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Old 06-16-2011, 12:19 AM   #57
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I just want to park in a nice secured rv park or be around others in a group environment.

Signed...fraddy cat!
No such thing unless there's a 12 foot fence around it with guards at the locked gate!
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:27 AM   #58
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There is a big safety issue in a rest stop or a wal mart in a neighborhood you are not familiar with , this is 2011 not the 50's. If you have to look outside every time you hear an engine running its not worth it. Not to mention the convienance of plugging in at a campground. I find it strange that I see some folks with a 300k coach in flying j's or shopping center parking lots trying to save a few bucks.
Not so much to "save a few bucks" as we paid big bucks to have a fully self contained rig. We both work, so on vacation we have limited time to get there and back. Much more convenient to stop at a Wal*Mart late at night, do some shopping (and that usually cost more than a camp site) and get an early start. Usually we go to a local restaurant and eat too. We even had one Wal*Mart offer us free donuts and coffee in the morning.

If you don't like someone parking at a Wal*Mart then ignore it and go your own way. Wal*Mart corporate policy is to welcome RV'ers when there are no local laws against it. They know the value (money spent in their store) of welcoming us.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:38 AM   #59
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Or they saved up for it by being "frugal".
Yep, a few more nights at Wal*Mart and we can afford that $630,000+ Newmar Essex we were looking at last week!! But, by next year we'll be looking a new Prevost if we keep it up and our SS kicks in!!
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Old 06-16-2011, 07:56 AM   #60
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Yep, a few more nights at Wal*Mart and we can afford that $630,000+ Newmar Essex we were looking at last week!! But, by next year we'll be looking a new Prevost if we keep it up and our SS kicks in!!
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Old 06-16-2011, 08:00 AM   #61
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If you don't like someone parking at a Wal*Mart then ignore it and go your own way. Wal*Mart corporate policy is to welcome RV'ers when there are no local laws against it. They know the value (money spent in their store) of welcoming us.
This really is since the OP's title for this thread was "Overnighting OTHER THAN Wal-Mart" (emphasis mine). There are plenty of Wal-Mart parking threads for this stuff.

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Old 06-16-2011, 10:13 AM   #62
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Seems to me there are two trains of thought here.
1. Those looking to save money by not paying for a place to stay.
2. Those looking for a convienent place to park for a short period while traveling.
The difference is between looking for a free or cheap place to stay (long term) versus looking for a free place to park (short term).

Contrary to my signature line I do not really look for a free place to stay and I often will pay top price for an RV park. I often go to KOA just because it is convienent, I know what to expect, and for a few bucks more you know you will get great service and extras. I have stayed in premium spots in South Padre Island and paid 60+ just to have an ocean view. I have stayed in the Middle of New Orleans just off the Quarter for 70+ a nite for the convienence of walking to Bourbon Street. What I pay or where I stay depends on what I need.

But if I can save by staying in a relative or friends driveway, or on the street in front of their house, or spend a night in the parking lot of the Church down the street why not save the 25 to 50 bucks. When I stay somewhere other than an RV park it is usually for convienence. And that often is due to my rarely pulling a Toad. It is also handy if you like a toddy in the evening and will not drive after having that drink.

The only real consideration here is do I want hookups. In this part of the country in the summer you have to have AC therefore a 30 or 50 amp hookup is preferable to running your generator all day. Water and dump station is only necessary every third or fourth nite. So State Parks can save you money and also some Casino's, and some Flying J's have free or cheap hookups.

And in deference to the main topic of the thread Gun Clubs sometimes have free or inexpensive hookups. I love to shoot Sporting Clays and always have my shotgun with me. I have stayed in Dallas, Midland, and San Antonio at clubs with full hookups. Plus you can practice with that gun you carry, most people who carry a gun don't practice enough. If you are ever in Northern New Mexico I highly recommend at least one night at the NRA Whittington Center.

As to the second type if I am on the hwy going to a destination and am on a time schedule, due to school or work I like to travel early before daylight and often travel after work well into the night. When doing this I will not stay in an RV Park because one I don't like pulling into a tight parking place in the dark but mostly because I refuse to be rude to those staying there by bringing a noisy diesel around early or late when they may be sleeping.

Therefore parking of opportunity is a large part of my travel. And late at night I feel secure parked between two trucks in a roadside park or rest area. Bad guys want easy safe pickings not a burly truck driver with a tire iron or worse close at hand. And independent old people with guns scare the fire out of them, thats how they percieve people driving motorhomes, they are not very likely to try to break in knowing you are right there and there is no quiet way to get in.

