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Old 01-08-2020, 01:25 PM   #1
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Travel Etiquette

The wife and I are pretty new to this RV thing and although we have taken a bunch of short trips we are planning a trip to Orange Beach, AL in the spring from our home base north of Detroit. I was wondering about etiquette concerning overnighting. What is proper behavior in rest areas, Wallmarts, truck stops, Cracker Barrel...
Slides out ? Generator running? Levelers down?. Just general info so we don't become " those people " ! Thanks in advance to a wonderful forum.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:13 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by FunnwithGunn View Post
The wife and I are pretty new to this RV thing and although we have taken a bunch of short trips we are planning a trip to Orange Beach, AL in the spring from our home base north of Detroit. I was wondering about etiquette concerning overnighting. What is proper behavior in rest areas, Wallmarts, truck stops, Cracker Barrel...
Slides out ? Generator running? Levelers down?. Just general info so we don't become " those people " ! Thanks in advance to a wonderful forum.
Usually no slides generator okay if far enough from others. Try to park on end of a row bext to grass. Then no one on one side.
Might be able to use slide on that
Side. Always ask permission to stay at WM or other store lots.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:23 PM   #3
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If you know about "those people" then you are aware of what not to do.


Check for signage in parking lot.....town ordinance prohibting overnighting
Ask permission to overnight......where to park
Overnighting........that is to SLEEP---not temporary camping

Leave next AM


Simple common sense approach works for most situations
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:27 PM   #4
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Oh boy you will sure to get all sorts of answers on this.

Me, I usually look for a campground. The way I look at it if during the winter time, if I run the generator and it uses 1 gallon power hour to run, for 10 hours that is 10 gallons times $3 or $30 bucks. Besides a campground will usually get you water and sometimes sewer. Passport America gets you 50% discount if you can find a campground along your path.

As far as your actual question, the few times we overnighted at Walmart etc, I pulled as far away from the mainstream store parkers as I could, and put my slides out and ran the generator when necessary and lowered the levelers, but I did place my plywood boards down so the leveler feet didn't mark the parking lot surface.

Oh, don't hook your RV into the parking lot light pole, or dump your sewage in the storm sewer grate or cook outside with a open fire melting the asphalt! I've seen all of these from "those people"
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Old 01-08-2020, 06:30 PM   #5
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In addition to this. I always do ask to speak to a Manager or Assistant Manager. If I get the OK to stay overnight, besides asking if they have a preference on where I should park, I also explain that we're more comfortable with our slides out. So I ask if as long as we're out of the way, is it OK to put out our slides. Have never had anyone object, and many have said 'We put our slides out too, when traveling and stopping overnight somewhere.'.

Use common sense, and yes do shop in the store!!

Enjoy your trip...
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Old 01-09-2020, 07:52 AM   #6
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............. I was wondering about etiquette concerning overnighting. What is proper behavior in rest areas, Wal*Marts, truck stops, Cracker Barrel...
Slides out ? Generator running? Levelers down?. Just general info so we don't become " those people " ! Thanks in advance to a wonderful forum.
"Those People" Are us the RV community - So Welcome!

Wal*Mart Corporate Policy is ;

Can I park my RV at a Walmart store?

While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. 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.


Thats It!

Nothing about anything else - be yourself - enjoy the Wal*Mart experience. In many newer Coaches you need to be Level and slides need to be out to even get in the Bed .....so use your head .... try not to do Damage and Leave it better than you found it. Having stayed in WallyMarts for over 20 years I can say it is really Convenient for those A to B trips where a CG is not needed........most have Security and Lights, try to locate out of the way (Use Google Maps to see where) Shop as needed and take advantage of the Offer.

Personally for me Truck stops are just too Noisy......so we tried once never again.

Cracker Barrel - Just do not Fit in most and they tend to have a lot of traffic also

Rest stops - Not for Me -Again too much traffic some have a questionable security, and again too much traffic.

Summation - IMHO, Wal*Mart is the Best - Follow the Corporate statement - check in with the Manager - use this - https://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm - We generally find a Level spot near the StormWater Management Pond - Water View - may use a couple jacks to level a bit and usually try to pull along the Curb so we can get the slides out without being in the way (Necessary in our Coach to use the Bedroom.

