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Old 02-09-2006, 07:09 AM   #1
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1984 28' Funeral Coach
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Parking at Wal-Mart

Just a heads up on one Wal-Mart location for everyone. While in Orlando a couple of weeks ago I had opportunity to park at the Sandlake Rd. and John Young Parkway Wal-Mart.
Early the next morning at 7a.m. while getting ready to get out of there we where rousted by security. Seems some Wal-Marts are not on owned property or have enough presure from locals that they don't allow overnighting.
It was kind of funny that they actually only rousted my travel partner in his 36' freight hauler SOB MH. The rent-a-cop asked him, "do you know who's in the government vehicle next to you?" . Guess he didn't really look at my logo to close. Too funny, but just so you don't plan to hang out at that location on your way through Orlando.

Glen Coombe AIR #8416
1984 28' Funeral Coach
Former Rolling Showroom & PuttLab (now party bus)
"I'm not an expert. But I did sleep in an Airstream last night."
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Old 02-09-2006, 07:20 AM   #2
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2006 25' Safari SS SE
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That’s funny- -your 28’ funeral coach mistaken for a ‘government vehicle.’
Say: “We’re from the government (EPA) and we’re here to check-out your lot.”

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Old 02-09-2006, 08:14 AM   #3
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also if in that particular neighborhood, keep your valuables locked up and out of sight. I got robbed there about a year ago. They stole my digital video and still cameras from the back seat of my rent-a-car while I was in a store there. pretty much ruined my vacation.

Oh, they paint a nice facade all over that place, but that's all it is. The crime rate is very high. that's why they have to put walls and gates around all the residential developments down there.
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Old 02-09-2006, 09:59 AM   #4
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We were told that all Wal Marts in Fla.. do not allow overnite parking... pressure from campgrounds.. Annie.... we are in Dover Fla for the winter
Marvin & Annie
Niki (fur baby)
1979 Argosy 30 (Costalotta)
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Old 02-09-2006, 01:57 PM   #5
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I was invited to leave the WalMart parking lot in Anchorage Alaska a couple of years ago. By 5 PM in the afternoon there must have been 30-40 campers and we all had to go! They were real nice about it and offered advice about other spots. Just too popular of a location to allow camping we were told.
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Old 02-09-2006, 02:45 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by musketeer
I was invited to leave the WalMart parking lot in Anchorage Alaska a couple of years ago. By 5 PM in the afternoon there must have been 30-40 campers and we all had to go! They were real nice about it and offered advice about other spots. Just too popular of a location to allow camping we were told.
Last summer we noticed that Wal-Mart at the south end of Anchorage didn't allow parking, but Fred Meyer stores do. Wal-Mart had signs up indicating no overnight parking, but the Sam's Club across the road had no signs. Maybe a different owner of the property.
Grant Davidson
Milton, ON

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Old 02-10-2006, 12:53 AM   #7
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A buddy of mine dropped a copy of Woodall's Campground Management publication on my desk yesterday. I didn't get a chance to read it, but I noticed an article on the front page about "negotiations" between Walmart and the Escapees Club about overnight parking. I will be in my office tomorrow and if I get a chance, I 'll check it out and report back if there's anything of interest.

Here's a link to an earlier thread where I posted pictures of some signs in a WalMart parking lot just outside Ocean City, MD. I would imagine their policy was due to pressure from some nearby campgrounds, or a local ordinance:
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Old 02-10-2006, 01:12 AM   #8
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Wal-mart Parking

SilverRanger, Thanks for the info and do let us know what you find out... Ed
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:57 AM   #9
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Kinda makes you wonder when the newest Wal-Mart Super Centers will put hookups in the parking lot and limit use to overnight only for $9.96 per night maximum stay two consecutive nights.
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Old 02-10-2006, 11:22 AM   #10
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It is private property no matter if a sign isn't posted. I read somewhere that it's a good idea to talk to the manager and ask for permission to stay overnight, spend some money in the store, even stay for breakfast. Show them that you are a good customer and will not be a nuisance. Maybe some of the stores have had bad experiences with inconsiderate campers. A few can ruin the privilege for many. I use to do the wilderness camping thing and you would not believe how some people treat the land/environment, it makes me want to stake them out for a bear... Some people do not deserve this courtecy.
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Old 02-10-2006, 08:46 PM   #11
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I finally got a chance to look over that article in the Woodall's Campground Management publication ("The Voice of the North American Campground Business"). It took up the entire front page and about half of page five, so I'll just try to hit the high points. It was an interview between Escapees CEO, Cathie Carr, and the senior editor of WCM, Jeff Crider.

