Last Updated on November 26, 2022 by Jessica Lauren Vine
When you want to save some time and money, you might ask, “Can you boondock at Walmart?”
Yes. Most of the time you can boondock at Walmart.
Keep in mind that you should always call the manager of the Walmart you want to stay in before you go there. The last thing you want is a knock during the night asking you to move your RV. You should also look to see if there is a sign posted that says you aren’t allowed to stay there.
In Cottonwood, Arizona, the Walmart there is one that I’ve seen that says that you can’t boondock there.
Many people have already said goodbye to boondocking at Walmart though, so keep that in mind. Walmart overnight parking is still possible but if you’re going to do it, here are some things you should keep in mind.
Ask the Walmart Management for Permission
Before heading off on your Walmart trip, give the Walmart management team a call and see if they are okay with you coming there and hanging out in your RV for a day or two.
Even if a Walmart shows up on one of your favorite apps, that doesn’t necessarily mean it is going to be okay for you to stay there. They might be too busy for you to stay there or they may have a small parking lot and it could be full. Just call and make your life easier.
Understand This is Not a Campsite
You might think it is common sense not to set up your camping chairs and grill but that’s not necessarily the case. I’ve seen some people getting a bit too comfortable at the Walmart site.
Don’t put your jacks on your RV down. It could cause a problem with the asphalt. Also, don’t put your slides out if you can help it. If you do have to put them out a little bit, just do it as much as you have to so that you can get into your RV.
Stay As Short of a Time As Possible
You may be able to stay there for a couple of days but don’t do it if you can help it. If you can arrive as close to night as possible, this will make it better for the Walmart of your choice. Even if your RV isn’t too big, it will take up room that other customers could use.
Obey the Law
If a city has an ordinance against camping there, just say no. If you don’t obey the ordinance, you might find other Walmarts stopping allowing campers to hang out in their parking lots. Do yourself and other RVers a favor and don’t break the law. You may end up with an expensive ticket or the police escorting you off the property.
I remember when I was a kid and my parents and I stopped at a store to park for the night and the police came and knocked on our door. I guess everything was fine because we stayed there. But I think they wanted to make sure we weren’t weirdos or something. I guess we fooled them.
Why Does Walmart Allow Overnight RV Camping?
The biggest reason Walmart allows overnight RV camping is because campers will go into the store and buy something. It’s good etiquette to support the store if you’ve spent some time there. Otherwise, RVing and camping at Walmarts definitely will be a thing of the past.
Keep in mind that each store manager will have a different viewpoint on boondocking at Walmart. So, you should always call beforehand as stated above.
Before you head off for Walmart or another boondocking stop, why not check out one of our other RV-related articles?