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Old 08-24-2003, 05:45 PM   #1
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sleeping at rest stops

Is it legal to sleep in the trailer at rest stops? (one night at a time and moving on)
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:19 PM   #2
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rest stops

In Oregon it is legal to stay 10 hours out of a 24 hour period. IE rest stop. However what may look like a nice rest stop during the day may be a location for criminal activities at night, be on guard. There are some real shady characters that hang out in rest stops.
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:46 PM   #3
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We've done it in a pinch but try to avoid them for overnights if possible. I have used them for naps when on longer trips. I'd rather find a truck stop (Flying J) or 24 hour Wal Mart with security cameras if possible. I typically drive later than most RVers so we look for a grouping of campers already there and park alongside. If figure if something were to happen we could help each other.
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:59 PM   #4
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WalMarts are always a good option ... if you see the security guard say Hi and let him know what your doing. He'll most likley pay a little extra attention to your rig.
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:14 PM   #5
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Walmart Parking

Can anyone stop over at a Walmart, or do you need to be a member of some kind. Also, besides speaking to the Security Guard, do you need to speak to the Manager? Thanks Al
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:24 PM   #6
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I believe anyone can pull up for the night at a Wal-Mart.

I read someplace that there are 3.000+ Wal-Mats in the US.

This idea wa started by Sam Walton I've been told.

Whereever you park ... learn to be "Streetwise".
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:25 PM   #7
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I read where Wal Mart Hqts does not object to overnightrs and leaves it up to the store manager to allow campers to park.

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Old 08-24-2003, 07:36 PM   #8
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rest stops

When i bought my MH, I drove it from Washington State to California. I got tired at about midnight so i started to look for rest stops. Most that I passed were full (all the parking lanes were used) by truckers and MH's. I finally found one with one lane open, and I parked there between two big rigs. I felt very safe. In the morning I saw another A/S MH parked too. I think that if you need to sleep, rest stops are great if there are others there too. I would not stay where i would be the only one.
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:39 PM   #9
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Normally, WalMart does not object to overnight parking, but depending on the location, it maybe against their city ordinance.
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Old 08-24-2003, 07:40 PM   #10
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I've stayed, periodically, in rest stops, Walmart parking lots and various other similar places. I have yet to have an actual safety problem, but I'm always aware of the possibility and keep alert for potential problems.

Last week, while travelling across the country, my wife and I stayed one night in a South Dakota rest stop on Interstate 90. The rest stop signs in SD all say that overnight camping is prohibited, but other RVers spend nights in these rest stops, and I've never been asked to leave one during the middle of the night.

The bigger problem I've had in rest stops is trying to find a place to park away from those 18-wheelers who invariably leave their engines running and smoke belching all night -- so getting a good night's sleep there is rather unusual.

Two weeks ago we also stayed one night in a Walmart parking lot. I know it is Walmart's corporate policy to allow overnight stays, but some individual store managers migh forbid it - so it would probably pay to ask if there's any doubts.

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Old 08-24-2003, 07:53 PM   #11
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No overnighting Walmarts

This is from last year so there are probably additions.

