Its not so much trying to save money, as opposed to flexibility in schedule.
For example, if they decide to say longer at an attraction, or see something interesting along the way, they might have to cancel the campground for the night, and stay at a Walmart someplace in between for the night instead.
So I'm gathering that 24hr super-centers in decent neighborhoods are reasonably safe. My wife and her friend are "street-smart" and have good discernment in that respect.
Wal*Mart is one of the highly controversial and personal topic's -- over the years we have found that staying in the Wal*Mart parking lot is Safe, Convenient, and for us enjoyable. We often travel after dark on travel days between locations and have found that the Wal*Mart parking lot has camera's, security, lights and space, one of the great bonus's that we have found over the years are the number of food establishments and lower priced fuel-- add that to the ease in restocking in the store is just an added bonus.
You signed in here, now you know about a thousand that have done it.
In the last 40 years traveling, we have probably paid for all of a dozen campgrounds (excluding rallies and special events). If you have a truly self contained unit, you just don't have any reason to pay for what you do not need or want. You can dump and load potable at FJs or others. We travel most of the time we are in the coach and seldom stay anyplace more than a day.
It is a common courtesy to call or go in and ask the manager if you may stay. If there are six other RVs there, don't bother asking.
We have never felt threatened in any Walmart, Cracker Barrel or other RV friendly business's lot when staying over night. If you are worried, put a sign in the door - Don't Let the Dog OUT!! You would be surprised how that changes the way people approach you.
Matt & Mary Colie
A sailor, his bride and their black dog going to see some dry places that have Geocaches in a coach made the year we married.
In the situation the OP describes, I would not advise Wal*Mart stays. I'm not against parking lot overnighting, and I do it sometimes. And it could work with kids if you drive until the wee hours and they are ready for bed when you arrive. But turning them loose in a parking lot for recreation does not sound like a good idea, nor does trying to keep them busy inside the RV for hours.
We've done it and I don't find it restful, my husband sleeps and I keep waking up and looking out the windows. We are in the trailer and cannot just drive away if there is trouble like someone in a motorhome can. We stayed under a light with a motorhome and semi nearby and listened to their LOUD generators all night. We have also stayed at a restaurant and truck stop. We use it as a last resort.
2005 F250 V10, 4x4, CC,
Our Condo on Wheels
2005 Sunnybrook 33FKS
Hensley Arrow-Love it!
Places we slept in our RV, have also visited WA,NV,CA,HI,MN without rv
If you are even asking this question you should probably consider campgrounds instead. Walmarts are certainly (IMO) safer they rest areas along the interstate. We do not stay in either due to having to walk the dog. When she has to go she has to go.
Tom, Cheryl & Blossom(coonhound mix)
'05 Winnebago Journey 36G w/Cat. C-7 350 hp Freightliner XC
AFE air filter, aero turbine muffler, 4 FSD Konis, ultra track bell crank and Safe-T-Plus
Standard quote "In my humble opinion". You may be overplanning your trip. We never make reservations unless it is on the weekend over a holiday. We have never had any trouble just showing up a campground and getting a space. Even if it is the campgrounds worst space it will still be better than a walmart parking lot.
'05' F-250 Power Stroke
'00' 30' Cameo Fifth Wheel