Can I park my RV at Walmart?
Yes, you can park your RV at Walmart. However, some Walmart stores may not allow it if they have had issues with previous campers. It’s always a good idea to check first with the manager of the Walmart you intend to park at.
Overnight RV Parking
If you have ever traveled long distances in an RV, you know that it doesn’t always go as planned. Delays happen, routes change, you pass by festivals you did not know about but decide to stop by. And all that means you have to make an overnight stop that wasn’t planned. You could look for hotels and RV parks, but they won’t always have a free spot for you.
So whether you are in a pinch or if you just want to save some money, you might be looking for a place to stop by for free. But you cannot just park anywhere and decide to stay the night, in most places, it might be illegal and you’ll be asked by the police to leave.
What to do then? If you are a regular camper, you might already know this secret, but there are establishments everywhere that allow campers to stay the night for free. All you have to do is know where to ask, and… just ask!
Overnight RV Parking At Walmart
The most famous of these places is Walmart. Yes, it’s not only a place to shop for camping gear but can be an actual camping ground, metaphorically. It really depends on the manager and is not an official policy, but some Walmart outlets will let you park your RV in the parking lot and spend the night there.
But there are some general “rules” followed by the camping community that allows this practice to continue. As this is not an official policy, any bad incident can cause the outlet to ban such stays. So, if you are camping at a Walmart, be sure to:
- Keep in mind that these parking lots are only for parking. These sites are “dry camping” sites and will not allow you to use any electricity, water or dumping stations. You will have to rely on your own RV generators and water to get through the night. You might want to restock everything before camping in a parking lot.
- Park only in designated RV parking spots. These might not be the best spots but don’t go venturing anywhere you want. Always remember that you can spend the night there only by the manager’s good grace. So, before parking takes permission, make sure it is okay to park there, otherwise, you might be asked to leave in the middle of the night or worse, get into legal trouble.
- Always leave your campground clean. This is common sense as you are essentially on someone else’s property, but still worth mentioning. Do not take your host’s hospitality for granted.
- Be friendly and cooperative with your host and neighbors if any. You could build good relations and make some new friends while spending the night. Remember that good behavior always leaves an impact. You may return here again on another trip and be welcome to stay. But if you do something to annoy the host, not only will you be unwelcome there but they might also close down the service causing trouble for others as well.
- Try not to get in the way of daily activities. This goes without saying, but you should not disturb the outlet’s and its worker’s regular chores or cause parking problems for the store’s regular day time customers.
- Do not set up an elaborate camp and take up too much space. Limit yourself to just one parking spot and don’t spread all your belongings everywhere. This is just basic etiquette.
- Though these are “free” camping sites, you should still try to give back to the store somehow just out of courtesy, be it in cash, or services or just buying a product at the store.
- Do not overstay. Most of these sites are just for you to stop by for a night, do not take it for granted. In case of special emergencies, you might approach the manager for extending your stay with a valid reason. But do not exploit it. Who wants to spend a week in a parking lot anyway? Go somewhere scenic instead and enjoy camping.
- Yes, you might get into trouble with the established authority or even the police if you do not park in properly designated areas, but you should also know if the area is dangerous. Just because the establishment is letting you park and sleep overnight in the parking lot does not mean they are responsible for your safety. Be careful and do not stay if you do not feel safe.
The key point is to always make sure that it is legal and permitted to park before parking. The rule may also vary from place to place.
Does Walmart allow RV parking overnight in Canada?
Yes, you can overnight park your RV in Canada.
In Canada, it is illegal to park in most places. Staying the night in rest stops is illegal and the police might ask you to leave. Parking and spending the night in any shopping mall premises is also strictly forbidden with the exception of Walmart. But still, be sure to confirm with the manager if it is okay.
Places to park an RV Overnight For Free
Here are some more places that may allow overnight RV parking. As always we recommend you check with management prior to spending the night.
Casinos: Most casinos have the facility of free camping and may even let you stay multiple nights, just make sure to ask them when you get there.
Movie theaters: Many movie theaters are open till late and have no issues with parking RVs but still ask if unsure.
- Cracker Barrel: You can even find meals during your stay without having to cook. Ask for their maps so that you can find their other outlets.
- Churches: They usually do not have any problem just ask for permission.
- Arenas and stadiums: This is not conventional and may even be impossible, but if you badly need a place to stay, it doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Farms and vineyards: Just don’t destroy property.
- Planet Fitness: It provides free camping for sure but you might need a membership. But that means a workout and a shower as well!
- Cabelas sporting goods and Bass pro shops: Camping stores are usually a good place to start asking for camping sites, I mean hey, they’re already in the business.
- There are many membership programs that let you stay in campsites all over the United States and Canada for a small membership fee.
- Flying J’s: Many of its outlets have designated RV parings.
- Big stores and shopping malls: some of the outlets of these big chains like K-MART, Lowe’s, Home Depot, camping world provide free camping like Walmart but it may vary from outlet to outlet so always confirm first.
This should give you a pretty good idea of places you can park your RV overnight and save some cash as well.
sources for this article: Allstays.com