At the border, entering the "country" of Transnistria. Photo taken December 8, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Tiraspol, Transnistria...the country that doesn't exist.

Where are they going next? Northern Moldova. Arrive December 11th.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

These guys just don't get it...

I was looking at the map the other day while planning our trip to Ottawa next month, and I was remembering the last time we drove across northern Ontario in the fall of 2007.

At that time, we had stopped in the towns of Kenora and Dryden, and noticed that there were "No RV Parking" signs at the Walmarts. No problem for us. Even back then, we were good at finding great free overnight spots!

Here's one of our great overnight spots, at the Vermilion Bay Airport...

October 24, 2007.

At the time, a disgruntled campground owner in the town of Kenora had spearheaded the drive to ban RV's from the local Walmart parking lot, claiming that he was losing business. As far as I can tell from doing an online search, Kenora still has an anti-Rv'ing No Overnight Parking ordinance.

So in the news the other day, I noticed that the town of Penticton, British Columbia has another whiny campground owner.


The place charges $52 CAD ($40 USD) a night for an RV site.

The people who overnight at Walmarts are not going to pay $52 to stay for the night.

Now, maybe if the guy at the campground had an overflow lot where travelers could park for the night for $10...then he might get some business from the RV'ers.

But at $52 a night? Nope.

So when there is a ban on overnighting at the local Walmart, people will simply not stop in that town. 

These guys just don't get it.

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You know that blow up kayak that we bought? Well, we haven't had a chance to use it again because it's been too windy here at the park.

But, I notice that it's on sale again, this time for our American readers! It's on lightning deal right now!


It's still on at a decent price in Canada too...





33 comments:

  1. Wow $81.39 with free shipping is an AMAZING price for that kayak! I got my $99 yellow one yesterday but haven't inflated yet because it's so huge lol. In the early 2000s the Montana state legislature actually considered banning Walmart camping statewide. Needless to say, that idea went over like a lead balloon.

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    1. Can't wait to find out how you like your new yellow kayak!

      Nova Scotia was going to pass a law similar but not just Walmart, it would have covered everywhere but campgrounds, this also included your own driveway. Don't think it ever happened, the RVing community was set to boycott travel to Nova Scotia.

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  2. That is so true, when we want to stop for a night, really don't need a campground, just a place to park and like you we refuse to pay those prices. So we don't visit their towns and spend money, pretty simple math. Walmart is a nice stop for us because we pretty well always buy something. Plus we are relaxing now and making a meal. There is plenty of other places to park as you well know.

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    1. If we come to a town that has a municipal law banning overnight parking then we will move on and spend our money somewhere else. Too bad the town doesn't realize that they are probably missing more than just our money, there are most likely many others that do the same! On the other side of the coin there are many towns that have a small campground in their town that offer free camping often for 1 to 3 nights. These towns know how to entice people to their towns and keep them there to spend their money and I bet it works. :-)

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  3. We have service service scheduled in Kamloops, and have discovered the Walmart there also does not allow an overnight stay. 😢

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    1. There are lot of other places besides Walmart. Phone the local Home Depot and ask if you can park there.

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    2. Thanks Kevin, the Kamloops Costco still welcomes overnight guests. Kamloops has more hills than San Francisco!, beautiful town

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  4. I was happy to see the new Walmart in Campbell River allows overnight parking and several RV's take advantage of this each night. We have spent many nights in Walmarts and have never spent a night there without buying something from a few groceries to two new TV's for the motorhome. Like you say, they just don't "get it".

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    1. Nice to hear that Campbell River allows overnight parking. Again it is the town normally that bans the overnight parking not usually the Walmart itself. The only Walmarts that tend to ban overnight parking if there isn't a municipal law are ones that are leasing the property and don't out right own it, like those in a shopping center.

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  5. "Because I'm losing business" is the stupidest reason to pass a law I've ever heard of. Especially a law affecting somebody else's private property.

    I did hear of a case where an RVer asked the Walmart manager about the no parking sign, and the manager said "We had nothing to do with that, and if you want to park there overnight we aren't going to say anything."

