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On the Way: Eating and Sleeping

On_the_Way_Eating_SleepingTraveling the highways and back roads are fun, but you get to a point to where you can't drive anymore and your tummy is starting to rumble. You don't want to eat out for every meal and sometimes you are nowhere near a campground. Sometimes you have to set up camp in some unconventional places.

Wal-Mart, believe it or not, is a boondocker's paradise. Boondocking is when you set up camp and you don't have any hook-ups. Boondocking is also known as free camping. You have to depend on your RV's batteries and generator to provide you power and water. Seasoned RVers don't generally pack all the food that they require for their trip, so Wal-Mart has many features for the RVer. Super Wal-Marts are open twenty-four hours a day. This means that no matter what time it is, you will be able to stop in and pick up a bite to eat. There are numerous food ideas at Wal-Mart as most operate as grocery stores these days. You can have yourself a fresh salad with dressing and some fresh meat from the deli. Eating light and cheap will help to stretch your budget a little further for your trip. Wal-Mart can also be a great place to set up "camp" for the night. The parking lots are lighted and there is always people coming and going. Lock your doors and close the curtains in your windows and you will be able to have a good nights rest. The next morning you might decide to pick up some fruit and sandwich meat for snacks later on down the highway. Buying the food you need as you go will save you precious refrigerator space as well as be a little easier on your budget.

Flying J Truck Stops are also good friends of RVers. They too are open twenty-four hours and are frequented by people all night. You can fill up your gas tank and get a bite to eat at the restaurant. You can also boondock in their parking lots as well. Flying J Truck Stops also tend to have Internet access in the restaurant or at their payphones. This is a great time to check your e-mail and alert your family to your recent adventures. Flying J Truck Stops have been noted to have lower gas prices as well. Most of them also have a separate RV parking area that is away from the semi-trucks.

Camping World stores will also allow overnight parking, but you should check with the store prior to parking for the night. Camping World also figures that you will buy something from them and they generally allow overnight stays. Certain stores in certain cities may not allow overnight stays due to crime areas, etc.

Kmart was one of the first stores to allow overnight parking for RVers. Asking the store manager for permission is always a good idea before setting up. The manager will often alert the security staff and will have them keep an eye on you overnight. Shopping malls may also allow you to stay the night if you are visiting the stores, movie theaters or restaurants. They too will often have the security guards keep an eye on you.

Places to avoid are often rest stops. They sound like nice quite places to sleep, but they can be very dangerous. There is no security and you are very vulnerable when you are sleeping. Many RVers have had people try to break into their RVs only to scare the burglars off with a hunting rifle or some other method of producing fear. If you choose to stay the night anywhere, it is best to use a busy location and be aware of your situation. You are better safe than sorry and it is wise to stay where you know you will be safe.

There are numerous campers and RVers on the Internet. Search the Internet before embarking on your trip to find excellent boondocking destinations. If you have a GPS system you may be able to find coordinates for excellent boondocking sites. You may also find numerous databases on different sites across the country that will allow you to boondock.

Boondockers should also be responsible while enjoying free camping and free overnight stays. This means that you should only spend the night in the Wal-Mart parking lot-not a week. If you do boondock in a parking lot, it is common courtesy to thank the establishment by purchasing something from the next day. RVers once received a bad reputation for taking advantage of parking lots that allowed you to spend the night. Other RVers have been seen helping round up shopping carts out of the parking lot and picking up litter. Many Wal-Marts, however, are putting up signs restricting RVers from parking in their lots. Make sure that you are allowed to park their or your goodnights sleep may be disturbed.--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you are a business owner get listed at Best Finance Site, part of Localwin Network.
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