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Old 06-04-2012, 06:45 PM   #4383
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Last I heard (probably 7 years ago) the walmart closest to Ocean City, MD did ban parking. I don't know if they ever lifted that ban but apparently it was nasty with all the campers making that their free vacation spot.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:02 PM   #4384
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I'm interested in hearing about actual cases in which Rvers in Wal*Mart acting badly caused cities to pass and enforce these no-overnight-parking laws.
In Gilroy, CA, Walmart Store # 2002 was replaced by Walmart Supercenter # 2002 about 5-7 years ago. One condition of the building permit was that the new Supercenter cannot allow Overnight RV Parking. This condition was added to the building permit after an old Class C motorhome parked in the old store lot for about 2 months one summer, with a lawn furniture and a bbq grill out on the asphalt several nights a week. A close personal friend was on the planning commission when all of this occurred. It took only one RVer to cause the city to take this action.

In one city in Wisconsin, an incumbent city council member was kept awake one summer night by an RV generator in the Walmart lot across the street. She introduced a "No Overnight RV Parking" ordinance, which was passed. Now, every night before going to bed, she looks across the street, and if there are any RVs in the Walmart lot she calls the local police and instructs them to ticket and evict the RVer. This was told to me by a resident of that city, who is related to the city council member. Again, it took only one RVer to cause this local law to be enacted.

In one city in Georgia, the Walmart manager just got tired of RVers parking in the lot without permission, and parking in parts of the lot where he didn't want them. In a phone conversation, he told me that if the RVers had just been courteous enough to come into the store and ask permission at Customer Service, the store would grant permission, and tell them where in the lot they could and could not park. He also told of groups of RVs parking out in one corner of the lot, blocking traffic lanes so they could park 4 RVs in a square with their awnings all facing each other, with the RVers grilling steaks and eating outisde their rigs. at folding tables. He just got fed up and changed his store's policy, so Overnight RV Parking is no longer allowed there. Lots of RVers contributed to this change in policy.

In the big brou-ha-ha over Overnight RV Parking in Billings, MT in 2006, local campground owners were behind the attempt to restore enforcement of a long-unenforced Anti-RV ordinance. They were quoted in the local newspaper, accusing RVers of everything from sitting in the Walmart parking lot in lawn chairs to dumping waste tanks in the storm sewers. The campground owners were behind the legal move, but RVers abusing the Overnight RV Parking privilege had given them the ammunition they needed. It took thousands of letters and emails from RVers to convince the city council that a ban on Overnight RV Parking would be counterproductive, and would cost the city a lot more in tourist dollars than they realized.

These are a few examples, off the top of my head.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:09 PM   #4385
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Originally Posted by EnolaEagle View Post
Last I heard (probably 7 years ago) the walmart closest to Ocean City, MD did ban parking. I don't know if they ever lifted that ban but apparently it was nasty with all the campers making that their free vacation spot.
I don't know how long that policy has been in effect at this store (Walmart Supercenter # 2560 in Berlin, MD), My database record on this store hadn't been updated in more than two years, so I just telephoned the store. They still do not allow Overnight RV Parking.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:25 PM   #4386
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You posted the guidelines , and this was one of them" Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt "

I guess they're as flexible as you see fit.
If you read all the information available on this particular point, the objective is to keep the weight of an RV from causing the jacks to leave indentations in the asphalt. The protective pads prevent this damage, making it a moot point.

But there are places where leveling jacks aren't allowed. In rest areas in Wyoming, overnight parking is allowed, but camping is a ticketable offense. The Wyoming State police have unofficially decided the difference between "parking" and "camping" is whether the RV is in "ready to drive condition." If all you need to do is release the parking brake, start the engine and drive away, you're parking and you don't get a citation for illegal camping. If you have to do anything else -- roll up an awning, bring in a slide, raise levelers -- then you're camping and you get the citation. But this applies, as far as I know, only in rest areas, roadside parking areas, vista points, turnouts, etc. on highways in Wyoming.

Flexibility and common sense also apply to Walmart managers' interpretation of the corporate policy on Overnight RV Parking. Within the scope of local laws, it's allowed at the discretion of the store manager. The Walmart corporate website's FAQ page instructs RVers to ask permission from the store manager. In reality, the majority of store managers have delegated the authority to grant permission to the Customer Service manager or Customer Service staff.

Flexibility also comes into play as local authorities enforce or don't enforce "No Overnight RV Parking" laws. In many towns with such ordinances, it's a very low priority, and police will usually enforce it only when there's a complaint or when there's absolutely nothing else for them to do that night. In other cities, the city and the Walmart have an unwritten agreement that the police won't come to the store to ticket or evict RVers unless the store requests it.

There are as many different situations and sets of circumstances as there are potential places for us to park overnight.
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:46 PM   #4387
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"In Gilroy, CA, ...This condition was added to the building permit after an old Class C motorhome parked in the old store lot for about 2 months one summer, with a lawn furniture and a bbq grill out on the asphalt several nights a week. It took only one RVer to cause the city to take this action."

Wow, in 2 months nobody thought to have the store manager, store security or the city cops go out to this alleged Class C and tell them to take off? Mind boggling.

What a pansy outfit- had to pass an ordinance to get one RV to move. Yep, makes sense to me. Why do I think there is more to this story?
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #4388
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But you haven't seen our protective pads leave indentations in asphalt, have you? Heavier RVs with different pads on softer surfaces probably have. If ours ever do, you'll have made a valid point. But ours haven't.

I doubt that's the reason there's no Walmart there, but I'd venture a guess that if Walmart ever thinks it will be profitable, there will be a store there someday.