Dothan (W.M. SuperCenter on US 231 South, about a mile South Of Ross Clark)
Fort Payne (Signs posted)
Gadsden (No signs posted, but guard will tell you to leave)
Jasper (Stopped allowing overnight stays because of vandalism and liability concerns)
Apache Junction
Bullhead City (camp for free in a casino parking lot across river in Laughlin, Nev.)
Casa Grande (No parking anywhere in city limits except in campgrounds)
Flagstaff (No overnight parking or Wal-Mart or any city shopping center)
Kingman (RVer was kicked out at 3 a.m., escorted away by city police)
Lake Havasu City (no parking anywhere in town but RV parks. You could get a severe fine if you stay at the Wal-Mart)
Mesa (6131 E. Southern)
Phoenix (store at/near Dysart Rd)
Scottsdale (signed posted in March, 2002)
Show Low (signs posted)
Sierra Vista
Tucson (Super Center at 7635 N La Cholla Blvd. -- Foothills Mall Location)
Tucson (7100 E. Speedway at Kolb Rd)
Yuma (Cops will chase you out)
Arkadelphia (Overnighting okay, but watch for height barriers to prevent big rig truck entry)
Hot Springs (signs posted)
Arroyo Grande
Cathedral City (City ordinace bans stays, but RVers have been seen staying anyway.)
Corona (on Ontario Street, city ordinance)
Crescent City
El Cajon (store on Los Coches Road. Signs posted and enforced)
Huntington Beach (new store, Dec. 2001. No parking due to city ordinance)
La Quinta (police may show up at 3 a.m. to kick you out)
Livermore (We have conflicting reports on this store. RVers have been observed staying.)
Oceanside (the store at Jefferson Street Exit)
Pleasanton (city ordinance)
Rohnert Park
San Clemente (no overnight parking anywhere in the city)
San Dimas (off I-210 freeway)
Santa Clarita/Valencia (one RVer woke up to a warning ticket on his windshield)
Santee (don't try to boondock anywhere in town)
San Leandro (on the Davis Street Exit from I-880)
Vallejo (ask the greeter about staying in an old truck parking lot a few blocks away)
Union City (some RVers have stayed. What is your experience here?)
Valencia/Santa Clarita (try the Camping World 100 yards away. RVers stay there)
Vista (University Dr. store. Security guard will bang on your door at night to kick you out)
Colorado Springs (at Platte & Chelton. Signs posted in April 2002)
Durango (okay for one night but city ordinance prohibits additional nights)
Fort Collins (store on north end of town does't allow stays, south store does)
Frisco (city ordinance)
Gunnison (signs posted)
Wheatridge (suburb of Denver at 32nd and Youngfield. Police may kick you out)
Avon (try the store in Torrington, 10 miles away)

Bradenton (signs posted)
Daytona Beach (1101 Beville Rd.)
Destin (but RVers have been staying there. anyway)
Florida City (the city owns a campground, doesn't want competition)
Ft. Myers (store just south of airport on 41S has no parking signs
Haines City (a local resident reported in June, '02 that RVers have been staying anyway)
Homestead (RVers have been kicked out)
Kissimmee (4444 W. Vine. City ordinance)
Live Oak (U.S. Hwy 129 at I-10. RVers have been staying)
Merritt Island (on State Road 520)
Mt. Dora
Naples (there are two stores here.The store off Highway 41 East bans stays. We're not sure about the other store)
New Smyrna Beach (just off I-95)
Oldsmar (see Tampa)
Ormond Beach (1521 W. Granada)
Palm Coast
Pinellas Park (local ordinance)
Port Charlotte (RVs have been staying anyway)
Port Orange (just off I-95)
Port Richey (signs posted)
Port St. Lucie (signs posted)
Punta Gorda (3811 Tamiami Trail)
Sarasota (store on Cattleman Road)
Sebring (On U.S. Hwy. 27 between Sebring and Avon Park)
St Cloud (city ordinance)
St. Augustine (2355 U.S. Hwy. 1 South)
St. Petersburg
Tampa: 3 stores:
Store along I-275 at exits 23A & B at 1505 N. Dale Mabry Hwy
Store at 7011 Waters Ave West
Oldsmar store at 3801 Tampa Road
Titusville (city ordinance. However, we have been told (Jan., 2002) that the store allows overnight stays if an RVer asks first)

