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Old 10-12-2009, 11:10 PM   #225
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This is just another fine example on how the Big Box stores suffocate small businesses. They'll do anything for a buck, (buy Tp and stay free). The small local campgrounds rely on multiple one nighters, not long termers, for their livelyhood. Please use the Nat'l Forest, BLM or the city lot, it's free and sometimes you can stay up to 14 days. It makes our stomachs turn when we see Airstreamers scabing off these places in the middle of the night. What joy can one find "camping" at Wally World? Oh, you saved a buck, but did you really in the long run?
I find that using the Walmart for just a few hours is not going to be a loss for a small local campground. This was a 14 day trip and I used the Walmart parking lot for about 6 hours of sleeping on the way up and 6 hours of sleeping on the way back, I was able to cover a lot more miles with the quick park and rest allowing me to get further down the road and spend more time at the campgrounds in the locations I wanted to be. I agree that we should support the small local campgrounds, but sometimes it is more conventent to just pull over get out of the TV climb into the Airstream get some zzz then get back on the road. And Walmart, State Reststops are great for this.
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Old 10-13-2009, 02:59 AM   #226
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We used the Wal mart for sleeping and that was it. There was a local KOA by the Wal mart but they wanted $45.00 for one night. I was orginally planning on getting up at 4:00 A.M. and hitting the road. Wal-mart offered for me to stay there and I used Wal mart to buy a few small items. As far as small businesses go I think Wal mart, home depot, lowes, and places like those hurt small business. There prices are so much cheaper then what small business can offer.

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Old 10-13-2009, 07:15 AM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 64trotter View Post
This is just another fine example on how the Big Box stores suffocate small businesses. They'll do anything for a buck, (buy Tp and stay free). The small local campgrounds rely on multiple one nighters, not long termers, for their livelyhood. Please use the Nat'l Forest, BLM or the city lot, it's free and sometimes you can stay up to 14 days. It makes our stomachs turn when we see Airstreamers scabing off these places in the middle of the night. What joy can one find "camping" at Wally World? Oh, you saved a buck, but did you really in the long run?
If small business campgrounds made any effort, they could offer overnight parking in their parking lot, for a smaller fee then full hookup sites. Instead they just whine and complain that Walmart isn't being fair. Since when is offering a service that people want, not the American way.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:44 AM   #228
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I really don't like Walmart. Yet when traveling they have parking and we have to shop somewhere. Supermarkets sometimes have large enough lots, some don't, especially in small towns. We like to go to Trader Joe's, but they are usually in small shopping centers with inadequate parking for RV's. We've never stayed overnight at a Walmart and probasbly will never drive 12-15 hours a day, so overnight is probably unlikely. Staying at FS and BLM CG's means driving far from our route. Some private CG's are so expensive Walmart starts to look like a good idea.

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Old 10-16-2009, 04:04 AM   #229
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If small business campgrounds made any effort, they could offer overnight parking in their parking lot, for a smaller fee then full hookup sites. Instead they just whine and complain that Walmart isn't being fair. Since when is offering a service that people want, not the American way.
I am with you 100% on that one! An organization, like any other living organism must adapt to the conditions around it or go extinct.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:11 AM   #230
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I suppose some component of this issue depends on how one uses their Airstream. We camp in the traditional sense, we rally in the non-traditional sense (WDCU) , we use it as a guest house and retreat in our own backyard. We also use it as a place to stay (kind of like an efficiency apartment on wheels) when visiting friends, relatives, or on a business trip. This response pertains to the latter.

64trotter


"This is just another fine example on how the Big Box stores suffocate small businesses. They'll do anything for a buck, (buy Tp and stay free)."

There are many who see it this way (regarding camping/overnight parking). I'd be willing to bet there are also many who consider it a good business practice, and a mutually beneficial relationship. Instead of charging full price for a few hours of use, and in order to avoid suffocation, perhaps the private campgrounds should adopt a similar model.


"The small local campgrounds rely on multiple one nighters, not long termers, for their livelyhood."

In my travels, I haven't always found this to be the case. In fact, at most local private campgrounds I have stayed at, the one-nighters usually made up a small percentage of the campers.


"Please use the Nat'l Forest, BLM or the city lot, it's free and sometimes you can stay up to 14 days."

Whenever possible, we use state park* campgrounds, and gladly pay for it. The fees are usually reasonable, and goes back into the maintenance of the facilities.

'It makes our stomachs turn when we see Airstreamers scabing off these places in the middle of the night."

I only get concerned when I see people ("Airstreamers", or otherwise) camping in store parking lots (barbecues, slide-outs, unhitched, etc.) There's a difference between overnight parking, and camping.


"What joy can one find "camping" at Wally World?"

Typically, while traveling from place to place, I'm not looking for "joy", just a few hours rest. Until the private campgrounds can provide that service at a reasonable rate, they lose. It's not that I wouldn't like to take advantage of the amenities at a private campground, such as swimming pools, hayrides, playgrounds, bonfires, pumpkin carving contests, knitting circles, etc. It's just that I wouldn't likely be there to enjoy them.


"Oh, you saved a buck, but did you really in the long run?"

Yes, I did. That, and the satisfaction that I didn't line the pockets of those who are attempting to corner the market on camping in their area by getting local ordinances passed prohibiting overnight parking.

