Tonight I’m taking advantage of Walmart RV parking. You never know what the road will bring. One of the best things about a new adventure is not knowing what you’ll discover, but sometimes we find ourselves unprepared for those things that come our way. If your boondocking plans have failed and you don’t want to stay in a campground, there’s an alternative: Walmart!
Walmart RV Parking
This is the first time in nearly nine years of RV travel I have dry camped in a Walmart parking lot. You might just enjoy this new experience more than you thought possible.
We departed Saint David, Arizona this morning with a boondocking destination in mind. We also had two additional locations just in case.
Our first destination was just east of Las Cruces, New Mexico. We planned to stay at Sierra Vista BLM. It was a beautiful area and I was so excited to have the mountains as part of my view for the next few days.
Unfortunately, the area was completely full. I’m sure we just arrived too late in the day. Not far down the same road, we checked out Baylor Canyon. I could see campers in the distance so I turned in and drove forward a couple of hundred feet and came to a really bad spot in the road which I choose not to attempt.
I’ve mentioned to you multiple times that I’m not a stellar backer-upper but I managed to back all the way out. It took a LONG time but I did it. Onward to the third spot I had lined up, Baylor Pass Trail Head parking. It was also full enough that I didn’t even pull in.
Etiquette for Walmart RV Parking/Dry Camping
If Walmart or another store allows you to stay the night, be courteous and observe the following;
- Don’t overstay your welcome. One night is the limit unless you have been given approval for more.
- Dispose of your trash properly.
- Park out of the way, along the edges of the parking lot or near the back. Be sure the deliver trucks can get through.
- Don’t get your gear out and set up camp.
More and more businesses have stopped allowing campers to dry camp in their parking lots because some just don’t follow these basic courtesies.
Where to Park
Choosing a place to part can be tricky. If the store designates a specific area, please park there. I find my rig has a magnetic force and actually draws people to park as close as possible. If I park along a curb, I pull in and turn my wheels away from the curb, continuing forward a little. This makes it easier to get out if someone parks too close. I also find, if you have a curb behind you and you can back close enough, nobody and get behind you.
Either way, leave yourself some room to maneuver if someone blocks you in. I often see people put those orange cones out to give a visual of “their” space. While I don’t have any orange cones, I’ve thought of getting some.
In the above picture, there was space between me and the other RV but when I woke up, there was a car parked between us. It was tight getting out.
That is how I came to be spending the night in a Walmart parking lot. Oh well, I needed groceries anyway. If you end up in a Walmart parking lot at some point, make sure you check to see if it’s OK with the store or city. If you see signs posted warning against camping, don’t. You’ll most likely hear a knock on your door in the middle of the night asking you to move along.
You might also enjoy, Boondocking and Dry Camping Successfully.
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