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Old 12-08-2009, 11:18 AM   #99
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In October, we left our home in Canada, and enjoyed a 5200 mile trip in the U.S.A. We had two destinations where we stayed several days at campgrounds. While travelling to these destinations, at the end of each day we parked at a WalMart to get a good night's sleep.

We are not experienced RV'rs, and we found that finding a campground 'on the fly' each night was very difficult. Besides, we weren't looking for a campground, just a safe place to park for the night.

I never thought that we were looking for a 'freebie', just a good safe place to park. I was glad that WalMart thought this was a good idea too.

If WalMart has to charge us to park there, that would be O.K. with me.
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:09 PM   #100
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As Promised

Quote:
Ken-55
Silly me, I didn't realize that I had been "camping"!

Hmmm guess that makes a lot of us a bit silly


Quote:
jimkate
If WalMart has to charge us to park there, that would be O.K. with me.
Well I wouldn't mind paying an overnighting fee, however where to draw the line . If WM charged a parking fee, well let's face it there would be a customer loss (not good). If they charge an overnight parking fee it would be a separate buisness and the campground owners would howl louder than a pack of coyotes. However there's a summer time buisness here for an entrepreneur with some flat real estate.
Quote:
I feel it's tacky, makes RVers appear to be cheapskate freeloaders, and since *I* too am a RVer, I feel that reflects upon me as well - which by my personal view, MAKES it "my business" too!
Well back to Gary (without predigious) who has a personal view opposite to our Wall Mart overnighter's own thoughts. He has a right to his thoughts and feelings, and a right to discuss them. Unlike others in these type discussions he didn't call anyone names, he just stated his thoughts and feelings. I wish more of the contra minded to the subject would approach the topic as he has.

The question has to be asked "Who is he referring to, who would get the impression that all RV'ers are cheapskates?" I have to guess that it would be the non RV'ing public.
So:
Back many many years ago as a non RV'er the only thoughts I had about RV's in mall parking lots were that, I wondered where they came from, I looked at the plates, and of course looked over the rig because I was curious, wondered what they looked like inside, wondered what it would be like to travel in them. When the Airstream convoys came to town it was a special trip to town just to have a look. So other than simple curiosity it's a good bet that the vast majority of people don't have negative thoughts like Freeloading or Cheapskates and couldn't care less. They most likely don't know squat about campgrounds or their amenities, or even think about them. I know I didn't. (Think of your own life before RV's) They have no questions or thoughts about water and sewage etc. because it's assumed by them that these necessities have a way of being looked after.
Now folks that's the way I looked at it until the Spring of 2006 when I found out there was a "No RV Overnight Parking Law" in the Province of NS. I resolved then to join others in having the law changed. (It's a long story not for this Post)
RV'ers had Boycotted the Prov. to the loss of 20% RV traffic per year over the preceding year. Over a period of 5 years the loss of revenue $$ from RV traffic to the Provincial coffers became a very noticeable deficit. Steps were then taken to reverse the negativity that RV'ers had with regard to the Province.
I mention this because all any government is concerned about is NEW revenue and it's loss has to be made up by raising more tax from the voting public this they don't like unless they can blame it on something else where they have no control.
That loss of Revenue was the Achilles heel that caused the real concern.
It will take many years in the future for a full reversal of the effects of the Ban.
So as a tax payer, and unless you like to pay more taxes than you have to, everyone has an interest in keeping parking lots free of the No Overnighting Signs. Boycotts do happen and they are very effective. So be sure of what you are asking for.
In regard to those laws restricting property owners rights, most will fade or be found unconstitutional if ever challenged in a court of law.
The Nova Scotia law didn't even make it to court. Legal opinion was that the NS government did not have jurisdiction to make such a law.
A local home owners association law forbidding residents to have outside clothes lines in the development, was found to be unconstitutional by the Supreme Court when challenged by people who re decided they wanted to use clotheslines. That's all it takes and of course the lawyers walk away with a pocket full of $$$$
I just love these Wal Mart threads
Cheers
Willey
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Old 12-08-2009, 09:40 PM   #101
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So many varying opinions it's difficult to address them all.
If you don't want truckers and RVers parking next to your home, don't buy a home right beside a Wal-Mart! If you have some kind of an objection to RVers spending the night at your local Wal-Mart then you should get involved in city politics and get the laws/regulations changed (no matter how small minded that might be). If you are like me, you sometimes find that staying a night or 2 (or 3) at Wal-Mart is the most logical choice related to your travels. It's not about being cheap, it's about what makes the most sense. When hurricane Katrine hit we were in OR. We knew that we needed to get to NO as soon as possible to help in any way that we could. That meant driving all day, flopping at the local Wal-mart and then driving all day the next day until we arrived at another Wal-Mart. We started this cycle again and again until we arrived. We have also spent time in Wal-Mart parking lots when we were just trying to get from this side of the Country to the other. There's really no difference. It's just a matter of what makes the most sense.
You have to remember that what makes the most sense to me has nothing at all to do with what makes the most sense to anyone else. It's just a choice. Wal-Mart's are high on my list of choices but they may or may not be high on your list of choices. That does not make either of us wrong, just making different choices.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:02 AM   #102
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Maybe the solution is to take a bit of land on the edge of town and put in an overnight area. This area would be, say 10 pull through "slots", with 20/30/50 amp electrical posts. Several water hydrants could be placed at the pull throughs and a dump station on the way out. You could have a pay station that would issue a ticket that you would need to exit the facility.

