A woman drinking tea in her camper van looks out the window into a parking lot.

Is Overnight Parking At Walmart Still Safe in 2022?

Walmart has earned a reputation in the RV and travel communities for being one of the most accessible places to camp for the night. However, while you might enjoy the “everyday low prices,” there’s no deal good enough to risk your safety. So is Walmart camping safe?

Today, we’re giving you everything you need to know about staying safe while camping at Walmart. Let’s dive in!

A woman drinking tea in her camper van looks out the window into a parking lot.

Can You Legally Park Overnight at Walmart?

The legalities of parking at Walmart vary considerably. While Walmart was once the go-to spot for many RVers and travelers looking for overnight parking, that’s no longer the case.

Some cities and communities have experienced adverse consequences from allowing overnight parking at Walmart and other public locations. So before you park for the night, you’ll want to ensure it’s legal.

Walmart overnight parking is only allowed at a little more than half of their stores. But, 2,300 is still a lot of places!

One of the best options is to get permission in advance. We recommend calling ahead if you don’t want to waste your time, energy, or gas. Please speak with a manager and verify whether they allow overnight parking in their lot.

Even if you receive permission over the phone, you should confirm with a manager that it’s okay to stay when you arrive. Grab some snacks or other supplies while you’re inside the store. Supporting the business by making a purchase is a way of showing your appreciation.

How Do You Find Walmart Camping Spots?

Don’t make finding Walmart camping spots harder than necessary. Some excellent resources can help you find places to park.

A few of the best resources are Walmart Locator or the AllStays Walmart App and Database. You can quickly and conveniently find spots to park overnight, whether you’re on your computer or mobile device.

A woman sits bundled in her winter coat in her camper van at night, working on her tablet.

Is Walmart Camping Safe?

Camping overnight at Walmart can be safe. However, some locations are safer than others. Your expensive RV may attract attention in areas with high crime. People with ill intentions may see your RV as an opportunity to score something of value easily.

If you pull into a spot to park for the night and don’t feel safe, find a new location. Some areas do not allow overnight parking because the neighborhood isn’t safe.

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Safety Tips for Walmart Camping

If you want to maximize your safety, there are some things you should do. We recommend following all these tips every time you stay at a Walmart. You’ll sleep more soundly and wake up fresh the following day.

How to camp in a parking lot, some tips and basic etiquette for easy, free overnight parking!

Park Near Lights

Security lights in a parking lot can keep anyone up to no good away from your rig. We recommend parking your RV near or directly under them.

Could it brighten up the inside of your RV? Absolutely. However, wearing a mask over your eyes can help, and you can quickly remove it if you need to investigate any strange noises outside your rig.

People up to no good will want to do so at night. However, bright parking lot security lights will cause them to think twice. They don’t want you, law enforcement, or security cameras to witness their behaviors.

Stay Out of the Way

Just because the store might close doesn’t mean employees aren’t still working inside. Stores will often have large delivery trucks coming and going throughout the night. If you’re planning to stay the night in the parking lot, find a spot that is out of the way of any vehicles entering or exiting the store. We’ve heard of other vehicles hitting RVs at night.

Do your best to stay out of the way of any potential traffic. Avoid opening slides that aren’t necessary. A vehicle might not see your slides or overestimate how much space there is between their vehicle and one of your slides.

Regardless of fault, you’ll be the one with a broken RV that will likely be out of commission until you make repairs.

A lone car parked under a street light in a dark parking lot.

Don’t Be An Easy Target

Secure all your belongings before retiring for the night. We strongly recommend not leaving any valuables in your tow vehicle or the back of your truck. Potential thieves who see the opportunity to take something of value will act quickly.

Walk around your RV and lock all your under-storage and outside compartments. You likely store some critical items in these compartments. Don’t allow someone else the opportunity to snatch them.

You might even consider upgrading your locks to RV Locks so you can secure all your containers at the press of a button.

Stay Hitched

You never know when you might need to leave in a hurry. An emergency might occur, and you’ll need to make a quick exit.

Staying hitched allows you to avoid taking time to attach your RV to your tow vehicle. This can save you time and help you avoid making a costly mistake when hitching up in a hurry.

We also recommend that you don’t drop your stabilizer or leveling jacks. Every second counts in an emergency, and you don’t want anything slowing you down when you need to leave in a hurry.

When in Doubt, Leave

We can’t overstate how critical it is that you should leave if you feel unsafe. We understand that it might not be convenient, but your safety and the safety of your traveling companions are worth it. If illegal activity occurs, call law enforcement on your way out and report the activity.

Enjoy Low Prices and Camp Safely

You usually don’t have to worry about your safety when camping at a Walmart. However, there are some locations where your safety concerns might be valid.

If you find a Walmart where you feel comfortable staying, take advantage of the opportunity to resupply any items you might need in your RV. Walmart sells groceries, tools, and even RV accessories. So get a pleasant night’s sleep and stay safe while you camp at Walmart.

Have you ever camped in a parking lot overnight? 

If You Love RVing, You Need to Stay Informed

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Stick with Nomadic News. We publish daily articles and breaking stories that matter to your RV lifestyle.

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