We spent last night at Camp Wal-Mart in Klameth Falls, Oregon. I was recently asked why we camp at Wal-Mart and while we are no experts on boondocking I thought I would share some of reasons why and pass on some of our tips and thoughts.
Our main reason for stopping at Camp Wal-Mart is that we are too cheap to spend $30.00 a night for an RV Park when we are just passing through a town.
As a blogging friend, A Life Made Simple, recently reminded me Home Depots are also a good overnight spot. Home Depot is our first choice for overnight stops but they are not as easy to find and do not allow overnight camping as often as Wal-Mart. Home Depot’s tend to be quieter because they close earlier which makes the parking lot quieter and they have free Wi-Fi, but sometime you can’t get it at the back of the lot … that is were hubby’s Wi-Fi Ranger comes in handy. If you want to know more about that leave me a comment and I will TRY and get him to write a blog … he is a little shy 🙂
I have read on other blogs that Cabala’s are also great overnight locations and often have dump stations, but we don’t seem to travel in areas that have Cabella’s. I do think Cabella’s would be a very expensive overnight stop for us!
But back to Camp Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart’s are usually close to the highway so it’s easy off, easy on which is an advantage, the disadvantage is they are usually noisy but hey you are camping for free so don’t complain about that.
We always ask permission to camp even if the parking lot is full of RVs. We once stopped at a Wal-Mart in Edmonton, Alberta that was full of RVs only to be told at Customer Service that the area of Edmonton they were in had a “No Overnight Parking” ordinance and anyone who parked overnight would be woken up, handed a ticket, and told to move … good thing we asked.
As well we always walk through the store, because generally we need something, but sometimes we just don’t need anything and walk out empty handed.
Some people say you should arrive late and leave early, we often arrive early afternoon and leave late morning and have never had a problem.
We do unhook Maxx so that we can level but we park the truck near the hitch and we don’t leave Maxx behind and drive off in the truck. The main reason for this is we believe Camp Wal-Mart is a place to get some sleep, not a free place to camp and tour all over town, if we want to do that we settle in at an RV Park and add some dollars to the local economy. Although having said that, there have been a few occasions when we have needed fuel and we were not able to easily get into the gas pumps while towing. We have seen lot’s of people leave their RV’s in the parking lot and go about town.
We never put out our awning, mat, set up chairs, or set up the BBQ. I always plan a dinner I can make inside Maxx or we go out for dinner to a restaurant within walking distance.
Our solar panels and inverter allow us to use the TV’s. We have a 32” 12 volt TV in the bedroom, which doesn’t require being hooked up to power or the inverter, but the living room TV does need the inverter. The inverter also let’s me use the coffee maker and toaster in the morning and as an added bonus I can also use my curling iron and blow dryer. Having the capacity to use these items while not plugged into power makes me a Happy Camper, which in turn makes hubby a Happy Camper 🙂
That’s our life at Camp Wal-Mart …
Until next time …