Saturday, September 23, 2023


Walmart “campers,” do you ask the store for permission to stay, or just stay?

If you frequently or sometimes stay overnight in a Walmart parking lot, do you ask the store permission first to stay, or do you just pull in and set up and not ask permission? Does it depend on the Walmart or if there is signage?

Some RVers, we’ve been told, will pull into an area of a parking lot where there are already other at least a few RVers there for the night. They’ll just assume it’s okay to stay if others are already there. Is this you?

We give you a few options on the poll, but please feel free to leave a comment after you vote and tell us why you ask for permission or why not. We’re curious to hear. Thank you!

Remember, it may take a few moments for the poll to load if you are on a slow connection. So standby. It’ll be along shortly.


  1. We traveled every year from Wyoming to Florida in the fall and then back in the spring so we took the same route for18years.In the beginning we asked more often, but by the time the manger was found because they were busy.The answer was always yes just park over to the sides or end of parking lot, there was one time we pulled into a Walmart parking in Nashville TN the sign said no overnight parking It was spring we had been driving in heavy rain and traffic all day stuck in traffic due to a bad wreck, and my husband said he just had to get off the road it’s was around 2:00pm, he said I’m pulling in this Walmart. anybody being a RVer know when the drivers done DON’T push it. I told my husband I would go in and explain our situation. The manager was so nice and said just park at the end hon, if you have any problems and she gave me her name, what a sweetheart. Anytime we stayed at a Walmart,I always went in and brought items my way of saying Thank You Walmart we appreciate this.

  2. just stay. every manager I have spoke to, told me to just stay and not bother store personnel as they are short staffed already

  3. It’s rare for us to use a Walmart because there are numerous other not widely known, but safer places to stay.
    It was explained to us about staying on a property that belonged to a business store, restaurant, hotel, other you need to get permission and make sure to give you license plate number, a contact number and a description of your R.V.
    In doing so if anything happens overnight you had done what was required and by the business giving you permission and having received all your contact numbers and R.V. information you have entered a contract with the business. legally protecting you if anything were to happen whereas the owners that just decide they can park wherever they want whenever they want have no type of standing if anything were to happen on that property. Always legally protect yourself.
    Plus no matter the lot size there are only a small number of parking slots for overnight parking those with permission are safe from tows, boots or tickets.

  4. For years Walmart supported truckers and allowed them to overnight in the parking lots of their stores. Mainly because they recognize that without trucking American stops functioning. But over time RVs began overnighting in the lots which was likely fine too because everyone needs something from Walmart when traveling. Now there’s a gigantic influx of homeless folks living in old crappy campers and in their vehicles in the parking lots. Which includes garbage, pets, partying and a host of other issues. It’s no wonder there are new, no overnight parking, regulations in place. One more tale of a few screwing up a good thing for everyone else. Not bitter but this is the reality.

  5. When they know you’re there the official clock starts to tick minus 24 hours.
    And believe me they’re keeping track.
    What they do not know will not hurt them because they’re not looking for a specific camper or motor home in a lot with others around to distract them.

  6. It’s usually after the store has closed when I arrive and then I’m gone almost always before time to open. But while taking my morning walk I police the area around where I “camped” picking up trash others have left, not wanting us RV’rvs to have a bad name

  7. I went in the first time I parked in Walmart to ask permission ask the cashier and she more or less told me I was stupid and knew nothing about it. I ask for the manager and she said he went home. So do never ask again

  8. Yes Walmart I think does allow you to stay overnight because they have big parking lots and a lot of space and Sleep over night

  9. I never ask permission but I’ve seen a couple of Walmarts with a sign saying “No overnight parking” and I moved on.

    I have a really nice motorhome, I park in the far corner away from the store and immediately go in and buy groceries etc. I only put slide outs out when we’re ready for bed and I only use Walmarts if I need to shop and I’m between actual campgrounds and I don’t need to empty tanks.

  10. I am so greatful that it was a place to stay. I Lost my apartment during covid and had to live in my car for days. Nowhere to go and walmart parking gave me a place to go. I still can’t find a permanent home. I have moved 13 times over the past year. I just want to find a place to call my own again.

  11. We very rarely stay at Walmart, but if we do we go inside & check to make sure it’s OK. And we buy some supplies or groceries. Better to move on now if it’s not OK than to be rousted in the middle of the night.

  12. Define overnight. I once stayed till almost midnight and did not figure that was overnight. Then I moved to elsewhere for a few hours.

  13. I feel that if these RV owners can afford these luxurious campers they should be able to afford to spend the night at where they are suppose to; a ⛺️ campground not a Walmart parking lot!

