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Old 03-26-2020, 08:12 AM   #1
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Free parking dos?

Hi newbie here. Planing first trip. When at Wal-Mart do you put out your bedroom slide? Living room?
Is it the same at roadside rest areas ?

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Old 03-26-2020, 08:24 AM   #2
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You are going to get a LOT of different thoughts on this one.
Personally, we only put out a slide if we HAVE to, then it goes back in. (for access to a cabinet). Typically, slide stays in.
You are there to “rest”, not take up residency. You are not camping. No grill, no lawn chairs, etc.

Mike and Carla
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:35 AM   #3
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IMHO, both of those places (Walmart PARKING lot and a Rest Area PARKING lot) are just that - PARKING areas, not CAMPING areas.

I doubt you'll get any push back if you're PARKING in a Walmart PARKING lot in a perimeter area such that a slide out will extend over a grass area on the outside edge of their PARKING lot overnight to be more comfortable.

Take care,
"A superior pilot is one who uses his superior judgment to avoid situations which might require the demonstration of his superior skills."
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:36 AM   #4
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don't put out slides when free parking
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:41 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by 777 Driver View Post
IMHO, both of those places (Walmart PARKING lot and a Rest Area PARKING lot) are just that - PARKING areas, not CAMPING areas.

I doubt you'll get any push back if you're PARKING in a Walmart PARKING lot in a perimeter area such that a slide out will extend over a grass area on the outside edge of their PARKING lot overnight to be more comfortable.

Take care,
What Stu said. Put out only the slide that you really need to, and park the coach on a curb such that the slide is over the grass and not the pavement.
Marc and Jill, Wellington FL
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Old 03-26-2020, 08:52 AM   #6
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Abuse of areas is always a concern. When parking in WalMart I put out my slide in the bedroom, otherwise I couldn't sleep in my bed and I put out either the driver or passenger slide as needed to gain access to the bathroom and bedroom BUT I make sure I'm parked in an acceptable location which allows for extending the slides safely.

When in the rest area don't extend slides unless situated at the last parking spot which offers overhang in green area - not the road! Putting slides out in regular pull throughs infringes on the parking space next to you and whatever you do, DON'T take up 2 lanes. That's being totally rude - tho- I have seen it done.

Overnighting is different from camping and no one should be camping at WalMarts or anywhere else that offers their excess space to overnighters. YET, here in Springfield we have a couple of people who have parked all summer at our local WalMart for the last 3 years.

RV Parky is a good app to have as it provides info on free overnight spots, fuel stations and camp grounds.

www.boondockerswelcome.com offers info on free overnight spots. Requires membership.

The Excapees Club offers some tremendous benefits to members along with 15 - 50% discounts at participating cgs.

Welcome to the RVing Lifestyle - Be safe and enjoy - Richard
2011 Itasca Ellipse 42QD; 2012 Buick La Crosse; Retired US Army MSG (20 years AFS); Evangelist; Professional Parliamentarian; Author
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:36 AM   #7
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Parking Lot vs Campground site

Should not be camping in a parking lot
Should be for overnight rest/sleep then leave

Minimize your 'presence'
Is it time for YOUR Medication or Mine?
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:40 AM   #8
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Welcome to the forum.

On these quick overnight stops, I do the absolute minimum, nothing unpacked outside, no slides, no levelers, and I stay fully connected. If for any reason I need to move, I start the MH and drive away.
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Old 03-26-2020, 09:55 AM   #9
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No levelers either , I've seen too much damage to parking lot pavement by jacks and levelers .
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:29 AM   #10
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It always amazes me that folks think your *camping*, just because your slide is out or, the jacks are down. Geeze folks, it's not rocket science. Like what's been stated, some slides NEED TO BE OUT just for sleeping arrangements. And, if a parking lot is slanted, even a slight amount, I don't care who thinks what, my jacks are going down, normally with pads so no marks are left there. I do that 'cause I'M THE ONE WHO HAS TO PAY FOR A FRIDGE if I damage it 'cause I didn't level the coach, because folks THINK I was camping and put my jacks down.

Protection of certain components by the use of jacks (fridge and slides) is needed, if a parking has any form of grade. That doesn't mean one's gonna stay there for two weeks while sight seeing all over that part of the country. We have done it many times and, for the most part, we park either late in the afternoon or the evening and, we're gone by the next morning.

If one can park their coach in ANY parking lot, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Cracker Barrel etc, and can either sleep or occupy their coach without deploying slides, good for them(you). But, some coaches, contrary to popular belief that ALL coaches are built exactly the same, have to have the slides out, just to WALK FROM ONE END TO THE OTHER.

Yep, we've seen the LONG TERM Walmart endurance stays. Chairs, dog pens, toys spread all over the place, disconnected 5vrs that clearly show it's been there for quite some time and more. There's nothing anyone's gonna do about that. Bone heads are bone heads, period.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:39 AM   #11
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Good way to get your slide run into by somebody not expecting it to be in their way. I can imagine an 18 wheel driver at night turning into the spot next to you only to discover you have taken up to 2 extra feet into his spot. Also something else to keep in mind (and this is for everybody) If you have a shorter RV and using a rest area, anytime of day or night, Do not pull all the way forward into your spot. Again, an 18 wheeler thinking that spot is empty and starts to turn in will not be happy having to back out to find another spot.
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Old 03-26-2020, 10:52 AM   #12
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I know you mentioned WalMart's and they are abundant, but probably one of the last resorts for us (3 years and have stayed at 1).

We always look for a Cabela's if we can. We've stayed at Cracker Barrel a few times (always have a meal there when we do). These places "usually" have a dedicated area for RV parking.

As for slides, we have to run the bedroom slide out at least 1.5 feet to access the bed and normally that's what we will do. Like others have said, the quicker that you can get up and gone the better, so keep everything packed up or hooked up if you can.
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Old 03-26-2020, 11:16 AM   #13
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It's not "camping vs parking", "slides vs no slides", etc. that's the issue, it's making the effort to be discreet and inconspicuous. The more attention you draw, you increase the chance of someone complaining to the city. Too many complaints will bring on restrictions.
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Old 03-26-2020, 12:12 PM   #14
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flag down a security guy. he will direct you to a good place to park. one, he will tell you whether you can park there, and two, will look out for you during your stay.
be a good neighbor. dont leave trash in your cart, and do return it to the rack.
i aways look for a curb so i can have my bedroom out.
as far as jacks, if you are level, dont deploy, but like fireup, i will level my coach if needed.
just use common sense and courtesy.

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