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Empty Parking Lots And RVs

June 4, 2020

I went to WalMart today. I had to buy some DOT 3 brake fluid and a headlight bulb. (It was just that kind of day.)

Guess where I parked? Yup, as close to the door as possible. I was probably 20 cars away from the door. After I got my car supplies and started to leave, I thought about all the empty spaces. Who would ever park there? In fact, why even have all that empty space?

I’ll tell you who was parked there, a bunch of RVs. And that’s a common site throughout the summer. And they park way out in the outer reaches of the parking lot too. Those RVs are an interesting reflection on WalMart.

I spent the night in a WalMart parking lot one time. I was driving from Olympia, Washington back to Pleasant Grove, Utah and it was February. . .and snowing. . .and cold. The passes were all closed. In fact whole sections of the freeway were closed. I had headed West from Portland and the roads got too bad to continue. I pulled over and into a WalMart parking lot. I bought some food, some blankets and bundled up in my Suburban to spend the night and wait out the storm.

A WalMart parking lot is a pretty handy place to be stranded. The store has everything you could need and a lot that you probably won’t, but it’s there if you needed it. Tents, sleeping bags, hand warmers, food, drink, stoves.

Maybe those RV’ers are on to something.

I heard that a few years ago, WalMart decided to actively discourage RVs from setting up camp in their oversized parking lots. Cooler, or smarter heads prevailed and someone realized that not only were the RVs not taking parking spots away from shoppers, they were shoppers. Those RVs are full of people who are going to want to buy all that cool camping stuff that I just listed.

So, now WalMart is in favor of the RVs. But, why do they have all that extra parking space anyway? Think back to before the COVID quarantines. During the Christmas shopping season, WalMart parking lots are pretty close to 100% full. WalMart doesn’t ever want to lose a sale, at Christmas or anytime because someone can’t find a place to park.

So, during Christmas, those far away parking spaces are filled with shoppers and in the summer, those spots are full of RVs.

Apparently it’s not wasted space after all.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

Follow him on
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or email him at rbliss at msn dot com

(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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