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Old 03-12-2012, 06:50 PM   #435
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Originally Posted by RichHog View Post
My first try at a WalMart was in Destin. It was about 11 at night and the State Park was full. We were almost asleep when a knock on the trailer and a voice outside said "You have to Move". (us and about 4 other trailers) Evidently local city restrictions prevent the use of parking lots for overnight camping. They don't want WalMart to take away revenue from the paid camping lots. We got back in the car and drove another 100 miles to another WalMart and spent the night there. Destin lost our money from breakfast, gas and some shopping and I probably won't come back. WalMart has to go with the ordinances we know. But someone else got my money the next day.
It's not Wal-Mart. Destin has a city ordinance that prohibits camping at the Wal-Mart there. About ten miles east on US 98 is another Wal-Mart in Santa Rosa Beach. It is in another county that does not have such an ordinance.

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Old 03-12-2012, 09:27 PM   #436
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Walmart is great as far as I'm concerned. Yes there are some walmarts that do not allow overnight parking but as mentioned they are close to some tourist attraction and thus been abused. If you dont see any other rv's in the lot by 8 pm really look for no overnight sign's as it is a tip off that it might be a no parking lot...or go in and ask.
Park with the door to your trailer or MH facing the walmart door as the overhead cameras can help keep you safe. Also I just read that women traveling alone should put a big pair of muddy boots by the door to keep the impression you have a big guy with you.
I do not lower my jacks except for maybe the hitch jack to make the trailer a bit more level for the fridge and I make sure not to damage the pavement. Some walmarts have a mcdonalds inside and I hit the McMuffins hard before starting out...
In my hundreds of walmart nights I only had one time where some guys were looking in the back of my pickup at night...I opened the window and yelled "If I open this trailer door I'm shooting every one I see"!! That thined them out pretty quick.
We travel with our Doberman who expects his bedtime walk wherever he is. This serves two purposes: he doesn't get us up in the middle of the night to pee and everyone around knows we have a dog capable of doing his job. In case someone misses the prominent promenade, he has a really deep, serious-sounding bark if anyone is around the truck or trailer in the night. We shush him immediately so we don't disturb others, but the warning has been issued.

We like WM and truck stops when we need to make time; we ask permission, buy breakfast there, and pick up after our Dobie. Never had any trouble. However, we were asked to move on in the middle of the night when we stopped on a lonely back road in exhaustion outside of Jackson Hole, WY. So now we prefer WM or truckstops and permission. I HATE being asked to move when we are already asleep!

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Old 03-12-2012, 09:27 PM   #437
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Yeah, I read someplace that Destin gets so many campers that the parking lots become overwhelmed. Not my kind of place.

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Old 03-13-2012, 02:36 PM   #438
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We've logged OVER 50,000 miles pulling our 2010 23FB. We average a bit more than half our nights dry camping. We have never been chased away from any place we parked. Wal-Mart is not high on our list. We'd prefer a lonely church parking lot, or any rural spot over town camping. When we do camp at a Wal-Mart we ask first. One, in Canada, had signs proclaiming "No RV Parking." We asked anyway because we saw a few campers obviously settled in for the night. We were told, "The local RV park owners raised hell and got the city council to put up the signs here and at other large lots. This is private property, and I assure you we will not ask you to move, or have you towed as the sign says." Very clearly the pressure is from RV parks. We hate RV parks and only use them when we have to dump. Best camping is anything National. Get your Geezer pass for half price camping and in places, Amistad Lake near Del Rio, TX the cost is $6.00.
BTW: Use common sense. Don't drop your trailer, roll out the awning, rug and lawn chairs and settle in for a week. Don't litter. It's "overnight" folks. A few can quickly ruin it for everyone.
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Old 03-13-2012, 11:44 PM   #439
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What protocol do you use at church parking lots? Ask if you see someone around? Park late leave early?
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:16 AM   #440
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What protocol do you use at church parking lots? Ask if you see someone around? Park late leave early?

Find a rural one, not on a Wednesday night or Sunday night.

If there is a parsonage nearby, we keep on going, assuming they would prefer not to look out onto us and our presence would not only be rude but violate our "be unobtrusive" rule.

There are lots of country churches, set back off the road. Easy to pull in and out without disturbing anyone.

River/ferry access roads and fishing pull-offs can be good, if you're small and don't take up too much space.

Seldom do we drive along a river and not spy at least a few places where we could stay for the night. However, seems always to be that when you are looking for a place to spend the night you really have to look.


