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Old 04-01-2009, 08:55 AM   #169
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Perceptions

I have yet to stay in a Walmart parking lot, but I do own a road atlas and directory of their stores. When I eventually find it convenient to stay at a Walmart, I will take advantage of their hospitality toward RVers......and, I will try and reciprocate by purchasing some goods. Their parking lots have to be quieter than the Flying J's I have stayed at.....but, never-the-less, appreciated. I think it's great that some businesses, for whatever their reasons, provide a few "free" perks for the RV community.

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Old 04-01-2009, 11:38 AM   #170
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I hate to say it's an awful place, because then I think maybe there is something wrong with me. They just replaced 2 DC Marine batteries I bought last year without a receipt. Yea, I had to wait, absolutely no staff available for the amount of customers, same as the last time a did a garden/food driveby. I ended up leaving the cart in disgust, 12 people per line, 2 registers open. moooo on us.

It's very reasonable to stay in one, but yuck. I'd just rather take the road less traveled. Last year I went to the NOLA Jazz Fest, I camped on a lonely country road rest stop, another night I pulled off the highway and took a side road east until I found a hidden place to back in among trees.

Now, if you want to talk about camping at a Bass Pro Shop or a Cabela's, dang come to think of it, what a great place for a Rally...
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Old 05-02-2009, 06:22 PM   #171
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Free Overnight Stays

Many Wal-Marts, Sam's Clubs, Home Depots, Lowes, Cracker Barrel, Flying J and others do offer free parking overnight without hookups. Just check with the store manager first. A few, especially in New England, do not. OvernightRVparking.com (I think that's the link) is a subscription service that will list those that will and those that won't by area, i.e. enter ZIP code and radius and you'll get a map and a list. Parking lots work in a pinch and they cost nothing. Also, think about Visitors' Centers, some of them do as well. I've been told that all roadside rest areas in Texas are available for overnight stops.
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Old 05-02-2009, 10:41 PM   #172
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I noticed that at some TX visitors centers/rest areas have night attendants that patrol the lots as part of their duties. Too bad it's only at some of them.
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Old 05-03-2009, 06:41 AM   #173
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Cracker Barrels

On the way to Dega last week we got lazy and pulled into a Cracker Barrel for a soup and sandwich lunch. I've always thought that their RV parking slots were so nice and quiet and wondered if they allowed overnight camping. A visit with their people confirmed that they allowed it and we were so pleased to learn that. I don't know why we didn't ask sooner as we find for the most part their parking slots are just perfect. If we need the AC we can plug into the generators stored in the bed of the truck. All of the RV parking we've seen is on level ground so staying hooked up with or without the slide extended seems to be a perfect situation for us. CBs seem to be as common as Mickey Ds these days. Has anyone here ever utilized Cracker Barrel's hospitality?
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Old 05-03-2009, 07:37 AM   #174
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If we need the AC we can plug into the generators stored in the bed of the truck. All of the RV parking we've seen is on level ground so staying hooked up with or without the slide extended seems to be a perfect situation for us.
Just a recommendation here, you are overnight parking, not camping. Use of generators and extending slide-outs would be considered going beyond being a polite guest.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:04 AM   #175
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Recently stayed in the Trinidad, Colorado Walmart lot for a nite, around towards the very back of the store. Views of the Culebra range, and very quiet. A full-timer in the lot said his preference for free over-nights near the freeways were Walmarts, truckstops, and rest areas, in that order. Options are good when it's late, you're bleary-eyed, and just want to get some sleep.
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Old 05-03-2009, 09:43 AM   #176
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Angry Be careful out there!

We used to stay overnight at Wal Marts but gave it up as more and more cash-strapped municipalities, at least in the Midwest, figured out that there were big profits to be made in parking fines and towing fees by passing a law forbidding overnight parking in retail parking lots.

In investigating one Wal Mart (Grand Rapids, MI) for overnight parking we came across a fleet of tow trucks at the edge of the lot getting ready to pounce on a few fifth wheels that appeared to be in for the night.

A few hundred dollars in exhorbitant towing fees, impound fees, and parking fines (duplicated for the TV and trailer, of course) to say nothing of the hassle and time lost getting your rig back make for an expensive night's stay.
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:11 AM   #177
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I would be damned if somebody would tow my truck and trailer anyplace if I was there. They could tell me to leave but not just hook up and move my stuff without giving me a chance to leave. The area would also have to be posted with signs that said no over night parking.
Maybe these people parked them and just left them in the lot unattended?
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Old 05-03-2009, 11:18 AM   #178
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I noticed that at some TX visitors centers/rest areas have night attendants that patrol the lots as part of their duties. Too bad it's only at some of them.

I feel like I need to explain, when I said the above quote I meant it in a good way. The attendants are there to make sure there are no problems. At least with someone awake and watching I sleep a little better at the rest areas when I need to use them.
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Old 05-03-2009, 01:43 PM   #179
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Just a recommendation here, you are overnight parking, not camping. Use of generators and extending slide-outs would be considered going beyond being a polite guest.
Good point, makes good sense and was hoping for a confirming comment like this. Thanks "Mate"
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Old 07-19-2009, 09:56 PM   #180
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Who do you first contact in the store?

We stayed at a Walmart only once. We were in a terrible thunderstorm and just climbed in the trailer late at night, not wanting to get wet going in the store. We never asked anyone, but did park between two 5th wheelers, hoping if they could do it we would be okay too. Next morning just a sunrise were on our way out.

In contacting management, do you just go to the service center at the front of the store?
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Old 07-20-2009, 02:23 AM   #181
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Use of Walmart parking lots

We made use of Walmart parking lots back in December, after picking up our new AS in Los Angeles. Two days from Louisiana to LA to pick up the new trailer and then two days to get to Sante Fe, NM. Encountered high winds, dust storms and icy roads during the trip. Walmart parking lots were a welcome sight after a long day of pulling. We just pulled in among the other RV's, did our shopping inside and had a good night sleep. I thank Sam Walton for his MANY stores.....steve
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Old 07-20-2009, 09:25 AM   #182
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We also stayed in Walmart last Dec, in NC, and spent money there that would not have been spent had we not stayed
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