What do you do when you pull into a Walmart or other business, hoping to get permission from the store to park overnight, but you see a sign that reads “No Overnight Parking”?
A “No Overnight Parking” sign in a business parking lot can mean a lot of different things. Here are some ways that these signs can be interpreted:
- It could mean that the store doesn’t allow overnight truck parking but that RVs are ok, provided you have permission from the store.
- It could mean that it doesn’t allow overnight parking without permission, but if you have permission it’s allowed.
- It could mean no overnight parking in a certain section of the parking lot, but it’s allowed in other areas of the lot, with permission.
- It could mean that local RV parks complained that the store was taking business away from them, so the business put up this sign, but overnight RV parking is allowed, with store permission.
- It could mean that there’s a local ordinance against overnight RV parking, but it’s not enforced, so you can park here (with permission).
- It could mean that the business is happy to give you permission to park overnight, and the sign is just there to give legal leverage to have the police evict troublemakers or problem RVers.
- And sometimes, it means exactly what it says—no overnight parking, period.
To find out what exactly a “No Overnight Parking” sign means at a specific business, you should go to the customer service desk inside the store or restaurant and ask for permission. You can also phone the store and ask for the customer service desk. Then, ask for permission to park overnight, for one night, in the parking lot. You don’t have to mention any signs when you ask—let the business tell you whether they’ll give you permission or not.
Based on experience, the only universal rule about overnight RV parking is that there are no universal rules about overnight RV parking. Similar to how to interpret “No Overnight Parking” signs, every situation is different and it’s best to ask whoever is in charge for explicit permission.