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    1. Yep, we agree that is a stupid excuse. If that is the case then they should open up a small parcel of land in the campground that can be used by these overnighters and just charge $10 with the promise of not using any amenities (ie, refilling water, dumping or even their washrooms) at least that way you could set out your lawn chairs and put the BBQ out without worrying. You can't do that at Walmart and it would give people more security and who know maybe they would like it there that they may even decide to stay a few more days in the proper camping area and pay full price.

      We have also stayed at a Walmart that had "No Overnight" parking signs up. When I went and asked they said it was a city bylaw but they had no problem with us staying but we could possibly risk being ticketed. We stayed and we woke in the morning to no ticket! :-)

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  6. Walmart should want RVers. They spend money. It never cost us $0.00 when we overnight there. We usually go in and buy our weekly groceries. They get waaaaay more from us than $0.00

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    1. Did you not read the article? It's not Walmart, it's the local bylaws and the campgrounds who petition the municipalities into changing their laws.

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  7. Cabela's has always been Rv friendly however at The Hamburg, Pa store the city banned parking before they even got opened I think. And at least for awhile they were actively enforcing it. None of the campgrounds are real convenient to the intersection for transient parking. And at the store near Pittsburgh they didn't have signs outlawing it but they didn't install a RV dump. At the Wallmart store on route 30 and 10 in Pennsylvania there signs about 100.00 fine for over night parking. And this is really in the middle of nowhere. It isn't only the whiny campground owners but the general sourpusses that don't like the looks of it. Some Overs haven't helped but actually setting up camp. And in Gettysburg Walmart some were actually dumping their tanks down the storm sewers and got it banned.

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    1. You are totally right with some of the RVer's ruining it for others by over staying their welcome, setting up camp in a parking lot and dumping where they shouldn't be. And, I guess this is the way that the towns/municipalities/stores are dealing with it and just putting an end to it for all. :-(

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  8. Stayed about 5 years ago, overnight, at the Walmart in the Sault on the Canadian side. Asked inside and was told that people do park but you could get a ticket. It was after dark there were other RVs as well as Transports. The next morning had a $15 ticket on the windshield. Didn't have my cheque book with me so didn't pay it right away. Upon getting home had a summons in the mail. Phoned and was informed that they did have my payment. In talking to the nice girl she told me a local campground was putting pressure on the city about the RV parking at Walmart in the city. Mentioned to the girl the $15 was about half the price of the campground at the time, so rather supply the money to the city. Felt bad for all the transports with the tickets, as they are trying to make a living.

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    1. Sorry you got a ticket but I do like the fact that you told the nice girl that it was cheaper to pay the fine then stay at the campground and also the fact that the money goes directly to the city. We got a ticket once to in Carlisle, PA. We stayed at a Walmart along with a pile of other RV's and a couple of cars and vans that were overnighting. We woke up in the morning and every RV had a ticket except for the cars and vans. We couldn't see a sign anywhere that said we couldn't overnight so we headed to the Police Station to explain our case. There apparently were a couple of signs but they were small and not well seen, and luckily for us the cop helping us let us go with just a warning and said they would speak to the owners of the shopping center to put up better signage.

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  9. Just on a second note, this past spring I have stayed at the Walmart in Thunder Bay (Arthur Street), who welcomed us with open arms. I believe you are taking the northern route, if not, the Sudbury(Long Lake Road) Walmart has one of the nicest parking lots cut out of a rock face. Stayed there this past spring and summer. In Marathon Ontario right on HWY 17 is Mays Gift Shop where you are also welcome to stay in the back overnight. They have even offered a plug in with no charge. They have a great gift shop with locally made glass items. They are RVers who winter in Florida. The shop is very unique that it is in the old OPP station.

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    1. Sorry somehow I missed this comment. We have actually dry camped in two different spots in Thunder Bay when we first started out on our adventure. One was near the waterfalls by the railway and the other one was in the parking lot at the ski resort. Who knows where we will end up this time but I doubt that it will be Walmart And when we said we were taking the northern route through Ontario we mean northern! Lol. We will turn off at Nipigon and head north on Hwy 11 so we won't be going through Marathon but thank you for the boondocking suggestions, if we change our minds we will check Mays Gift Shop out.

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  10. We have stayed at lots of Walmarts and always seem to pay what I call our dues (usually a lot of groceries). I'm with you, it would seem that Walmarts everywhere would get it.

