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Old 09-14-2020, 08:01 AM   #1201
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I overnighted at a WalMart earlier this summer and was asked to leave by local pd because managers didn’t want anyone there right now due to COVID.

Without really understanding the why, I just politely left.

We won’t help ourselves any by getting into it personally or online with WalMart.

Whatever their reasoning, it is absolutely their decision.

Maggie
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Old 09-14-2020, 08:17 AM   #1202
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Walmart overnight parking

You are aware, your supposed to get permission from Walmart manager prior to parking? Local phone #s are available. Walmart’s are private property so unless you were not given permission, I don’t see the problem. Caveat, if manager didn’t know about the local ordinance, but I think that is doubtful.
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Old 09-15-2020, 01:46 AM   #1203
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I understand your point, and you're correct. That said, we always consult our Walmart ONP app. Very often there are comments from other travelers describing the current conditions at the Walmart we're considering. Quite often there's a notation regarding the local manager's response wrt onp. Planning a couple hours ahead and with all the Walmarts to choose from, we almost always select one where it's noted that the staff approves onp. We also have learned that, with exceptions, Walmarts in or near large cities are most likely to prohibit onp, so we tend to stay at those that are more remote, or located in smaller towns. All-in-all it's worked out well for us.
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:34 AM   #1204
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Good recent updates . . . thanks.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:04 AM   #1205
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I understand your point, and you're correct. That said, we always consult our Walmart ONP app. Very often there are comments from other travelers describing the current conditions at the Walmart we're considering. Quite often there's a notation regarding the local manager's response wrt onp. Planning a couple hours ahead and with all the Walmarts to choose from, we almost always select one where it's noted that the staff approves onp. We also have learned that, with exceptions, Walmarts in or near large cities are most likely to prohibit onp, so we tend to stay at those that are more remote, or located in smaller towns. All-in-all it's worked out well for us.
Ditto.

And if there is no signage prohibiting overnight parking and other RV’s are already parked...

Maggie
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:08 AM   #1206
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Ditto.



And if there is no signage prohibiting overnight parking and other RV’s are already parked...



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Old 09-15-2020, 06:11 AM   #1207
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And that’s okay.

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Old 09-15-2020, 03:49 PM   #1208
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why gamble at Walmart? go to other places like: Cracker Barrel, Cabela, or Costco? Never had any issues with Costco, hardly anyone park there.
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Old 09-15-2020, 03:55 PM   #1209
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why gamble at Walmart? go to other places like: Cracker Barrel, Cabela, or Costco? Never had any issues with Costco, hardly anyone park there.


I believe there are many more Walmart’s than Costco
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:01 PM   #1210
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We just got back from a trip to Colorado and stopped at Walmarts both directions. We didn't stop unless we saw other RVs already parked there. It was always late and we always scoped them out before parking as far away from the door as possible.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:10 PM   #1211
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We've always been campground folks, but now that we have an Interstate instead of an International, we may give some of these locations a try from time to time as an overnight stopover on a long trip. Thanks for sharing info and experiences.
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Old 09-15-2020, 06:38 PM   #1212
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I believe there are many more Walmart’s than Costco
I agree but these parking lots are not campgrounds. Just for a quick eye shut and leave quickly... a short few hours stop on way to campground.

I did stop at Costco only twice but mainly camped at campgrounds.
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Old 09-15-2020, 09:59 PM   #1213
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My experience with the Wally stay has been this: If close to highway expect truck next to you. If you find one about 2 miles off an Interstate it can be nice. Regardless watch the traffic pulling in around you to see if they are using you for drug deal covers (seen it happen a number of times). Regardless look at the light poles to make sure there are security cameras and walk your body to the customer service desk and talk to them directly. I have had some really nice stays, and some where I should have left stays..... Bottom line walk your bottom into the store and talk to someone before you stay. My now learned protocol.
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Old 09-16-2020, 03:14 AM   #1214
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Great advice . . . look them in the eyes and get their name and position.

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Old 09-16-2020, 02:21 PM   #1215
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I understand your point, and you're correct. That said, we always consult our Walmart ONP app. Very often there are comments from other travelers describing the current conditions at the Walmart we're considering. Quite often there's a notation regarding the local manager's response wrt onp. Planning a couple hours ahead and with all the Walmarts to choose from, we almost always select one where it's noted that the staff approves onp. We also have learned that, with exceptions, Walmarts in or near large cities are most likely to prohibit onp, so we tend to stay at those that are more remote, or located in smaller towns. All-in-all it's worked out well for us.
I assume the Walmart ONP app ($2.99?) is the subset app that is included in the AllStays Camping app. I recall the developer stated the subset apps like Truckstops and Dumpstations are included in the full package. Well at least on the route I have been following most of the RVer feedback on Walmarts is a year old or more. But anyway, yes, it is still good information and fact the app includes the symbol for location and phone number is already tremendously helpful.
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Old 09-18-2020, 07:26 AM   #1216
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[QUOTE=bweybright;2411013]My experience with the Wally stay has been this: If close to highway expect truck next to you. If you find one about 2 miles off an Interstate it can be nice. Regardless watch the traffic pulling in around you to see if they are using you for drug deal covers (seen it happen a number of times). Regardless look at the light poles to make sure there are security cameras and walk your body to the customer service desk and talk to them directly. I have had some really nice stays, and some where I should have left stays..... Bottom line walk your bottom into the store and talk to someone before you stay. My now learned protocol.[/b]

Absolutely!!!
Another thing is, if possible, position yourself so that your AS door faces the store's rooftop security cameras . . . just in case . .
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Old 09-19-2020, 07:51 AM   #1217
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At Customer Service ask politely if you can stay overnight and where they want you. I've also learned if you talk to a manager or assistant manager directly, instead of just the clerk at the Customer Service, she/he may volunteer some information about the safety at the particular location. One Airstreamer was told by a manager he was welcome to stay but might be more comfortable at a location two exists farther down the road. Code words for "there have been issues here."

