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Old 05-08-2018, 08:01 AM   #1041
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Originally Posted by gypsydad View Post
Hadn't considered that some WM's are perhaps in seedy unsafe areas......
I've observed two reasons why some Walmarts end up on the no-park list:

(1) They are near high-demand tourist areas and would be overrun with overnight parkers if they opened themselves up.

(2) They are in seedy unsafe areas and the store management does not want a reason to potentially draw more crime than they already have.

In other words, those in "seedy unsafe areas" are ALREADY out of the running. They are already on the no-park list. What's happening from time to time is tweakers and other assorted ilk showing up at Walmarts that are NOT in seedy areas. And from those areas, they getting run off by police.

These people make the rounds, in other words.
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:20 AM   #1042
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Many times city ordinances prohibit it, preferring to divert traffic to local campgrounds for whatever reason, and unless managers tell us why overnight parking is not allowed we can only speculate.

I have traveled all over the country, don’t stay in these often but on occasion, and have never felt unsafe in a WalMart parking lot.

I have never been bothered by nor even noticed people who seemed to be using drugs, nor any other obvious criminal element.

If I saw someone openly using drugs, I would probably call the police.

When I have been bothered, it has been by Class A’s running their generators all night.

I believe WalMarts like their parking lots to be safe for their patrons, regardless where they sleep at night, and that a wandering, obvious criminal element is far and away the exception rather than the rule.

Maggie
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Old 05-09-2018, 08:04 AM   #1043
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Thursday & Fridays

yeah, my local 'china-mart' has a different 'flare' depending on the night. Its like different 'show' every night. I would like to see a time lapse film of the china-mart parking lot and watch throughout the week at fast speed.

Mondays-Wednesday families and people who work during the day in stop by late afternoon/ early evening on the way home, stop by to pick up a couple things for dinner or get through the week.

Thursdays are 'college nite' It's more of a party atmosphere everyone in a good mood, and its fun to see what is the latest in 'millennial' attire ( or lack thereof). quite interesting

Friday evenings are more of a local 'rowdy' night. You have your 'cruisers' out riding around, some college kids, not to be impolite but there are some sketchy characters mixed in as well.
Sometimes you have 'wrestling' in the parking lot, for no extra charge on Fridays. All of the activities can be repeated on the Saturday nights and sometimes you would think someone turned up the volume.
Sunday evenings are calmer. Sunday-Wednesday would probably be preferred nights which seem to be milder and calm.
Its probably this way at your local Aldi and Target. : )
I hear they get pretty wild at the Hobby-Lobby in Winston Salem, NC

I think we all have the 'spidee' sense and can tell when things don't feel right. We just move on to a place with a better vibe.
You'll be okay, most of us stay out on the fringe areas of major populations when traveling, at least I do.
Wherever you stay, keep your head on a swivel and just be aware of your surroundings. Don't let anyone just 'show up' and surprise you.
Safe Travels y'all !
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Old 05-10-2018, 06:21 AM   #1044
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I live near Winston-Salem. Should a make a trip over to the Hobby Lobby tonight?
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:16 AM   #1045
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If you find yourself in a pinch for an overnight parking spot, your choices are limited to only a few options.
Let's have some fun and rank these options by what you view to be the safest down to the least safe.
From safest to least safe, I would put it like this:
1. Big commercial truck stop
2. 24-hr Wal-Mart
3. Cracker Barrel
4. Smaller less well traveled truck stop/not 24-hr
5. Wal-Mart not 24-hr
6. Rest Area
7. Side of the road
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:23 AM   #1046
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I think the safety of any of those options might vary according to their location...

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Old 05-12-2018, 09:32 AM   #1047
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Wow!
1047 responses over Walmart parking. Lots of passion, especially from the people who'd never consider it. My favorite has been, "WalMarts are banning overnight parking because people run their generators!" Wow, checked two boxes! Soon, "WalMart's only ban those without an Easy Start or PP hitch."
Personally, I spent one night in a WM next to a group returning from Alaska. Other than car noise, it was uneventful, but it was also in small town middle America, not <pick any big city>.

Bless Walmart for providing this service, and the Walton kids don't do much without a return on investment, so you know it's good for business.

