Friday, February 22, 2013

Get Out Of My Parking Lot

It had to happen sooner or later. We got kicked out of the Walmart parking lot. Well, actually we had been there for almost two weeks and started to get a bit too comfortable. The fellow pulled up to our RV and told us that we could not camp in the parking lot. He said his boss had seen us the day before and wanted us gone. Maybe we would not have been booted out if we did not set up our camp at the back of the Walmart. We took it as a sign and headed back to the beach for some other adventures that I will get to in a minute.

It happened again this week. Ward and I pulled in to the same Walmart parking lot. We stayed overnight without incident, then the next afternoon we heard a knock on the door. The security guard said it was the policy of Walmart to allow RVs to stay only one night. We asked if we could stay that evening as well and we would be gone the next morning. He was ok with the arrangement. The next day we headed for the old Walmart lot a few streets down. It was the same parking lot as the Chinese Buffet and next to the Post Office where I had to go and cancel our PO Box. This time a police car pulled up and said there had been a complaint about RVs parking in the lot. We had been there just one night, and Ward was changing the oil on the motorcycle in the lot. Ward said we would be on our way once he was finished with the oil change.

Last night we had an uneventful stay at Sams and moved on to the next Walmart down the road. Well, actually across the street. I think we are on our way back home, slowly, oh so slowly. With winter storms running amuk all across America, the trek north is as slow as a snail, one parking lot at a time, it would seem.

So, as promised, we did have some adventures on the beach this last time. I mentioned we met a fellow Canadian. Well, in true Canadian spirit, he got himself placed in the drunk tank at the Corpus Chrisit Police Station. He doesn't have a memory of the incident until waking up in the back of a cruiser, but we saw it all unfold.

It started innocently enough. We were sharing a bit of high quality dark rum, then Ward and I were off to start the BBQ and our Canadian friend was going to clean the fish he caught. Next thing I see was his truck driving down the beach. And wasn't that his bicycle under the truck? Oh yes it was. It wasn't really the Ranger's fault that our Canadian friend was stopped. Somebody had to see why that truck was dragging a bicycle, and make sure everyone involved was unharmed.

We confirmed that the bicycle was actually his own, and said we would pick him up the next morning at 8. After all, don't Canadians take care of each other. Ward went to get him in the morning on the motorcycle, to find he had been released at 3am without a wallet, but with a note stating his beach friends were coming to get him. He was extremely grateful for the ride, but much confused on how he got there.

The next few days were spent socializing on the beach, sharing food and stories, while our friend tried to piece together his missing hours. We were given the injured bicycle, partly as a gift for our kindness, but mostly (I think) to rid him of the memory of that fateful event.

The bicycle is temporarily strapped to the front of the RV, while I design a bicycle rack to hold our newly aquired bicycle and the one we purchased earlier this year. The new bike rack is needed to allow quick access to the bicycles, so we will actually ride them. Currently my bike is strapped down so securely it takes hours to remove it. Not good, if it is meant to be ridden.

With nothing but time on our hands, the bicycle rack is being built with spare parts we have on hand and bits of hardware purchased. Each new parking lot allows the design to get honed and perfected. You'll get a photo once the project is complete.


  1. You might want to be aware that a number of RVing organizations have banded together to promote a "Good Neighbor Policy" related to stays in places such as Walmarts. Here is the policy:

    Dear Fellow RVers,
    Some of the most respected RV consumer clubs have joined together to support your right to park on private businesses’ parking lots overnight under the following code of conduct:
    Industry-sanctioned Code of Conduct
    (RVers’ Good Neighbor Policy)
    1. Stay one night only!
    2. Obtain permission from a qualified individual.
    3. Obey posted regulations.
    4. No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills.
    5. Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).
    6. Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
    7. Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.
    8. Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.
    If your plans include touring the area, staying for more than one night, or necessitate conduct not within the code, please relocate to a local campground. It’s the right thing to do!
    Most of the complaints lodged regarding RV parking on business parking lots have to do with aesthetics and perceived abuse of the privilege. There are a variety of competing interests that were balanced to arrive at this industry-sanctioned code of conduct. As you can see, the Code of Conduct is nothing more than an RVers’ “Good Neighbor” policy.
    Not following the code has serious consequences and is detrimental to the rights of all RVers. Already, some municipalities have passed ordinances to prohibit parking on private business property overnight.
    Please do not take offense to this letter; it is only provided as a reminder that RVers must be perceived as good neighbors, or there will be more pressure to institute state, county, and local ordinances to prohibit parking on private business property.
    We wish you safe and happy travels,

  2. Sounds like quite the adventure! I'm thrilled to know someone living in an RV in a Walmart parking lot by choice! An I'm living vicariously through your blogs! Enjoy your slow trip home! :)