A Guide to Car-Camping – in Walmart Parking Lots

As any experienced road tripper, climber, or long-term traveler can attest, one of the biggest issues with life on the road is finding a place to rest every night. Between tight budgets, uncertain routes, and evenings spent driving at ungodly hours, there is often a need to find a makeshift place to catch a few hours of sleep.

One of the tried and true traditions of my climbing trips and cross-country excursions is the practice of spending a night (or two) in a Walmart parking lot. I was extremely reluctant and nervous my first time, during which I hardly achieved a few moments of rest. However, after nothing but positive experiences, the sight of a glowing Walmart sign on the side of a highway has become a welcoming landmark.

While Walmart founder Sam Walton has allegedly been quoted in feeling strongly that all travelers should reverie his stores as a destination for safe rest and refuge, there has been a lot of debate surrounding the practice of overnight camping in the parking lots. While I have never been approached during my brief stays, I have heard plenty of stories of people being asked to leave, or told they couldn’t stay.

So, should you spend the night in a Walmart parking lot? I’d say sure, but first, educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts of overnighting at one of these fine American institutions (ha).

What You Should Do:

Depending on your attitude, calling ahead to inquire about a specific location’s overnight policies is the safest course of action. However, if you’ve pulled into a random store in the middle of the night, desperate for sleep – you will likely be fine. Always be discrete. While large campers and RVs are sitting ducks in the parking lot pond, sedans and smaller vehicles have the advantage of blending in fairly well.

A few crucial elements of discretion include parking away from store entrances where shoppers should have priority, keeping your ‘space’ clean, and leaving as early as possible in the morning. Additionally, you should make an effort to give patronage to the place that is giving you a safe place to sleep – buy something. If you just grab a protein shake and cheese stick in the morning, fine. Need to stock up on some camping supplies? Even better – you’ll make the entire car-camping community look good.

Just because Walmarts are generally a secure place to stop for the night doesn’t mean that every location stands equal when it comes to safety. Always be aware of the surrounding neighborhood – a sketchy area equates to a sketchy Walmart parking lot. Be smart. Always keep your keys within reach. I prefer to keep the driver’s seat open and easy accessible, in case there is a need to make a quick getaway.

What You Shouldn’t Do:

*Note: Niko wasn’t actually in a Walmart parking lot in this photo, no worries.

Basically, don’t be that guy. If you roll up to a Walmart at 11 PM, pop open the hatchback, and set up a few chairs around your parking spot while throwing back a few beers – don’t be surprised when you get the boot. Anyone traveling in a non-car rig is should never set-up camp in any conspicuous manner. If security or management approaches you, don’t be disrespectful. It is a privilege to have access to staying overnight, and travelers must remain understanding that some locations have had bad experiences with long-term or disruptive ‘campers.’

Don’t leave a mess. You should be practicing this in all aspects of your adventures, but littering free accommodations is especially offensive. Nothing leaves a bad taste in a manager’s mouth than rude overnighters.

Despite the usually relaxed overnight regulations at most locations, there are some stores that are actively against travelers shacking up in their parking lots. Check out this listing of Walmarts that do not allow overnight stays.

Niko says: “I’ve been crashing in Walmart parking lots ever since I was able to drive — it’s a “simple comfort” for dirtbags. On long nights, you know that just down the road there’s a parking lot where you can grab some munchies, clean up in the 24-hour bathrooms, and shut your eyes for a couple hours. I always crack a window in my car to get some fresh air, and like to stop in the store to grab breakfast before heading out – think of the cost of your milk and cereal as a camping fee.”

If you aren’t bothered by the unavoidable florescent lighting and likelihood of waking up in a sea of cars from Walmart’s morning floods of blue collar customers, pulling into one of their many parking lots provides a great venue for catching some rest before embarking on your next day of adventuring.

Have you ever spent the night in a Walmart parking lot?
Got good any experiences to share? Any bad experiences?
Sound off in the comments and contribute to the conversation!


Follow, like, share, spread the love!

217 thoughts on “A Guide to Car-Camping – in Walmart Parking Lots

  1. laurietewksbury says:

    I’ve thought about it several times, although never spent the night. The walmart near my house is rather skeevy, so they all seem that way to me now. But maybe I’ll just have to start. 🙂

    • Katie Boué says:

      I’ve definitely decided against staying at particular Walmarts, but honestly, some of them are really nice – and totally beat crashin’ at a truck stop for the evening.

      • BostonHeather says:

        Thanks for the heads up about Walmart camping 🙂
        We are driving from Boston to California in autumn and while we have designated spots to stop, this is a great tip if I’m too tired to drive.
        Be well.

    • Ryan says:

      I am homless, jobless and have been starting at a wallmart since 4th july.have no were to go..just recently have been harassed by there stupid security dueches, saying that I cant be there, I explained my situation started that om from cross the country stranded with a lawsuit pending, they gave absolutely no sypathy to me nor did they care ay all..’s.what should I do have tried getting a job but florida is a fluke for jobs plus I have a dog that I have had for over 4 years… All I really want is to go home top oregon, I can be homeless there, and have for many months at a time!!!! Input is needed!!! Thanx for reading! Ryan

      • Katie Boué says:

        Ryan, it sounds like you’re in quite a unique situation. I’ll definitely admit that I’m not surprised Walmart gave you the boot – I would never suggest permanently setting up camp there; this article is more for the purpose of a quick overnight stay when your options are thin.

        I think the best bet for you is to locate a RV or tent campground, and strike a deal with the management there – offer to pitch in and do some work around the property in exchange for a free stay! You may have to contact a few different places to get someone to agree to the bargain, but it may be your best option.

        Good luck with everything!

        • Eric says:


          You are much nicer to Ryan than I; I too have been forced to make the occasional Wal-Mart a temporary residence, but not for lack of work, only due to unforeseen extenuating circumstances. Maybe there’s a connection between Ryan’s’ lack of education (obvious from his atrocious grammar and spelling), and his joblessness? I’m a Vet and ex Cop, but ANYONE can find themselves in a “curve ball” situation. Especially after a divorce and traveling alone 1200 miles to a City where you have zero support structure. Overall, WM has been kind to me the few times I was compelled to crash on their property.