If you've ever been to Dover, De. the week of the NASCAR race, the track is in the middle of town, and there's a Home Depot within easy walking distance of the gate, without leaving the parking areas. The days before the race it looks like an RV convention in HD's lot, awnings, chairs, grills. There's so many, I'm not sure a real customer could find a place to park. Home Depot chalks it up to "community relations", I'd guess.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:34 AM   #1048
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Wal Mart is not stupid.

I generally spend as much in Wal Mart, when I park there overnight, as I would pay for a campsite.

After a full day of driving the cool down walk through the store is a good time to pick up those needed items that would otherwise require a shopping stop.

The problem is coming from the newer RVers that drop their trash on the pavement as they leave in the am. That will take it's toll over time.
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Old 05-13-2018, 05:26 AM   #1049
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We travel certain routes each year so I know what Walmarts allow and are the safest, here on the east coast. I don't have time to bother to check into a campground just for sleeping. Thank You Walmart.
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Old 05-13-2018, 12:10 PM   #1050
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We have used Walmarts on occasion and never had an issue. Never tried Crackerbarrel yet. Had a good night once at a Camping World in Roanoak, Va and they even gave us electric (cold in Feb). Cabela's has worked out nice for us too. The one in Pa even has a dump station. Recently called several WM's in Savannah and was told no ( first time for that).
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Old 05-13-2018, 01:12 PM   #1051
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Some highway rest areas are designated "security rest areas" and have 24 hour security. I would put them at the top of the list. The "visitor centers" at the borders of states often are like this.

Nearly all the rest areas on Interstates in Florida are especially nice, safe, attractive. Better than an RV park for a quick overnight, though most lack dumps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmox View Post
If you find yourself in a pinch for an overnight parking spot, your choices are limited to only a few options.
Let's have some fun and rank these options by what you view to be the safest down to the least safe.
From safest to least safe, I would put it like this:
1. Big commercial truck stop
2. 24-hr Wal-Mart
3. Cracker Barrel
4. Smaller less well traveled truck stop/not 24-hr
5. Wal-Mart not 24-hr
6. Rest Area
7. Side of the road
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Old 05-14-2018, 11:10 AM   #1052
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Walmart overnight parking

Hereís my experience several years back when I toured the country solo in my truck camper for a year.

As a novice road warrior I stayed at several Walmarts and Cracker Barrels on my little adventure. The first week I had my passengers side truck window blown out at a Walmart in the Raleigh Durham area. Months later I was panhandled and robbed at a CrackerB in Chicago. The third incident occurred in Kansas at a Walmart lot with two guys pulling a gun and taking my wallet. All were reported and nothing came of them.

After the last incident I became a lot more assertive and never went anywhere without my neck-chain knife. Also I scout not only the store front and neighborhood but scrutinize its patrons and always park amongst trucks or Rvs. To boot, I carry a fanny pack with a couple dollars in it, with my primary money hidden elsewhere. I keep a mans hat on my dash and a dog leash visible if someone looks into my truck.

My heart and wallet were once open for people in need, whereas now I donít even stop to lend a hand - unless they are with a dog. Iíve become tainted and hardened in this way towards those in need, which saddens me.

All of these incidents were in metro areas and happened in the morning hours. Additionally I have a conceal carry, but stopped carrying my gun when I realized itís easier to just toss them a few bucks and part ways. Most violent assaults against women are within striking distance and the truth is a knife is a much better weapon in these instances. If anyone lays a hand on me they will get hurt. Money does not bleed.

As for surveillance Iíve learned that many Walmarts only have a portion of their cameras working at a time.

The last big change Iíve made was to try and bring my dog while solo traveling. He hates riding in my truck, which Iím currently working on.
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Old 05-14-2018, 01:13 PM   #1053
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Some highway rest areas are designated "security rest areas" and have 24 hour security. I would put them at the top of the list. ....
TxDOT rules its rest stops with an iron fist. This is a relatively recent development. Most places aren't like that. Throughout most of the northeast, I get the feeling that people would be shot on sight if they attempted to stay overnight at a rest stop. Same is true in Mississippi. But TxDOT does allow it.

