When RVers talk about Overnight RV Parking for a single night, the first place that usually comes to mind is Wal-Mart, or as some like to call it, “Wally World.” Wal-Mart, of course, is the largest retailer in the USA and in the world. If you add up all of the Wal-Mart Stores, Wal-Mart SuperCenters, Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market Stores and Sam’s Clubs in the USA, you’ll come up with a total of over 4,000 stores. Throw in 300 more in Canada, and you have more than 4,300 potential Overnight RV Parking locations.
Some RVers simply assume that it’s all right to park overnight in any Wal-Mart parking lot. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Those who simply pull into a Wal-Mart parking lot and park, without getting the facts first, often pay for it by being awakened by store security or local police in the middle of the night and evicted from the premises. This is sometimes accompanied by a parking citation and/or an escort to the city limits. In extreme cases they get to watch their RV as the authorities tow it to the impound lot.
How can you find out which Wal-Marts allow Overnight RV Parking and which don’t? There are a number of books about this on the market, and several websites have lists of Wal-Mart stores. Some try to list all the stores, and leave it to you to ask the store for permission to park. Others say they show which stores do or don’t allow Overnight RV Parking. Some list just the stores where you can’t park. None of them are 100% complete, 100% accurate or 100% up to date. Wal-Mart opens new stores almost faster than anyone can keep track of them, and the Overnight RV Parking policy or local laws affecting it can change unpredictably at any given store.
As an example, among the 3,900 + locations listed in the the database at the www.OvernightRVParking.com website, there are currently 1,685 Wal-marts and Sam’s Clubs. 943 of these are listed as “YES” for Overnight RV Parking, and 351 are listed as “NO.” There are an additional 391 stores in the database for which we’ve received no first-hand report from an RVer. These are shown as “Unknown” until an RVer asks permission there and reports back on what the store tells them. (I sometimes wonder whether we’ll ever get all the stores listed. They’re building new ones so fast we can’t keep up!). Next Week: More on Overnight RV Parking at Wal-mart.