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I went to Walmart last night and passed by where all the trucks park only to find a small Village made up with RV's that were reminiscent of the old days were they circled the wagons and stayed. Mostly older trucks with campers & vans. Maybe a small motorhome or two in the mix.
Well, they were all out sitting on their lawn chairs socializing and having all their doors open with lights on. There was no stealth about it, and they didn't seem to care who saw them.
I was tempted to stop and chit chat with them. Maybe next time.
I have to wonder if they ever get hassled for being there?
-Bruce
 As a long time Walmart "camper" , I can assure you that finding a group like this at Walmart is very unusual and may end up getting everyone kicked out. I think that most  of the time it's because of customer complaints. Walmart ,unless there's a local law against overnight parking , welcomes RVers and there's no need to be stealth but setting up a semi permanent community in the parking lot can cause problems. The generally accepted rules are no awnings and chairs out , use only the space than you need and park out of the way.

 There are communities that realize that some people have no other options and are as accommodating as possible. Fairbanks ,Alaska is one ,allowing RVers to stay in the Walmart lot long term ,even all summer.
My bride and I stopped at a Walmart on Mullin Rd in Missoula, Mt last Thursday nite.  Talked to the greeter and he said no problem staying 1 night and if longer I would need to talk to mgmt, but its usually not a problem.  There were about 15 others staying also in everything from the very expensive motor home to old school campers. We just pulled our cargo trailer conversion in amongst them and went to bed. The area was well lighted and we felt very safe.
The Missoula Walmart was also very helpful in sorting me out a set of tires for the trailer before I left in the morning.  I dont think my local Wally would have been that helpful. They are typically a crabby bunch. The Missoula folks were typically happy and helpful and I interacted with at least 7 of them.
tonyandkaren Wrote: As a long time Walmart "camper" , I can assure you that finding a group like this at Walmart is very unusual and may end up getting everyone kicked out. I think that most  of the time it's because of customer complaints. Walmart ,unless there's a local law against overnight parking , welcomes RVers and there's no need to be stealth but setting up a semi permanent community in the parking lot can cause problems. The generally accepted rules are no awnings and chairs out , use only the space than you need and park out of the way.

Well, To be fair, they were parked all the way at the other end, and backed up to a block wall. There is a McDonalds on the other side of the wall. 
They were well away from most parked customers.
-Bruce
Like TonyandKaren, I tend to think that openly camping like that is not in good taste and might get some people booted out... and ruin it for others.

Just to weigh in... I never stay more than one day at Walmart.  I don't want them to get to know the van or think I'm around there too long.


From time to time I would see an old camper in a parking ramp in Iowa City.  It was FILTHY with tons of crapola on the dashboard, in the seats, etc.  You could see through a window that someone sleeping on a bed in the back...  It was like the person was wanting to advertise it...  *shudder*   I quit taking naps there for fear of too much police attention.  The funny part is rather than in the ramp, I would park across the street from the police station and never had any worry. 

V.T. 
I drove through there again tonight and everybody was gone. Not a single camper or van.
I'm thinking they might have all been told to leave?
-Bruce
Ballenxj Wrote:I drove through there again tonight and everybody was gone. Not a single camper or van. 
I'm thinking they might have all been told to leave?  
-Bruce

Very possible. All it takes is a few knuckleheads who take advantage, to ruin things for everyone.