At Wally World, some RVers are slobs


By Russ and Tiña De Maris
While working our way through the country, we often overnight at “Camp Wally,” the friendly neighborhood Walmart store. Yes, it’s a controversial issue with some; RV park owners feel a bit jilted when they see rigs parked at Walmart and not at their own “pay to stay” places, but that’s a subject for a different time.

What is relevant to RVers is this: No matter where we stay, we are judged by one another’s conduct. We recently overnighted in Mountain Home, Idaho. It’s a pleasant little community, and the Walmart is handy to the interstate. The store, while not huge, still has a good selection and we invariably leave a few bucks behind when we motor out the next day. If you stay there, why not pay for something you can use.

WHAT DISTURBED US was the evidence that not all who take advantage of Walmart’s hospitality think beyond their own selves. Witness a large bag of garbage, presumably left behind by someone who couldn’t muster up the decency to drop their stuff off in an appropriate trash container. Happily, it wasn’t floating all over the lot and was contained; but still, it leaves a bad taste in the mouths of the public. You can almost hear the mental comments: “Stinkin’ trailer trash folks. Next thing they’ll drop their sewage off, too!”

Aside from not dumping your trash in the lot what might make a difference in the view the world has of RVers? It’s all been said before, and it should be simple enough for all of us to do: Don’t overstay your welcome – a night at a Walmart is A night at a Walmart. Don’t set up your barbecue. Keep your awnings in. Don’t let your pets run wild, and clean up after them.

One RVer we saw here gave a “Bravo!” to another when the new arrival went out of his way to take an empty (and abandoned) shopping cart on back to the store, rather than waiting for the store employees to have to come and hunt it up. What the Master said a couple thousand years ago is just as true today as then, “All things, therefore, that you want men to do to you, you also must likewise do to them.”


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1 year ago

Russ, I grew up in mountain home, Idaho and it is a lovely little town. With a lot to do, especially outdoors. A golf course is directly behind the Wal-Mart. 20 minutes due north is the Anderson Ranch Dam and lake and recreational areas. To the south you have the CJ Strike dam and lake with huge fishing and boating opportunities. You have the Sand dunes rec area 20 mins south. Mtn home has a number of rv parks also and places to eat, as well as the Air Force base 10 miles away. It is a shame that there are turds that will leave a mess at camp Wally World.

William Krebs
1 year ago

RANT ALERT: I moved to Hanover, MD. about a year ago. I did not, then, own an RV. When I 1st went to the local Wal-Mart in Arundel Mills there were 4 large RVs (two self-contained with slides and two trailers) in an outer area of the parking lot. To be fair, they were not interrupting the normal business of the store, BUT they were there for the next 5 months up until about 2 months ago when Wal-Mart posted “No Overnight Parking” signs around the parking lot. I am 77 and I have been poor and have needed a place to stay many times. I have always been able to earn enough $ to stay in a cheap, flea-bag motel if needed for the night. I finally saved enough $ for a used RV that my wife and I will be workamping in for the rest of my life probably. I will endeavor to NOT abuse the system for you all.

1 year ago

14 years as full timers. We plan ahead, and not once have we had to use a WalMart parking lot as an overnight stop.

1 year ago

Walmart is not a example of your true campers. It is those who are looking for the “Cheap” in camping.

1 year ago

We overnight at Walmart when we are travelling from one location to another. My main gripe is with RV owners who park straight down the middle of parking area covering spaces on either side. Some rigs use up to 20 parking spaces when you include the spaces at the front and back of the rig.
Why not park at the side where there is one row of spaces next to the curb? Oh I forgot – they need all this space for all four of their slides!
We were in Tucson recently and a group arrived and literally took over the Walmart carpark.

1 year ago

There are inconsiderate slobs everywhere and there always will be. Some folks are just too busy to walk a few feet to throw their garbage away and others in car throw their fast food packaging out the window when they get done because there will be nowhere for them to put it in the garbage later on. I’m sure there are RV slobs, too. Probably the same ones who litter our highways and the beautiful backroads we travel down. I do what I can and wish everyone would take care of their litter.

