Many RVers spend the night in Walmart and other commercial parking lots, Flying J truck stops, Cracker Barrel restaurants, and numerous other businesses. These overnight stays should be for just parking one night, usually arriving in late afternoon or evening and leaving fairly early the next morning. The generosity of these businesses is a wonderful, convenient, and money-saving privilege for many RVers. I’m one of those RVers that uses that privilege.
Unfortunately, there are those who abuse the privilege by overstaying their welcome, leaving trash scattered around, dumping gray water on the ground, partying under their awnings, going away in their cars and leaving their RVs, etc. I’ve had RVers stand up in my seminar and tell the crowd that “Walmart is required to let you park your RV overnight!” What nonsense!!! Even if a business chooses to put up with them, there is still a danger of a municipal government passing a “No Overnight Parking” regulation, causing all RVers to lose the privilege—and it is a privilege.
Always always ask permission to park overnight. It is common courtesy and you will be more comfortable knowing it’s okay. Don’t assume that if other RVs are parked there, it must be okay. Just ask. We always call ahead and if they say “No,” we don’t go there.
A few years ago, there was an unofficial “list” passed around various RV groups that recommend/establish the “rules” for this boondocking privilege. This list has become affectionately known as “Walmart Rules” (see below).
It must be noted that this unofficial “list” was generated by RVers for RVers and is NOT officially connected with Walmart in any way.
We welcome you to our store location. Yes, you may stay overnight in our parking lot and we appreciate your patronage. While you are here, we request that you observe the following rules of courtesy:
- Please limit your stay to one night. Arriving later in the day and leaving early in the morning would also help us reduce congestion in our parking areas.
- Please place trash in trash receptacles only.
- Do not empty gray water on the ground or in the sewer drains. If you need to empty your tanks, ask our information desk for the nearest location of an approved dump station.
- Please don’t extend awnings, set up chairs and tables, or otherwise make our parking lot appear to be a campground. It can result in a loss of privileges. If you must put down your leveling jacks, be sure to place a large flat board under them to avoid damaging the asphalt parking lot.
- Park so that your generator, if used, doesn’t bother our customers.
- Park in areas suggested by our staff. These areas are selected for your safety and for minimal inconvenience to our customers and staff. Always park away from our main customer entrance.
If you see others violating these guidelines, please let us know and we will deal with them directly.