I've never been in a situation where I parked the Bounder on soft asphalt after a 100 degree day, but if I thought there were a possibility that there would be dents in the asphalt, I wouldn't use levelers, or would find another place from my database to park overnight. (If it's that hot, I'd probably want electrical hookups, to run the A/C all night.)

If there's no Walmart in Monument Valley, none of us have to worry about damage to the surface of a nonexistent parking lot.
Ok. I'll close with this. We both use a data base for overnight parking. Mine is RV Park Reviews.
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Old 06-04-2012, 08:17 PM   #4389
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Folks, we've about beaten the topic of "rules" for Wallydocking to death and comments are starting to get too heated so please tone it down.



Thanks

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I posted this warning that things were getting too personal and it apparently had little or no impact on the direction this thread has taken recently so I have deleted quite a number of posts for trolling, personal attacks and generally not being very nice.

Membership infractions and ultimately closing the thread are the next steps so please folks....

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Old 06-04-2012, 08:42 PM   #4390
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Ok. I'll close with this. We both use a data base for overnight parking. Mine is RV Park Reviews.
We don't use Walmarts or other free Overnight RV Parking locations every night. For nights when we will want to be in an RV Park, I use RV Park Reviews :: Home as well.

Since the info on RV Park Reviews :: Home is posted as submitted by users, without a verification step, I take what it says with a grain of salt, but in general, I've found the reviews to be pretty accurate, with rare individual exceptions.
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Old 06-04-2012, 09:50 PM   #4391
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jobriant

We don't use Walmarts or other free Overnight RV Parking locations every night. For nights when we will want to be in an RV Park, I use RV Park Reviews :: Home as well.

Since the info on RV Park Reviews :: Home is posted as submitted by users, without a verification step, I take what it says with a grain of salt, but in general, I've found the reviews to be pretty accurate, with rare individual exceptions.
Wonderful website, been adding the small and unknown campgrounds to it as I find them in my travels.

I use it whenever I'm picking out a destination campground and use the MyDat trucker services app and soon the all-stays walmart app for overnight on-route reststop picks.


Personally, I would very much love to stop at campgrounds for all my overnight stops, but I'd also like for gas to be back around a $1 a gallon, but since that's unlikely, budget cuts had to be made somewhere and overnighter sleep stops at campgrounds was one that made a pretty good budget adjustment.

2-3 nights at current rv park prices = a tank of gas for me
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:38 AM   #4392
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As has been said in this thread probably 100 times, overnighting at WalMart is more a convenience for most people than a money saving exercise. I'm not trying to save $40 by overnighting at WalMart, I'm trying to save driving 10 miles off the interstate over unknown roads at 10pm, dealing with check-in process, disturbing fellow campers trying to get into my spot, etc all to just sleep a few hours, disturb fellow campers again in the AM, deal with check-out and finally leave.

It used to be CGs had to either BE the destination, or ON THE WAY to the destination. WalMarts and other RV friendly businesses (sams, cracker barrel, etc) are taking away some of the ON THE WAY business from them because they are convenient. CGs need to react to this somehow to be able to counter it to some degree. Greasing the palms of the local government to get legislation passed is the wrong way.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:47 AM   #4393
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Here's a link to a news story on a local newspaper website. It describes what happened when an RVer parked his rig in a Walmart lot without getting permission from the store:

Walmart vs. the $1.2 million RV in Glen Ellyn - DailyHerald.com

The incident described took place in Glen Ellyn, IL, a suburb of Chicago. It's not "old news;" it took place on Memorial Day weekend.

As always, one incident does not make a pattern. Different Walmarts have different ways of handling RVs that they don't want in their parking lots. This is how this store handled it, and presumably the action they took was legal. Other stores may do the same.
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:58 AM   #4394
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It used to be CGs had to either BE the destination, or ON THE WAY to the destination. WalMarts and other RV friendly businesses (sams, cracker barrel, etc) are taking away some of the ON THE WAY business from them because they are convenient. CGs need to react to this somehow to be able to counter it to some degree. Greasing the palms of the local government to get legislation passed is the wrong way.
Amen to that!

When the Maine Legislature was considering a bill that would have made it illegal to sleep in an RV anywhere in the state unless you were in a licensed campground, I gave an interview to the Portland Press Herald, the largest circulation newspaper in Maine.

Among the points I made were:
  • If RVers can't sleep anywhere but in a campground, then the campgrounds should be required to have someone in the office 24/7 to check guests in and check them out.
  • If RVers can't sleep anywhere but in a campground, then the campgrounds should be required to have large enough sites to accommodate RVs of any size.
  • If RVers can't sleep anywhere but in a campground, then all campgrounds must be accessible by RV, over roads and bridges that will accommodate RVs of any legal size and weight.
  • If campground owners want customers, then they need to have a campground that attracts RVers, and they need to market it effectively. It's not the function of the state or local government to provide customers for a business that is run so poorly that it can't get customers any other way.
As was mentioned in this thread within the past week or so, the article which included my comments (as well as comments from a variety of other sources) aroused so much negative comment from Maine residents that the legislator who had introduced it quietly withdrew it from consideration.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:34 AM   #4395
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Here's a link to a news story on a local newspaper website. It describes what happened when an RVer parked his rig in a Walmart lot without getting permission from the store:

Walmart vs. the $1.2 million RV in Glen Ellyn - DailyHerald.com
Ironically, the linked news article can't be accessed without a subscription to the newspaper.
Stopping at Walmart should be a one night stopover, not a destination. Permission of the manager should always be sought. I am disturbed that local governments can be influenced by campground owners and a desire to increase revenue through fines and hospitality taxes on campground users. We need to join together to voice our opinions to politicians when these issues are raised as was done in Maine.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:43 AM   #4396
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Ummmm... I read the article & I don't have a subscription.
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