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Boondocking 101: Safe RV Lot-Docking ~ Winter Urban Camping

Boondocking 101: Safe RV Lot-Docking ~ Winter Urban Camping

well good evening everybody from Eric
and Jax here at nomadic fanatic we are staying warm tonight it is gonna
be 13 degrees for a low I hat winners here tell you what I’ve got a very
exciting video today about boondocking but first a big shout out to my video
sponsor Thank You Experian for sponsoring this portion of my video
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to Experian for sponsoring this portion of the video now we switch gears on to
the fun stuff we are going to talk about winter urban boondocking lot docking in
urban areas the do’s and don’ts the tips the rules and the unwritten rules and
how you can be a better RVer while your boondocking or lot knocking first of all
you probably wouldn’t be watching this video unless you were interested in
boondocking or lot docking or you already do it today it’s not a
campground there’s no hookups there’s no water sewer dump or electricity it is
meant to park you’re fully self-contained RV for one night
safely and then move on it is never my first choice but it is a great backup as
a full time traveling RV er I use many apps on my phone to help me find reviews
and some customer updated information about if it’s safe and how their
experience was today mainly I’m going to be talking about the Big Blue Super
Center but it could also be other stores like the big or
home improvement store those types of places that allow RVs to possibly park
overnight for one night so why do we boondock urban camp lot docking in these
areas well for our beers they can be a great resource on the road because like
I said if the super center has food toilet paper
cat food auto supplies like oil and stuff like that it’s a great stop and
these are things that we are going to need anyway on the road and generally
these stores are also close to other developed areas that have much more
other stores that you might find useful within walking distance you may have
heard it called stealth camping or stealth lot docking or boondocking or
something to that effect but it’s important to note that we are not
talking about literally being stealth but more the idea of blending into our
surroundings going unnoticed that’s a good thing more and more many of these
stores have Wi-Fi available to the public in the parking lots you can also
most times find a place where you can rent a DVD and it’s great for an RVer
because we’re simply going to take those out to the rig and return them in about
an hour and a half so late fees or forgetting to return them not really a
problem when you’re staying there on-site for one night it’s tough when we
get to the do’s and don’ts because certainly there are some physical rules
to follow but there’s also a bunch of gray area unwritten rules when you’re
law document I think most of us would say don’t put your awning out true you
definitely don’t want to put it out if it’s going to impede traffic or be
noticed but I have seen some people do it where the sight of their awning is
facing away from the store in a grassy area actually I’m still gonna say you
probably shouldn’t put your awning out while your urban camping often you’ll
hear people say you shouldn’t put your leveling jacks out or you shouldn’t
drive up onto the yellow tri levelers I’m talking about unwritten rules
remember so it’s possible that if you do those things you might hear from it from
other people in an RV and say you shouldn’t do that
you’re harming the concrete you’re not harming the concrete but doesn’t harm
the concrete at the campground but again be be mindful that some people say you
shouldn’t do that and your slides don’t put your slides out guys well how come
everybody’s putting their slides out understand if you don’t have slides and
that used to be me some RVs are not functional until you put the slides out
in other words go to your grocery shopping you can’t
open your fridge you might not be able to open the cupboards to put the
groceries away until you put those slides out okay
and also I would say use discretion with the slides don’t put the slides out if
you don’t have to don’t put the slides out if they’re in
view of any of the store employees managers or any customers if they’re on
the opposite side away from view yeah yeah maybe yeah we have to talk about
generators because we live in a world where many people do not have an epic
boondocking solar system although solar is catching on more and more some people
must run their generators some stores even have rules stating RVs are not
allowed to run their generators from certain hours the unwritten rule rules
is do not run your generator after 10:00 p.m. and do not start it up before 7:00
a.m. but here’s the thing if you’re getting to one of these stores and you
know you’re a heavy generator user don’t go find the one RV in that lot and park
right next to them you know who you are park away from everybody and be it be as
nice as you can to your fellow friends and our beers out there right and that
goes for any or be pulling in a lot it is a strengthened numbers thing where we
feel like we must go straight over to that other one and park right next to
them why I don’t know I don’t do it I don’t know anybody else who doesn’t do
it though everybody else is compelled to park right next to each other don’t do
it unless you have permission or someone invited you over if they’re over there
parked over here but if you pulled into that place and went and parked next to
an RVer who then turned their generator on at 2:00 a.m. you can’t really say
anything guess what you’re in an RV you can still turn the key and just go
somewhere else if it’s that important to you but let’s try to show some common
courtesy to our fellow our beers in the lot okay okay back to that whole stealth
thing I was talking about we do not want to stand out to managers customers
property owners on-site security police officers or those bad people that are
looking for something bad to do to you or your RV or your property
I feel like this goes without saying but you’d be surprised what I’ve seen don’t
step outside your RV and start waving around
or expensive laptops or other equipment or anything don’t just don’t spend that
much time outside your RV guess this is not the place where you relax if you
don’t put a lawn chair out there you just don’t want to draw attention to
yourself this is the spot where you close the door and you just kind of use
it for what it is a place to stock up on the supplies you need get your sleep and
move on does that mean close all the curtains and turn off all the lights and
try to hide in your RV actually no the exact opposite what you don’t want is
for any of those people to think that this RV or trailer is unoccupied that’s
actually a really bad thing managers don’t want to see that that it’s been
left there and occupied and there are thieves that might think it’s you know
we can just bust a window on the other side and break in and steal something
which reminds me about parking try to make sure that your big passenger door
that’s your main entry point of your rig is not facing away from the building
that you’re staying at where the cameras are at and the people are at because
