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Old 08-20-2014, 07:05 AM   #589
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We just finished a 7200 mile trip from VT to MT & north to Banff Canada. All but one of our travel days were free stops. We thank - Ohio Turnpike service center Amherst OH, Onalaska WI Walmart, Laurel MT Walmart, Butte MT Walmart, Toledo OH Turnpike service area and Syracuse NY Walmart. We always patronized each area and asked permission. In Wisconsin Walmart, we actually cleaned-up trash that was around our parking area, so that people wouldn't think that RVers made a mess.
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:29 AM   #590
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That gives the store the option to tell folks they do not like to move on - it is posted no parking....
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Old 08-20-2014, 07:48 AM   #591
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We usually don't follow a regimented schedule while traveling the country to be flexible and discover the unexpected. So the WalMarts are among our pull-in-for-the-night visits.

Seeing a "No Overnight Parking" sign, it is often overruled by the duty manager when we ask. And often not a company policy, but a response to a complaining neighbor. And who can blame the neighbor with rigs running generators all night, or folks living on the road spending days at a time there.

Be courteous, ask and tell them you're quiet and only there until morning.
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Old 08-20-2014, 10:02 AM   #592
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If you ask, you may be surprised at the welcome you receive. Twice at Walmarts I received coffee and a pastry by the morning manager when I went in around 5 am for supplies. Two seperate locations. I was gone before the 6 am rush and always asked for the location that would be the less obtrusive to the store. I once was placed right under the "No overnight parking" sign, I had to laugh at that.

Only once was I told no way, that was in Florida. It was to be expected at that location. I also found a roadside RV location that was willing to let me "hook-up" for $10 one night for about 10 hours and I did not disconnect the AS from the truck - it was just a rest stop for me.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:21 AM   #593
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We had an experience out east last year, where the WalMart manager told us we could park in their lot and then the night security guard woke us about 11pm, telling us in his most officious voice that we had one minute to move or he was having us towed.

We moved to a church parking lot down the road. So, beware.

Now that I will be the one having to get up and drive, I will be even more cautious.

We have stayed in just a handful of WalMart parking lots in 7 years with the Interstate, but frequent them regularly for shopping. In our experience, we have never seen anyone who has "set up camp" in the parking lot, and I believe those folks are the exception, rather than the rule, whatever part of the country this occurs in,

I would like to think a compassionate store manager has let these people stay, because they are homeless and can't afford a campground.

May also be that one or both of these people work in the store and/ or have an agreement with the manager for an out date.

You sometimes see people in campgrounds who look like they are living long-term out of a shabby, rundown RV, or even a tent.....have come across both.

We could get into a debate as to why people are homeless, but the mods wouldn't like it and opinions would differ widely.

At any rate...

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Old 08-20-2014, 01:25 PM   #594
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Wal Mart overnight parking

Quote:
Originally Posted by doug&maggie View Post
We had an experience out east last year, where the WalMart manager told us we could park in their lot and then the night security guard woke us about 11pm, telling us in his most officious voice that we had one minute to move or he was having us towed.

We moved to a church parking lot down the road. So, beware.

Now that I will be the one having to get up and drive, I will be even more cautious.

We have stayed in just a handful of WalMart parking lots in 7 years with the Interstate, but frequent them regularly for shopping. In our experience, we have never seen anyone who has "set up camp" in the parking lot, and I believe those folks are the exception, rather than the rule, whatever part of the country this occurs in,

I would like to think a compassionate store manager has let these people stay, because they are homeless and can't afford a campground.

May also be that one or both of these people work in the store and/ or have an agreement with the manager for an out date.

You sometimes see people in campgrounds who look like they are living long-term out of a shabby, rundown RV, or even a tent.....have come across both.

We could get into a debate as to why people are homeless, but the mods wouldn't like it and opinions would differ widely.

At any rate...

Maggie
You're so right Maggie....worked with K-5th grade level school age children and learned of several families with primary income from military service with families living in local campground year round. The children I had contact with spent their after- school time gathering fallen dry leaves to push under their trailer to add a layer of insulation during cold winters. These memories are very humbling. I will never take my enjoyment in our Airstream for granted.
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Old 08-20-2014, 02:00 PM   #595
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And, some people are just crass, rude, inconsiderate....whatever.

My point was, we just don't know unless we know.

I want to add to the earlier post that this was a WalMart with no overnight parking posted, but on AllStays it said to ask.

We asked, got evicted anyway.


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Old 08-21-2014, 04:39 AM   #596
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Having done the Walmart parking on multiple occasions, I can conclude a couple of things. If they have the "clearance bars" at the entrance areas, this suggests they do not want any large trucks, RVs, trailers at all in the lot. Also, if the Walmart closes at night, they may not want overnight guests.