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    1. Walmarts aren't the problem here. Walmarts do totally get it. Did you not read the article? It's not Walmart, it's the local bylaws and the campgrounds who petition the municipalities into changing their laws.

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    1. Sure, but you can't park at those stores either. Did you not read the article? It's not Walmart (or the other stores), it's the local bylaws and the campgrounds who petition the municipalities into changing their laws.

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  12. Yes, they ban RV parking because of the pressure from local campgrounds. However, not all businesses equally enforce them. In one city in Oregon Walmart had no parking signs and refused us when we asked. Right next door was a Home Depot where we asked and were told to go ahead and park. So it was either Walmart that did not want us or it was a by-law that Home Depot was ignoring it.

    Even if there is a by-law, what are the chances of a city paying the by-law enforcement officer overtime to drive around giving out tickets? In our town they work M-F, 9 - 5. Because of this many Walmarts tell you to ignore the sign and park anyway. In a Supercenter Walmart where they are open 24 hours who can easily tell if you are shopping or sleeping? In there Walmarts they usually give the line, we don't mind but you may get a ticket or be asked to move by someone else.

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    1. Yes, you are correct Croft, I think that when it is a city or town ordinance that some stores will enforce and others will ignore it and just tell the RVer that it is up to them whether they want to take the risk or not. We stayed in a Walmart in northern California once that had these signs up, when we ask they said it was up to us and that we MAY be ticket, we took the chance and had no problem.

      I think it is hard to tell whether it is the police or the by-law officers that would hand out the ticket.

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  13. Different cities enforce their No Parking Laws differently. In most, cops can drive up and issue a ticket directly to the RVer. In others, the property owner (i.e. Walmart) receives a violation if they regularly fail to enforce. I think this is why some Walmarts seem to turn a blind eye, while others very strictly prohibit it.

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  14. Darn you two! We took the bait and just ordered our own kayak. :-)

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    1. Ha, too funny! :-)

      I hope you enjoy it. We can't wait to get out in ours again. Lately the weather hasn't been the greatest, it's been really windy or we have been busy working. We think it will work out well though when we are in the motorhome and traveling.

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  15. Don't let Wal-mart off so easy! Wal-mart has more clout politically in US local, state, and national governments than you can believe. I know because of what went down just before Wal-mart built their superstore right across the street from my neighborhood. Here is how the scenario probably occurred in your particular case, and it has solely to do with Wal-mart's "profit." Wal-Mart keeps a very close eye on what is going on politically in a community and does not "run with the pack" UNLESS they perceive that an ordinance substantially affects Wal-mart profits at a particular store. Believe me (and I have personally seen it), Wal-mart weighs, on one hand, the amount of revenue provided by the population of the town and surrounding area and, on the other hand, the amount of revenue over time provided by transient over nighters in their parking lot. In this case, they "ran with the pack," but if they wanted and if it was a "profitable" battle to fight politically, they would have done so and won. That expensive RV park did exactly what Wal-mart would have done if transient over nighters were significant customers to Wal-mart; they would have fought the by-law and WON, because they are Wal-mart.

    Dee Tillotson
    Summerville, SC

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    1. Yes, you could be right! Either way we will try not to spend money in the towns/cities that have bans like this in place. Most of the time we try to boondock out in the boonies anyways but we know lots of people who like to overnight in Walmart. Things like this just make it a little more difficult.

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  16. I agree Steve, folks just don't get it. The RV campground is more or less a destination place, good location to go fishing, boating, etc for a few days, and with utilities (showers, cooking, septic disposal, 50 amp electric for AC, etc.) that destination place for $40-50 p/night is probably worth it in exchange for the "fun away from home" environment. But not all RV owners are on the road looking for "fun away from home", we're just enroute from point A to point B and therefore showers, cooking, septic disposal aren't requirements when we need a quicky overnight resting place. I agree that RV owners would make more money if they all had an overflow parking lot and charged $10 for the night (stipulation perhaps that we leave by 10 AM), no services, nothing. I think everyone would be happy, don't ya think?

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    1. Yep, That is exactly what we are saying. I think a lot of the RV Park owners are missing out on a little bit of extra money because the RV's staying at the Walmart might be willing to shell out $10 but they certainly won't pay the $40-$50, instead they will just continue on to the next spot, oh well, that's their loss.

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