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Old 01-01-2012, 10:19 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by zlee View Post
Oo. Going to have to check that out. Is that near Lake Santa Clara Road?
Nope - on Agnew on either side of Lafayette. Just mostly mixed use area; can be noisy since it's in the flight path of San Jose Airport.

- Bart
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:03 AM   #30
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...
-The have huge parking lots and always have RV spaces.
-They have external security
-They are open 24/7
-They seem to love RVers and do lots of advertising to them
-They are well lit
-They are bountiful in most of Ca.
-Whenever we pass them, there are loads of RVers parked there.

Oddly, we were near at least two casinos, but we just didn't think of it. Anyone tried casinos?
I wouldn't think of camping at a Walmart, but don't have a problem with pulling in for a few hours sleep in the middle of the night. We have also overnighted at casinos several times, for many of the reasons above, and also at Flying J's, Pilots, Cracker Barrels, Canadian Tire, etc.

Along with some Flying J's, the best overnight experience has been some casinos. The last one was Lake Charles, LA - $15 for hookups, access to the workout facility and showers, and parked in a secure area. It pays to call first because they can be quite busy at certain times, and no two seem to be alike.

I suppose we use our Airstreams for different purposes. I've travelled across most of this country, including Alaska, and much of Canada, and have parked, camped, boondocked, rockdocked, and whizdocked in nearly every conceivable situation. I use mine mainly for traveling, and a whole lot of camping. There is a difference. Sometimes it's a camper, sometimes it's a (very stylish) rolling motel room. No doubt it's ideal to spend quality AS time in serene surroundings, and wake up to a bubbling brook and bountiful wildlife. I just described where where I live - on a stream in the middle of 5 acres. OK, some people call it a swamp, I call it paradise.

Right now, I traveled to a destination to camp - Delaware to New Orleans. A couple of days ago we stopped at a Flying J near Atlanta (we have a Frequent Fueler RV card - discounts on products, dump station, gas, etc.) to sleep for a few hours, and now we're in a nice state park (Bayou Segnette) for 5-6 days. We prefer state parks for camping, and if they were all like this one ($18 per night for electric, water, free wifi and laundry) we would overnight there too.

Bayou Segnette State Park - Louisiana Office of State Parks

Paying $40-$60 for a place to park and some electricity for 4-8 hours is a bit stiff, especially since we are subject to the same checkout times as weekenders, and won't be able to use any of the amenities. Frankly, I've been in parking lots with more ambiance than some KOA's and private (we have a KOA membership too).
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:06 AM   #31
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I've stayed at campgrounds that were a "tad creepy". We have indian casinos here in Michigan and everyone I have been to has overnight camping/parking. Some are better than most campgrounds. For us, the noise factor is what's important and for that reason I have avoided Wal Marts and truck stops so far, at least. But I'm all for cheap or free when it comes to just an overight stay. The KOAs and most private CGs I've been to were all too expensive for just an overnight stay.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:41 AM   #32
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We have stayed in WalMart parking lots just a few times, planfully, when we know we will be pulling in late, sleeping and hitting the road early in the morning.

For example, when we CAN'T WAIT to get started on a trip and leave in the afternoon after a grandbaby birthday party or some similar event!

If you don't need electric to run the AC, why spend the money to plug in just to sleep?

There can be a lot of noises, it is a little weird, but one can always put in a pair of earplugs and be fine. WalMart can be just plain handy.

We know of folks who do nothing but WalMart parking lots, just the occasional campground. This is not for us, for lots of reasons.

We prefer a pull-off somewhere, but you can't always find them when you want them, and they can be a bit creepy, too.

We have, not once, been bothered by anyone.

We enjoy the flexibility of being able to dry-camp whenever we like, and have found some spectacular spots.

All part of the expanding-your-horizons, RV experience.


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Old 01-02-2012, 07:47 AM   #33
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We have stayed in a few parking lots. I don't really see them as an alternative to a camp site, but simply a place to stop and get a few hours sleep in the middle of a marathon drive.

