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Old 06-13-2011, 12:02 PM   #1
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Overnighting Other than Wal-Mart

Thought I would try something a little different. I was going to post this in the Wal-Mart thread, but it's really OT for that.

We often spend the night in our motorhome in different places, very seldom a campground. Might be Wal-Mart, a casino, pull-out along a highway, etc. I thought others might share some of their favorite places they like to stay the night and some of the experiences they have had. I'll start with a couple.

We spent our first night in a new to us motorhome on HWY 12 in Washington state. It was just a pullout along the road, but it had a great view of a lake below and the mountains. The highway is heavily travelled during the day, but in the evening not so much. My wife cooked a great chicken in the oven and we watched a movie. During dinner, a car pulled up behind us and a guy knocked on the door. He said he was having car problems and wanted to know if we had a cell phone he could use. This was a few years ago when having a cell phone wasn't as popular as it is now. We loaned it to him, he walked back to his car, talked awhile and then returned the phone to us. Very uneventful, no problems. Now I have been thinking about that and wondered how much danger we could have been in. Later that evening while we were sleeping, another car pulled up behind us and just sat there. After about five minutes they left. I wondered about that one, too. Dangerous parking alone along a highway? I guess it could be. Now-a-days we are armed and more careful but we won't change our ways, just looking for the thoughts of any others that park like this for the night in an RV.

I'll post the other experience I wanted to share in a new post, I don't want to get too long, here.
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:49 PM   #2
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If there is a Flying J truck stop in our travels thats my first choice as you are never alone and they have a section for RVs to overnight away from the trucks. We stopped for dinner at a rest area at dusk one day when someone knocked on our door to ask for directions. I talked to him through the window..... I will never ever open my door to a knock while on the road parked in a rest area, pull off or even a truck stop... to many crazys out there .... we all have cell phones now.... also by the same logic I would never make any other Rver nervous by knocking on there door.... our safety trumps everything.....
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Old 06-13-2011, 12:55 PM   #3
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Another experience we had happend in the lot of a casino and was more recent. Again, we had a new to us motorhome and not much time. We got started late on a Friday night with no destination in mind. We went to a casino in Rochester, WA to try out our new purchase. They actually have hookups in this lot and for quite awhile they were free, first come-first served. There were no vacancies in any of those spots, so we just took the last place in line along with some other boondockers. We backed the Bounder into place alongside what appeared to be a couple brothers and their wives staying in adjacent spots. I noticed the nearer one had his generator running. No problem, it's a parking lot. After I got level I stepped outside to have a look around. The guy next door had stopped his generator. I went back in and DW asked me to start the generator so she could cook dinner. I did. It wasn't 3 minutes until the neighbor came over, laptop in hand, asking if he could plug it in to charge his batteries. I said sure, and he said, "you're not gonna be running that generator very late, are you?" I thought that was an odd question, especially since he had just had his running, so I made a little joke. I said "not past 2 or 3am I suppose. He got a shocked look on his face and said "just because it's a free place to park you don't have to feel like you can abuse the privelage, do you?" I stopped short of taking his laptop and said "just plug it into the outside socket on the side of the motorhome. He did. Later, after dinner, I was outside again when his brother walked by with their dog. He looked at me like I was scum and asked if I was going to be running that generator much longer. I said, "no, we're moving." He gave me a surprised look and walked away. I raised the jacks and move to the middle of the lot where there were many semi's parked. Some of them had their engines and refer units running, but you can't really hear that stuff inside the coach so no problem. We turned on the TV and watched a movie and went to bed. It was a good night!

Do you think the neighbors were out of line for being miffed at me for having the generator running in a parking lot?
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:02 PM   #4
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I can be parked among 18 wheelers with there motors running and they don't bother me; someone in a motorhome has a generator running; that bothers me; realy don't know why.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:05 PM   #5
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We've overnighted at Flying J once (too noisy even in the RV spaces), Lowe's lots, but mostly in Walmarts. We've never had a problem. We do have 2 dogs which are good 'intrusion alarms' but they need to be walked. We are also legally armed and I always carry pepper spray when I am walking the dogs....to ward off other animals and two legged creatures who might wish to do harm.

We've never stayed overnight in a rest area and would not open the RV door to anyone other than a uniformed police officer.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:19 PM   #6
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If you see me anywhere but an organized campground, it's because I've screwed up.

That said... I've screwed up a few times, and have spent some nights between idling diesels in flying j (why do they leave those things run all night") and more often in highwAy rest areas.

Never had a problem, other than wishing I was somewhere else
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:43 PM   #7
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We have to date only stoped at Walmart's. We check the next exit book and if we are only stopping to rest, shop and eat we stop at the Walmart. DW likes going in and broswing (spending money). Rest room, restraunt and fresh food to stock up with. Never any problems and always ask before we set up.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimM68 View Post
If you see me anywhere but an organized campground, it's because I've screwed up.

That said... I've screwed up a few times, and have spent some nights between idling diesels in flying j (why do they leave those things run all night") and more often in highwAy rest areas.

Never had a problem, other than wishing I was somewhere else
Usually for heating or air conditioning. Set it where you want, and it runs all night. No getting up and down from bed to turn it on/off.
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Old 06-13-2011, 01:59 PM   #9
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Quote:
Do you think the neighbors were out of line for being miffed at me for having the generator running in a parking lot?
Yes definitely out of line. Especially the one who was asking for his laptop to be charged.
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Old 06-13-2011, 02:06 PM   #10
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Twice I have stayed in Community Welcome Center lots. Both time were at the end of long travel days and late at night. Both had signage welcoming overnight visitors, so that was not an issue. Also, we were up early and on our way. On long trips, when short nights can happen, we will stay someplace convenient and legal, as well as very well lit.

No rest areas. No scenic turnouts. No roadside parks.
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Old 06-13-2011, 05:47 PM   #11
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Its funny how things are different in other countries. We rented an RV in New Zealand in 2002 and the guy at the rental place (Maui Motorhomes) said as long as it wasn't posted you could park anywhere you wanted. We spent a night at a roadside pullout out in the boonies (which is about 85% of New Zealand) overlooking a beautiful valley. Never felt threatened in any way and had a wonderful night.
New Zealand has some terrific "Holiday Parks", very similar to what we have but different. Someday we'll go back for another visit.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:07 PM   #12
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We enjoy the campgrounds. Staying in a parking lot doesn't sound too appealing. I'd want my 9 MM and also keep the doors locked.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:11 PM   #13
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I have stayed at Cracker Barrels before with no problem. Always checked with the manager and at least ate supper or breakfast there as an appreciation.
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Old 06-13-2011, 06:31 PM   #14
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Its funny how things are different in other countries. We rented an RV in New Zealand in 2002 and the guy at the rental place (Maui Motorhomes) said as long as it wasn't posted you could park anywhere you wanted. We spent a night at a roadside pullout out in the boonies (which is about 85% of New Zealand) overlooking a beautiful valley. Never felt threatened in any way and had a wonderful night.
It used to be that way here in the USA until it became so popular and common for others to impose their beliefs on others via the courts.
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