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Old 08-19-2016, 07:30 PM   #841
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There's a free app called "RV Overnight Parking OK". It includes Walmart, Pilot, Flying J, rest Stops, etc.
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Old 08-19-2016, 09:04 PM   #842
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Here's a great yahoo group for over night parking (ONP) especially at Wal-Mart. All you ever wanted to know and more.
https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/walmartrving/info
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Old 08-20-2016, 07:06 AM   #843
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App and website ONS and camp site reviews

There's an smart phone app for that!...
Allstays ONP Walmart and
Allstays Camp and RV (also lists overnight stays)
They rely on participant reviews. We use it all the time.

https://www.campendium.com/ is a super site for finding over night parking and campsites with reviews.

We also always call the manager at the Walmart we plan to stay at, to ask permission and where they would like us to park. I feel safer parked with the big truckers even though their motors are loud when they start up early in the morning. We always go inside to buy something (ice cream!) if they're open.
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Old 08-20-2016, 08:15 AM   #844
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I wonder if the op asked if they could camp there. Camping is a lot different than parking for the night!
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Old 08-20-2016, 09:53 AM   #845
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Originally Posted by richw46 View Post
Target's stores are in middle class neighborhoods while Wal-Mart is in lower class.
We have a Wal-Mart just a few blocks from the house. And all this time I thought I was just regular middle class. Had no idea. [hangs head low and kicks rocks]
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Old 08-20-2016, 10:08 AM   #846
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We have a Wal-Mart just a few blocks from the house. And all this time I thought I was just regular middle class. Had no idea. [hangs head low and kicks rocks]
Yeah, me too. There are 2 of them close to me. I guess that came out the wrong way.
I meant that the Wal-Marts that seem to have the problems are not in the better neighborhoods. Then again, the one closest to me had an incident a couple of weeks ago. 4 people in body armor carrying AR-15 style rifles were gathered in a Wal-Mart parking lot at 2 AM, about 2 miles from me. Store manager got nervous and called the police. Turned out to be doomsday preppers picking up supplies. They weren't breaking any laws so the police left after checking them out.
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Old 08-23-2016, 03:30 PM   #847
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Grand Jct. Walmart have signs that overnight parking is prohibited by city ordinance. Given the politics of GJ, I assume CG owners lobbied for that because they don't like competition. Nevertheless, I have seen RV's parked there in the evening or morning.

The local arrest column in the daily paper often lists thefts at Walmart (sure seems to be according to the addresses when the store isn't identified; grocery stores also get hit a lot). Most of it is petty theft and the kind of things desperate and perhaps hungry people do. I doubt they are interested in RV's. Since the tow vehicles are usually parked far from the store, and well lit, I doubt even dumb thieves would expose themselves by a smash and grab at the tow vehicle.

Since Walmart is a frequent target of petty thieves, security there is pretty good. If you look at the top of a Walmart, there are many cameras on the roof watching the parking lot. Inside they are everywhere. I expect thieves are customers who know the store well and thus feel safe stealing there, but maybe they would do better at more upscale stores with less security. This would require thinking things through. The grocery store they pick on the most in GJ (a Kroger chain store, City Market) also has the most security of all its stores in GJ.

We've never stopped at a Walmart, Flying J or other free spot. It seems to me those places are for people who drive late and leave early. Sometimes we drive late, but never leave early. Flying J would probably be the safest because there's plenty of activity all night, but also noise. I don't feature trying to sleep next to a refrigerator truck. As for Cracker Barrel, their breakfasts give me indigestion because they are soaked in grease. Some of the lots also look pretty small and better for an Interstate or Bambi.

Rest areas vary by state and there is surely a list of which states allow overnight parking if you Google it. Some have guards which is encouraging. Some are in urban areas where you may be less safe and some are very isolated which also could be a problem. And they also have refrigerator trucks sometimes.

I understand the appeal of free overnights and if it were up to me, I might stop at them sometimes. Like many things, I do not make those decisions. Since I have noticed CG rates have reached around $40 per night after years around $35, there may be more demand for free spots this year.

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Old 08-24-2016, 06:46 AM   #848
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Exactly WHERE is this free "RV Overnight Parking OK" App? I don't see it on iOS (Apple's Store) or in the Google Play Store. A Google Search of EXACTLY that name doesn't turn it up either.
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:04 AM   #849
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Exactly WHERE is this free "RV Overnight Parking OK" App? I don't see it on iOS (Apple's Store) or in the Google Play Store. A Google Search of EXACTLY that name doesn't turn it up either.
Maybe this one?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/d...definder&hl=en
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Old 08-24-2016, 07:16 AM   #850
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It's a nice story, but I think you are overestimating the influence of campground owners. Sure, in some areas, they're kind of the only game in town and form the town's economic engine (e.g., Eagle Nest). In others, they're a flea on the backside of the community (e.g., Angel Fire, Taos, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, etc.).

