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Old 10-03-2018, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default Overnights at Cracker Barrel

When we had our 31 ft travel trailer & crew cab truck, we would regularly stop overnight at Flying J's en route to southern destinations in winter with never an issue.

Now we have the PW, it will be even easier - with the trailer I was alwyas a bit concerned in case when we got there all the RV slots might be already taken - won't be such an issue with the B

But also, Cracker Barrels could be another option. We did pull into one once with the trailer in tow but no space for us at all - I gather some do have long RV spaces, the one we tried did not.

So I am wondering - are they like Walmarts in that one may be ok with RV's overnight and others may not?

Is it pretty much the routine to ask the waitress to check with teh manager when you go in for supper?

Anyone been refused?

Speaking of Walmarts - we have never tried one of those either though gather many people do. I always felt I would not try one if the area looked at all sketchy or if there were not other trailers large RV's. gain, I suppose it is a bit easier with a van.

I think I'd prefer the option of a Cracker Barrel, enjoying a dinner (and breakfast too if they are open early!)

Brian
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:28 PM   #2
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For a variety of reasons, not all Walmarts allow over-night parking. In my experience, if over-night parking is not allowed, there will be signs to that effect, but you can always phone ahead or talk to customer service. There are websites and apps that will try to track the ones that allow over-night parking, but apparently things change all the time so it's a bit of a moving target.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:34 PM   #3
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For a variety of reasons, not all Walmarts allow over-night parking. In my experience, if over-night parking is not allowed, there will be signs to that effect, but you can always phone ahead or talk to customer service. There are websites and apps that will try to track the ones that allow over-night parking, but apparently things change all the time so it's a bit of a moving target.

Walmart or Cracker Barrel, just call ahead and ask the manager if it is allowed. Almost always accurate, but we got booted after the day manager said OK, and then the night security guy called a tow truck to boot about a half dozen RVs out. This was at Walmart.
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:47 PM   #4
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Cabellas also allows overnighting there...the one I stayed at in Salt Lake City had it's own dump station ($5)
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Old 10-03-2018, 07:48 PM   #5
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we have stopped on a few occasions at various cracker barrels, very friendly, we always ask, and never been turned away, plus we love their food, so we usually grab a quick bite or a nice breakfast and a coffee, before we head out, we always felt safe as the parking lots are usually well lit. most of the time there are 2 or 3 other rv,s there for the night also,,,,hope this helps,,, take care,,,
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Old 10-03-2018, 08:14 PM   #6
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My husband jokes that, if someone DOES eventually get booted out of a Cracker Barrel, it will be us, by sheer virtue of statistics, because it's often the ONLY place we stay. I've long since lost track of how many we have graced with our overnight presence.

Most of them can accommodate rigs. Rarely there is one where they don't "disallow" overnight parking per se, but the issue is that they are part of a shopping complex that doesn't have room for extended vehicles, so they say "no" RVs.

An example is Trevose PA. If you look at the aerial photo, there appear to be two elongated spots in their lot. But those are typically consumed by intermodal containers. No room for trailers.

Of course, this doesn't matter for most, if not all, Class Bs. I stayed in Trevose two months ago, and nobody had an issue with me. But my Sprinter is not an EXT, and in places like that, I always back in, so that I can overhang my tail and not take up more than one parking spot.

Cracker Barrel has its own cult overnighter following. Sometimes the most preposterous locations seem to become favorited by people. An example is Staunton VA. Gosh I hate that location!! It's below the freeway and the noise is deafening. You feel like a big rig will come barreling over the side of the embankment and smash you to smithereens at any second. But I've never been there without at least four other rigs boondocking, and I've been there multiple times. People just like it for some reason.

