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Well I see it is gradually happening. The so called slobs that ruin it for others are slowly bringing to fruition "you reap what you sow".

Reading the past few issues of FMCA magazine I see more and more towns are passing ordinances stopping overnight parking at Walmarts and other private business entities. People who stop, put their slides out, their jacks down, and set around in their lawn chairs and dump their trash are creating a misconception of what the RV life style is all about. If we allow this to go on, the RV indusdtry will be legislated out of existence. Don't say it can't happen because it slowly is.....Do everyone who pilots a RV a favor and speak to those you see violating these common sense etiquette rules.

John Blue

We see this same story all over the USA. FMCA has been on this subject for years now but people are people and will do as they wish. We see the signs up now in some cities that you have couple hours to park and shop. I understand in Alaska you have RV people that spent the hold summers in someones parking lot. We saw this in number of small towns on tour in Alaska. Boy, that would be a lot of fun.

I can tell you we have never spent a night yet in a Wal-Mart lot and never will if the motorhome will move. We do pick up supplies and then drive off. We have used rest stops and Flying-J to stop if the weather is bad like heavy rain or snow on roads. We only travel 250 to 300 miles per day and them stop for the night, we plan in our time. I do not think this problem will go a way.
Cheryl Fuller
We have never spent the night in a WalMart either. In fact, we have only spent one night, not in an rv park. We were out in the middle of nowhere really, and it was 10:00 at night and Greg was getting really tired. He had planned to make it to the next big town, but did not think he could, so we did stop at a truck stop and slept for about 6 hrs. or so. Reading this thread made me think that even though this type of people probably really do not care what others think, I am going to type up something about the effect their lack of responsible rv'ing is having on the industry and those of us who do not take advantage of the courtesy of businesses. I am going to make lots of copies and keep them in both the motorhome and my car. When I see someone making themselves right at home in a WalMart or other business parking lot, I am going to put one on their windshield.
It obviously happens but I have never seen abuse around our home Walmart's. We have spent the night twice at same Walmart in Winston-Salem. Mgr very nice. You had Walmart, theater, bowling alley and restaurants all within walking distance. Our teens stayed occupied for two days while we visited family in treatment center near the Walmart. Took him out for a walk, out to eat and sat and visited in MH 5 minutes from center. No campgrounds anywhere near close enough to accommodate the situation. Mgr told me they had not experienced any problems and welcomed us. People are people and if slobs... doubt they care what we think. If certain places have a problem Walmart SHOULD stop the parking.

jmo: You make a good point. In over thirty years of RV'ing, we've stayed at a Wal-Mart twice, both times because we had no other choice but to keep driving in a bad situation. I have observed where people will stop just overnight, and then keep on going, because there are no other campgrounds nearby, or because some jerk wants campground owner $40 just to park overnight. I have no problem with this. I do agree, however, that, if somebody stays more than one or two nights maximum, Wal-Mart should post a notice on their windshield to move on--the parking lot is not a campground. Just like people who don't pick up after their dogs, or are noisy, or who throw trash around a campground, there are always folks who abuse anything and these people will eventually screw it up for the rest of us.
wandering palms
We saw an RVer at a Florida Walmarts that had got his ladder out and climbed up one of the parking lot light post about 15 feet to plug into the outlet that they use for their Christmas decorations, had his slide out, table,grill chairs and dog cage.
Wandering Palms: I wish you had called the cops. In Florida, we have a law called "Theft of Services." I can assure you that the court costs, fine, legal costs, and possibly jail time would have been far more than had he (or she) paid to stay at a regular campground.
At a Walmart store north from us, south of Lake George New York, a large tourist-vacationer area, the local government chose to pass legislation prohibiting Rv parking in the parking lot. Rumor has it that the reason for the legislation was that the local area campground owners were upset that they were losing money. The cg prices are inflated, and can only be called what it truly is---GREED. Rumor also has it that these same cg owner(s) were either in the local government or had someone in that position. We totally boycott the area during the peak summer season.
Butch: You may recall from this site that, about a year or so ago, the owner of KOA in Billings, Montana, tried to get a law passed in Billings prohibiting people from parking overnight at places like Wal-Mart. RVer's were alerted on this site and other sites and a deluge of letters were sent to the mayor and city council. Long story short: The proposed ordinance was shelved, and RV'ers are allowed to park a maximum of 12 hours in shopping center parking lots, a compromise which I find very acceptable and fair, and one which avoids the Wal-Mart "slugs."

