We ran a survey last week, asking readers if they believed Walmart would still allow overnight stays in its store parking lots in five years. More than 5,100 of our readers responded. Fifty-seven percent said, “No,” it would not be allowed.
More than 80 readers left comments. Among them was one by Jim O’Briant, the owner of the website Overnight RV Parking, the most comprehensive source of information about where to stay with an RV for free or less than $20. He also regularly updates his members on Walmarts who stop offering free stays. He wrote:
Ten to 12 years ago about 80% of the Walmarts in the USA and Canada allowed overnight RV parking. Today, it’s about 65%. There are several reasons for this. One significant cause is the behavior of RVers themselves. In literally hundreds of conversations with Walmart managers over the past 12 years, they’ve told me again and again that their issues with RVers are (in no particular order):
(1) Parking overnight without permission.
(2) Parking in the wrong part of the parking lot.
(3) Staying more than one night (in some cases for weeks).
(4) Setting up camping equipment (lawn chairs, BBQ grilles, even inflatable swimming pools) outside their RV.
(5) Leaving trash in the parking lot.
(6) Dumping gray water in the lot or in storm drains (illegal in many places).
(7) Dumping BLACK WATER in storm drains (highly illegal everywhere).
When it comes to preserving the overnight RV parking privilege at retail locations, we are our own worst enemy.
Your comments are invited.