One of the reasons we have used the Wal Mart parking lot for an overnight is it is normally an easy in-easy out. Also easy shopping for necessities.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:49 PM   #103
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Originally Posted by Barrier2 View Post
We were turned away at a Walmart in Carlyle,PA which is an area with potential for "camping abuse" due to the many swap meets and shows, we left there quickly with no shopping.
Barrier
The Borough of Carlisle has a local ordinance that forbids occupancy of a vehicle "for temporary or permanent living purposes" for longer than five minutes, from 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM. The penalty for violation of this ordinance is a fine up to $600 and/or imprisonment for up to 30 days.
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Old 12-16-2009, 02:51 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Route 66 View Post
Sam Walton, founder of Walmart, officially extended an invitation to all RVers that they are welcome to spend a night at Walmart when passing through. At one time the invitation was on their website.

The policy is still in effect, but local ordinances may prevent overnight parking.
Not quite correct. The present policy, as stated on the Walmart Corporate Website, reads as follows:

"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."
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:02 PM   #105
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Gary Brinck wrote:

> Walmart owns a lot of their own
> properties, so can make their own
> parking rules.

They can make their own rules within the bounds of any applicable local ordinances.

> Targets and KMarts tend to be in plazas
> and have to follow the plaza rules.
> Walmarts that are part of shoping malls
> seldom allow RV parking.

In general, this is accurate, but there are many, many exceptions.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:07 PM   #106
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[QUOTE=georgetown350;574397]"Quote" what do ya suppose the residential neighbors - the ones who use Walmart every few days, not just when passing thru town - think about the parking lot next door being used for RV camping? [QUOTE]

Residential neighbors have been known to object to the noise from RV generators, as well as to the noise from idling 18-wheeler engines and refrigeration units. Some Walmarts, where there are residences adjacent to the lot, will grant permission to RVers to park overnight but specify no use of generators. (And of course we should all abide by Walmart Corporate Policy and obtain permission from the store before parking overnight.)
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:12 PM   #107
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I have been curious about one thing, If RVer's are so valuable to Walmart, Why isn't a section of the parking lot laid out and striped to accommodate them like Cracker Barrel or Flying J?
Your generalization is inaccurate. A number of the newer Walmart Supercenters are including marked long-vehicle parking spaces in a portion of their parking lots. The advantage to RVers is that we know where to park in the lot. The disadvantage is that, in some cases, we're parked among idling semis.
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Old 12-16-2009, 03:19 PM   #108
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*I* drive all day, end up in an RV CG, cook supper - watch a little TV, maybe go for a walk or walk the dog, go to bed for a good night's sleep, get up the next morning, have breakfast, walk the dog again, then resume my trip...

YUP, *I* was *camping* overnight in a CG!

Why is what "Walmart Campers" do, any different - why work at calling it a different name, when all the activities are identical - except the COST of the stay? Any way ya slice it, it's still balony!
The difference is this:

When we are camping, we generally extend levelers, extend slides, deploy awnings, set out lawn furniture, and use the outdoor BBQ grill. Many of us will enjoy a beverage (sometimes alcoholic) outside our RVs.

When we ar parking overnight, we do not use awnings, lawn furniture, or outdoor BBS's, and when possible, do not use levelers or slides (though the latter two are a gray area). We are parked for the night in order to sleep.

That's much different from setting up a campsite in a campground.

Now, if you don't want to avail yourself of the hospitality that Walmart and many other retailers extend to RVers, that's your business. But for those of us who do use these free overnighting locations, on the way to our ultimate destination, the distinctions are NOT "baloney."
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:09 AM   #109
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Now I find this very interesting, it opens another aspect to the Overnight and Camping controversy. "Resting"
At the WM and at the rest stop, in your honest opinion were you Camping or Resting or just parked?