Commerce (No overnight parking signs were on order in mid Oct. 2001))
Elmhurst (no signs posted, but an RVer who asked to say was told he couldn't)
Geneseo (signs posted)
Ames (city ordinance)
Decorah (city ordinance)
Berea (the parking lot is too small, the management claims)
Bunkie (Signs posted.)
Farmerville (Signs posted)
Bangor (signs posted, but ask to stay and you might be allowed)
Ellsworth (but RVers have been staying there despite no parking signs)
Berlin (the store on U.S. 50. Signs posted)
Plymouth (City ordinance)
Wareham (signs posted)
Auburn Hills
Traverse City
Bloomington (and don't try the Mall of America parking lot. You'll get the boot)
Chillicothe (signs posted)
St. Louis area (if you stay, you will likely get booted out by midnight)
Town and Country - Manchester Rd (Mo. Hwy 100)
Kirkwood - Lindbergh Blvd and I-44
Eureka - I-44 at Six Flags St. Louis
Missoula (RVers have been observed staying anyway)
Carson City (security guard knocked on door 5 minutes after arrival to tell RVer he couldn't stay. The Carson City Nugget casino welcomes RVers in designated overnight parking lot. Stay there.)
Elko (signs posted, but RVers have beeen staying. Ask at store if it's okay)
Henderson (No overnight stays in RVs permitted anywhere in town but in a RV park)
Las Vegas (we do not believe any of the Las Vegas stores allow overnight stays)
Reno (Northtowne Lane store.Try the Peppermill casino or the Nugget casino in nearby Sparks)

New Hampshire
Tilton ("No parking signs" apply to trucks. Ask manager if you wish to stay in an RV. Probably ok)
New York
North Carolina
High Point
Mentor (signs inside store say "No overnight parking")
Ada (signs posted)
Claremore (signs posted)
Shawnee (but okay to stay in a lot just east of the store)
Coos Bay/North Bend (try the casino north of Coos Bay. See our Oregon listings)
Hood River
La Grande
Lincoln City (don't try any freebie parking anywhere in town)
Portland (4200 SE 82nd Avenue)
Ephrata (No parking signs posted, but ask manager and it may be okay)
Indiana (signs posted)
York (the store does not own the parking lot property)
South Carolina
Myrtle Beach (try the Big K just a few blocks away)
North Myrtle Beach (signs posted)
Surfside (south of Myrtle Beach). Signed posted
Chattanooga (5764 Highway 153 location and the store at 2020 Gunbarrel Rd)
Johnson City
Pulaski (a big sign says "No Overnight Parking")

Bedford (Fort Worth area)
Galveston (police will kick you out if you try to stay ó city ordinance)
Victoria (signs posted, but RVers have been staying with no problems)
Logan (but you might be allowed to stay at the nearby Kmart. Ask first)
Park City (signs posted)
St George (sign posted, but ask and you might be able to stay)
Vernal (City ordinance. Signs posted and enforced)
Washington (city ordinance. Signs posted)
Rutland (Signs say "3 hour parking" limit)
Charlottesville (store on Hwy 29. Tow away signs are posted)
Leesburg (city ordinance)
Luray (signs posted)
Mechanicsville (store at 7430 Bell Creek Rd. "No Overnight Parking" posted)
Wytheville (off I-81. No parking signs posted)
Kennewick (RVers have been observed staying anyway)
West Virginia
Cheyenne (but RVers have been staying anyway. Police may knock to kick you out)
Rock Springs (but a Flying J Truck Stop along I-80 just east of town allows free stays. RVers have been reporting in June, 2002 that RVers have been staying at the Wal-Mart with no problems. So ask if you want to stay to be sure.)
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Old 08-24-2003, 10:00 PM   #12
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Good list to keep in the atlas. Is there an official site for this? The few Wal-Marts that I've been to that do not allow overnighters are very clearly marked with signs on the light poles.

We're to the point where we can look at the town we're driving through from the interstate and almost "feel" that a Wal-Mart is close by! This is a very generous policy of Wal-Martís and one "privilege" than I for one feel is smart business on their part. We always try to be good guests by visiting the store in the morning if possible as a thank you for the stay. Super Wal-Marts make this even easier since we can pick up groceries too. (I bought our first DVD player and DVD during a Wal-Mart stay, installed it in the RV and watched in that night!)

I've read about a few RVers who have abused this policy and keep their rig in a parking lot for an extended stay. We always try to make our visits a late night arrival, early morning departure; only while en route kind of thing. I'd rather be a good guest and buy a few things I needed anyway and be on our way, so that store manager keeps his/her welcome mat out than overstay our welcome, abuse the policy and ruin it for everyone else.

