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CNN Reports on Overnight RV Parking at Walmart & Other Locations

Our data shows decreasing availability of Overnight RV Parking over the last decade

National news media are taking note of the dramatic upswing in RV Sales and RV Rentals this summer. In this “RV frenzy” atmosphere, CNN has just released a story about the decreasing availability of Overnight RV Parking at Walmarts and other places. 

We’ve been tracking Overnight RV Parking locations since 2005, and our website has been online since 2008, so we’re considered to be a leading authority on this topic. We’re very pleased that CNN reporter Nathaniel Meyersohn contacted OvernightRVParking.com for several telephone interviews and emailed us for additional information on this subject.

We’ve collected data over the last decade showing a decline in the percentage of Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs which offer RV Parking:

Percentage of Walmarts offering RV Parking over time
Percentage of Walmarts offering RV Parking over time

As active RVers, we think it’s important that the story recognizes RVers themselves as the major reasons behind Walmart managers banning Overnight RV Parking at their stores. We’ve spoken to hundreds of Walmart managers over the past 20+ years, and those who have banned Overnight RV Parking say basically the same thing — it was because of RVers who parked overnight without store permission, parked in the wrong part of the lot, stayed more than one night, set up campsites (lawn chairs, awnings, BBQ grills) in the parking lot, left trash behind, or even dumped waste tanks in the parking lot. 

With all the “first time” RVers on the road this summer, we can all do ourselves a favor by helping them learn what is and isn’t acceptable behavior when it comes to RVing, and particularly when it comes to Overnight RV Parking at retail and restaurant locations. We can help them understand that each of us can be our own worst enemy by being part of the problem, or we can help preserve the Overnight RV Parking privilege by being the kind of gracious guest we’d like others to be when they visit us.

4 comments on “CNN Reports on Overnight RV Parking at Walmart & Other Locations

  1. Andy Bokma

    With RV travel , we have often used Wallmart convienience for an overnight stay . It has given us a sence of security and in return our shopping has been redirected to Wallmart. Seems like a Win = Win.

    • OvernightRVParking

      And that’s precisely how it’s supposed to work, Andy. We must realize that Walmart appreciates our business, even though, in the big picture, RVers account for only a tiny percentage of Walmart’s total sales. Unfortunately, a tiny minority of irresponsible RVers are the ones who are ruining this for us.

  2. We’ve traveled out West the past 4 years and stayed at probably 3 Wal-marts each year. Actually, none this year. We always ask permission and where they prefer we park. And of course, always do some shopping while there. We do nothing but sleep and are out of there in the morning. Usually the only reason we do stay is because we never know how far we’ll make the trip that day to the next destination. Sometimes Campgrounds are full or not on our route. Therefore, Walk-mart is our next option. Yea, some people can ruin it for us. But, I have always heard that the one that started Wal-Mart wanted Campers to be allowed to stay over night because he was a camper too.

    • OvernightRVParking

      What you’re describing is just what Walmart intends when they tive us permission to park overnight for a night. If every RVer did this, we would be losing a lot few Overnight RV Parking options. As for Sam Walton being a RVer — we’ve heard that, too, for a long time, but haven’t been able to verify whether it’s an accurate story or not. We’ve also heard that Sam Walton would allow truckers who delivered to his stores park overnight, and it gradually expanded to include RVs as well. We don’t know how accurate this story is, either.

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