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Old 05-25-2020, 04:34 AM   #1
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Location: Nova Scotia
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Parking lots

Morning all.
Have been enjoying IRV2 for a while now. We are planning on upgrading our aging fifth and pickup to a DSDP in a year or so, learning lots and hopefully helping a little as well.

I see a lot of talk about Wally docking and other parking lot stopping.
This all sounds good but I wonder just how easy these big coaches with toad are to negotiate the tricky entrances to some parking lots. For example here in Nova Scotia, the Costco entrances are not easy even for my fifth. We buy a fair amount of goodies from them but I wish they would make it a tad easier to get into their parking lots.

Yes I have driven semis and coaches but never a 45 ft coach with toad. Yes I see MHs in the PLs so it is possible but is it a real hassle?

Anyway thanks to all in advance

Jeff and Annette Smith
04 Glendale Titanium 24E29 Fifth
2011 GMC Diesel 2500 HD
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Old 05-25-2020, 04:48 AM   #2
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It varies from store to store. Some have wide open parking lots and are easy. Others have lots of planted islands, low trees at the entrance, or other obstacles. I scope them out in advance on Google Earth, which gives me a really good feel for whether there will be an issue with access. If you don’t like what it shows you, go elsewhere.

All the big stores stores get deliveries via tractor-trailers and have at least one entrance that can accommodate those guys. Usually works for big-rig RVs as well. The key is knowing your route in and out before you arrive. That’s what Google Earth is great for.

Marc and Jill, Wellington FL
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:19 AM   #3
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Thank you MRUSA. that is a great idea. As you say the islands and trees create issues and I have been wondering.

Makes sense.
Jeff and Annette Smith
04 Glendale Titanium 24E29 Fifth
2011 GMC Diesel 2500 HD
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Old 05-25-2020, 05:43 AM   #4
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Once you get used to it, you will be driving your 8.5' wide x13' high x 45' long +20' toad like a prius make the front end fit and allow for swing and you're golden!
I find myself looking overhead as much as the traffic lane on 2 lane roads to ease the tree limb strikes !

Have you considered Harvest Host or Boodockers welcome ?
My wife says we can stay overnight in a parking lot as long as she's not with me
'11 Monaco Diplomat 43DFT RR10R pushed by a '14 Jeep Wrangler JKU. History.. 5'ers: 13 Redwood 38gk(junk!), 11 MVP Destiny, Open Range TT, Winn LeSharo, C's, popups, vans, tents...
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Old 05-26-2020, 02:50 PM   #5
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Thanks, Johnboytoo,
I never worried when I was trucking but this is a bit different and I am considerably older. Grin.
As you say, once we get rolling it will all be fine.
Appreciate the reply.
Jeff and Annette Smith
04 Glendale Titanium 24E29 Fifth
2011 GMC Diesel 2500 HD
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Old 05-26-2020, 05:02 PM   #6
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Parking lots vary depending on the local codes as to what a business has to do conform to the codes. So a Lowes in city X could be a bear to get into while city Y a piece of cake. We stay at a lot of Walmarts with a 20 trailer. I have never encountered one I couldn't get into {some questionable language yes} but got it done.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:29 PM   #7
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We have stayed at many Walmart, Lowes, Cracker Barrell and Home Depot's all over the country. We always look at the entrance and Exits as well as parking lot lay outs way in advance on Google Earth. Never had a problem.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:39 PM   #8
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16 years at 42’ + the toad and now 45’ I’ve never worried about or used Google before going into a parking lot. Yes, on occasion I’ve decided to use the truck entrance, mainly because the parking lot was full.

Starting the turn too soon and not using the full wheel cut are the biggest mistakes. Left turns from 2 lanes into 1 lane are not a problem. Right turns can be but size usually stops oncoming traffic when you have to swing to the left before turning right with your right blinker on... unlike out on a highway.
This post is my opinion, worth what you paid for it.
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Old 05-26-2020, 07:39 PM   #9
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MRUSA has it right. I'm only driving a 37' plus toad, but I have my entire route sorted out, including fuel stops, before I leave each morning. You do have one advantage with a DP, and that is you can use the large truck lanes at the fuel plazas; a little trickier with a gasser.

Good luck and enjoy your new wheels!
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Old 06-05-2020, 08:44 AM   #10
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I've gotten into a couple that were very tight with my 43 footer but I was not towing at the time and probably would not try at least this one with a toad.


A good chunk of the lot had 20-40 foot storage containers on it and lots of auto traffic in and out.
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Old 06-05-2020, 01:00 PM   #11
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IMO a DP even towing a Toad is easier to maneuver in tight turns that a 5th Wh.
Reason is with a 5th Wh the trailer will cut the inside of the corner.
The DP has a fair set of rear overhang that swings away from the curve and pulls the toad further outside than the 5th Wh.
The other factor in your favor is the toad is narrower that the 5th Wh.
Both work in your favor. IRS not just length that matters!
The thing you have to get used to and watch is the swing of that rear overhang when turning.
Don & Marge
'13 Newmar Ventana 3433 - '14 CR-V TOAD
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Old 06-06-2020, 08:42 AM   #12
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i have had a harder time in some resorts (the hitching post in vegas) then in parking lots but then my coach is 39 ft but the trailer makes me 63 ft long
2006 winnebago adventurer 38t 2018 carry-on hawkline enclosed 8.5x20 2007 mini cooper convertible 2012 hd xl1200c
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Old 06-06-2020, 09:09 AM   #13
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With so many lots going to trees and islands etc we do not usually go into parking lots. (Once by mistake into a very tight lot when DW gave wrong directions - still don't know how I got out unscathed at 61' towing!)

We usually find our campsite first and then proceed to Walmart etc, saves aggravation and using the toad is much easier.
Lunch stop sites are usually scouted ahead using Google maps. We like tourist welcome sites, rest stops if available or just a wide pulloff or large highway stop parking lot.

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Old 06-06-2020, 03:32 PM   #14
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We find rural stores much easier to navigate than urban ones, and suburbs stores falling somewhat between the two. Rural areas have folks towing horses, cattle, and flat beds to and from their homes, and the lots are generally wide open and easy to navigate. Urban area? We don’t even try with the MH. A Farm and Fleet or a Lowe’s or Walmart in Wyoming will be a piece of cake. Walmart in St. Louis or Minneapolis is something we wouldn’t try.

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