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Old 10-24-2014, 11:30 AM   #1
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A Free Place to Stay: Ameristar Casino, Kansas City, MO

What's the difference between parking and camping? If I'm in a designated dispersed camping area, Forest Service or BLM, for example, without hookups or other facilities, am I camping or parking? If I'm in a parking lot doing the same, is it parking or camping? I don't know. What do you think? I'm not going to call it either camping or parking. Whatever you label it the Ameristar casino parking lot is someplace you can "be" or "stay" in your RV for free. Full details on my free blog RussOnTheRoad

Photo: Stainless steel tree sculpture at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art sculpture park in Kansas City, MO
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:59 AM   #2
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FWIW, I have been in a Walmart where the sign said no overnight "camping" vice overnight "parking". It was late, and I saw both trucks and RVs in the lot, so I went in and ask. The response there was the security and cops won't say anything if you're just parked and spending the night...but they draw the line when you have your chairs and grill out and awning deployed. I don't know if there is any staid and fast answer to your question. probably depends on the location and what they enforce. JMHO
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Old 10-26-2014, 09:41 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by DSL417 View Post
FWIW, I have been in a Walmart where the sign said no overnight "camping" vice overnight "parking". It was late, and I saw both trucks and RVs in the lot, so I went in and ask. The response there was the security and cops won't say anything if you're just parked and spending the night...but they draw the line when you have your chairs and grill out and awning deployed. I don't know if there is any staid and fast answer to your question. probably depends on the location and what they enforce. JMHO
My question was rhetorical, but you raise a good point that there is no one rule applicable everywhere. I suppose that's why its always best to check with the appropriate authority(ies).

I was thinking about spending a night in the Walmart at Durango, Colorado. I inquired with someone at the Customer Service Desk who said it would be fine despite the fact that the City had "no overnight parking" signs posted in the lot. The customer service person said Walmart did not own this lot. She also said that people routinely park there and no one gets ticketed. There was an RV dealership across the street with whom I also visited and I asked if they knew anything about this and they told me people get ticketed all the time. Perhaps the person with whom I spoke in Walmart just wasn't aware of the situation completely. I did not stay at this Walmart.

Near Minneapolis Minnesota in one of the suburbs I spoke with someone at a Walmart who said a city ordinance prohibited overnight parking but that people park anyway and that they didn't get ticketed. Based on my experience in Durango I opted not to park at that Walmart either.

Neither of the Customer Service reps I mentioned above were managers. I would expect managers to be more in the know, however, I recently spoke with a manager who said the corporate policy prohibited overnight parking but even this manager was wrong. The Walmart corporate website clearly says RVs are welcome.

In other cases in the past I have spoken with the local constabulary and sometimes even they aren't sure of the rules.

A person could speak with property owners and legal authorities and make written notes of the individuals with whom they spoke, when they spoke with them, what was said, and even after assurances from everybody that parking is okay I suppose you could still wind up with a ticket in cases. I guess it's true what they say: nothing is certain in life except death and taxes. LOL.
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