Overnight Parking At Wal-Mart — Part I

April 7, 2008 by Jim O'Briant · 7 Comments  
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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 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.

Safe travels,
Jim O’Briant

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7 Responses to “Overnight Parking At Wal-Mart — Part I”

  1. David on April 15th, 2008 1:29 pm

    Great information but it would be nice if we didn’t have to subscribe to view the site.

  2. Jim O'Briant on April 15th, 2008 2:32 pm

    I’m sure that it would be. It would also be nice if all RV Parks were free, and if there were such a thing as a free lunch.

    The website is set up as a subscription site, at a rate ($17.97/year, or less than a nickel a day) that’s easily recovered by parking at a free location instead of paying for an RV park for one or two nights in a year.

    As with any product or service that’s offered at a price, each person has to evaluate it and then decide for himself/herself whether or not to purchase it.

    Jim O’Briant

  3. Len on June 15th, 2008 4:49 pm

    Jim, is this based on the calendar year or date of subscription?

  4. Jim O'Briant on June 15th, 2008 9:23 pm

    Len asks:

    > Jim, is this [the $17.97/year subscription rate at
    > based on the calendar
    > year or date of subscription?

    It’s one year from date of subscription.

    Jim O’Briant
    Gilroy, CA
    Moderator, OvernightRVParking Yahoo Group
    Overnight Parking Blog:

  5. Bobby Ratliff on May 13th, 2011 12:08 pm

    I always ask before I bed down for the night. That way I sleep better than worrying about will I get woke up and not even sure who it is coming a knocking.

  6. Timmy on July 22nd, 2011 2:33 pm

    $17.97/year to see where you can park? What a rip off! Just Google it, people!

  7. Jim O'Briant on July 22nd, 2011 3:40 pm

    Timmy, if your time has so little value that you’d rather spend an hour online looking for an OvernightRVParking location instead of paying 7 cents (the cost per day of an annual subscription), that’s your decision. Our subscribers would rather use that time for things they enjoy, and just pay us the seven cents.

    Jim O’Briant
    CEO & Administrator