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Old 08-21-2013, 04:03 PM   #183
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I guess I RV for a different reason that yourself. Boondock camping in the countryside is one thing. Finding some old decrepit parking lot is not my idea of a fun relaxing stop!

As for RV dealers I have two problems with that! First, most around here are locked up at night. You won't get into the lot. Second, I don't think I'd want to park on private property without permission!
Everyone is free to make their own choices. Like you, I'd prefer to get permission for where we park. I dread the 2am knock on the door with the requirement to move immediately - or worse. It would be just my luck.....

I would stop at a Wal-Mart if the conditions were right but we never have. We have pulled into small motels that cater to truckers and asked permission to park overnight. We travel a lot in the summer time and even in the Spring and Fall in Texas, it is often warm enough at night that I need A/C to sleep. That means either shore power or running the genset. 8 hours of genset time can offset a CG charge and there are a lot of places where running the genset at 2am can be a problem.

We used to visit COE parks but we've learned that is a no-no if there are firearms on board. Having ammo is not allowed. Many State parks have the same restriction. Sometimes that is hard to figure out. Lake Whitney SP in Texas, for example, is run by the Department of Parks and Wildlife. The land, however, is under the control of the COE just like the COE RV park on the opposite side of that lake. We stayed in a beautiful COE park
at Lake Hartwell in SC but places like that are no longer an option for us, now that I understand the laws. I work hard at remaining a law abiding citizen, even if the possibility of being prosecuted is extremely remote.

I like to do things outside like cook. I particularly like dutch oven cooking. I see that as part of camping. I'm guess that a lot of places where I could just pull off would have a problem with me lighting charcoal and baking bread in my dutch oven. And I cannot imagine myself putting out my lawn chairs in the evening if I were parked in a commercial RV sales lot. Relaxing outside is part of what I do to get me ready for the next day's travel. Like I said, we all get to make our own choices.
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Old 08-21-2013, 05:22 PM   #184
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mileshuff View Post
I guess I RV for a different reason that yourself. Boondock camping in the countryside is one thing. Finding some old decrepit parking lot is not my idea of a fun relaxing stop!

As for RV dealers I have two problems with that! First, most around here are locked up at night. You won't get into the lot. Second, I don't think I'd want to park on private property without permission!
Yeah, no doubt we RV for different reasons. For us, it's the travel and the view, from up high, out of a large windshield. It's hard to see the sights when you're in a smaller vehicle.

If not an RV dealer lot, how 'bout an RV repair, lot? They are seldom locked up and again, you fit right in! It has been my experience, they don't mind at all. When they arrive for work in the morning, I hold up my cup of coffee in a salute. When I drive out in the morning, they wave! It's all good and goes with the territory of their business. Besides, they know I've been there all night providing security for them.

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Everyone is free to make their own choices. Like you, I'd prefer to get permission for where we park. I dread the 2am knock on the door with the requirement to move immediately - or worse. It would be just my luck.....

I would stop at a Wal-Mart if the conditions were right but we never have. We have pulled into small motels that cater to truckers and asked permission to park overnight. We travel a lot in the summer time and even in the Spring and Fall in Texas, it is often warm enough at night that I need A/C to sleep. That means either shore power or running the genset. 8 hours of genset time can offset a CG charge and there are a lot of places where running the genset at 2am can be a problem.

We used to visit COE parks but we've learned that is a no-no if there are firearms on board. Having ammo is not allowed. Many State parks have the same restriction. <snip> I work hard at remaining a law abiding citizen, even if the possibility of being prosecuted is extremely remote.

I like to do things outside like cook. I particularly like dutch oven cooking. I see that as part of camping. I'm guess that a lot of places where I could just pull off would have a problem with me lighting charcoal and baking bread in my dutch oven. And I cannot imagine myself putting out my lawn chairs in the evening if I were parked in a commercial RV sales lot. Relaxing outside is part of what I do to get me ready for the next day's travel. Like I said, we all get to make our own choices.
Wal-Mart overnighting offers lots of opportunities and choices. You've got shopping and grocery stocking-up, there are usually other businesses around them within walking distance, restaurants, etc. I love the feeling of taking a shower while in the confines of my home on wheels, right in the middle of one of their lots. Passers-by have no idea! And I love to be outside with my coffee in the morning watching everyone else go to work! You should give it a try.