Although the headline characterized it as a "Wal-Mart Debate", the Escapees were actually trying to establish negotiations with campground owners associations such as the ARVC. In addition to Wal-Mart, the debate also encompassed several other retailers and businesses that allow overnight parking.

The essence of the proposed negotiations was a "three-way compromise":
1. RV clubs must do their part to educate their members (about ettiquette).
2. RVers must not abuse the hospitality that's offered.
3. The campground owners have to agree to back off pursuing legislation and stricter ordinances that force people into campgrounds regardless of their needs.

The article included the Escapees "Good Neighbor Policy", which was "supported by several other RV consumer organizations, including the Family Motor Coach Association and "Airstream's Wally Byam Caravan Club" (quoted verbatim). It is, in part, as follows:
1. Stay one night only.
2. Obtain permission from a qualified individual.
3. Obey posted regulations.
4. No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills.
5. No hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces, including asphalt.
6. Leave the area cleaner than you found it.
7. Purchase goods from the retailer.
8. Be safe...

As stated in this Code of Conduct, the Escapees are advocating that RVers "only spend one night and one night only" at businesses that allow it, regardless of whether their policy allows more. She specifically implied that, if this compromise was agreed upon, and a member insisted they would violate this policy, she would refund their dues and advise them to take the Escapees decal off their rig.

In the preface to the interview, WCM also mentioned successful boycotts of certain locations (Illinois, for one) that tried to enact health codes to prevent Wal-Mart and other retailers from providing overnight parking to RVers. The effort failed partially due to pressure from the Escapee membership, and the fact that the state health officials couldn't find any documented evidence of any past health violations caused by RVers. Also noted during the interview was another failed movement in Nevada to prohibit overnight parking anywhere in the state, except in a campground. Carr clearly indicated the Escapees would rather not use that strategy, but would much prefer to reach a middle ground.

================================================== ===

To me, it was a fairly objective and interesting read regarding the motives of the various groups. I have no interest in using a retail establishment as a campground, but I do find it unreasonable to be forced to pay full fees for amenities that I would never use at a campground, when all I need is a few hours of rest while in transit. I've never spent a night at a Wal-Mart, but I did catch a few hours of sleep at a Cracker Barrel (after having dinner).

I believe the compromise approach to be a reasonable one.
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Old 02-10-2006, 09:25 PM   #12
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The next time you are passing through, rather than stay at that Wal Mart, think about making reservations for Bill Franklin Park at Turkey Lake City Park. It is just north of where you were andis about fiftteen bucks a night for secure, level parking with hookups! Even though we often park in places some of you have made clear are not the thing, that park would be our first choice, even for a simple overnight! Heck, the fresh lemons we picked from right out the door were worth the price alone!

Elizabeth in Iowa
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Old 02-11-2006, 05:26 AM   #13
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I can see the point of view of the campground owners and the Walmart/locals. But there is a segment of the population that considers it an entitlement not a privilege. Unfortunately for the most part they appear blind to what they are doing and will complain loudly about "the other person" that is doing it and causing the loss of the privileges. I observed a particular RV that spent 14 consecutive nights in a Walmart parking lot in VA. (I was staying at the hotel across the street) There were campgrounds available within a 5 mile radius of the Walmart and they had spaces available (yes I checked ) as long as people continue to abuse privileges we will continue to lose them. It was my understanding that the Walmart type parking was to be used for short overnights when you were traveling between destinations. Unfortunately too many people are taking advantage of this situation. It is a shame they spent sooo much money on their fancy RV they can't afford the cost of a campground space. on the flip side campgrounds are disappearing quickly and quite often are not convenient to the main highways. The quip about having the super Walmart install some hookups is actually a good idea and I am suprised someone hasn't acted on it. But zoning laws may prohibit it. We as a group need to do what we can to minimize the damage by following the rules before it is too late....quick somebody take my soapbox away from me! I also would like to see the numbers of RV'ers that are actually participating members of the clubs listed in the article. I would suspect it is a fraction of the RV's that are actually on the road. FWIW we are involved in WBCCI and Good Sam...

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Old 02-11-2006, 08:06 AM   #14
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Sounds like the campground owner associations are trying to remove competition by legislation. Can't be too rich...

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