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“Walmart Has Changed It’s Policy Nationwide” on Overnight RV Parking

Has Walmart changed it’s policy nationwide and no longer allowing overnight RV parking. That’s what one RV Redditor claims a Walmart store manager told RVers in the parking lot at 9pm.

So, is it true? 

Are the glory days of free overnight RV parking at Walmarts around the nation gone forever

We did some digging and here’s what we learned. 

Has Walmart Canceled Overnight Parking Nationwide? 

According to a Reddit thread, a user shared:

“Hi, the managers of my local Walmart are going around to the RVs in their lot and telling everyone that Walmart has changed it’s policy nationwide and will no longer allow overnight parking. 

I’ve seen zero news articles and haven’t heard anything confirming this, is anyone here still sleeping at Walmarts since yesterday?”

Naturally, this is an alarming announcement for any RVer. Walmart has let RVers park for free overnight at many store locations ever since they were founded in 1962. 

Today, the retail giant has over 5,000 stores in the US, and over half of them have been known to allow overnight parking. So what gives? 

Is There Any Truth to This Claim? 

As soon as we saw this thread, we were shocked.

We immediately reached out to Walmart HQ for comment and started digging online for any supporting information. So far, we’ve come up short. Walmart has not responded to our request for comment and there are no news articles or announcements posted to social media as far as we’ve seen. 

Surely if a major retailer was making such a huge change in the midst of a pandemic when more people are on the road than ever, they’d make some kind of official public announcement… right? 

In our opinion, it doesn’t look like there’s any truth to this claim. Unless Walmart is slowly working on rolling out the policy or keeping it from the public, as of right now it looks like this claim is false.

Of course, there’s always a chance this is a policy that Walmart is slowly rolling out. But without any official announcements or changes to the FAQ on the corporate website, we can’t confirm it right now.

The original poster goes on to comment “This place has 12 hour parking signs, that’s what’s so strange. At 9pm, managers walked around telling everyone in an RV that the nationwide policy had changed as of that day and they’d be switching the signs soon.”

So why would a store manager say this? Well, we don’t know who said it or even what store it was or the state that it was in. But, if we had to guess, they were just fed up and wanted the RVers out for good. 

It seems like a weird thing to lie about, especially going as far as saying they are going to change the signs. But this is also the internet, so for all we know the story could just be hearsay. 

What’s The Walmart Corporate Take on Overnight RV Parking?

We didn’t find any news articles or announcements stating that RVers can’t park overnight at Walmart anymore, so we did some digging on their corporate website. 

Walmart’s corporate website does mention RVers and overnight RV parking. Here’s what they have to say on an FAQ point asking “Can I park my RV at a Walmart store?”: 

“While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.”

There you have it, straight from the Walmart Corporate website. Walmart as a corporation leaves the decision up to local store management teams and local laws. 

Walmart: Once a Safe Haven, Now We Aren’t So Sure

Once upon a time, overnight RV parking was allowed at the majority of Walmart retail stores around the US. But free overnight parking at Walmarts have declined rapidly over the last 10 years. 

In 2010 the percentage of Walmart stores that you could park your RV overnight was around 78%. That number declined to around 58% in 2020 according to Jim O’Briant of 

According to a report by CNN, Walmart Corporate does not track how many stores allow overnight parking because RV parking policies are at the stores discretion. 

So, if Walmart is critical on your voyage, you might want to rethink that decision.

Why Do Some Stores Allow Overnight Parking And Others Don’t?

There are many reasons why some Walmart stores allow free overnight RV parking and others don’t. 

Some stores make the decision themselves based on crime rates, nuisance, litter, or even the size of their parking lot. 

In other instances, the decision is the result of a local law or ordinance. Many cities around the US have local laws or ordinances banning sleeping in vehicles or overnight parking in public places. In these towns, it’s out of Walmarts hands. 

Why Stores Across The Country Are Banning Overnight RV Parking

With the recent announcement about Cabelas rolling up the welcome mat for RVers and more and more Walmart stores banning overnight parking, one has to wonder: Why are so many stores banning RVers? 

The answer here is pretty simple: abuse of the privelege. 

Redditor DudeWithAMood12 hit the nail on the head with this quote: 

“People don’t value anything free. Others have ruined it for everyone.” 

This is why stores are banning overnight RV parking: a few bad apples have ruined it for everyone. 