then they have a little hide shelter to get back there and Jimmy locks and do
stuff where nobody can see them but if your door is facing you no more traffic
and where everything’s happening up at the front of the store then there’s more
likelihood that people aren’t going to be able to spend a lot of time and do
bad things around there but by all means turn a light on maybe even crack a
window or open the blinds so that you can physically see that there’s people
in that RV again we’re not still people know why the RVs parked there it’s
because we’re spending the night there but something I have noticed not in this
RV because the windows are not tinted as darkly but in other RVs I have been the
RV that people go to do bad things behind many times you’d be surprised I’m
talking I’m Way out way way at the other end of the parking lot all the cars are
up there shopping I’m Way over here why does a car come in and park behind
me using me a shelter from everybody else it’s because they’re doing bad
things I’ve seen drug deals I’ve seen people cuddling with strangers
I have seen it all and the funny thing is they picked the only
vehicle that’s occupied like any other vehicle anywhere in the entire law would
have been better for them to do what they’re doing then right here where I’m
where I’m looking at you and I’ve got cameras everywhere they don’t realize
that RVs are occupied they just it’s not something that clicks in their mind
before they want to do these bad things so it’s a good idea to announce that
you’re in there keep the doors locked though like I said and obviously don’t
let them see in but let them know you’re in there that’s it that’s a tough one
but I’ll let you be the judgment of that now we do have to talk about this part
about etiquette of asking permission because a lot of people like to do that
different ways and in my experience my personal experience calling ahead and
asking is it okay to overnight Park I’m like over 50 on that but it’s weird
because I have to do some shopping and what do I see I see ten eleven RVs that
are all have been staying there clearly and they’re gonna stay there tonight
that’s like what I get to know but let’s get the terminology right because we
don’t want this to turn into a campground none of those words are good
okay let’s keep it at overnight parking and yes it is a good idea to talk to a
manager if you’re going inside look guys they’re giving us the free parking so we
all need something I mean even if we don’t need it right now as an our beer
that got toilet paper they’ve got cans of soup in there
they’ve got stuff we’re gonna need anyway go in there buy something and
then on the way out after you have your receipt ask customer service to talk to
the manager they’re gonna bring you a manager and talk to him and say hey I’m
parked way out there I bought some groceries is it okay if I
overnight park and then head out in the morning with that said I have never
gotten a no anywhere and I’ve been doing this six years now almost I have got
some strange wording that you can encode like well it doesn’t really matter to me
but there might be a city ordinance or the police might come by and have a
problem with it these stores are private property so most city ordinances when
that’s talking about parking it doesn’t have anything to do with private
property in the first place I’m not saying you should ever break the rules
because if they say no just don’t back to a parking though make sure you give
yourself an exit I know it may seem you have the whole lot because you roll
in there 9 10 p.m. and it’s wide open back there but believe it or not more
RVs are gonna show up in fact semi trucks are gonna show up and and and
cars with trailers and boats and more customers it’s going to change in the
morning so make sure you haven’t put yourself in a situation where you can
get blocked in if you’re a longer RV like like me and you have to take up
four or five spots lengthwise make sure you have enough room in the front or the
back to be able to Jimmy your way out of there if you’re like my last are biota
where it would fit in two slots back to back don’t ever just take up two slots
right next to the line but straddle the line and take up four spots because what
will happen is cars will park right next to you they may even park right next to
you for shade honestly like the Sun may be too hot that morning and then when
you wake up in the morning you can’t leave because you can’t turn the wheel
otherwise your tail swing is gonna hit that car on both sides so we park like
that so that we give ourself an escape route
of course people always say they don’t like it but there’s no other alternative
otherwise we’re just gonna be stuck here all day and it’s a huge lot it’s not
like we’re taking up spots that would be taken we’re way at the back anyway
so also personal protection this is a topic for a future video of mine based
on a lot of people that have been asking me some questions about that and it is
coming probably before the end of the year I am gonna talk with you about that
but whatever makes you feel comfortable use it have it have it ready at all
times and let’s talk about it because it’s going to happen if you are lot
talking in your RV boondocking in an urban area you’re gonna get the dreaded
knock on your door at 3:00 a.m. eventually how are you gonna deal with
this first of all before anything the most important thing is be vigilant be
safe okay you just woke up you don’t know what’s
on the other side of that door and you can’t believe what they said so if you
have to say just a minute go go put some water in your eyes make sure you’re
ready to talk to this individual with a clear head and absolutely do not open
that door until you can prove who it yes at this point we’re gonna be
basically talking through the door who is it they’re gonna say security or
police officer bla bla bla explain to them through the door that I’m not
comfortable opening this door unless I can prove that we can then talk about a
way to do that ask them to come to the front of the RV where I can peel back
the curtain and I’ll probably I’ll either see them with their blue badge or
I may see a security car with the yellow lights or I may even see a police car
and at that point with some lights or a police officer with his badge something
to validate what I’m seen in my RV here I also have the cameras that are facing
on the door so I’m just going to grab my remote and I’m gonna turn this TV wait
about seven seconds and then I’m gonna be looking right at them as I’m talking
with them but please absolutely until you are a hundred percent sure do not
unlock that door and open that door and talk to him guys please protect
yourselves we as an RV community have lost people already be careful be
vigilant and thank safety first don’t assume anything
that’s about all I wanted to point out for this video I am going to meet up
with my buddies in East Alton Illinois for Thanksgiving and the time beam like
I said uh everybody else is down there in the desert I’m up here in the cold
and it’s getting colder and colder snow possibly on the way and I am loving it
after 110 degrees day after day in California just two months ago I am
really really really enjoying this cold it’s nice otherwise from Jackson I will
see in a few days guys bye bye you

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