Do you believe Walmart will still allow free overnight RV parking in 5 years?

95

Every night in America, thousands of RVers spend the night for free in a Walmart parking lot. You have to wonder what would happen if Walmart were to pull the plug on such stays. Where would all those RVers go? Many RV parks are booked months, even years ahead. Where does an RVer stay when headed from one place to another and needs a quick stopover to sleep without Walmart?

It’s a problem.

Every week at least a few Walmart stores post signs prohibiting overnight stays. For some it’s because of a new local ordinance. For others it’s because too many RVers have trashed the premises, even leaking sewage onto the pavement.

For yet others, it’s because very poor people in decrepit RVs have taken up residence for weeks or months on end in a corner of the parking lot.

So what’s ahead? Do you believe Walmart will continue to allow free overnight RV stays in the years ahead? For the purpose of this poll, let’s say for five years.

We welcome your comments.

 

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Tony Lagana
5 months ago

I believe some Walmart’s will always let RV’s and Trucks park even there is a small amount of jerks that leave trash and dump tanks in parking lots! They really aren’t free if your a decent RV’er you will buy and stock up when parked. Topped out your fuel if they have fuel!! So that free spot with no hook ups can cost at lease $150! When we used bring the Grand kids on trips out west we taught them service! All of us went out around the parking lot when there wasn’t many moving cars collecting carts and some trash! We made it fun I’m sure they had security cameras and saw us. One night we collected 18 carts and some trash and put them away. Only once I found somebody dumped their black tank I found dried sewer stuff on the ground. Traveling and stopping at Walmarts and Samsclubs have been a great experiences the wonderful managers and workers giving us helpful hints. One gave us directions to go to a relatives restaurant to eat a couple hundred miles south. One worker text us the next morning to tell it is safe to go thru the mountains because it is clear and safe to drive. They all told us where to park so were close to the cameras. Plus more! WE ALWAYS ASKED PERMISSION!

tom lakey
7 months ago

If TRASHY RVers would realize what they are messing up for everyone, including themselves , they might continue. If not…I would not blame them for stopping. I would hate it if they did quit. I spend a good amount of money each and every time I do stop. I am sure Walmart won’t miss that. As far as the unsightly Rigs that just seem to move in….I would selectively just run them off. I also know that is just more for the store management to fool with.

Wayne
7 months ago

We were told rv’s over night not allowed at one in Oregon. The manager told us it was because of “mobile” meth labs in RV’s!
I also believe that the opportunity of parking at Walmart’s and Casino’s will decline because of irresponsible dog owners who do not clean up after their dogs.
At a Casino in Tucson the parking lot islands that had white landscaping rock I saw was covered with dog dodo.
Shameful.

Molly
8 months ago

We have RV’d for years. Occasionally we have snoozed a night away in a Wal-Mart parking lot. We have rules we have made up for kindness of Wal-Mart to allow us to stay there. One night only. Ask manager first. Buy groceries top off gas tank . Be as inconspicuous as possible. Leave your area cleaner than you found it. No slide outs no generators, even if the semis run them all night. Pick up after your animals. Leave by 9 am. We have seen the remnants of previous campers, Wal-Mart is not a campground. Respect.

Doreen Hooper
7 months ago
Reply to  Molly

Sometimes when traveling in RV, just need somewhere you can sleep/rest for a few hours: especially if you are too early to check into RV site. Sad there are people who want to ruin everything for the majority.

Joanne
8 months ago

Some RV rigs also take up an exorbitant amount of space. I have seen some A class RV’s with a toad taking up a complete double row – 24 spaces!

charlotte
8 months ago

It is so great when they allow it. Perhaps everyone should check with mgmg first, sign in and get some kind of sticker before staying overnight.

Doreen Hooper
7 months ago
Reply to  charlotte

Sounds reasonable.

Judy & Randy Forinash
8 months ago

It is to Wal-Mart’s advantage that we, RVers park overnight. Lots of time when we spent the night in the parking lot, we get up and head for the store for rolls or what we have forgotten. We call it our adventure.

Sheryl
8 months ago

Walmart can’t afford for you to buy a roll, and than spend hours cleaning up after RVs. Not you, but the others who use Walmart as a campground, leave trash and carts all over the place. And now the those that dump in the parking lot. We have witnessed two.

Wizard749
8 months ago

As long as there are people who think they can turn Wal-Mart into a RV Park and stay for days or weeks, Wal-Mart will eventually stop it. I’ve been coming to Yuma, AZ for years and see the local Wal-Mart has the same RVs for long periods of time.

CaptnJohn
8 months ago

I have never stayed at Walmart. I don’t shop there either. I have stayed at Pilot and Loves once each and a rest stop once. I prefer a campground if at all possible. I hope Wally continues so my preferred stops are not impacted.

Laura
8 months ago

It’s not walmart that doesn’t allow parking for trucks and rvs… they are not permitted thru the city to have these vehicles park there… that’s why they ask you to park in the farthest corner of the lot and you must be gone by 6am…

Charanne Meade
8 months ago

I don’t think it’s fair that walmart will let a rv park over nite but not 18 wheelers.

Tommy Molnar
8 months ago
Reply to  Charanne Meade

Especially since the 18-wheeler probably drove all day or all night to make a delivery AT Walmart.