What you have to worry about, and this applies anywhere: is panhandlers who may turn nasty, con artists who will charm their way into your RV or wallet, and drug addicts looking for targets of opportunity who may accost you outside of your RV.
Thats why when I get out to walk the dog and/or other family members, I am that independent old person with a gun. I have a concealed carry liscense and usually know the laws of the state I am in (although that does not change anything).
(PS I am not that old in relation to you but you don't often find old addicts, to them I am an old guy.)

Since I like to travel early and late the middle of the day is when I get sleepy and start nodding at the wheel so if I need a rest or nap so thats when a Mall or Walmart is handy. I get my nap while the wife gets to shop.
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Old 06-16-2011, 12:15 PM   #63
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Sounds grand in print - but I'd bet that if there were a bunch of FREE full service CGs surrounding the usual free spots, the "usual" free spots would be empty...
If I saw such a CG along a highway, I would be afraid to stop. There would have to be something wrong. Land there would be too expensive to give away. It seems that most (or a lot of us) that stop at other than CGs do so for convience & to save time rather than save money(saving money is nice too). There are places that I wouldn't want to stay (some CGs too) because of location. Some places, like Madrona mentioned, (Hwy 410 & hwy 2 in Wa I wouldn't worry.
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Old 06-17-2011, 09:39 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Stogie View Post
Seems to me there are two trains of thought here.
1. Those looking to save money by not paying for a place to stay.
2. Those looking for a convienent place to park for a short period while traveling.
The difference is between looking for a free or cheap place to stay (long term) versus looking for a free place to park (short term).
Yep, I would be both, but not long term. I will pay or have a destination in mind other than a parking lot, just not paying while on the road and just passing through. It's a great thing, this free country we live in!! And I DO love that signature!!
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Old 09-17-2011, 01:56 PM   #65
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We recently had the "necessary" opportunity to spend a couple nights at R and R RV's near Spokane, WA. Needed some service work done and I had read somewhere, mybe on IRV2 that they have some places to park overnight. We got there on Sunday night before Labor Day. I thought maybe at least the sales lot would be open, but nothing was open, at all. Turns out they have full hookups for about 10 RV's. When we pulled in there was only one other RV in the lot we chose. The lot next to it, separated by chain link fence, also had one in it. Now, for us, this was luxury! We almost never have hookups. Also, the batwing antenna pulled in about 34 digital TV stations. We relaxed and settled in for some good eats, movies and showers! It was pretty nice. On Tuesday when the service department opened, we were second in line to have work done. That part didn't turn out so well, but we will forever be grateful for the hospitality of the dealership.
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Old 09-17-2011, 02:25 PM   #66
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Hi, Phil

I don't know how I missed this thread when you started it!
I just read it all the way through- my favorite tip so far is the one where you casually parked overnight in a closed RV lot!
Talk about outside-the-box thinking...
That would never have occurred to me, and though it probably isn't something I'd do on a regular basis, I'll sure add it to my "late, tired, and desperate" toolbox!
Even if I got "busted" by the Dealer in the morning, I'd just tell him my trailer's for sale and I thought he might be interested.
Everything I own is for sale, after all...provided that the price is right!

Any other places around Spokane that you'd recommend for passers-through, or just Dedicated Cheapskates like me?

Thanks!

Francesca
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Old 09-17-2011, 03:49 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by GG1
There is a big safety issue in a rest stop or a wal mart in a neighborhood you are not familiar with , this is 2011 not the 50's. If you have to look outside every time you hear an engine running its not worth it. Not to mention the convienance of plugging in at a campground. I find it strange that I see some folks with a 300k coach in flying j's or shopping center parking lots trying to save a few bucks.
I dont look outside everytime I hear anything. I love the convenience of plugging in at campgrounds, but I'm not paying a campground fee for 5-6 hours sleep when I don't even hook up before moving on. I will gladly pay for the campground when I get somewhere to relax and stay for a few days. Its not about camping for free, its about not being swindled. Otherwise, why pay for all kinds of services and time that I know I will not use? Now, if a campground has an "overnight parking" fee that takes into account you are just parking or a few hours and moving on, I would gladly pay that.
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Old 09-17-2011, 06:41 PM   #68
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Hi, Phil

I don't know how I missed this thread when you started it!
I just read it all the way through- my favorite tip so far is the one where you casually parked overnight in a closed RV lot!
Talk about outside-the-box thinking...
That would never have occurred to me, and though it probably isn't something I'd do on a regular basis, I'll sure add it to my "late, tired, and desperate" toolbox!
Even if I got "busted" by the Dealer in the morning, I'd just tell him my trailer's for sale and I thought he might be interested.
Everything I own is for sale, after all...provided that the price is right!

Any other places around Spokane that you'd recommend for passers-through, or just Dedicated Cheapskates like me?

Thanks!

