Thanks for the link Paul. You can also get the latest location information from Wal*Mart's web site together with phone numbers so you can call ahead rather than rely on second hand information that might have changed
Thanks for the info. I'm not sure how up-to-date it is, however. There are two WalMarts in our area that are not listed -- one about 5 years old, the other about 2. It also lists one store in our area that closed a couple of years ago.
The website gives you a map of locations, the address and phone numbers and whether they have a parking ban.
Unfortunately, it doesnt tell you things like the store at Cordele having a railroad passing the back of the store.
So, I think the website should also state something like this....."If you are planning to go out on a Wednesday night and have a meal and a few drinks, be aware that you will not be able to move your RV when you get fed-up of the train horn going off every 30 minutes throughout the night" :'( :'( :'(
Just click on the given link and then click on the state you wish to view. It shows all the addresses and phone numbers. It will state "no overnight parking" at the bottom of the store info if it is not allowed.
They may have but I didn't see that message. We have stayed at a few and never had a problem. Always try to find a 24 hr Walmart. Usually they have security and one should not have many problems. There's always that possibility but I think it's rare. Of course, the part of town where the Walmart is located must be considered. If anyone really is concerned about problems there's always a campground somewhere.
My comment isn't related to overnight camping. But I was in our local Wallmart this past week looking for a thermostat that one of the forum members had recommended, and it struck me that I was very fortunate to live in a country where there are so many great stores and prices are for the most part, very reasonable. And it isn't just the Wallmart stores! You can go almost anywhere and get almost anything you want. The food selection at most of the groceries stores would be envied around much of the world. Anyway, I was reminded of what I was thinking while visiting that Wallmart when I read this thread.
Boondocking at Walmart is no different than doing so at other public places, including some campgrounds. If the area doesn't feel safe, then move on. As Jim mentioned, the 24 hour Walmarts generally have security and are as safe a place to stop as anywhere.
For clarification, if you read my message in its entirety, you'll see that I don't tell people they shouldn't stay at WM; I merely state the reasons why I don't overnight there or at any other store parking lots. I have my opinions of store parking lots, based on observations and the reports of others; They happen to include my "magnet for druggies and dealers" opinion.
If we're on a freeway passing through the outskirts of some town, my wife will sometimes say "let's stay at that WM over there". I'll always remind her that we don't know the town, nor do we know if this is the undesirable part of town. We'll keep going and stay at a campground. It really isn't worth it to me to save the campground fee or avoid the inconvenience of detouring off the freeway if I'm not going to feel safe or be able to sleep. Unfortunately, some of the undesirables come out late at night, after I've settled in, so moving on wouldn't always be an option.
Some folks have previously misunderstood my position as being "anti-WalMart", but that's not true. I shop at WM when it's convenient and if they have what I need.
If and whenever we use a stores parking lot we try to locate a police officer 1st and ask if parking is permissable and then tell him we would appreciate him checking on us providing the Manager of the store says it's OK. It's worked for us time and time again and always felt safe.
While we don't stay at Wal-Mart or any other parking lots as a general practice, logically staying in a Wal-Mart that is open 24 hours will indeed provide better security than you will have in most if not 99 percent of the campgrounds. Wal-Marts that remain open 24 hours have excellent security even in the parking lots. How many times have you seen any security in a campground other than membership parks? How many campgrounds have any security at all after the office closes?
Actually I have heard of more crime occurring in a campground than in a Wal-Mart lot.
Having said that we have never felt threatened in a campground but then that also applies very few times we over nighted in a Wal-Mart.