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Old 01-01-2010, 12:04 AM   #141
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We were once told, by an employee of a Home Depot, not to ask permission. They said that if we asked and they told us we could park, then they were liable for us. If we did not ask, then they weren't liable for anything. We stayed the night. It was during a horrific storm in Louisiana. It would have been unsafe to go anyplace else at the time.
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Old 01-01-2010, 05:29 AM   #142
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Originally Posted by georgetown350 View Post
The campground owners are mostly responsible for city ordinances prohibiting overnight parking and the Police only act when called. Not to hard to figure out who's doing the calling. We stayed at a walmart the other day in Daytona Florida with about 10 other RVs and we all got kicked out at 530 am. I was already awake when I heard the officer knocking on doors. He told me that Walmart called. My opinion is that some local campground owner passing by called. I asked the officer the reason for the city ordinance prohibiting overnight parking and he said it was because they didn't want walmarts to become campgrounds.
I would think the law might have been passed to enhance the collection of the local Tourist tax on rental sites and short term lodging (less than 6 months). Of coarse the officer had good reason to lie to you, telling you Walmart called. Why should an officer of the law tell you the truth. I'm sure Walmart doesn't want to get mixed up in not collecting the local taxes. Naturally this is only my perspective on the situation.

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Old 01-01-2010, 11:12 AM   #143
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We were once told, by an employee of a Home Depot, not to ask permission. They said that if we asked and they told us we could park, then they were liable for us. If we did not ask, then they weren't liable for anything. We stayed the night. It was during a horrific storm in Louisiana. It would have been unsafe to go anyplace else at the time.
Necessity is a good and valid defense to this trivial ordinance.

I recall back in the 70's we slid, literally, into a Holiday Inn in Santa Fe. Black Ice for miles in any direction. The clerk told us he was full.

I told him the weather precluded me from further travel and I would just sleep on his lobby floor (with the wife and 2 young kids). He contacted the manager and they found us a room with no door lock and no heat but we had sleeping bags and "roughed" it. They didn't even charge us.
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:25 AM   #144
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Only tried to stay at one Walmart in Craig CO. We were told to leave, not allowed! It is what it is when the Asst Manager is related to the CG Owner
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Old 01-01-2010, 01:23 PM   #145
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Just trying to clear up some myths.

Not all Walmarts have outside security.
Where outside security is available the parking lot security people are above min. wage employees who are told to specifically not to get involved in a conflict , just as a cashier is not to chase a robber out the door. They just report a problem if they see it..
WM parking lot cameras are usually not monitored, they just record for use in prosecution.
A large number of WMs are built on land leased in a shopping center development, where the developer is responsible for parking lot maintenance and repair.
The parking areas are not built to the same specifications (weight holding) as the entrance, exit, and loading dock areas. Trucks must enter and unload in specific areas.
Very few WM lots have an area designated for RV or truck parking, ( striped with adequate access like Cracker Barrel and Flying J ) which could be taken as invite to stay overnight.
No overnight parking signs can be posted buy the shopping center developer to save the lot (can't tell if jacks will damage the lot until after they are down and asphalt is dimpled or cracked or is the lot going to hold that 35000# DP before you drive on it) or can be required by zoning regulations, or be a requirement for site approval to please the neighbors. They also might be recommended by local police to alleviate a problem or not let one start. The municipality may have a tax or fee on hotel, motel, and/or campground nights occupied as a way to generate revenue. ( especially in resort areas )

Nowhere have I stated not to use WM lots for whatever you want to call it, but it's time to stop assuming a WM lot is a safe haven to overnight and blaming the local CG owner because you can't overnight on someone else's personal property.

Remember WM works on 2.5 / 3.5 % net profit margin so for that hundred you just spent they made $3

George
A well prepared and presented bit of wisdom - but NOT one likely to be accepted or appreciated by the "Walmart camping association" members in this thread, who vastly prefer the "Evil Campground owners Conspiracy" theory...

