When you think of camping, you likely envision nights under the stars, nestled beneath towering trees or along a free-flowing river. But there are times during a road trip when you just need a place to rest, and convenience is your top priority.
Enter Walmart. With more than 5,300 stores in the U.S. alone, Walmart isn’t just well known—it’s ubiquitous. And this enormous chain of stores, which stretches from coast to coast in both the U.S. and Canada, has a history of welcoming RVers to sleep overnight for free in some—but not all—of its spacious parking lots.
Here’s everything you need to know about overnight RV parking at Walmart.
What to Know About RV Parking at Walmart
The history of overnighting in Walmart parking lots begins with Sam Walton, founder of the retail giant. As the story goes, Walton loved RVing with his family, and his affinity for the travelers he met on the road led him to encourage his store managers to allow campers to stay for free overnight in store parking lots, where feasible.
That spirit lives on today. Walmart’s website states, “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,” the website continues, “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.”
This generous company policy has delighted RVers for years, and continues to do so today. While you can’t stay at every Walmart in the country, there are thousands where you can. An overnight stay in a Walmart parking lot might be right for you after a long day of driving, or when you need to spend a quick overnight between campground reservations.
How to Find Overnight RV Parking at Walmart
Overnight RV Parking makes it easy to locate a Walmart that allows RVs to stay the night. To begin, open the Overnight RV Parking website or the Togo RV mobile app and enter your desired city and state (or Canadian province) into the search box. Roadpass Pro members can search via Togo RV by navigating to Overnight RV Parking once logged in.
The search returns a map with pins of differing colors. Tap or click on any pin for more details on the overnight parking location. For quick reference, a red pin designates that a location doesn’t allow overnight parking.
To view overnight parking at Walmarts only, tap the information icon to the right of the search bar, locate the “Show/Hide Markers” categories, and deselect everything but “Walmart.”
What to Know Before Parking at Walmart
Overnight RV parking at Walmart locations is a convenient and free way to visit new destinations, get some rest on a long road trip, or help stretch your travel budget. Free overnight parking in Walmart lots is a privilege, and the policy’s continued existence relies on responsible RVers who respect this resource.
We encourage all overnight RVers to follow the RVers Good Neighbor Policy. The RVers Good Neighbor Policy, which is endorsed by a number of industry-leading RV groups (including RVillage and Campendium), encourages those who park on private business property overnight to adhere to a code of conduct. The code of conduct includes:
- Stay 1 night only.
- Obey posted regulations.
- No awnings, chairs, or grills.
- Don’t use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces, including asphalt.
- Purchase gas, food, or supplies from the business as a form of thank you, where feasible.
RVers regularly overnight at Walmart locations, but it’s important to note that, unlike casino parking lots, Walmart stores rarely have on-site security patrols. And, some locations are bound to be less safe than others.
Your gut is your biggest ally. If something about the situation feels “off,” pack up and move on. You might also choose to park in a well-lit area of the parking lot, or near other RVers if you’re comforted by safety in numbers. Be sure to bring in or securely lock up any expensive items that typically attach to the outside of your RV, like bicycles.
Tips and Tricks for Overnight Parking at Walmart
Depending on where the Walmart is located, overnight RV parking can be a quiet respite after a long day or it can be a noisy, sleepless experience. Here are a few tips and tricks for staying overnight in your RV at Walmart.
Always ask first. Even if Overnight RV Parking marks a Walmart location as open to overnighters, it’s good practice to ask for permission at the service desk when you arrive. Overnight parking is always at the discretion of the store manager. If you don’t ask, you may get a late night knock on the door with a request to move on.
Pack earplugs. Many Walmarts are open 24 hours a day, which means that you’ll experience parking lot noise throughout the night. Even if the store is closed overnight, inventory deliveries by loud trucks often happen in the wee hours of the morning. Block out some of the clamor with a comfortable pair of earplugs. Running a fan or white noise machine might help, too.
Block your windows. Walmart parking lots tend to be well-lit, which helps with safety, but can be frustrating when you’re trying to sleep. Hang blackout curtains or fit your windows with Reflectix to help block out the light.
Park thoughtfully. Parking lots are designed to facilitate proper drainage, not to create a perfectly level spot for your RV. Park in the area where the service desk asks you to, but try different spots within that area to find one that best suits your leveling needs. Remember to be careful with jacks and other levelers on soft surfaces like asphalt.
Common Questions About Walmart and RVing
Walmart allows overnight parking as a way to say “thank you” to RVers. In a statement on its website, Walmart says that stores permit overnight RV parking “as we are able.” This varies based on store managers, availability, and local laws.
Begin by searching on Overnight RV Parking for locations that are marked as open to overnight RVers. Always be sure to stop by the Walmart service desk upon arrival to ask permission to spend the night. If you’d like to be extra sure that overnight parking is allowed before you pull in, call ahead and ask to speak to a manager.
Like in the U.S., Walmart allows overnight RV parking at the discretion of the store manager. As a result, some Walmart locations in Canada welcome overnight RVers in their parking lots and some don’t, either because the store manager chooses not to or overnight parking isn’t allowed by local ordinance.
While a good number of Walmarts allow RVers to park overnight, there are also many that don’t. Not allowing overnight parking is usually due to a lack of adequate space in the parking lot or because of local regulations. Sometimes, it’s because store management had trouble with RVers in the past. Be sure to utilize the privilege of free overnight parking, where allowed, with care.