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Walmart boondocking


BR46
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My neighbor doesn't understand why we just don't get a campsite for the night. 

Wednesday Wo46 and I are heading to South Carolina for a race and we will pull into a Walmart in Scottsburg In. Sleep for 6 hours and then back on the road so why spend the money if you are only stopping for 5 or 6 hours. 

Who else here boondocks or just sleeps in a wayside for a few hours. 

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Just now, Philander Seabury said:

He probably doesn’t realize how expensive campsites are. Walmarts are also a lot more accessible. 

They have a camper with 2 kids under the age of 10. We they go camping it within 50 miles and they are there for 4 days. 

Our next trip is a 1,000 miles and we have 2 days to get there. 

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1 minute ago, Philander Seabury said:

Walmarts are also a lot more accessible. 

Accessible is key.  I have pulled over at various restaurants for quick naps when I become a danger to others on the road.  Sometimes you hit that wall and need to zonk anyplace close.

So one thing I have been meaning to ask is why walmart allows this?  I know there is additional upkeep and security expenses, and their insurance must cost extra because of this.  It is a nice thing and all, but I imagine at some point they will pull the plug.

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10 minutes ago, Randomguy said:

Accessible is key.  I have pulled over at various restaurants for quick naps when I become a danger to others on the road.  Sometimes you hit that wall and need to zonk anyplace close.

So one thing I have been meaning to ask is why walmart allows this?  I know there is additional upkeep and security expenses, and their insurance must cost extra because of this.  It is a nice thing and all, but I imagine at some point they will pull the plug.

It has to be because it is then easy for RVers to restock in Walmart. Maybe they are so large they are self insured. 

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Just now, Philander Seabury said:

It has to be because it is then easy for RVers to restock in Walmart. Maybe they are so large they are self insured. 

That could be.   I don't much like walmart's founder's philosphy on almost everything, but they were on the way when I camped in Big Bear, and I could pick up a few things cheap for the trip.  If I was in an RV full of kids, I would be waking up and buying distractions, supplies, food, etc.  I also suppose if you are homeless and have to make every dollar count, walmart is where you'd want to shop if you were living in the parking lot.

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Just now, Allen said:

Call ahead, I’ve heard Walmart has cut down on locations that allow boondocking. Cracker Barrel will let you boondock too if y’all have those up there. 

Yup, a lot of Walmarts don't allow it anymore due to liability. We hit truck stops. You can fuel up, restock, and they have 24 hour security. It's a win-win situation for us and the business. I just ask if they have a separate area for RVs. Most just tell to pick any spot. don't put you slides out, and be courteous to the trucks. We've never had a problem. The other advantage over a campground is that you can run the generator all night to power the air conditioner and no one cares about the noise, as many of the trucks are doing the same thing. 

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22 minutes ago, Allen said:

Call ahead, I’ve heard Walmart has cut down on locations that allow boondocking. Cracker Barrel will let you boondock too if y’all have those up there. 

We use a app called Allstays and another is RV Dumpsites. 

Allstays will list Flying J 's and Pilot truck stops with RV fuel lanes and RV dump.

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OMG...  there is an article on the web about this.  I never knew...  https://thedyrt.com/magazine/lifestyle/walmart-rv-parking-spot-tips/

And then there is this.. https://thedyrt.com/magazine/lifestyle/boondocking-guide-free-camping/

I've driven on trips and pulled into rest stops and just slept in the car.  But that was before I was married.   

 

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29 minutes ago, Bikeguy said:

I've driven on trips and pulled into rest stops and just slept in the car.  But that was before I was married.

Same here, but my wife gets freaked out about rest stops. Her mother worked for the state police for almost 40 year and she grew up hearing about people getting attacked and robbed while sleeping there. She gets panicked if we even have to stop at one during the day.

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3 hours ago, UglyBob said:

Same here, but my wife gets freaked out about rest stops. Her mother worked for the state police for almost 40 year and she grew up hearing about people getting attacked and robbed while sleeping there. She gets panicked if we even have to stop at one during the day.

Thanks!  Now I am freaked oot aboot sleeping at rest stops!  My dad used to do it all the time.  Amazing he never got rolled.

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2 hours ago, Philander Seabury said:

Thanks!  Now I am freaked oot aboot sleeping at rest stops!  My dad used to do it all the time.  Amazing he never got rolled.

Scary but true story on a trip I took from College Station to Junction, Texas. Decided to stop along the way, but the motel in the town where I stopped was full. Drove on to a rest stop on the edge of town, and as I pulled into the rest area, I saw some commotion in the road ahead. A vehicle sped away, but two people were standing in the road. I approached them and visited with them, with my window up. The two had caught a ride with the folks in the vehicle, and those folks tried to rob them. In the process one of the folks was cut with a knife. Decided I needed to get them to a clinic in town. Drove over and spent a bit of time with them while the one was being patched up. They assured me they would stay in town for the night. I went back to the motel, and explained to the lady that I spoke to earlier, what had happened. She gave me permission to park and sleep in the parking lot, and told the night watchman it was ok. Finally got to sleep, woke up and traveled to Junction. Yes, I was lucky.