          • Nathan says:

            Yeah, you definitely aren’t being very nice. Did you really need to point out that he has “atrocious grammar and spelling”?

            I’d be willing to bet you’d be one of the cops I wouldn’t want to run into because you wouldn’t be willing to give anyone a break. At least you’re an “ex” cop now.

          • Jay says:

            Whoa, Eric,
            How are you in a position to judge another human being based on his or her grammar?
            Ryan is a human being and a person that deserves compassion and respect.
            There are many dialects and grammars deemed “correct” yet none of them are “correct”. Language is just the vehicle with which we communicate.
            I’ve met simple mechanics in Puebla Mexico with more honor than racist-casting collegiate graduates or quote-unquote white trash bashing ( the new white privilege denialists).
            I wonder where you fall in this spectrum?
            Re-evaluate your life. You might be a hater.

          • Bruce says:

            You’re an ass, Eric. Vet or no vet, Pig or ex-pig, (no wonder youre an EX-cop)you dont step on your fellow human when he or she is down.

          • Anon says:

            The jab at this person’s intelligence is unfounded. Upset and using a phone most likely. auto correct can screw with ones spelling. I’m sure his last concern at the moment is correct grammar as he is stuck on the opposite side of the country from home. searching for answers on online forums. To say that his joblessness is linked to poor intelligence is sorta like me saying you being a judgemental prick is linked to your having been a cop at one point. When people are looking for help offer a hand, not a boot.

            Take care. Comb your hair.
            -That Kid

        • Johnny Sclean says:

          the tent or other campground idea is more possible than you think. offering to work has worked for people I know.

          Just try and look as good and clean as you can, and speak politely and don’t get upset at anytime.

          Good Luck my friend. Hard times are coming to millions of americans these days. been there buddy.

      • PapaJ says:

        Brother when you have lemons create lemonaide! If you cant get a job I have an easy start up business that will generate about $1500 monthly. First bum about bucks, then buy a 24 pack of bottled water at the walmart! Youll make $19 bucks a case profit. Floridians buy water consistantly. You should be able to sell over 2 cases a day. I estimate $50 bucks profit daily. Work hard, say your prayers, save and u will be home in no time buddy. Good luck god bless!

        • Janice says:

          That’s actually a great idea. Where do you go to sell them? I like that idea. Maybe I could do that but I have no idea where to go to sell them. FYI, I am not homeless but I am jobless and not by choice. Thanks for your input PapaJ.

          • Apada says:

            Janice, I worked in a dollar store in Florida, and we had a guy who did something similar to this water idea. One man would come in and buy up glow sticks. He would then go to the beaches and sell them for, say, $1.50, in the evening hours, which people gladly purchased for their kids. Water seems like it would be so much more lucrative than glow sticks. I’d be careful though – wouldn’t want you to get in trouble for “operating a business without a license.” (Rolls eyes).

        • ernest says:

          Your ideal great. except opps one thing. citys have came out with pan handling laws. Be broke or go to jail. Not a hard choice. Rich get richer poor gets poorer.

        • Jeff says:

          I am homeless and I actually do this. I set up in downtown and get more than $2 a bottle on average. I set a sign that says “water, donations accepted”

          • PS says:

            Seriously. You shouldn’t knock a guy down unless you know all the facts and in his shoes. I hope no one has to be in that type of situation.

          • Oregonion says:

            Preach it Dan. Love all the support i have been seeing for our fellow neighbors. Those who have no compassion, i hope you find yourself in a sticky situation and treated with the disrespect you have been serving.
            On a side note, This article has been very helpful and comments (for the most part, as well!) I will be heading back home and feel as though a motel is not safe for my vehicle full of belongings. I dont mind a squished car rest to get me to where i need to be.
            GREAT help to me, Thank you Dearly.

        • Jane says:

          Fibromyalgia is a real illness. You should be ashamed to suggest it isn’t. The pain and exhaustion, brain fog and other symptoms make just getting through a day almost impossible at times. I pray you never have to learn that first hand.

          • Barb says:

            Thank you, people are so ignorant when it comes to understanding fibromyalgia. For every one person “faking” it, there’s ten suffering from it.

          • Marie B says:

            Thanks for your support, Jane!! 🙂

            I have fibromyalgia and it really sucks! Everything hurts! Meds don’t help either. I’m taking turmeric & black pepper in capsules – 2 caps, twice a day. Helps a little bit. 🙂 Still have problemssleeping tho. :((

          • E.M.Smith says:

            There is a non-enteritis wheat reaction that has recently been correlated with fibremyalgia. Try wheat free glutin free for 2 weeks and see if that’s it for you.

          • Jo says:

            Fibromyalgia, long ago used to be called little polio, by the french, it is not a “new” disease, just renamed, as it mimics polio on a small scale, some believe it is caused by polio exposure or polio shots, also, fibromyalgia mimics chronic Lyme disease, epsem bar, and few other things need ruled out or treated. Either way, it is hard to fake, as, people even on good days can’t or have a hard time doing even things that they love to do, and when they do, they pay for it for days and even up to a few months, depending on how bad the flare up is. Sometimes it has been confused with MS, yet there are no brain lesions. One of the problems about sleep, is, you don’t want to, because you dread the pain when you wake up, or if you are having a good day, you don’t want it to end because tomorrow you may not be able to move.

            It would be hard to fake long term as most fibromyalgia patients loose their friends because they can’t keep up with them, and many loose their families, jobs and any social life as they can’t be counted on if they can’t physically move much at any given appointment or activity.

