Originally Posted by bruce in oz
now i've just spent the afternoon, with friends who had a guest call by yesterday. they told me how the (62yr old) guest related that she had lost
her life savings in some dodgey real estate deal in new orleans
recently and had returned to oz to recoup & regroup. she mentioned that it was becoming common place to see or hear about folk who were locking their homes and moving into their vehicles to camp in wal-mart parking lots.
are those of you familiar with current day wal-mart parking lots witnessing this?
if things are that crook how safe is an unattended yacht on a public waterway in that area, or that country for that matter....
I don't know if your friends are being facetious, Bruce, or if you are - or if you are all simply unaware of one particular aspect of American culture - but the phenomenon you describe is far less dire than your description might lead some to conclude.
Many people in this country own recreational vehicles - RVs - and when they leave their houses to travel in their RVs, I'm sure that almost 100% of them (a few probably forget) lock their homes when they do so. Wouldn't you?
As to how it is that so many of them gather in Wal-Mart parking lots each night, this too has an innocent explanation: Wal-Mart (in most instances, but not all) have no objection if late-night travelers opt to stop for the night in their (huge) parking lots, after the store is closed, and are welcome to stay there until it opens again the next morning. It is the equivalent of a free anchorage.
The reasoning behind this gesture is that many of the over-nighters will spend money
in the store the next morning before they hit the road again. The losers in this situation are the RV parks who lose the nightly income
when these thrifty RVers choose the free parking lot instead of their RV park.
If an RVer is en route
from, say, New England
in the fall, it is not uncommon to either travel at night to save the cost of a campground, or pull into a roadside rest area for a few hours at night to sleep, then continuing on. I've done it, and I've even spent a night in the parking lot of an Indian casino in New Mexico
(with their blessing) while waiting for a tire store to open the next day.
So, no, it hasn't gotten quite as dire here in the US as your post infers. As in Australia
, common sense should guide everyone's decisions when it comes to personal safety
or the security
of their vessel - or RV.