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Old 03-14-2012, 05:45 AM   #441
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Originally Posted by Matt Kline View Post
We've logged OVER 50,000 miles pulling our 2010 23FB. We average a bit more than half our nights dry camping. We have never been chased away from any place we parked. Wal-Mart is not high on our list. We'd prefer a lonely church parking lot, or any rural spot over town camping. When we do camp at a Wal-Mart we ask first. One, in Canada, had signs proclaiming "No RV Parking." We asked anyway because we saw a few campers obviously settled in for the night. We were told, "The local RV park owners raised hell and got the city council to put up the signs here and at other large lots. This is private property, and I assure you we will not ask you to move, or have you towed as the sign says." Very clearly the pressure is from RV parks. We hate RV parks and only use them when we have to dump. Best camping is anything National. Get your Geezer pass for half price camping and in places, Amistad Lake near Del Rio, TX the cost is $6.00.
BTW: Use common sense. Don't drop your trailer, roll out the awning, rug and lawn chairs and settle in for a week. Don't litter. It's "overnight" folks. A few can quickly ruin it for everyone.
Matt qudos to this, you have said the same thing I have been saying and experience. I believe many of the RV/Campgrounds have got a little carried away with their charges and so on, and they are going to price themselves right back into hardship. Now I am not saying free, I dont even mind 25.00 per night, but when it get to 40-50 a night and then they want to charge you for each child that is going a bit far. After all it says family campground.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:45 AM   #442
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We stay at WMs often, but always check with the manager and look for local government no parking signs. If all is OK, we shop there to support them. If not at WM, we will do the night at a truck stop - not as quiet but doable.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:52 AM   #443
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Originally Posted by RichHog View Post
My first try at a WalMart was in Destin. It was about 11 at night and the State Park was full. We were almost asleep when a knock on the trailer and a voice outside said "You have to Move". (us and about 4 other trailers) Evidently local city restrictions prevent the use of parking lots for overnight camping. They don't want WalMart to take away revenue from the paid camping lots. We got back in the car and drove another 100 miles to another WalMart and spent the night there. Destin lost our money from breakfast, gas and some shopping and I probably won't come back. WalMart has to go with the ordinances we know. But someone else got my money the next day.
You should write the city and tell them this, after all it is money they want and if they find out they are loosing enough it changes things. So everyone should write and say something every time they get asked to move.
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:55 AM   #444
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Maybe its just me but I hate not having an exact plan of where I will be camping tonight. I want to know before I break camp and have alternate plans in case of breakdowns, etc. And , I want to be there before dark. I don't want to get to a Wal-Mart p.lot at 11pm and be booted out at 2am. I am just too old for that kind of crap. I realize I can't always control that but in this age of information its not that hard to have a pretty good idea of where I am going to end up. I hate 2 am surprises !
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Old 03-14-2012, 05:55 AM   #445
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If it was a walmart employee warning you he probley saved you from a citation.
It is private property and the LEO can not write a ticket without walmarts permission, it is in that case I would complain to the manager, Distric & general managers, all the way to bentonville Ark
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:55 AM   #446
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The Destin, Florida Wal-Mart

I have lived near the Destin Wal-Mart since before the Super Center was built about 12 years ago. To give some perspective to the overnight RV parking issue at this Wal-Mart, some information needs to be disclosed. This particular Wal-Mart is directly across the street from Henderson State Park which boasts about a half mile of beautiful, pristine beachfront. The park has about 50 campsites that fill up pretty quickly.

As this Wal-Mart parking lot is within walking distance (1/4 mile) of the ocean, it had started becoming an ad hok campground as soon as it opened.There were many RVer who were staying in this Wal-Mart parking lot for several days at a time and enjoying a beach vacation. Awnings, chairs, and grills were out every evening, and parking lot cook outs were common place. Dogs and children were running in the parking lot wreaking havoc amongst the Wal-Mart customers. Some nights there were as many as 50 RVs in the lot.

Whether or not it was at Wal-Mart's urging, I do not know. The City of Destin decided that this was an eyesore in a small city that is totally economically dependent on tourism. They enacted an ordinance to prohibit overnight parking or camping in parking lots.

I don't take issue with this as it was the direct result of irresponbilbe RVers.

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Old 03-14-2012, 09:33 AM   #447
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Everything Moosetags said plus this is a very small parking lot by WM standards. IT is the nicest WM I have ever seen. Sal.
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Old 03-15-2012, 07:32 AM   #448
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I would think then that signage in the parking lot at Walmart in Destin would say "No Overnight Parking or Camping Allowed by City Ordinance". Maybe it's there now I don't know. In my case we tried to get reservations at the State park and we drove around to several of the RV parks near the beach which were full and looked like a parking lot on grass lots. After this we said "well they say Walmart allows overnight camping". So we joined about 3 other RVers on the corner of the lot. Don't think the store was open as it was around midnight. Wake up knock came at 1:15 to move. We were total newbies as this was our first trip bringing home our Tradewind. Never saw the beach at Destin and probably won't plan on stoping by there next time we pass through.
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