Free parking at public places is a privilege that shouldn’t be taken lightly, and unfortunately it’s abused by most people. When you stay for free in a public place, you should never do any of these things: 

  • Party
  • Set up camp
  • Grill out
  • Sit outside your rig in camp chairs
  • Gather with friends
  • Stay longer than 8 – 10 hours 
  • Put your jacks down
  • Put out your slides
  • Litter
  • Dump waste water

All of these things make it look like you’re camping, and some of them are downright disgusting. But the unfortunate truth is that many people do exactly this, and this is why stores are banning RVers. If you need more examples, check out this article: The Don’ts of Walmart Camping.

So, What Now? 

Walmart has not responded to our request for comment on this claim, so we can’t confirm for 100% fact that it’s true or false. 

In the meantime, it looks like you should still be able to park overnight at Walmart stores, but relying on this option in the future doesn’t look as sure as it once did. Always call ahead and ask before you park overnight at a Walmart store. Check out this article to learn how to find other overnight RV parking.

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  1. shadow says:

    As an infrequent WalMart parking lot over nighter, I’ll honor their policy. However as I always shop at the store, that means I’ll not cross their threshold.

  2. D. Evans says:


  3. Karen says:

    Where I live, Walmarts, Lowes, and the rest cannot allow overnight parking in their lots. Las Vegas city laws don’t allow it. Neither does Henderson, the adjacent town. It’s not up to the store/restaurant.

  4. Ross says:

    Just woke up to this article in a Walmart parking lot. Isn’t this an old rumor? Are you that desperate for a headline to publish the same rumor again? The manager said welcome when we identified ourselves and shopped last night. Please stop the nonsense and write about real facts that a real journalist would report. Hey how about telling me why my water pump is getting noisy and what I could do to troubleshoot. Just the facts please.

  5. Tom Saunders says:

    Unfortunately the low hanging fruit has once again ruined it for the “good” RV red. 525 in Sedone, BLM land,NFS , City Parks, have all cracked down on boondocking. We have areas in the middle of cities that are trashed , and the everyday Joe gets punished. I’ve camped in areas for over 40 years and never had problems, now it’s trashed and posted… I don’t know the answer . Maybe if we make the consequences so harsh that nobody would even think about leaving trash or dumping their tanks the problem would disappear by attrition. I have no problem with confiscating an RV that has been trashing a campsite . The Rangers have to deal with it and there aren’t enough of them nor do they have the resources. ..

  6. Patriot says:

    Hopefully this is true. Walmart isn’t for squatters and that’s what it has turned into from what I usually see when visiting the store. I mean c’mon! You have an RV and you’re setting up/parking overnight at Walmart? That’s the best you can do? I see more and more BLM land closing as well do to human pigs that have left waste of all kinds. Nasty people out there that don’t care about taking care of the land.

  7. Scoot says:

    Did you say “in the middle of a pandemic” in this article? Huh? What pandemic?

  8. Bob says:

    Bad campers have caused dispersed camping on Federal land to be closed in many cases too. It seems Americans are becoming more and more scum!

  9. Debra Pilkington says:

    It is so true about bad people ruining it for us good folks! I either call ahead or go in and ask the night manager if it would be okay if I parked for a few hours to get some rest. I have never been turned down but then I don’t travel in a huge rig. I always pick up trash around me even if it is not close to being mine! I recommend keeping trash bags and gloves with you at all times. I will go right up to someone else’s rig and pick up their trash! I lived on the streets here in Oceanside California for 2 and 1/2 years and never had a problem in my big camper van. Due to keeping my rig clean keeping the area around me clean being respectful. Even talking to other people and giving them tips on how to avoid being rousted. Especially keeping trash off your dashboard and in the front to seats! If people would use common sense then it would be better for all of us!

  10. I will respect the property owner and not draw attention to myself and always leave a tidy area. E J ST Pierre

  11. Danny Dugan says:

    You hit the nail right on the head. The majority will suffer because of the few who have ruined the privilege of resting in the free areas. Sad to say, those who have ruined it won’t ever pay for their misdeeds.

  12. Kevin says:

    Good job people who think Walmart is a campground,put the slides out,the awning some chairs and have fun.Then when you leave throw the garbage on the ground.Thank you to some of Walmart campers I mean overnight Parker’s.Really.

  13. TG says:

    They ruined it themselves. You’re not supposed to stay there all day. I seen RV’s there at 8am and still there at 2pm.
    I seen others with their chairs out. This is an overnight stay not to camp out.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It is True. Walmart has changed it’s Policy for Overnight Parking, which is inclusive of ALL vehicles, not just RV’s.

