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Old 10-09-2014, 01:27 PM   #1
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How to find a safe place to stay

We are full timers and I was wondering if there an app that would direct you to a more desirable part of city to stay for the night while traveling. Whether you decided to stay at a campground or Wall Mart or rest area. We have stayed at a few questionable spots and I didn't rest easily. I am aware that there could be problems anywhere, but if I could minimize the risk it would make me feel better.
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Old 10-09-2014, 01:33 PM   #2
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:45 PM   #3
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Your comfort level may not be what others experience. Just go to a place and if it doesn't look good to you - move on.

We rarely stay in big cities anyway. We've never felt uncomfortable. Perhaps rest areas or WalMarts are not for you. Try stopping at a small town before or after that big city. As for as campgrounds, that shouldn't be a problem at all.
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Old 10-09-2014, 02:58 PM   #4
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Everyone talks about Wal Marts, and while some may like them, I have yet to see one where I would spend the night. I have also read that any Camping World will allow you to spend the night, as will Bass Pro shops, Cabellas, many churches (with permission), and many Sam's
Club stores (owned by Wal Mart). I bet lots of places might allow it even if not mainstream. It would take a lot of research and planning to pre-arrange this kind of thing so I typically pay $ and night-over at Rv campgrounds. I have felt unsafe in only one of those so far. (It was not a planned destination, but rather a weekend salvage location when we were evacuated from our primary campground due to flash flooding.)

I would not hesitate to at least ASK at some other place that looked and felt safe to spend the night. At the same time,I would be locked up tight, with my personal safeguards in place. Unfortunately, there are just too many opportunistic criminals out there to let down your guard in just any old place.
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Old 10-09-2014, 03:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mody n Domy View Post
a more desirable part of city .
I wouldn't imagine there would be such an app. Depends on exactly how you define "more desirable" . What does that mean to you?

Overnighting outside of formal campgrounds isn't for everyone. I suspect you will be much happier in a campground.

Enjoy your travels.

We've travelled extensively since '99. Never felt threatened so far.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:14 PM   #6
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We have stayed at several Wally Worlds, and Camping Worlds. The nice thing about both, in addition to being free, is they are generally lighted. Many Wal-Marts have overnight security. Check Wal-Mart locations by state for a very good listing. Always ask when you arrive. Most even allow the slides to be extended. Always try to buy something there.

Camping World's quite often have some hookups, although generally no sewer, just dump stations.

Do your homework. If you know approx. where you are staying, search for nearby locations. Generally these are quite safe locations.

You might also check at Flying J locations. Although they can be noisy, they are generally safe places to boondock with dump stations available.
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Old 10-09-2014, 07:20 PM   #7
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Most Cabelas stores allow overnight stays for RVs.
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Old 10-09-2014, 08:57 PM   #8
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Also Cracker Barrel restaurants let some overnighting. Plus you get some good food!
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Statgeek View Post
Everyone talks about Wal Marts, and while some may like them, I have yet to see one where I would spend the night. I have also read that any Camping World will allow you to spend the night, as will Bass Pro shops, Cabellas, many churches (with permission), and many Sam's
Club stores (owned by Wal Mart). I bet lots of places might allow it even if not mainstream. It would take a lot of research and planning to pre-arrange this kind of thing so I typically pay $ and night-over at Rv campgrounds. I have felt unsafe in only one of those so far. (It was not a planned destination, but rather a weekend salvage location when we were evacuated from our primary campground due to flash flooding.)
We've found that staying a Wal*Marts, rest areas or closed stores takes almost no planning whereas preplanning an RV park stay requires that you be somewhere at a certain day/time.
Most Wal*Marts are visible from the freeway and easy in/out, plus while they can be noisy our rig is very well insulated and many of them have security.
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Old 10-09-2014, 09:31 PM   #10
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We know just how you feel. Common sense and your internal gut feeling with serve you well. We recently joined Harvest Hosts (harvesthosts.com). It is a $40/year membership and they have over 500 places to stay for free. You dry camp at winery, zoo, brewery, farms, etc. We have used them a number of times and always have a wonderful experience. Often we are the only rv there. Always feel safe and welcome. We put out our slides and run the genny when needed. It has been well worth the money. BTW, I have no affiliation with them just a happy customer.

For a free night the Harvest Host is our first choice, Cabelas is our second choice, Camping world is third, Walmart has worked for us but not near our top choice. I have never stayed at Cracker Barrel but they do look like a good spot.

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Old 10-09-2014, 09:37 PM   #11
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I've given up on trying to park at Cracker Barrel, the spaces are too short and cars park in the RV spaces. They are missing a lot of RV customers because of this.
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Old 10-09-2014, 11:51 PM   #12
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Ive parked at many many walmarts, flying J's, rest areas, truck stops and even a downtown street in Des Moines. (had to due to overflow parking at a stadiu, for a race). With the exception of one walmart, I have never not felt safe. In des moines, I came back to the rig to find a not so savory character peering in the side door window. Still spent the night. I think someone entering my rig would feel much less safe than I would
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Old 10-10-2014, 03:02 AM   #13
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Camping and parking for the night traveling between points A & B are two different things. Before departing in the morning I generally have an idea how far I will be traveling that day, and where I will be staying the evening. I depart after the morning traffic rush and get off the highway before the evening rush. I am a member of Thousand Trails Campgrounds and Encore. Being retired Army gives me access to Military Campgrounds. As a member of the Elks, VFW and American Legion, I have access to their campgrounds and parking lots that accommodate RVs. Yes, sometimes I use Walmarts, Cabellas, Bass Pro, Cracker Barrel Restaurants, Casino's and truck stops for evening overnights between points. With the use of a smart phone or I-pad, one can easily research campsites and potential over night stops before turning the ignition key.
Piss poor planning can lead to problems and discomfort.
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Old 10-15-2014, 02:37 PM   #14
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We use the Allstays app. Really easy to determine good spots, walmarts etc. cost is $10. IMHO well worth it. Reviews give us an idea if we want to stay there. We have found that if no pic gallery probably don't want to stay there. Camp grounds come up on map of state, so easy to determine how far we are going for the day
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