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Old 06-01-2012, 12:38 PM   #4299
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How many days straight is the record for camping out in Walmart parking lot?
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #4300
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Originally Posted by Dunner View Post
Do you ever do anything for fun, 0'briant?
Yep.
  • I work hard on [moderator edit] website, which I find very enjoyable. It's surprisingly rewarding to do something that saves so many people so much money, and it's the type of research & documentation stuff that I've always been good & always enjoyed.
  • I play principal tuba in our local community orchestra, the South Valley Symphony.
  • I play E-Flat Bass in the Pacific Brass Band, a British-style brass band, where I also share the conducting duties, and serve as staff arranger.
  • I run my own band, the Zinfandel Stompers Traditional Jazz Band.
  • I play regularly with Ted Shafer's Jelly Roll Jazz Band. We have a regular Friday gig, including tonight, as well as other performances.
  • I "sub" frequently with other San Francisco area jazz bands. I'm playing with the Cell Block Seven Jazz Band on Saturday in Lodi, and with the Silicon Gulch Jazz Band next Tuesday in San Mateo.
  • I'm on the Board for the South Bay Traditional Jazz Society, as Youth Activities Coordinator. It's a lot of fun and recommending talented young musicians to receive jazz camp scholarships.
  • We take short RV trips with the Garlic Roamers, the RV Club affiliated with the Gilroy Elks Lodge, where I'm a member.
  • We take short RV trips on our own.
  • We attend several traditional jazz festivals each year.
  • We attend jazz and classical music performances wherever we are.
  • We like to go to museums.
  • We love to go wine tasting and find new, undiscovered wineries that are making great wine.
  • When schedules and other commitments permit, we like to take longer RV trips (this Summer, we'll do a 6-7 week jaunt to OR to visit friends, WA for a jazz festival & to visit family, BC for wine exploration in the Okanagan Valley, MT to visit Glacier National Park. From that point, our trip home will largely be "seat of the pants"). To ensure we're on topic here, we'll park overnight at numerous Walmarts on this trip, as well as other free Overnight RV Parking locations.
But other than that, I lead a pretty uneventful life.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:49 PM   #4301
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How many days straight is the record for camping out in Walmart parking lot?
One ratty RV was in the old Gilroy, CA Walmart Store # 2002 parking lot for about 6 weeks, a few summers ago. This single RVer is the reason that the building permit for the new Gilroy Walmart SuperCenter # 2002 included a covenant that the store would ban Overnight RV Parking.

That's probably not a record, but then, this isn't an area where anyone should be trying to set a record.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:50 PM   #4302
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Amen to that!

And most people have no idea the amount of time it takes to research it thoroughly. I spend more time keeping the Overnight RV Parking database current than a lot of people spend at a full time job. One problem is that the database keeps growing, and thus there are more and more listings to re-check to be sure the information is still current. The "co-pilot" thinks I spend altogether too much time at it, but if I didn't, I'd just be underfoot, and she'd like that even less.....
Some folk are all about rules. I think when I've made an agreement with Wal-Mart, any rules are between me and them. I like to stay in their lots because it is convenenient. Why would I violate any of THEIR rules only to find myself without a place to stay? Answer is, I wouldn't. I don't give two hoots about the FMCA "Good Neighbor Policy" or any other groups policies. What I do isn't their business. What Wal-Mart does isn't their business, either. If another RV'er is irritated by my generator, they can move. I have moved many times when someone has parked too close to my rig. It's not a problem, takes 5 minutes and they don't even know about it. I just move, I don't have to tell everybody why.

[moderator edit]
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:56 PM   #4303
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How many days straight is the record for camping out in Walmart parking lot?

NONE... you're not allowed to camp, just park.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:57 PM   #4304
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I think one rule we all should follow (no matter where we stay, WM included) is "Leave it in better condition that you found it". It's probably more important than any other rule, from the perspective of maintaining our welcome.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:00 PM   #4305
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I think one rule we all should follow (no matter where we stay, WM included) is "Leave it in better condition that you found it". It's probably more important than any other rule, from the perspective of maintaining our welcome.
Hallelujah! You nailed it!
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:30 PM   #4306
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[moderator edit]

How 'bout some experiences of yours while overnighting at WM? Have you ever had any issues, maybe with other RV'ers or with rowdy drive-by's? Anything in particular you REALLY like about staying there? What brings you into a parking lot to spend the night?
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Old 06-01-2012, 02:35 PM   #4307
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How 'bout some experiences of yours while overnighting at WM?
At one Walmart in NE, we were advised to park on one side of the lot, as there was a homeless encampment along the creek on the other side.

At one Walmart in WY, a popular one used for overnighting by cross-country travelers, the lot was so full (and so far off level) that we went down the street, got permission from the Home Depot, and spent the night all alone in a very level, quiet lot. Unfortunately, another RVer has since parked at this Home Depot without permission, setting out out his lawn chairs and BBQ grill, and this abuse in the store manager banning Overnight RV Parking.

At one Walmart in IA, we found the only level spot in the lot -- which fortunately was at the outer edge of the lot where Customer Service had asked us to park. Went to bed in an empty lot, but woke up surrounded by semis, who had barely left us enough space to squeeze through & leave before they did.

We spent an hour trying to find a Walmart in UT, in one of the UT cities that uses the "100 west 100 south" type addresses. Yahoo Maps, Google Maps, Walmart's Store Locator Page and our GPS had the store in four different places, all of them wrong. [moderator edit] Be sure to include a note to follow the website driving directions and not believe your GPS.

