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Seidel's Blog

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As a former transporter, Walmart was my main overnight spot. My GPS would tell me which ones allowed it and which ones didn't. Flying J, Pilot and other truck stops will work. Some Flying J's actually have long pull through spots designated for RV parking. It is very annoying when you come in after a day on the road and there is a long RV spot with a single car parked it it but it happens. I also stayed at Lowes, Home Depot, Sams Club. I've stayed at Cracker Barrel also. Two other good ones that come to mind are Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops. I've been in some places where none of these are available and at that point, I'm looking for anything with a big parking lot. I've done Shopping centers, grocery stores and some malls.

Malls can be tough, security will usually run you out. Keep in mind, it is always good to ask and get permission. I don't buy into the whole "against the law" crap that some will tell you. Most stores are private property and the borough has nothing to do with it. It is the discretion of the manager if parking is allowed and not the local ordinances. That being said, if it says no parking or the cops ask you to move or whatever, I move. You got to pick your battles and for me, I'l go find somewhere else.

I use google maps satellite view to get a bird's eye view of the parking lot before coming in. Gives me an idea of where things are. In fact on a side note, I use this google feature on everything, especially coming into a campground or an area I've never been before. It has saved me numerous times from getting stuck and having to unhook to get out. I did see a post on the forum about somebody asking about parking a big rig at Wall Drug in SD. This is a great tool for stuff like this.

Interstate rest areas are an option but don't be surprised if a trucker pulls in next to you and fires up his generator to watch a movie or something.

I'm not transporting anymore but Sweetie Pie and I have a 40' pusher with toad. We use Walmarts quite a bit in between campgrounds. We are never in a hurry to get anywhere so we will stay at a campground for at least 2 nights and a Walmart in between. I think it is a great service by Walmart but like most things, it tends to get abused. This abuse could eventually put an end to it and the few will ruin it for the rest of us. It's NOT camping, it's a place to park for the night. I don't run my slides out or any awnings. It would be a lot easier for us by running the bedroom slide out but we don't. If Sweetie Pie needs to get up at night, she just has to crawl over me to do it. Not a bad thing, wink wink.

I look for a level spot and if there isn't one, I go somewhere else. I never put down my landing gear while parked there. I don't leave my steps hanging out either. We have 2 dogs so I look for a place close to some grass or a place they can go. At Walmart, I try to get close to the garden center for the free wifi.

We ALWAYS cater to the establishment even if it is just buying some oil, paper towels or anything that you are going to use at some point. Walmart has an RV section and for me, I always buy a jug of DEF.

Long winded I know but that is my take on it. I'm not telling people what to do, just saying how we do it.

Stay sharp.

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Punxsyjumper nailed it.  We've done many of the things mentioned in his post.  Just ask permission of management if you don't see other RVs parked there.

Been doing it for years, usually alternate between RV parks and free parking.  Especially like free parking when we will get to a destination late.  That way we don't wake up other campers in an RV park with headlights, parking, etc.

The only problem is parking lot cleaners in the early morning.  They can be loud.

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