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Old 03-20-2011, 11:31 AM   #1
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Overnight: Walmart/Cracker Barrel

Is it true you can stay overnight in Walmart or Cracker Barrel parking lots at no charge? Do they let you plug in for electric power?

Is it common to do this? What about the risk of being visited by unfriendly folks?

Just what are the terms of such an arrangement?

Thanks from a noobie

Roll
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:38 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll View Post
Is it true you can stay overnight in Walmart or Cracker Barrel parking lots at no charge? Do they let you plug in for electric power?

Is it common to do this? What about the risk of being visited by unfriendly folks?

Just what are the terms of such an arrangement?

Thanks from a noobie

Roll
They are parking lots, not RV parks, but most allow you to stay overnight at no charge since you get no amenities.

Jim E
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:40 AM   #3
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I just stayed at Walmart last weekend. I went in & asked permission, so that it wouldn't be a problem. They said to please park at the far end of the lot, out of the way. I don't think that they are going to offer power.

Just ask to make sure it is ok!
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Old 03-20-2011, 11:45 AM   #4
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Howdy!

We have stayed in Walmarts and Cracker Barrels all across the country. We always go inside and ask for permission from the manager on duty They will usually direct you to and area where they want you to park. Regarding electric and / or any other hookups, NO it is dry or boondocking in the parking lot. Another good source of dry / doondocking is Casino's some of them even have FHU's.

"Happy Trails"
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Old 03-20-2011, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll View Post
Is it true you can stay overnight in Walmart or Cracker Barrel parking lots at no charge? ....

Roll
Have you been living under a rock? (reference to Geico)

Sorry, just couldn't resist! The discussions are legion on this and other boards, and campground, I'm sure!

I have stayed at a few of them, mostly when traveling from point "A" to point "B". Good place to rest, unwind, and restock. Some do have "No overnight parking" posted by the local municipalities, though.

Enjoy

H
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roll View Post
Is it true you can stay overnight in Walmart or Cracker Barrel parking lots at no charge? Do they let you plug in for electric power?
Some do, some don't. It's best to go inside and ask permission from the manager and find out where they want you to park.

No, you will not be plugging into electricity or any other utilities (water, sewer). As someone else stated, these are parking lots, not RV parks. They are to be used only for a short overnight stay...no jacks, no awnings, no BBQ, no chairs, etc.

Here's a link to the Good Neighbor Policy for parking overnight in a parking lot:

http://www.escapees.com/edocs/boondocking%20letter.pdf

Please be sure to follow these guidelines so that parking remains available to all of us.

Quote:
What about the risk of being visited by unfriendly folks?
Always a possibility. That's why it's important to be aware of your surroundings and leave if for any reason you feel uncomfortable in an area.

Quote:
Just what are the terms of such an arrangement?
Read the Good Neighbor Policy, above.
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Old 03-20-2011, 01:40 PM   #7
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my folks had to make a FAST trip back to texas from il. they stopped late a CB for dinner.....
then asked if they could stay over since it was dark and the weather was getting nasty.
manager said no problem, so they stayed and then had a nice breakfast in the AM.



its always best to go ask if you need a temp place to catch a nap.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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To ask the "do you let you plug in" question.. There is no place to plug in in most of those lots (I can't say all cause I"ve not been in all of them yet) so the answer is NO, they do not.
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Old 03-20-2011, 02:52 PM   #9
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Some of the new WMs even have areas lined off for RVers and 18 wheelers to RON. Like others have said, it's a courtesy to ask permission.
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Old 03-20-2011, 03:32 PM   #10
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Here is a website that lists all the wal-marts and indicates whether they allow overnight parking.

Walmart Store Locations Map - Wal-Mart Guide

There is also a website that allows you to download this information to your GPS. I downloaded it, and when on the road, I can "find" nearest Wal-Mart that allows parking and the GPS can guide me too it.

POI Factory | new & interesting places for your GPS

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Old 03-21-2011, 02:37 AM   #11
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Check out Walmart's Parking

Enjoy!
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Old 03-21-2011, 04:27 AM   #12
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Wal-Mart Superstores normally have 24 hour security patrols that helps some with unwanted visitors, however you are actually on your own. We have used WM on occasion and never felt threatened.

We have never stayed at a Cracker Barrel.
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
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We have never stayed at a Cracker Barrel.
We haven't either (but, then, we've never stayed overnight at a Wal-Mart, either). While we enjoy eating at Cracker Barrel, we've found that at most locations, their RV parking is isolated in the back of the store...not a real good place for security. Plus, I can't tell you how many times we've been to a Cracker Barrel and found ALL of the RV parking spaces takes up by AUTOMOBILES!!!
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Old 03-21-2011, 11:47 AM   #14
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Two comments:
One; regarding electricity: No outlets, at least none that I've ever found, so you can not plug in, you will have to either use solar or a genertor.

Second: Wallmart has some small "Neighborhood" stores that generally do not have parking enough for you to overnight there.. When I've visited such a store the manager was most helpful in helping me find parking.... Just somewhere nearby, (elsewhere). NOTE: I saw that lot, and I fully agree with no RV overnight there.

Second: Some cities, counties or states the Campground owner's assn has lobbied the government to disallow overnight RV parking anywhere save the owner's own property or a licensed campground.

In these areas you may not overnight at a Wall-mart, Flying-J, Cracker Barrel or anywhere save a licensed campground.

DO NOT BLAME THE STORE.. Blame the campground owner's assn.
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