Paul Goldberg
1 year ago

We are regular users of Walmart when traveling long haul. It is convenient and easy to park and we do not need anything for one night. We park away from the store and try to park with Passenger side over a curb so the open slides do not interfere with traffic (need them open to get to stuff in drawers). We always need something from the store so buy there. Our plan is to leave the area at least as clean as we find it. Cleaner if there is trash lying about. It isn’t about money, it is about convenience.

Dennis Henderson
1 year ago

I really appreciate Walmart allowing RV’s to stay overnight.
We always make sure we support the store and spentd 30 to 60 dollars everytime we are there.
On our last trip we stayed at Walmart no less than 10 times. Thanks again Walmart.
If independant camp sites would lower there rates they wouldnt need to worry about Walmart taking there business. Indepentant parks are now charging as much for an overnight stay as motels are.
In Whitehorse the camp grounds complained until Walmart stopped overnight parking. Problem was all of the camp grounds were booked and with the no parking at Walmart RV’s had no place to stay.
Bottom line repect the opportunity to stay at Walmart,

Lee Ensminger
1 year ago

If you’re talking about Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, campgrounds complaining wasn’t the only reason for not allowing overnight parking at Walmart. I’ve been there twice on the way to Alaska. Love Whitehorse. Be sure and see the Frantic Follies while there. But the major problem with RVs at Walmart was the rundown freeloaders who were trying to LIVE there, cluttering and clogging the parking area with RVs that hadn’t moved in a long time. I don’t blame Walmart one bit for putting an end to that. There are a number of campgrounds in the Whitehorse area and we didn’t have a problem getting a site. And when you’re complaining about rates, remember the camping season is *very* short in the North. They have to make a year’s worth of income in 8-10 weeks.
I too, appreciate the ability to overnight occasionally at Walmart, but remember, they don’t OWE it to us, and often, the reason they remove the privilege is because some of our own brethren-RVers-have ruined it for the rest of us.

1 year ago

For a change of pace, try making your green been casserole with cream of chicken soup instead of cream of mushroom. Not only is it a more attractive dish, with a golden color from the soup instead of a dingy grayish-brown, but the best advantage of all — no mushrooms!

Aside from that, I hope everyone had a most enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Thomas Champagne
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob_B

great suggestion but I believe you posted on the wrong topic. I believe no one will see this because it’s about Walmart parking lots

1 year ago

We frequently stop in Mountain Home,, Idaho, but stay at the gorgeous RV Resort three blocks down the hill from the WalMart off American Legion Blvd.
We personally wouldn’t think of staying at the Walmart here when one of Americas finest RV Parks is situated so close.
For anyone who hasn’t experienced Mountain Home RV Park (which recently expanded) I recommend you check it out.

As for Walmart we do stay at Walmart’s occasionally when passing through, but ONLY in an emergency. The drug deal that went down a couple years ago next to us in Chubbuck, Idaho c/w ensuing Police actions (all night) scared us sufficiently to now keep us from boondocking especially in parking lots. The day we can’t afford the security and everything else the best accommodations available provide we’ll pack it in. We find It is getting scarier and less respectful each year.

As for garbage left by inconsiderate people, RV’ers or not. We pick up and deposit junk frequently and feel better for having done so. There’s no reforming idiots, and I do not want to be seen as one, for the time I have left to enjoy RV’ing as best I can.

1 year ago

You may be right in suspecting the garbage was left by someone in an RV but it could also have been a local who just wanted to avoid paying for garbage collection. It is sad that so many people think only of themselves be it garbage bags or drink and food containers thrown out.

Then there are the people who are too lazy to push an empty shopping cart into a nearby cart corral. Instead of safely putting the cart where they belong they leave them to blow around the parking lot crashing into and doing damage to someones vehicle. It is a small thing but I always put these wayward carts into a corral or push them back to the store.

Slowly but surely we will lose more and more of these nice overnight parking spots.

