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Old 05-04-2021, 04:40 AM   #1
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Overnighting at Walmart or others

The various places mentioned to park...Walmart, Cracker Barrel, truck stops, I have 2 questions:
1) What are all the places that allow an overnight stay-with motorhome genset generator being used- for air conditioning- travelling southwest during summer 2021.
2) Is it best to call ahead - to the Walmart (or place) you anticipate overnighting at - to ask permission?
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Old 05-04-2021, 05:01 AM   #2
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Lots of virtual ink spilled on this topic already. Do a search and you'll find many threads.

Best advice I can give is to get one of the many apps out there for this specific purpose. The one I've always clicked on first was to check for available places and recent reviews. They've recently become part of and I'm not sure how things will be moving forward, but for now things seem the same.
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Old 05-04-2021, 05:47 AM   #3
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Many Walmart’s do not allow overnight parking. We always call the store to confirm. Never stayed at Cracker Barrel as all we’ve come across don’t allow it. Truck stops allow it, but they can be noisy. Some states allow it at interstate rest areas. Casinos generally allow it and can be very nice spots to overnight with good lighting and security patrolling the lot.
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Old 05-04-2021, 06:59 AM   #4
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If they allow you to stay in lot, we always confirmed, you can run generator. In summer you need it to keep rig cool at night. Never has anyone said you can stay here but can’t run generator. Safe travels

Enjoy the journey
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Old 05-04-2021, 07:06 AM   #5
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The general protocol for staying at a Walmart, Cracker Barrel or similar is to park as far away from the store or restaurant as possible and do not use slides or a generator and call to confirm that overnight parking is allowed.

Having said that the slide limitation is flexible. A few weeks ago I called a Cracker Barrel outside of Richmond for advice on parking overnight. They were welcoming and said I could park in the marked long truck/RV spaces provided (with no room for slides) or park in the back near the woods. We parked back there parallel to the curb with the slide side to the curb so it was fine to open the slide. Several other RVs parked in front and in back of us so it would be impolite to use the generator.

Allstays is a great app for iOS (but not for Android) that shows Walmarts, Cracker Barrels, Dick's Sporting Goods, Flying Js, etc as well as RV Parks and public campgrounds.

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Old 05-04-2021, 12:46 PM   #6
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WalMarts, Home Depot, Lowes - If you can park along a curb on the outside ring it's best for slides. It would protect your slide from being hit by a vehicle and also from people getting injured by running into the corner of the slide. Many people aren't used to being around slides and don't prepare for that big extension either walking or driving by it. They also aren't careful with the shopping carts and a runaway could do damage. We have always went inside and asked if we can park. Some WalMarts don't allow it because of surrounding town ordinances. We usually buy dinner there and other things.

We always felt truck stops and rest areas should be left for truckers who really need to rest - unless there's a specific area for RVs. Truckers can't use RV parks and they're limited as to how many hours they can drive so they need those spaces.

We've stayed at casinos and they are terrific.

Cracker Barrels are typically in conjested areas.

Pull off the interstate into a small town and there's usually a big parking lot to stay.

Finally, I think you'll be surprised how the nights cool down drastically in the Southwest deserts. You don't need AC. Just crack a couple windows and turn on your Fantastic fan and it cools down nicely.
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Old 05-05-2021, 06:45 AM   #7
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We never put out slides when dry camping out WW. We do run generator. Try sleeping in Texas during the summer when it is still in the mid 90’s at 10 pm without AC. We always pick an area where we are alone, first in area. If other set up near me they know generator is running. I have ear plugs with me and noise from others is never an issue. Safe travels.

Enjoy the journey
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Old Yesterday, 09:43 PM   #8
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I just went to the overnight parking site mentioned on here. Now, I'm not trying to sound like a grouch---but, Why is it that internet sites require my email and a password? After starting with the computer rage years ago, I have a book (yep, a book) full of passwords.
So, a while back, I decided that if the site asks for my information just to look something up that "might" be useful, I don't register on the site. There seems to be more than enough electronic intrusion in our lives and "" doesn't need to know my email address and a password.
Now, having just written what I did, the site mentioned for overnight parking could be useful, but I'm out of pages in my passcode book.
HMMM, wait, I might just as well drop my 45 year old college passcode.
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Old Yesterday, 09:59 PM   #9
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I have seen all the internet "rules" listed for parking lot "camping", yet I have never actually seen any official rules about these internet mentioned "rules".

Do I level my trailer and put the slides out? You better believe it, impossible to get to the bathroom or bedroom without doing so. Do I do it right in the front line of parking in front of the main doors? No way.

I am too long to fit in 2 back to back spots so I have to park across spaces. All of those spaces will be occupied if my slides are out or not. Putting the slides out has no more impact on the the business than keeping them in.

Ultimately it comes down to being respectful of others property. All of the places you mentioned in your original post are privately owned. As such treat it with respect. Make sure you are not interfering with their business and possibly patronize their business. Make sure you do not take up more space then absolutely needed. Do not leave a mess.
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