Cracker Barrel IH-59 Tuscaloosa AL (east side) is one of my favorites. HUGE lot for buses, RVs, and whatever else. Set back from the freeway; very quiet.
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Old 10-04-2018, 01:58 PM   #7
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I've read that city ordinances may prevent overnight boondocking in some places, and that would be a reason that Walmart or Cracker Barrel wouldn't be able to allow RV's. In the Midwest where I travel, I haven't seen RV's overnighting at Cracker Barrel, so I've never stayed at one either. I have stayed at a several Walmarts though. I stay at ones in nice neighborhoods, so I scope out the area first. I also will drive around the parking lot, sometimes a few times, to figure out the best place to park. Since I have dogs to potty, I look for a place that's out of the way and is next to grass. Sometimes, I'm the only RV there and other times, there are a few others. Since I'm usually in town for a dog show, I sometimes spend multiple nights at the same Walmart. I usually leave around 5:30 or 6 a.m. and don't return until 9 or 10 p.m., so I try to be as unobtrusive as possible. I'm going to a dog show this weekend and will be spending nights at a Walmart I've used for the past few years. There is a Walmart in a small town just 5 miles north that doesn't allow RV's, but this one does, so I'm assuming it's a city ordinance issue. I like the Walmarts since they're open 24 hours, so there's always someone there.
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Old 10-04-2018, 09:20 PM   #8
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The problems we've had with Walmarts, even ones in nicer areas, is illegal drug users. Once they invade the parking lot, the police will clear EVERYBODY out of there, including innocent boondockers who clearly have no involvement, but they do this in order avoid accusations of "unequal treatment" or "racism" or whatever is the pouty accusation-du-jour. And when they clear the place, it often doesn't happen until after midnight, which is a roaring inconvenience for people who are already asleep. Been there, done that, don't wish to rinse and repeat.

I've never seen junkies at any Cracker Barrel. Thank the powers that be.
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Old 10-04-2018, 10:12 PM   #9
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The problems we've had with Walmarts, even ones in nicer areas, is illegal drug users. Once they invade the parking lot, the police will clear EVERYBODY out of there, including innocent boondockers who clearly have no involvement, but they do this in order avoid accusations of "unequal treatment" or "racism" or whatever is the pouty accusation-du-jour. And when they clear the place, it often doesn't happen until after midnight, which is a roaring inconvenience for people who are already asleep. Been there, done that, don't wish to rinse and repeat.

I've never seen junkies at any Cracker Barrel. Thank the powers that be.
Cracker Barrel sounds good to me and will give it a try! I will say after 20 years of stopping at their places en route to winter designations we have never encountered any issues an will continue to use them - but now with the "B" I will add Cracker Barrel's to our options - I'm having doubts about Wally World fro comments I have read!

But never say never - any port in a storm as they say!

We are off tomorrow for our first camping weekend in the "B" - hope all goes
well ! Bee spending time in it in r driveway as I get familiar - sanitising fresh water tank etc.

So far I am very pleased with it, everything seems to work - so far, and the fit and finish of the PW Plateau FL is living up to what I had heard. It is obviously much smaller than the 31 ft AS Classic trailer he traded in, but seems to have enough space for the two of us and everything is packed in for the trip - very inviting and cozy inside.

Brian.
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Old 10-05-2018, 01:00 AM   #10
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We love Wally-docking! But it gets expensive--we go in and inedibility there is some "food' in the bakery that has my name on it. Then there is the cute pair of shorts, and WD40 on sale----etc. We are their best freeloaders!
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:26 PM   #11
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Cabellas also allows overnighting there...the one I stayed at in Salt Lake City had it's own dump station ($5)
The key word there is “had”. Apparently they sold off he part of the property with the dump station, but allegedly still allow overnight parking. Next time i brave the drive to Lehi i can check for sure.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:01 AM   #12
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Ate at a Cracker Barrel in Tuscaloosa AL today and there was a sign that specifically said “no overnight parking”.
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Old 10-08-2018, 11:11 AM   #13
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Ate at a Cracker Barrel in Tuscaloosa AL today and there was a sign that specifically said “no overnight parking”.
In the FRONT lot. They don't like people to get confused about where to park.

