Is it Necessary to Unhook Before Staying in a 5th Wheel?

The friendliest place on the web for anyone with an RV or an interest in RVing!
If you have answers, please help by responding to the unanswered posts.

GaryB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Posts
223
Location
Evansville, IN
Just was wondering something...

On those occassional nights where it would be convenient to stay at a WalMart or rest stop to catch a few hours of R&R and sleep, is it necessary to unhook the 5th wheel from the tow vehicle?  Can a 5th wheel that's attached to a truck be leveled and/or stabilized well enough to live/sleep in?
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,625
Oh my, another WalMart discussion.

Personally, I wouldn't stay at either a WM or a rest area but, if you have to choose, WM might be a little safer. I wouldn't disconnect the truck at either place, nor would I lower jacks. Be ready to leave at a moment's notice. Trouble can occur at any time without notice. If you're in a strange town at an unknown location - be concerned!

The folks who say "I've never had a problem at WM" conveniently forget to add the word "yet". WM parking lots are a magnet for druggies and dealers.
 

Lowell

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2005
Posts
2,221
Location
Tempe, AZ
There's no reason to unhook either a 5th wheel or TT if you just want to sleep overnight and move on quickly the next day.  You don't even have to put down the stabilizers as long as your relative level and the movement doesn't bother you.  While I 've not yet stayed  outside a campground, I have done this when Ii wanted to get an early start without disrupting my campground neighbors.
 

GaryB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Posts
223
Location
Evansville, IN
I guess I was just concerned about those few nights when I may be running late and it may be hard to find a campground, especially one with vacancies.  By the way, do campgrounds normally admit people late at night (in case I arrive late), or do they shut down relatively early?
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
GaryB said:
I guess I was just concerned about those few nights when I may be running late and it may be hard to find a campground, especially one with vacancies.? By the way, do campgrounds normally admit people late at night (in case I arrive late), or do they shut down relatively early?

Carry a Woodalls or Trailer Life Campground Directory and a cell phone with you.? Call ahead to CGs in the area you want to stop in.? Tell them you what you want to do and that you will need a either a pullthru or simply a spot to crash in.? Most CGs have provision for late night arrivals and are used to late arrivals.? Stop at the office, you will find either a registration box or a note directing you to a site.? Done it several times myself.? ?Costs a few bucks but your security improves greatly over parking lots and, especially, roadside rest areas.
 

GaryB

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 29, 2006
Posts
223
Location
Evansville, IN
Hi All - Thanks for the advice.  Camping in a parking lot or rest area will always be my last resort.  But I was just trying to figure out whether, in those rare cases, it's really necessary to unhook and level the 5th wheel if only staying for 4-8 hours.  Sounds like it's not really necessary.

Thanks again
Gary
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
Over the years we've run into some CGs thathad no one on duty and we pulled in  went to bed and took care of things in the AM
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
otrider said:
Thanks for the security info.? Any horror stories you'd care to share about WM or rest areas.? I didn't think they were that bad.

Nothing about Wal Marts, but highway rest areas are not good places to overnight.  As I remember, James Brown's daddy was murdered in one about 20 years ago.  California closes theirs at night because of the crime problem.
 

Wendy

Site Team
Joined
May 14, 2005
Posts
12,535
Location
Colorado
Along with a TON of other folks, we've stayed at a lot of Wal-Marts over the years. Never had a problem, never seen a "druggie or dealer." Did stay in a hotel one time and had a hooker come to our door but that's a whole different story. Just spent 3 nights in a Sam's Club parking lot in Farmington, New Mexico, and felt safer than we do in a lot of other places.....even watched the security truck drive around every hour as well as truckers resting before or after unloading their shipments.
 

Carl L

Moderator Emeritus
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
7,239
Location
west Los Angeles
That is the clue.  Wal Mart lots have security patrols and working stiffs around.  Better than you can draw in a rest stop at night.
 

Shayne

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 22, 2006
Posts
4,324
But if you happen to have an opportunity to enlist the police's service? ?they will check on you thoughout? the nite
 

joelmyer

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 5, 2005
Posts
1,057
Location
Georgia
Gary,

We don't unhook for one night stands.  I drop the front jacks and lower them a little so we aren't bouncing on the truck suspension.  Also generally lower the rear stablizers. 

Joel
 

Dave R

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 7, 2005
Posts
291
Location
North Carolina
Like Joel , we don't unhitch if for only one night and usuallly don't lower any of the jacks. We used to lower them and then we got too lazy.

Dave
Currently in Swansboro NC enroute to Sav.
 

woodartist

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2006
Posts
563
Location
Wandering the Old West
We never unhook in WM's, truck stops, rest areas, etc. Try to find a somewhat level area so the refrig works and your not walking like your in a funhouse :) We stay hooked so it isn't obvious we are staying there ( just seems the right thing to do), however there are some dunderheads that DO unhook, set up chairs, grills, etc. Then after a short while there is a ban on staying overnight there....keep seeing it and it does light the fuse :( Also, as mentioned above it helps with security issues. You can move out quickly if needed...............FYI
 

dcooper

New member
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Posts
3
Tom said:
The folks who say "I've never had a problem at WM" conveniently forget to add the word "yet". WM parking lots are a magnet for druggies and dealers.

I think that is an unfair generalization about WM.  You must own a private campground.
 

Tom

Administrator
Joined
Jan 13, 2005
Posts
48,625
dcooper said:
I think that is an unfair generalization about WM.  You must own a private campground.

You are welcome to your opinion, as is everyone else here. My comment was based on my own observation of WM parking lots in addition to the parking lots of numerous other stores.

I do not own any campground. I don't even own enough land to store my own RV - I rent space at a storage lot. Folks who participate here regularly and have read some of my posts here know that.

Folks who've known me here for the last 20 years and who know me in person also know that I respect the choices of others on where they decide to camp. But I'm vocal about the fact that I will not put my family in potential jeopardy by camping at any store parking lot or rest area. Folks sometimes misinterpret my comments and occasional jokes about camping at WM as criticizing folks who do so, but that's not my intent.
 
Top Bottom