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Nick Danger 08-03-2004 12:22 PM

Walmart overnight parking

Can anyone enlighten as to the truth that Wal Marts allow MHs and TTs to park overnight in their parking lots? I overheard someone say this, but as a beginner, I thought I'd ask the pros.


Nick Danger, Third Eye
1989 370 LE

bake315 08-03-2004 12:37 PM

I've heard that some do and some don't, for reasons ranging everywhere from local city ordinances to parking lot congestion, to complaints from nearby campgrounds, to people camping out for weeks at a time. Seems to me someone posted a list of known Wal-Marts that allowed overnight parking without fear of a security guard rousting you out at 3am...

Here's a good thread discussing it.

markjoandall 08-03-2004 12:39 PM

Wally World
For the most part, WalMart is receptive for campers and motor homes overnighting in their parking lots. It is always a good idea to ask the manager on the front desk for permission. In that manner, they will direct you to the area of the parking lot they prefer to see the campers.

If you go into WalMart and look at their map section they have a WalMart Branded Rand McNally Road Atlas. In the front and back of the atlas they have a list of all the WalMarts across the coutry with the exit number off the interstate.

I have seen WalMarts in Vacation areas with no overnighting signs. These come from the local communities with legislation against staying for free at WalMart and the local campgrounds still have available space. I've seen these signs in Port Clinton, Ohio and Ocean City Maryland. I'm sure there are other communities across the country with like legislation.

On our last trip, 4 weeks and 8,000 miles, we stayed at 4 WalMarts while trying to put on the miles.


Chuck 08-03-2004 12:39 PM


although, not "universal". some places have city ordinances that prohibit the practice. I believe they have a page on their website that lists the stores that allow overnight stays. I think all you need to do is check in w/ the store manager.

Sam's clubs do the same...also owned by Walmart.

hhuber 08-03-2004 12:41 PM

Someone had posted a list in the past. Most do I think but a good idea is to go inside and ask the manager. While you're in there pick up a few things to restock your trailer.


biggerbadbrad 08-03-2004 01:02 PM

I'm hardly a pro. But I did park nightly at Wal Marts when I travelled across Canada last month without any problems. This is a real convenience for me because I like to get to where I'm going quickly by spending most of the day on the road rather than paying to park in trailer parks. However, I'm hearing that more and more of them are beginning to post no-overnight parking signs because of complaints from neighbouring businesses and Wal Mart managers.

So there are a few things that we as RV'rs need to do. 1) Be on our best behavior while staying there. Keep noise levels down. Clean up after ourselves - no signs of us ever being there when we leave. 2) Park far from entrance doors to Wal Mart and neighbouring businesses. And if we feel the parking lot is already limited by its small size or because there are already too many RV's there, then lets move on to a campsite or the next Wal Mart. 3) Try to spend $10, $15, or $20 when the store opens, even if you don't need anything. Afterall, this is the reason why they are allowing us to stay there in the first place.

If we use simple common sense, then free Wal Mart overnight parking will be around for a long time. Maybe Home Depot and others will become jealous.

TroutStream 08-03-2004 05:37 PM

Overnight parking in Walmart banned in BC???
I read an anrticle in the Vancouver Sun on the weekend stating that WalMart in British Columbia was going to ban overnighters because of complaints from RV park operators (losing revenue). I'll try to track down the paper to confirm... may be in the bottom of the bird cage.


eubank 08-03-2004 08:25 PM


Originally Posted by TroutStream
I read an anrticle in the Vancouver Sun on the weekend stating that WalMart in British Columbia was going to ban overnighters because of complaints from RV park operators (losing revenue). I'll try to track down the paper to confirm... may be in the bottom of the bird cage.

Yeah, I guess some owners might be upset, but it's all sort of complicated. Many parks (like ours) stay alive not on one-night-stand guests who are on their way from here to there, but on folks who want to hang around for a while. In other words, if we had a Walmart nearby (I wish!!), and folks stayed on the parking lot while passing through, it wouldn't make any difference at all to us.

Of course, there are parks out there that cater specifically to one-night guests, including the late arrivers and the early departers. I suspect that those would be the main ones who might be upset by Walmart policy.

So what do we do, as park owers? Alas, there aren't that many Walmarts in areas where we travel thru, so if we're in need of a few hours of shut-eye off the highway, we stop in at some supermarket. The managers are usually delighted to have somebody in the parking lot at night. Among other things, vandals might think twice about breaking into a place that has folks sleeping right outside.


silverback 08-03-2004 08:40 PM


Originally Posted by eubank
...Many parks (like ours)...

Lynn, Where's your park? We have an NM trip planned for October.