At night there is definitely activity going on in Wal-Mart parking lots from drug deals to trysts. We've found in some locations, locals driving vehicles with loud mufflers and playing loud music, delight in doing a few circles around overnighting RV's about 2:00 am. Fortunately no-one has knocked on our door after we've gone to bed, but I've heard of it happening. Even "free" parking sometimes has a price.

We've had good overnight stays at Cracker Barrels without the activity that goes on in Wal-Mart parking lots. A Cracker Barrel manager once told us there is someone in the store overnight and that person checks the security cameras around the perimeter of the store periodically. The biggest problem we find with Cracker Barrel are people without RV's filling up the RV parking spaces and the length of the RV parking spaces being too short for our rig.

Over the past couple of years we've become increasingly concerned about safety on the road and have used "free parking" less frequently. Given rising crime rates, and civil unrest, going forward we will likely just pay the cost of a campground stay for overnights when we hit the road again. I'd rather spend $30-$40 at a campground than be the victim of a random act of violence. I've seen enough video of Wal-Marts and Targets being looted to know I don't want to be in my Airstream in the parking lot when an angry mob decides to visit.
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Old 09-19-2020, 08:26 AM   #1218
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We used Walmart’s a lot when I was working. I’d drive till after 10pm. Sleep and get going around 6. My limited vacation days were better spent in the mountains.
Now, with retirement. We’ve used a Cabelas one time. The rest of our travel stops are at Harvest Hosts. It means we stop a little earlier in the day, but that’s ok. I still see a lot of RVs in the Walmart’s, Cabelas, and CrackerBarrels. We never had any issues at Walmart lots. Sometimes we checked in, sometimes not. If it’s late enough and there’s 20 RVs there already, I think you’re probably ok.
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Old 09-19-2020, 02:03 PM   #1219
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At night there is definitely activity going on in Wal-Mart parking lots from drug deals to trysts. We've found in some locations, locals driving vehicles with loud mufflers and playing loud music, delight in doing a few circles around overnighting RV's about 2:00 am.

Over the past couple of years we've become increasingly concerned about safety on the road and have used "free parking" less frequently. Given rising crime rates, and civil unrest, going forward we will likely just pay the cost of a campground stay for overnights when we hit the road again. I'd rather spend $30-$40 at a campground than be the victim of a random act of violence. I've seen enough video of Wal-Marts and Targets being looted to know I don't want to be in my Airstream in the parking lot when an angry mob decides to visit.
I just want to say that I have never felt unsafe in a WalMart parking lot, and never witnessed any apparent criminal nor other nefarious activity in one, and I have stayed in a fair number of them all over the country by myself the past 6 1/2 years.

They all have security cameras, so drug dealing and other activities one would not want observed must be being very carefully orchestrated to avoid detection.

If I were to observe what appeared to be drug activity anywhere, I would be inclined to report it to local law enforcement.

That said, once I am in for the night the blinds are down and I’m not peeking around them to see what others may be doing.

I have also shared a somewhat removed area...like near the Garden Center...in a WM lot with a few homeless people sleeping in their cars, all of us just trying to get some sleep, and they have never bothered me, either.

Don’t be afraid of people who don’t look like you or dress like you nor live like you.

Try to make eye contact and say hello to everyone.

Most people mean you no harm, and our country overall is a very safe place.

IMHO.

Maggie
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:26 PM   #1220
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To clarify...they do not all have security cameras, contrary to your statement that they do. I have been in at least 7 in non Walmart owned centers where there were no cameras. In Virginia, Illinois, Texas, Missouri and Oklahoma. My experience is if Walmart owns the land they do have cameras, but where they rent the building there are not always cameras.

And I have had cars do the zoom around at 2 am in Virginia. I have had drug dealers pulling up behind our trailer and moving between cars to "do the deal" off site then coming back to get into their respective vehicles in Illinois. I have had someone tripped out asking if they could join us for dinner in Missouri..... None of which required me to be "peeking behind my blinds to see what others are doing"!!!!

I am very happy for you that you have never experienced any of these experiences but my advice from earlier stands. I will still do the Wally world stays when traveling but have my checks and balances in place and suggest others do what works for them.

I totally agree that by and large we are safe. Yet given the weird world we are living in today taking stock and assessing your surroundings is not a totally bad idea. Hence I will continue to use the Wally world and suggest that it can be a viable tool to travel.

Just clarifying that painting a picture of wonderland and not one of check things out and be comfortable with the situation is not doing newbies a service, based on what I have personally experienced in the Wally World over night land.
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