Makes me wonder how many big fancy RV's would have to be sold, if the free stays were to suddenly disappear...
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Old 01-01-2010, 02:11 PM   #146
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My thing about keeping awnings & slides in is mainly to prevent some idiot from driving into it and trashing the RV. I've seen way too many near misses. Our trip from NC to NM (via I20) was the first time we even needed to stop in parking lots. We resembled modern day version of "Grapes of Wrath" extras. No private campground would have wanted us in there (40 ft school bus towing my jeep.. both packed to the ceilings... 1977 Class C RV and another jeep towing a hot dog cart). Easy in/outs were what we were interested in. Yes we bought at every store we stayed at. Mostly it was our supper/breakfast. Everyone was very nice. No one even hesitated. All said no problem. We do prefer Sam's Clubs over Wal-mart. We like the cooked food they have better than the Super Wal-Marts. and the parking lots seem to be bigger. BTW, we did run our generator until bedtime. We asked... no problem anywhere. As far as noise... I use ear plugs that I buy from Lowe's (for working with power tools). It muffles the noise to where I can fall asleep but I can still hear the alarm clock.
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Old 01-01-2010, 03:17 PM   #147
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A well prepared and presented bit of wisdom - but NOT one likely to be accepted or appreciated by the "Walmart camping association" members in this thread, who vastly prefer the "Evil Campground owners Conspiracy" theory...
With as many managers and assistant managers Walmart has, they could have one related to every CG owner in the country. There is also the possibility that every CG owners family is large enough to control the local vote to get any parking laws passed they want.
Notice I have not voiced an opinion as to whether or not someone should stay overnight at a Walmart, I just get a big chuckle at some of the scenarios presented.

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Old 01-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #148
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I just go by what is told to me by the locals. A trip to Maine seems in order
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Old 01-01-2010, 06:42 PM   #149
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A well prepared and presented bit of wisdom - but NOT one likely to be accepted or appreciated by the "Walmart camping association" members in this thread, who vastly prefer the "Evil Campground owners Conspiracy" theory...
Sorry if this further deteriorates your image as an rver. Perhaps you should get your self a " I don't camp at walmart" sticker and put it on your bumper. This might help.
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Old 01-01-2010, 09:06 PM   #150
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Well, I've read this whole thread.....looks like I'm post # 150.........wow.....who would have thought that you would see 150 posts on Wal-Mart parking?

I know jobriant stated part of the Wal-Mart policy, but its only part of it.
(It was post 104 - I'm kind of surprised that more posters didn't "GO TO THE SOURCE" and check the Wal-Mart website BEFORE posting. In total, it says this:

Can I park my RV at a Walmart store?
While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.

IMHO, this solves lots of questions, and should quiet lots of doubters and guessers.

SIDE NOTE:
I just love the many folks who post things like 'I've never parked in a Wal-Mart' and then go on to slam the practice. GHEEZ folks -

Here's another take on all this for many of you to consider:

I work out on the road, and travel in my coach lots of times for work. Its a big rig, (Newmar 43-ft DSDP with a tag axle, pulling a toad or a trailer)=(LONG). Its not easy to get into a lot of campgrounds, and I can just about forget most of those beautiful state parks I'd love to stay at. (Tried - most were designed and built decades ago and do not accomodate big rigs easily). I do not have time nor can I take the time to go way out of my way to a CG, and I MUST have at least cell service. I almost always arrive late (most CG's are closed), I leave early (gotta move on, gotta go to work), and its so much easier to stay near the interstate somewhere (many CG's are not near interstates, at least where I travel).

Concerning Wal-Marts and the like:
I always call ahead or stop in and ask permisssion to park overnight. I almost always shop and spend (its the least I could do). I NEVER put out my awning(s), chairs, or BBQ. I sometimes put down the jacks, level up, and extend the slides (never if there's not room). I try to stay out of the way, and over the side or end of the lot. I almost always leave before any store 'rush' or busy time (early). I always leave the place as good or better than I found it. Generator? When I need it....

