Unhitch at a Walmart?

Van Living Forum

Help Support Van Living Forum:

Unca_T

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
The title sort of says it all.
We are very new at the whole trailer thing. We’ve done some 
Traveling in our van and living out of it, but the camper trailer is way new. 
When parking overnight say at a Walmart or whatever else do you need to unhitch
to take the weight off of the vehicle? Maybe put the foot thing down too?
I’m thinking probably no jacks right?
I feel pretty dumb asking this, so thanks a lot everyone.
 

Trebor English

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 20, 2016
Messages
1,401
Reaction score
13
Location
Melbourne, FL
Some parking lot asphalt is rather soft.  Stabilizer jacks and tongue jacks can leave dents in the pavement.  It is common practice to just park using only the tires you drove in on.  If you put down a 2 foot 2 x 8 board it would spread the weight protecting the pavement but from a distance it would still look like you put down your jacks.
 

Zil

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
1,168
Reaction score
2
Location
South Jersey
Staying in a parking lot, such as Walmart or Cracker barrel, is overnight parking. Just parking. Do not do anything but shop, sleep and leave. It is different in some Casino parking where they encourage you to stay and drop some money.
 

lenny flank

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
2,458
Reaction score
5
What Zil said. People who put out their jacks, open up their slides, set out lawn chairs and a grill and drink beer all night (don't laugh--I've seen it done) and act like they're in a campground, just cause problems for all the rest of us.
 

Riverman

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 8, 2017
Messages
724
Reaction score
2
I wouldn't set up camp in someone's parking lot, I'd be ready to if asked to do so.
 

Captrick

Member
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
15
Reaction score
0
Strictly an overnight stop, park as level as possible and stay hooked up, less chance of someone asking you to leave


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
 

mespringer

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2018
Messages
12
Reaction score
1
Your weight distribution system should keep everything straight but I usually put a 12" piece of 4X6 under the electric jack in front just to take the load off of the tow vehicle.  For reasons I will not discuss, I put the 4X6 on the edge so that if I forget to remove the block it will roll out from under the electric jack footplate.  I have never put stabilizers down because I am too tired to do more than the minimum and will sleep despite the movement the stabilizers would eliminate.
 

tripper

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2016
Messages
602
Reaction score
26
Location
Tucson AZ
Please don't unhitch at Walmart, it looks like a trailer park when you do that and greatly increases the chance that Walmart will ban overnight parking. All it takes is a couple of customers complaining about safety concerns from people living in the parking lot and they will ban overnighting. You want to look like anyone else just passing though buying groceries.
 

Unca_T

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
I wasn’t trying to make things hard for anyone or be tacky and u grateful to the over night sleeping places. I was just wondering about pressure on the tow vehicle.
Thanks though.
I can’t imagine people sitting outside and having a party there.
 

tx2sturgis

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
6,913
Reaction score
445
Location
Texas
Unca_T said:
I was just wondering about pressure on the tow vehicle. 


If the tow vehicle is sized for the job, it's fine to leave the trailer hooked up when parked. 

If it is NOT properly sized, then it will cause problems when traveling down the road, not when it is parked. 

Is your tow vehicle 'squatting' quite a bit at the rear?
 

Unca_T

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
53
Reaction score
0
tx2sturgis said:
If the tow vehicle is sized for the job, it's fine to leave the trailer hooked up when parked. 

If it is NOT properly sized, then it will cause problems when traveling down the road, not when it is parked. 

Is your tow vehicle 'squatting' quite a bit at the rear?
Ya it is a little bit.  My van is a tank. Huge engine, big tranny, hitch is rated for 4000 pounds the trailer weighs (gvwr) 3000 pounds, and I have shit shocks.  To be honest I think buying the trailer was a mistake. There is so much to learn, I’m crazy overwhelmed, and so far none of this is fun. We’ll see when we get on the road.
 

Canine

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 9, 2013
Messages
2,688
Reaction score
1
Location
Great Falls, MT
Unca_T said:
There is so much to learn, I’m crazy overwhelmed, and so far none of this is fun. We’ll see when we get on the road.

It gets better. Whenever you try something new, it is a stress. Even if you were moving into the perfect home, the change itself will create some level of stress. I got upset several times at trying to work with people to purchase the correct materials and parts for my build. The ignorance I encountered (on top of my own ignorance) was profound and it held me back. I couldn't force them to sell me what I wanted despite having cash in hand. But it was all worth it. My life is much easier now. I still have hurdles, but being a neophyte is behind me. That isn't to say I don't have any more learning to do or hardships, but that gangly 8th grade period is over.
 

tx2sturgis

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 4, 2017
Messages
6,913
Reaction score
445
Location
Texas
Unca_T said:
Ya it is a little bit.  


The reason I asked is because of a couple of things that you posted.

You might need to have helper springs or airbags added if the van is noticeably squatting.

Start a thread on that subject and you will get a LOT of replies. In that new thread, post a picture of the rig all hooked up and we can give you some ideas about how to make it better.
 

closeanuf

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2016
Messages
642
Reaction score
0
The only reason I can imagine needing to unhook is if you are getting some service work done at Wal-Mart.  I had to have an inside dual replace on a one ton pickup and Petro Truck Stop wouldn't do it so I went to Wal-Mart.  They pulled the truck into their shop, took down my spare, mounted it and put the flat in the bed of the pickup and would not let me pay.  I offered several times but they would not charge me because "they were not able to repair my flat tire".  That was on I-40 in Amarillo.
 

Zil

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 14, 2013
Messages
1,168
Reaction score
2
Location
South Jersey
Unca-T. Dont over think stuff. Go for a weekend trip. Try it out. Don't "camp" in a Walmart. Just stay overnight.
 

Wrknmannavn

Member
Joined
Sep 10, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
6
The title sort of says it all.
We are very new at the whole trailer thing. We’ve done some
Traveling in our van and living out of it, but the camper trailer is way new.
When parking overnight say at a Walmart or whatever else do you need to unhitch
to take the weight off of the vehicle? Maybe put the foot thing down too?
I’m thinking probably no jacks right?
I feel pretty dumb asking this, so thanks a lot everyone.
Dont unhitch. If it appears that youre staying longer then a night you may get a notice on your window to move along. I know this because i work for walmart
 
Top