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Old 10-09-2013, 10:01 AM   #1
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Parking in town

I'm a new member and delighted to have found this active, informative forum. My thanks to you all in advance.

As a brand new owner of a 2013 Interstate I have a lot of kinks to work out. My current worry is: how do you deal with city parking? My RV is too long for a standard street parking space I believe, and too high for most indoor parking. I don't want to tow a car for town use. Does anyone have tips on finding lots or long parking spaces?
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:12 AM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. I usually park withing spaces that allow me to back in over the curb or sidewalk. My 2013 interstate usually fits in one space. One pitfall is the height of the curb in relation to the propane fill located behind the rear passenger wheel. The bumper will clear but the propane fill box will not.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:19 AM   #3
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Most parallel parking spaces are 24' long so my Interstate (non-Ext.) will just barely fit. I don't try to maneuver into a single space but look for two adjacent empty spaces. I sometimes have to do quite a lot of back and forth to get out of the space and it's possible you could get trapped if both vehicles in the adjacent slots park close to you. This has never happened to me. I tend to park not in the core of a city and sometimes look for space in nearby store parking lots. Sometime I can't get real close to my target but I figure the extra walk is good for me. BTW, I wouldn't think of trying to maneuver one of these things in the downtown core of a really big, busy city.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:34 AM   #4
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It can be tricky. Prepare to be flexible and walk a little farther.

Sometimes we use google maps to look for parking spots. It's not fail-proof though. Once, we thought we found adequate parking for our trailer and the three trailers following us. When we got there, a parking deck had been built on top of the flat parking lot! Yikes! We found a church nearby to park our caravan.

Trying to visit at non-busy times can be helpful, too.

Parking on the street in Savannah for breakfast on a weekday, at 7am:
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We visited this same spot in the evening and could barely find parking for our tow vehicle.

Our most effective method has been to park our trailer at a campground nearby and then travel to the city with only our tow vehicle.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:36 AM   #5
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Oops. Just realized you have in Interstate, not a trailer. I should have paid more attention!
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:52 AM   #6
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St. Cloud , Minnesota
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Rental Class B motorhomes are very common when in Canada, Alaska, or near any large U.S. national parks. Only once have I seen a bumper hitch on one that was pulling a toad. The question in my mind always has been 'how do they go into town for grocery shopping, sight-seeing, etc'?

If you don't pull a toad, I guess the answer isn't far from what I face when we haven't unhitched our Safari. I'm limited to far corners of commercial parking lots when space is available. I will park diagonally across a double row of spaces with my nose pointed so I can reenter traffic lanes if other cars have to park nearby. Side streets a couple blocks off the main drag have worked unless I'm in a large city or busy area. I've parked TV & trailer on the fringe and used public transport. We certainly can't bet on finding parking in many situations.
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Old 10-09-2013, 10:57 AM   #7
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My advice would be to search out supermarkets, move theaters, Home Depots, etc, since they always have larger parking lots; and then park across a couple of bays end-on. Use your GPS to locate them.
Peter
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skoonj View Post
I'm a new member and delighted to have found this active, informative forum. My thanks to you all in advance.

As a brand new owner of a 2013 Interstate I have a lot of kinks to work out. My current worry is: how do you deal with city parking? My RV is too long for a standard street parking space I believe, and too high for most indoor parking. I don't want to tow a car for town use. Does anyone have tips on finding lots or long parking spaces?
I have never parallel-parked my Interstate downtown, partly because I hardly ever go downtown anymore. Ever since Hurricane Katrina, the suburbs have a lot more to offer than downtown New Orleans does. If I absolutely had to parallel-park downtown, I would try my hardest to get an end spot, right next to the street corner, so I'd only have one adjacent car to deal with rather than cars both front and back.

At work, the perpendicular parking spaces are only 15 feet long, and opposite rows are only about 18 feet apart. Mine is not the only long vehicle; several coworkers drive long-bed crew-cab pickups that are almost the same length. The key is to arrive early enough to select a spot on the end of a row, with a grassy area at the head of the space, and back in. This puts the front wheels at the end of the painted stripes, so my Interstate isn't sticking too far out into the traffic. It also ensures that when it's time to leave, I can turn in one direction coming out of the space where I don't have to worry about tail-swing damaging an adjacent car because being in an end spot there's only an adjacent car on one side.

