By Chuck Woodbury
The following appeared as a comment on one of our articles from a reader named James. I wanted to add my own thoughts. He wrote:
“I am currently in Amarillo, Texas and the Walmart parking lot has ‘squatters’ all over the parking lot making it look less than an ideal place to do business. They all have signs begging for handouts so it is uncomfortable to even shop there.”
What James has observed is not just at this Texas Walmart. It’s happening across the country. My question, as it has been for several years, is: How long will Walmart tolerate this?
A year? Two? Maybe three? As the number of almost homeless people who live in old, often barely operable RVs continues to grow, and the word gets out that Walmart will let them squat in their store parking lots for free, the problem will worsen. I, for one, do not think Walmart will put up with it for much longer. I don’t think a day or two passes that a Walmart store somewhere in North America does not post a “No overnight stays” sign.
So where will those countless thousands of RVers stay who rely on Walmart on any given night as a sleepover point between one destination and another? Good question, and one I think about often. I am making progress with my proposal of a chain of no-frills, bargain-priced RV stopover “parks” with electric hookups only, with stays limited to one night only. I will have much more to say about this in the weeks ahead.