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Can You Park Your RV Overnight at Kohl’s?

At the end of a long travel day, desperate times call for desperate measures when looking for a spot to park your RV overnight.

Now that some big-box retailers prohibit RVers from camping in their lots, RVers are testing their luck at new businesses.

A discussion on Reddit recently ignited the question of whether Kohl’s offered more than just affordable clothes for RVers.

So can you park your RV overnight at Kohl’s? Let’s take a look!

Can You Park Your RV in a Store Parking Lot?

Many stores will allow you to park your RV in their parking lot. However, there’s a major difference between parking in a store parking lot while shopping and parking in a store parking lot overnight.

While stores will accept you during business hours, not all will be as accommodating after business hours.

If you want to park for the night, it’s best to get the store’s approval before getting too comfortable.

You’ll want to talk with a manager or someone actually in a position to permit you to stay.

Does Kohl’s Allow Overnight RV Camping?

Overnight RV camping at Kohl’s is similar to overnight camping in many other store parking lots. It can be rather hit or miss from location to location for RVers looking for a place to camp for the night.

Just because you’ve had success at Kohl’s before doesn’t mean you’ll have the same luck every time.

While management at a store may be willing to accommodate your request, some simply can’t. Local rules and regulations prohibiting overnight camping in public spaces are gaining popularity across the country.

While these ordinances are typically put in place to help battle community issues with transient residents, they’re often incredibly frustrating for RVers looking for a safe and quiet place to sleep while passing through the area.

Pro Tip: Before you camp out for the night, make sure to read up on How Safe is Overnight RV Parking?

Depending on what state you are located in, Kohl’s may or may not allow you to camp in their parking lot overnight.

How to Not Outstay Your Welcome

If you get the green light from the store, you should do a few things to avoid outstaying your welcome.

Follow these tips and help improve the chances that future RVers can enjoy the overnight spot in the future.

Call Ahead

Call in advance to get permission. This can not only help you avoid wasting fuel, but it also allows you to plan. The last thing you want on a long travel day is to pull into a spot only to discover that you’re not able to park overnight.

You’re likely not thinking clearly when you’re tired, which can make creating a backup plan frustrating.

Make sure you ask for a manager or a person in authority to get permission. If you do get approval, note the name of the employee who permits you.

This can be helpful if you have any issues or a confrontation during your stay.

Don’t Spread Out

When you’re overnighting in a parking lot, remain as inconspicuous as possible. It’s not the time or place to spread out.

Avoid getting any unnecessary items out, and make sure to put them away as soon as possible.

You don’t want to create a scene or draw undue attention to your RV.

Rv parked in lot with two chairs.
Do not set up a campsite in the parking lot of Kohl’s! Keep your area small and inconspicuous.

Park in the Back

Another way to avoid drawing attention to yourself is to park in the back of the building. Make sure you confirm with the store where they want you to park.

You don’t want to park in the way of any delivery or other vehicles. Parking out of the way can also help avoid noise from traffic or others driving in the parking lot. 

Keep the Noise Down

Not only do you want to avoid drawing attention to yourself from the stuff you have out, but also with your noise.

It’s not the time or place to test out the sound system on your RV while you watch your favorite action movie.

This can draw negative attention to your RV, resulting in the business asking you to leave.

Buy Something

One of the best ways to say thank you to an establishment is by supporting them financially. Some stores, like Walmart or grocery stores, make it easy to support them because you’re likely always going to need snacks and other food items.

Other establishments might take a bit more creativity or thought to support them, but you can always buy gifts and souvenirs to remember your adventures.

Woman napping in the back of a camper van.
Stay subtle when overnight camping in a parking lot.

What Happens If You Park Somewhere You’re Not Allowed?

If you park in a location where you can’t camp, someone may knock on your door during the night. It should be relatively uneventful as long as you’re cooperative and decent with law enforcement or management.

However, being belligerent or acting entitled to the spot will likely escalate the situation.

While most law enforcement will simply give you a warning, you could risk legal troubles if you escalate the warning. You can get a citation or possibly even risk having your vehicle impounded.

We strongly encourage you to remain calm and mature if you get the dreaded knock.

Pro Tip: Need an alternative to Kohl’s for overnight camping. Discover Are You Allowed to Park Your RV Overnight at Lowe’s?

Can You Count on Kohl’s for Your Next Overnighter?

There’s no way to predict whether you can count on Kohl’s or not. You should call in advance to avoid wasting your time and fuel. Resources like Campendium and iOverlander are great options for finding alternative parking places when you’re in a pinch.

While you may think of Kohl’s as being a great place to get a new pair of pants or outfit for a party, they may be a great place to overnight in your RV as well.

They typically have large parking lots that sit empty throughout the night, and they normally open later in the morning.

So if you’re having a hard time finding a place to park overnight, it may be worth giving the nearest Kohl’s a call.

Would you stay overnight in a Kohl’s parking lot? Drop a comment below!

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