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Question Of The Week

Parking Lot Addiction Syndrome Reader Diagnosis

Our favorite spot so far is Bozeman, Montana with all the landscaping in the parking lot.  They have more shade than a lot of campgrounds we have stayed in.” – Mike and Nancy Pohl, 1999 Ford F150, 1986 American Pilgrim 8.5

“I have something very close to P.L.A.S.  I have, W.C.I.P.18.; Where Can I Park my 18-wheeler for the night?  It has developed from over twenty-five years of driving over the road.  I have not noticed any bad side effects from this.  In fact I believe it has helped from getting P.L.A.S.  But I understand that the symptoms are very similar.  I have found with simple mental exercise and guidance, it is something that can be lived with without any long term effects.  So don’t worry about the occasional parking lot survey, you have nothing to worry about.  Keep on trucking!” – Tim May, 1993 Dodge 2500, 1987 Vacationeer 9’10”

“No.” – John Patterson, 2009 Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD, 2012 Travel Lite 960RX

“Yes, with a disclaimer.  I can’t say we really check out parking lots, but I will say that we used them for the first time on our cross-country trip last year.  At first we used them with some reluctance, but after a couple of nights, you kind of get the feel for it and realize how convenient it can be for a quick rest.

Choose your parking lot carefully, look for other RVs, and you should be fine.  There usually is some noise though; street sweepers, delivery trucks, etc.  But, for a quick rest right off the highway, we would do it again.” – Bill Teixeira, 2006 Chevy, 2003 Adventurer 810WS

“I don’t know that we’re addicted per se.  We enjoy it because we tend to see sights during the day, drive at night, crash, and hit the road as soon as we rise in the morning.  Thus, we rarely take advantage of campground amenities.

However, your article raised one concern I think you should address. Walmart asks that you call the store for permission before parking.  You can also use http://www.overnightrvparking.com/ which is updated by members who call the locations.  But, please remind readers to somehow get relevant information on usage of the lot, as some cities will not allow parking in lots, even though Walmart, for instance, does allow it.  Doing so will alleviate any restlessness, and create a good impression on business owners who offer their lots for use.” – Jim Brain, 2006 Ford F350, 2006 Okanagan 117DBL

“Parking lots are mostly off limits in most places in Canada.” – Leo LaRochelle, 2002 Chevy Silverado, 2500, 2012 FWC Hawk Shell

“Yes, we have chronic P.L.A.S.  We traveled for 110 days and we stayed in organized campgrounds only five nights.  We are so addicted that we are not members of Good Sam, Passport America, or Escapees.  We have a National Park pass for life and we donate at each one we visit.  Hope to see you soon somewhere.” – Jake and Sylvie Mathis, 1994 Dodge Ram 2500, 2005 Northern Lite 9Q

“Last year was our first time camping in a parking lot.  I had always thought about it, but never did in our fifth wheel.  Since our first stop overnight we fell in love with it.  We have not done any this year because we have not figured out how to dry camp in hot weather.” – Donna Smith, 2010 Dodge Ram 3500, 2000 Lance

“No.” – Carl Miller, 1991 Ford, 1983 Vacationer

“Yes, we have stayed at both truck stop parking lots and Walmart.  There is a free phone app called “ONP Walmart” that tells you what Walmart stores allow overnight RVs in whatever state you are in.  Our favorite so far was a Walmart in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania.  We had fun seeing all the Amish horse and buggies coming to the store; even at night with lights on the buggy.” – Richard Janssen, 2004 Chevy 2500HD, had a 1993 Lance 880

“Yes, definitely.  And no, I will not share my favorite spots for obvious reasons.” – MJC Engel, 1992 Iveco 40-10 WM, 2005 Twiga Travel

“Yes, we camp in parking lots all the time.  Mostly we park overnight in winter at ski resorts.  It’s a great way to have slope-side ski in and out accommodations.  Most areas are very amenable to pick-up campers as long as you don’t interfere with plowing.  In addition, some (Anthony Lakes in Oregon) actually offers free power hook-ups, but you gotta get there early!” – JT More and Sue Jurf, 2004 Ford F250, 2005 S&S Ponderosa 8.5

“We have been seen at a parking lot now and then when we are enroute and in need of free, easy, and close to shopping overnight accommodations.” – Tim Burk, 2005 Dodge 3500, 2011 Eagle Cap 950

“No.  It was creepy enough seeing a half-dozen or more big rigs with folks sitting around with cocktails and appetizers!” – Nancy James, 2010 Ford F-250, 2009 Lance 861

“Most Walmarts are great.  I had a bad experience at Walmart in Santa Maria, California with “no parking” signs and we were asked to leave at 11:30pm.

My favorite is movie theater parking lots.  Fix dinner, go to the movie, and then walk home to a comfortable bed.  For safety, our policy is that we do not respond to knocks on our door after going in for the night, but we do keep appropriate protection within arms reach in case someone decides to forcefully enter our home.

We have just returned from a trip to the Yukon Territory.  Rest stops in the Yukon are pleasant, close to the road, with brand new precast smell good pit toilets, which are a great place to dump our cassette toilet.  Typically there are no signs against overnight stays.  We noticed a few were marked with “no overnight camping” signs, but people stayed overnight anyway.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Yukon are helpful, friendly, and seem to have more important things to do than kick law abiding tourists out of an overnight parking spot.” – F. Schiebout, 2004 Ford F-350, 2013 Northstar 9.5 Igloo U

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