We try to plan plenty of time to allow short driving days. We like to be in a camp site by 4 or 5 pm. But, some trips are longer and we have to make do with a short total time window. That is when we drive 10 or 12 hours a day, and look for a parking lot to sleep in.

Better Luck next time.
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:53 AM   #34
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Definition of an RVer: Someone driving a $300,000 motorhome, towing a $30,000 car. looking for a free place to spend the night.


or, definition of an Air-streamer: Someone driving a $50,000 diesel truck, towing a $$$$ Airstream, looking for a free place to boon-dock.
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Old 01-02-2012, 08:25 AM   #35
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Definition of an RVer: Someone driving a $300,000 motorhome, towing a $30,000 car. looking for a free place to spend the night.


or, definition of an Air-streamer: Someone driving a $50,000 diesel truck, towing a $$$$ Airstream, looking for a free place to boon-dock.
I don't know if I'd call a Walmart parking lot "boondocking"... Then again, maybe I would...
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:11 AM   #36
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Like "dowpells" says after spending all that $$$$ i have none left to camp with. LOL
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:26 AM   #37
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I've always been told not to stay overnight in rest areas along my way, although I have done it in my car if it's a busy one with other people sleeping in their cars and lots of trucks stopped. Any opinions on that?
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:31 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barts

Nope - on Agnew on either side of Lafayette. Just mostly mixed use area; can be noisy since it's in the flight path of San Jose Airport.

- Bart
I'd be down with that; I grew up in Foster City and the flight path for SF was directly overhead - the plane wing lights used to flash in my windows! Something to consider, though I'm not sure I'd want to leave a trailer unattended on that road...
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:36 AM   #39
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I have stayed in WalMart parking lots about 10 times. Never with the DW and probably never will with my daughter. I found the overnight stay to be comfortable and as many stated before only stayed there to sleep the 8 hours I needed to move on early the next AM. One of the better ones was just south of Nashville, TN. The place welcomed RV's somewhat informally but still made sure you knew that they knew you were there. The security truck came by and said hello, welcomed you to use the store facilities to prevent "unwanted dumping" needs and offered water from the hose bib at the garden center. I rewarded them by buying some ice, food and other needs (just a few dollars but amounts to a $40 stay at a campground). I used that lot 4 times last year on the way twice to JC for repairs.

The wife says never,I don't really blame her. I can sleep anywhere from my work experience, when you need to sleep you ge it then. Flying J's are too busy, to many variables for issues with that many people going by in close proximity to the RV. The Walmarts I have stayed at had remore areas that allowed some seperation from traffic.

Camping - NO, but a way to get some sleep and put money in the tank, YES. On the MS Coast some casinos have great campgrounds and are very cheap to use - as low as $10 and some even comp you if you use their other moneymakers.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:44 AM   #40
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Everything I've heard about casino parking lots sounds pretty good. I think they are quite popular with the RV crowd for a free over-night, maybe it's the cheap all-you-can-eats inside...
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:47 AM   #41
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I've always been told not to stay overnight in rest areas along my way, although I have done it in my car if it's a busy one with other people sleeping in their cars and lots of trucks stopped. Any opinions on that?

We have done this a couple of times, like when high-tailing it home on the interstates for a death in the family.

We park where it is well-lit, a bit noisy but functional.

We have also found a few rest stops/picnic areas on rural roads. Probably leftover from 40-50 years ago. If they don't prohibit the overnight parking, these work just fine and we find them fun. Same with scenic overlooks. (Fun is where you find it or make it, ya know.)

No one has ever bothered us but, I have to say, Doug is one to never travel without a handgun. He's never had to use it or even threaten to do so, but there is some measure of security with it there.

We now also have Miss Lily, a medium size dog but with a very big-dog bark.

Maggie
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:47 AM   #42
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Quote:
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I've always been told not to stay overnight in rest areas along my way, although I have done it in my car if it's a busy one with other people sleeping in their cars and lots of trucks stopped. Any opinions on that?
Never had a problem using the "rest" areas.

Some can be down right nice..

Chooz carefully, stay hitched and keep the stab's up.

Bob
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