For GJ in particular, I suspect the campground owners fall well to the end of the flea-on-the-backside spectrum. Given the location of GJ on the main EW route in that part of the country (I70), my suspicion is that it has to do with truckers making WM parking lots into truck stops for the night.


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Grand Jct. Walmart have signs that overnight parking is prohibited by city ordinance. Given the politics of GJ, I assume CG owners lobbied for that because they don't like competition. Nevertheless, I have seen RV's parked there in the evening or morning. ...
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:53 AM   #851
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Lynn,

I think you underestimate the political influence of business owners and the local Chamber. The prevailing philosophy is that the government should never do anything that restricts business or permits more competition with local businesses. Free overnight parking seems to fall into that mindset.

The county built RV sites at the fairgrounds, but only allows people to use them during fairground events. Otherwise they are not open to the public because that would interfere with local business. There are only 3 commercial CG's in and near GJ. The KOA is almost next to the fairgrounds and is pretty much full all year. A lot of the customers look to be long term and it is not an attractive place. On the other side of GJ is an average campground in a light industrial area. I've never seen the 3rd CG. I would think a county of 150,000 on an interstate and another major highway (US 50) with a national monument and plenty of other recreational opportunities could support more than 3 CG's with or without Walmart parking or fairgrounds RV sites (many towns and counties in the midwest allow people to use RV sites at fairgrounds all year and some have free standing CG's at bargain prices to attract tourists). The monument has a CG and lately it has been pretty full.

Local ordinances have been changed here because one small business owner complained about something. No facts need to be cited because the politicians bend over backwards. Since there are not a lot of desirable sites here, I suspect many travelers just keep going and local business suffers because of lost opportunities.

I haven't seen you in a long time. I hope you and Maria and doing well.

Gene
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Old 08-24-2016, 11:35 AM   #852
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It could well be different in your community. Here we'd get laughed at if we were to complain about "free" parking. Not that we would complain anyway. People who want to park for free are free to do so and will, in our view. Indeed, we've had folks who came in here to ask where they can park for free, and we explain to them where it's possible to do so and give or draw them a map. You can't FORCE people to pay for something that they don't want, and most certainly not when they have options that they can avail themselves of.


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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Lynn,

I think you underestimate the political influence of business owners and the local Chamber. The prevailing philosophy is that the government should never do anything that restricts business or permits more competition with local businesses. Free overnight parking seems to fall into that mindset.

The county built RV sites at the fairgrounds, but only allows people to use them during fairground events. Otherwise they are not open to the public because that would interfere with local business. There are only 3 commercial CG's in and near GJ. The KOA is almost next to the fairgrounds and is pretty much full all year. A lot of the customers look to be long term and it is not an attractive place. On the other side of GJ is an average campground in a light industrial area. I've never seen the 3rd CG. I would think a county of 150,000 on an interstate and another major highway (US 50) with a national monument and plenty of other recreational opportunities could support more than 3 CG's with or without Walmart parking or fairgrounds RV sites (many towns and counties in the midwest allow people to use RV sites at fairgrounds all year and some have free standing CG's at bargain prices to attract tourists). The monument has a CG and lately it has been pretty full.

Local ordinances have been changed here because one small business owner complained about something. No facts need to be cited because the politicians bend over backwards. Since there are not a lot of desirable sites here, I suspect many travelers just keep going and local business suffers because of lost opportunities.

I haven't seen you in a long time. I hope you and Maria and doing well.

Gene
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Old 08-24-2016, 12:46 PM   #853
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OK...so a person misjudges their travel-plans and find themselves sleep-deprived and needing a couple hours rest in order to continue the trip safely. I can see how that might occur.
But I'm having a difficult time understanding those who expect and actually trip-plan-for a free camping space on business property in their $50K Airstream and $40K TV.
Are these the same people who denounce poor people on "welfare"?
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:30 PM   #854
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Folks are going to do what they want to do. Assuming that they're regular vacationers (and not economic refugees), price of rig has little to do with it, at least in our experience.

What I do feel sad about is those economic refugees that you see living in their busted-up RVs at Walmart, etc. Personally, I would not mind paying more local tax if the community would set up a park of sorts specifically for these folks. It's part of our American credo:

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


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OK...so a person misjudges their travel-plans and find themselves sleep-deprived and needing a couple hours rest in order to continue the trip safely. I can see how that might occur.
But I'm having a difficult time understanding those who expect and actually trip-plan-for a free camping space on business property in their $50K Airstream and $40K TV.
Are these the same people who denounce poor people on "welfare"?
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