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Old 06-04-2013, 05:13 PM   #43
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When we are traveling and needing to get from one place to another in a hurry then we both figure that we just do not need to spend the money to just stay in a campground for less than 8 hrs when we can just pull into a rest area, state welcome center, truck stop or any large parking lot like the lots for just about any strip mall. And for us walmart is last on our list of places to stop, any large parking will do for us before walmarts.
If we are taking our time then we stop during daylight and set up then and then maybe stay a couple of days.
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Old 06-04-2013, 05:37 PM   #44
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Just curious for those of you who overnight at a campground, what is the usual time that you get there? I'm just wondering about the logistics of setting up in the dark.

Mrs. Lucky still isn't sold on the idea of using WM or Cracker Barrel for an overnight stop
Average travel day is 6-7 hours. Average in camp time is 4PM. I have not set up in the dark since I was about 10, and you can do that with a pup tent.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:35 PM   #45
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Some overlooked overnight spots are city parks. I've noticed that small cities next to the interstates often have parks that have electric and water and sometimes a dump station. They seem pretty safe to me and are nice and quiet for the overnight stop.
I wonder if anybody ever put together a book that lists them all by state?
So far, I only have used a couple of them, but have used them repeatedly. I''d like to know where the rest are located.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:50 PM   #46
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Ok, I'll chime in on this one. Being in the "not retired" crowd, trip timeframes are limited, so we talk about being in "get-there-fast" mode, versus "camping" mode. When in "get there" mode, we have often used Wall Mart parking lots, and have been very successful (and safe) in doing so. Occassionally we have ended up with a truck near us running the engine all night (with associated noise). As a way to travel as far as reasonable before dark, WM typically offers many options for stopping points before dark descends, and usually with quick-off and quick-on from the interstate. With showers wanted by all at the end of the day, we are usually limited to 2 (maybe 3) sequential stops before needing to find a way to dump the grey tank - but it definitely allows us to make long "leaps" in distance. Definitely more tiring than landing in a CG at 4:00 - but that is a trade-off to choose or not choose....
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:07 PM   #47
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Some overlooked overnight spots are city parks. I've noticed that small cities next to the interstates often have parks that have electric and water and sometimes a dump station. They seem pretty safe to me and are nice and quiet for the overnight stop.
I wonder if anybody ever put together a book that lists them all by state?
So far, I only have used a couple of them, but have used them repeatedly. I''d like to know where the rest are located.
Great point!

We too have seen them all around in our travels but only stayed at a couple. The one's we've seen look great, but often not big rig friendly. A book listing these parks would be a good resource.

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Old 06-04-2013, 07:56 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Theluckys View Post
Just curious for those of you who overnight at a campground, what is the usual time that you get there? I'm just wondering about the logistics of setting up in the dark.

Mrs. Lucky still isn't sold on the idea of using WM or Cracker Barrel for an overnight stop
When we stay at a campground for just one overnight, (or arrive very late for a multi-day) we only pull in, park and plug in the electric. No fussing around and waking the neighbors. In the AM we do a quick dump (if necessary) unplug and are on our way. Again no fussing to wake anyone up.

There have been a number of CG's that let us park overnight without hookups for only $5.00 for the night, wasn't a 'real' rv spot, but as long as it's fairly level we are happy.
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Old 06-04-2013, 07:57 PM   #49
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Oh there is one more place to park and that would be the Fair Grounds in various cities. You know those grounds that they hold the county fairs at. Some charge and some do not. Most have an RV park at them with water, sewer/and or electric.
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Old 06-04-2013, 09:13 PM   #50
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We have done one nighter's in campgrounds and Sams/Walmarts. It depends on what the lay of the land looks like. I am keenly aware that I don't know the neighborhood characteristics of places with which I am not familiar and in some areas they can range from uncomfortable to downright deadly.

Therefore, if there is any doubt, we will stay in a campground even for one night and it needs to be a good one. Never would we stay in a rest area or just any big parking lot on the highway.

Also, I would never make this kind of decision after dark in any circumstances unless I know the area. It just isn't worth it. We are not a 200 mile a day couple but neither are we a drive-all-night couple. We have learned to slow down some even though we are not yet retired. We just shorten our trips a little so we can make better decisions.

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Old 06-05-2013, 11:45 AM   #51
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Oh there is one more place to park and that would be the Fair Grounds in various cities. You know those grounds that they hold the county fairs at. Some charge and some do not. Most have an RV park at them with water, sewer/and or electric.

Good idea. I'll keep that in mind for the next trip.
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Old 06-06-2013, 07:39 AM   #52
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I am going to travel from the UP of Mich through Canada to Maine in a week or so and was wondering if the Canadian folks allow us to stop at Wal-Marts etc. for the night. Or if there are other places in Canada to stop for the night without using the campgrounds?
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #53
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A) How many people stop and campgrounds for the night then continuing
B) How many people stop at a W-Mart (or equivalent)
C) How many people spend the night at a truck stop/rest area?

Oh and one other question for you experienced MH operators... I LIKE driving at night time (after 8 pm) because there is a LOT less traffic. I've driven our prior MH at night and this one as well. I've found that there are less truckers but what helps is to just pull behind one and set the cruise and .....

Other than falling asleep, anything other to worry about driving at night?
A) Never
B) Never
C) Pilot/FJ primarily, have hit a few rest areas, but rare

I don't drive at night because that's when the truck stops are full as well as rest areas. Been there done that once! We leave 7-9am and stop 4-6pm.
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:37 PM   #54
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1) We try not to stop at campgrounds during the "travel" portion of a trip. Definitely worth GE money since we require a long pull through +/-62' with toad.
2) we enjoy Walmart as long as we pre screen the area. We always stop early, shop and check-in with the management.
3) Second choice is Flying J's or Pilots
4) tend not to frequent rest stops as there s too much transient traffic.
5) don't like to drive at night as there are too many other drivers that I'm concerned about. Our schedule is to stop after +/-6 hours or 350-400 miles and get up early and rested with clear visibility.

Since we are retired, we try not to be tied to a schedule or tight time parameters. This was not the case in previous years when we were working however.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:10 PM   #55
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For those of you looking for a book or website for free or almost free camping/city parks,etc. Check out this website. http://www.freecampgrounds.com/index.aspx . We used this site last year on our way across the northern states to CO. 6 days of driving and we stayed 4 nights for $5 or less each night. We were in a 2 man tent, but each spot we stayed at had bathrooms water and electric available. Two even had showers. We were the only tenters in each campground. We plan on using this site again on our way to SD next month.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:17 PM   #56
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We're sort of in the same boat, still working and have to cram as much as we can into a vacation. So, when I'm hitting the road hard, I like to just pull into either a Walmart or Flying J for the night. Just pull in and park, easy peasy. I've actually found it to be a lot of trouble pulling into a campground after dark and then I feel like I'm disturbing everyone. Then, you've gotta park, plug in....

Walmart for me when I can find them.
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