WalMart, Lake Havasu - no stay

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Tom

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Earlier this evening we were at WalMart in Lake Havasu City (shopping, not camping). There was a sign at the entrance to the parking lot saying "No overnight camping allowed". But a few RVers appeared to be settling in for the night.
 

Phil

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Tom said:
Earlier this evening we were at WalMart in Lake Havasu City (shopping, not camping). There was a sign at the entrance to the parking lot saying "No overnight camping allowed". But a few RVers appeared to be settling in for the night.

Maybe that's why some people call us trailer trash.  :-[
 

Tom

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LOL Phil.

BTW I suspect, but don't know for sure, that the sign is a city sign rather than a WalMart sign. I have to head back down there this morning (Ace Hardware right there was closed when we got there last night) and I'll take another look at it.
 

John From Detroit

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One thing to remember (If it's a city sign) is that the police can not come into the lot to investigate if you are camped or just parked and shopping (less you drop jacks and put stuff out of course) w/o Wal-Mart's invitation.

If you are very clearly camping, instead of parked... Then the officer can respond to the clear crime in progress, but w/o the clear evidence he has to be invited in
 

Carl L

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John In Detroit said:
One thing to remember (If it's a city sign) is that the police can not come into the lot to investigate if you are camped or just parked and shopping (less you drop jacks and put stuff out of course) w/o Wal-Mart's invitation.

If you are very clearly camping, instead of parked... Then the officer can respond to the clear crime in progress, but w/o the clear evidence he has to be invited in

Do not bet on that!    The property owner can agree in advance to allow the municipal code to be enforced on his property.  They sure do that around here (California)  to enforce handicapped parking.  In fact, the local shopping centers proudly post the information.
 

Smoky

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A lot of WMs have signs up, that are not to WMs liking.  Usually a local campground is behind the community action that got the sign posted.  We simply speak to the WM manager and in almost every case they tell us no problem staying over night...  that the signs are not or just lightly enforced.

However, I have heard that Lake Havesus is one of the areas that are very strict about it.  Do not know this first hand, but my best friend in Idaho had to pull up and leave.

I wish the campgrounds would get over it.  The people I meet there are on the move, and headed for a distant campground and do not want to be delayed on their long trip.  They need groceries, a good hot meal at a restaruant, and want to be up and running before or by daybreak with no hassels.  I will boycott any campground I find behind such misinformed community action.
 

Ron

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Smoky said:
? I will boycott any campground I find behind such misinformed community action.

Have you joined Good Sam??  They as a part of Affinity Group are one of the biggest supporters to force you into campgrounds.  GS is no longer the RVers friend but have allied themselves with campground organizations.  No GS is NOT the RVers friend.
 

Smoky

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I agree Ron.  I hate the spam I get from all their profitable affiliations.

However I guiltily admit I am still a GS member.  I do use the campground discount feature because their are so many GS campgrounds.  I get back my membership fee very quickly.  I am also getting interested in their insurance, after talking to Bernie.  Bernie informed me you can opt out of a lot of their spam so I want to look into that as well.
 

Ron

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The ONLY reason I am still a member of GS is because we have a lifetime membership that we got BEFORE Affinity group bought GS.  I we were not lifetime members I wouldn't be a member at all.  If your going to boycott campgrounds then Boycott one of the sources of the problem by boycotting GS.
 

Okotoks Camper

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I can't remember if I read it here or elsewhere, but someone said they checked out this question and found that the local "NO PARKING" ordinances are bylaws and the property owner has to complain in order for the town to enforce the bylaw. This person indicated that, with the Manager's permission, they had parked overnight (again, no slides, chairs, BBQs, etc.) and had no problems.

Anyone else have this understanding?

Cheers,
John B.
 

Smoky

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I do not know that for sure, but I can state that I have been in many WM's overnight that had posted no parking signs and the manager told us to ignore them.  When we are really tired and run into that situation, we park, get a cart of groceries and sundries, then with the cart we go find the manager before checking out, and ask permission.  I think the grocery cart helps the manager encourage us.  ;D
 

Carl L

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I can't remember if I read it here or elsewhere, but someone said they checked out this question and found that the local "NO PARKING" ordinances are bylaws and the property owner has to complain in order for the town to enforce the bylaw.

I have got to inject a note of caution here.  This involves the laws of two nations -- Canada and the USA.  Futhermore, in Canada the laws of 10 provinces and 3 territories.  In the USA, the laws of 50 states.  Each of these soveriegnties is going to have its own laws and spin on enforcement actions be they statutes or local ordinances.  To make things more complicated, the police of different localities will have differing policies and ordinance.

In a strange area, make no presumptions.  Assume that sign prohibitions can and will be enforced.  If you can, ask permission of the property's management if you are going to squat overnight.  Seek local knowledge.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Here in Florida the "no overnight RV parking" restrictions on private property are nearly always local or county land use (zoning) restrictions. Basically they say that any overnight accomodations must be either private residences or licensed public accomodations such as motels and campgrounds.  Zoning laws give the municipality controls over private property that other laws cannot.  Code enforcement officials can find property owners in violation without being "invited" onto the property and fine the proprty owner for maintaining his property in violation of ordnances.  That gives the owner (e.g. Walmart or the shopping mall owner) a lot of incentive to prevent infractions or to invite the police to enforce a "no overnight parking" sign on their property.  And as Carl says, often the police have a blanket invitation  that allows them to act on the property without specific invitation - this would be common in larger cities where active police patrols are used to help assure the safety of the parking lot for patrons.

And if the Walmart is part of a shopping mall, then it is the mall owners rules & agreements that apply rather than the Walmart manager's.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Often you CAN stay overnight in spite of the signs.  Just ask the manager.

Do you mean ask him why he posted the sign in the lot?  ???

Sure, you can stay at your own risk and hope the No Parking won't be enforced - it often is not - but that's your choice. The manager may tell you he will not make a complaint or call the police himself, but clearly he (or the property owner) put the sign there for a reason.
 

Tom

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Only once have I been told to move on in the middle of the night and that was one time too many. That was also the only time I (innocently) camped for the night where I shouldn't have.
 

Bob Buchanan

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Hi Gary:

>> Do you mean ask him why he posted the sign in the lot? 
====
Last year while visiting Laughlin I parked under a no parking sign on one of the local parking lots. Many other RV's were parked in the same area and obviously were spending the night. The first thing I did was ask a local policeman if that was OK. He said yes, if I behave myself.

He went on to explain that the reason the "owner's" of lots that are OK with RVer's spending time on their lots ask for the signs is so they have the legal authority to remove them if they cause problems (such as leaving trash, making too much noise, or whatever kinda trouble they may cause). If the local government sign wasn't there, the nuisance RVer would be much harder for the owner to remove.
 

Smoky

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Gary:

Bob aptly explained one of the reasons for asking the manager.  I was referring specifically to WalMart.  So another reason is that at WalMart, they never post their own sign.  It is always done as a result of community action.  WalMart actually opposes such actions.  In many cases, they know it is not enforced and simply prevents overcrowding.  Kind of reminds me of Direct TV and Direcway, where they have rules about your location, but loosely enforce them for RVers who are capable.

In Myrtle Beach we ran into an interesting situation.  There was confusion on our week long reservation and the campground suggested we park at WM until they got our site ready.  WM had such a sign posted but the campground told us it was not enforced and to parkl there.  When we talked with the WM manager, we learned it was that same campground, along with others, who was behind the civil action that created the sign.  ;D
 
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