Video and article: The don’ts of “camping” at Walmart

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Every evening across North America, thousands of RVers pull into a Walmart parking lot, and not just to stock up on groceries. For many, it’s where they’ll spend the night, free of charge, courtesy of the store and endorsed by the Walmart corporation on its website.

That all sounds good, but there’s more to the story: Increasingly Walmart stores are erecting “No overnight parking” signs. It could be because of a new local ordinance promoted by owners of local RV parks, who want those RVers as paying customers.

Or it could be because one too many RVers dumped their holding tanks into a storm drain.

In some instances it’s because too many RVers don’t understand that a stay of one night is perfectly fine, but staying day after day, even week after week, is not what Walmart has in mind. In some parts of the country, where many almost-homeless people live in old and decrepit RVs, it’s come to where a store has no choice but to say “No more!”

Here, from the folks at the popular YouTube channel Drivin’ and Vibin’, are seven things you should never do if you plan to stay in a Walmart parking lot. Follow this advice and you should not only be welcomed, but enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep, and save some money in the process.


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Jon
1 month ago

One thing I would say is don’t forget to shop for something at any Wal Mart that allows you to stay. It doesn’t have to be any thing big or major, maybe a soft drink or a snack. We have found that it’s a good way to say thanks. Unfortunately, we have to use a small generator because of a major health need, but we ALWAYS let the Wal Mart or whoever know that we have to run it and why. Almost every one of the managers asks if there’s any thing else we may need and often give us directions to the nearest emergency room, just in case we have the need.

James O'Briant
30 days ago
Reply to  Jon

There are a handful of Walmarts that don’t allow generator use in the parking lot overnight. In each case it’s because there are residences adjacent to the lot — either houses or a trailer park, or in some cases a hotel or motel. But in 15 years of researching this topic, I’ve found fewer than 10 of these cases.

Brian Holmes
28 days ago
Reply to  James O'Briant

given the distance between a typical walmart parking lot and a structure where people work/live I seriously doubt they could hear any inverter generator running. I can barely hear mine in the camper. Maybe a conehead with a large construction gen but that`s all.

Ken
1 month ago

Don’t put jacks down on asphalt.

James O'Briant
30 days ago
Reply to  Ken

Jacks on asphalt are OK, but ONLY if you have protective jack pads to protect the asphalt surface.

James LaGasse
1 month ago

Our local Walmart use to allow overnight parking but too many people left so much trash behind when they left that they stopped it. In my travels I have seen the same thing at other Walmarts around the country, piles of trash in the outlying areas. It is the few that ruin things for the many, even in state parks I have seen people throw out bags of trash along the roadway as they leave. At one park we stayed at several people threw trash bags at a dumpster as they drove by, the dumpster was empty.