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Old 10-07-2010, 09:29 AM   #1
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Dumb question about quick over-nighting

Pardon what might be a dumb question and dont know wed ever do this but curious. I see RVs parked in Wal-Mart lots in the evening for obvious overnight stays while moving from A to B. Someone told me once Wal-Mart encourages this which makes sense if selling product but doesnt make sense from a potential liability standpoint. Whats the scoop on this?


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Old 10-07-2010, 09:46 AM   #2
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Use the search feature and type in "Wal-Mart". It's a touchy subject. Some do, some don't. We do. We also stay at Sam's Clubs, Cracker Barrels and Flying J because we tend to eat there. To be honest I feel safer in the parking lots than in the rest areas. We currently live very close to a rest stop on I25. I have felt... uneasy... in this rest stop during the daytime. I would never stay there overnight. The cops do not patrol it. They do not swing thru it, they do not stop in it. Someone drifts thru once a day to clean and then they are gone. If there was a problem, you would be on your own. I would drive the 13 miles to the next town (the one we are in) and stay in the Wal-Mart parking lot. At the least, I would stop at the truck stop in Lemitar. The local cops keep an eye on the Wal-Mart parking lot after hours.

Lots of places allow overnight parking, not just Wal-Marts.
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Old 10-07-2010, 01:13 PM   #3
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Most Walmarts permit overnight parking. For the ones that don't, it's usually because of a local ordinance. The ordinances prohibiting overnight stays in parking lots are frequently passed because of complaints by local campgrounds.

In order to not "wear out your welcome" and encourage ordinances prohibiting overnight stays, groups like Escapees and FMCA subscribe to Rules of Etiquette, which are as follows:
1. Obtain permission from a qualified individual.
2. Park out of the way.
3. No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grill.
4. Avoid using slide-outs if at all possible.
5. Do not use your leveling jacks on asphalt.
6. Limit your stay - one night maximum!
7. Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank -you
when feasible.
8. Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
9. Practice safety precautions.
IMO, there's nothing wrong with staying in a parking lot overnight as a convenience when you're tired driving at the end of the day (with permission). It's not intended as a vacation.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:22 PM   #4
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I have read that Wal-Mart has determined that the average stopover RV'er spends $55 (without fuel). I think that seems about right for us. Wal-Mart tells their new employees that the average Wal-Mart customer (family I think) will spend about $200,000 in a life time and to treat them as a $200,000 customer. We always try to be very good guests when overnight at a Wal-Mart. There was a recent report of somebody being attacked and robbed when they opened their door to somebody at a Wal-Mart and they are suing Wal-Mart. This is probably some ambulance chaser lawyer, but I sure hope it doesn't change their policies. We usually stay at them for convenience when going from point A to point B, but some really abuse the hospitality.
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Old 10-07-2010, 05:35 PM   #5
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My feeling on the subject is to come in late and leave early. Just use Wal-Mart as a place to get a few hours sleep. If you want to drop the trailer or take the dingy to go sight seeing, my feeling is you need to find a campground. They are doing this for the convenience and safety of their customers, so let's no abuse the privilege or there will be campground owners and locals start to fuss about the over use and loss of business.

My nickels worth.

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Old 10-07-2010, 05:48 PM   #6
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When we stay at Walmart overnite my brain says, "thank you thank you thank you". Keep thinking like that and you will be a good Walmart overnighter. Now my wife says, "OMG he'll be in there for a couple of hours at least". She really does say that. Learn the limits Walmart puts on overnighters and obey the rules. As Martha (Stewart that is) says, "It's a good thing".
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:16 PM   #7
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This website: Walmart Store Locations Map - Wal-Mart Guide displays WalMart locations. It also displays those that do not allow overnight RV parking. It is probably not up to date for all locations, so phoning ahead is prudent. You may even download it to your computer.
We have overnighted at WM, Sams club, church parking lots-only when the lot is empty, truck stops are a last resort-way too busy/noisy.
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:16 PM   #8
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When we park at wal-mart I always end up in the store atleast twice. Never park there unless there is another rv in the lot and always get a ok. Never had a no yet but then my cart is always full, so that helps I'm sure!!!!!
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:37 PM   #9
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As to liability for overnighting RV's, I would think same would apply to anyone (customer or not) parking a vehicle in the parking lot. And I believe that Walmart disclaims all liability for those persons.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:57 AM   #10
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When we are ''on the run'' we will overnite at Wally World. We always ask the store manager first and we always restock the ''larder'' and Willa always manages to find something ''On Sale'' that we just can not do without. We were up in Alaska in 05 and we over nighted ''free'' at a Fred Mayer store in Anchorage I think . ''FREE''? Yeah sure. Willa went ''shopping'' and found a ''gold nugget ring'' with a diamonds in the band,,,, $759.oo and it was ''On Sale'' and she just 'couldn't resist it'. Thank goodness we parked ''free'' or we could not have afforded the ring.........

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Old 10-08-2010, 10:13 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TTSuncruiser View Post
... Never park there unless there is another rv in the lot and always get a ok...
So if everyone followed that rule, then no one would ever stay overnight!
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Old 10-08-2010, 10:18 AM   #12
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In reference the Wal Mart stores parking no parking map. I just looked at the map and as Ray mentioned the map may not be current. Two Wal Marts close to me do allow overnight RV parking (Grants Pass & Klamath Falls, OR) but the map indicates they do not so I'd suggest using the map for locations but don't hesitate to ask at the store about remaining overnight.
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Old 10-08-2010, 03:23 PM   #13
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Looking at map. In Anchorage we used Sports Authority. Met a Walmart trucker there once, he explained the importance of his moose catcher. After he was done, my wife and I realized we were not going to survive a moose hit. I like Fred Meyers because they mark the curbs and supply signs about where you should be parking.
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Old 10-08-2010, 07:07 PM   #14
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I have a question on the Rules of Etiquette for overnight stay in a parking lot. I don't understand the reason for, 4. Avoid using slide-outs if at all possible. Maybe this is because with the design of our RV the slides must be extended to access the bedroom and makes it very hard in the dining/living area to access the area.

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