1 year ago

YUP – big problem. These people are NOT RVers, they are people who are driving RVs. I would guess most do not read this newsletter. When we stop at places like a WalMart, we always do a walk around in the AM and pick up some trash. LOTS of lazy people out there today who can’t even return the carts to the corral!

1 year ago

I used too work at Walmart. The people who overnight at Walmart would park at the end of the lot. I see customers who would leave there garbage in shopping carts and not put there shopping carts away. I seen campers and truck drivers throw there garbage out and not leave it in the parking lot.

1 year ago

I drive a truck. We truck drivers go threw the same thing due to bad ones . We have had boots placed on are trucks at costs up to 1,000 dollars to get to get removed. We complain as well. We are told Walmart is not a truck stop. So maybe RV should be booted as well. Walmart is not a camp ground.

1 year ago

Not just RVers and truckers. Look at the number of shopping carts in the parking lot. People push the loaded cart to their car and just leave them in the spot beside them or push them into the car next to them. AND the cart rack is only 20 feet away. As far as the trash, I have seen numerous instances of people throw their fast food bags and cups, and other trash, out as they pull away. It’s a cultural thing. “Let someone else pick up after me”, they get paid for it.

1 year ago

We have used Walmart for short overnight stays. The trouble is most of the people that abuse the privilege aren’t ones reading or belonging to any camping websites. My guess they are the same ones you hope move out of your neighborhood because of the way they keep their house. It only takes a few to mess it up for all.

1 year ago

It’s not just our viers the do that long-distance truckers that overnight in a Walmart lot are notorious for throwing garbage out

Bob p
1 year ago
Reply to  Fox

Including pee bottles!

1 year ago

Agreed, we live by the Boy Scout rule…. Leave it cleaner than you found it. Personally,I much prefer using Harvest Hosts primarily, or Boondockers Welcome for overnight stays. Often, for a small fee, you also get hookups. The more interesting thought presented in the article to me is the cost to stay at an RV park. I am ignorant to the cost of running a park; however, I do have a house I rent out at $500 a month. I just came into Florida (first time in 70 years we decided to flee the snow up north) and we are paying over $80 a night. That’s works out to a rate of over $2400 a month for a sliver of land to park my own home for a night or two. No wonder people overnight at Wal-Mart. I think good ol’ supply and demand works, but the owners have no grounds to complain if people aren’t coming to their parks for a night.

1 year ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark, don’t be in such a hurry to condemn the RV park owner for charging $80 a night unless you’ve been an RV park owner. As an owner of a small apartment complex, I make sure my tenants know that 25% of their rent goes to paying various property taxes and municipal fees. When they find out, they’re shocked. On top of property taxes, my operating expenses and income taxes eat away about 93% of my gross income. And some of my tenants still think that I’m ripping them off. Pffffttttt.

1 year ago
Reply to  Mark

Mark, I own a park in Texas and I can tell you the cost of running a park has exploded. My Taxes for the property was $450.00 a year. After putting in 55 spaces it is bumping $40,000.00 a year and only going in one direction, up.

As an RVer for over 70 years, it is very disturbing to see the idea of the government is they all want more money, and they view anyone as a cash cow. I have owned the property of over 25 years and have never taken a dime in a salary. Everything in excess of expenses goes into improving the park and at $55.00 a night it does seem to work. We do give a 20% Military discount to anyone who has ever served and all Active Military come and use it for free. It is the least we can do for the folks who have served.

We do get a lot of Boy and Girl Scouts and love that they do leave the sites cleaner than when they came.

1 year ago
Reply to  Mark

I don’t own an RV park but I have been on the board of one and it is amazing how much it actually costs to operate a decent well kept park. People do not realize the amount of money it takes to run everything from the pool to the laundry to the game room to keeping the grounds clean and trimmed etc. And if you think Wally World has a problem with people leaving trash and other stuff you haven’t a clue how much people trash a campground with the thinking “I’m paying so they can clean up after me”! People are discourteous and yes some ARE trailer trash. It’s sad, very sad.