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12 minutes ago, sheep_herder said:

Scary but true story on a trip I took from College Station to Junction, Texas. Decided to stop along the way, but the motel in the town where I stopped was full. Drove on to a rest stop on the edge of town, and as I pulled into the rest area, I saw some commotion in the road ahead. A vehicle sped away, but two people were standing in the road. I approached them and visited with them, with my window up. The two had caught a ride with the folks in the vehicle, and those folks tried to rob them. In the process one of the folks was cut with a knife. Decided I needed to get them to a clinic in town. Drove over and spent a bit of time with them while the one was being patched up. They assured me they would stay in town for the night. I went back to the motel, and explained to the lady that I spoke to earlier, what had happened. She gave me permission to park and sleep in the parking lot, and told the night watchman it was ok. Finally got to sleep, woke up and traveled to Junction. Yes, I was lucky.

My hitch hiking story was a thriller too. A college buddy and I hitch hiked to Pittsburgh for the day and got picked up by these mountain men. Got in the backseat and it was loaded with guns. Soon after we were underway, they offered us some whiskey. My buddy got the message to me to take a big swig so there would be less for them.  Then on a downhill stretch the guy really sped up and was in the middle of the road. Somehow we made it withoot getting killed or maimed. We were happy when the next ride was a guy in a bug with flowers painted on.  Never again!

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2 minutes ago, Philander Seabury said:

My hitch hiking story was a thriller too. A college buddy and I hitch hiked to Pittsburgh for the day and got picked up by these mountain men. Got in the backseat and it was loaded with guns. Soon after we were underway, they offered us some whiskey. My buddy got the message to me to take a big swig so there would be less for them.  Then on a downhill stretch the guy really sped up and was in the middle of the road. Somehow we made it withoot getting killed or maimed. We were happy when the next ride was a guy in a bug with flowers painted on.  Never again!

I never was much for hitchhiking, but I had friends from both high school and college that hitchhiked a lot. One from high school was hitchhiking in south Texas once. Fellow picked him up and eventually the friend got tired and got in the back seat to take a nap. He awoke after the car had stopped and he heard talking. State Patrol had stopped the car, which he learned had been stolen. Not sure how long he was detained on that portion of his trip.

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45 minutes ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

In some places they don’t. They used to here, but don’t anymore. I think local ordinance restricts it.

Most of the no overnight Walmart camping is city ordinance. We pulled into a Walmart late one night and there was a sign saying overnight RV parking welcome but I don't remember where it was. We like to park near the lights and security cameras. 

Boondocking at Cracker Barrel you are usually parking behind the building and it's dark at night but you can get a good breakfast before you hit the road. Boondocking at a wayside we been hit up by panhandles asking for money. Truck stops can be noisy but we have found a few that were quite. When traveling to and from race tracks we have boondocked in driveways of other racers. 

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We've not done it, but thought about it.  I know that I have seen it a bunch.  I think people abuse it.  I have seen people with slides out, generators running, rugs and camp chairs out, etc.  Not cool.  It's a place to pull in and sleep so you're not dangerous driving.  It's not a KOA.  

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7 minutes ago, BR46 said:

Most of the no overnight Walmart camping is city ordinance.

That's what I figured, since I knew some allowed it and some didn't - and the one here used to but doesn't anymore.

 

2 minutes ago, Parr8hed said:

think people abuse it.  I have seen people with slides out, generators running, rugs and camp chairs out, etc.  Not cool. 

There's a state forest here that had primitive campsites - no facilities whatsoever. They had to restrict camping to two weeks because scumbags were pretty much living there all summer.:blink:

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1 minute ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

That's what I figured, since I knew some allowed it and some didn't - and the one here used to but doesn't anymore.

 

There's a state forest here that had primitive campsites - no facilities whatsoever. They had to restrict camping to two weeks because scumbags were pretty much living there all summer.:blink:

Indiana State parks let you stay for a bit, no sure of the length of time.... but you have to move sites every 2 weeks.  

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2 minutes ago, Parr8hed said:

Indiana State parks let you stay for a bit, no sure of the length of time.... but you have to move sites every 2 weeks.  

I think that's the same in NY, but this is just State Forest. At the time it was just woods and a pond, with roughly designated camping spots. No water, no outhouse, nothing. They've since added a couple of portajohns and I think a water spigot.

Of course, given the rednecks who were pretty much living there, it probably wasn't all that different than home.

