For many longtime RVers and newbies, too, a Walmart parking lot has been a convenient place to spend a night along the road. The price has always been free. Stores are located across America, most close to a major highway, often right along an exit. For RVers on a budget such “free camping” is far better than paying $30, $40, $50 or more to stay briefly at an RV park, when all they need is a flat spot to park overnight, then move on. Hookups are not important.
Traditionally, most Walmart stores have welcomed these RV travelers. Walmart founder Sam Walton was an RVer and he wanted his stores to be welcoming to others like him.
In the past decade, however, individual stores have erected “No Overnight Parking” signs. Sometimes it’s because of abuse by RV slobs or those who set up camp and stay for days, even weeks on end. Other times it’s because of a local ordinance that prohibits overnight stays except in an official RV park.
Lately, the pace of the closures appears to be quickening, prompting some RVers to wonder how long it will be before Walmart, as its corporate policy, bans RV stays at all its stores.
What do you think? Do you think Walmart’s policy will remain pretty much the same in five years or that the company will ban such stays altogether?
Walmart has reached its peak and as they slide down the back side they will need people like the RVers. They are well known and people know what it’s like to shop at Walmart, but they are no longer the best deal. I wish them luck
I think they will start charging.
When you ask the store, most times they will say that they would allow it if it wasn’t prohibited by city ordinance. It’s fairly rare for them to say no themselves but when they do it is normally because of some inconsiderate butthead that has done something that anyone with a half a ethic/moral would know isn’t right. But it’s been someone ruining it for everyone since time began I suppose.
Some commenters have mentioned staying in a Rest Area, well, on our trip last month, we traveled several states in the SE area of the US. Nearly all rest areas were packed with Semis and not only in the parking lot, but all along the driveways as well and even on the shoulder of the roads. Even the Love’s with camper areas were packed with Semis, we had no choice but to stay in a gas station parking lot to get some rest.
If the Feds want to set up drive time restrictions on Semis, they should be sure there is space for them to park during down times.
We’ve stayed overnight at Walmart many times over 4 years of fulltiming if we’re on a multi-day drive to get across the country. We check to see if staying over is OK before going there – and almost always ask again when we’re inside getting groceries just to be polite. As people have said the only times we’ve been told no are because of local ordinances which is larger cities. And we have never had the first problem in a Walmart lot.
In most cases, Walmart does not make the no parking overnight policy. It is the local governing body that the Walmart is in that makes the policy for overnight parking.
I think it will all come down to local ordinances, as cities and counties pass more laws.
Some folks staying in Walmart lot purchase there first, maybe groceries and get the check-out in a big bag with WALMART on it. Then leave that in the front window so they know you are true customers.
Or they just carry around a Walmart bag for that specific purpose.
Made a 700 mile trip last summer, had a couple of mechanical problems with the rig, so several hours were spent trying to fix. We were exhausted, and found all the Rest Stops crammed with semi trucks sticking out on the edge of the freeway. The one rest stop not full had 15 minute time limit signs on every parking spot. It was difficult, couldn’t find any RV parks either. We found out that because of the homeless problem in Oregon and Washington, restrictions had been placed on any spaces that even looked like a place to rest. Couldn’t find a Walmart, but after seeing the trash, the abandoned rigs and other unpleasant things going on, we realized we need to adapt our travel plans to be pleasant instead of a total nightmare. We have no objection to paying for a night, be it Walmart or anywhere else, but frankly travelers need to rest and the homeless problem needs to be seriously addressed and resolved. Traveling 3 states with no rest is dangerous.
We have a local Walmart that put up signs stating NO TRUCK, TRAILER parking.Two days ago there was a trailer sitting right on front of the sign. It was a Walmart trailer. So much for no trailer parking!!! They don’t even follow their own rules.
My local Walmart has a very small parking lot. They have recently taken up at least 20% of it by installing EV charging stations in front of the garden area where the RVs used to park. No matter what time of day I go, there are at least 5-7 RVs in the parking lot with their jack stands down and the lawn chairs out. They now have to park pretty much in the middle of the parking lot and they take up lots of parking spots. Some people stay for days, not just overnight to sleep. It is starting to cause problems for the store and I anticipate overnight parking there getting banned sooner rather than later.
I suspect that they essentially will ban overnight parking, largely due to the political entity each is within.
Once the homeless vagabonds living in dilapidated RVs and tarp tents start to squat by the dozens in Walmart parking lots, adjacent to the occasional class A traveler, the policy will change. Good news though, the local governments in many cities will force Walmart to provide potable water and bar them from evicting the squatters from the private parking lots for fear that it may trigger them into a feeling of greater despair. Most likely, clean injection sites can set up near the garden center parking areas and to top it off, Walmart will have to pay security to keep the peace in this new dystopia lest they be sued for not maintaining a safe space with gender neutral Porta-Potties and complimentary deodorant.
I predict ground zero will be Portland or Seattle.
Sure wish you would keep your hateful intolerance to yourself.
The truth hurts, don’t it Steve…
I don’t see that Cancelproof is that far off the mark unfortunately. He isn’t quoting from a script that hasn’t been read from the headlines in places already.
Thanks, just keeping it fresh for the $6mm dem.
Better off wishing for a pony. 🤣😂🤣😂
If we can’t laugh at the abysmal failures of the endless virtue signalling, social justice warriors that fight for equity among the homeless methheads in Oregon, what can we laugh at. It is not hateful to laugh until your gut hurts at these failures brought on by the demagoguery of others. Speech you find hateful, others may find hilarious. What’s hilarious is that these failing leaders think they can fix drug addiction by legalizing it. Decriminalize crime and crime STATISTICS go down. While Nero fiddles, other clutch pearls and some of us have to laugh. 😂🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂
Probably not, but I do see them transitioning to the same setup Loves or many Casinos use, where you get to spend the night for $20-
Agree. Walmart may start looking at the “Truck Stop” model we see with Loves and other locations offering a basic spot for $20.
I’ve stayed a Camp Walmart many time, usually when leaving Wisconsin in late November/ early December.
All campgrounds are closed for winter. We use anti freeze in the toilet,drink bottled water and turn down the heat to minimize propane usage. Where are you supposed to park.
We stop at walmart. We shop for supper at walmart. ( a nice rotisserie chicken and potato salad)
Breakfast can be fresh bakery or cereal . Usually a walmart stop is $75/100. Or we stop at a truck stop and hope we dont have a refer running all night.
I know we’d miss it if we can’t park there but I’ve got other ideas which I won’t go into.
I come from a retailer background so I believe at least some of this depends on who has authority over the parking lot – WalMart or the landlord, and local laws/ordinances.
Yes, all Walmart/Sam’s and other places such as these, will ban all campers/truckers from parking overnight.
I have seen what some people throw out in the parking lot for others to clean up.
Local city/county government that will cause this to happen sooner than you think with new legislation outlawing this practice.
That way local government can make their residents “FEEL” safe!
I think Walmart will close many stores. Why should it be their place to take care of homeless?
In less than 5 years…
Howdy All; Most likely they will, unless they decide to start charging for the “privilege”
and the Mgr. can boost their gross receipts bonus.