            There are few natural, diet and meds that help, but there hasn’t been a cure for it yet, it usually progresses with age, but not always, flare ups can last hours to months, nutrients and hydration helps keep the worst at bay in many but not all cases. I’m not a doctor, I’ve just spent a few years studying it and following it as I was diagnosed with it after extreme slow healing after a car accident. Apparently you can be a carrier of it and it not show it’s self until after a time of great stress, sickness, or injury. Also shows those that those that are weakened to get it, runs in families. My best defense is hydration, vitamins, and some sort of exercise when possible, and hobby to take your mind off the pain and loss of livelihood, and help be patient when idiots want to say stupid things about fibromyalgia, when instead, you would rather smack them upside the head for being A.H.’s. But yes, it is real, and would be hard to fake.

        • Johnny Sclean says:

          OMG I won’t say what my opinion is of you Sir, but I will say you know nothing about being poor and out of work.

          Walmart gets way more apps than jobs. you need contact info to apply.

          he is at the bottom where a lot more of us will be every year.

          Mental illness or drug abuse cause a lot of cases like this yet no one wants to spend the money for rehab and halfway houses.

          I say try contacting the salvation army, stay there and “follow the rules!” there is a reason that the widow of the starter of McDonalds gave ten million dollars to them. because they employed a lot of people from there and the work they did.

          St. Vincent DePaul, Churches but really just catholic churches will help.

          it’s time he realized he is in a terrible place and needs to ask for help.

          • Kim says:

            “but really just catholic churches will help.”

            Lol….. I have worked in ministry. We built relationships with over 40 churched. The Catholic Churches never helped.

            When I was a bookkeeper for a church and worked with those with less….most everyone said the Catholic Churches only helped their own congregation.

            In fact, most of the churches has great relationships among each other. They got together at least once a month for lunch and fellowship. Only churches not there were the Catholic Churches.

            You must have a good church. Love when all churches help,their communities.

        • Sue says:

          Hey lots of people have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia….seems to be the thing when the docs don’t really want to spend much more time testing you for more…and it is damned painful at times…….people like you make me sick…..you are the worst type of people. What happened to Ryan could easily happen to you someday or anybody and we should all be willing to help each other get through tough times.

      • scott says:

        I understand the situation your having. it is very sad that people have no heart and no care for others. the world is not forgiving and not tolerant to those who are homeless. however if you park a car in Walmart always move it around never sit still in one spot to long. as well you may want to try 24 hour food stores like giant eagle. and then motel parking lots work great. never hang curtains in your car if you have no tint that’s a bad thing to do you’ll stand out as homeless. my wife and I have recently become homeless to we lost our jobs and now live inside our town and country van that thank god has very dark tint. we were thinking about going to California to a place called slab city or Portland to a place called tent city they employ you to work for the camping grounds and also provide ways to re-home you. they make what are called mini houses and provide tents as well. there is no cost to do this however you’ll be asked to help out to earn some needed cash to. the homeless are never treated right and your government really don’t care. even while my wife has always worked she will be seen as a scum for being homeless and that’s a real sad thing. hang in there and always ask God to help, allow him to be the pilot.

        • Jill says:

          All the best to you and your wife Scott :). Hang in there, and I sense a lot of strength from you both!

          Jill from Canada

      • Netta says:

        Ryan, I am also homeless. I’m fighting disability (5 years now). I have been sleeping at my local Walmart for almost 2 years now…winter suck in Maine! I too have dogs and wouldn’t have it any other way. We got them with the promise that we’d take care of them forever, right? My local Walmart posted no overnight parking signs up, while I was visiting my mother in hospice, yesterday. I now have to use a park and ride. Very different than a well lit parking lot, with sercurity cameras. I got no sleep last night and fear it will be like this all the time. Good luck bud.

      • Tom Seleck's Ulcer says:

        RYAN, you’re why the other stealth car campers get noticed and sent along.
        When youre told something by the owner or reps of the property, you become a ghost…YOU LEAVE.

        You sound like the sad sack you wouldnt ever want to meet ANYWHERE let alone in a Walmart Parking lot at 2am.

        I’ve car-camped (slept) in WM parking lots many times.
        I don’t make my presence known. I prep elsewhere, drive into the lot, kill the engine and go right to sleep – Far away from the front door but not far enough to make me look like an abandoned car.
        I wake up, check the coast is clear, jump into the front seat and driveaway.
        Never had an issue at a WM lot or any other place – and I’ve driven xcountry for 3 months!

        My book comes out next month and Id be happy to sign your copy…bring a pen (and a bakery item!)

      • Robyn says:

        Hi am currently in LA grande Oregon and have been sleeping the the Walmart parking lot. And I am from Georgia. So I know the feeling way better to be homeless here although I did not chose this nor am I a dirt bag don’t get me wrong I love hunting and camping. The cops here are cool and I spend alot of money at Walmart!! I also used to work at Walmart. I am watching this weird guy circling the Walmart parking lot for hours bit there has been a sherriff here. I was sure he was watching me but I highly doubt that now. Anyways Oregon is beautiful and Walmart has been nothing but kind to me as well as the cops. I did call the police department ahead of time though!! That’s always a good thing! Being I have out of state plates it helps to make yourself known before not having a choice of being known also there is cameras in most Walmart parking lots so God forbid if something did happen to me or my car it would be known fairly fast what happened!!!

    • RoadTripper says:

      I have stayed in Walmart parking lots many times. Usually I do so because I want to save money and time on a hotel. Time because when you check into a hotel, you always stay longer than if you just park somewhere for the night. Before parking at a Walmart, I always check out the neighborhood. Most are in nice suburban locations, so no problem. Then I look for signs prohibiting overnight parking, and I look to see who else is there. Often there are other cars that are obviously parked there for the night. Then I look for an isolated space where the glare from the lights isn’t too bad.

      Now here is my trick. I get my car ready for the night by moving all the stuff from the passenger seat to the driver’s seat, and then I go into the store. Almost always I buy something. Then when I get back to my car, I get into the passenger side. To someone who is monitoring me, it looks more normal than just parking for the night. I have a shade in the windshield and keep the windows rolled completely up.

