The Secrets Of Walmart Camping


Walmart camping isn't glamorous, but it is free and very convenient. Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

The Secrets Of Walmart Camping

Walmart “camping” is a convenience that many RV travelers experience on the road. It provides safe, overnight parking to break up long travel days, while also offering the convenience to stock-up on groceries and camping essentials.

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.

Walmart Corporate views on RV parking found on Walmart.com

These tips will ensure a positive experience while “camping” at Walmart.

Plan ahead

It’s important to do some research when planning your travel route to find a Walmart that allows overnight camping/parking. Not all locations have space that is conducive to fitting larger vehicles. You certainly don’t want to find yourself in a situation where you can’t get your rig turned around once you find out a Walmart does not allow overnight camping.

The easiest way to find an RV-friendly Walmart is by planning out your route on RV Trip Wizard. You can select Walmarts, Super Walmarts, as well as other points of interest to appear on your map. The trip planner can also display Cracker Barrels, casinos with campgrounds, rest areas, and other places that offer free or cheap overnight RV parking.

Call ahead

Even though your research has indicated that a certain Walmart allows overnight camping, it is recommended that you also call ahead to verify.

When you call, ask to speak to a Manager to get permission and also ask where they prefer that you park.

Arrive early

There are some Walmarts where this isn’t an issue and others where the lot gets completely full of RVs and sometimes tractor-trailers by 7 p.m. For this reason, it’s best to arrive by 5-6 p.m. to ensure you get a spot.

This is especially important if this is the only Walmart on your route so you aren’t caught driving extra miles on an already busy travel day.

Arrive early to ensure you get a spot. Photo via Wikipedia Creative Commons

Park in designated space

Make sure to park where the Manager of the store has indicated. The store designates a certain area for many reasons. First, they want to ensure that their existing patrons have safe, close to the store, places to park. Stores recommend areas for RVs that are more open to make it easier to maneuver their rigs around.

Be respectful of other RVers and do not park right up against someone and definitely don’t park anyone in.

Do not set up camp

This can’t be stressed enough. Even though it may feel like you are camping in the Walmart parking lot, it’s not really camping. Do not unhitch, set up the grill, put all the slides out (unless you have ample room), play loud music, and share a game of corn hole! This is the fastest way to get this free convenience taken away from everyone.

If you have to use a generator, use common sense and be courteous. Park away from other RVs and cars, make sure the noise won’t intrude on others and limit use as much as possible.

Stock up on supplies

As a thank you for your free overnight accommodations, it is customary for RVers to pick up any supplies they may need. Most Walmarts have a camping/RV section stocked with that special RV toilet paper or tank deodorizer.

Leave the area clean

The other fastest way to get this privilege taken away is to not leave the area the way you found it. Make sure to not leave any garbage, cigarette butts, pet “business”, grocery carts, or other items where they don’t belong.

And hopefully this goes without saying, DO NOT dump any gray or black water onto the parking lot!


Walmart is not the only box store that may allow overnight RV camping. Check out this article on Can You Camp in an RV in Costco Parking Lots?

Tina Klinefelter

Tina, along with her husband Craig and 2 cats, have been living, working and traveling full-time in a fifth wheel since 2017. She decided after yet another corporate layoff it was time to live life on her terms. She is now an entrepreneur who inspires, educates and coaches her community on intentional living, budget travel and RV life. She shares her expertise on her blog, FreeAsWheelEverBe.com

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