Can I park my car at Walmart overnight? The answer is Yes, you can park overnight at Walmart. The majority of Walmart locations allow campers to spend the night in their parking lot, including RVs, vans, and automobiles.
A small number of Walmart locations do not permit overnight parking, though.
Continue reading to learn more about Walmart’s overnight parking options.
Walmart Parking Lot Rules
The proper protocol for sleeping in Walmart parking lots is not governed by any corporate policies. Individual store locations set their own regulations regarding overnight camping, and as was already mentioned, some stores outright prohibit it.
But it’s crucial to keep in mind that only RVs are listed as being permitted for overnight parking in Walmart’s official overnight parking policy. Therefore, technically, Walmart’s overnight parking policy does not apply to cars, vans, trucks, or other non-recreational vehicles.
Can You Park Overnight at Walmart?
You are welcome to park in their lots overnight at the vast majority of Walmart locations throughout the country. The thought of allowing RVs and trucks to park in their lot seems to excite them.
When buying supplies, travelers park their vehicles in the back of the parking lot. It’s a win-win.
Also Read: Where Should I Park My Car Overnight?
Can You Sleep in Any Walmart Parking Lot?
It starts to get tricky from this point on. Unfortunately, fewer and fewer Walmart locations still permit overnight parking.
Overnight parking has always been permitted in some Walmart locations but not in others. Walmart locations that close at night have historically been less likely to permit overnight parking, whereas locations that are open 24/7 have typically been friendlier to visitors.
Due to an increase in people abusing the policy’s laxness, many Walmart stores began to change their policies to forbid overnight camping in 2020.
Extended camping by visitors, waste buildup in parking lots, campers starting fires and other dangerous hazards, and more are some behaviors that led to more Walmart stores banning overnight parking.
According to drivinvibin.com, about half of all Walmart locations allow overnight parking. Some frequent free campers (or “boondockers” as they’re also called) have noted that Overnight camping is more likely to be permitted at Walmart locations in rural, sparsely populated areas than it is in urban and densely populated areas.
Is It Legal to Sleep in Your Car at Walmart?
There are no state or federal regulations that specify whether or not overnight parking is permitted in private business lots. But you can read more about that here. Some states have specific laws governing whether you can park in rest areas. By 2022, no US state will firmly forbid sleeping in a car.
However, some towns and cities have specific ordinances prohibiting sleeping in vehicles, and these ordinances take precedence over state and federal regulations. Therefore, check the regulations governing vehicle camping in the town or city you’re in to determine whether it’s acceptable to spend the night at Walmart.
Is It Safe to Sleep in Walmart Parking Lots?
The risk of being insecure when spending the night in a Walmart parking lot is very high. But it’s generally safe and secure to spend the night in a locked camper or RV in a Walmart parking lot.
Here are some things that make sleeping at Walmart feel relatively safe:
- Most Walmart parking lots are very well lit
- Some Walmart parking lots have security guards who patrol the lot throughout the night
- If you’re in need of food, medicine, or any other emergency supplies in the middle of the night, you will have quick access to these things if the Walmart you’re sleeping next to stays open 24 hours
To increase your level of safety when sleeping at Walmart, remember these tips:
- Keep your vehicle locked at all times
- Cover your windows with curtains or other blockers to obscure your sleeping area and valuables
- Follow your instincts and don’t park somewhere that feels suspicious or unsafe
How Long Can You Park Your Car at Walmart?
You can leave your car at Walmart, but you must adhere to the regulations. You are allowed to leave your car there for ONE night only.
There are two types of parking spots available here: those with time limits and those without; as long as you stay within these restrictions, the manager won’t inquire as to how long you’ve been staying there.
When you leave your car in Walmart parking lots, it is important to respect the property. If management believes your actions will damage their brand or reputation, they may not permit you to stay the night.
Don’t barbecue there or leave trash there, and if you can, show your appreciation by buying something from their shop, like food.
Tips for Parking Overnight at Walmart
- Stay discreet – Keep in mind that discretion is key when setting up camp overnight in a commercial parking lot. Avoid making a scene or giving the security or management of the store any reason to believe you shouldn’t be there.
- Do not prepare food outside of your vehicle – In keeping with remaining covert, hot food preparation ought to take place inside of your RV or van (or not at all if you don’t own one).
- Do not light fires of any kind – It ought to go without saying, but when camping in a Walmart parking lot, lighting fires is definitely something you should avoid doing. Even though you might think you’re camping, avoid having a campfire. You will definitely be asked to leave if you start a fire of any kind, and the police may even be called.
- Do not make any noticeable noise – Once more, maintaining discretion is crucial. You might be giving store management or security a reason to eject you if they believe that your excessive noise is distracting other campers or customers.
- Do not consume alcohol or drugs – This guideline is not only wise to keep in mind for overnight parking etiquette in general, it is also typically required by law. Most states will charge you with a DUI if you consume alcohol or drugs while operating a motor vehicle, even if you don’t intend to drive.
- Use a designated restroom – The improper waste management by some overnight campers is a significant factor in why many Walmart stores have prohibited overnight parking. So it goes without saying to keep it in the restroom. You’ll have easy access to a restroom all night because most Walmart locations that permit overnight parking are open 24 hours a day anyway.
- Do not idle your engine – This one focuses a lot on showing consideration for other campers. While occasionally idling your engine while running a heater or charging a battery is understandable, doing so for extended periods of time is not only bad for the environment but also disruptive to those trying to sleep.
- Do not litter – The buildup of trash is another significant factor in the widespread prohibition of overnight parking at Walmart locations. Make sure to put all of your trash in a designated container to lessen your chance of adding to the issue. Better yet, take it with you and dispose of it elsewhere.
- Give other overnight campers space – Fortunately, there is usually plenty of space even though Walmart parking lots can occasionally be quite crowded with RVs and vans. Choose a location that is not directly next to another camper out of consideration for others.
- Limit your stay – Last but not least, it’s best to avoid spending more than one night camped out at Walmart. The goal of Walmart’s policy is to assist RV road trippers who require a one-night stopover. It’s not meant to be a place where people can camp out for an extended period of time. Therefore, get some rest and then leave in the morning in order to prevent Walmart from restricting camping permissions.
Conclusion: Can I Park My Car at Walmart Overnight
Despite some online rumors, Walmart still prohibits overnight camping, so if you’re planning to spend the night in one of their parking lots, you can rest easy.
But if you do require some quick overnight parking at this location, our article should have all the information you require! We sincerely hope that this article has been helpful in answering your inquiries. If so, kindly let us know in the comment section below.
Related Reading: Can You Leave Your Car In A Parking Lot Overnight?
Can I Leave My Car at Walmart for a Week?
The Walmart parking lot is not a vehicle storage area or maintenance space unless you are having work done in one of their maintenance areas. Leave your car somewhere else, or if it can’t be driven, have it towed.
Why Does Walmart Allow People to Sleep in the Parking Lot?
The other reason Walmart allows RVers to camp in their parking lots is because travelers often need to stock up on supplies that are readily available at Walmart.