    • I’ve thought that for years. Some of those behemoths take up quite a few spots. And they go looking for free places everywhere they go.

    • How does someone using an empty parking place at a random Walmart parking lot at 2am effect you? BTW, most of these people are parking (without power and water!) out of desperation, not planned….

    • I have a very nice motorhome and I stop at Walmarts sometimes as it’s convenient if I need to shop for groceries and I’m between full hookup campgrounds. I am FAR cleaner and more respectful than the ones you can tell are long term campers in that parking lot. We stopped at one the other night in Billings MT on our way to Wyoming and there were several run-down campers you could tell were staying there long term. I’d rather see my motorhome in the far corner than some Cousin Eddie tenement on wheels in the middle of the parking lot.

    • I Have a 27 year old 30 foot Motor home I got on the cheap but needed to be gutted out and rebuilt and I do not have the funds to buy a new interior or the money camp grounds are charging every day just to tap into there power pole or constantly drain my {bleeped} tank.
      I’m retired and if it was not for my motor home I would be home less living in the streets.
      Rent is through the roof with there cost I have no income accept a few dollars I make on a side hustle.
      Walmart parking is my life line at this point in time.
      If you can afford to buy a brand new motor home for upwards a quarter of a million dollars than yes they can afford to park else where and pay…

  14. I generally refer to the OvernightRVParking app on my phone. If I can’t verify there that parking is ok, we shop, then ask the store manager.

  15. We sometimes don’t bother to ask if we see another RV parked. However, one time we were the only RV, so we went in and asked. The manager was very nice and he said he wouldn’t recommend it as the neighborhood changes “after dark”.

  16. We never ask permission. We think bothering the store manager, who has a lot of other things to do, is wasteful of. his/her time. However, we google as much information as we can, including local statutes, watch out for No Parking signs, park as far from the building as we can, and spend lots of money at a lot of Walmarts during our travels.

  17. I ask before I do my shopping. The answer is usually yes, sometimes the manager says the policy is no overnight parking but if you stay far from the store on the edges you won’t be bothered. This last spring I stayed at the Winslow, AZ store. I was appalled at the 4 very large shiny DP’s parked between the front of the store and the end of the lot with their slides pushed out on both sides. They were parked where customers would have parked. One was bold enough to get out their lawn chairs and several ran generators non stop. Actions like that will work against us.

  18. If there are a number of RVs already there, I usually just “drop anchor” near the other rigs and turn in for the night. In the AM, I shop at said Walmart. It’s amazing how fast $100 can disappear!.Sam Walton was a GENIUS!

    There WAS one Walmart outside of Denver, CO. There were NO other RVs parked so, I did go in and ask about parking overnight. An assistant manager stated that a “local ordinance” did NOT allow overnight parking BUT, a Walmart ~ 5 miles down the road did allow it. Arriving at the second Walmart location, there were NO other RVs so, I went in and found the manager. When I told her what happened at the first location, she laughed and told me BOTH stores were in the same jurisdiction and NO laws prohibited overnight parking. She asked how long I planned on parking. I told her I’d be gone in the AM & she said fine. I spent $0 in the first location & over $50 in the friendly store.

  19. We only tried once to stop for the night at a Walmart. The manager said that that store’s official policy was no, but that people were doing it anyway. That was obvious by the fact that there were a half dozen or so campers lined up around the edge of the parking lot. We grabbed some dinner from McDonalds next door and moved on. Ended up spending $80.00+ to stay at a RV resort in the area. Don’t want to do that again.

  20. I will ALWAYS ask at the Service Desk! It is private property and the least you can do is ask. I don’t care how many other RVers are there, that doesn’t give me blanket permission to use the property to park. It’s a matter of “common courtesy”, which isn’t very common these days!

  21. We have only stayed in Walmart parking lots a few times. We went by whether there were other RVs over-nighting there and we always shopped in the store. One time security came by and asked us to change the direction we were parked but did not ask us to leave.

  22. we haven’t used Camp Wally in many years but when we did we *always* asked first, usually in person at the service desk. we did the same at Camp Flying J and other truck stops. just assuming one can use someone elses’s private property without permission is baffling to us.

  23. We use our AllStays app to help determine if the Walmart permits overnight stays. I didn’t answer “always ask” because occasionally, if there are already many RVs in the lot (like in Butte, MT), we just assume it’s OK. We always visit the store and stock up on something—like dessert? (No, I didn’t say that!)

