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Is WalMart moving away from RVers Welcome?


yourpcgeek49

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We Wally-docked in Parkersburg, WV, and were warmly welcomed there.

 

We asked at two Walmarts near Charleston & they both said "no". The third one we decided that "it's easier to ask forgiveness than to get permission". We had a knock on our door at 12:30 from the Security Supervisor to tell us that they do not allow overnight parking, but he let us stay the night with the promise that we wouldn't do it again. Has anyone else run into Walmart stores backing away from the RVers welcome policy?

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I went to the Walmart website to their questions & answers section to see what they say and the quote below comes from it.

 

Can I park my RV overnight at a Walmart store?

While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.

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Guest THE TRAILERKING

It wouldn't surprise me............I have seen a lot of people abuse it. I've seen some stay for a good part of the summer like it's a campground.

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WM used to always be our go to ON for several hours not days, but we are finding lately that there are so many, visually to most "undesirables" in them that we are using alternatives or driving an extra hour or so to enable a peaceful rest. On our most recent last trip we moved on from several WM's we just didn't feel comfortable to stop O/N. In fact we utilized many Casinos we've not done before where we felt very comfortable staying for one and sometimes even two nights at their welcome to do so. We personally don't see these as free stops, because just as we do with WM, we spend some of our dollars with them in one form or another as a reciprocating "win-win", not just freeloading.

 

We had one WM knock on our door at just before midnight to kindly advise us that we are welcome to stay but local bylaws vigilantly come by and issue several hundred dollar fines. They were so nice and directed us to another store some 8miles further away where we didn't feel comfortable at but ironically allowed ON's and where were we to go that late at night? When I questioned why there were no City Ordinance advisory signs, at the first WM they said they are not allowed to put them up as they want the revenue from the fines apparently = go figure! They were really nice employees from the store, but we certainly evidenced more than ever before on our travels through Washington and Northern California this Fall the issues many places are facing and it is affecting the tourism dollars they are losing big time.

 

FWIW, Welcome Centres really pushing for us to visit Eureka N California, told beautiful boardwalk, fishing piers no license needed in that county etc. When we got there, it was full of broken down old buses/coaches with panels missing, tons of folks living on the boardwalk with mountains of stuff, and cooking/litter etc everywhere, water was filthy and smelling, and the fishing pier was just some supports sticking out the water with zero actual pier. Shame, as a major clean up and that boardwalk and olde town would be a wonderful stop, as it was we spent zero dollars there and stayed less than an hour walking around. Santa Rosa visitor centre with lovely ladies, pushing for us to go to their great market (Sunday), when we checked it out there were less than half dozen stalls, two looking for donations for causes, one bakery stall with flies on the handful of uncovered baked goods (no thanks!) one selling handful of meat products (same thing), bric n brack stall and few handmade jewellery bits. Again tons of folks curled up all over the streets, up on recessed windows of buildings, corners and everywhere you turned. Heartbreaking to see, but one seriously has to consider what impact this is all having on attracting much needed dollars into their towns. We've been teased across Canada about our Calgary Dream Centre, many have nicknamed as the "Homeless Hilton", as well the fact our parks provide syringe/needle drop offs (hoping to save children from stumbling across them on the floors), and it's not perfect by any means, but at least they are trying to address some of the issues albeit we have many more still needing addressing.

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The West Coast has become a refuge for bums. Old RV's parked on streets with people living there full time. A Wal Mart in the Seattle area that has full time residents. The school bus even stops there. Outside Seattle there are hippies living in the ditches between the lanes on the Interstate. Oregon is not much better with old RV's parked on city streets. Times may be tough but don't the cities realize how this looks to tourists.

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We have been given permission even at stores that have signs posted stating no overnight parking. We have asked for permission prior to parking, even if we parked there before. Allstays is good, but there are many stores that have not had reports submitted and, just because it is "yes" one time doesn't mean that is will always be yes. The last one we stopped at had not been allowing it because they were building a new Murphy's gas station and the construction and equipment had been taking up so much of their parking space. When I inquired, that is what I was told. I asked the employee to please check with the manager to see if the answer was still "no" and he said "yes", it was okay now as most equipment and building supplies were out of the lot. Asking is the best policy.

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In 9 years, in general we have not experienced any decline in available Wal Marts. We scope out the location before we arrive via google maps for ease of access and always call ahead for permission. As stated there are those with local ordinance. We use the Allstays Truck & Travel app and they are listed. Many have recommendations from others about where to park. We have noticed a switch to many wanting us to park at the front of the parking lots as opposed to nearer the garden centers. We have only moved on once or twice and only encountered a panhandler once. That was in Beckley, WV. He moved on quickly once he thought I'd call the cops. We have never encountered anyone who seemed to be camping out.

