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Old 05-13-2012, 10:23 PM   #1
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Virginia Walmart experience - is this typical?

We just returned from our first long distance road trip in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and also Nashville. Both places were amazing and both are without a doubt... "must come back" places, but that's another story.

We happened to be on the road two Friday nights and decided to overnight at Walmarts. Fist stop was a Walmart in Virgina traveling south on I-81 at exit 98, south of Roanoke. Pulled in around dusk, did some shopping, the manager was fine, just ask that we stay at the far perimeter. Around 9 O'clock the remote parking area near our location began to fill up with about a dozen p/u trucks and cars with youngsters "hangin' out" and generally carrying on with music, a few burnouts, and a bunch of coming and going. This went on until around midnight. Another mltorhome and an overnighter in his car parked near us which made for a little more comfort.

Then, returning north on I-81 the next Friday we stopped at the Walmart in Lexington, VA. around 8 O'clock and would you believe the same type of "hangout" was going on again at this location except even more rowdy with noise and burnouts, etc. We actually left there and drove north on I-81 another 30 miles or so to a nice Cracker Barrel with quiet RV parking lanes.... and good breakfast at 10PM!!!

Anyway, at the risk of sounding like an old fuddy duddy, I was very surprised that Walmart would allow loitering in their lots. I know this kind of activity is not tolerated by local police at Walmarts or any other parking lots in our region. Not that anything happened, but I (especially the DW) find it a little unsettling when a bunch of somewhat rowdy strangers gather outside your bedroom on a Friday night.

Since this is really our first Walmart overnight experience, I was wondering if this is to be expected, or if this is common across the country?
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Old 05-14-2012, 12:38 PM   #2
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I have never seen that kind of activity the few times we've stayed at a WM. Have encountered this kind of activity only one time and that was not at a WM but in a parking lot at a Grand Junction, CO, athletic facility and city park across the street from Mesa State College.

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Old 05-14-2012, 01:27 PM   #3
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The OP observations do happen everywhere to varying degrees in various locales. As a frequent Wal-Mart overnight PARKING guest I have seen these things - on rare occasion - at the Wal-Mart or at other "public" properties. These behaviors are not Wal-Mart specific and are not unlike the mall rats, the movie theatre thugs, the drive-in dudes, the make-out spot mavens, and the stoplight nationals that happen in towns around the country. Sometimes we just don't see it at home because it's "the norm" in our area or we are not of "that age group" anymore or we are not around at the hours and spots where "it" happens. Rest assured, it does happen to varying degrees across the country/world and no "public area" is immune. It's life as it is today and quite frankly, always has to one degree or another. It is certainly NOT a state generalization or a Wal-Mart generalization in an fashion.

As one travels around this great country we experience more and more examples of how other folks live. Especially in our RV overnight PARKING scenarios we get to experience more and more different places at wildly different times of the day and see many potentially "new" local "norms." Some might shock and some might inspire. I also might suggest that as we move through life we might have forgotten what happened when we were "of that age."

Again, it is certainly NOT a state generalization or a Wal-Mart generalization in an fashion. The OP was lucky to have witnessed back-to-back diversity of life experiences!
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Old 05-14-2012, 01:44 PM   #4
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I will second that "Have never seen that at a Wal-mart"

Have seen it in other places though... Just never at any of the WM's I've parked at.

Spending tonight at cracker barrel.. Tomorrow WM, Then I'm not sure.. A Flying J (not this one) Home depot? Then a McD's (Near my brotehrs where he used to park his "5th Wheel" (160,000 EGVW Steel hauling Semi).
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:40 PM   #5
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Just remember that its just as much their parking lot as it is yours. Not saying that its right but. Sometimes its not always the same class of people as you that frequent Wally's
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:00 PM   #6
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Those kid were thinking
What kind of old fuddy duddy would park there bedroom in our hangout?
No kids don't think LOL
They are probably there every fri night.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:15 PM   #7
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I'd rather have them hang out in the parking lot doing burn outs and listening to loud music than breaking into houses or mugging folks. We stayed at the Walmart in Cortez on the way to four corners and there were about 10 different vehicles making all kinds of noise. There were also about 16 RVs in the lot on the other side tucked under the trees. At least the kids went away, some of the RVs had there generators running all night!
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #8
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That is precisely why I stay in campgrounds/rv parks. I figure if I can afford the motor home and fuel for it, I can PAY for a campground.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:27 PM   #9
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I always thought it was the "tweakers" who inhabited the wally world parking areas all night because they can't sleep when tweaking. Where else can you go to find others awake at 3:00 AM to hang out with? ( and not get chased off by irritated parents...)
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:33 PM   #10
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Sorry but I can't help but think: You parked there for FREE, what the heck do you expect? Then you complain that Walmart doesn't keep the parking lot up to your expectations? If it was that bad, couldn't you cal 911?

Pay for a campground.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:58 PM   #11
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So funny. Here is a guy driving a fancy DP with a brand new dinghy complaining that the free camping in some scuzzy parking lot does not meet his expectations. What nerve. Go to a campground, support a business owner.
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:22 PM   #12
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Some municipalities will ban any and all 'fun' for teenagers, some are smart and let them 'hang out' in one area where they can have some fun and be safe..
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Pirate View Post
So funny. Here is a guy driving a fancy DP with a brand new dinghy complaining that the free camping in some scuzzy parking lot does not meet his expectations. What nerve. Go to a campground, support a business owner.
No..
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Old 05-15-2012, 08:35 PM   #14
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Having lived in that part of Virginia, there isn't a lot for kids to do that is affordable in a relatively depressed area. As long as its only noise, let them have fun.
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