Times change. Walmart used to be an option for many RVers to stop for the night. And it might still be the case. From Walmart’s corporate website:
While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.
Estimates vary but somewhere between 25 to 35 percent of Walmarts do not permit overnight stays. You might even see a sign like this one:
I posted yesterday about a couple directed by police to vacate a Walmart parking lot. The outcome was tragic.
In 2019, according to Statista, there were 4,769 Walmarts in the United States. More than 1,000 of these Walmarts prohibit overnight RV parking. Of the Walmarts that do allow RV overnight parking, it is important to ask permission from the Walmart management.
Why are so many Walmarts prohibiting overnight RV parking?
Local bylaws. Many communities are cracking down on homeless “campers” by passing bylaws that prohibit overnight RV camping on city streets and parking lots.
Some Walmarts are tenants and their landlord may prohibit overnight RV parking.
Many Walmarts prohibit overnight RV parking because of bad behaviours by RVers including:
- Parking overnight without permission
- Staying for several days, weeks or even months
- Setting up camp with chairs, cooking grills, and other items outside the RV
- Dumping trash on the parking lot
- Dumping tanks on the parking lot
This video from Tom and Cheri of EnjoyTheJourney.Life covers the basic etiquette of boondocking at a Walmart: