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Friday, September 20, 2013
The ABCs of RV camping at Wal-Mart
RVtravel.com editor Chuck Woodbury explains the "unofficial rules" for spending the night in an RV in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The price is right: free. But there is a right way and wrong way to do it. Learn the right way here.
No slideouts?? What if your rig, and in my case a travel trailer, allows no bedroom, bathroom or kitchen access unless they are out???? I'm kind of desparate for an answer, and as yet have never received an answer to two e-mails on the subject I've forwarded to Chuck. Can anyone help me?? Thank You !! firstname.lastname@example.orgReplyDelete
Ignore the 'no slideouts' comment--just be smart about where you park. Also depends on just how busy the WM is. We try to find a curb area where there are no vehicles parked and place the door against the curb. The parking slot is deep enough if against the curb to put slides out on both sides, and you won't be in anyones path. You may run into problems as WM employees also park out of the general mainstream of traffic. Take a look at other RVs that may be parked already. But nothing wrong with slides being out--we do it all the time being sure we can't cause any traffic to detour around us.Delete
Do what you need to do. The idea is to be as low profile as possible depending on your own situation.Delete
Then stay elsewhere or don't use the bathroom, kitchen or bedroom.Delete
They do not want people setting up a campsite. At the first of the video he says no popups or tents. Basically, your camper should remain in the same condition as it is while traveling down the road. That being said, one of the rules is to ask for permission to stay. I would simply ask the manager about the slideouts while asking for permission to stay.Delete
I guess you go to an RV park or seek out the many other free and low cost parking sites where it is acceptable to "camp". We belong to the Free Overnight RV parking website which has been very helpful when no WalMart/truck stop is available or off limits.Delete
I would like to know where the "no slide" out rule came from. Probably from someone with no slideouts (like Chuck). we always put our slideouts out and have never had a problemDelete
We are full timers and stay in Wal Mart parking lots at least 2-3 times per month (in various Wal Marts along our route.)ReplyDelete
Our kitchen and bath are accessible with the slides in but our bedroom is not. We extend our slide out enough in order to access our bed. We have NEVER had an issue and have never been asked to leave or pull in our slides. We do call ahead to confirm that we can stay there, only stay 1 noc, and always obey the other rules sited in the video. Staying at a WalMart is a great way to offset higher than normal RV park cost.
I have found that it is best to ask the store management what they allow. We stay mostly in Sam's Club parking lots with Walmart being the second most popular choice. We have been invited by SC managers to spend a week in their parking lot in order to attend a local celebration (turned down due to time restraints). Told we can cook on our gas grill. And no store manager has ever told us we couldn't sit outside in our folding chairs. We like to watch the bats chase bugs around the parking lot lights. Also deters crime as potential theives see the RV is occupied. We always ask where to park and it is usually suggested we park at an edge with any slideouts hanging over a protected area. We don't have slideouts. We also ask if running a generator all night is okay. So far, have not been told no. Although in New Bruffels we were told to park on the highway side of the lot if we planned to run the generator. That was also the only lot we had to call the store about drunks fighting in the lot. Lesson learned... next time I call 911 instead of Walmart. Sam's has lot security that patrols. Much safer there.ReplyDelete
I too need to put my slides out as otherwise I have no access to the fridge to put the food I buy from Wal Mart nor do I have access to the bedroom. I park, when possible, way off to the side of the parking lot so one side of my rv is next to a grass or gravel area so my slides on one side go out over an area not used for vehicle/customer parking and have never had a problem. Wal Mart people have always been great.ReplyDelete
We've parked our 5th wheel along the outside edge of the Walmart lots and pushed out our driver-side slideouts with no problem or complaints from the staff.ReplyDelete
As 4 year fulltimers we have stayed in many Walmarts all over the North American continent and opening the slides on our 34ft fifth wheel is definitely acceptable. We try not to stay more than one night and putting out chairs or grills or working on the RV are not acceptable. You also should not unhook from a fifth wheel or trailer to run around town. We've done it a couple of times when we had to go somewhere in that town that we couldn't fit into with the rig hooked up, but we asked permission from the Walmart store. The Rand Mcnally GPS has a list of all Walmarts with phone numbers and whether they allow overnighting or not. We have found this feature invaluable. Most all Walmarts will ask you to park well away from the heavily used customer parking areas which usually means out around the perimeters. Another good area in some stores is a parking row allong the side of the store, but park on the other side of the drive, not right along side the building. Fire regulations require open space around the building walls or frenced garden dept, areas for fire truck access. Maybe the most important point that is rarely mentioned is to spend some money at the store. We use Walmarts allmost exclusively for our shopping because most towns have one and the product selection is usually the same from store to store. We probably average $5-6,000 per year. If you don't patronize the stores, Walmart will eventually catch on and change their policy. It's strictly a business decision on their part. As long as we're a good customer base for them, they will welcome us.ReplyDelete
I live in Iowa and this is getting to be a problem, do not take the advice to ignore the slideout requirement - this is an ignorant statement, you have proven you are camping. They are starting to use the definition, you can start the vehicle and directly drive away, and not levelers. So really they are saying use common sense, which I know is hard, especially in this time period.Delete
I would never put a slide out anywhere it can be exposed to traffic. One slight bump from a vehicle and you are not going anywhere except repair shop.ReplyDelete