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11 minutes ago, Parr8hed said:

We've not done it, but thought about it.  I know that I have seen it a bunch.  I think people abuse it.  I have seen people with slides out, generators running, rugs and camp chairs out, etc.  Not cool.  It's a place to pull in and sleep so you're not dangerous driving.  It's not a KOA.  

I've seen this at a wayside in South Dakota where a camper was in a truck parking space with the slides and awning out taking up 2 parking spaces. 

We like to pull in sleep and leave but I did send a picture of Wo46 and I sitting in a lawn chairs enjoying a beer while watching a amazing sunset over the rooftop of the Walmart how redneck is that.

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1 minute ago, BR46 said:

I've seen this at a wayside in South Dakota where a camper was in a truck parking space with the slides and awning out taking up 2 parking spaces. 

We like to pull in sleep and leave but I did send a picture of Wo46 and I sitting in a lawn chairs enjoying a beer while watching a amazing sunset over the rooftop of the Walmart how redneck is that.

I love it!  Best kind of redneck!  I got no problem with sitting in some chairs after a long day (or hell, even a short day) of driving.  That seems totally normal.  But setting up a whole damn campsite in Wall mart parking lot seems over the top.  I love the idea that a trucker who is running a little low on coffee, mini-thins and cocaine can just whip in there and grab a few hours of sleep instead of killing a busload full of kids on the way to a high school football game.  Or a dad who is fed up with his damn rugrats in the back seat can pull in and detox for a few hours before he goes postal and throws them all out the window!  I think that this was the spirit that it was intended for.  

I would honestly do it, but we just have not pulled the camper that far yet.  I think 3 hours is about as long as I have driven with it.  It's a different animal.  Driving that slow, trying to keep everything under control, etc. really takes it's toll.  Much harder mentally that just driving for 8 hours or so unloaded.  

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2 minutes ago, Philander Seabury said:

Why is it called boondocking when you are in “civilization”?

Boondocking is a camper/RV term for when you are not hooked up to electric/water at a campground.  It can be called "dry" camping too.  Basically I call anything where I will be running my generator and using my fresh water tank "boondocking".  
 

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5 hours ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

That's what I figured, since I knew some allowed it and some didn't - and the one here used to but doesn't anymore.

 

There's a state forest here that had primitive campsites - no facilities whatsoever. They had to restrict camping to two weeks because scumbags were pretty much living there all summer.:blink:

Hey those are my customers!

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18 hours ago, Randomguy said:

Accessible is key.  I have pulled over at various restaurants for quick naps when I become a danger to others on the road.  Sometimes you hit that wall and need to zonk anyplace close.

So one thing I have been meaning to ask is why walmart allows this?  I know there is additional upkeep and security expenses, and their insurance must cost extra because of this.  It is a nice thing and all, but I imagine at some point they will pull the plug.

I didn't even know that Walmart allows this. I thought it was just sometimes tolerated, but they specifically accept it? A mildly comforting thought if I ever go hobo and live out of my car, lol.

19 hours ago, BR46 said:

My neighbor doesn't understand why we just don't get a campsite for the night. 

Wednesday Wo46 and I are heading to South Carolina for a race and we will pull into a Walmart in Scottsburg In. Sleep for 6 hours and then back on the road so why spend the money if you are only stopping for 5 or 6 hours. 

Who else here boondocks or just sleeps in a wayside for a few hours. 

You've inspired me!

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1 minute ago, F_in Ray Of Sunshine said:

You don't cover Madison County, do you? South of Rt 20 the banjos get pretty loud.....

Nope. Lewis, Jefferson and northern Herkimer Counties.

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19 hours ago, BR46 said:

My neighbor doesn't understand why we just don't get a campsite for the night. 

Wednesday Wo46 and I are heading to South Carolina for a race and we will pull into a Walmart in Scottsburg In. Sleep for 6 hours and then back on the road so why spend the money if you are only stopping for 5 or 6 hours. 

Who else here boondocks or just sleeps in a wayside for a few hours. 

I’ve done some marathon drives where an hour nap in a pull- off was all I’d stop for. Once while driving back from the west coast i pulled off the road in the middle of the desert and slept in the back of my truck. Middle of the night i get woken up by a flashlight shining in my face. Policeman says I can’t sleep there. I’m like “ who’s going to know?” After a quick conversation he says ok stay here and off he goes. 

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I like truck stops better, since they have restrooms. Many times when hauling goats to Texas, I pulled off in front of a pump company and slept. No one ever bothered me. Railroad tracks were across the street, but by the time I stopped, I went right to sleep. I always figured if the noise woke me up and was a bother, it was time to hit the road.

I spend a fair amount of time sleeping in rest stops in Montana, when I am taking sheep to the sale in Billings and don't head home until after midnight. Needless to say, my wife does not accompany me on these trips. She needs to stretch out to sleep, while I can easily sleep sitting up.

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