other resources and lay out what I think will be the best rout..

Then the rubber hits the road and like a military battle plan the travel plan meets the enemy... ORANGE BARRALS

Suddenly what I though would be about six hours on the road turns into 10, or 12.  I've planned on stopping, perhaps near Hearshy, PA, but with all this construction...

Perhaps there is a park nearby where I can overnight, perhaps not.  Wal-Mart has security.  Many parks do not

I do not intentionally drive till I can't drive any farther.. But sometimes your plans get disrupted

(Of course my last trip (The one where I had to make a quick stop on the return) was kind of intersting... After I set up I was singing a song  "How dry I am, How wet I"d be, save this rig, sets up easily"  I was not 30 minutes from engine off when the clouds burst and I mean it got WET out there.  The old trailer.. I'd have been soaked
 

Tom

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Ned said:
If the sites are nonreservable, how could they do that?

Once you're in, you're in until you tell them you're leaving and that your site is available for the next guy. Might not make sense, but I didn't make the rule or the convention, I just followed it.
 

Ned

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But if you're at a rally, you're out, not in ;)
 

Tom

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Ned said:
But if you're at a rally, you're out, not in ;)

You're not paying attention. One more time: You're in until you tell them you're leaving and that your site is available for the next guy. Even when I told the service counter I'd be leaving first thing Saturday morning and one of the dry campers could take my place, they asked me to let the security guard know so he could let someone into my site. If I hadn't done both those things I could have gone back there today and moved right back into the same site. Doesn't make sense to me either  ;D
 

Ron

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Sounds to me like they could make more unhappy campers with the current policy.  IMHO if you have left the facility you are out and on the bottom of the list when you return.  I do believe the purpose of the parking is for service.  Once you leave the service are to go to the rally you have left the area.  I know I would be pretty unhappy if I was waiting for service in a boondocking area while some inconsiderate ding bat was out to a rally but still insisting they hold his sight for him.  Just don't seem right to me.
 

Tom

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As I said Ron, it doesn't make sense to me either. I saw a number of newcomers standing in line at the service desk asking if they could take "one of those empty sites out there".
 

Ned

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I am paying attention.

1. Sites aren't reserveable.
2. If you go to a rally, you're not in a site.
3. The site is now open for the next person in line.

If that's not the case, then the site is reserved until you relinquish it.  So get in a site, don't tell them you're leaving, and it will be waiting for you when you return next year.

Really stupid business policies as far as I can see.
 

Tom

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Ned said:
So get in a site, don't tell them you're leaving, and it will be waiting for you when you return next year.

Conceiveably, that's a possibility, although I didn't talk to anyone who'd succeeded (or tried) holding one that long. The one that really got me was the guy who had to go to the other nearby facility for a couple of days/nights because one of his jobs had to be done there. When I said "You'll lose your site", he said "No I won't, I insisted they give me a site at each facility". Sure enough, his site next to us was empty for two nights and a couple of days later he came right back to being our neighbor. All the while there were folks dry camping and "on a waiting list for a camp site".

Really stupid business policies as far as I can see.

They're not in the campground business. All camp sites are free, so they really don't care how long someone is in a site.
 

Ned

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They should care if it angers their customers.
 

Ron

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INMH if they don't care how long somebody is in a campsite when others are waiting then they must not care about some of their customers.
 

Tom

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I don't know if they care or not, but the customers who hang onto their sites are obviously happy campers. Asking them to leave so someone else could have their site would presumably make them unhappy. Beyond that, I have no idea what the thinking is. I just know what I observed and heard several times over the course of a couple of weeks.

Back to my original point, some folks are clearly taking advantage of the situation and actually plan extended periods of free camping, entertainment and food. When they're able to schedule the stay with a rally in the middle, I suppose you could say they're working the system. As one guy (another "let's get out of here" guy like me) said, "When the customers are hugging each other, they've obviously been here too long".

There were, however, some folks who were on an extended stay but would have preferred not to be. Our two weeks felt like an eternity, so I had a lot of empathy for folks who had involuntarily been there longer.
 

Jim Dick

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Tom,

It doesn't sound reasonable but I guess it's the same almost anywhere. At the American Coach facility they assign sites by number. As long as you hold onto the number plaque, you have a site. If you leave for a couple of days the front desk doesn't know and they won't reassign the site since they don't have the number plaque in their possession. I don't necessarily agree but that's the way it is.
 

Tom

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Thanks Jim. I was beginning to wonder if I got it all wrong  ;D
 

Ron

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Jim,  When were at Decatur one time somebody did leave without turning in the number sign.  I think either one of the service folks or maybe another customer apparently mentioned this to the front desk because they issued another sign they had made up and filled the spot.  Of course I don't know all the details just that when I was in the waiting area at the window they were looking for another sign because the other one was not turned in.
 

Jim Dick

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Ron said:
Jim,  When were at Decatur one time somebody did leave without turning in the number sign.  I think either one of the service folks or maybe another customer apparently mentioned this to the front desk because they issued another sign they had made up and filled the spot.  Of course I don't know all the details just that when I was in the waiting area at the window they were looking for another sign because the other one was not turned in.

Hi Ron,

Yes, sometimes someone will leave without turning in the sign. However, I have seen people leave for a day or more and keep their sign. Happens when someone has an appointment at Monroeville. Usually that only takes a day but it could be more. I don't believe they reassign the spot immediately. I would imagine Jennifer checks with the Service Advisor to be sure all work has been completed.

 
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