Yes, I do remember the "Billings" situation, and followed the story, with great interest, to it's conclusion. A fine example of what can be accomplished. As we only live 40 miles south of Lake George NY, we have little to no desire to stay at any of their cgs in the area--to close to home. The only exception is when a Holiday Rambler Rally uses one of them. They only use the "Lake George RV Park". The cgs in our immediate area have some serious flaws--crowded, old (in need of updating), over priced, poor attitudes, etc. Those travelling have started to stay at the "Wal-mart Super Center" or at their next door neighbor,"Lowes" at a shopping mall at Saratoga Springs. Have not seen great numbers of them, but may see two or three in each parking lot, and must say that the overnite parking does not occur very night.
Every one mentioning restrictions being placed on RV'ers other places reminded me to mention these.
For those of you that did not hear or didn't follow the situation in the state of Nevada. A bill backed by campground owners (supposedly designed by them) was defeated that would of prohibited camping/stopping over night any where in the State of Nevada unless it was in a licensed campground.
Also the restriction on staying over night in casino parking lots was rescinded with a few provisions added to allow for it.
wandering palms
I think that the city's and town people should realize how much money we put into play when we stay in their city's. Last summer we stayed in a city owned park in W Virginia, (up to 3 days free) for gas, groceries and restaurants we put about $250 into their economy. If we hadn't been able to stay at their city park we probably would have passed right on through.
Big Ben
QUOTE(wandering palms @ Nov 14 2006, 06:25 PM) *

I think that the city's and town people should realize how much money we put into play when we stay in their city's. Last summer we stayed in a city owned park in W Virginia, (up to 3 days free) for gas, groceries and restaurants we put about $250 into their economy. If we hadn't been able to stay at their city park we probably would have passed right on through.

You may spend that much but can you imagine how many free loaders would get there ahead of you? Let it be known that there is a free camp site and they would run over each other getting there.
John S.
First of all I have stayed in wal mart truck stops cummins repair facilities and rest stops. I drive my motorhome a long way each day and stop when I get tired and have covered the miles required that day. I may take a rest in the middle of the day or spend 8 hours in it overnight. I arrive after dark and leave at 5:30 eastern whether I am in that timezone or not. I was in the central time and left at 4:30 in the morning. I bet you would not want me next to you in a campground firing up at that time. But I did drive from houston texas to Northern VA in 2 days and 3 hours worth of driving this week. I also did 1800 miles in two days and four hours the third. The rest stop is not very quiet but I get along just fine though I like truckstops since there is a diner there too.
This is a little bit different slant on RV parking, but still very bad manners casting a bad impression of RVers.
I visited the Air Force Museum at Wright Patterson Air Force Base the other day. A sign very specifically directs all RV and Buses to the far end of the parking lot where there is a lot of room.

In the car parking lot there were 6 medium to large RV's parked in the car parking area taking up two spaces each. In fact one fool parked in such a manner as to hog 4 spaces, the parking lot was completely full. They were there when I arrived and they were still there when I left 5 hours later. It may have been a group traveling together or it may have been a coincidence and 6 idiots just didn't care about any one else or about rules. Why didn't the police ticket them, I don't know that they didn't, but it would be very difficult to find the owners of the rigs in the huge museum complex. The point is, we need to leave a better impression of ourselves as RVers no matter where we go. mad.gif
Just food for thought, maybe, just maybe "one" of those parked in the auto parking lot was a handicap person(s) and was instructed to park there and the others followed suit after the fact. Would like to give them the benefit of doubt as to why ?? Again just food for thought.
I am a full-timer and have occasionally used a Wal-Mart lot for an overnight stay. Despite planning ahead to stop at a commercial campground, there have been occassional unforeseen delays. Or, Iíve driven into the only campground in an area only to turn around and drive out because despite the the campground directory rating, it was a dump. Truck stops are noisy places and rest areas arenít on my list for security.

I have to put my two slides out or would not be able to move around inside. However, since I feel that I am a guest of the establishment, and want to maintain a low key, nothing else is deployed. If I am forced to run the generator to cool the coach, I park as isolated as possible. I always ask for a managerís permission even if there are already RVs in the lot. I do that with some purchase in hand - and we always buy something. Even if I donít immediately need it, we will sooner or later. Not to be factious, but who doesnít need a spare roll of toilet tissue?? Wal-Mart is in business and we owe it as a repayment of their generosity to Rvers.

Having said that, it is most likely an unpopular view that I think Wal-Mart should police the small percentage of those Rvers who are give the rest of us a bad wrap. The corporation has teamed with FMCA to advertise their RV friendly position. If you check the latest FMCA road atlas, you will find that Wal-Mart locations are indicated on all of the state maps.

FMCA recognizes this problem and has a flyer than you can download from their website. It is a common sense set of rules that one can put on the windshield of the other 10%. Be that as it may, I am not the industryís police force. Perhaps Wal-Mart can put up a sign with the overnight parking rules that would be obvious even to the two-digit IQs who take advantage of their generosity. Onsite security employees can take care of the violators. Perhaps FMCA can donate that rules flyer to all Wal-Mart stores and let them put it on the offenderís windshield.

I share the concerns of a negative impression of Rvers. There has to be a better method to abate the problem other than our confrontation with some idiot who unknowingly, or purposefully, violates the courtesy rules.

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