At home, it's a bit easier; the spaces are no bigger, but since we're at less than 100% occupancy, the parking lot isn't packed, either. I can park on the very last row, farthest from the apartments, and it's a pretty safe bet that no one will park directly alongside; they'll leave a space between my Interstate and their cars. Parking alongside a big vehicle tends to make some people nervous, and I take full advantage of that.

Side note, I try not to back into spots where the Interstate would overhang a sidewalk. When I was on crutches, it always annoyed me when people did that (usually in long-bed pickups) and I had to hobble in the street and risk being hit by a car to get around them. So I refuse to do that to other handicapped folks who might need the sidewalk.
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Old 10-09-2013, 11:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayneskid View Post
Most parallel parking spaces are 24' long so my Interstate (non-Ext.) will just barely fit. I don't try to maneuver into a single space but look for two adjacent empty spaces. I sometimes have to do quite a lot of back and forth to get out of the space and it's possible you could get trapped if both vehicles in the adjacent slots park close to you. This has never happened to me. I tend to park not in the core of a city and sometimes look for space in nearby store parking lots. Sometime I can't get real close to my target but I figure the extra walk is good for me. BTW, I wouldn't think of trying to maneuver one of these things in the downtown core of a really big, busy city.
Ditto for us.

Enjoy!


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Old 10-09-2013, 11:54 AM   #10
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Parking an Interstate — downtown??? Get real! In the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex 95% of the parking in mid downtown is in parking garages that are a tight fit in height for my VW Jetta and impossible for the Interstate. With luck there is open parking to be found on the downtown periphery and both Dallas and Fort Worth run free shuttle buses in the downtown area.

I generally have good luck parking in suburban shopping centers, church parking lots, and even at DFW airport as long as I stay away from covered parking. I look for "pull through" opportunities and surprisingly enough the rows at DFW airport are wide enough that head in parking works — barely and often with some backing and filling. Most of the local Starbucks present a parking challenge for the Intestate, but a real Starbucks fanatic such as I can usually make do but it scares the %&^$ out of the driver in the car parked behind me when I back out.

In all truth I often just jump in the Interstate and go, not thinking about parking until I get where I am going. I have had a couple of longer walks than I wanted in 100 degree plus weather and learned a downtown shuttle route or two but generally something works out. I have even parallel parked the beast on occasion when nothing else presented itself. Tight but doable.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:00 PM   #11
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I also just realized you talking about motor homes.
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Old 10-09-2013, 01:13 PM   #12
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I also just realized you talking about motor homes.
Pretty much applicable to long bed, crew cab tow vehicles also, even with out the trailer.
We just avoid downtown areas and park toward the rear of shopping center parking lots.
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Old 10-09-2013, 04:12 PM   #13
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Arroyo Grande & Central Point , California & Oregon
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3 years ago my wife and I did a 30 day 7,800 mile trip in our Navion IQ (24' class B+) with a Stowaway II pluged into the hitch. If parallel parking we just parked in two spots, angle parking worked fine as did shopping center parking lots. Only one time on the trip were we unable to find two parallel spots (downtown Hartford, CT near the university). Looking forward to an even easier parking experiance with the new AI. 1st trip comming up. :-)
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Old 10-09-2013, 05:11 PM   #14
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Back in 2005 when I had a 22 foot Airstream and a Suburban I could just barely fit into two "front to back" parking spaces - and I always chose the end of a row, farthest from the building to do it in.

Just 3 more feet on the RV and that's not doable for me any longer - It's 3 parallel spots or six crossway/angled spots - so arrive unfashionably early, park way-out-there and leave before the crowds pull in. I'm not a huge fan of Cracker Barrel restaurants, but many have RV parking in the back so that's very convenient.

I recently noticed a fellow senior RV'er with a riding a motorized scooter (the kind that looks like a skateboard with a handle). It putts along at no more than 10mph - but if you aren't up to long walks across the parking lots, it's light weight and foldable - which also gives you a bit more mobility without a lot of bulk.

Paula
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