It's true that I don't get the chance to cook outside while in parking lots and I would never set out chairs or deploy the awning. There are lots of RV parks for that if we decide that is the kind of evening we want to have. But for just an overnight stay, with no schedule to be anywhere, give me a pull-out or parking lot, anytime.

As far as firearms on board, I feel like (might be wrong, but...) the RV is my home and I have a right to be armed as long as I'm in this country (maybe not Illinois, not sure). At least inside of it.

You are correct, of course. Choices, it's all about choices and I respect yours, highly. Enjoy!
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Old 08-21-2013, 10:37 PM   #185
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Yeah, no doubt we RV for different reasons. For us, it's the travel and the view, from up high, out of a large windshield. It's hard to see the sights when you're in a smaller vehicle.

If not an RV dealer lot, how 'bout an RV repair, lot? They are seldom locked up and again, you fit right in! It has been my experience, they don't mind at all. When they arrive for work in the morning, I hold up my cup of coffee in a salute. When I drive out in the morning, they wave! It's all good and goes with the territory of their business. Besides, they know I've been there all night providing security for them.



Wal-Mart overnighting offers lots of opportunities and choices. You've got shopping and grocery stocking-up, there are usually other businesses around them within walking distance, restaurants, etc. I love the feeling of taking a shower while in the confines of my home on wheels, right in the middle of one of their lots. Passers-by have no idea! And I love to be outside with my coffee in the morning watching everyone else go to work! You should give it a try.

It's true that I don't get the chance to cook outside while in parking lots and I would never set out chairs or deploy the awning. There are lots of RV parks for that if we decide that is the kind of evening we want to have. But for just an overnight stay, with no schedule to be anywhere, give me a pull-out or parking lot, anytime.

As far as firearms on board, I feel like (might be wrong, but...) the RV is my home and I have a right to be armed as long as I'm in this country (maybe not Illinois, not sure). At least inside of it.

You are correct, of course. Choices, it's all about choices and I respect yours, highly. Enjoy!
Wal-Mart is definitely our friend when we travel. On our recent 14 day trip, we visited Wal-Marts 3 time to re-provision. But it would have been really difficult to use only Wal-Marts on that Rapid City trip. I thought the Needles highway through Custer SP park was tough enough in the toad and I'm not sure that you could get any regular RV through those 1 lane tunnels. We drove 1,200 miles to see the sights in the area and it took us three days to do that. I hate to have given up seeing some or maybe a lot of them because of our overnight choices.

Just curious, but how would you see Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon? The GC North Rim lodge is 60 miles from the nearest full hookup CG and the Federal CG that was close by had no vacancies. The parking lot at the Lodge is really small and tight and even a 21 foot Cruise America that was there had a hard time parking. It took us 5 days for even an abbreviated tour of Yellowstone and three more for the Grand Tetons. I don't know if they would chase you out of the pullouts during the night but if they did, there are no alternatives for a lot of miles - outside of both parks, I expect.'

I just looked back over the core of this thread. The common theme seemed to be that the continuing rising costs of CGs is driving some people out of RVing, at least in some of the places that they'd like to go. That is certainly us, too. At over $100 a night just to park in prime season, Disney will never get our business. But the Disney parks are full to overflowing so those prices don't seem to deter enough people to put a dent in Disney's business plan. To travel more, I'm willing to use Passport CGs where the amenities are a lot less but so is the price. As you said, if you are just moving along the road, with no particular place to go or particular thing to see, paying $60-80-100 a night makes no sense.