If we do end up in a rest stop then we also try to nuzzle our way in between two trucks. (I actually like the sound of idling diesels to fall asleep by - but thatís me). I absolutely avoid parking in a parallel spot in case the truck in front of me changes during the night and boxes me in.

Basically whenever we're boondocking we try to blend in, be inconspicuous and get back on the road will very little fuss.
Steven Webster
1986 Airstream 345 Classic Motorhome
AIR 1760
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Old 08-24-2003, 10:17 PM   #13
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I know that both the Laramie, WY and the Rapid city, SD. allow camping. I think that the location has a lot to do with camping. With both the above they are close to the highway. while the Cheyenne is kinda off the beaten path.

I have seen people staying in parking areas that are popular out this way.

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Old 08-25-2003, 07:04 AM   #14
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Steve Webster

I originally got the list off a Yahoo forum "Free campgrounds of the west". There is another, free campgrounds of the east, and I can't get into either now, and can't even find the west one when I search Yahoo groups. Maybe someone else will have better luck.

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Old 08-25-2003, 08:03 AM   #15
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74, the only store in Ohio, Mentor, is real close to me. I have observed up to 3 RV's in that lot, as well as tractor trailer rigs spending the night there. They may be run out of there at midnight for all I know.

Someone posted a file for Delorme Street Atlas 2003, that puts ALL the Wal-Marts in the US in the program. I could not get it to work in mine. Anyone know anything about this?
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Old 08-25-2003, 12:36 PM   #16
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Idling diesels

I was parked between two idling diesels one night with a window cracked and the Fantastic fan on low when my propane alarm went off near morning, presumably from the diesel fumes which were quite strong in the trailer. That pretty much concluded my sleep for the night, so I moved on about 5am.
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Old 08-25-2003, 04:02 PM   #17
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Smile City/Town campgrounds!

I've come across a number of communities that have a free/low cost campground. They're usally near the center of town hoping that you just may spend some money, ie breakfast.

I've stayed overnight in a couple of them and I have found them clean and safe. I do dig while traveling staying in the center of town, a very cool experience!!!

This is another reason why I enjoy traveling on the back roads/non-interstate hwys of America. You truly see America and it's back bone!!

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Old 08-25-2003, 06:22 PM   #18
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Wal-Marts in NH

Well, I can add to the list above this info, current as of last week:

Portsmouth, NH: no overnight parking due to local ordinance
Seebrook, NH: parking lot posted "No Overnight Camping -- Violators Will Be Prosecuted"
Littleton, NH: no problem!
Manchester, NH: no problem!

-- RL
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Old 08-25-2003, 07:03 PM   #19
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There are county operated campgrounds in many California Counties. Some of them are very safe and nice, usually developed sites, no full hookups but free dumpstation once you've paid your 10or so bucks per night.
We have used several of the ones in our county and always had a good time there.
For you back road fans, if you plan your trip, check out the counties you will be travelling through and check their websites. You just might find a few jewels out there that will make your trip very pleasant indeed.
I don't care for teh rest stops that much, the Diesel and all night freeway noise keepme from getting good rest. I would rather pay a few bucks and sleep soundly.
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Old 08-25-2003, 08:57 PM   #20
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On my last trip east, I left home at 7:30 at night so I could pass through Houston with no traffic. It worked quite well and I arrived at Orange, TX in the wee small hours.

I pulled into an empty RV space at the Flying J in Orange. I expected the bright lights and the loudspeaker to go all night "Shower number 999 is now ready. Shower number 999 is now ready."; that doesn't bother me when I am that tired. What I didn't expect was the construction on the adjacent overpass. There was a row of steel plates covering a ditch across the road and they clanked every time an 18-wheeler rolled past; in other words, about every 30 seconds. I sure didn't get much sleep that night.

Flying Js are my favorite non-Rv park stopping place. On my trip to the Homecoming, I expect to stop overnight at 4 or more Flying s.
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