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  #1  
Old 01-17-2019, 04:17 PM
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Default WalMart

Anyone ever park/camp in a WalMart parling lot for an overnight en route to your destination? Good experience (well as good as it could be, anyway)? Horror stories? Thanks!
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Old 01-17-2019, 07:26 PM
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We have spent one night in a Walmart parking lot when traveling from Western MA to AZ just after Christmas. No RV parks are open between our home and TN making it necessary to either spend one night in a Walmart parking lot or in a hotel for the night. The Walmart we would stay at is located in Maryland. For the most part it was a good stay. There are several other campers there, parked at the end of the lot away from where most shoppers park. There are a few drawbacks though; it is often too cold to spend a comfortable night; I like to call them "Walmart Zoom-Zoom cars" that speed around the parking lot with their high pitched exhausts all hours of the night; and there is the street sweeper cleaning the parking lot making sure to get as close to us as possible - at 2 and 3 AM. The last few years we have opted for a hotel room and that is by far more restful. We have not stopped at any other Walmart parking lots and one shouldn't assume other stores would have similar overnight issues.

Dick
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Old 01-17-2019, 10:05 PM
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Did back in 1991 or 1992. I will never do it again. Too much light from the parking lot lights. Cars/trucks coming and going all night. We got almost no sleep.
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Old 01-18-2019, 09:35 AM
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on our 9500 mile trip last summer, we stayed in 3-4 Walmart lots and once at planet fitness. Not a single problem anywhere and the states were TX, AL. IL.
we even stayed in a shipping canal of the army corps of engineers in WI.
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Old 01-19-2019, 04:21 PM
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a walmart parking lot is no fun. They are noisy, toomuch light.

I learned on our trip to LA that if call a campsite that you think you can make, you can usually reserve a spot for the night.

another option, but this usually requires 24 h notice, is harvesthosts. You can now stay at golf courses.

The Park Advisor android app is very useful. We managed to stay in some very nice campsites with little or no notice. A data plan and smartphone is very helpful.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:44 AM
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I would definitely check for permission first though.

The local Walmart here in Perry, GA is right off of I-75 and there have always been big rigs and RVs parked in the distant areas from the store. Then someone, either Walmart or the owners of the shopping center, suddenly hired some out of town contractor to monitor the lot and put boots on vehicles they deemed parked too long. They even booted a couple big rigs while the driver was inside the store and had no intention of staying overnight. There was a big uproar and I don't know if it ever got resolved or if the contractor was following the law or what. But I still see trucks parked out there.
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Old 12-17-2019, 10:57 PM
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Not a Walmart but we did stay in a Cracker Barrel last weekend for one night. It was a very noisy location right off the highway with a couple of bridges and a train adding to the noise level. But we were all really tired. We fired up the furnace and after I was sure it was cycling on and off properly, went to sleep. This was our first time boondocking and using the furnace (besides testing it) and it worked great for one night using the battery.

Lots of noise, some streetlights and all that but... No problems. And it was great to get up, get some food and hit the road early as it wasn't comfortable sleeping in.

Apparently, Cracker Barrel has a printed guide with all the locations that allow overnight stops. We forgot to ask for a copy. I think we found the one we stayed at on Campendium (website, free).
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Old 12-18-2019, 01:45 PM
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As for light, I have since purchased those vent covers that you can stick on the inside. We also made blackout blinds for the windows which helps a lot.

Be aware that there are many Walmarts that do not allow overnight campers anymore, although they will allow the odd exception.
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Old 12-18-2019, 11:31 PM
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On our last trip I stayed at cabelas just a few miles into GA right off of I-75. It was a sunday night. We hit the road around 5:30 am so we could get through Atlanta before the morning traffic. We made it to the south side of the city before 7:00 am.

Very nice stay, they had an area set aside for RV's on the darker side of the building. Also they had a dump station that you could use and pay for using it with a credit card.

Unlike my walmart experience, cabelas I would do again
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Old 03-16-2020, 11:51 PM
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Stayed only once in a Walmart in Ontario, Canada - near Huntsville. It was unplanned - we had just bought our Trailmanor a few days before and needed to get on the road back to the west coast as we had a deadline. Last minute things to get ready needless to say we left later in the day than we wanted to - couldn't find a campground - kept driving, now dark, feeling a bit desperate - found a Walmart. I was surprised at the number of rigs there. Was also feeling a little unsure about the 'etiquette' since we had to 'unfold' and I had heard putting out 'slides' was frowned on. However we set up and didn't unhitch - Agree about too much light. Relatively small town expected it to be quiet and it was quiet until about 4-5 am - that's when the big transport trucks came in to unload and they seemed to get a charge out of driving as close as possible to where overnighters were parked and making as much noise as they could. Would only stay in a Walmart again if there was no choice.
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