      I have never been disturbed at a Walmart, or at a highway rest area, with one exception. It is illegal to sleep in your car at a rest area in Maine. A state trooper came up behind me once. I told him that I didn’t think it would be safe for me to keep driving, and he said I could stay the night. (He asked some questions first to determine if I had been drinking and driving, which I of course hadn’t.)

      When parking for the night at a rest area, always go to the trucks side. It is just safer over there.

      • Marianne says:

        Please don’t park a car in a truck parking spot. There are not enough for the big rigs as it is and it is very frustrating when you think you can get the last spot available only to find a car parked in it.

        • Tom Seleck's Ulcer says:

          I have a buddy who does long haul and the “free” spaces are limited.
          After that it’s premiere parking at $$/night and for a rig, that’s so unnecessary.

          Park at the car spaces of the rest stop but be street savvy.
          Sleep after 11 wake by 6.
          Showers are available as well! Some truckers will give you their shower voucher (50gallon+fillup) or you can trade a good joke for a shower coupon with the cutie at the front desk. WORKED FOR ME!

      • Anne says:

        I agree with Marianne. Truck drivers are required to park for a 10-hour reset, and there’s not enough parking out there for them already. It makes it worse when 4-wheelers take up spots designated for truckers. Please park in the “car” section.

    • Wizard says:

      Sneek in late, out early, jump from Walmart to Walmart lived there two years only had one issue and they only said no over night parking so i drove 4 MILES to the next Walmart been there 4 months off and on. you must look for Walmart’s with free wifi. They are inviting you to hang out. A wise man will make a million dollars with there free wifi. LONGMONT CO ON NORTH MAIN HAS FREE WIFI THE OTHER WALMART HAD PROBLEMS AND RAN EVERYBODY OFF.

    • Alain says:

      Will be driving from Montréal Canada to Miami Florida January 14th to 24th. Road Nomad on Facebook advices us to get the app “Allstays Camp and RV”. 12,99$. ;-P Better be good! We are looking for a great place to park near South Beach. Thanks in advance;-)

      • katjoy says:

        You don’t need to pay for the Allstays app! Just look up Allstays Walmart in the google search bar, and you’ll get a list of Walmarts, and whether they allow overnight stays.
        I have almost exclusively stayed at Walmarts while traveling on the cheap. Usually the ones that do not allow overnight parking are in areas that are tourist attractions (i.e., Disneyworld, Wisconsin Dells, etc.).
        What I do, is stop at an alternative place to get my car ready, such as my bedding, getting out my cleaning toiletries, etc. Then I travel into the Walmart parking lot so it doesn’t look like I’m overnighting there. Just find a good spot and get into the back of my minivan.
        I have tinted windows in the back, so it is nicer for privacy, but I also will put up sheets as curtains, by using a string that I attach to the handle bars that are at the top of my walls (the ones that help you get into the seat or “hang on” when someone’s driving crazy, lol). Simple binder clips will work well.
        I try not to use any lighting – calls attention to your car, but I will use a small flashlight under a blanket if I can’t fall asleep and want to read. I don’t have my windows open much, if at all, and I do keep the driver’s seat open and available and my keys at my side with the doors always locked.
        I never stay more than one day, I try to arrive as late as I can take it, initally spending time at a McDonald’s or some place with free wi-fi until it’s later, if I’m arriving too early. And, I leave as soon as I wake up. I don’t always buy anything at Walmart, because I shop there enough, they get my money. I do use their bathrooms though, without any problems.

    • Jason says:

      It’s chill….I got a “black out” flexible/bend-able pleated temporary shade for Windows ~~ probably cut it in half length wise(72″) only length they carry…then take the two pieces ~~36″ and cut them to fit your cars interior Windows…stretch it across your inside Windows, layback the seat–use a sleeping bag so it doesn’t get all drafty, and cold/// it’s dark inside and you can sleep/ & park to the west if possible, so it doesn’t blind you in the morning. 🙂 enjoy–

      ohhh & you save a lot of $ too 😉

    • Smith says:

      Use there space, patronage their store- it’s polite and gives Walmart a incentive to keep letting travelers stay overnight for free.
      We traveled in our RV from Washington state to Indiana and back this July. We stayed at Walmart several nights, was nicer than most of the rest stops and I loved the convenience of fresh milk and coffee in the morning . Between traveling with the needs of an infant and teenagers in heat unknown to us webfeet Washingtonians we certainly spent enough on cooler clothing and ice cream to justify our stay. Most evenings we pulled into the very back of the parking lot there was at least one other camper or RV already there. We never felt creeped out or unsafe or unwelcome. Pull in back, be discrete, buy something! Cheaper than campgrounds for travelers, require no reservations and available in states that do not allow you to sleep the night in their rest stops..

    • phmedicine says:

      Love the article! (I’m a road tripper, not so much an adventurer) I just thought I’d throw this out there. I often spend a night in a hospital parking lot when you can’t drive any more. You’d be surprised how many people sleep in their cars in a hospital parking lot when the other option is a ‘waiting room’ if security bugs you its usually just to make sure you are okay, and to remind you to be safe. As a hospital employee I also know that security will also then make note of you especially if you are a girl just so everyone else can keep an eye out for you. But please leave the spots easily accessible to the hospital free for those actually needing the hospital. Safe travels everyone!!!

    • Joe Gill says:

      I am writing this from store 5964. It is a wonderful store in Tampa FL. I have stayed approximately 6 nights here. I was born here but had no memory of Tampa. So right now this store is making it possible for me to not only visit my place of birth but financially I can stay somewhere safe and start my own business.
      God bless Sam Walton.

    • Robert says:

      Why would you say you sadly worked there in high school. Its not like you would start out working at a six figure occupation. Getting your first job at walmart should not be something to be ungrateful about., show some gratitude.

      • Rick says:

        Walmart is the lowest paying employer in the US. They screw over employees and American businesses. They are owed zero gratification.

