Camping at WalMart

We just purchased a small travel trailer and would like to do some traveling with the trailer and canoes.

What might be some pro’s and con’s of sleeping overnight in a WalMart parking lot. Are there better places that would cost the same? We would be traveling in warm weather (not freezing).

What are your experiences?

I have no experience
but rumor has it that it is done by many RVers. Not so sure if the management would take kindly to having a tent camper set up though!

When I get my Honda Element I plan on sleeping in many a Wally World lot during my travels.


On camera the whole time
There are 2907 Supercenters nationwide,

and most are open 24 hours.

You’ll be on security film, license plate and all.

never done it but found this

I am a rest area camper.

have stayed in the parking lots all to much! i am cheap. always have been safe, no trouble. and the stores allow parking

Just Married
If you put a “Just Married” sign on the RV, people will leave you alone, and will be extra nice to you.

or be sneaking
around your RV with a Walmart camcorder ;-).

No problem at most Walmarts
You will easily see where the RVers are. But please understand that you are just parking there. There are no hookups and no sanitary services, including going into the store to use the bathroom. If you want to go into the store to buy something, of course they encourage that. I am not a fan of Walmart and would never buy anything there given their personnel policies. But if you have no choice about where to park your RV, by all means take advantage of their policy.

Walmart, truck stops are good
I sleep in my van all over the place.

In addition to Walmart, there are 24 hr. full service truck stops along all interstates, such as TA. They have food, rest rooms, showers and are safe. Some can be very noisy if you have to park near the trucks, which will roll in and out and keep their engines running all night.

I consider interstate rest stops among the most dangerous areas to sleep overnight, although I’ve done it. Truckers and cops have told me that. Lots of break-ins and attempted thefts. Some now have cameras.

I have stayed…
at a few walmarts on some trips from Chicago to Tampa. Never had an issue. They are well lit and abundant…lol

Do remember that you are in a parking lot, so make sure you feel you are in a safe area and be aware of your surroundings. That would go for truck stops too.

I can hear Foxworthy now
if you spent yer honeymoon campin’ in an RV in a WalMart parkin’ lot…

I think you should step up a bit and…
do Target !

Jack L

Not all Walmarts
I know down here in Marathon you cant overnight in any parking lot.Its a city or county ordinance. If you cant afford to pull into a campground for a night than you cant afford a RV. In case anyone wants to jump on me for saying that I speak from experience,I spend three months in my RV down here in the Keys.

Camping on a budget
I see someone else already gave you the

site. Also, if you search for RV camping books, you’ll find a nationwide Walmart directory, also a small pamphlet that gives those Walmarts that do not allow overnight staying. There are truck stops, rest areas, roadside picnic areas are shown on maps. Two things to remember. Walmart staying is a courtesy, a privilege. I ALWAYS ask at the customer service counter for permission. Not only is it polite, but they will also give you tips on the best area to stay in to avoid early morning wake-ups due to deliveries, etc. Be clean and courteous. Don’t set up camp with awnings, chairs, grills, etc. A courtesy abused is soon lost. The second point is some of the out-of-the-way places can pose a security hazard. They are unlit and can be a target for criminals. Do not answer doors at night unless you see a uniform. Keep everything locked.

Thanks to you all!

Amen to that
I couldn’t agree more.

Jack L

That is just about the dumbest
I’ve ever read here on P-net. Ranks right up there with George W Bush talking about gas prices.

I take it you are not a seakayaker?
If caught you will have to turn in your BCU patches and will never be allowed to wear a gortex drysuit in public.

Hopefully you are headed to places that don’t have Wallmarts … my idea of hell … “The Wallmart Tour of Amurica”.

Other - the benefits of a van
There is a paperback book that lists all the truck stops in the US and Canada, which is sold at truck stops.

In my van, I can also just park and blend in by parking at the curb on a public street in a safe suburban neigborhood.

I have used trailhead parking lots for quicky overnighters as well as chained off logging roads.

Finally, with permission, I have parked in the lots of Roman Catholic churches I attend for mass as I travel around.

Motel parking lots used to be easy pickings, but now a lot of them check license plates. But there are empty lots all over the place.

Maybe a lot of this wouldn’t work with big RV’s. And none would work if you are tent camper with a small vehicle. The sleep-in van has been the perfect vehicle for me for 30 years.

Except it gets 12 mpg and I haven’t been able to afford going anywhere for a year now, and with gas at $4 a gallon, that may be the end of it all perhaps forever.

Wal-mart can be NOISY!
As an artist, I am often sleeping on the road somewhere in my little van. There is an iphone app called “allstays camp&RV” and you can map out walmarts that do and do not allow camping, as well as truck stops,parks etc. I’ts nice to know what is up ahead. Seems very accurate so far. Some rest areas are very well lit and actually have someone visibly on patrol 24/7. Truck stops can be good, too.