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Walmart Parking lot.
#1
First time ever.  I stayed at the South Academy Blvd. Walmart in Colo. Springs.  Right near Fort Carson.  This is one that explicitly allows over-night parking.  Not terribly quiet, but not bad at all.  

2 things I find to be big pluses:

1.  It's a very short drive to Walmart... in fact, I just walk there. 
2.  Pavement is nice for a change.  It's been raining since yesterday afternoon, on and off. If I was in the kinds of places I usually camp, I'd be slogging through a LOT of mud.  Like Napoleon after retreating from Moscow.  Or the Wehrmacht.  

Oh, yeah.  It's free.  

I need a place to bide my time till my SSA check comes in on Wednesday.  And this is closer to my garage that any other legal free campsites. 

How's that, Lenny?   Big Grin 

Pat  
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#2
I like Walmart camping for several reasons:

1. They are everywhere and are convenient to all the places I want to go and things I want to see
2. They give access to food, water, clothing, wifi, and anything else I need, so I don't need to carry supplies of all those things with me
3. They always have bus stops and public transport nearby (I don't drive the van within the city--I always take the local bus system)

Smile

Living in "Ziggy the Snail Shell" since May 2015
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#3
^
For a traveler, this is as minimalist and carefree as you can get. Smart, real smart. 
Am reassessing as I write this. Hmmmmmm...
Saw a Japanese tourer once sleeping at Walmart next to his rented motorcycle on the ground as he went LA to NY.
The room and comfort of a bed in a minivan, rain or not, is just to, to, to comfortable. Big Grin
Quality of life and sleep is an important one. Zzzzzzzz
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
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#4
I'm an old backpacker, so I've done my share of sleeping on the ground (to be fair, I always carried a hammock--much more comfty).

I'm not actually all that minimalist--at least compared to a backpacker who carries everything with him. Wink

The only luxury I do miss though is a microwave (my solar panel system won't handle one, I think--although i could expand the capacity). A nuke is not only quick and easy, but it opens up a wide range of stuff that is not currently available to me (frozen dinners are ubiquitous and have a wonderful variety of any food one can imagine). So maybe down the road I'll splurge on a second panel and get a nuke.

Living in "Ziggy the Snail Shell" since May 2015
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#5
^Can you run a microwave off of a large inverter while the vehicle is running? Only need it to be running a few minutes while the food is cooking.
I've learned that making a living is not the same thing as making a life.
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#6
^^^ For 99.9% of the population, we are minimalists.

Depending upon your tolerance, frozen meals make a great goulash dinner in a pot over a burner. Lol
But if your vegetables can't touch your meat or the potatoes....
Low cost alternative to panel and microwave.
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
Crystal Blue Persuasion, music video
https://youtu.be/XDl8ZPm3GrU
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lenny flank (09-24-2017)
#7
(09-24-2017, 11:26 AM)Every Road Leads Home Wrote: ^Can you run a microwave off of a large inverter while the vehicle is running?  Only need it to be running a few minutes while the food is cooking.

Oh....good question.

Most automotive alternators don't put out a lot of amperage at idle RPMs. 

A 1000 watt microwave pulling lets say, 1200 watts, and the 1500 watt inverter pulling about 150 amps from the battery while cooking...

Yeah its a net loss over time unless you leave the vehicle idling for quite awhile or rev the motor a LOT during cooking.

But you still run the risk of a shortened lifetime on the alternator, not to mention loss of stealth, and gasoline consumption.

Microwave ovens are great, but unlike Lenny, I find most frozen dinners to be kinda bland, unhealthy, and disruptive to my...uh...GI tract. Yeah...thats the way I will say it.

Of course I'm an old fart and less tolerant of 'factory' cooking.

Tongue
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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#8
(09-24-2017, 11:26 AM)Every Road Leads Home Wrote: ^Can you run a microwave off of a large inverter while the vehicle is running?  Only need it to be running a few minutes while the food is cooking.



My inverter is not connected to the vehicle battery. Nor do I want it to be--I have no use for such a system, since I only substantially drive the van one or two days a month on average (from one city to another).

Alas, even just a few minutes of running a nuke uses a LOT of power. I'd not use my vehicle battery for that.

I can get along on the system I have now. When it dies in a few years (as they all do eventually) I'll likely replace it with a larger lithium-battery system--and then I can have my nuke.  Smile

Living in "Ziggy the Snail Shell" since May 2015
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#9
(09-24-2017, 11:31 AM)Minivanmotoman Wrote: Depending upon your tolerance, frozen meals make a great goulash dinner in a pot over a burner. Lol



Yeh, there are some types of dinners that I can cook on my stove. And my stove does me good--I can make anything from canned mac'n'cheese to steak and pierogies. 

I could also rig up a small solar oven, but I don't have the patience to wait hours for my dinner, and I'm not there all day to adjust it all the time so it stays in the sun.

Living in "Ziggy the Snail Shell" since May 2015
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#10
My microwave runs off my battery bank. The solar recharges the battery bank. Microwave, less than 10 minutes. Solar charging, 4 to 6 hours or even more. That is usually more than enough solar energy for my day.
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