        • Zeb says:

          Any place that gives you a job and trains you deserves your respect. If you don’t want it let someone else who needs the job know there is something available.

          • Tom Seleck's Ulcer says:

            WM trains you? HA HA HA
            WM uses you in one dept and before you become too educated, they toss you over to women’s shoes then garden tools followed by hunting apparel.

            If you become too educated in your dept, you will look elsewhere for a better job.
            If you are actually asking a WM employee for advice, I suggest you sober up and use GOOGLE.

          • Janice says:

            Walmart is not the lowest paying and gets a bad rap. I used to think I was better than Walmart but since working there I found out how really awesome they are to their employees. I also have been sleeping in their parking lot off and on for the past month with no issue. I just moved to a new state and so I’ve been car camping while looking for a place/ saving up.

          • James Dean says:

            I think its HILARIOUS that there’s a allusion that either or is what our options have come to as a forum debate,let alone you’ve started your own topic,this is how pathetic this country has become.

    • E.M.Smith says:

      For some Walmarts, their city has a law forbidding overnight stays / sleeping. It often is the City or County law, not Walmart, making the “move along” decision.

      I’ve not stayed at a Walmart yet (well, not a night… 4 hour nap mid day after 24hr drive) but have often car camped across the country. House in California and contract job in Florida can do that to you…

      If parked by the side of a rural road, put a sign in your drivers window “just sleeping” or the local police are compelled to wake you up to check that you are not in distress…

      Rest Areas work well, as does getting an Eagle Pass for federal parks (off season when not full). Frontage roads with wide soulders in a desperation moment can work, but have about 20% odds of a cop waking you up. (Just politely saying “I just had to catch a nap so I didn’t kill someone in a crash” has always gotten me a no problem “move along” or “ok just had to check you were ok”.) Truck stops work, though noisy. In the desert, driving down a dinky road to a dirt patch usually works at night as nobody is out there and desolation is close to the road. I’ve also napped at Park & Ride lots in urban areas, but don’t push it into a full camp event… Cold snacks and quick nap. Same “didn’t want to crash” if challenged (but I’ve not been, due to short stay time…). In some rural places you can park by a river and it looks like you are fishing…

  2. SBClimber says:

    This is awesome. I just got off a 4 day climbing road trip to bishop and can definitely attest to the fact that if you have a small footprint, the footprint on your behind will be small.

    • Lance says:

      The only thing I can’t understand here is “climbing road trip”, “Bishop”, “small footprint” (Does have a small footprint mean dispose of your rubbish properly?), “the footprint on your behind”. Other than that, your post was excellent.

  3. Heather@Just a Colorado Gal says:

    Ok, this is seriously the funniest thing I’ve ever read! Is this common back East??? I camped in a million random places on my bike trip (behind grocery stores, behind gas stations, in people’s front yards, etc) but I have literally NEVER car camped in a WalMart and didn’t know that was a “thing”!

    • Katie Boué says:

      The first time Niko made me sleep in a Walmart parking lot I thought he was NUTS – but it’s totally common. I’d be way more sketched out about sleeping behind a gas station!

    • Lance says:

      If you go to almost any giant Wal-Mart after 10:00 p.m., just look at the far reaches of their parking lot. I usually see 10-20 RVs.

  4. thealpine says:

    I disagree that you should patronage if you sleep there. You should NEVER spend your money at Wal Mart. EVER.

    • Katie Boué says:

      I definitely agree with you that Walmart generally SUCKS as an institution, but I still think that if you’re going to use their space, you owe them at least the <$5.00 it costs to buy a cheese stick and bottle of chocolate milk.

      I'm all for not shopping at Walmart, but if I didn't, I'd stay at a rest stop instead – seems fair. Thanks for your input! 🙂

      • Jimbo says:

        Staying at rest stops might be more frustrating than doing so at Walmarts. There are internet lists of states not allowing overnight parking in rest stops/areas. I-90 at Chamberlain, SD (on the Missouri R.) has ca. 500 parking spaces, but no overnighting. 3 hours max. All of SD and ND are the same. I stopped at a Superamerica gas station/convenience store in WY on I-90 asking where I could camp, and they said it was standard practice to allow RVs there. It pays to ask, you might be pleasantly surprised more often than not.

      • Leslie says:

        There is nothing wrong with buying things at Wal-Mart. They give lots of unskilled people WORK!!! Without those jobs there would be more people on assistance programs! Wise up people…Wal-Mart is not supposed to be a job you stay in for the rest of your life…it is supposed to be a place to gain experience, work while going to school, supplement your income, etc. It is not supposed to earn a person “a living wage”! It was never meant to support households of people!

        Sheesh! The entitled attitude in this country is disgusting.

        • GreenFin says:

          Yeah I here you about opportunity to work. America affords us that. They have the opportunity to employ the cheapest labor possible. I also have the opportunity to not support them and freely tell people why. That said, it just would not feel right staying in their parking lot without purchasing something.

          • decade_hobo_roots says:

            I worked for Walmart after a year of hell, quit right before the shock of getting a raise that included a raise the taxing bracket, NOT able to get food stamps…i made too much? later to find out a lot of people including single parents with multiple children, cant get assistance because of the same reason. trust me i know how much they pay and so does alot of other people.the management gets scrutinized every time they have a management meeting, then the lower people here about it as we know….etc etc.
            i quit on a good day, honest i walked in to that management office and said i quit, management asking , what happened. i said the horror stories i here from your employes there families not getting taking care of, but there working insane hrs… have respect for your country????????? look around toots the foreigners move in to apt buildings like cockroaches , buy suv’s then wait in line for the free dental clinic bitching about how cold it is out side and how these Americans are so in humane for making them do that to get there teeth cleaned for free??? trust me i was first in line believing that if this country free then they should be too..and what does anyone say go in this country have you written a letter to the president or the supreme quart and get a honest reply? you pay taxes so that cops can kill people and or children getting killed on the front lines or even worse live to tell the horror stories and re live it every day in there dreams every night,,all because of a belief in which they fought for .. have respect for humanity ppl, golden rule goes both ways… speak out!!

