Wherever the Road Leads

Camper’s Paradise

“Wal-Mart’ to non-RVers

Wal Mart has a policy where they will allow an RV to park in their parking lot overnight, free of charge. Most beneficial to a Motor Coach with its own generator, but in a pinch, I’m sure every RVer with a few gallons of on-board water, fully charged batteries and plenty of propane has been grateful and fared very well going to bed and getting up with the sun.

I didn’t always know this, I discovered it when perusing the various forums for RVers, particularly Full Timers. A new poster, a rookie – like me – at RVing asked what was the most important item when you first start out. One man’s reply – humorous until you realize his wisdom – was “a pencil and paper”. So true. Even using a list, I don’t think I’ve yet missed a day going to “Camper’s Paradise”.

Another poster made a comment about the ‘free” aspect of staying in a Wal-Mart parking lot. He said that every time he and his wife had stayed at one, they had spent $120 – $150 in the store. He noted that it was very shrewd marketing on Wal-Mart’s part as at what other campground, no matter how many amenities, would you be willing to pay $150 per night?

So far, I have spent over $137.00 at Wal-Mart with only a nominal amount of that being for food. I needed WD-40, a long-nosed Bic (BBQ) lighter, a camping soap dish, clips to hold a table-cloth on the picnic table, dish detergent, laundry detergent, Bounce sheets, powdered cleanser, trash bags, freezer bags – although I cheat and use sandwich bags as nothing will be in the freezer for long, a mini vacuum cleaner, a brush and pan, pump liquid soap and bars of Coast soap, a pillow, a fan, an extension cord, an ultra-light wall clock and those 3M ‘Command” hooks to mount it and a large bottle of Louisiana hot sauce.

Only because Ace Hardware is closer did they supply the new GFI switch and a tank of propane. Plus, I preferred the shelf organizer at Bed, Bath and Beyond where I also got a potato peeler. And Wal-Mart has yet to sell me a half-gallon of Blue Bunny ice cream with my name all over it.

The camper is leaning to the left as the site is on a slight downhill angle. I was going to buy a couple of sets of these for about $30 per set…


It would mean hooking up to the trailer, pulling forward a few feet, building the platforms for both axles and then very carefully backing up onto the platforms. Not easy even for a driver and a guider, but even more difficult for a one-man band.

bottle jackMy RV mechanic had a much better idea. He said buy a ‘bottle jack’, jack the frame up on one side and slide one, maybe two 2″ x 6″ boards under the tars. What he was talking about was one of these, pictured on the left and on order from Amazon.com. It’s a six-ton and this camper had better not be much over 5,000# or I’m going to be lined up at Wal-Mart Returns to shed some weight.

I should have stopped at Lowe’s to get a 12′ length cut in two before I went to Camper’s Paradise. It was 90ยบ today and my ice cream would have turned to sour cream in the Lowe’s parking lot while I got the lumber. So Wal-Mart and Blue Bunny will have to wait for my next trip.

I’m sure it won’t be much of a wait.






wps175Speaking of ‘tars’… my friend Roger, king of the hammer to free hitch-and-ball, is from Arkansas. You’ll never meet a nicer or more helpful guy. Did I mention he’s from Arkansas?

When he came to help me out with the electrical problem and we thought it was the GFI switch, he was telling me that electricity is not all that bad if you’re careful. You have to make sure that the wars don’t touch, he said. Hook the white war to the other white war, and hook the two black wars together but just don’t let them touch.

Thank you for everything, Roger, you’re a gem.

Woo Pig Sooie!!!

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  1. elayne  June 17, 2014

    I am surprised you weren’t aware of the Wal-mart parking for RV’s.. They have been doing that for years in the USA. I am not sure it happens here though.. i don’t remember seeing any parked around Ottawa stores.

    I do know also that campers and RVers are very friendly and extremely helpful to newbies in the parks. It was one of the main things I enjoyed about camping and going up to Mom and Dad’s trailer to spend a few days at the lake.

    It sounds as if you are well on your way to a very interesting summer. Enjoy.


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