Cheers
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I can honestly say we were resting. I had just returned that Friday night on a 16 hour flight from Afghanistan. I slept as much as one could on the plane to be awake once home. Two hours after landing in the US, the wife and I drove off in the Class C to SC. I did pretty good on the way down but began feeling the jet lag on our trip back. I will say that we "broke in" both campers that weekend.
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Old 12-17-2009, 07:43 PM   #110
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Originally Posted by Abnmarine View Post
I can honestly say we were resting. I had just returned that Friday night on a 16 hour flight from Afghanistan. I slept as much as one could on the plane to be awake once home. Two hours after landing in the US, the wife and I drove off in the Class C to SC. I did pretty good on the way down but began feeling the jet lag on our trip back. I will say that we "broke in" both campers that weekend.
Oh Good! I'm glad you made that post, that's a great option from now on as far as the posts are concerned so when I pull into a WM in the evening I'll post it that we stopped for a rest
and if we happen to fall asleep while there we are still resting. well life's like that.
Before now I was getting confused because when we said we were overnighting the CG groupies insisted we were camping. When we over nighted in a parking lot that didn't allow overnight parking and no one bothered us, then we must have been camping. It has really been confusing for me up until now. Now we can go to a parking lot, ask if it's OK to rest, and if it's OK then we'll rest up there for the next days drive and everyone will be happy I think
Ah! Well it's Winter here now and we have to plan Next Years travels which will of course include many visits to Wal Mart

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Old 12-17-2009, 10:00 PM   #111
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I just call it what it is, "Extended Shopping!"

Oh! And on many occasions when my dear wife decides to visit a Walmart when we are IN a campground, I will sit in the TOAD and "rest" with my eyes closed, and even snore sometimes. Is that camping???? I might have even eaten a Burrito or three. Maybe that's just picnicking.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:08 AM   #112
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Someone wrote:

> We stopped on the way down in
> a Walmart lot for 4 hrs and then
> in a rest stop on the way back
> for 8 hrs.

WilleyB replied:

Quote:
Originally Posted by WilleyB View Post
Now I find this very interesting, it opens another aspect to the Overnight and Camping controversy. "Resting"
At the WM and at the rest stop, in your honest opinion were you Camping or Resting or just parked?
That's an answer that actually depends on which state they were in at the time. Specific definitions vary from state to state, as does the practical application of each state's laws and regulations by each state's Highway Patrol or State Police.

In some states it's illegal to sleep in a non-commercial vehicle in a rest area. This allows commercial truckers to get their legally required non-driving hours and sleeping hours, but denies the use of rest areas for sleeping to non commercial drivers.

In South Dakota, for example, non-commercial vehicles may park in rest areas for a maximum of three hours. South Dakota has also outlawed camping in their rest areas, and one of the legal definitions of "camping" under that law is sleeping in a motor vehicle or trailer designed for camping.

In Wyoming, it is also illegal to camp in a rest area. The Wyoming State Police interpret "camping" to mean pitching a tent, and also to mean sleeping in an RV that isn't in "ready to drive" condition. In other words, if you park your RV and sleep in a rest area in Wyoming, and the only things you need to do in order to depart are to release the brake and start the engine, you were parking, not camping -- and that's OK. But if you have to bring in a slide or raise your levelers, then your RV was not in "ready to drive" condition; therefore you were "camping" and you get a ticket.

Texas allows parking for up to 24 hours in Rest Areas, Parking Areas and Roadside Picnic Areas (each is defined in the law), and sleeping in your vehicle is legal -- unless there is signage to the contrary. (To date, I know of only a dozen or so of these areas which have such signage, out of a total of about 900 such locations in Texas.)

Minnesota allows parking in Rest Areas for up to six hours, so if you're able to sleep for just under six hours and be rested enough to drive safely, you're legal. (But there is one Minnesota Rest Area where overnight camping, including tent camping, is allowed.)

In short, there are no simple answers to most of these questions. With regard to rest areas, every state has a different wording in their laws on this subject. Every Walmart store has its own policy, set by the store manager within the bounds of local laws. Different Flying J's want RVs that park overnight to do it in a different place. (It's almost never among the trucks, but even with this there are a few exceptions.)

But if anyone tells you that "Walmart's policy is such-and-such" or "You can do this in rest areas" or "Flying J's do it this way," they are providing you with a useless generalization.
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