Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-17-2019, 02:49 AM
Garak is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 66

Walmart used to let people camp overnight in their RVs in the parking lot.


I have been hearing that they are less tolerant of it these days, because homeless people started using RVs to live there.
  #2  
Old 07-17-2019, 05:12 AM
running coach's Avatar
running coach is offline
Arms of Steel, Leg of Jello
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Riding my handcycle
Posts: 37,409
Where would the homeless get a running RV? Or are these "homeless" in the nomadic sense?
Got a link?
  #3  
Old 07-17-2019, 05:42 AM
pullin is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: N Texas
Posts: 3,127
It (RV based homelessness) is becoming pretty common on the West Coast. Here's a news segment about it. You can find a lot of youtube videos about homeless RV-ers.

If you're interested, Without Bound is about/by a sort of homeless RV guru. He produces quite a few videos with tips about living nearly free in an RV.

There's a really interesting book called Nomadland about the large numbers of people surviving (sometimes just barely) in their RVs while wandering through a series of gig jobs. Amazon even has a name for them: Workampers. They occasionally provide RV space for their seasonal workforce. Ditto (apparently) for the companies involved in the annual sugar beet harvest. I was surprised by this as well.

Anyway, not trying to lecture about it, but it's apparently a very large, somewhat underground population that are managing within the gig economy. A surprising number are seniors as well.

Last edited by pullin; 07-17-2019 at 05:44 AM. Reason: changed a word for better description
  #4  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:46 AM
TRC4941's Avatar
TRC4941 is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: NE Minnesota
Posts: 1,284
I think our WalMart had a sign on their perimeter fence that said "no overnight camping" or something to that effect. They don't seem to enforce it, I see campers there all the time. I'm guessing as long as the campers are quiet and don't cause problems they let them stay. It seems like it's mostly older people. I've never seen families with kids parked there.
  #5  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:56 AM
Dewey Finn is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 29,144
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Where would the homeless get a running RV? Or are these "homeless" in the nomadic sense?
Got a link?
In an insanely expensive real estate market like the SF Bay Area, there are plenty of employed people who can't really afford to buy a house but could afford a (perhaps used) RV or motor home, particularly if they're not paying for the real estate it's on.
  #6  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:59 AM
Andy L is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 6,770
There's an online list of Walmarts that do allow RVs https://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm
  #7  
Old 07-17-2019, 08:52 PM
TokyoBayer's Avatar
TokyoBayer is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Taiwan
Posts: 10,582
My younger brother has been homeless for 15 years +/- several. My mom supports him. He has PTSD and other issues. He gets junkers and lives in them. If he’s lucky he can stay in the same spot for a while. He shower at the university sports facility, gets food from homeless centers.

I can see where people who are marginal could get a beat up RV or camper and live out of that.
  #8  
Old 07-17-2019, 09:37 PM
manson1972's Avatar
manson1972 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,367
People living in an RV are considered "homeless"?
  #9  
Old 07-17-2019, 09:57 PM
Guinastasia's Avatar
Guinastasia is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 52,945
Well, that explains some of the photos at People of Walmart.
  #10  
Old 07-17-2019, 09:58 PM
hajario's Avatar
hajario is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Santa Barbara, California
Posts: 16,144
I know a few of them. Some are younger vagabond younger hippies. One guy lives in Thailand for nine or ten months a year and comes to California and works construction for to pay for the Thailand time. One is an older retired guy in a very nice RV who gets Social Security a military pension and has a 401k.

You kind of have to figure out how to do it and where you can part. There are plenty of resources for that including the RV community of people that you meet along the way.
  #11  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:07 PM
needscoffee is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 7,183
Quote:
Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
People living in an RV are considered "homeless"?
People living under bridges are considered "homeless"?
  #12  
Old 07-17-2019, 10:10 PM
manson1972's Avatar
manson1972 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 12,367
Quote:
Originally Posted by needscoffee View Post
People living under bridges are considered "homeless"?
I would assume so, since they have no protection from the elements, nor a bed, nor a bathroom.