        • Apada says:

          Love the judgments and presumptions. Our country has no room for the truly disabled, have limitations in some form, or the elderly. These people still need jobs that are 1) willing to hire them in spite of their limitations, and 2) pay a wage on which they can at least survive.

          The only people who say what you have said are people who have not known or been any of the aforementioned people.

        • Johnny Sclean says:

          they created millions of jobs in china and own factories there. the cancelled orders from American companies which put my hometown out of work for years. like many places I know.

          I don’t buy anything there except perscriptions because of my insurance.

          creating part time jobs with poverty wages, look that up it’s a fact.

          we pay the diffence in welfare, housing , food stamps etc. because working at Walmart you qualify as below the poverty line.

          great place, I don’t think so. I think they should unionize because you can make it in china but you can’t sell it to us over there.

        • elisa says:

          I don’t know where you are from, but that’s not considered entitled, just humane. Some people will never have a chance to be anything but a stock person. Why shouldn’t they have a living wage just like others?

      • box says:

        You should be ashamed of yourself for writing your “Guide to Car Camping in Wal-Mart Parking Lots” that encourages people to sleep in their parking lots free of charge, and then turn right around and say that they “SUCK” as an institution. Talk about biting the hand that feeds. I wonder if Wal-Mart would be interested in this article? Perhaps they would change their minds about letting anyone stay in their parking lots. That would rid you of the moral dilemma of whether or not to stay for free in the parking lot of the evil empire of Wal-Mart you so despise.

        And just to throw this out there, there are these things called campgrounds that have been around for quite some time, and many are quite affordable. But, I can understand how having to actually pay someone for something you want would represent a problem for you.

      • box says:

        You mean pay someone for something? How dare you recommend such a thing on here. Don’t you know that Wal-Mart owes all of these people something? They have the right to just camp out on private property whenever they want for as long as they want, and then turn around and whine about how horrible Wal-Mart is.

  5. Tommy says:

    I’ve often stayed in WalMart parking lots. A good place to get q few winks on a long trip. I spend my money there, too. Can’t beat the value. Thanks for letting others know about this simple way to get some much needed sleep.

  6. Jack says:

    Sounded interesting but that list u posted of place that won’t let u, it was basically every Wal-Mart in CA. Is it different out of this fine, if overcrowded & expensive, state?

    • Zeb says:

      Yeah, I have been staying at Walmarts in Perris, Hemet, San Jacinto, and Moreno Valley, California. These are listed as allowing overnight parking. I stayed at Hemet for almost three weeks (and I bought something every night). The last night at Hemet I had a knock at my window and it was a security guard (different company than the one that had been guarding the store). He said if I didn’t leave in 30 minutes he would call the police. I went to the Walmart in San Jacinto and found an actual parking lot that was intended for overnight stays. Unfortunately, the security guard there told me that, unless I was in a situation where I was absolutely stranded (meaning the car wouldn’t move), I could not stay there. I went to a few other places on the lists and they are all getting to the point that they no longer allow overnight parking, except for employees.

      • Apada says:

        This is (sadly) true. Since Walmarts are now apparently privately owned or franchised, Mr. Walton’s generosity is optional…and dwindling. The suggestion I’ve gotten is to go to the website that tells you which Walmarts are allowing overnight parking and which aren’t. (I apologize for not knowing the site.) When you locate one, CALL and ask before you drive there.

        Often you will find that the rules have changed since the website was updated. I called one whose manager said they are told to automatically say no to overnight RV parking (small parking lot.) He then asked what size RV I was in. I said it was a Corolla. His pause was hilarious. His reply was, “A COROLLA?! Well, this is a 24-hour Walmart so everyone would just think you were a shopper! Just park closer to the doors so when the cars thin out as the night wears on, you won’t be way out in the lot, unsafe. Let me know when you get here and where you will be parked – just in case someone comes in to tell me there’s a dead person in a Corolla outside.” VERY cool manager.

        • Lance says:

          I once had that website bookmarked, but lost it. Now all I find is list after list of Wal-Marts that DO NOT allow overnighters. Do I need to know the exact address of Wal-Marts that I can’t be interested in? NO!!! I need the opposite – a list of useful Wal-Marts! Come one, people! Tell the useful list, please!!!

        • Tom Seleck's Ulcer says:

          Ppl ask where Im staying I tell them HOTEL FORD and they ask where that is.
          I say, well right now it’s 3 blocks west but Im thinking of relocating to a diner for an hour – LOVE ME A DINER, mmmmm!

          WM’s are not the only places to “urban camp”.
          I traveled from Boston to SF in 3 months (March to May) and did a trip that looked like an ECG of a crack patient running a marathon.
          Hyundai Elantra GT hatchback – when you sleep on a 45* angle (head at the passenger seat, feet at the left brake light), a 6 1 guy can actually stretch out!

          I saved money on housing and used that to eat and visit places along the way.
          An $80 hotel is worth a LOT of good times in a small town.

          Thanks to HyVee grocery stores//Caribou Coffee for their WiFi.

  7. Felicia says:

    I’m actually staying at one as we speak (or type rather) LOL. Although I’m not familiar with this area, so I’m a little nervous. This location is quite busy. See I’m about to drive cross country, so to save money for my trip I stayed a few nights at one close to where I use to live, and it was perfect . It is up on a hill. . So no other traffic besides Walmart customers. I didn’t even leave early cuz noone bothered me. I parked all by myself at the far end of the oarking lot. It’s quiet enough that I get sleep, but I felt sa here fe as well with mostly only employees there in the middle of the night. it’s 1 am

    • Lance says:

      Wow, that’s great! I will definitely make a note of that one at… at… huh? Hey, Felicia, WHERE IS IT????

