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Old 03-25-2015, 06:48 PM   #15
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Over night parking

We have stayed at Flying J, Pilot, Loves, Cracker Barrel and Walmart. All are good. We always ask and have never been turned down and all have been very friendly about us asking. We like the being able to shop or fuel up there or eat. We only use these traveling for sleeping over night arrive late in the evening and leave soon after day light. We do not stay there in the daylight hours. The noise has never kept us awake. We park as much out of the way as possible.
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Old 03-25-2015, 08:55 PM   #16
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Another option if you're not on a work schedule for vacation time is to route yourself off the interstates and pick an area you'd like to explore. Then cut your driving time shorter, pull into a campground early afternoon, relax, have a cool one, explore a little and take off the next morning. You'll find this is a more relaxing way of traveling long distances than quick overnights on parking lots.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:07 PM   #17
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We have only spent the night at a Walmart one time in nearly 30 years of RVing and that was when we were running from an oncoming hurricane and wanted to go as far as possible to the north from Florida as we could. I know, hurricanes take a long time to hit a particular area, but my job kept me near home until just before the storm was supposed to strike.

It's not that I am against parking at Walmarts, Cracker Barrels or other such places, its that we always stop driving no later than 4:00 in the afternoon and I just can't see staying in a store parking lot until bedtime.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:18 PM   #18
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I look for large open empty parking lots and find a spot that is out of everyone's way.

That could be shopping malls, church parking lots, stores such as Lowe's and Home Depot's, K-Mart, etc. I have used a few Camping World parking lots, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela's.

The only rest stops I will stop at have to be located a considerable distance away from the highway. If it isn't, we don't stay and move on.

I will use truck stops as my last alternative giving the truckers the right of way. If needed I will stop at one and park as far away from the pack as possible.

I always try to ask permission if possible and if I am asked to move which has happened a few times I do so without hesitation.

I never discount anything anyplace anywhere unless I see signs that restrict overnight parking.

One small town on the I-10 corridor to be VERY careful with overnight parking is Van Horn TX. Otherwise you will definitely be talking to the judge the next day.

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Old 03-25-2015, 09:20 PM   #19
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We often travel longer distances and need to over night along the way. When we first started, we would find a campground, arrive kind of late, hook up, etc. and fall asleep. Over time (our second trip maybe?) we realized that it was costing us a lot of money and time to sleep in our own trailer for a few hours. We started staying at rest stops and truck stops instead. This has worked out great and we're pretty happy with it. Now that we're traveling further in the Class A, it's even better.

My question - what is your favorite overnight spot while traveling to your ultimate destination? I've been pretty fond of truck stops because of the availability of everything we need (gas and food) while being fairly anonymous. We've never been hassled, although truckers often ask about our dogs. We can run the generator if needed without worrying about our neighbors, and they are conveniently located.

I've stayed at one Sam's Club and a few rest stops. The Sam's Club was fine but they aren't always very convenient. Rest stops are OK also but often are in the middle of nowhere (which can be good) and don't have much for conveniences. Not all Wal-Marts and rest stops allow overnight parking either, so you have to check to make sure it's allowed.

Just curious what everyone else prefers and why?
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While traveling, wherever I stop overnight when I want to stop is my favorite "overnight stop" that evening/night.
It makes no difference to me whether I find a rest area, truck stop, Sam's Club or a Wal-Mart.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:29 PM   #20
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To those that stay overnight at a Walmart or one of the other facilities mentioned in this thread, what time do you usually arrive?

We like to stop by 4 or 5 and get out of the coach to walk then relax a little (i.e. adult beverage), have supper usually prepared and eaten in the coach, take a look at maps & Google to find interesting places to stop the next day then go to bed. We don't leave at the crack of dawn either but try to be on the road by 9ish.

We've thought about staying at Wally and might this summer on our trip to WA/OR. Free is a nice plus!
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:30 PM   #21
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Lowes corporate policy is to allow overnights unless prohibited by their local community. Lowes also is a free WIFI hotspot and it works very well from their parking lots at all hours.

My daughter has been a Lowes store manager for 15 years.
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:39 PM   #22
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Lowes corporate policy is to allow overnights unless prohibited by their local community. Lowes also is a free WIFI hotspot and it works very well from their parking lots at all hours.

