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Old 06-27-2015, 12:59 PM   #1
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Brand: Thor Motor Coach
Model: 2016 Vegas 25.2
State: Florida
Posts: 2,222
THOR #1589
Free overnight

Another night for us at the world's largest retailer. No hook ups, no services, no fees. Just need to verify with the management that overnight is allowed. (Some don't.) It's a good deal for them, as we usually drop a c-note or more on groceries and misc.
If we are pushing to get to the next destination, we don't need any amenities, just a (relatively) safe place to park. Big, pull through lots, so we never have to take the car off. No check in or check out restrictions. When we are rolling down the interstate, these places are usually right off the exit, so it is easy in and out.
I once needed a plumbing part at 10:30 PM, and walked into the store for it. No campground would have had that part, even in the daytime.
We like Cracker Barrel the best, if they have RV parking and allow overnight. They generally are quieter, and have great breakfasts! We always eat at least one meal with them, since we aren't paying for the night.
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:25 PM   #2
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We have an Aunt and Uncle who try to overnight at Cracker Barrel whenever they drive around; they like it for the same reasons you mentioned.

Another stopping point we like are the Ohio Turnpike service plaza's. Recently they has been revamping the service areas along the Turnpike. They now offer separate camper parking areas with a plug--no need to run the genny for A/C and you're away from the truck parking so its nice and quiet.

Here we are staying at one a few years ago (prior to the Axis):
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Old 06-27-2015, 02:29 PM   #3
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Campground owners surely hate this, but it helps make the total trip affordable, and we still spend 2/3 of our nights in a campground or rv resort, when we are off on a several week trip. The other 1/3 is either free concrete like this, or in the driveway at friends or family.
Overnight RV Parking is a great website with a small annual fee, which tells you where you can stay and places that don't allow. It also has helpful comments, and when you send a report they extend your subscription. There are free aps, too, like rvparky, but they are not as comprehensive. If you use that one, be sure to read any comments.
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:18 PM   #4
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JamieGeek, Thanks for the information about the Ohio Turnpike Travel Plazas. That might well come in handy if/when we travel East.

Mr. Sunshine, Thanks for sharing the link to Overnite RV Parking. We may well subscribe to that.
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Old 06-27-2015, 03:48 PM   #5
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We have stayed at Walmart a couple of times. What is the rule of thumb on running your generator in the lots? One lot we where in nobody was running there gens and the other it was about half and half. Any thoughts?
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Old 06-27-2015, 05:19 PM   #6
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Often there are semis with refer units running, so I see no reason to suffer if you need the genny for the A/C. I have an inverter, so can run a small fan on that. If it's not too hot, that's enough for us.
No awning or chairs out. Always, always ask.
Oh, and we've come to expect a noisy vacuum truck in the wee hours. And the garbage truck at Cr Barrel. On the plus side, we rarely hear barking dogs!
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Old 06-27-2015, 06:25 PM   #7
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Mr. Sunshine, regarding your picture.....

I have been reminded by two Walmart managers, (when I was asking them if it was OK), to park the motorhome so that it occupies 2 spaces, end to end, regardless if the entire parking lot is completely empty. If you have a toad, it must be disconnected. 5the wheel rigs are to park end to end also.

The first manager mentioned stopping end to end looks like parking. Stopping sideways, taking up four parking spaces looks like camping, (or your rig broke down and the police will be called or just randomly show up).

If you even attempt to park sideways, (taking up four or five spots), at a Cracker Barrel, you will be asked to move, or leave.

I don't even need to mention what will happen if you try it at any truck stop!
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:25 PM   #8
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Wow, we've stayed at a couple of dozen WMs over the years, and never been told any restrictions, except go to the far end from the doors. Most of those were open all night. That website I mentioned would have notes on things like that.
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Old 06-27-2015, 08:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KNMIB View Post
We have stayed at Walmart a couple of times. What is the rule of thumb on running your generator in the lots? One lot we where in nobody was running there gens and the other it was about half and half. Any thoughts?
If you do a search on RV overnight etiquette you will find the majority state you are a short term guest for sleeping and are not there to camp. As such:

No generators
No awnings
No grills
No leveling jacks on soft surfaces

Also, some localities have code restrictions on the running of generators.

Attached is the industry sanctioned "Good Neighbor Policy". It was originally published for FMCA members but in recent years has been adopted by other organizations as well.

ovenight etiquette.pdf

As a note, FMCA publishes a directory of members that are willing to provide other members with one or two night parking. Some also offer some level of hookups. This directory is constantly updated on line and is published in hard copy once a year. You must be an FMCA to access this directory. They also publish a directory of surrogate drivers that are willing to get your coach home in the event of an emergency.
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Old 06-28-2015, 01:51 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mr Sunshine View Post
Wow, we've stayed at a couple of dozen WMs over the years, and never been told any restrictions, except go to the far end from the doors. Most of those were open all night. That website I mentioned would have notes on things like that.
Stopping your motorhome correctly in a parking lot two spots lengthwise inside the marked spots is not a "restriction" of any kind or form.

Just try parking across four to eight spots at a Cracker Barrel or public truck stop and you will promptly meet with the wrath that the action deserves. Parking is no different at a Walmart, (or any clearly marked parking lot for that matter).

Parking across four, five, six, or even eight spots if you have a toad and a very long coach, is just silly.

It has everything to do with parking lot design, common sense, common courtesy to provide as much room as possible for other vehicles, and for drivers just passing through the lot, respect for the property owner, personal safety, and not looking out of place to bring unwanted attention to your rig, (police and thieves).
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