  8. Felicia says:

    continued … Here now at this new location, and the place is hoppin. Although it’s a huge parking lot ( duh) so I am far away from the store itself. It just isn’t as cozy as my usual Walmart. Also I’ve read a few blogs, and some of them are overdone, you don’t have to go to extremes sleeping outside or in your car. Do what feels safe and comfortable, and use common sense just like anything else. Oh and sorry for the typos, on my phone and hard to correct. Screen and keyboard very small ;(

    • Lance says:

      “Here now at this new location…”
      Does that mean a second Wal-Mart? Can you now tell us the location of either of these two Wal-Marts? Felicia, one of the keys to reporting your experience is sharing the location of the particular Wal-Mart.

  9. Felicia says:

    Oh and Jack, I’m originally from Socal and it makes total sense California would be in the lead of banning overnight stays, although I was homeless many years ago, and actually the first time I learned this was out there. A lot of SoCal areas were very vocal about it. Lots of my friends had motorhomes , and were so glad to have that resource. Also back then Target was cool with it , and lots of Churches will offer it.

    • Katie Boué says:

      Thank you for all the great feedback Felicia! Glad to hear you’re enjoying your stay at Walmart. 🙂 Each location definitely comes with its own unique atmosphere, that’s for sure. I’ve found the biggest variance to be whether or not it’s sitting on it’s own lot, or shares a parking lot with other shops in a strip mall. Enjoy your travels, and stay safe!

  10. Katie Levy (@k8tlevy) says:

    Alright, here’s my biggest question – how far open do you leave the windows while you’re sleeping? It’s probably a silly unimportant question, but the one time I slept in my car, I was too worried to leave them more than a teeny bit open and ended up baking inside the car all night! And as great as this sounds for road trips, there’s just something about the illusion of privacy I have in a closed, covered tent. I’m not sure I could deal with people looking in my windows! Though I’d guess not many people would if you set up late enough and leave early enough 🙂

    • Katie Boué says:

      Hahaha, I’m a privacy fanatic too – so I like to imagine how much space it would take for someone to get their entire hand/wrist into the window space. You can ask Niko, I get neurotic with the opening amount. I also have a sun roof, so cracking that a little bit really helps.

    • Lance says:

      You cannot leave the window open enough for someone to put his hand in, so just test it with your hand. As far as looking in, anyone can look in, whether the window is open or closed, so get some small curtains with Velcro to hang over the windows, or sleep in your clothes. After all, it isn’t like you need jammies to “camp” at a parking lot.

      • Marianne says:

        Does anyone know where you can buy curtains with velcro for a vehicle. We are making a van camper (not for Walmart but we camp a lot and tired of wet tents!)
        and trying to figure how we are going to do the curtains.

        • L. Daniel says:

          You can buy a product from Amazon or Home Depot called Reflectix. You can cut it the size of your windows. It provides privacy and insulation.

  11. Lauren says:

    I slept outside a Walmart lot in Topeka, KA a few years ago on my way back to NY from (a break-up in) Breckenridge, CO. I had Couchsurfed on my way west, but had nothing set up for my eastbound trek. After driving all day,a and attempted to check out a Super8, but the lobby smelled awful. I’d remembered reading an article about Walmart camping and decided that was my best bet. It was the end of January, foggy (and therefore insanely bright in the lot), and nearly 1am before I got settled (never leaving the car once I parked). Other than waking up screaming from a dream that there were bad people outside my cars’ windows – it went off without a hitch. I didn’t patronize, however 😉

    • Lance says:

      If you can’t afford to buy even a box of tissue, stay and go. Most of us spend a few bucks, because many of the things we would buy elsewhere are in Wal-Mart, and a real campground costs 10-25 bucks and extra driving, so why not let them have a couple bucks profit? I’m not really gung-ho union supporter, so I’m not a Wal-Mart hater like most of the bleeding hearts.

      • Bill says:

        I love all of these Walmart haters complaining about low pay and working conditions. I’ve spent 30 years trying to find anyone who was forced by Walmart to work at one of their stores – even for a single hour. So far, I have yet to find that person. If you don’t like Walmart pay, work somewhere else – you deserve at least $15, right? Probably $30 would be better, right? If you don’t like Walmart’s business practices, fine, shop elsewhere. It’s a FREAKING free country. But typically, all the SJWs on this blog (including Katie) don’t mind using their parking lots for a free night’s sleep. Hypocrite much? BTW, I have no association with WM or their stock. I just dislike people who complain about the law of supply and demand. I guess they don’t teach that in college anymore. If WM couldn’t get workers at the rate they pay, they would HAVE to pay more. No one has to work there if they don’t want to. It’s call the free exchange of services. If you are only making $7 per hour, that’s probably what the market thinks you are worth. It’s not that complicated snowflakes.

    • Andrew says:

      I was just in Chat with some friends climbing at Foster Falls and stayed at the Crashpad as well, awesome place, cheap and met really cool people! I’m getting ready for a road trip from Orlando to Yellowstone (S. Montana) and def staying here again on the way, hopefully get good weather to boulder!

      • Christheexplorer says:

        On the road 2 months now southbound from NY. MAJOR thanks to all walmart persons and fellow travellers who ‘follow the rules’ and keep this going safely.

        Theres really no new info to add – only a reminder to
        1.) buy something small before u crash, not in the morning ,
        2.) if your intentions are to sleep there then do that, dont chill and get others to notice ,
        3.) have a respective and thankful attitude no matter what happens to you personally – keep this a low-key option for all people smart enough to research it.

        I actually crashed in a louisiana WM for 5 days straight while stranded thanks to bank transfers and holidays. I stuck to the code and had not 1 issue 🙂

  12. Craig says:

    After hours of research and trying to find an affordable place to stay near a larger capital city, I came across Walmart RV Parking. Def. gonna catch some shut eye in my Jeep there this weekend. This is awesome. Plus no need to bring camping supplies and food = more space!

    • Lance says:

      Let me repeat again and again and again, PLEASE TELL THE LOCATION! The main reason to post a comment is to help others. We aren’t helped, unless you tell the location.

