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Old 03-31-2015, 03:30 PM   #1
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Parking etiquette: newbie question

Hello all!
Brought home our first RV yesterday. It's a '96 Monaco Dynasty, 36 footer. Sweet ride, great condition, good price. NOW THE FUN BEGINS?

NEWBIE QUESTION:
When we get to a town and say we want to walk around a little and explore, what is the etiquette for parking an RV?

Say there are spaces along a street where vehicles can parallel park. IS IT OK TO TAKE 3 SPACES (providing you leave a way to exit said spaces when you're ready to)?? Similarly for a mall / shopping center parking lot. Of course I am not going to take up an entire row close to the front entrance of the mall / shopping center. But if you head out to the "back 40" and pull through 3 spaces without blocking or inconveniencing others, IS THAT OK?

I don't want to be "that RVer" that upsets folks because he can only think about HIMSELF.

Your guidance and replies are greatly appreciate! Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:41 PM   #2
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Parking off in the hinterlands of large parking lots is always ok, unless banned by city ordinance.
Street parking is usually much more limited, and I personally would not take up 3 spaces just to save walking from a little further away. Its why we have a toad!
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:48 PM   #3
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There will generally be RV parking near an information booth. If not they will be able to tell you the closest place to park.

We park quite often in parking lots. If we plan to overnight in a Walmart we always go to customer service and ask where they prefer we park. The staff have always been friendly and told us where to park.

Malls we tend to park near the edge. Several reasons but the main being we are less likely to be boxed in there than if we park closer to the doors. I always look for a way out when parking and select the spot that gives me a good line on the exit.

I have seen malls that have designated parking for RV. Look for signs. If there are no signs use common sense to select your parking spot.
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Old 03-31-2015, 03:48 PM   #4
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Most "tourist destination sites" will have a place for your RV to park in. Now like mall parking my suggestion is park as far out as possible. Usually you will see others parking out there..... But my question is why not just pull a toad and let the RV sit at your destination?
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:04 PM   #5
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If it is a town where we are going to camp, we check in and leave the RV at the site, and go to town in the toad. If we are passing through...the others have covered it.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gordon Dewald View Post
There will generally be RV parking near an information booth. If not they will be able to tell you the closest place to park.

We park quite often in parking lots. If we plan to overnight in a Walmart we always go to customer service and ask where they prefer we park. The staff have always been friendly and told us where to park.

Malls we tend to park near the edge. Several reasons but the main being we are less likely to be boxed in there than if we park closer to the doors. I always look for a way out when parking and select the spot that gives me a good line on the exit.

I have seen malls that have designated parking for RV. Look for signs. If there are no signs use common sense to select your parking spot.
I agree with this. Malls particularly can be challenging to get out of so often parking is dictated by the path I choose to use for an exit. Usually far away from other cars so if wide swinging turns are required to get out of the parking lot.

I have often parked on side streets so as not to take too much space on the main thoroughfares but since I don't have a toad, I will parallel park where it looks like there are lots of options for other drivers. It really isn't much of an issue in the smaller communities. When you live in a metropolis, most other places look like there is scads of room.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:14 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoneyBadger View Post
Parking off in the hinterlands of large parking lots is always ok, unless banned by city ordinance.
Street parking is usually much more limited, and I personally would not take up 3 spaces just to save walking from a little further away. Its why we have a toad!

I agree!
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:20 PM   #8
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You really have no choice but to take multiple spaces in parking lots. As mentioned above I always park far from the store entrance, where the cars don't want to park because it is too far. Both to be polite and to avoid being boxed in when leaving.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:31 PM   #9
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We have often found those small towns that just beg for a stop. After all that's why we stay off the interstate. If a town catches our eye as we drive thru we often go thru, hoping for a grocery store etc on the other side. Sometimes we google a map and take a little tour of the streets to look for a good parking spot. Asking in business can also get you info.
Small town on street parking is usually a premium so we are careful not to take up spits needed by locals
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:59 PM   #10
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We don't tow and really have few problems parking, although we've yet to travel east of the Mississippi. There is of course some street parking that doesn't work for us, but do it regularly without problem in less busy areas. (Watch the step to the curb).

We too park on the outer spaces of lots. One advantage to driving a 32 footer is that it fits across two spaces length-wise in the common angled parking rows. It also helps to be able to easily back up.
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:09 PM   #11
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We've always found a large parking lot or vacant lot to park in 'small towns' rather than parallel parking. Not many folks can parallel park at 36' like you have. We certainly wouldn't try to do so with a 40'.


If you're trying to tour around medium or large cities, get a RV site and spend a couple nights there. That would be the easiest.


Are you not going to tow a car?
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Old 03-31-2015, 08:47 PM   #12
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Taking up multiple parking places in a WalMart, aparking lot, or a mall is one thing. Doing it on a city street for me is a no-no. Not to mention that a Class A motorhome is wider than a car and would protrude into the street.
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:03 PM   #13
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We usually park in the rear of the mall lots or store parking lots where it would be easier for us to get out.

As far as parking in a downtown area we did park in a few towns on the street taking up multiple spots. Never had an issue and always fed the two or three meters we used.

I can say be sure to watch the back end when pulling out from the street parking. Those parking meters are sneaky! GF was directing me out of a spot in downtown Santa Fe and while she was paying attention to the tree branches hanging down I was paying attention to traffic which left neither of us to pay attention to the bumper cover being torn off on the parking meter... It was hilarious! Caught it before it came completely off. Is there nothing duct tape can't fix??!!

So just make sure where you park you can get out just as easy...

Have Fun!!
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Old 03-31-2015, 09:13 PM   #14
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It depends. In small towns where the parking is parallel I have been known to feed 3 meters and parallel park if that is what's there. If parking is at a premium you won't find the 3 spots. We are usually making a short stop to do business so I do not see an issue. We do the same thing for lunch stops with the same rules. If it is not busy nobody cares and if it is you will probably not find a space.

One place we have found for lunch parking is boat ramps during the week. Many are free, have big spaces for the folks with a truck and trailer, are often scenic, and are free to park. Again we avoid weekends when there is a crowd and if there is any question walk the entrance before parking. We have seen a few that were intended only for back in traffic. ;-)

Malls and plaza's can be interesting. Some localities are pushing the island divided parking rows so we cannot take up two spots on an end. I say screwem and look for 5 or 6 I can pull across or don't shop there. Again, if they are busy there will not be an option. I also always park out at ends and take enough spaces so I can pull out on an angle. There is not enough spaces between rows to pull out and turn. For some reason there is always a moron who will park close to look at your MH so make sure they cannot get in your way.

Common sense is not all that common these days so protect your exit path. Don't screw up a crowd by doing things like taking 5 spaces in front of the diner at lunch time. Other than that if you have an easy spot to park few folks care. Some will be happy you stopped and one or two will be unhappy no matter what you do. After all you are stopping while between here and there so not likely to come back and spend money after you get set up. ;-)

One last thing is slides and awnings. Don't. If there is a reason like pouring rain running the awning out 3 ft to shelter the door or the slide out a foot so you can get by won't usually get one hassled. OTOH don't look like you are setting up to camp or you will get noticed and probably hassled.

I have also sat with the generator running so the dog and I had Air Conditioning while we waited for her to shop. You can melt but any pet get's instant sympathy. ;-)
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