I want a place to park where I can sleep without worrying and even the Passport America CG in Murfeesboro TN didn't pass muster on that. I also want a place doesn't cost more for a week (if I'm staying that long) than my monthly mortgage payment. I guess my comfort zone is someplace in between those two end points. I'll go up or down within it, depending on how stressed out I'm feeling and how much I need the proximity access to a particular place to visit. Devil's Tower doesn't have a lot of alternatives. We drove southbound I-81 and then westbound I-40 past Nashville in a day of solid, pouring down rain where we saw 8 separate jack-knifed 18 wheelers in the hilly area. I would have paid about any amount of money to the KOA near the Loretta Lynn ranch just to be able to get off the road that night. It was still pouring when we got to our campsite in the dark. If I remember correctly, there wasn't a Wal-Mart for a long way in any direction.
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:09 PM   #186
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here are some ways to save money while camping. America the beautiful card for people over 61 active military disabled vets. it saves a lot at federal campground and federal parks gate fee is waved. passport America helps sometimes goodsam helps and escapees helps. AAA helps. wal-marts and blm land. is free or close to it. in qz it's like $186 for 6 or 7 months in WY there is a lot of free camping. state parks are cheaper some times too. camping world has full hook ups not sure what they cost tho. hope this helps
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Old 08-21-2013, 11:16 PM   #187
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:42 AM   #188
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It was still pouring when we got to our campsite in the dark. If I remember correctly, there wasn't a Wal-Mart for a long way in any direction.
You need the Wal*Mart map that gives all locations of their stores. Here in TN we have a WM on every corner. Seriously, we have never been out on any main roads or Interstates where there wasn't a WM in the nearest big town - town, not city. Murfreesboro has several WMs but I don't think the city allows overnight parking. I could be wrong...
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:00 AM   #189
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.........

I like to do things outside like cook. I particularly like dutch oven cooking. I see that as part of camping.
You're confusing "camping" with "over-nighting". Most of us who like to cook over campfires and on BBQ grills are too tired to feel like it after being on the road for hours, if not most of the day. All we want to do is rest a few hours, eat dinner and hit the sack. Morning comes fast... a quick breakfast with coffee and we're on our way. The others parked in the WM and truck stop lots do the same. No one wants to mess with cooking and cleaning up when they're tired and just want to rest. That's why we like WM over-nighting so much. While I take care of the cats, DH goes in and gets us a hot fresh dinner, usually Rotisserie chicken or their BBQ chicken with some sides. Nice fresh cold potato salad or macaroni salad. No mess, no bother. Toss the paper plates and plastic silverware. No mess to clean up. Leftover go in the fridge for the next day's lunch. What you're looking for is a camping experience, not a place to sleep for the night. There's a big difference.

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I'm guess that a lot of places where I could just pull off would have a problem with me lighting charcoal and baking bread in my dutch oven. And I cannot imagine myself putting out my lawn chairs in the evening if I were parked in a commercial RV sales lot. Relaxing outside is part of what I do to get me ready for the next day's travel. Like I said, we all get to make our own choices.
Exactly! You have a lot more energy than a lot of us then. The last thing many of us want to do after being on the road all day is spend hours cooking, cleaning up afterward or even sitting outside. When we get parked for the night I want to close the curtains, get comfortable in my loose baggy nightie, sip my diet soda and REST (read, spend an hour online etc) until I go to bed. Even if we stayed in a CG we would do the exact same thing. That's one reason we decided to save a few hundred bucks when on a trip and stay at WallyWorld.

I admire your energy.... that is, if you're a senior also.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:15 AM   #190
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However, as far as Wal Marts go, I have yet to see one out in the middle of no where.
You're right - they'll be in the first town you hit past the boonies. But everyone is different. When DH starts getting tired of driving we start looking on the WM map for a place to stay. Something we'll choose a truck stop instead for the night. They all sell hot meals.

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I would think where there are Wal Marts there must be CG's not to far away.
Nope! Try and find some CGs along I-75 within a mile or two of the Interstate. Once we pass Atlanta GA we start looking for a place to spend the night. And why would anyone want to pay a CG $25 and up just to rest and sleep?

