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Boondocking at Tanger Outlet Parking Lots


alan&drena

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My husband and I are newbys, we are retired and would like to know more about parking over night at some malls or shopping centers.

 

We have a 2000 HR with a generator, self contained.

 

Any help on where we can stay for free to save some as we do travel, we would like to do a U.S. excursion while we are healty enough and then we will do mostly closer to come.

 

Thanks so much.

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I mainly use Overnight RV Parking I can open the site in a browser on my phone while we're going down the road and see all the places nearby where it's ok to park overnight, and also places where you will be ticket or towed if you try to park overnight.

 

I also use the Allstays app on my phone but find it's not as useful. Not as many overnight sites listed and uncertain of report dates.

 

If you don't travel with a smart phone, you can always buy the WalMart atlas, then call the local store to see if they allow parking.

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Places that generally offer free overnight parking include Walmart, Cracker Barrel, and Cabela's. But not all locations of even those allow it so it is best to call ahead and ask. Our local Cabela's has a dump and fresh water but is posted no overnight parking. And if your rig is one of the very long ones you probably won't stay at Cracker Barrel.

 

Linda Sand

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If you have a smartphone, download the Walmart app and utilize the 'Find a Store' option. It will automatically pinpoint your location and show the nearest Walmart and all Walmarts on your route. Touch the one you're interested in, and it will quickly bring up the address and phone number. Give them a quick call (on some phones, as easy as touching the phone number listed) and ask. Easy peasy.

 

In my experience, the only Walmarts reluctant to allow overnight parking are the ones located where it is prohibited by law. Pay attention to signs posted on lightposts in the parking lot as you enter - if they state that overnight parking isn't allowed and you'll be towed, take that announcement seriously and move on. I speak from experience.

 

While you've got the app, be sure to use the Savings Catcher option. It takes 3 seconds to open the app and scan your receipt when you shop at a Walmart - they then run the prices against local competitors, and if they find a lower price, you get the difference back. I've only been using it a month or so now, and I've already accumulated nearly $13 in credit.

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  • 9 months later...

Another source of free/low-cost overnight and camping is Days End. I have found free overnight using it and I have contributed my findings as well. I use locations such as Walmart, Cabelas etc just when I am traveling, not camping. I also stay in rest stops and truck stops as well.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It has been our experience that many of the places suggested here is for a quick eight hours of travel sleep. Please, do not consider a stop at these locations as an invitation to MOVE IN and set up camp.

 

Some have tried that and it gives a BLACK EYE to all of us in the RV community. I have always made it a practice to ask if we could stay and where to park.

 

There are many places to stay in the USA. National parks, forest lands and state lands and parks. But, life is changing in the USA, be careful and keep a watchful eye out and be safe.

 

Safe Travels!

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Do most of you use the free walmart, cabela's, cracker barrel as primary parking, moving every day and avoiding campgrounds all together or just a stop between campgrounds. and how long do you stay at any one place? thanks in advance, hitting the road next week.

I know there are some who do this. However none of these are meant for a stay of more than an overnight and be on your way. We only use these spots if we are on a route to a destination and have no plans to stop in an area for anything other than fuel,sleep and shopping. On a couple spots there was something we needed to check out. In that case we asked if our arriving easrtly aft and unhooking our car was allowed. Both time we were permitted on the condition we were in fact leaving in the morning

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As for staying as those overnight places continually.....why would you want to? Besides giving RVers a bad name, they are typically in noisy, populated areas. The surroundings are not good. Your RV is for traveling to see this beautiful country of ours.

 

If you don't want to pay to stay somewhere then at least finding a boondocking spot that has better surroundings such as national forest land or BLM lands. There are plenty of options.

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Do most of you use the free walmart, cabela's, cracker barrel as primary parking, moving every day and avoiding campgrounds all together or just a stop between campgrounds. and how long do you stay at any one place? thanks in advance, hitting the road next week.

 

We stopped at those places for one night each only en route to a destination. Even then, we stopped at a park, usually Passport America, every third night or so for two nights because we don't really like traveling every day.

 

Be aware that Cracker Barrel's designated spots aren't long enough for most RVs. When we were in a 35' class a towing a car we parked along the back edge or angled through a couple of the RV spots. They also close up and go home so there is no all night security on the premises if that matters to you. And if they are in the corner of a mall lot there may be no space for you at all. But, I sure did like stopping in time for dinner then going in again for breakfast there. :)

 

Linda Sand

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I think of the places you mentioned as "blacktop boondocking" and while I'm happy to use them while crossing the country I much prefer "boondocks boondocking" where I have some scenery around me. Additionally out in the boondocks you can often stay several days to several weeks with no issues. Staying saves a bundle on fuel costs and gives you time to enjoy the area.