  15. Cary says:

    Unfortunately a little girl died at a Fridley Minnesota Walmart a couple of years ago in a fire, it was 2 girls in a car parked next to someone that was camping in the lot and had put a hot grill in the camper… this was very sad… so this Walmart does not allow overnight parking anymore.

  16. Melissa Marie Goldman says:

    I live in Florida and I was told it is up to individual city ordinance. Now that Walmart is no longer a 24-hour business cities do not want them to have overnight parking since the store is closed. Tourist towns want the tourists to stay at hotels and RV camps. I’m sure insurance doesn’t want people staying there since the stores are now closed at night. Before it was always a stream of people going in and out all night long. And times have changed and there’s a lot more people actually living in their cars and RVs who do not respect the rules that are viewers have been following for decades. These people take up camp because they have nowhere else to go, they do not shop in the store and they leave a mess. There’s a difference between full-time RV’ers and the ever-growing population of homeless people living in old RVs and cars. It’s unfortunate but the world is not what it used to be.

  17. David Branson says:

    I just sent the letter below to Walmart. And NO, they will NOT let you park anymore, not in the 30-40 we checked with in AZ, NM, OK, KA, MO, AR, LA and TX on our 10-1-23 to 11-27-23 trip.
    * I just sent the below email to Walmart *

    To Walmart,

    To Walmart,

    My wife worked at Walmart in Jefferson City, MO for over 5 years and even knew Sam Walton in person back then. We have been a loyal customer for 50 years.

    However, I now have an issue with the store. I read on your website how you “value and welcome RV’s”, and will let RV’s park over night; and qualify it with “Permission extended by individual managers, based on availability, etc”. However, you say in your advertising how you love RV people, but in real life nothing seems to me farther from the truth.

    We left Tucson, AZ 10-1-23 (returned 11-27-23) pulling a small trailer and drove to northern AZ, then zigzagged across the country going through many small and big towns like Albuquerque, Saint-Louis, Little Rock, Huston TX, Galveston, El Paso and back to Tucson. 7,000 miles in two months. We either stopped at, or called, every Walmart store we were close to and very politely asked if there was any place we could park a small RV on their parking lot over night. We were told every single time without exception “No we do not let RV’s stay overnight”, and they blamed it on the corporate level. In Prescott, AZ I was even told the local police would have us towed after the store closed! So, I called the police station and asked them about this, told me “No, that is not true; we would never tow someone off of private property”. I then went into the Prescott store and politely asked at the service counter and was now told that “No, the police would not tow you, but the corporate view has changed and we can no longer let RV’s park over night.” True or not, that was what I was told over and over all across the USA.

    But I do not have a problem with Walmart saying “No RV’s over night”, you own the stores, you are free to do whatever you want. But I am also free to decide rather to spend money and shop at Walmart or not. And right now it is to not shop there.

    I also just called Walmart help number and the guy that answered told me again that RV’s could stay at most all Walmarts. I told him my story, and all he could do was give me your email address, and say there has not been ant official change listed.

    But what really annoys me is you telling the public “You Welcome RV’s” when this does not seem true. I ask you, how could this be true when every single Walmart turned us down, around 30-40 of them and all we contacted. If there is one single Walmart along the path we took that would have let us stay, which one is it? I didn’t find any.

    The only Walmart we finally did stay at was the one in Jefferson City, MO. They first said “No” and gave us the same company-line about 18 wheelers backing into things. Then when my wife told them she had worked at the old Walmart store there in Jefferson City (before they built a new one) and earned her 5 year pin, and told them she knew Sam Walton personally (back then she even had his personal phone number), the ladies at the Service counter apologized for them saying no to her, and said their hands were tied from corporate. But they then told her because she had worked there, they would make an exception for her, and the called the security guard and told him to not bother us; and we did stay there that one night.

    Now, I do not expect Walmart to care much about me not coming to their stores to shop anymore. But to be fair, I am going to wait for a reply before posting this on line everywhere. Maybe Walmart will “enlighten me about there policies some how”. and if I do not get some revelation in this issue, I will post this story on-line, not because I am upset, but to let all RV users know not to plan on ANY Walmart letting them park over night. If they want to park, they need to go to places like the ones that Welcomed us like Cracker Barrel (really nice every time), Tractor Supply, Sizzlers, Applebee’s, JC Penny’s, and others.

    Question, does anyone really think professional truck drivers are backing into things all the time? Really? I have been in may truck stops over my 50 years of driving and so far I have never seen a truck back into anything. And if you pull into a Walmart at night, with ALL THAT ROOM, why would they need to ever back up, and what would there be to hit? Sounds like BS to me.