Thursday, November 30, 2023


Hubby wants to confront Walmart camper misfits; wife worried


Dear RV Shrink:rvshrink
We have been using Walmart parking lots for overnight stays while traveling between destinations. We think this is a wonderful opportunity offered by Walmart. We call them our “Pit Stops.” We do our shopping, laundry nearby and rent a movie from Red Box. They always have an out-of-the-way area that is not too noisy or bright.

Several times we have noticed other campers not just taking advantage of a good thing, but potentially ruining it for the rest of us. We have seen people with tables and chairs out under their awning, small fenced-in dog pens erected, large generators in the parking lot next to the rig running loud and smoky, tents and loud arguments over parking spaces.

It takes every tactical maneuver I can muster to keep my husband from turning into a Walmart referee. He wants so badly to go over and give them a piece of his mind. He thinks he is Wyatt Earp. I tell him I didn’t start traveling to put up with non-campground conflict. If it bothers him so much I think we should avoid these overnight stays. Besides, I think it could be dangerous confronting people that obviously have no common sense. He loves your column and I think if he hears some advice from you he may listen. Thanks in advance. —Up Against the Wall-mart in Earp, CA

Dear Up:
Don’t get down on your husband. Those kind of irresponsible actions can make sane people crazy. I agree, he should not try to be the “Law west of the Walmart.” I also agree that these people do jeopardize the convenience we all enjoy.

Walmart has been challenged by interests that would like to see them discontinue overnight parking privileges. Some locations refused to stop offering this service. They said it was another customer service they would continue to promote in locations that did not disallow it by city ordinance.

One thing you can do to help compensate for the inconsiderate few who abuse the service is be a loyal, courteous customer. Let store management know you are shopping and thank them for allowing you to stay. Call ahead and ask permission, even if you know it is allowed. Often they like RVs to congregate in a certain section of the parking lot.

Also, things change and you never know when a new ordinance might restrict overnight parking. These are much better tactics than confrontation with parking lot neighbors. If your husband goes out at all be sure to have him check his guns at the door. If anything, let him walk around the parking lot with a very large, official looking badge (kidding) and stare, but make him promise he won’t talk to anyone. —Keep Smilin’, Richard Mallery a.k.a. Dr. R.V. Shrink

Editor: Here is a link to a list of Walmarts in the USA which do NOT allow overnight RV stays. Roundabout Publications strives to keep this list up to date.

Can’t get enough of the Shrink? Read his new e-book: Dr. R.V. Shrink: Everything you ever wanted to know about the RV Lifestyle but were afraid to ask or check out his other e-books.




0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe to comments
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

ILAH DICKINSON (@guest_10079)
6 years ago

Walmart is gracious enough to let us stay in their parking lot the least we can do is to be as gracious ,quiet,and clean. You aren’t there to camp out. I have seen people leave broken stuff when they leave and large trash bags of garbage. We have cleaned up after them. We were embarrassed by this behavior. We told a couple that had parked their car way out there it wasn’t normal RVers lifestyle to behave in that manner.

Scott (@guest_8040)
6 years ago

Frankly I think anyone who takes to policing another’s property without warrant is really a misfit as well. Perhaps their style is different than yours. Their rig not as nice. But it’s Walmart Jon not yours to enforce policies. I’m not sure who’s worse at this point.

Daniel Squires (@guest_7973)
6 years ago

hi, finding it hard to contact you…so if i can use this, thanks.
you said walmart’s webpage has the overnight parking policy spelled out. i can not find this info. could you please post the web address. the link… this is stated … This website is not affiliated with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
thanks , dan

lizzie (@guest_7965)
6 years ago

So far, I have never been desperate enough to “camp” at Walmart but if I were, I would mind my own business. What possible right has anyone taking advantage of a free service to criticize another person doing the same? If you don’t like the way other people behave, move on!

Karen (@guest_7951)
6 years ago

How about using that handy dandy invention, the cell phone, to call the store’s management and let them know about the all out camping, as opposed to simply quietly stopping for the night? . They’ll either do something about it or not, and you’ll have your answer as to whether they care or not.

Douglas Traverson (@guest_7941)
6 years ago

I agree that some misfits call themselves campers they care for no body except themselves. Most feel parking at Walmart and other places is their right not a privilege. I thank Walmart and others for letting me stay overnight

Sign up for the

RVtravel Newsletter

Sign up and receive 3 FREE RV Checklists: Set-Up, Take-Down and Packing List.