I've stayed in Wal-Marts, Flying J's, and an occassional Sams' Club, but no Cracker Barrels (yet). I've even stayed at a couple of Holiday Inns (large ones, where other folks from my company had rooms - the mgr's have always said sure - we'd love for you to park here. Might help that I'm a Platinum Member.) One Target, one Lowes (we are contractors), but I hate those road side rest areas (way too many trucks coming and going all night, as well as other pesky unsavory charachters!)


Best Wal-Mart real story to date:
Pulled in about 9-10 pm one night, (can't even remember where - I drive 50,000 to 60,000 miles a year and spend 200+ nights out on the road), and an old guy appears out of nowhere almost immediately in a car marked WalMart Security, jumps out, shakes my hand and says "Hi - anything I can help you with just let me know. I saw you come onto the lot on the security camera and came out to check on you. You parked in exactly the right spot, so you're good. I'll be watching and checking on you off and on throughout the night on the cameras and on my rounds in the car, so sleep well and don't worry. This place is very safe and there's very little traffic at night here. We're open 24 hours, so anything you want inside you can get anytime. By the way, we had a lot of grilled chickens in the deli - noticed they just marked them down to half-price if you haven't eaten dinner yet. See you later, and thanks for coming to WalMart."

After that encounter, you think I'm a WalMart fan? You can bet I am now.....THAT would make anyone a fan.

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Old 01-01-2010, 09:52 PM   #151
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Well, I've read this whole thread.....looks like I'm post # 150.........wow.....who would have thought that you would see 150 posts on Wal-Mart parking?
Wal-Mart parking, Grey water dumping and irresponsible pet owners are all hot topics!

Quote:
...After that encounter, you think I'm a WalMart fan? You can bet I am now.....THAT would make anyone a fan.
And that's part of the reasoning behind letting RVer's park overnight. They count on us not only buying from them when we park overnight but to choose them over another store the next time we need something. It's called Marketing and it doesn't cost them a penny!
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Old 01-01-2010, 11:26 PM   #152
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A well prepared and presented bit of wisdom - but NOT one likely to be accepted or appreciated by the "Walmart camping association" members in this thread, who vastly prefer the "Evil Campground owners Conspiracy" theory....


In reality, there are a variety of reasons why individual Walmarts don't allow Overnight RV Parking. These include:
  • Local ordinance, passed due to pressure from local campground owners
  • Local ordinance, passed due to "NIMBY" ("not in my back yard") mentality of well-to-do residents
  • Local ordinance, passed due to "RV squatters" attempting to live in retail store parking lots
  • Local ordinance or store policy, in place due to one or two RVers dumping gray and/or black tanks in storm sewers in lot
  • Store and/or parking lot are leased property, and property owner has a "No Overnight Parking" policy
  • Store manager considers RVers a nuisance, or believes they occupy too many parking spaces that should be for a greater number of paying customers.
In some cases, local law enforcement officers will come to a store only when requested by the store. In some cases, they will respond to citizen complaints, including those from store neighbors or local campground owners. In some cases, they make it a point to check local parking lots nightly and ticket or evict violators. In some cases, they do this only when there are no other police calls.

I have received emails from city officials and have conversed with Walmart managers all across the USA and Canada, and have documented multiple cases of each of the above examples.
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Old 01-02-2010, 06:31 AM   #153
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Hey! Never thought of using a Storm Sewer before,but only have had a Class A for 2 1/2 years so I,m learning alot from this Thread.I haven't used a Wal Mart yet other than spending Thousand's there the last 42 years with my Wife.She retires in 30 days and on to Wal Mart,Sams,or where ever and I bet I see Gary there,LOL
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Old 01-02-2010, 07:19 AM   #154
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Politicians react to pressure from perceived voters. Most rv parking bans are due to RV Park owners objecting to losing the revenue.
Wouldn't there be more registered voters working at the local WM than the local CG? I would assume, in most cases, the local WM was the larger tax generator

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Most rv parking bans are due to RV Park owners objecting to losing the revenue. ......

Charlie
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This would be hard for anyone to authenticate.

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