Overnight Parking At Wal-Mart — Part II
Last week’s blog article covered some general information about Overnight RV Parking at Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club. We also discussed this problem of finding out which stores do or don’t allow Overnight RV Parking, and how you can find current and accurate information. Here’s more about Overnight RV Parking at Wal-mart and Sam’s Club.
We can’t automatically assume that every Wal-mart Store, Wal-Mart SuperCenter or Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market Store will allow RVs to park overnight. Similarly, we can’t assume that every Sam’s Club will allow it either. The reason may be a local Anti-RV “No Overnight Parking” law. Some Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club parking lots aren’t owned by Wal-mart, and the owner doesn’t allow overnight parking. Some Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club parking lots, especially at older stores, aren’t large enough to accommodate RVs without interfering with customer parking. Some store managers have set a policy that prohibits Overnight RV Parking because of past abuses by RVers who set up camp and/or stayed much longer than the normal one night.
There are also instances where a Wal-Mart and a Sam’s Club are next door to each other, sharing one large parking lot, yet one store allows Overnight RV Parking in its part of the lot while the other store prohibits it.
A small percentage of the “No Overnight RV Parking” Wal-Marts and Sam’s Clubs are places where there is a local ordinance against Overnight RV Parking in a business parking lot, but the ordinance is seldom if ever enforced. At some of these places, local police only get involved if the store asks them to. At others, a complaint from a citizen can cause the police to ticket or evict an RVer. And at some places, the store has told RVers that the police might ticket RVs if there’s nothing else keeping them busy that night.
There are a few Wal-Marts that don’t allow RVs in their parking lots at all, day or night, even to park while shopping. The Wal-Mart SuperCenter at 8288 Cincinnati-Dayton Rd. in West Chester, OH, is one of these. And the policy is seasonal at the Wal-Mart Store at 6545 North Landmark Dr., Park City, UT. In this popular ski resort town, local snow removal ordinances specify that Overnight RV Parking isn’t allowed in winter, but is in summer.
If you plan to park overnight at a Wal-Mart or Sam’s Club, please remember that you virtually always need the store’s permission to do so. Asking the store’s manager or Customer Service desk is often the only way to be sure that Overnight RV Parking is allowed there.
Even when the store allows Overnight RV Parking, remember that there’s no legal right for us to park there, other than during the time we’re actually in the store, shopping. In order to park beyond that time, we need their permission. Just seeing other RVs parked there isn’t sufficient. You don’t know whether or not they have the store’s permission to be there, and even if they do, you don’t until you ask and the store says “Yes.” There are a few cases where Wal-Marts have told RVers that the store doesn’t require that RVers ask permission to park. These stores are very few and far between. When www.overnightrvparking.com receives such a report, we include that detail in our database record for that store.
And of course, in order to preserve the Overnight RV Parking privilege, we don’t camp at Wal-Mart, we park there, and we abide by the FMCA’s Overnight RV Parking Guidelines. There’s more on these topics in some of my earlier Overnight RV Parking Blog articles.