Francesca
Glad you found the thread, Francesca. I'm trying to remember where else near Spokane we spent the night. Can I just give you a run down of the trip, overall?

We left from Bonney Lake, WA and spent the first night at Ernie's Truck Stop in Moses Lake. There is a Shari's and Bob's Cafe across the street.

Left in the morning heading to Kettle Falls, ID. and the casino, there. Stopped in Ritzville for a great, small town parade we didn't know was happening. It was quite wonderful.

Spent a night at Wal-Mart in Sandpoint, ID and received an "enjoy your stay" from one of the managers, there.

Arrived in Kettle Falls, never having been there before but we like casino's. The driveway into the casino lot is right off the highway. The plan was to spend the night and I had already called ahead for permission, which was granted. Well, it's a really small lot, smallest I've seen in any casino. I did find a spot, but I was afraid after awhile we would be boxed in and be at the mercy of other patrons when we wanted to leave. We stayed awhile and had lunch. Tightest slots we have ever experienced. There is a walking tunnel from the casino lot to downtown Kettle Falls. Being a Sunday, we only found one store open. Not too interesting, but they do have a nice, small park. There is a river that fronts the casino, but you can't easily get down to it. We did stand outside the restaraunt and took some nice pics. Mostly, I could only think about how we would be kept hostage in the lot, so we left.

That is when we headed to Spokane for repairs. Then on to the casino in Chewelah, WA. Small but friendly and looser slots. Spent the night there and then on to Omak, WA and the Wal-Mart for two nights, visiting my mother-in-law.

So, now that I have jarred my memory a little, I guess we only spent the two nights in Spokane. But, they were doozies!
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Old 09-17-2011, 07:01 PM   #69
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For years, my then boyfriend and I would go from southern CA to Burning Man. He had a 5er. We would sleep in cut offs or rest areas with no problems at all. There is two rest areas right after each other the way we went, if the first was filling up with truckers, we would continue to the next so they would have more room. After we broke up, we would still go to BM together, but I would take my van or my car. I slept in both of them in the same areas without trouble or fear.
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Old 09-19-2011, 10:33 PM   #70
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Glad you found the thread, Francesca. I'm trying to remember where else near Spokane we spent the night. Can I just give you a run down of the trip, overall?

We left from Bonney Lake, WA and spent the first night at Ernie's Truck Stop in Moses Lake. There is a Shari's and Bob's Cafe across the street.

Left in the morning heading to Kettle Falls, ID. and the casino, there. Stopped in Ritzville for a great, small town parade we didn't know was happening. It was quite wonderful.

Spent a night at Wal-Mart in Sandpoint, ID and received an "enjoy your stay" from one of the managers, there.

Arrived in Kettle Falls, never having been there before but we like casino's. The driveway into the casino lot is right off the highway. The plan was to spend the night and I had already called ahead for permission, which was granted. Well, it's a really small lot, smallest I've seen in any casino. I did find a spot, but I was afraid after awhile we would be boxed in and be at the mercy of other patrons when we wanted to leave. We stayed awhile and had lunch. Tightest slots we have ever experienced. There is a walking tunnel from the casino lot to downtown Kettle Falls. Being a Sunday, we only found one store open. Not too interesting, but they do have a nice, small park. There is a river that fronts the casino, but you can't easily get down to it. We did stand outside the restaraunt and took some nice pics. Mostly, I could only think about how we would be kept hostage in the lot, so we left.

That is when we headed to Spokane for repairs. Then on to the casino in Chewelah, WA. Small but friendly and looser slots. Spent the night there and then on to Omak, WA and the Wal-Mart for two nights, visiting my mother-in-law.

So, now that I have jarred my memory a little, I guess we only spent the two nights in Spokane. But, they were doozies!
Thanks for the rundown, Phil!
Sounds like a fun trip- maybe except for whatever led to the repairs stop

About Omak- I used to overnight at the Walmart when I was in that area, but then I discovered Leader Lake.
Do you know that campground?
It's a few miles west of Okanagon on Hwy 20- a DNR campground, so it's free!
You do need the Discover pass now- a bargain at $30.00 a year, I think.
Anyway, Leader Lake is beautiful- no amenities except table, fire rings, and clean newer privies.
And quite a bit quieter than Walmart, it being right on Hwy. 97 and all.
Just thought I'd pass that along...

And now another question for you- about Casinos.
I've never been inside one- no special reason or objections or anything like that- just not something I've ever done.
I've heard about their RV hospitality, but I've been a little reluctant to try it out.
I feel O.K. about overnighting at Walmart because I spend enough money there- seems like a fair transaction.
I guess my question is: if I don't feel like gambling, is there anything else to spend money on at Casinos, just so I wouldn't be simply "freeloading"?

Thanks!

Francesca
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