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Old 11-04-2019, 10:00 PM   #1
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Rookie question - boon docking at Walmart

We’re planning to drive from Texas to West Virginia, sleeping in Walmart parking lots.

If we put the slides out, do we need to level beforehand if the parking lot is relatively flat? Or do I need to level any time I put the slides out?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:24 PM   #2
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it's up to you, there's no hard and fast requirement either way - but some don't like to put out the slide(s) without the levelers since there is more movement within the coach when walking around.
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:28 PM   #3
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For just a quick overnight stop no need to level
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Old 11-04-2019, 10:33 PM   #4
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I think that if your drop your levelers onto their parking lot, and "damage" the surface: you could make things tougher for the next set of overnight visitors.
Slides out only for accessing a sleeping area: that's all that we would do...
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:03 PM   #5
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Ok here’s our take on Walmart “camping”. If you need to put the slides out to spend the night then you need to be in a campground. Walmart’s, Cracker Barrel’s, Flying J’s, rest area’s etc. are places to pull in and catch a few hours of zzz’s. Putting down levelers and slides makes it look more like a campground than a parking lot. Our local Walmart has banned rv’s for that reason. They used to allow overnighting til their parking lot became the local RV park. If people continue to abuse these business’ hospitality then the practice nationwide will go the way of our Walmart. Pull in, leave the slides and levelers in and go buy some groceries. Get up early, get your coffee at Mickey D’s and get back on the road. If more peeps would adhere to this etiquette more Wally worlds will stay available for all of us.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:11 PM   #6
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Mjc said it perfectly.

And

There are multitudes of better places than Walmart to park for free or close to it.
Many many apps written about in this forum many many times.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:33 PM   #7
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In theory: I also agree...
But in practice...
Our rear slide holds the bed.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:35 PM   #8
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Not sure about you vehicle but my current coach and well as the 2 prior specifically said, or currently says" in the owner's manual "The recreation vehicle must be level before operating the slideout room." As a note the "must be level" part is generally in bold type.

Operating the slides in an un-level condition can put undue stress on the slide motors causing problems. But then again, if something happened with the slides it would be a Thor quality issue rather than an operator head space issue.

The over night stops without use of slides is why we stayed away from rigs that have to have the bed elevated to retract the slide.
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Old 11-04-2019, 11:47 PM   #9
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What is "level"? Less than half a bubble out? Fourth-tenths of a degree?
It is simply my ignorant opinion... But when you're standing on "level" (or at least "level enough"): you know what it feels like.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:21 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WearyTraveler View Post
We’re planning to drive from Texas to West Virginia, sleeping in Walmart parking lots.

If we put the slides out, do we need to level beforehand if the parking lot is relatively flat? Or do I need to level any time I put the slides out?

Thanks in advance!
You don't put your slides out at Wal-Mart or rest area of truckstop.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
What is "level"? Less than half a bubble out? Fourth-tenths of a degree?
It is simply my ignorant opinion... But when you're standing on "level" (or at least "level enough"): you know what it feels like.
Bob is right.

The 63.66psi
The gvw to the nearest ounce
The level to NASA requirement
Guys on here are scaring the newbs.

Level is anything that seems level. It's not a millimeter measurement.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EA37TS View Post
Not sure about you vehicle but my current coach and well as the 2 prior specifically said, or currently says" in the owner's manual "The recreation vehicle must be level before operating the slideout room." As a note the "must be level" part is generally in bold type.

Operating the slides in an un-level condition can put undue stress on the slide motors causing problems. But then again, if something happened with the slides it would be a Thor quality issue rather than an operator head space issue.

The over night stops without use of slides is why we stayed away from rigs that have to have the bed elevated to retract the slide.
Don't have to deploy levelers to be level.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:49 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
Don't have to deploy levelers to be level.
You are indeed correct and my RV parking pad in the driveway is a prime example. However, after deploying the large slide on the driver's side the weight change from the slide being extended causes the coach to be out of level from side to side due to a change in weight distribution. Having the jacks down with slide operation minimizes the impact of the change in weight distribution on the vehicle's suspension system.

My point was simple, the coach is supposed to be level before operating slides. I believe RV refrigerators allow 2 or 3 degrees and they are considered level for operation. All I know is Swintec slides are finicky when they are 100 percent operational and a pain in the butt when they fall below 100 percent operational. Luckily on my current coach out of the 3 slides only one (the smallest) is a Swintec.

To me level is somewhat in the bubble and you are comfortable walking around in the coach. Is that right or wrong, quite frankly I don't give a darn one way or another. That is how I do it and if someone doesn't like it too bad.

As I have always said, an RVer can do whatever their wallet can afford.

As a note, the 2 Walmarts around me that allow Wally-Docking in certain areas of the parking lot would not be considered level. I would estimate them to be about 3 to 4 degrees depending on which area someone was lucky enough to get. Although there are level areas in the parking lots they do not allow RVs or truck to overnight in those areas since they are close to the store and reserved for shoppers.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:00 AM   #14
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We have stayed at dozens of WMts as well as many Crakr Barrls and others. With our previous coach, we rarely put out the slides, but our Vegas has a rear bed slide that we must extend to sleep. So it goes out every time.

Parking lots will rarely be level, as rain and melted snow must run off. I seem to be an outlier here, as we always put our jacks down. We have only seen one WMt that had an asphalt surface, and we didn't lower our jacks there. That particular store didn't allow overnights and that asphalt was probably the reason. The rest all have concrete thick enough to support semis, so our jacks aren't going to cause any harm.

Seems like almost half the rigs we see overnighting have their slides out, antenna or dish up and jacks down. That's us, too, but you won't see an awning, chairs or grill out. Have only seen much of that when the eclipse rolled by two summers ago.
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Old 11-05-2019, 04:19 AM   #15
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Don’t about where you are but all the Wichita KS all Wal Mart parking lots have coned off for several months and signs saying no semis or RVs parking at any time.
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Old 11-05-2019, 12:45 PM   #16
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And remember, keep your lawn chairs, outdoor carpet and BBQ grill contained underneath your awning.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:52 AM   #17
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I was taught very early in my RVing not to treat Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Etc. as anything but a quick side of the road stop. No levelers, no slides, etc... One of the reasons I selected the RV that I did was that I have my entire bed available without opening my bedroom slide. That said, this is only a last resort for us. If we can find a reasonably priced alternative we will always take it. Safe travels.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:14 AM   #18
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The attached is from Escapees. Numerous other RV groups, to include FMCA, have adopted these principles.

094-parking-etiquette-1-3.pdf
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:17 PM   #19
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That's a pretty handy set of suggestions that are sure to prevent some misunderstandings.
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Old 11-06-2019, 12:21 PM   #20
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Levelling or no?

Check out Boondockers.com and if you join up you won't have any questions or issues about levellers or slides etc......
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