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Parking Your RV at Walmart

Parking Your RV at Walmart

When you’re on the road to your destination, you might become tired or simply want to stop for a while. If you’re wanting to stay for only a short period of time, then rest stops and fast-food restaurants work fine. If you’re wanting to take a nap or even stay the night, however, these locations may not be as welcoming. You may see signs for a local campground or even hotel, but these options require money and you may have a tight budget. If you’re looking for a place to stay for only one night and for free, a Walmart parking lot is a great place to start. While you’re there, you can even stock up on supplies in the store and eat at the cafe or surrounding restaurants. Most Walmart stores will allow you to camp there for free (10-15% of stores will not), however, they will only allow one night (two in an emergency). Even with this hospitality, though, there are a few rules to follow.

Don’t Set Up Camp

One of the biggest don’ts when it comes to parking overnight at Walmart is that you cannot set up normal camping equipment. Don’t extend your slideout, don’t set up a pop-up, don’t place out any lawn chairs, grills, or tables, and don’t let out your awning. By setting up any of these things, you are taking up more space and creating a scene that is not as welcome in the public parking lot of Walmart. Also, make sure you don’t use your automatic levelers, as these could damage the parking lot. When you leave, DO NOT dump your waste (yes, this has been done before) and do not leave your trash there. Doing so will only upset the management at Walmart and could impact the ability to camp overnight in their parking lots in the future.

Ask Permission to Stay

Even though there are many stores that allow you to park there, it is still a good idea to ask the management of that specific store to see if it’s okay. If you see “no overnight” signs, do not park in that parking lot. To make sure you are not going to be forced out or fined, asking permission is the best way to go.

Pick an Out of the Way Location

Park at the edges or far side of the parking lot. This lets Walmart customers park closer to the doors and will help you to stay inconspicuous and not as “in-the-way”. This safe to do as long as you keep an eye out for any trouble and don’t open your door at night. Remember, this is not a campground. It is only a resting place for the night.

Being able to rest for the night in a Walmart parking lot may not be the most glamorous thing but it helps cut down on cost and is a quick fix for that driving exhaustion. Just make sure to follow these guidelines and you should be just fine.

Mar 10th 2020 Ashley Baughman

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