Exactly How to Overnight Park at Walmart

If you’re unaware, many Walmart locations offer more than low prices. At night, their parking lots become the home for travelers looking for a place to stay.

However, there’s a right and wrong way to enjoy your time in these temporary spots. Following the rules is essential, especially if you want to ensure they remain available in the future.

Today, we’re sharing tips to help you to have a smooth overnight stay at Walmart.

Let’s get to it!

Does Walmart Allow Overnight Parking?

Yes, Walmart allows overnight parking. This is such a popular question with the retail giant that it’s one of their frequently asked questions.

They state, “Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers.” However, you can’t stop there because reading the rest of their response is important.

The answer continues, saying, “We permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able.” Some important words in their response are “as we are able.” That’s because not every location can accommodate overnight parking. They must obey and follow the laws and regulations specific to the local area.

As a result, you’ll need to check with each location to determine whether they allow overnight parking. If not, you could get into a sticky situation with management or local law enforcement.

A Walmart cart in the parking lot in the foreground and the store in the background.

While Walmart as a corporation may welcome RVers, not all communities are as hospitable. Many stores in urban and populated areas have strict laws prohibiting overnight parking.

In addition, local law enforcement officers are watchful of violators. As a result, the legality of parking overnight at Walmart varies by location.

Luckily, many areas where it’s illegal to park will have signage alerting you to the prohibition of overnight parking. If you don’t see or ignore these warnings, you can expect to get a knock on your door in the middle of the night.

In the best case, you’ll get instructed to move on your way and find a new spot to park for the night. On the other hand, if you’re disrespectful or law enforcement is overly strict, you could receive a citation.

Again, fines and penalties vary, but it’s almost always more expensive than if you had found a campsite.

If you’d rather not stay at Walmart, read Exactly How to Overnight Park at Cracker Barrel instead.

Is It Safe to Park Overnight at Walmart?

In addition to worrying about the legality of parking overnight, many travelers often worry about safety. Luckily, it’s generally safe to park and sleep overnight at Walmart.

Their parking lots are typically open, well-lit, and have plenty of security cameras. In addition, some have security or random patrols from law enforcement that provide additional security.

However, it’s critical to know that safety can vary by location. Have bad things happened in Walmart parking lots in the middle of the night? Absolutely. As a result, it’s a good idea to research the area before getting too comfortable.

Additionally, always lock your stuff and be aware of your surroundings. Pack your stuff and leave if you ever question your safety.

5 Tips for How to Park Overnight at Walmart

Are you considering staying overnight in a Walmart parking lot? If so, we’ve got five tips to help you have a smooth and uneventful stay at Casa de Walmart. 

1. Call Ahead and Get Permission

One of the most important things to do when you want to stay the night at Walmart is to call ahead and get permission. Not only is this the polite thing to do, but it can save you a tremendous amount of hassle. You don’t want to waste your time, energy, or fuel if you cannot stay the night.

When you’re on your way, call ahead and ask to speak to someone on the management team. Typically, you’ll get an assistant manager instead of one of the big wigs at the store.

Regardless, you want a manager to ensure the person has the authority to grant your request to stay. If they give you permission, write down their name, as it may be helpful later.

Once you arrive at the site, you’ll want to find a temporary place to park and head inside to customer service. Ask to speak with the individual you talked to earlier. They may not be available, in which case any member of management will do. Be respectful, introduce yourself, and confirm you’re able to stay.

If all goes as planned, you’ll have a cozy spot to stay and get some rest. Just be sure to take the opportunity to thank them for allowing you to stay. You want to leave a good impression to ensure the store continues to show hospitality in the future.

2. Park in the Right Area

When you’re talking with the management, it’s a good idea to ask where they’d like you to park. While you aim to get in and out as efficiently as possible, you want to avoid being in the way. They may have deliveries throughout the night. If you’re in the way, you could end up with an angry truck driving banging on your door.

Typically, stores ask that overnight guests park at the back of their lots. It’s a good idea to position yourself so you can quickly and easily leave in the morning. Parking at the rear helps ensure you don’t wake up blocked by workers or shoppers.

Aerial shot of a Walmart store and its parking lot, showing how large it is.

3. Don’t Make Yourself at Home

While you may be calling the parking lot home for the night, don’t make yourself too comfortable. Remember, this isn’t a campground; you’re just staying for the night.

Don’t break out your chairs or lawn games. The goal is to attract as little attention to you and your camper as possible.

Additionally, it’s also a good idea to avoid running your generator. However, there may be some instances where you’ll have no other choice, especially during the summer. Just ensure you’re mindful of those around you, especially neighboring homes and businesses.

For your safety, it’s typically best to avoid opening slides unless you’re parked over grass areas. They can be very challenging to see, especially at night. You don’t want a vehicle to crash into them while you’re inside enjoying yourself.

4. Buy Something

One of the best ways to show the store that you appreciate their hospitality is to support them financially. Luckily, Walmart makes it extremely easy as they sell a tremendous variety of items.

Stopping at a Walmart for the night is an excellent opportunity to stock up on groceries, supplies, or snacks you might need.

Additionally, if you’re struggling to find something to buy, let their deli or bakery cook for you. These departments have excellent, affordable options to please your taste buds and fill your belly. Whatever you do, make sure you buy something.

Interior shot of the rows of checkout stands in a Walmart with no people at them yet.

5. Leave Early

The final tip to ensure a smooth overnight parking experience at Walmart is to leave early. Unlike campgrounds and hotels, Walmart parking lots don’t have an official checkout time. However, it’s still essential that you leave promptly.

Avoid lingering or taking advantage of their hospitality. Generally, you should wake up at a reasonable hour, have breakfast, and hit the road. You want to avoid being a bother or in the way of shoppers, workers, or delivery vehicles.

Park Overnight at Walmart Without Trouble

There are approximately 5,000 Walmart locations across the country. While they may not all welcome overnight guests, many of them do.

If you follow the tips we shared today, you can have an enjoyable experience. Staying at a Walmart can help break up a long travel day and be one less thing you must worry about during your adventures.

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