My policy has always been to go in and shop, usually groceries, and get permission. If I have permission, and security asks me to leave, I show my receipt and give the manager's name who gave permission. This has eliminated a problem on one occasion.

When approached in a friendly manner, the security folks can become advocates. When seen I like to give them thanks for being around as it clearly improves my security as well as Walmart's.


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Old 08-21-2014, 05:13 AM   #597
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Quote:
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The children I had contact with spent their after- school time gathering fallen dry leaves to push under their trailer to add a layer of insulation during cold winters. These memories are very humbling. I will never take my enjoyment in our Airstream for granted.
That flashed me back to my childhood. Age 5, seventeen miles from Loring AFB in Maine, and seventeen miles in a slightly different direction to the nearest town, Limestone, Aroostock county.

We didn't live in a campground. It was a mobile home park, and we lived in a 38-foot-long and 8-foot-wide mobile home. My dad was Strategic Air Command, crew chief on a B-52. When he was home, he was gone 12 hours a day, flying a holding pattern around the Arctic Circle, waiting to be told to go die for his country by being sent to bomb a target in Russia that was at the plane's limit of fuel range so there would be no returning home from the bombing run. When he wasn't home, he was on one or another 6-month TDY to places where he couldn't bring the family. He'd generally do six months home, six months overseas, every year.

We didn't pile up leaves under the trailer; it had skirts around it to block the wind from getting underneath. But I can remember getting outdoors in the middle of winter, deliberately piling up snow against the walls of the trailer because snow was the only insulation we had— every trailer in the park looked like a giant igloo. And then going inside to take a lukewarm sponge bath using snowmelt heated on the stove because the water was shut off at the meter so the pipes wouldn't freeze.

Apologies for going off-topic, but these days it's not often that I'm reminded of my childhood.
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:29 AM   #598
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Hi Protag,
Living in an igloo must have been fun as a kid! Another little guy whom lived in the same camp growing year round started to have noticeable "personal hygiene" issues...first grader. School interventions assessed situation after little guy reportable was overheard telling classmates he could not take a shower anymore since "that ole skunk was now living in his bathroom". Of course, teacher disciplined for telling tall tales. However, we learned the was indeed a skunk living in his bathroom which apparently gained entry through cracked belly pan.


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Old 08-21-2014, 07:02 AM   #599
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Living in an igloo must have been fun as a kid!
Don't know. Being a kid, I had nothing to compare it to; it was just the way we lived.

But getting back closer to topic, after Hurricane Katrina there were lots of people living in their cars, rendered both homeless and jobless by a storm that wiped out home and workplace at the same time. Assuming they weren't rendered car-less as well! The local Walmarts really came through for them, not only allowing people to live in the store parking lots— until FEMA could find them someplace better— but also donating free bottled water to them as well.
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:22 AM   #600
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My guess is FEMA undoubtedly needed to prioritize search and rescue, and moving equipment, moving people, moving medical supplies. Because Wal-Mart knew its customers, the giant corporation also had a good idea of what those customers would most need after everything they owned had been stripped away from them.

Water. Food. Medicine. Toilet tissue. Diapers. Clean underwear. Toothbrushes.

It certainly was a defining moment for big retailers-as masters of logistics-Wal-Mart, Lowes & Home Depot delivered items and more to the victims of Hurricane Katrina, one of the worst natural disasters ever to hit this country.

I was not aware Wal-Mart provided "free parking & camping" for evacuees. The experiences other Airstreamers post on the forum really gives insight to less experienced travelers in planning for potential natural disasters. Always "good to know" details of others survival of these type situations-hurricanes, floods, fires, tornados, blizzards.
Gee...gotta get to a new topic before I fear will need another 2ft. for worse case scenario bug out supplies.


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Old 08-21-2014, 08:42 AM   #601
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We just finished a 7200 mile trip from VT to MT & north to Banff Canada. All but one of our travel days were free stops. We thank - Ohio Turnpike service center Amherst OH, Onalaska WI Walmart, Laurel MT Walmart, Butte MT Walmart, Toledo OH Turnpike service area and Syracuse NY Walmart. We always patronized each area and asked permission. In Wisconsin Walmart, we actually cleaned-up trash that was around our parking area, so that people wouldn't think that RVers made a mess.
Those darned friendly folks in MT !!!
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Old 08-21-2014, 11:01 PM   #602
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protagonist View Post
That flashed me back to my childhood. Age 5, seventeen miles from Loring AFB in Maine, and seventeen miles in a slightly different direction to the nearest town, Limestone, Aroostock county. Apologies for going off-topic, but these days it's not often that I'm reminded of my childhood.
Thanks for the memories and sharing what once was. I love these kinds of stories and appreciate you taking the time. Good Luck & God Bless !
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