My daughter has been a Lowes store manager for 15 years.
Interesting. Do they request you ask for permission first?
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:48 PM   #23
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I joined the Moose for when we traveled, bought the books listing the lodges. Our lodge closed down so they transferred my membership to one much further away. Sent them a letter asking for a demit since we weren't traveling yet anyway. Been some 10 years now and have never received a demit or anything else from the lodge so I guess it was all a wasted effort and $
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:04 PM   #24
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Thanks for the info on Lowes. Had not thought of them. Have used Walmarts on several occasions where didn't really want to take the time to set up and then in the morning get ready to go. At Walmarts, we put no jacks down and no slides out. Easy in and out. Always get permission and never been told no. If their gas station is big enough to get in and out of with a TOAD, will fill up with gas. However I will seriously consider Lowes in the future if they are near where I need to stop for the night since they have WiFi.
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Old 03-25-2015, 10:15 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by KarenS144 View Post
To those that stay overnight at a Walmart or one of the other facilities mentioned in this thread, what time do you usually arrive?

We like to stop by 4 or 5 and get out of the coach to walk then relax a little (i.e. adult beverage), have supper usually prepared and eaten in the coach, take a look at maps & Google to find interesting places to stop the next day then go to bed. We don't leave at the crack of dawn either but try to be on the road by 9ish.
We've thought about staying at Wally and might this summer on our trip to WA/OR. Free is a nice plus!
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There is no specified "park times" or "leave times" at the free locations others are discussing...(we often stop as early as 3 or 4 and leave at 9 or10 AM).

To me the fact that they are convenient overnight stops is far more important than the fact that they are free.

In other words the "location" of "those locations" saves me a lot of time when stopping for the night.... (and when leaving in the morning).

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Old 03-25-2015, 10:26 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by KarenS144 View Post
To those that stay overnight at a Walmart or one of the other facilities mentioned in this thread, what time do you usually arrive?



We like to stop by 4 or 5 and get out of the coach to walk then relax a little (i.e. adult beverage), have supper usually prepared and eaten in the coach, take a look at maps & Google to find interesting places to stop the next day then go to bed. We don't leave at the crack of dawn either but try to be on the road by 9ish.



We've thought about staying at Wally and might this summer on our trip to WA/OR. Free is a nice plus!

This is pretty much our schedule. It's never been a problem where we have stayed. As someone else said, the convenience of Walmart and not having to find the campground that's never going to be as easy in and out as Walmart,mis much more important than the free part. By the time I run my generator and my wife returns to the coach from Walmart, it's cheaper to pay a campground.


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Old 03-25-2015, 10:38 PM   #27
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Walmarts that have good parking are always nice. We can generally couple doing some shopping with the stop.

But sometimes the parking lots can be a real pain in the backside depending upon the island location.

Rest areas tend to be our go-to locations, especially in summer since at a rest stop I don't feel bad about running the generator all night.

Truck stops depend on size and crowding. Some are perfect and even have RV parking; but some are small and crowded and I hate to bump out a truck.

I would say 80% of the time we don't call it a day until 10:00pm or later, though. We may stop at 5-6:00pm to make some dinner somewhere, but then we'll get back on the road since there just wouldn't be that much to do before 10 or 11 anyway (since we aren't full time, we don't have TV in our coach, and I am not THAT addicted to the internet)

If we are really thinking we're beat at 5:00pm, we'll do our best to look for a campground, unless we fully intend to eat, nap, sleep and get up super early.

For the most part, we've learned the various places to stop depending upon where we are going (at least the first, "big jump" part of the trip), and figure our plans accordingly.

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Old 03-25-2015, 10:42 PM   #28
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Another place I forgot to mention in my original post are the parking lots of motels/hotels which I always look for a spot way in the back. These include Motel 6, Super 8, Residence Inn, etc. There are many to choose from. The biggest advantage is having free high speed Wi-Fi in most cases and security lights in the parking lots.

Sometimes I have found large parking lots that will have a variety of shopping stores with a hotel or motel nearby. Those are places where I try to park closer to the hotel/motel to use their Wi-Fi.

Or if there is a Golden Arches nearby I will use their Wi-Fi or possibly a coffee shops WI-Fi if there is one close by.

Every place is different so I look for the best of both worlds and the most convenient.

I love FREE!

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