Tuesday, November 28, 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 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 stand by. It’ll be along shortly.


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Ron N (@guest_243236)
4 months ago

Staying overnight, not a few days, is a win-win for the RV’er and for Walmart. After a stay, in the morning I go in to that store and buy something…food and other supplies. Walmart knows that RV’ers contribute sales.

Joyce Boykin (@guest_242897)
4 months ago

We went to a Walmart in Riverside, CA. I went inside and spoke to Manager Misty and got permission to stay overnight in the parking lot. We were going to meet with my cousin who lives in Riverside the following day. Misty gave permission, and we told the security on duty that we had permission from Misty. At 1:30 a.m. there was a loud pounding on our door. The security on duty informed us we were not allowed to stay there and must get out of bed and move on. Where are we going to go at 1:30 a.m.? I told security we had permission from Manager Misty. He contacted his supervisor and then told us Misty had no authority to grant us permission to stay there and if we did not leave in the next 15 minutes the police would be called. This was so rude and disrespectful! I wrote a letter to Walmart headquarters and a copy to Riverside Walmart. I never got any response.

Lalle (@guest_242872)
4 months ago

Do people still do this? Seems to me that the homeless invasion has effectively put an end to this Walmart policy. I always ask but it’s been years since I found a Walmart permitting this outside of a handful of sparsely populated mountain states.

Timothy Fay (@guest_242827)
4 months ago

I will always ask for permission. I don’t want to be woken up at 2am to a knock on the door for me to have to get up and find another spot to sleep, when I could have just avoided it by asking.

Joyce (@guest_242898)
4 months ago
Reply to  Timothy Fay

Sometimes even asking for and getting permission doesn’t stop the early demand to leave.

Neal Davis (@guest_242811)
4 months ago

Did not vote, have never stayed at a Walmart and plan to keep it that way. If we have to stay at one, then I would get permission first.

KeithS (@guest_242767)
4 months ago

The new RVrs who have come on in the last 3 to 4 years are a disgrace. They are rude at even state parks but their behavior at Walmarts is the wild west. YOU SHOULD ALWAYS ASK the manager if you can stay, always! Abuse it by not asking and they’ll take it away and then none of us will be able to do an overnight. Isn’t that how it always works? A few ruin it for the many?

Mark Weiner (@guest_242661)
5 months ago

It just takes a few minutes to call ahead and ask if it’s OK.

Don’t even think about calling if it’s a larger metro area.

You really don’t want to have nighttime security wake you up in the middle of the night.

If they won’t let you park, just move on to another location.

Chuck S (@guest_242552)
5 months ago

I stopped asking after a Walmart Manager in Florida told me I should not take him away from his work to answer that question and that if he did not want us there, he would have signs to tell me so. I have never been asked to leave a Walmart but was once asked to move to a different location as the place I had picked was the spot the store manager always parked in. We never stay more than one overnight and never more than 12 hours.

Andy (@guest_242545)
5 months ago

We typically call ahead and ask even when we’ve stayed there before.

Anne Oelke (@guest_242538)
5 months ago

The only time we haven’t asked at a WM was when there were over a dozen rigs in the parking lot by 4 pm. We use WM and others for 1 night stays as we travel between destinations. Why pay $$ for a campground when we will not use any of the amenities (including sewer, water or elec) and will be pulling out before 8 am?

Vanessa (@guest_242536)
5 months ago

I’ve stayed at two in my SUV but not since I got my RV. One was in WY where there was a parking lot on the side of the building that said Overnight Parking and was set up for big rigs and RVs. The other was in eastern WA or ID and I just parked at the end of a row where there were a few other vans and under a light.

bull (@guest_242533)
5 months ago

Ya better start asking more often as many cities in which Wal Mart does business now have new zoning laws on the books prohibiting overnight stays at the local Wal Mart and other places of business due to Homeless issues and abandon RV issues. You might get rousted early in the morning to leave!

The complaints and resulting changes in local laws are from local residences who don’t give {bleeped} if you need a place to stop for the evening.

KeithS (@guest_242768)
4 months ago
Reply to  bull

So true!

DebB (@guest_242531)
5 months ago

Always ask.

Skip (@guest_242522)
5 months ago

I always ask permission, even if I had received permission before. It helps to have some items in your grocery cart too.

CeeCee (@guest_242514)
5 months ago

We just finished a 2 month trip. We planned to dry camp when just passing through an area using AllStays to find places to overnight. Walmarts that were said to allow it said no when asked. (Many reviews are 2+ years old, and out of date.) Once, after being told no in Great Falls, because it was very late and stormy, we quietly found a spot anyway, and had an uninterrupted night. In the morning there were several RVs. We prefer, and used to always ask, but stopped asking and just looked for no overnight parking signs. That worked better. We are careful to be as unobtrusive as possible, but Walmarts are going away. Out west, there are more options: BLM, FS, etc., but east of the Mississippi is more of a problem, we found. Costco (ask!) and Home Depot are options, also church parking lots. We’re too big for many Cracker Barrels and many don’t offer ON anyway.

Vanessa (@guest_242534)
5 months ago
Reply to  CeeCee

GF MT? One is next to a KOA which put a stop to overnights. But you often see them at the dead-end road by the store, along with a semi or two. The other one also has signs for no overnight but there are always rigs parked there.
My son and DIL just spent a night in a cabin at the KOA…$180! But they needed a staycation with two small kids and didn’t have time to get the popup out for one night. I wonder what the campsites cost for a night!

Deborah Mason (@guest_242513)
5 months ago

Better to find out it’s a no-go before settling in for the night. We’ve heard of a few that won’t even allow an RV to park long enough to shop!

Skip (@guest_242521)
5 months ago
Reply to  Deborah Mason

Yes, we ran into that in Springfield, MO. Pulled into the parking lot and was immediately accosted by the Security Guard. We actually were looking for fuel and was going to shop for a few items, but drove away when he said that we would not be able to park in the lot. It was mid-day so we were not going to spend the night.

Last edited 5 months ago by Skip
Rich (@guest_242502)
5 months ago

we would never think of using someone’s private property for our own purpose without first asking for and receiving permission. always. 100% of the time. to do anything less is just wrong.

Roy Davis (@guest_242479)
5 months ago

Staying at Walmart is a last ditch resort since we prefer Cabelas, Bass Pro, and even Cracker Barrel over them. I will ask if there aren’t any or only a couple of RVs there, but I always ask at Cabelas and Bass Pro.

G Smith (@guest_242475)
5 months ago

There should be a category for “Usually ask”. When I see one on the All Stays app with a couple of recent positive reviews I’ll feel comfortable just going in without asking. I always park as far from the store as possible and have never had a problem.

Richard (@guest_242526)
5 months ago
Reply to  G Smith

G Smith — This has been our MO for 17 years. Have never been hassled.

Jim Johnson (@guest_242467)
5 months ago

Not a frequent event, but ‘stuff happens’. If it is late, I’m exhausted and I see other campers I may not ask. I will thank some staff member in the morning before we leave. It doesn’t have to be a Walmart. Once pulled off in a Hy-Vee grocery store parking lot at the beginning of an ice storm. It wasn’t safe to walk across the parking lot. We spent half the day in the camper. When the ice melted, we bought a few things from the store, thanked the cashier and moved on.

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