RV Parking at Walmart: Can You Still Stay Overnight?

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RV parking at Walmart for overnight stays has become extremely popular. The store’s founder, Sam Walton, was an RVer himself and liked to support free overnight RV parking at Walmart for customers who shared his passion. Most of the stores still accept motorhome and RV owners parking up and staying through until morning. It’s usually a good idea to plan some shopping at the store (employees may ask to see a purchase receipt at some point).

Free overnight RV parking at a Walmart store is possible in many locations. It’s a good idea to check with the store manager about RV parking at Walmart. Phone first or speak to them in person. Walmart RV parking overnight saves money versus trying to find an RV park and is convenient when you’re unable to return to your dispersed camping spot before dark.

Stick with us for more information about the wonderful world of Walmart overnighting.

Read Also: 11 Safe Places to Park Your RV Overnight for Free

RV Parking at Walmart: Parking is Not Camping

RV Parking at Walmart

When reading the company’s FAQ for customers, it’s possible to find information (the 3rd question from the top as of the date of this article) about staying overnight at Walmart. The FAQ confirms that many stores accept RVers sleeping in the Walmart parking lot in their recreational vehicles.

However, this is on the understanding that Walmart overnight camping is not expected. Therefore, leave the awning packed away, skip the RV lawn furniture and be mindful of where you are. It’s a public parking lot, not an RV campground or even a boondocking spot. So, don’t be that travel trailer owner who starts a cookout from the back of their trailer. And avoid impromptu campground-like gatherings too. Behave well and more stores will say, “Yes” to RVers in the future. And they’ll be fewer no park Walmart signs that keep popping up now.

Also, don’t just use the overnight spot and not give back. Go shopping in the store. Keep the receipt. And get permission from the manager. If anyone asks you later, providing their name goes a long way. And be sure to leave early the next morning. This avoids any hassles.

How to Live In a Car, Van, or RV: And Get Out of Debt, Travel, and Find True Freedom by Bob Wells (CheapRVliving)

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Walmart RV Parking: Is Overnight Parking Allowed?

Walmarts that allow overnight RV parking are fewer than used to be the case. Every store has its own policy about whether you can park your RV at Walmart overnight.

Some managers allow it because they have ample parking available whereas others do not. The only way to be sure about the current policy is to speak to the manager on the phone or to visit in person. Doing so avoids any late-night confrontation with security staff.

Some stores have already decided to stop allowing overnight stays and have prominent no park Walmart signs confirming that no overnight stays are permitted. Also, some stores post signs saying that offenders will have their RV towed and returned at their own expense.

Read Also: Camping and RVing: Which is the Right Choice?

Why Have Some Walmart Stores Stopped Allowing RVs Overnight?

It may be something that a store manager dislikes as a policy. Parking spots might also be limited at smaller stores too.

There are also many situations where local city ordinances have banned overnight stays at any retail store, which includes Walmart. This overrides any preexisting friendly policy toward RVs. It may also be banned in the city or state too.

Also, there is a growing homeless problem that relates to overnight stays because some homeless people stay in RVs that no longer run. To get a handle on the homelessness issues locally, preventing overnight stays using legislation has been a growing development that is impacting genuine RVers.

Find Cooperative Walmart Stores

Look at the Allstays Walmart related sites and apps to locate nearby Walmart stores. Use that as your Walmart overnight parking locator of choice.

There are reviews on a per-store basis confirming the recent experience of other RVers who have stayed there overnight. On the website, there’s a Walmart locations page that’s organized by the state to make it easier to find the reviews for the state(s) you’re most interested in visiting.


However, be aware that policies either by the local authorities or a new Walmart store manager may change without notice. So, it’s always best to check first.

Read Also: Driving a Motorhome After 70: The Golden Years?

Dos and Don’ts When Staying at Walmart

There are a few things to remember when staying overnight:

Dos

  1. Take your trash with you. Trash cans are provided throughout the parking lot.
  2. Use a single parking spot whenever possible.
  3. Be a polite neighbor.
  4. Park away from the entrance and flow of people.
  5. Situate near streetlights. Use curtains to block light and nosy people trying to look in.

Don’ts

  1. Don’t run your generator in the evening or overnight.
  2. It’s not a campground – Don’t bring out your camping lawn chair, grill, and the rest.
  3. Don’t use your RV awning.
  4. Don’t park near noisy tractor-trailers.
  5. Don’t use the parking lot without being a paying customer of Walmart.
  6. Double-check all doors and windows are locked securely. Don’t leave anything outside.
  7. Don’t leave any valuables in sight including inside the cab.

No Hookup or Dump Stations

Unlike with RV parks, there are no utility hookups or water systems at Walmart. Staying overnight is a perk but they don’t provide RV park utilities.

Similarly, they won’t have RV dump stations to empty the grey or black water tanks either. However, to find the nearest available dump station, check out RVDumps.com for a state by state list of locations.

RVer’s Guide to Dump Stations: A Directory of RV Dump Stations in the United States

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Is Staying Overnight at Walmart Safe?

It’s important to understand that Walmart is open to everyone at any time. There are friendly members of the public, less friendly ones, and inebriated people. Because of this, when you park overnight in Walmart, you’re leaving yourself a little vulnerable.

The way people avoid the issues is to park away from the crowd in parking spots a significant distance from the main entrances and any regular foot traffic.

When staying in the parking lot, it’s probably a good idea to not answer the door to your home (your RV) to a stranger. The usual rules about not trusting strangers apply. This is also more relevant after dark which may attract a bad element than in the daytime.

Read Also: Deeded RV Lots: Should You Purchase an RV Lot?

Other Places to Stay for Free

We’ve provided a far more comprehensive guide for RVers who wish to stay overnight.

Check out our 11 Safe Places to Park Your RV Overnight for Free guide. It’s packed with plenty of detail about each place to stay including linked references, maps, and other useful resources to help RV travelers.

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