Hope this helps,

Best of Luck,
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Old 01-09-2020, 08:41 AM   #7
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Oh boy you will sure to get all sorts of answers on this.

Me, I usually look for a campground. The way I look at it if during the winter time, if I run the generator and it uses 1 gallon power hour to run, for 10 hours that is 10 gallons times $3 or $30 bucks. Besides a campground will usually get you water and sometimes sewer. Passport America gets you 50% discount if you can find a campground along your path.
X2
Usually you can find a close by CG for $20/night. I have yet to stay in a WM and really don't want to.
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Old 01-09-2020, 02:21 PM   #8
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Its very simple....there is camping and then there is parking. If you want to camp, find a campground/RV park. If you want to park for a few hours, you do not put jacks down, slides out, grill, put out awnings, take lawn chair out, turn the kids loose to run around the parking lot, etc. If you can't park without doing these things, find a campground/RV park.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:33 PM   #9
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i have done all three, and personally I prefer Truck stops. Yes , they are noisy, but for some reason that does not bother us. I feel pretty safe surrounded by a bunch of big trucks......not so much so in a rest area. Although some rest areas in the Southern states now advertise Night time Security. I'm not sure exactly what that means, but I do know that we had a uniformed guard patrolling a Rest Area that we stayed in somewhere in Miss. I have to admit though that I will stay in a campground 99 per cent of the time.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:45 PM   #10
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I use the Pilot/Flying J smart phone app and look for RV friendly stops.

I look for the long RV marked spots. If you need slides out, park in an end spot so your not blocking the next spot.
I tow a car and some spots are back in only so I find a spot along the curb.

I have run my generator all night in Flying J and Wal-Mart's.

As far as levelers, in truck stops, you won't hurt the surface, its built for trucks.

There are no " rules " that need to be followed. I just try to minimise my footprint, so other RVers have a space to park. I have counted as many as 25 RVs in the Ft Perice, FL. Flying J, one night.
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Old 01-09-2020, 03:47 PM   #11
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....like so many things these days, "a few bad apples spoil it for the rest of us." Think if you acted like you are a guest and behave like you owned the business you are parking overnight at, you will do fine.
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Old 01-09-2020, 04:00 PM   #12
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Its very simple....there is camping and then there is parking. If you want to camp, find a campground/RV park. If you want to park for a few hours, you do not put jacks down, slides out, grill, put out awnings, take lawn chair out, turn the kids loose to run around the parking lot, etc. If you can't park without doing these things, find a campground/RV park.
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Old 01-09-2020, 05:03 PM   #13
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A few years ago we we on our way to a snow skiing area in West Virginia. As we approached Charleston a snowstorm hit and we still had some mountains to cross so we decided to stop for the night at a Walmart. The lot was noisy with 'kids' riding around sliding in the snow, screaming and making a pest of themselves until the police arrived and chased them home. Then the private snow plows arrived and for most of the night they plowed the ever acclumining snow. At daybreak I looked out the windows and was shocked to see the plows had piled snow probably 6 feet high all around the motorhome! We were completely trapped. I climbed the mounds of snow and went into the Walmart and into a coffee shop and found several 'good old boys' in there laughing their butts off at the poor sucker they plowed snow and blocked. I politely announced I was that sucker and they all stood up and and said "follow us and we will plow a path for you to get out. They did and plowed all the way to the main road.
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Old 01-10-2020, 01:33 AM   #14
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I agree with most of the caveats posted above. Use a bit of common sense when planning, and show a little class when staying there.
Use Google Maps and pick a WM you want to stay at. Call in advance to ask if they allow it. You can usually learn from this advance call where they like you to park.
When I park, I find a curb line to set my left side on, so I can extend the LR and BR slides over the grass. I put my jacks down only enough to act as stabilizers. That way each Jack is carrying less weight than a tire- no danger to the pavement. Then I go into the store, buy $30-$40 worth of groceries (you *always* need something), and look up the Duty Manager to say Thank You! They really appreciate that.
Remember, if you’re traveling at a time when you need heat or AC, your gen time will cost as much as a CG. The attraction of WM is that they are everywhere, they are convenient, and they are easy in and out. They are rarely free.

Enjoy!
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