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I can see using WM's a night here and there, especially if the driving part of the day was long and high mileage, but to use them as substitute CG's all the time just does not seem like "camping" to me.
It's NOT camping - you seem to be confusing camping with over-nighting. No one goes to a WM or TS to *camp*. They are not the same thing. We, like all the other RVers in the TS and WM lots, are there to spend the night. We're not interested in camping, a campfire or sitting around watching the sun go down.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:34 AM   #191
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....This brings up a pet peeve of mine. With a lot of these pull-outs or viewpoints, there are signs that say "No Overnight Parking" but if you pull in at 8:00 in the morning and stay until dark, no one cares. I don't get it. You can stay all day but not all night! Dumb.
This is a pet peeve of mine also. To me it makes no sense. I remember talking to someone in Sarasota Fl who spent all day in the lots on Longboat Key. These lots are huge, right off the beach, and even in the height of tourist season, almost empty. At sundown they had to drive back to the mainland, about 15 minutes away and hide on a curved logging or farm road. They didn't know what it was but they were out of sight. No one knew they were back there. It's crazy! Who or what would they be hurting to be allowed to spend the night in one of those huge empty lots even in mid-winter? Maybe the city fears they'll turn into hobo camps with the poor living there 24/7/365.... not that it would have mattered to anyone but the rich who drive by these lots.
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Old 08-22-2013, 03:39 AM   #192
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I guess I RV for a different reason that yourself. Boondock camping in the countryside is one thing. Finding some old decrepit parking lot is not my idea of a fun relaxing stop!
People don't stop in WM and other lots for a FUN relaxing stop. They're road weary and just want to pull the shades so to speak, eat, briefly decompress and SLEEP! Don't confuse camping with over-nighting. That confusion seems to be pretty common on this Forum.

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As for RV dealers I have two problems with that! First, most around here are locked up at night. You won't get into the lot. Second, I don't think I'd want to park on private property without permission!
They're locked here in TN also. All have high fences and gates that are closed at night.
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Old 08-22-2013, 05:48 AM   #193
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I just pulled into the KOA in New Bern, NC. The charge for a basic site with 50 amp service is $60.00 per day. That isn’t acceptable to me. We planned to stay for two days, but the fees made us elect a single day only because we were here and stuck.

We checked another KOA in Wilmington, NC for the next night. That fee is $65.00 per night.

Enough is enough! I’ll not pay those fees. These rates are destroying the RV experience. Walmart is the only option, and how long will that last?

I’ve been RVing since the 1950’s. Now it is ending – quite a pity!

Wil
wil01,

There have been many helpful suggestions in replies to your thread. There are clubs and APPs and Google searches that can provide better camping experiences at less cost.

Some replies were only relevant to destination-driven traveling, not camping. I'm sure you have filtered that stuff out.

We have been camping forever, but RVing only since the 90s. Yes, like all things, fees have gone up, but technology often helps us find ways to compensate for that.

I hope you can glean the solutions you need from your thread to keep you in the RV community.

Happy trails!
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Old 08-22-2013, 06:59 AM   #194
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Some of those NO OVERNIGHT PARKING signs are there for legal reasons. If you are hurt during the night on somebody else's property, they can be sued. Several years ago on this site there was a long thread about a couple at Wal-Mart that opened their door at night to a knock and it was an attempted robbery. The husband was shot with his own gun and they ended up suing Wal-Mart. Never sure what happened. Pretty stupid to open a door like that in the middle of the night, but there was a lot of fear that Wal-Mart might stop the practice due to the suit. Those signs are there because the owner made a decision to put them there.
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Old 08-22-2013, 09:10 AM   #195
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You're right - they'll be in the first town you hit past the boonies. But everyone is different. When DH starts getting tired of driving we start looking on the WM map for a place to stay. Something we'll choose a truck stop instead for the night. They all sell hot meals.



Nope! Try and find some CGs along I-75 within a mile or two of the Interstate. Once we pass Atlanta GA we start looking for a place to spend the night. And why would anyone want to pay a CG $25 and up just to rest and sleep?



It's NOT camping - you seem to be confusing camping with over-nighting. No one goes to a WM or TS to *camp*. They are not the same thing. We, like all the other RVers in the TS and WM lots, are there to spend the night. We're not interested in camping, a campfire or sitting around watching the sun go down.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened in some locations. People park their RVs at Wal-Mart or another big box location for days at a time. I've personally seen one at Sam's Club for 3 days running. Those folks make it hard on anyone who wants to use Wal-Mart overnight.

