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Old 11-26-2018, 08:54 PM   #1
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Question about overnight parking

Weve not boondocked yet, nor have we overnighted at Walmart, rest stop or Flying J. My question is, when you do park overnight at a rest stop or Walmart do you put your slides out? Our bedroom and bathroom are inaccessible with the slide in but somehow it seems kinda presumptuous to put them out in a non-campground. What is the custom? Thanks.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:30 PM   #2
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Weve not boondocked yet, nor have we overnighted at Walmart, rest stop or Flying J. My question is, when you do park overnight at a rest stop or Walmart do you put your slides out? Our bedroom and bathroom are inaccessible with the slide in but somehow it seems kinda presumptuous to put them out in a non-campground. What is the custom? Thanks.
Don't put your slides out in a truck stop, or rest area. We truckers sometimes need a little extra maneuvering space. I'd really rather not ruin your vacation by accidentally bumping into your slides with the corner of my trailer.
If you are at a shopping center, or Walmart parking lot, then only put your slides out over the grass at the edge of the lot (their rules from what I hear).
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:32 PM   #3
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I get as far away from any traffic lanes and put them out
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:35 PM   #4
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We have put the slides partway out when they would not interfere with other vehicles. I usually try to find a spot with the curb or lamp post on my right to allow that. Extending the living room slide a foot allows us to access the living/dining room/refrigerator of our trailer.

In your case park with the curb/lamp post on the left.
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Old 11-26-2018, 09:37 PM   #5
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Put out only what you need. I, like you, have to put out my main slide to access my bedroom and bathroom. I have boondocked at Walmart three times. I don't go there until after 1030pm. I park my TT with the slide out side on the non traffic/medan/grassy side. I always buy something from Walmart (water, drinks, etc.) I check out the Walmarts along my route on Google Maps satellite view. To determine if the Walmart is a ok place to boondock, I look for: 1. Do pics show TT already parked there, if so that's good thing, 2. Away from houses/apartments, if not don't stop, 3. Is the parking big enough. I boondocked at the Walmart on Exit 173 in NC and the Walmart before Dixie Caverns on Roanake off of 81. If you Google map these, you will see TT already parking there. I also check out the Ctackerbarrlls too since you can boondock there, but you have to make sure thier parking lots are spacious enough not to get stuck in the breakfast traffic in the morning. I do not out out my stabilizers or anything else, just be respectful and if there is a Walmart sign stating no overnight parking, then don't. Good luck!
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Old 11-27-2018, 12:07 AM   #6
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As mentioned, truck stops and rest areas are usually not conducive to putting slides out. Though, I was at a Flying J near St. Augustine that has RV parking and that lot looked like a campground! Slides out, generators running; it was separate from the truck parking.

At truck stops, we’ve only overnighted one time. We lucked into a spot where we had an extra wide spot (dead “no parking” area on one side so we could be far from the line on the slide side). We used our slide outs there as they’re required to get the kids into the bunk room.


For Walmarts- there are no rules. Walmart doesn’t dictate anything. You do what you feel makes you a good guest. There are some guidelines that RV groups put together, but again, guidelines; not rules.

Here’s what we do...

I feel that it’s proper to call or go in and ask permission first (“do you allow RVs to park overnight in your parking lot?”). We typically call ahead and ask; if they say “yes”, we will then ask where they prefer us to park.

Sometimes we will be in a portion of the parking lot that parallels grassy areas. Other times, we’ll do like truckers do and will park in line with a bunch of spots. In both cases, we use our slide outs. We just make sure that no part of our truck, camper, slides, or steps come near to encroaching on the roadway.

Assuming it isn’t super hot, we will also gently put down our landing gear. We found a couple of years ago that our kids rolling over at the other end of the rig rocked the camper enough to disturb our deep sleep and we wouldn’t wake up feeling rested. We never put them down much- just enough to snug up the camper a touch. And I would not do it if the day had been hot due to concerns about putting holes in the asphalt.

And lastly, so long as there aren’t houses or other RVs close by, we’ll run our generator for some/all of the night. We didn’t do it with the portables but only really had them for 6 months without many overnights. But we are more apt to do it with the built-in generator.
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Old 11-27-2018, 03:13 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Alabama Potter View Post
Weve not boondocked yet, nor have we overnighted at Walmart, rest stop or Flying J. My question is, when you do park overnight at a rest stop or Walmart do you put your slides out? Our bedroom and bathroom are inaccessible with the slide in but somehow it seems kinda presumptuous to put them out in a non-campground. What is the custom? Thanks.
I put my slide out in a Highway rest stop if it does not reach the white line in the spot I am in. If there are no lines I either don't put it out or park somewhere it won't be in the way. I also have massive reflector tape on both ends of the slide to make it visible. As far as generators go I run it for brief periods if necessary unlike trucks that run their engine all night everywhere.
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Old 11-27-2018, 03:28 PM   #8
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Slide outs are typically weather and insect proof only when fully extended or fully retracted. That said I'd only put mine out over the curb/grass area. With a hybrid, though, any such camping without the ability to drop at least one bed makes for a pretty uncomfortable night in the too-short dinette or too-short sofa. At least we can get to the head with the slide in -- and do all the time on the road. I know that toilet seat is clean.

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Old 11-27-2018, 04:07 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alabama Potter View Post
Weve not boondocked yet, nor have we overnighted at Walmart, rest stop or Flying J. My question is, when you do park overnight at a rest stop or Walmart do you put your slides out? Our bedroom and bathroom are inaccessible with the slide in but somehow it seems kinda presumptuous to put them out in a non-campground. What is the custom? Thanks.
As you can see from the posts it all depend each place can be different . some conducive to putting slide out some not . need to use your best judgement on a case by case basis
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Old 11-27-2018, 04:34 PM   #10
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there are no 'rules' to your questions, only good common sense. Some of us will, some of us won't... and sometimes it just depends on the situation, where you are, how many others are near you, etc.

We've been to W*mts where there seemed more RVs than cars, and everyone who wanted to put out their slides if they needed to - they were taking up 12 spaces, so it really doesn't matter anyway.
We've also been places where keeping them in made more sense, as we didn't want to seem to be camping... only parking. A coach with it's slides out will certainly 'look' more like someone is overnighting in it... if anyone cares. Most folks won't.

Police, Sheriffs, and others don't really care about overnighting RVs at large parking lot stores, unless the stores themselves call them about it. Chances are, few will ever be called simply because an RV is parked in their lot.
I will say, though, that MALLS are not necessarily as nice - they typically are under different 'rules' and don't like any vehicle parked in their HUGE lots, even if no one else is there, and the 21,528 parking spaces are empty!

Overnighting is not a big deal. Once you get used to it, you simply find a place as far away from the traffic as possible, out of the way of trucks coming in and out for deliveries, and try to be as inconspicuous as possible. We don't run out our awning, or make a campfire, or use our interior lights after dark without pulling all of our night shades. Sure, if I need to put out a slide, I'll park so that it's side is over the curb/grass/edge of the parking area where it will not only not effect anyone, but be less 'seen' by passersby. Common sense. Park on the outer edges, when possible, and you'll be just fine.

When you really overnight off-grid a lot, you start to see many more possibilities than it may seem at first - large movie theatre lots, large church parking lots, big box stores, of course, and even behind commercial businesses that close fairly early. On the other hand, schools and banks are generally a no-no.

We have also run into many cities and county regional parks and rv sites that aren't really advertised anywhere - they can be free, or a very small fee, some with electric, also. Several only take 'donations' in a drop-box. Using google-maps on your phone and zooming in close to the areas you might want to overnight at can render a lot of possibilities.
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