Tommy Reeves
8 months ago
Reply to  Charanne Meade

I knew Sam Walton. When he initially started building his stores, & as long as he was alive, he built them with a large & easily accessible parking lot so that any weary trucker who needed a place to rest could do so at his stores. He would be rolling over in his grave if he could see what his children have done at his stores to keep trucks off the property.

Alan
8 months ago

Yes they will. Most RVers are responsible adults

Gary
8 months ago

Unfortunately there are those that take complete advantage of any goodwill given to them by Walmart and other locales that allow overnight parking. As a member of a national RV group I/we have a code of conduct to follow which includes one that states “to leave a spot better than when you arrived”, to get permission, to purchase needed items if needed, etc. If most (ALL WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE) RVers followed even half of our code of conduct Walmart and others would/will be happy to continue hosting OVERNIGHTERS…NOT squatters.

Ricky Carter
7 months ago
Reply to  Gary

Gary,
We have a youtube live stream on Saturday evenings. In our 1 hour discussion, we cover many topics….and this is a great one. Would you mind enlightening us more to the ‘Code of Conduct’ your group uses. I’d love to cover it….and will give you, or your group credit, if appropriate. Thanks, look forward to hearing from you.

Michael Davis
8 months ago

There are MILLIONS of acres of public land all over the country to park an RV legally for up to 14 days. Then just move a few miles, I think it is 25 miles, and camp there.

Walmart camping is for those who need a store nearby and want to camp in a city.

Jeremy Moore
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Davis

People want access to amenities. This is not possible when you go to remote places out east. There isn’t much public land with free camping once you get progressively closer to the Mississippi and it’s worse east of that.

Covet the Camper
8 months ago

A Purchased (relatively low cost) Walmart “Club Card” placed in the windshield would solve most of the issues. Overnight RV parking would still need to be enforced by security. Personally, given the current financial climate, I think that Walmart is missing out on a substantial money maker.
A safe, legally permitted RV parking area in these large parking lots with power options would be a huge benefit to the stores and rvers alike.

Michael Davis
8 months ago

Maybe a dump station?

Bill Mallory
8 months ago

My wife and I travel 10,000 plus miles a year in our Motorhome. We have spent many nights in Walmart. We spend approximately $100 each time we stay. We always check with management if we can spend the night. We would be glad to purchase a permit to do so.

David Allen
8 months ago

Too many requirements and issues for walMart to become an RV park. They are currently changing the entire WalMart location footprint to be more online based anyway. Biggest problem would be that the lot would fill with the same idiots that wnt to squat there now.

CHRIS
8 months ago

Welcome centers with 24hr security is free. Rest stops with security is a good option. I have used them.

Jim Knoch
8 months ago

This is just my opinion, so for what it’s worth … I believe the Walmart overnight stays will eventually turn into a matter of economics for the individual stores. If providing the unused parking lot for overnight stays doesn’t cost Walmart more than the profits from what the RVer’s spend in the store, then it will likely still be allowed. If the RVer’s become too costly to clean up after, then the free night’s stay will likely go away or become a paid parking place for the night. Factoring in the political motives, many locales do not want the RVer’s getting anything that doesn’t contribute to the tax coffers, so I predict there will be an overall bigger push to ban the free overnight stays at Walmart. I believe the political mentality is that the RVer’s are all transients and only take from the community while giving nothing in return.

Danny J Wasilchenko
8 months ago
Reply to  Jim Knoch

Million Dollar coaches don’t resemble poverty to me

Tommy Molnar
8 months ago

I don’t think the “million dollar coaches” are the problem. Just sayin’.

Ricky Carter
7 months ago
Reply to  Jim Knoch

Jim,
Great perspective. You’ve given this much thought. We have a youtube live stream on Saturday evenings. In our 1 hour discussion, we cover many topics….and this is a great one. Would you mind if we used this post on our live stream? We will give you proper credit, if appropriate. Thanks, look forward to hearing from you.

Laura
8 months ago

I think a parking permit would end the problem. People take advantage of places all the time, with a paid parking permit on the windshield, that should help eliminate the few that ruin it for the rest. Minimum fee, makes them certified and approved, problem solved.

Michael Davis
8 months ago
Reply to  Laura

Then the RV parks and such businesses will piss and moan to get laws made restricting the practice.

Tommy Molnar
8 months ago
Reply to  Laura

Sounds nice, but who is going to enforce it?

“Run-A-Way Bill”
8 months ago

Walmart RV overnight parking will probably be available, but limited.

Some lots are too small, many on the west coast are out due to local ordinances. Hours of operation appear to be pushing out the RVers too.

In my travels, it appears only a small percentage of Walmart stores are 24 hour stores. These are the stores RVers are most welcome.

Many stores in higher crime zones seem to be closing at midnight or sooner.

I have had Walmart security suggest the local Home Depot for overnight parking. Many security staff are very apologetic for asking me to move on.

I count on about 20% of Walmarts, especially in large city areas, to be available.

Walmart needs to say “No” RV parking for legal reasons, but they may not always enforce the “No” rule.

“Run-A-Way Bill” was here!
01.19.20

Fred
8 months ago

I think Walmart should sell an annual overnight park pass for a small fee to ward off undesirables patrons from ruining a good thing for most.

Sheryll
8 months ago
Reply to  Fred

I think we should pay every night we stay. It’s to easy to have an annual pass and each night a person needs to go in pay, and that way maybe they will buy items, and keep the folks who think try and sneak in or hide the pass. We all know those RVS who don’t pay or sneak out, even in the camping areas that say pay in The little boxes. Any way Walmart will lose.