  24. If the store is open, I go inside and ask when I make a small purchase. We check apps like ParkAdvisor (that lists Walmarts and users can review their stay) while planning, and have a few options between WM, State Parks, rest areas, etc… for where we can stop when we get tired. If the store is closed, we park on the outer edge and only put out the needed slides to sleep and fix food, then pack out ASAP when we wake up.

  25. We always call ahead as we decide how far we want to drive that day. Some Wal-Mart’s don’t allow overnighting due to local laws. We will buy gas, eat at one of the nearby restaurants, shop at Walmart to support local business.

  26. We stop and do our shopping first. Then we ask to speak to the store manager and ask if R/V overnight “camping” is OK in their lot. (Nothing like having your sleep rudely interrupted in the middle of the night by an officer when “overnight camping” is not allowed by the city ordinances and having to pack and move when you’re half asleep.) As a sign of respect, we do not extend our pop-out while we are there, and we pack our own trash and take it with us when we get back on the road again and on our way by 5:00 a.m. Respect is not a hard thing to extend.

  27. I only did once and I asked first. Our youngest works for Wal-Mart and his warn was ask first and the manager of the store will give you a run down on where to park and any security concerns in the area and what to watch out for.

  28. I won’t spend $50 at a campground or RV park just to sleep for 8 hours. I would rather spend the money at a Walmart where we are “parking” not camping. Big difference!

  29. We always ask after we’ve done our shopping. Pulling up to customer service with a full cart of paid for items seems to be the best way to handle this.

  30. We always ask for permission and had never been denied before. The WalMart at Fishkill, NY told us NO! They said that the home office had changed their policy and to not stay. The local Sams Club next door told us the same thing.

  31. I have stayed at Walmart, usually in a small town and just overnight (Prefer Cracker barrel, but thats another story) I use RVParky to locate ones where overnight parking is permitted. I usually need to buy something anyway, so i go up to the manager while carrying my load of purchases. that way they know I am a customer, and not someone just staying overnight for nothing. Because I know in advance if they allow overnight or not, I’ve never had an issue. and talking to the manager lets me get a feel for the area, knowledge as to where to park, and anything to look out for. the manager also gets a chance to size me up, and see that I’m not gonna be one that causes ‘problems’. a Win-win.

  32. We always ask for permission. It’s their private property; it just feels right to ask. We’ve never been turned down, and I think they appreciate the courtesy. We don’t do this often; generally just if traveling and the campgrounds are full.

  33. The only time we parked in Walmart was at home. When we returned from our travels we couldn’t get the Moho into our backyard parking due to snow. So we took the Moho to our Walmart and parked it. I called the store manager to ask permission to leave it for a few days while the snow either melted or we cleared it away. The manager said no problems as long as it was not blocking any traffic. I would always ask.

  34. Depends. If there are many others already there and no no overnight parking signs, I will join them with out asking. Otherwise I will ask.

      • We agree. I have a relative who only parks at WalMart if possible. Not us – I like trees and soft ground! We get enuf commercials everywhere we go and with Tv etc….. (No traffic noise or police-fire sirens in the woods either!)

  35. The one and only time we stopped at a Walmart was at 2 AM. We just needed 3-4 hrs of sleep and to walk the dogs before moving on. Our intent was to go in and ask. But as we entered the lot we saw 6-8 semis parked in a far corner. We just joined their line, got our sleep and left at 6 AM.

  36. With all the Wacko’s out there, I would not stay at any Walmart unless it was an emergency. We just returned from a one week trip and had four different people with ‘SOB’ stories asking for money or a ride while we were stopped for food an fuel. One asked if we would pay to fill his gas tank as he sat at the pumps.

  37. Yes. We also go in the store for something. We feel it’s the least we can do. We are also Harvest Host members and always visit the Host whether it’s for a snack, drink, swag, something. We will not stay over at a Harvest Host if we will not be there before they close for the day or open the next day.

  38. I didn’t answer because I would if we were the first ones there. But we’ve never overnighted at a Walmart that hadn’t already had a few RVs already parked for overnight. We’re often late arriving, so folks like Larry Lee beat us there 🙂

  39. I ask permission with the following exceptions: if we have stayed there before with permission and therefore know where they want us to park, and if we are late arriving (rare) and several other RV’s are already in place.
    When I do ask at the Service desk I often get a response consisting of directions of where in the parking lot I should park without any specific approval to actually stay overnight.
    I have found some Walmarts which say not to stay overnight because they only own the building and not the parking lot. They often include an apology.
    Apps such as AllStays are helpful to avoid the minority of Walmarts which do not allow overnight stays.


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