Wednesday, September 27, 2023


Nevada RVing: When you can’t find a Walmart

By Dave Helgeson

With only a dozen or so municipalities containing a Walmart or two within their city limits, finding a suitable parking lot for a complimentary overnight stay in Nevada is not as easily done as the more populous states. Conveniently, NDOT (Nevada Department of Transportation) stockpiles gravel about every ten miles or so along many of its highways. These sites are a reasonable distance off the highway, level, nicely graveled, conveniently spaced along the route and offer a pleasant solitude place to boondock after a long day on the road. Unlike some other states that fence their DOT sites and post them against trespassing, NDOT sites are just another piece of the huge public land puzzle known as Nevada.

NDOT spots are easily spotted while driving down the highway or you can plan in advance and locate them via Google Earth. With mountain ranges crisscrossing the state, most offer great views as an added bonus. Oh, and unlike campgrounds that forbid you from doing a little maintenance on your rig, the gravel makes a suitable surface to crawl around under your rig when checking for fluid leaks or other service needs. Did I mention your pet doesn’t need to be leashed either?

For those of us that like to visit forgotten locations via the many dirt roads radiating throughout the state, NDOT sites provide a handy place to park the RV for the day while exploring with the tow or towed vehicle too.

Check out an NDOT site on your next outing through Nevada. They offer most of the amenities of a Walmart, other than the street sweeper making the rounds at two in the morning. Sometimes we boondockers just have to sacrifice!


Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña De Maris
Russ and Tiña went from childhood tent camping to RVing in the 1980s when the ground got too hard. They've been tutored in the ways of RVing (and RV repair) by a series of rigs, from truck campers, to a fifth-wheel, and several travel trailers. In addition to writing scores of articles on RVing topics, they've also taught college classes for folks new to RVing. They authored the book, RV Boondocking Basics.


  1. Many Walmarts do allow overnight stays, however check with the managers before settling in. If there is a no parking notice it is probably because of the UNEDUCATED short sighted city fathers. They do not realize how much they are missing as we bypass their city as we buy our supplies further down the road. I understand they don;t want “campers” to make a home there, but overnighter’s should be appreciated

    (ex associate)

  2. If you can’t find a Walmart try Loves travel plazas. Used many on our way down from MN to AZ. Don’t like the engine noise, buy ear plugs. Always asked to stay , managers always said no need to ask, just stay out of the way.

  3. I queried NDOT about using these sites as an overnight stop after it came up in a conversation.
    There policy is absolutely not, I was told to use an rest area.

  4. This has been a little known secret to those of us who live in Nevada for quite some time and quite frankly, I’m disappointed to see this information passed on. If more and more people begin to do this, at some point the DOT will post the all too familiar “No Trespassing” signs because of abuse and overuse.


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