As I said, we all have choices. I choose to use my RV to get me to places that would be difficult for me to visit any other way. I also choose to use it to "camp" along the way if that is possible. We prefer wooded parking spots to asphalt even overnight and frequent the State Parks as much as possible. Sometimes it isn't. I'm not at all opposed to Wal-Mart parking overnight where it is legal - and safe. Not all Wal-Marts are located in places where I would feel safe overnight and that is important to us.

Yep, I'm a senior. After having done it as many times as I have, dutch oven cooking doesn't seem like a difficult exercise energy wise. Unless you do the wrong kind of dish, a properly seasoned dutch oven cleans up quickly with a little hot water and a cleaning pad - never any soap. There is no reason that the dutch oven output cannot be put onto paper or plastic plates if that is what you want.

We drove from Gaffney, SC. to the West side of Jackson, MS (600 miles) in one day, including going through Atlanta in the rain. At the end of that day, we found a neat little CG called Askew Landing that we had to get to over a one lane road that crossed the breastwork of a dam in the dark. (it was November). I fired up the grill and cooked both chicken and pork chops (the former was for the next night so we didn't have to stop and buy anything). I even set up the DirecTv dish on the ground while I was cooking so we could watch the news. I believe that some level of physical activity after sitting to drive for more than 10 hours helps me to unwind and sleep better. The Wal-Mart in Jackson is not somewhere that I would have been comfortable passing the night. The next morning, the difference between the warmer water on the Askew Landing ponds and the colder air produced some wonderful effects and I've treasured the pictures that I took ever since. We would not have had the same experience with a different overnight choice.
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Old 08-22-2013, 02:03 PM   #196
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Some of those NO OVERNIGHT PARKING signs are there for legal reasons. If you are hurt during the night on somebody else's property, they can be sued.

I think most of the signs we are talking about are on public property, pullouts in the right-of-way of highways. The public should be able to use these publicly owned areas as long as they are not infringing on the rights of anyone else. Also, you didn't address why they seem to allow you to park all day but not all night?

Several years ago on this site there was a long thread about a couple at Wal-Mart that opened their door at night to a knock and it was an attempted robbery. The husband was shot with his own gun and they ended up suing Wal-Mart. Never sure what happened. Pretty stupid to open a door like that in the middle of the night, but there was a lot of fear that Wal-Mart might stop the practice due to the suit.

Pretty stupid is right, but thankfully, WM has not stopped allowing RV'ers to use their lots to spend the night. They continue to suggest doing just that on their corporate Website.
Those signs are there because the owner made a decision to put them there.

What owner?

[/QUOTE]

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Unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened in some locations. People park their RVs at Wal-Mart or another big box location for days at a time. I've personally seen one at Sam's Club for 3 days running. Those folks make it hard on anyone who wants to use Wal-Mart overnight.

As long as WM doesn't object, what is the problem? A few years ago we had a widespread power outage due to a storm. We drove the mothorhome to the local WM and I asked if we could stay until the power came back on. The manager agreed and we spent three nights in their lot.

As I said, we all have choices. I choose to use my RV to get me to places that would be difficult for me to visit any other way. I also choose to use it to "camp" along the way if that is possible. We prefer wooded parking spots to asphalt even overnight and frequent the State Parks as much as possible. Sometimes it isn't. I'm not at all opposed to Wal-Mart parking overnight where it is legal - and safe. Not all Wal-Marts are located in places where I would feel safe overnight and that is important to us.

There's the difference and you have pretty well summed up this thread. You prefer to camp rather than overnight. You like wooded spots and perceived safety even when just spending one night on the way to someplace else. Some of us prefer quick and easy access, no reservations or registering, no disturbing of others when we arrive in the middle of the night, just easy convenience.

I can respect that, you have a lot of company. May you enjoy many more years of camping just the way you like.


<snip of similar camping experiences>
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