RivetED 08-03-2004 08:50 PM

We have used the Walmart courtesy overnight stay a number of times. Always when we were 'truckin' :cool: . We almost always check in at the desk and usually spend more money there than it would have cost to stay at an RV park!! :eek: It's money we would have probably spent anyway, but.... :o
We bought a U.S. Atlas from them that lists all the Walmart & Sam's stores in the U.S. & Canada.

I believe the Cracker Barrel Country Stores also allow courtesy over-nighting. :)

JohnG 08-03-2004 09:55 PM

I have seen RVs parked overnight many times at the Wal-mart in Corinth Mississippi. It is located along US 72

swebster 08-04-2004 06:31 AM

I've used WalMart's overnight polociy many times when in route in the MH on business and family travel. It certainly is easy to find one when you're getting tired.

For me, it's more about the convienance than the cost savings. If I add up the gas used to run the genset all night and the additional "I didn't know I needed that but now I must have it" puchases typical of our WalMart excursions it would be far cheaper to stay in a state park campground.

If they would only add hookups ;)

Silvertwinkie 08-04-2004 07:04 AM

Dave is right, this has been talked about in great detail before....see this thread:

Perhaps a moderator might merge these two threads?

eubank 08-04-2004 07:35 AM


Originally Posted by silverback
Lynn, Where's your park? We have an NM trip planned for October. Ken

I could have sworn that I responded to your question last night. Must be dreaming about faraway places again! Anyway, we're 23 miles east of Taos more up in the mountains. And October is an absolutely fabulous time to see the southern rockies!!!

October. That's a rough time for us, though. I have to travel for my university at the beginning of every October. And because it's low season on the park, my wife and I load up the Airstream and take off for a couple of weeks in the latter half of the month for a vacation of our own!

Even so, my mom and dad take over for us while we're gone. And we'd NEVER turn down Airstreamers anyway! (We're one of the parks that gives WBCCI discounts.) Soooo, if you (or anybody else) wants to come during that period, just call or write or email or whatever. We'll figure something out!


winner 08-04-2004 03:15 PM

WalMart Parking
During 2002, we made a 10,000 mile, 68 day trip across the United State from our residence in South Carolina through, I believe 28 States to Portland Oregon and return across the upper Mid-West through Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky and North Carolina, staying overnite in a record number of Wal Mart store locations and were always greeted with generouw welcome. Of course we purchased groceries and incidentals while parking there. We always felt secure and safe. While we never did it, in retrospect, it probably would have been wise of us to check with store management, but we felt secure that we would have been adviced by the store security personnel if we were not welcome
We Love MalWart!~!!

sd90mac 08-04-2004 03:29 PM

You can add the Walmart in Cape Coral (across the midpoint bridge from Fort Myers) to the do not park list for Florida. Saw a big sign there yesterday.

Coloradobus 08-04-2004 05:10 PM


We found you can't stay at the Anaheim Plaza Walmart or Park City, Utah.

The biggest problems we have found with staying at Walmart, or Safeway, Target, etc. are the abusers. Those who stay longer than overnight. We have seen the following activities while staying at Wal Mart.

Extension of slide rooms-----poor overnight etiquette
Useage of BBQ and lawn chairs----poor overnight etiquette
Draining holding tanks in store storm drains----poor overnight etiquette
Extension of awnings and patio carpets-----poor overnight etiquette
There are a few who will ruin it for all of us. We must use these facilities sparingly and quietly. We have found more to add to the list above we can not overnight in.
They are Anaheim Plaza Wal Mart, California. Wal Mart leases the land. Landowner forbids.
Park City, Utah. It is posted at the entrance driveway.

swebster 08-04-2004 06:14 PM

BTW - I've noticed that most WalMarts have a built in alarm clock. In most places where I've pulled into a WM they seem to being cleaning the parking lot right near the RV's at about 5:30am.

RivetED 08-04-2004 06:44 PM


Originally Posted by swebster
BTW - I've noticed that most WalMarts have a built in alarm clock. In most places where I've pulled into a WM they seem to being cleaning the parking lot right near the RV's at about 5:30am.

I thought that was just our bad luck!!!!

LTD30 08-07-2004 04:57 PM

Camping at WM
Two thoughts on parking at WalMart.

1st -
Some people we met said they no longer ask to stay overnight because of this conversation:
RVers - "May we stay overnight in your parking lot?"
Manager - "No."
Rvers - "But there are others parked out there."
Manager - "They didn't ask."
Rvers - "Um. So if we didn't ask..."
Manager - "We're required to say no if we're asked. Let's just say you didn't ask."

The only time we don't stay is if the neighborhood is really rundown, it's too noisy, or there is an ordinance posted.

2nd -
If you do stay, don't look like you are camping by putting out lawn chairs, grill, etc.

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