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Old 01-04-2012, 04:51 PM   #99
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Are we digressing just a bit from the original topic of this thread?
I think the Walmart thing has been beaten to death.

For more on hobos: Hobo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

There was a hobo in the first season of Mad Men.

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Old 01-04-2012, 08:49 PM   #100
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I think the Walmart thing has been beaten to death.
Gene
Not me. I'm attracted to the Walmart threads them like a moth to a flame. Where else where I go to find out about hobos?

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Old 01-04-2012, 11:09 PM   #101
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It's scary to me that you didn't mention paying attention to the road and traffic, etc.

I hope that was an oversight.

Ken
The traffic IS the trucks! Now what you really have to watch out for are those darn RVers... Road Hogs!!

What do you think I drive like this?
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:01 AM   #102
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Bay Area Over Nite Spots

First, check out this. Many CA State Parks have an "en route" option that allows you to spend the night in overflow parking when all the campsites are full. You have to pay, but you do get a safe place to spend the night and you get access to whatever facilities are at the park. Not all parks have this option, but you can find out which ones do using Google.

Near SF there's not much at all. Better to plan ahead a bit and stay 50 to 75 miles south or east. If heading north, bypass SF and take Hwy 880 on the east side. Much quicker, less hassle.

Some local spots. There is a WalMart in Fremont just off Auto Mall Parkway near Hwy 680. I've never seen the parking lot crowded. About 10 miles further north, just off 680 the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton has RV camping. Half Moon Bay State Park has a beautiful campground, no hookups but a dump station. There's a KOA at Costanoa north of Santa Cruz on Hwy 1. Beautiful, pricey, full hookups, resort, store and really nice restaurant on site. Not exactly near SF, but if your travels are taking you anywhere near Monterey, there's a municipal campground within the city, Veteran's Memorial Park. Cheap, hot showers, no hookups, but a dump station. Close to Fisherman's Wharf, Carmel, etc. There are also several campgrounds along the coast between Monterey and Santa Cruz. These are all a 2+ hour drive to SF depending on traffic, so it's doable to stay south and east, then visit the city w/out your trailer.

Good luck, it's worth the hassle....
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Old 01-05-2012, 12:47 AM   #103
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The traffic IS the trucks! Now what you really have to watch out for are those darn RVers... Road Hogs!!

What do you think I drive like this?


Ken
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Old 01-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #104
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Road Geezer--
That was a great list there. Since we travel up and down 101, we'll be checking those out next time. Thanks!
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Old 01-07-2012, 10:52 AM   #105
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Road Geezer--
That was a great list there. Since we travel up and down 101, we'll be checking those out next time. Thanks!
Don't forget Lake Chabot, the best and closest camping in the Bay Area. http://www.ebparks.org/parks/anthony_chabot
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Old 01-07-2012, 02:27 PM   #106
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Sounds like the time The Bunny, and I stayed at a Truck Stop, off I-5, 1/2 way to Las Vegas... CREEPY & NOISY!!!!
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Old 01-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #107
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It is not the cost, the convenience, good security (camera's, gaurd) they do it for their delivery trucks as well. Also you can shop, rent movies at Red Box and return, more safer than rest stops or any other road side, easy one and off. And if you are stoppoing for the night and leave in the morning no hassle to register/check-in at the camp ground. We have used Walmart in several states mostly in outisde the cities.
My two cents and I could be wrong!!!!!
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Old 01-13-2012, 06:19 PM   #108
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It is not the cost, the convenience, good security (camera's, gaurd) they do it for their delivery trucks as well. Also you can shop, rent movies at Red Box and return, more safer than rest stops or any other road side, easy one and off. And if you are stoppoing for the night and leave in the morning no hassle to register/check-in at the camp ground. We have used Walmart in several states mostly in outisde the cities.
My two cents and I could be wrong!!!!!
I have owned Walmart stock for 20 years, but only went inside one for the first time today. I spent about an hour in there, and bought a thermos cup. I will return the next time I want something that I am absolutely sure is made in China, and require no help in finding it.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:01 PM   #109
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On our last night out we decided to try a stay at WalMart because it was just a midway stop on the drive home and we figured why not save some money. Our first choice was a WM in Mountain View, Ca. We got there at 3pm and it was in the middle of a huge mall with a million cars. There wasn't even an empty parking spot let alone one long enough for the trailer. We googled up the next one in Santa Rosa and headed north. (pulling the AS through San Francisco traffic for the first time was a real treat!).

We got to SR at 6PM and first we discovered that the entire lot was for compact cars and even using two we were 5 feet hanging out. So we went to the far side along a greenbelt and parked along that curb. There was no other RV in the lot. When it got dark it got a bit creepy. Cars driving around, and strange noises etc. It was New Years eve and lots of fireworks and such going off too. Around 2am a MoHo drove in and parked in front of us. What I realized about a trailer is that you can't just fire up the engine and take off. You have to get OUT first! LOL.

I know it is irrational, but we felt a little exposed. I expected there would be half a dozen other campers. We didn't sleep well!
Been there, done that! We got all parked in place, paused inside the AS, and left!
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Old 02-11-2012, 04:09 AM   #110
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Yeah. Most are over $50. But the problem was that without a reservation most of the parks we would stay at were full up. And we wanted to get the experience of trying it out at Wal-Mart. I think we'd do it again if we got there and saw a few other campers.
Maybe you should try it again; we've stayed at W-M several times most often in WY, MT, UT, and a few central states and never felt creepy about it, but then we travel with an 80lb male Doberman, a very intimidating fellow. No one has ever bothered us. Ditto Flying J: other than the noise of the cycling refrigerator units on the trucks, they are fine. We use them when we need to make time, driving late and leaving early. Maybe if the current economic situation ever allows us to retire, we might have enough time on the road to make reservations and take a more leisurely pace. Be aware though that some W-M DO NOT allow overnighting. We found one in Illinois? MO? that posted signs warning off overnighting. This was in an apparent upscale neighborhood.

In desperation at midnight once, we found a cop sitting in his patrolcar in an ordinary business parking lot and asked him if we could sleep for a few hrs and not get rousted out by him or his colleagues. He said yes, and he would tell his colleagues, just to leave before business hrs so we didn't block the business--we had the honking big 34'.

So there are lots of alternatives; we just want to make sure we can sleep someplace when we get tired without being interrupted and turfed out by cops or security guards.

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Old 02-11-2012, 07:49 AM   #111
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And, you know, some of this is about taking a deep breath and trying something different. Kind of like dry-camping for the first time, trusting everything will do just what it is supposed to do.

It's important to be prudent and careful, of course, but we have overnighted many, many places over the years (only a couple of times at WalMart) and never once been bothered by any one. Rural church parking lots, rest stops, scenic overlooks, river access, ferry access, etc. No problems, ever.

Not saying it could never happen, just that it isn't as likely as one might think.


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Old 02-11-2012, 08:14 AM   #112
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When you see that a Wal-Mart does not allow overnighting in their parking lot, it is never Wal-Mart, it is a local city or county ordinance that prohibits it. These local ordinances are most often promulgated by local campground interests.

For instance, where I live in the Florida Panhandle, overnight parking is prohibited at the Destin Wal-Mart because of a city ordinance. Ten miles east of there on the same highway, the Santa Rosa Beach Wal-Mart allows overnight parking.

Brian
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