Get ready for more news stories like this one from Pullman, Washington.
Last week, in Pullman, Wash., and adjacent Moscow, Idaho, Walmart stores announced they would no longer allow overnight stays in RVs in their parking lots.
A week does not pass that a Walmart store somewhere in the country enacts a similar policy. Most weeks it’s more than just one store. By some estimates, about 20 percent of all Walmart stores do not allow overnight stays, although many once did.
According to the The Daily Evergreen, the Washington State University school newspaper, a few employees of the store said the decision was determined after incidents of neglectful stays. “It became a nightmare with no maintenance or people to clean up,” an employee said.
“People were doing things they weren’t supposed to be doing, setting fires and leaving loads of trash behind,” an employee said.
Some members of the WSU Parents Facebook page blamed Cougar fans for the policy change. “I was embarrassed the Cougar fans left it that way,” one man wrote on a post on the WSU Parents Facebook page. Another parent commented on the same post, writing that she witnessed drunk adults, trash and vomit in the parking lot and heard loud music.
We currently list several thousand Walmarts in the http://www.OvernightRVParking.com database, we estimate that 35-40% of all Walmarts do not allow Overnight RV Parking. That number is increasing steadily We’ve had to change more than half a dozen Walmarts from “YES” to “NO” in our database in the past 8 days.
One day, Walmart will build their own overnight campground behind the stores. People breaking the rules will be ticketed or arrested by city police.
We just started using our Passport America membership. We got tired of seeing people abuse the right to stay at Walmart overnight. It is no surprise they are doing away with it.
What we need is a visionary. If someone way up in the Walmart executive chain had some foresight, a great service could easily be started at their superstores.
While some posters here feel that the owners of self-contained RV’s must be too poor, or too stingy to rent a space at an RV park for the evening, the truth is quite the opposite. Our Class A motor home is self contained. I can cook a meal after a long day traveling, then enjoy a hot shower and settle into my own comfortable bed when ready. But, if Walmart offered a $20 spot that provided a 30 amp hookup, water, and a dump station on the way out – I would gladly pay that. Why do I need to pay an established campground for only an 8 hour stay at most? I don’t need their pool, laundry, or banquet hall. I just want someplace right along the route I’m taking to reach my ultimate destination. And, when you charge, even a little, then you can control the overnighters on your lot.
The thing is, Dry Creek, that if Walmart were to set up campsites onsite, then they would have to hire staff to monitor it and pay a very high liability insurance for starters. If you don’t hire security, then things will definitely get out of control. Hosting RVs is a business — if you want water, electric and sewer, that costs money to build and maintain. Not to mention, business and business property taxes on it. Nothing is free. As much as you wish it to be, it’s not.
Stayed one night at the Walmart in Moscow, Idaho great little town, such friendly people. Our 32′ Diesel Motor home blow a tire late in the afternoon had to get it fixed in town, we were running late and could not make it too our reserved RV Park for the night in time so we asked the manager if we could stay he said “absolutely”. The next morning we stocked our refrigerator and pantry at that Walmart as an appreciation for their great hospitality.
I am waiting for the Walmart near me to ban RVers. When the gas station was taken out a couple years ago people would park in that area – correction: camp in that area leaving behind trash and other things. The RVers that did this were ones in old beat up RVs, some that amazed me they were still on the road. That area was fenced off so they can’t stay there now. But, they still let RVers park over night, sometimes for a few days. From where they park I assume they ask them to park parallel along the edge so their slide goes out over the grass area. It is a safe place and they are out of the area where traffic goes.
Like others when we park at Walmart we ask and always spend money there.
13 yrs FT – We spend many nights at Walmart when traveling across country. It’s not a matter of “Affording” a campground site. It’s a matter of convenience, which is precisely what Walmart markets. If we camp somewhere on the edge of town in a traditional CG, I’m not going to “walk across the lot” and spend at Walmart. Most times I spend more than a CG site would have cost! They know this and welcome us.
The people who abuse this privilege are the same people you wouldn’t want living next door to you. They are self center, small minded people. The same type that leave a shopping cart two spaces away from a corral, throw cigarette butts on the ground, don’t pick up after their dogs, etc. Many times I return MULTIPLE carts back to corrals that others (Some are RVers) leave out on the edge of the lot where I park. I’ll stop now. Could rant on.
I know it is hard for a person at Walmart to do this, but I make sure to ask people to stay overnight ask for ID. and have a form to fill out then give a paper to put in are RV window. No pass no overnight parking. It’s a thought, or Walmart as a seasonal pass.
As with any other privilege, there are those that abuse it claiming it’s their right!
When we cross the US (especially in the desert West) in our RV we love being able to stop at a Walmart late at night then leave in the morning. Which is what Sam Walton envisioned.
He would never have thought that people would become so selfish, to abuse this generous privilege.
We frequently stop at a Walmart, arriving in the evening and leaving early. We stock up in the store in appreciation and always try to pick up some garbage and return carts. We are amazed at how many people abuse the privilege, some stay for days, put out slides and chairs.
Walmart is not a campground people, these people are not only destroying a good thing for the rest but for themselves. Use some common sense please.
Hey Roger, I’m with you 100%. But I don’t think the abusers would be reading this forum, do you?
You are so right but to see how some behave one would have to question if they are even able to read. We have seen people parked right beside signs violate everything written on the signs.
As they say, ‘ too bad common sense isn’t common”
An old adage is to leave a place in the condition it was in when you arrived. My dad years ago would always tell me to leave a place in a better condition than it was upon arrival. As far as Walmart goes: picking up a piece of trash, returning a grocery cart and doing whatever else makes you a good visitor goes a long way.
I have never overnighted in a Walmart, I am amazed the expensive rigs cannot afford a site in a campground. However,
lots of campgrounds down south are filling up with snowbirds, there is not a site available for someone staying overnight. As for Walmarts, I have seen folks set up camp, and leave trash behind. I have seen others who were the perfect neighbors and Walmart employees talked about how nice they were. I do not know what the solution is.
Donald, you speak as though we (Walmart overnighters) are too cheap or too poor to stay in a campground. Although there are very few Walmarts that we can fit into any more, the same holds true for campgrounds. The real reason that we prefer a Walmart to a campground for 3 out of 4 TRAVELING days is simply the time it takes to check in, and hook up, and then to unhook everything a few hours later. Since we have no need or desire to hookup, the time spent searching for and checking into a park that is open and capable of accommodating is an unnecessary nuisance. Besides, we always feel cozy in our park with our very own grocery store.
Donald most of them in the south save a few spots for short term users.