How often do you stay overnight at Walmart?

How often do you stay overnight at Walmart?


Many RVers occasionally spend a night in their RV in a Walmart parking lot. For some, it’s for convenience — there’s no RV park nearby or what’s there is full. Or maybe, for one reason or another, there isn’t an acceptable park nearby. Other RVers stay to save money: Why spend $30, $40 or more just to sleep for eight hours, then move on?

How about you? How often do you spend the night in a Walmart parking lot? Please feel free to leave a comment.

Free & inexpensive places to stay overnight in an RV.




25 thoughts on “How often do you stay overnight at Walmart?

  1. Darrel

    Roughly 1 to 2 times per year, when covering a lot of ground, or when bad weather hits.


    We recently went to the Smokey Mountains and the whole trip stayed in WalMart parking lots. It was convenient and inexpensive.
    We would usually be driving till late at night. The parking lots are usually patrolled by security so it was safe. There is a web site that lets you know which WalMart’s allow overnight stays.

  3. Bob C.

    Once in 25 years. Because eyeglasses I had ordered there would not be ready until the next morning.

  4. Michael

    We also use WalMart occasionally while travelling. Normally it is a situation where we have spent a long day on the road, or we arrive somewhere after dark. We also have used Sam’s Club, Costco, Cabella’s, Home Depot and other areas with large parking lots. We have our own rules that we follow. Never put the jacks down or awning out. We have to extend the bedroom slide, so every attempt is made to insure that we park with the passenger side along a curb so that the slide does not extend into traffic (parking lot). If that is not possible we try and “swing” the toad slightly so that it “protects” the slide from traffic. We always go in and buy items (you always need something) and we check with the on-duty manager.

  5. Cindy Trombley

    We stay at Walmart once or twice a year. Usually when a campground is not available on one of our cross country jaunts. Sadly I couldn’t answer your survey because it was based on monthly stops.

  6. Cathy

    Love camping in our 20 ft Sprinter Van at WALMART to buy groceries since we have a very small refrigerator. At Cracker Barrel we treat ourselves to a breakfast or dinner. Love their food and hospitality!!!

  7. Seann

    I have never stayed at a Wal-mart. I am not opposed to it, I just find Flying J far more convenient.

  8. Thomas

    when we leave wisconsin for az in January there are no campgrounds open so walmart is the only thing. It’s great, go in and get a roto chicken and some potato salad and have dinner and go to bed. Start the morning with some fresh donuts (not all stores) and on the way. Total cost= the food you eat. First open campsites will be somewhere in Missouri and then like $45 a night for what? electric and 1000 sq ft of parking place. I really don’t like that. We have a favorite place in Illionois that charges 20$ for full hookups. Drive in drive out. Only 6 spots but what convenience.

  9. Steven Sims

    We will stay at a WalMart from time to time. It’s very convenient to be able to pick up a few fresh provisions, fix a quick meal, grab a snooze and hit the road again.
    Usually we prefer Cracker Barrel for a quick overnight while relocating from one place to the next. But with a 40 foot rig and a toad we find that sometimes the RV spots at The Barrel aren’t long enough for us without sticking out the front or the back. But, having a Cracker Barrel breakfast before hitting the road is a real treat!

  10. Zeke

    Have stayed at Walmart several times, but not for a few years. Momma prefers staying at truckstops, especially Flying J. We both feel more safe surrounded by the activity of working folks coming and going, trying to do their jobs, rather than unknown denizons of the night prowling in the dark.

  11. Kevin

    We occasionally stay at Walmart. I would really like to see some campgrounds offer dry camping for a reduced fee. I would gladly pay 10 or 15 dollars to be in a campground with no hookups or restroom use. We are looking for a safe quiet place to sleep and be on our way.

  12. Eric

    While I have never stayed in a Walmart lot, last fall (late in the evening) I did stay at a Cracker Barrel. My wife was very concerned, but there were at least 5 other RVs in the lot. Despite the road noise we had a great sleep and a great breakfast. Thanks Cracker Barrel.

  13. Chuck Custer

    I just returned from a 5-week RV trip to Arizona and Utah, and during the trip, in which I moved basically every day, I stayed in a Wally about twice a week, on average. That’s from a guy who dry-camps virtually all the time. During this trip I spent $45 on overnights… 3 nights where I spent an average of $15 per night. I always ask permission from Wally personnel, and was given a good suggestion from one Wally store when they had to say no due to city ordinances.

  14. Roy Ellithorpe

    We love to stay at the Walmart in Great Falls. It’s our first opportunity to pick up the groceries that we aren’t allowed to bring across the border. We also love to stay there on our way home as it is our last opportunity to pick up tax free items. It’s about the only Walmart in our travels that we can get around the landscaping.

  15. Cal in Florida

    We often stay at Wal Marts. Shop for needed items, like a fresh salad. I always ask if I can stay there, but often the crew has no idea if it is OK. Many Wal Marts do not own their parking lots and cannot give permission. Some have local ordinance restriction. We often see a small community of parkers [campers], many just cars pulling over for a snooze. Have not had any negative experiences.

    1. John Johnston

      We have had a similar experience and use of Walmart parking lots. Usually when they own their parking lot, they let boondockers use them, but when it is shared in a super mall, it gets complicated.

  16. barb

    We stay at WalMarts on the to/from legs of our trips. We always park to the back or side and always ask permission. I buy some supplies or pickup a meal at the in-store McD or Subway. Makes traveling easier for us. We’ve got a 40′ Winnie and a toad and never had a problem at a WalMart.

  17. JRW

    I do not buy anything at Walmart and would not stay there either. I hope more people do stay there and do so often.

  18. Ross Mackling

    On our return home from Arizona to Manitoba recently, we overnighted at WM 3 of our four nights on the road. Our fourth was a short night at a rest stop in SD.

  19. Eric

    We find Walmarts to be friendly and safe. They are generally located near the interstates. With easy access. We always call ahead to verify that overnight parking is allowed and ask where we should park. We always shop at the store. To us, it is not reasonable to spend $30-40 a night to sleep for a few hours.
    Park owners should be smarter. Why not advertise and set aside a “boondocking” rest area in the park ( read ” no hookups”) for a few dollars a night for RVers who want only to sleep. This would most likely not impact the bottom line (except to increase revenue) because there will always be diehards who insist on hookups and will pay the regular price for a site. The parks could also charge a few dollars for use of a communal dump station in the rest area.

  20. yelaroc

    I don’t shop at walmart so I don’t stay on their grounds.

  21. Triker

    Having Passport America with cheap overnight stays with all the electric I need. I don’t want to stay in a Wally world lot for the normal 15-16 hours I spend overnight in a Passport America campground.

  22. Francois

    We live in Québec and we spend the winter in Quartzsite and some time in Louisiana every year… Unless we stop for more than a night we always stay at Wally

  23. Steve

    I always ask permission from the night manager, only stay for a few hours sleep and I’m gone before first light. Oh and I always go into the store and buy something. Don’t run generator, don’t put down jacks and don’t put out chairs. Always park in the back of the lot.

  24. Chri

    We only stay at walmart if there are no campgrounds available near by.

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