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Agreed. Always ask. I usually phone ahead.

 

I like Allstays as it maps the stores, gives you a yes/no starting point and a one touch to dial phone number.

 

We used Walmart extensively on our trip across Canada this summer past and the app was accurate.

 

They do say on the web site that more stores are starting to say no because of RV volumes.

 

Geo

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If you must Wally-Dock, always ask the store manager on duty first. Remember that Walmart is not in the campground business and only allow the stop overs as a matter of convenience for their customers.

 

There are too many folks that feel that they can stop and "camp" any where and this is what is causing the problems for the ones that only are looking for a few hours to sleep.

 

Ken

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we just stopped at the Walmart in Butte and when asking permission I was told that I could stay for 3 days if I wanted to! Amazed me. I know Twin Falls stopped ON but I think that was a city ordinance, not Walmart decision. We now avoid Twin Falls on our way south.

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Just came back to FL from WY after 6 mos out west. Stayed in a few (Loveland CO, Dodge City OK, Spring Hill FL). I went in to ask and got permission. spring Hill is posted NO with violators will be towed and ticketed. It was 2am and I couldn't hack it any more. I have seen them fill up ar night with what appears to be homeless --living in their cars, and at Loveland I saw the abusers (awnings out, lawn hairs set up, slides out--no wonder more are going to no parking allowed. Towns with rv parks get lots of pressure from the parks to pass ordinances and they are usually 99% of the time successful as they argue lost revenue for them and less taxes for the town. I say if you are going to do it stay under the radar--ask permission, park where told, and don't set up camp!

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Just came back to FL from WY after 6 mos out west. Stayed in a few (Loveland CO, Dodge City OK, Spring Hill FL). I went in to ask and got permission. spring Hill is posted NO with violators will be towed and ticketed. It was 2am and I couldn't hack it any more. I have seen them fill up ar night with what appears to be homeless --living in their cars, and at Loveland I saw the abusers (awnings out, lawn hairs set up, slides out--no wonder more are going to no parking allowed. Towns with rv parks get lots of pressure from the parks to pass ordinances and they are usually 99% of the time successful as they argue lost revenue for them and less taxes for the town. I say if you are going to do it stay under the radar--ask permission, park where told, and don't set up camp!

Your opinion is noted.

 

However, I've asked at every Walmart I've ever overnighted at if they cared if I had my slides out. Not one EVER said it was a problem. So I hang the big slide and the bedroom slide over the grass (as we choose our parking location carefully), and the door side slide only come out as far as the bottom of the entry steps. And we can get at more than one side of the fridge. And I usually put the rear stabilizers down if its windy.

 

Sorry, but that's the way a lot of bigger 5th wheels are designed. If you keep the slides in they are completely unusable for more than a pit stop on the side of the road.

 

Geo

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Phoned ahead to a WalMart for permission to overnight. The lady on the phone told me to park at the end next to the restaurant or I would get towed. I looked it up on Google maps and saw why. They have a small parking lot which was almost full when the picture was captured. I passed them by because of that picture. and overnighted at a welcome center 40 miles further, that had an RV specific parking lot. DW had to wait another day to spend $100 at WM.

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We have stayed in a Walmart Parking lot on occasion... as needed. Always asked... and obeyed guidelines. We give Walmart several hundred dollars a month in return for various services, goods, medications. I think it is a good trade.,and I am appreciative of them.

Jim

Yup. I love Walmart because they make it so easy for RVers on the go. I probably spend 70-130 per night in the store when we park there.

 

I know we are going to be in Walmart a couple of nights per week at least on a long-haul trip, and save up our needs to spend in the stores we camp at.

 

I like to think its a win-win.

 

Geo

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Walmart is in many places due to abuse. Lately we have seen people with all their slides out, BBQ grills and chairs along with. Their generator and gas. I just want to leave these people a note about etiquette.

 

I always call ahead and speak with manager prior to staying there. The idea of paying 35.00 or more just to sleep is frustrating.

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I have heard at least a dozen times now with a no that the reason was the jacks going down damaging their pavement. Then I counter that my RV does not have any levelers or jacks and they say okay. So maybe people should only do slides without the stabilizing jacks as the best way. Resurfacing the whole parking lot is pretty darn expensive and if it is just because of RVers or too-heavy semis, then I totally understand the trend to no parking. If it's between tens of thousands of dollars on a parking lot and a RVer being uncomfortable because they bought a rig that is meant for real campgrounds, then the choice will always be pretty clear.

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