* DISCLAIMER: I worked for a state park system for over 30 years, much of it assigned to parks with campgrounds. We provided a great service at a reasonable price (and without all the bling-bling of the private campgrounds). The local private campgrounds were continuously lobbying and pressuring our legislators to force us to increase our fees to their level, which were exorbitant, and typically twice what ours were.

We've only stayed overnight in a parking lot a few times, and will again depending on the circumstances. The first time was after driving several hours late at night and looking for a reasonably priced place to get a few hours rest. We called no less than three campgrounds, all of which were well off the beaten path. All were between $40-$50 for the night (no sites without hookups, checkout was 11:00 AM, kids and guests were $3-$5 extra, respectively). At the time, that parking lot 300 yards off the interstate sure looked good.
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Old 10-16-2009, 10:40 AM   #231
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Yes, I saved a buck!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 64trotter View Post
This is just another fine example on how the Big Box stores suffocate small businesses. They'll do anything for a buck, (buy Tp and stay free). The small local campgrounds rely on multiple one nighters, not long termers, for their livelyhood. Please use the Nat'l Forest, BLM or the city lot, it's free and sometimes you can stay up to 14 days. It makes our stomachs turn when we see Airstreamers scabing off these places in the middle of the night. What joy can one find "camping" at Wally World? Oh, you saved a buck, but did you really in the long run?
Too bad about your stomach, but that's your problem. I am glad to save a buck parking at Wal-mart. If I'm not mistaken, the bucks I have saved have benefited me in the long run. They are normally very convenient and wonderful places to shop. And, to address your first ugly comment, you don't have to buy that TP to stay for free! Haha!
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:09 AM   #232
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You're right...!!!

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If small business campgrounds made any effort, they could offer overnight parking in their parking lot, for a smaller fee then full hookup sites. Instead they just whine and complain that Walmart isn't being fair. Since when is offering a service that people want, not the American way.
I, once, was looking at buying a campground... and I would have had the place to arrange for 10-12 sites for overnight parking at very little cost (a water line + electricity). I didn't buy it, but I am sure this idea would have brought me an additional clientele and in the long run, additional clients for my campground...
I think Doug is absolutely right.
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:18 AM   #233
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The unspoken part of this exchange is the safety factor. Pulling off somewhere safe that is simple to get to and well lit (especially when you are tired) for a few hours verses’ trying to find a campground on potentially dark road in unfamiliar territory for only a few hours is an influencing factor. Everyone's situation and reason is different when they travel. These comments are good commentary on the unintended impact of our choices but especially enjoyable are comments from our Canadian friend who identifies how this choice should and will influence "the American way". And as we continue on the forum I shall continue to enjoy another delightful and legal portion of the "American way", the freedom of speech. Cheers! Make it there safely!
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Old 10-16-2009, 11:22 AM   #234
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By the way...

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I, once, was looking at buying a campground... and I would have had the place to arrange for 10-12 sites for overnight parking at very little cost (a water line + electricity). I didn't buy it, but I am sure this idea would have brought me an additional clientele and in the long run, additional clients for my campground...
I think Doug is absolutely right.
A. Doré
Mont-Laurier, QC.
I am from the Province of Québec and, by the way, I am now travelling... being in New Orleans, LA. I am staying at the Bayou Segnette Stat Park for 17$/day... about 10 miles from the Big Easy. I am sorry... I have to leave now... I have to go doing my laundry... and it is free...!!!
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Old 10-16-2009, 04:12 PM   #235
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We used the Walmart for one reason and that was to maximize our time off. I had four days off and I knew I would be traveling 450 miles one way. I was leaving after work and after teaching over 100 different kids all day long. This presented a challenge. I knew I could make a three hour drive and crash for five to six hours and continue on. I was not going to shower or cook. I was going to drive crash and drive.

In the future when I have more time off I want to try some of the different camp grounds when we travel. I just don't feel like paying 40+ dollars to crash 5 to 6 hours. I would pay it if I was going to be there for and evening and all night. Wal-mart is a great place to do a power nap when traveling. Especially when it is right off the highway.

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Old 10-16-2009, 06:56 PM   #236
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walmart

We have parked in Walmart lots on long trips when we wanted to get from point A to B quickly and efficiently. We prefer to camp in national parks, state parks, county parks and even some private parks. But I have been to some costly private parks where I couldn't even put out my awning and they charged a mint to stay there.

We have been asked to leave one Walmart in Pigeon Forge because of local ordinances prohibits parking overnight. I saw several other motorhomes and trailers parked and I made the "assumption" parking overnight was ok. We all were asked to move at about 11 P:M that night. We found another spot a couple of miles up the road.
However, not one private park in Pigeon Forge received a dime from me for camping. wolf
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Old 10-17-2009, 07:26 AM   #237
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There seems to be a lot of anger about the prices charged at private CG's. I don't like paying a lot either, but it's a lot cheaper than motels. It's not cheap to run a CG—insurance, property taxes, cleaning up after sloppy campers, hiring employees to help out at a 24/7 business, keeping the water and sewer and electrical systems running and paying the utility bills, dealing with crazy RVers, and so on. In many places keeping open all year isn't feasible and try making a living on a 6 month a year business. For every one that overcharges we usually find one that is quite reasonable.

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Old 10-17-2009, 07:38 AM   #238
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My personal opinion:
Overnight parking at Walmart should be limited to a few hours, just long enough to get enough sleep to safely continue to your destination.......any longer than that is, quite frankly, classless, and contributes to giving R/Vers a bad name.
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