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Question Of The Week

Parking Lot Addiction Syndrome Reader Diagnosis

“No, we have Parking Lot Avoidance Syndrome.  We plan ahead to find campgrounds on our route.  This is due to seeing many large, expensive RVs spend the entire weekend at our local Walmart with awnings and chairs out.  Sometimes more than a dozen at a time, no exaggeration.
  The question is, where are they dumping grey and black tanks?” – John and Cathy Strasser, 2012 Chevy 2500HD, 2012 Lance 855S

“Yes, it’s funny, I’ve done all those things.  Sometimes, when I haven’t had the camper out for a while, I will load it on the truck and drive down to Walmart and park for a while, just to check everything out.  The Walmart in Whitehouse, Yukon is unforgettable.” – Ernie Leet, 2006 Ford F350, 1999 BigFoot 10.5

“Yes, and it is an issue that my wife and I are always commenting about.  There is an individual in our city that alternates between the Walmart lot and a Harbor Freight Tools lot in another part of town.  He/she stays in a really old Winnebago motorhome.  The windows are always open and appears to have no air conditioning.  How is that possible in the Houston/Galveston area?  Not only is it hot, but the mosquitoes would eat you at night.  It is so old we dubbed it the Flintstones mobile.  But I must add they don’t leave any trace of being there when they move to the next parking lot.” – Selby Blackwell, 1997 Ford F250, 2008 Arctic Fox 815

“Our first experience was entirely unplanned.  Enroute to a campground in the westernmost part of Virginia, we were hit by an enormous straight-line windstorm called a Derecho, which blew down hundreds of trees.  The final five miles were completely blocked so we drove to Beckley, West Virginia and set up in a Sam’s Club lot with several other refugees.  Beckley was without power for the next two weeks.

The next day we managed to find a back way into campground.  Since then we’ve stayed in a few other lots and find it a valuable addition to our longer-range trip capabilities.  Naturally, we throw a little business their way the next morning before departing.” – Mike Daily, 2010 GMC 2500, Palomino Bronco

“No.  Staying overnight night in a parking lot to get some shut eye isn’t camping.  If someone thinks it’s camping, they have a real problem.” – Alex Blasingame, 2007 Ford F250, 2002 Lance 815

“I sure wish I had P.L.A.S.  Unfortunately, I don’t seem to use the truck camper as often as I had planned.  Therefore the poor camper just sits in its storage garage, wishing it could join all its cousins out on the open road.” – Stan Johnson, GMC 2500, Northstar Laredo

“Yes, Walmarts are just about everywhere and a lot of roadside rests are very camper friendly (some even have Wi-Fi).  Also, Petro and TA truck stops are good.” – Jeff Yarborough, 2005 Dodge Ram 3500, 2009 Lance 915

“I found a handy website for locating Walmart stores that allow parking and those that don’t.  They also have cell phone apps listing many other parking locations, maps, rest areas, low clearances, campgrounds and stores.  Link: http://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm.” – Art Davidson, 2007 Chevrolet 3500 Silverado, 2003 Bigfoot 30C10.11SL

“I have Parking Lot Repulsion Syndrome.  The whole concept of P.L.A.S. is so wrong.” – Bob Ragain, 1988 MB Unimog, 1971 Alaskan 10′ NCO

“Yes.” – E. & N. Stackman, 2012 Dodge Ram 3500, 2004 Lance 1050

“Yes, we stay at Cracker Barrel restaurants.  Every Cracker Barrel I believe offers overnight parking.  The nice thing about this is that their parking lots are not very well suited for larger RVs.  Truck campers on the other hand fit right in.  Also, I don’t know if Cracker Barrel has a deal with law enforcement, but there are always a few Sheriff and Police cruisers in the parking lots in the morning.  We feel extra secure with them around.” – Lucien Langlois, 2012 Ford F250, 2004 Lance 1025

“No, I think it is a slap in the face of campgrounds to stay and then wait a few days and go use their dump.” – Kenneth Wright, 2006 Dodge 2500, Cummins, 2011 Travel Lite 960

“We’re so addicted that we take pride in not paying for any campgrounds on a seven day or shorter trip.  We’re both constantly checking out abandoned buildings or newer buildings with no occupant.

We prefer to avoid Walmart due to the noise.  There’s always either a lot cleaner or employees driving around all night.  Sometimes you can find a quiet place behind a strip mall, Home Depot, or Lowes.  Be sure to avoid the loading docks.  We even put exceptional places in our GPS saved area for future reference.

We are self-reliant with one 130 watt solar panel and satellite television (which also requires finding a clear southeast exposure when hunting for that night’s free spot).  I keep a compass in the console to make sure I have clear shot at 140′ before we stop.  It’s fun and makes up a little for $4.20 diesel.  See you on the road” – Jim Cornwell, 2011 Chevy Siverado 3500, 2012 Lance 1191

“I have P.L.A.S.  I will park in a parking lot overnight without any qualms.  I would also be willing to park anywhere off the side of the road if I feel it is safe.  Generally, I will park anywhere that I don’t feel funny about staying for the night.” – Bob Chan, 1989 Ford F250, 1988 Lance 780

“No.” – Randall Rice, 2012 GMC 3500, 2002 Bigfoot 10.5

“I do not like when people use the term camping when parking in Walmart or any other parking lot.  We are parking and not camping in these lots.” – Marcel Hebert, 2007 Ford F350, 2006 Cardenal 5th wheel

“Not sure if it’s an addiction, but a normal scheduled stopover for us roughly half-way to the annual Camp Grayling Michigan Historic Artillery Match from our home in Pennsylvania is Cabela’s in Dundee, Michigan.  They have a dedicated parking area for RVs, a dump station, and welcome overnighters.  Plus, you get to go shopping at Cabela’s the next morning, and eat at their great cafe, if you choose, before resuming the journey.  I believe this is a feature of all the Cabela’s stores, and I wouldn’t hesitate to take advantage of it if I was near one of their stores.” – John and Marylou Wells, 2010 Chevy 3500HD, 2012 Chalet Ascent S100F

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