When I was there last, I shared the overnight space with a stealthy pair of tour buses. I was curious about who these belong to, so I posted this pic on another forum. Someone said (paraphrased), "Nah, their owner can't be that famous, because those are OLD Prevosts." Which led me to suspect that the owner might had gotten rich some time ago, and loved his/her buses, so did not want to trade up. There was nothing on the pair of them to suggest who owns them. They were so clean that I could have eaten off them. There were no large groups in the Cracker Barrel - I don't think any of the occupants went in for pancakes. Both buses were both gone by the time I finished my 6 a.m. omelette.

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Old 10-08-2018, 11:40 AM   #14
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Those OLD Prevosts often get completely remodeled inside periodically. You could say it's a lifetime chassis and you just renovate as needed.

Cracker Barrel day parking for a B van is no problem. My B van plus travel trailer fit in those RV/bus bays. A Class A towing the car likely won't fit without unhooking the car.

It's really great that they cater to RV'ers.
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Old 10-08-2018, 04:51 PM   #15
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We stay at Walmart and Cracker Barrel routinely. If a sign is posted saying no overnight parking but there is no tow company listed at the bottom of the sign and you see big trucks and RVs parked around the edges of the lot the sign is probably not enforced. I ask the truckers. Are you guys ever rousted? If no you are probably OK.
The Walmart staff may say we dont care but the city says no so you parking is on your own decision. Our Garmin lists "no cost" parking and it is fairly reliable. There are apps too that are fairly reliable as mentioned before.
With a class B consider parking at the outer edge of the 24 hour customer parking, shut your internal and external lights off and you blend in as a regular customer thus unlikely to be hassled even if the Walmart is in a city with an ordinance against overnight parking within city limits.
For federal DOT purposes there is a difference between resting/parking for extended time frames and overnight camping. So off of an interstate in a rest area you may be able to stay overnight but camping may be prohibited so dont get out the lawn chair, cooler of beer and start a camp fire.
We tow a plane in an enclosed trailer and occasionally park overnight at small airport parking lots and use the pay to park oversize vehicle lots at major airports when one of us has an early morning flight rather than leave home at 4:00 am.
Just some thoughts based in experience.
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Old 10-09-2018, 12:16 PM   #16
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I used to count rural airport parking lots among my favorites, but more and more of them are installing automated animal scare equipment. Even when the runways are not active, this crap goes off in the middle of the night so that wildlife will not become habituated to occupying the area around the airfield.

Guess what??! Noises that scare wildlife also scare my canine. Last time I tried this, I got no freakin' sleep. I had to deal with a whiny dog all night long.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:49 PM   #17
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I've stayed at Walmarts in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska over the past 12 years, and I've never seen the parking lot being used by drug users, nor have I ever been asked to leave. Sounds like it depends on what city or what part of the country you're in. Something to think about when I'm able to travel more to other parts of the country in a few years.
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Old 10-23-2018, 02:16 PM   #18
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Default Boondocking Walmarts

You can get a national walmart directory that includes whether overnight parking is allowed. My understanding is that this is more a matter of local ordinance than the policy of any individual walmart. I don't know if Cabellas or Cracker Barrel have similar publications. I recall going to a Cracker Barrel once where there was not any long spaces - then I saw a small sign that directed RV and truck parking across the street where there was ample room. My Roadtrek (22') can usually find space that works in a normal parking lot, but if I'm pulling my dinghy it's 38'.
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Old 10-23-2018, 06:29 PM   #19
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I've stayed at Walmarts in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Nebraska over the past 12 years, and I've never seen the parking lot being used by drug users, nor have I ever been asked to leave. Sounds like it depends on what city or what part of the country you're in. Something to think about when I'm able to travel more to other parts of the country in a few years.
Tweakers have a way of rotating to stay one step ahead of the authorities at least briefly. They get kicked out of one place, move on, get kicked out again, move on, rinse and repeat. I looked up the Walmart that we got kicked out of on Allstays. It was a mixture of glowing positive reviews plus thumbs down by people who reported also getting kicked out of what otherwise is a yes-park Walmart (as opposed to a no-park Walmart).
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