You think differently about people living under bridges?
  #13  
Old 07-18-2019, 12:22 AM
BeeGee is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,378
I was watching a show about leisure time on the Smithsonian channel last night. Apparently, during the depression, people were selling their homes and moving into mobile homes so they could look for work. it was seen as a big problem. I don't think you would call them homeless; rather "of no fixed address."
  #14  
Old 07-18-2019, 12:49 AM
blondebear is offline
Shouting Grasshopper
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Meridian/280
Posts: 14,162
I took a trip with a friend in his nice Class A. We overnighted at a couple of Walmarts and also the Iowa 80 Truckstop. Very handy for stocking up and it's free, but spending the night in a giant parking lot--even with all the comforts of home in a nice big motorhome--is not my idea of fun.
  #15  
Old 07-18-2019, 06:33 AM
pullin is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: N Texas
Posts: 3,127
Quote:
Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
People living in an RV are considered "homeless"?
It depends.

The guy working odd jobs and living in an old $5000 motorhome (that he got with his last bit of savings)? He's homeless.

My cousin who sold his water front home in SoCal and travels North America in a $500,000 Tiffin and had his lawyers set up a domicile address in South Dakota for tax reasons? Probably not. Even though he technically doesn't have a house.
  #16  
Old 07-18-2019, 07:00 AM
Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 12,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by running coach View Post
Where would the homeless get a running RV? Or are these "homeless" in the nomadic sense?
Got a link?
"Homeless" != "flat-ass broke." Work a few odd jobs, scrape together a few thousand bucks, and buy a piece-of-shit 30-year-old RV.

I'm more wondering about how they get it registered and insured without a permanent address.
  #17  
Old 07-18-2019, 08:53 AM
Ike Witt's Avatar
Ike Witt is offline
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lost in the mists of time
Posts: 14,942
What kind of mileage would a 30 year old RV get? Heck, what kind of mileage does a 2019 RV get? I mean, if the price of gas goes up by a couple of cents a gallon, then the operating costs go up.
  #18  
Old 07-18-2019, 09:05 AM
enipla is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Colorado Rockies.
Posts: 14,776
Provided the parking lot is big enough, I think Walmart welcomes this. Well, at least they used too. The RV folks are basically captured customers that will be buying a bunch of stuff and restocking.

It may become a problem if the RV folks get rowdy, take up too much room, start using the Walmart bathrooms as it they are their own, start dumping trash etc.
__________________
I don't live in the middle of nowhere, but I can see it from here.
  #19  
Old 07-18-2019, 09:24 AM
LaughingSnowman's Avatar
LaughingSnowman is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: USA
Posts: 28
I lived in a small RV for about 2 months. Hated every second of it.
  #20  
Old 07-18-2019, 09:51 AM
Machine Elf is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Challenger Deep
Posts: 12,319
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ike Witt View Post
What kind of mileage would a 30 year old RV get? Heck, what kind of mileage does a 2019 RV get? I mean, if the price of gas goes up by a couple of cents a gallon, then the operating costs go up.
So drive it as little as possible. Park it at Walmart, and then walk, bicycle, or take the city bus as much as possible to get wherever you need to go.

The alternative is renting an apartment. What's the cheapest apartment someone's likely to find? $300/month? Living in an old RV parked in a Walmart lot is probably cheaper, if you can minimize how often you actually drive it anywhere.
  #21  
Old 07-18-2019, 10:47 AM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 42,605
Quote:
Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
I would assume so, since they have no protection from the elements, nor a bed, nor a bathroom.

You think differently about people living under bridges?
The bathroom in an RV is only good until the holding tank is full. The stove and refrigerator only work if there is propane available, and the water system only works if there is a functioning charged battery or shore power. Most of the homeless RVs in this city are "RVs" only in the sense that they may have wheels and an engine compartment and some sort of box on the back that may or may not be intact. Some of them actually run, but most are unlicensed, inoperable and falling apart. From the photos I've seen, the people living in them would likely be better off in a tent. The city, of course, seems to have little clue as to how to deal with them.

Oh, and since we live on two rivers, Portland also has a problem with houseboats that are in the same condition as the RVs, with the added attraction of having all the garbage and sewage go right into the rivers.

