If you are looking for good, practical advice on traveling in an RV, you will find it in the blogs at rvlife.com. We don’t have the space in our monthly magazine to print many specific suggestions on where to stay at particular locations, but our blog writers do. An example can be found in recent entries in the “Adventures in RVing” blog by Dave Helgeson. Are you looking for a place to stop overnight for free in Eugene, Oregon? Dave tells you where to avoid and where to go in these two blog posts:
Adventures in RVing: Walmart—Not in This Lot
By Dave Helgeson
Do you occasionally overnight at a Walmart? I do when my wife and I are logging long days driving and just need a spot to pull off the road for the evening. However, if you plan to do so in Eugene, Oregon, be prepared to be asked to leave as the homeless population in the area has created problems.
The City Council has adopted an ordinance to keep homeless people in RVs from parking long term on city streets and private parking lots. While it was not intended to stop overnight visitors, interpretation on the ordinance has some people being asked to leave on their first night in an area.
To end the confusion, the Walmart on West 11th in Eugene has banned overnight parking outright. According to store manager Catrina Luther, Walmart does not want customers to feel unsafe in the parking lot or in their store due to homeless population camped or loitering in the parking lot. Luther said she has employees check the parking lot and notify possible campers of the policy. RVs can park there, they just can’t stay overnight, she said.
The policy is in keeping with Walmart’s corporate policy, according to FAQs on the company’s website: “Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.”
Read more about the Eugene overnight parking ban at: kval.com/news/local/Attention-Walmart-campers-Not-in-this-lot-223016901.html
Someone knocking on my RV door for a handout or asking me to leave is one adventure in RVing I don’t relish.
Next week I will share where overnight RVers are welcome with open arms in Eugene.
Adventures in RVing: A Step Above Walmart
A couple of entries ago, we reviewed overnight parking at the Eugene Walmart. Following is an overnight alternative to the Eugene Walmart with a few more amenities:
The online instructions guided us right to it: we selected a nice level site right next to the river and within minutes of our arrival, staff came to the door to check us in. After we were checked in, I took a stroll along the river on a nice paved trail, watching the geese and enjoying the fall colors hanging in the trees.
The large grassy field located to the north of our RV provided a convenient space to run the dogs or kids after a long day traveling. Restaurants and shopping were within walking distance, too. After watching a little TV (good reception), we settled in for a quiet peaceful night’s sleep away from traffic and other noisy distractions. Sounds like the ideal campground, doesn’t it? Well, it is not a campground and overnight camping is free! It is Valley River Center shopping mall in Eugene, Oregon (valleyrivercenter.com).
They allow two nights overnight camping in a very secluded isolated parking lot at the northwest corner of the mall property. No refrigeration trucks or middle of the night street sweepers as you are likely to encounter in a Walmart parking lot. The river, walking/biking path and nearby parks really make it that much nicer.
The following coordinates will take you to the center of the overnight parking lot:
N44 04.160 W123 06.700
Since Walmart is not an option, give the Valley River Center a try next time you are looking for somewhere to stop for the night in the Eugene area. Surprise finds like this are one of the best adventures in RVing!