The Walmart parking lot may not be your eventual destination, although if you feel weary behind the wheel, then it can be a welcome sign to pull over and get some rest.
Walmart is the number one retailer, along with others such as Cracker Barrel and the many truck stops that can be cheap and convenient places to park up for a while.
If you see many other campers, you could ask, can I park my car overnight at Walmart? For many years, Walmart set the trend for allowing drivers and campers to take advantage of their large spaces to park up for a while.
However, tides are turning, and you can’t find as many welcome Walmart’s as there once were. Nowadays, retailers like Walmart and the towns and cities they are in are restricting overnight RV parking.
Much of this is to do with some people not showing respect for the hospitality on offer. In addition, in some areas, campers had set up a permanent site in the parking lots with no intention of leaving. (Read Our Guide to Camping in A Pickup Truck Bed)
For others, it now leaves a query whether they can park up overnight in Walmart. In this guide, you can learn more about how long can you park in a grocery store parking lot and more about sleeping in your car at Walmart or other areas if you park overnight.
By the end, you will know how to approach Walmart stores and find out if they are friend or foe and how to sleep in your car when you can’t drive any further.
Can I Leave My Car in A Walmart Parking Lot?
Can you sleep in a Walmart parking lot is a common question. It is possible, yet it isn’t as simple as it used to be as we’ve seen.
First, you would need to know if that Walmart overnight parking policy allowed travelers to park up, and with this are the local ordinances that may or may not allow overnight parking.
No matter if you are in an RV, trailer camper, you’ll find if they allow overnight RV parking, then they allow overnight car parking. It is worth noting; you can’t take advantage of the shopping parking lot if you can’t afford to pay rent somewhere. There are rules and regulations set down to limit what you can and can’t do.
You may wonder, can you park your car overnight at Walmart in one area and move to another and do the same? It isn’t wise as vehicles are easy to remember, and if it appears you are taking advantage, you could lose your privilege.
Car at Walmart sleeping is permitted for the same reason RV parking is allowed. It is a resting place to save any danger on the road when you can’t drive any further.
Can I Leave My Car Parked At Walmart For A Week?
Walmart parking will be down to the discretion of the store managers. No blanket rule covers all shopping locations for RVers any longer. You need to ask and receive permission, and even then, it is short-term rather than long-term.
When you want to know which local Walmart stores allow overnight parking, it can be easier than you think, even with numbers reducing.
You can find around 4,700 Walmart’s in the USA; however, RVers may now only have around 2,300 for Walmart overnight parking. Some stores display signs saying “No Overnight Parking,” so, at these, it is obvious.
If there are no signs, you can locate the Walmart store manager and ask personally if it’s allowed. If so, there may be a designated area of the parking lot where they allow it.
Another way is to use the Allstays “Walmart Overnight Parking” app. On the premium Allstays app, you can find which Walmart locations have parking in which city and have updated policies and reviews from anyone stopping over at the store in their vehicle.
One thing often overlooked is if it safe to sleep in your car. Typically, overnight parking and camping at Walmart stores are safe. Parking lots are full of floodlights and well-lit, have security cameras, and often security guards patrolling the vicinity.
You could find the Walmart you are staying is open 24-hours; however, there are more remote stores you could come across on your trip that are not as appealing and not the best place to leave your vehicles. (Read Pros and Cons of Pop Up Campers)
When sleeping in your car at Walmart, an around-the-clock store is also handy if you need the bathroom in the middle of the night. Staying for a week could attract too much attention, and you are asked to move on by security.
How Long Can I Live In A Walmart Parking Lot?
There are unwritten rules about boondocking at Walmart, and even if these laws are not on paper, it is best to follow them. It is best to be respectful to the Walmart’s around the country and not take advantage and spoil it for every other person.
For this, the straightforward way to approach it is that Walmart parking lots are intended for sleeping only, so don’t get setting up camp chairs, grills, or more.
Here is the basic policy set out that everyone around the country should adhere to.
- Stay for one night only. (Some stores may allow two nights in Walmart parking lots at most, so no more)
- Seek permission from the right individual, such as the store manager. (A deputy manager may have a different opinion)
- Obey regulations on signposts.
- Never use your awnings, grills, or lawn chairs.
- Make certain to never use hydraulic jacks, particularly on soft surfaces such as asphalt.
- As with camping, leave Walmart’s with the Leave No Trace mentality when you park overnight.
- Try to always use Walmart for groceries or gas. It is the reason free parking overnight started.
- Don’t park campers that use multiple parking lots unnecessarily.
- Don’t disconnect your trailer.
- Don’t run a generator through the night.
- Don’t forget, you are not staying every night and boondocking, you are only there for one night.
Good alternatives are truck stops that are open 24 hours; however, these are not as quiet as Walmart parking lots for sleeping in your vehicle. It is better to respect the store’s wishes and wake up refreshed in the morning. (Learn How to Keep RV Pipes From Freezing While Camping)