Last edited by Chefguy; 07-18-2019 at 10:49 AM.
  #22  
Old 07-18-2019, 11:08 AM
racer72 is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Auburn, WA
Posts: 6,430
Seattle has a big problem with homeless in RV's. Usually the RV's don't run. After sitting for a while, the RV is towed for exceeding the city parking zone limits, it's sold at auction for $5 to $20, then resold for $100 to the previous owner and towed to where it was sitting before. Homeless camper lives in RV till the next time it's sold. Rinse and repeat. The local news station showed some tape from one of the auctions, it was the owners of towing companies buying the RV's to sell back to the homeless. The city is trying to find a way to junk the non running RV's instead of having them put back on the streets.

Last edited by racer72; 07-18-2019 at 11:09 AM.
  #23  
Old 07-18-2019, 01:33 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 756
I think a lot of people would be surprised by what counts as "homeless". It's not just the stereotypical guy living under a bridge. There's apparently more than one "official" definition, but basically it can be anyone who doesn't have some form of "permanent" housing. Even someone staying with friends or family could be considered homeless if it's only a temporary arrangement: If Joe goes to his friend and says "Dude, I just got evicted. Can I crash on your couch for a while?" but that only lasts until the friend gets tired of him staying there and asks him to leave, so Joe goes to a different friend and ask to sleep on their couch, until he overstays his welcome, repeat... Joe could be considered homeless by some definitions.

Quote:
An individual may be considered to be homeless if that person is “doubled up,” a term that refers to a situation where individuals are unable to maintain their housing situation and are forced to stay with a series of friends and/or extended family members.
So, getting back to RVs -- while that site doesn't mention them specifically it does mention living in vehicles. I would guess someone living in a RV could be considered homeless if the only reason they are doing so is because they can't afford the rent on a "real" house or apartment.
  #24  
Old 07-18-2019, 02:07 PM
WildaBeast's Avatar
WildaBeast is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 756
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildaBeast View Post
So, getting back to RVs -- while that site doesn't mention them specifically it does mention living in vehicles. I would guess someone living in a RV could be considered homeless if the only reason they are doing so is because they can't afford the rent on a "real" house or apartment.
I missed the edit window, but thinking about it more, it seems the key as to whether you are homeless or not is whether your housing situation is "stable". So it comes down to like what racer72 said above -- if you're living in an RV, but it keeps getting towed because it's not registered, parked illegally, or because Wal-Mart decides they don't want you living in their parking lot; they just want RV that are temporarily parked overnight, then your living situation isn't really stable and you can be considered homeless.

Your retired parents living in a brand new RV and traveling around in it, staying in proper campgrounds and RV parks, are not homeless, because they have stable access to their RV all the time.
  #25  
Old 07-18-2019, 02:35 PM
Sicks Ate is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: KS, US
Posts: 6,733
At Walmart.

2 RVs in the lot. A nice 5th wheel and one that fits the description of "homeless".
  #26  
Old 07-18-2019, 03:08 PM
Pábitel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Hardwick, VT
Posts: 1,465
The reason a lot of Walmarts now don't allow overnighting, or boon-docking, as it is usually called, is because the jurisdiction they are in has banned it.

"Recently local towns have begun to pass ordinances that prohibit overnight parking. So if a Walmart is in that jurisdiction they will not be able to allow campers to park overnight."

cite
__________________
"Those that would give up Essential Liberty for a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."
--- Ben Franklin
  #27  
Old 07-18-2019, 03:11 PM
Gatopescado is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: on your last raw nerve
Posts: 22,653
The WalMart just south of Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado is ideally located for post concert napping/sobering up before heading home the next morning.

Your Welcome.
  #28  
Old 07-18-2019, 05:00 PM
Mister Rik's Avatar
Mister Rik is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: The bunghole of WA
Posts: 12,618
Quote:
Originally Posted by pullin View Post
There's a really interesting book called Nomadland about the large numbers of people surviving (sometimes just barely) in their RVs while wandering through a series of gig jobs. Amazon even has a name for them: Workampers. They occasionally provide RV space for their seasonal workforce.
My mom and stepdad are Workampers. Workamper is an actual organization, not just a name Amazon came up with. My folks have absolutely loved it, getting to travel, see many great parts of the country, and work in some beautiful, interesting places. They even won "Workampers of the Year" a few years ago.
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017