There's another possibility that I'm going to investigate quite soon. My gym is a nation-wide chain. It's the big box version of gyms. I'm starting to approach competitive qualifying times in the pool for my age class (women's freestyle swim; Senior Games). It's an activity that I'd like to continue. The next time I go cross-country, I'm going to try to get permission from a gym or two along the way, to stay in their parking lot. I'm paying good money for that membership and I'd need to be there at 5 a.m. anyway to get laps in before getting back on the road, so why not just show up X hours before they open and sleep? What an ideal situation that would be. Hit the gym, then hit the highway. And surely if I ever did make it into competition, the chain would like me speaking favorably of their flexibility to my schedule (that's my wishful thinking anyway).
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Old 05-14-2018, 03:27 PM   #1054
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Tayara, just to add to your list:

In some states (Montana, Nevada) casinos allow free overnight parking in their lots if they don't have their own attached RV park. We don't gamble, but will buy a meal or gas from them. The 50,000 Silver Dollars casino on I-90 in Haugan, MT even has free electrical hookups for some overnighters.

It's not far from the US Forest Service Quartz Flat campground, which is practically right on the Interstate. Its $10 fee is half price with a senior pass for federal public lands.

For anyone on that long lonely stretch of I-70 between Green River and Salina, UT, we've often seen people overnighting just on the north side of exit 131 (Temple Mountain.)

If anyone is out our way (southeastern BC) neither of the Walmarts in Cranbrook or Nelson allow overnight camping.
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:57 AM   #1055
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The first week I had my passengers side truck window blown out at a Walmart in the Raleigh Durham area. Months later I was panhandled and robbed at a CrackerB in Chicago. The third incident occurred in Kansas at a Walmart lot with two guys pulling a gun and taking my wallet. All were reported and nothing came of them.
Wow, Joannadanna, thatís awful.

Glad you were not hurt.

And good for you for forging on.
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:44 AM   #1056
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... The first week I had my passengers side truck window blown out at a Walmart in the Raleigh Durham area. Months later I was panhandled and robbed at a CrackerB in Chicago. The third incident occurred in Kansas at a Walmart lot with two guys pulling a gun and taking my wallet. ...
I, too, have been hassled but never so far as to be held at gunpoint. It's good that you are conveying these things, though. I'm amazed at the number of people whose preference is for willful blindness on matters of personal safety.

It has been my intention to hire a concealed carry instructor to develop some self-defense scenarios for rig-related practice, but as usual, I got off-track on that effort as other projects took precedence. Maybe in the fall when our weather reverts to being cooler.
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:45 AM   #1057
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One can stay at fancy RV resorts for a long time for the cost of defending against the inevitable wrongful death lawsuit. Besides, according to Clint, “killing a man is no easy thing”.
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Old 05-15-2018, 02:03 PM   #1058
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One can stay at fancy RV resorts for a long time for the cost of defending against the inevitable wrongful death lawsuit. Besides, according to Clint, ďkilling a man is no easy thingĒ.


Clint got it right! When I was robbed I was carrying and not once did I think about reciprocating in kind. It was just easier to hand over what they wanted than some showdown over a few bucks. Now if one of them had touched me, claws would have come out. Wild thing is that I wasnít taken aback as much as the Ďpanhandler gone wrongí incident.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:45 PM   #1059
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Joanna, you’ve got me feeling totally unprepared and unobservant. What a wake up call. I’m way too trusting. I bought a 9mm and took the conceal and carry course, but I’ve no interest in actually carrying a gun. (It’s in the AS in case someone is trying to come in while we are there.)
I doubt things get any better around the world, as far as crime is concerned. I’m going to read up on situational awareness. I hadn’t heard about anyone overnighting in a WM that had problems. Now you tell me about three.
Thanks for sharing that.
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Old 05-15-2018, 03:53 PM   #1060
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Doh looks like I will be boondocking at Walmart or somewhere similar over the big holiday weekend. Waited too long to make reservations.

The two biggest campgrounds in the area are also REALLY into maximizing profits for friday thru monday. $75 per night for full hookups, supersites, $95. Ye gods, not too long ago that would cover a nice hotel room.

I am not cheap, but I also don't use a lot of "amenities" and I admit the campgrounds within 100 miles are all on wait lists... so my first want is a nearby Starbucks.

I intend to explore a bit and move daily.

Paula
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