Originally Posted by tomdeoca
Bassdogs, sounds like you have some experience with overnighting on a parking lot. I have no experience with them but I will soon as we are headed from St. Louis to Bar Harbor, Maine over labor day weekend and will be stopping in a church parking lot and a Cabelas on the way up. Can you relay any of your experiences with me as far as any unspoken etiquette with other rv's particularly in regards to generator usage or any other tips?
I know it wasn't directed to me, but I'll answer too as I have some experience here.
As far as I'm concerned, generator noise (typically the main "etiquette" question) when parking in a lot for just an overnite is a non-issue. We've stayed in rest areas a lot, and those truckers run their motors constantly. So even our "construction" grade open-cage generator was but a barely noticeable drone in the presence of those other vehicles.
In a WM parking lot, same concept. It's NOT a quiet place to stay with cars going by at all hours, as well as other vehicles parked and running engines.
Probably the "quietest" place we ever stayed (this was in our MH) was the back parking lot of a casino just inside the western LA border on IH 10. We were basically alone back there and we were right near an RV park. We parked, slept, ate breakfast, took the dog for a walk, and got back on the road. No problem with noise there either because anyone that perhaps could have heard our genny was a LONG way off.
I would only use a truck stop as a last resort as they are VERY loud. Also the truckers need those spaces because they're working. I'm not about to get in their way and make their job harder by taking one of their spaces. A well lit parking lot at a big box retailer or a rest stop is better for me anyway, and I feel like I have every right to occupy one of those spaces.
You'll want to leave your slides in if at all possible, don't put out awnings or furniture, etc. And you'll want to make sure all your "stuff" is secured. I wouldn't put down stabilizers either. Basically, you want to act as if you're only briefly parked there and you can move out within 5 minutes or less. Our setup included the genny, cable locked in the bed of the pickup with a 50 ft cord running UNDER the rig to the rear attachment point. When we stopped, DW would go inside and get the kiddo in bed while I ran the cord, opened the tonno and dropped the tailgate. When it was time to leave, we would often make a quick breakfast, coffee, etc. Then I would shut down, wrap up the cord, fuel up (generator and truck) and we were gone. Like we weren't even there.
Remember, it's not a campsite it's a rest stop, so behave accordingly.