 

Escapees members can get the "Day's End Listing" that gives you a great start on finding free and cheap camping. Anyone can hit the visitor center when getting to a new state and pick up camping and fishing guides, nobody says you have to fish at a fishing access point and if you don't make a big deal out of it you'll likely never be challenged.

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My best suggestion if your budget is so tight that you cannot afford a campground stay would be to resolve to travel more slowly and line up workcamping gigs. FHU site for free with extra hours paid would give you enough money to be able to avoid all but a few overnights in parking lots.

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...nobody says you have to fish at a fishing access point and if you don't make a big deal out of it you'll likely never be challenged...

This may be true at some locations and in some states, but there are states that prohibit overnight stays/camping at fishing and boat access points even though they may permit parking ("Parking is the act of stopping and disengaging a vehicle and leaving it unoccupied.") including at night if actually fishing or out on the water. Some states require a fishing license, boat ramp pass or park access pass to be displayed on any vehicle parked in an access area. There are states that permit camping at fishing lakes, access areas and wildlife management areas, but every states regulations are different. You may never be challanged as to whether you are actually fishing, but Conservation Officers do check to see if you have the proper permits or any other requirements to camp or use an area.

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There are some RVers that feel that they are privileged and can "camp" on any open parking lot. These folks are ruining the overnight stops for the rest of us. Walmart and others offer a place to pull over and catch a few hours sleep and back on the road, in hopes of getting some retail trade from the over-nighters.

 

My feeling is stop, check with the manager, get over to an out of the way area, do not put out awnings, lawn chairs grills, etc....you are not camping. six to eight hours is sufficient to recharge your sleep battery and back on the road.

 

Check the Escapees overnight stop etiquette on this site.

 

Ken

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Yep, the WalMart in Whitehorse is bad. However, it appears that it's o.k. with WalMart and the local ordinances. It's been going on for years. I even saw pictures of a few 'wintering' on the parking lot with straw bales surrounding the RV. I assume these are people who are locals. They definitely aren't siteseeing!

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Well there are a number of reasons Wally in Whitehorse, Yukon is popular and if Wally and the city fathers don't get excited about it, no need for us to get upset! Had I known last summer going north, stopping before I got to Wally and fighting a super tight site at a Whitehorse RV park and just before that doing a walk-thru at another park which I had to back out of, I'd been at Camp Wally. So on the way back down we stopped at Wally, and of course shopped Wally and Canadian Tire next door. Had a friend last fall that broke down between Skagway and Whitehorse. The big hook came out of Whitehorse and the wrecker driver dropped him at Wally. Couldn't get the rig and wrecker into a park in Whitehorse. He went in and told the manager the situation and it was no problem. Before we left Penna. to go fulltiming, a nearby Walmart where RV parking was allowed there was a rig that was there for quite awhile. I took notice to numerous times but what did I care. Some local yokel wrote a letter to the editor of the local gazette about the situation. Turned out it was a vendor hired by Wally and selling something at that store and was there with Wally's blessing. I got a big kick out of Fast Freddy Myer in Soldotna, AK. told RVers where to park in lot and also had a dump station.

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I knew as soon as I saw the title of this thread it would turn into a Wallmart thread...lol.

 

When we are travelling long distances we will pull into a Wallmart lot and sleep...we have even been known to pull out a couple of lawn chairs and have a beer. They dont mind. Those of you who dont believe in doing so ...dont do it. But dont sneer at those of us who do. As I've stated before...darned if I'm going to try to find an out of the way RV park and pay a bunch of money for hookups I dont need only to be on my way again in the morning.. when I can usually find a Walmart next to the hiway with a fueling stop close by...much more convenient.

 

I do however have a story....we were in a walmart lot 2 nights ago in New Brunswick and this couple pulls in with a large car pulling a TT. On the front of the TT above the propane tanks sits a construction style generator. He cranked up this gen and disappeared into his trailer for a couple of hrs and was it loud! I dont think he had a muffler on it at all.....never thought I would see that. Finally at 10 pm he came out and shut it off. Now that kind of thing can ruin it for us all.

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