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Have you ever had any issues, maybe with other RV'ers or with rowdy drive-by's?
The worst issue is one I described in this thread a week or two ago -- another RVer who thought his 5:30 AM generator was really quiet. Maybe it was, from inside his rig, but he had parked next to us, and from our bedroom it was VERY noisy.

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Anything in particular you REALLY like about staying there? What brings you into a parking lot to spend the night?
Convenience. Whether it's a Walmart or a Flying J or a Cracker Barrel or a wide spot in the road, we like being able to stop when we want, and spend a night without paying for hookups that we don't need. As of the spring of 2011, the average price of an E/W/S campsite in the USA was $40.93/night. I can think of a LOT of things I'd rather spend 40 bucks on, rather than throw it out the window paying for something I don't need.

When we do need hookups, we seek out small city and county parks. There are hundreds if not thousands of them across the USA, and they're usually free or very inexpensive. (That's another of those generalizations that's meaningless when you pull into a particular park -- unless you have the info that you or someone else has researched ahead of time.) [moderator edit]I.. research them online when time permits.

Here are three Midwestern gems:

Des Moines, IA: Yellow Banks County Park. $19/night for 30A E/W & Dump Station.

Buffalo, IA: Buffalo Shores Recreation Area. $18/night for 30A E/W & Dump Station, right on the shore of the Mississippi River.

Bloomfield, IA: McGowen Recreation Area: $14/night (as of last report) for 30/50A E/W site; haul out your own trash; no dump station, but free dump station in town.

How's that?
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:47 PM   #4308
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Originally Posted by jobriant View Post
At one Walmart in NE, we were advised to park on one side of the lot, as there was a homeless encampment along the creek on the other side.

At one Walmart in WY, a popular one used for overnighting by cross-country travelers, the lot was so full (and so far off level) that we went down the street, got permission from the Home Depot, and spent the night all alone in a very level, quiet lot. Unfortunately, another RVer has since parked at this Home Depot without permission, setting out out his lawn chairs and BBQ grill, and this abuse in the store manager banning Overnight RV Parking.

At one Walmart in IA, we found the only level spot in the lot -- which fortunately was at the outer edge of the lot where Customer Service had asked us to park. Went to bed in an empty lot, but woke up surrounded by semis, who had barely left us enough space to squeeze through & leave before they did.

We spent an hour trying to find a Walmart in UT, in one of the UT cities that uses the "100 west 100 south" type addresses. Yahoo Maps, Google Maps, Walmart's Store Locator Page and our GPS had the store in four different places, all of them wrong. [moderator edit] Be sure to include a note to follow the website driving directions and not believe your GPS.



The worst issue is one I described in this thread a week or two ago -- another RVer who thought his 5:30 AM generator was really quiet. Maybe it was, from inside his rig, but he had parked next to us, and from our bedroom it was VERY noisy.



Convenience. Whether it's a Walmart or a Flying J or a Cracker Barrel or a wide spot in the road, we like being able to stop when we want, and spend a night without paying for hookups that we don't need. As of the spring of 2011, the average price of an E/W/S campsite in the USA was $40.93/night. I can think of a LOT of things I'd rather spend 40 bucks on, rather than throw it out the window paying for something I don't need.

When we do need hookups, we seek out small city and county parks. There are hundreds if not thousands of them across the USA, and they're usually free or very inexpensive. (That's another of those generalizations that's meaningless when you pull into a particular park -- unless you have the info that you or someone else has researched ahead of time.) [moderator edit]I.. research them online when time permits.

Here are three Midwestern gems:

Des Moines, IA: Yellow Banks County Park. $19/night for 30A E/W & Dump Station.

Buffalo, IA: Buffalo Shores Recreation Area. $18/night for 30A E/W & Dump Station, right on the shore of the Mississippi River.

Bloomfield, IA: McGowen Recreation Area: $14/night (as of last report) for 30/50A E/W site; haul out your own trash; no dump station, but free dump station in town.

How's that?
THAT is excellent and I have a new respect for you! You seem to have made this your life's work and you do have a lot of valuable experience and expertise. Personally, that is why I read this thread. I'm really interested in the different experiences people have overnighting at WM and other places. And, I agree with you, convenience is the main reason to stay at WM and other establishments. Money doesn't really play a role, at all, but, it sure is a nice side benefit.

I will give the (unnamed website) another look. I'm sure it has value, if for nothing else, all the information in one place rather than googling everywhere you might find yourself.

Thanks for your thoughts and comments. Keep'em comin'.
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Old 06-01-2012, 05:50 PM   #4309
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Well, I managed to park my car in a Walmart lot for over three months straight, but the RV for only 14 nights in a row.
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:07 PM   #4310
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Well, I managed to park my car in a Walmart lot for over three months straight, but the RV for only 14 nights in a row.
My guess is you hold the record, but I'm not sure what good it is...
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #4311
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Well, I managed to park my car in a Walmart lot for over three months straight, but the RV for only 14 nights in a row.

Would that be with permission... or you stayed there until you were run off?
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:11 PM   #4312
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Well, with the car, I forgot where I parked it and reported it stolen. The police found it three months later, in the lot all dusty. With the RV, I just parked in the back of the lot and put a "for sale" sign on it, no one bugged me to move for two weeks.
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