  13. Jorie says:

    My boyfriend and I are currently driving cross-country and debating whether or not to stay in a Wal-Mart parking lot in our car in the middle of Nebraska. My parents have a camper and I grew up staying in Wal-Mart parking lots at least once every vacation, on days when we were driving 12 hours. Wal-Mart was always a lifesaver! I think it’s a relatively well-kept secret from the non-camping public.

    Anyway, great post and thank you for the tips! Definitely boosted my confidence about car camping in Wal-Mart.

      • phay says:

        I live on the ohio Pa line and the majority of the marts have no issues.
        altho a guy died at one mart sleeping in his car… no one noticed for 4 days… until he started to smell… so THAT one bans parking.
        but other than that.. RVs all over the place.

        Also in doing research the closer to a tourist area… no camping is permitted.

        And not all the apps are acurate. so asking is the best bet.

    • Lance says:

      OK, “middle of Nebraska” is getting close to helpful. PLEASE TELL THE LOCATION! The main reason to post a comment is to help others. We aren’t helped, unless you tell the location.

      • Pookie says:

        The best way to choose a Walmart overnight car camping spot is to actually go to the store at dusk and look for RVs. If RVs are present, it’s a safe place to park overnight. I went to a Walmart that was on the no camping internet list and there were many cars and RVs camping overnight there, so you never can believe what you read on out-dated internet sites. Also, 24 hr stores are the best and safest! Also, chose a store in the better part of town.

        Note to Lance: I’m not mentioning the names of stores I’ve witnessed camping because I don’t want to ruin a good thing – a crucial, life-saving thing for many people who need a safe, free, place to sleep while traveling or while they are saving their money for a home.

        Also NEVER PHONE THE STORE. The employees don’t know who is camping outside and who is not. There can be up to 75 cars camped there and all those people phoning and bothering the store is a time waster for employees. STEALTH is the best way to protect future car camping for everyone. Summer is of course the best time to car camp because there are many rich people camping their in beautiful new RVs.
        I’ve seen brand new cars with a person sleeping in the back seat. Some people are great at being totally invisible.
        A late model car, van or RV is the best protection against “standing out.”
        Be invisible, be normal, don’t hang-out, don’t have visible stuff especially bedding in your car (black trash bags hide a lot) have your registration and tags up-to-date and legal, don’t have lights on inside the car (phone, internet), dark windows are the best, black curtains and black sunshades are great for total privacy. Get the car completely ready in a private area first (aprox 9-11pm) and then when you are all ready, drive to your chosen parking spot and take no more than a couple minutes to park and sleep. DO NOT leave the car at night. BE QUIET!!! An old bubba keg (no spills) is a great middle-of-the-night pee pot! Leave at or before 7 am and LEAVE NO TRACE (no garbage, no crap, don’t spit outside the car – ugh!!). It’s better NOT to go to the restroom in Walmart in the morning so the employees don’t start recognizing you as an overnight camper, or homeless. There is too much of a stigma to be recognized as a homeless person – just look and act normal and clean and wear new clothes. NO DRINKING, NO DRUGS, NOTHING ILLEGAL. 24-hour fitness membership for DAILY showers is crucial if you plan to car camp over 3 days. Keep your car washed and clean. If you attract attention by the police, it’s too late – you have just ruined it for everyone. For yourself and for the welfare of future car campers, DO NOT ATTRACT ATTENTION FOR ANY REASON and BLEND IN!!!! Do NOT do anything in public that should be private (I saw a grey-haired normal looking man taking a sponge bath in a big orange tub next to his car in a Walmart parking lot one early morning in full view of the mystified public – how embarrassing).
        I also agree with Katie, keep the keys handy in case an emergency getaway is needed. Keeping them in the ignition is okay if you sleep in the driver’s reclined seat.

        Buying products in the store is your choice. No one cares or pays any attention if you are doing it right.
        Hope this helps someone. I’m hoping to write a book about this subject one day – useful tips so people don’t have to learn it all first-hand.

        Thanks Sam Walton. I know you meant overnight camping to be for rich people with big new RVs, but your policy has helped thousands of car campers in rough times – and we are grateful – even if Walmart did something good without really knowing they were doing it.

  14. wolfie says:

    I’ve camped in wally world parking lots up and down the east coast. usually sleep in my boat:-) cushions are nice and security usually can’t figure out where the owner of the vehicle is.

  15. Eddie Willers says:

    I trekked from Nova Scotia to Veracruz, Mexico in a Chevy Suburban a few years ago – sleeping in the back on an air mattress while parked in Walmart lots all the way. Helluva experience!

  16. ADe says:

    Being apart of a band, we’ve done this numerous times to help with out tight budget. I think the most important parts of this article are 1) taking a look at the neighborhoods around the Walmart and 2) making sure to stop in the next morning and at least buy something small as a nice thank you.

    For us it has always been a safe and comfortable place to get some rest after long late night drives.

  17. Tilly says:

    I’ve stayed at a few different Walmart locations over the last couple years. Always come after 11pm and out by 7-730. I’ve never had a problem or been asked to leave. It’s quiet and I feel much safer at Walmart than a rest area. I totally recommend you stay at Walmart if your trying to save a few bucks or just need a place to sleep for the night.

    • Robb says:

      I had been told by many that Walmart allowed overnight stays. We are new to RVing, and pulled into a Walmart parking lot in Solomon, MO right around 10:00pm. We found a spot in the back corner of the parking lot, and quickly, bedded down for the night. About 3am their parking lot sweeper (I guess) began walking around my coach with a gas powered leaf blower cycling the throttle off and on over and over. After being awakened and looking out the window to see what was up, I saw him walk over to another coach and walk around it several times doing the same thing. He kept doing this for 20 minutes or so, and then got in his sweeper and drove right at us with his lights on high beam and spun circles around us a few times. Then he finally moved on sweeping the parking lot. It is now an hour later and he has once again picked up his leaf blower… This is my first experience, and maybe my last. I don’t know?

      • Mary Miller says:

        Hope you didn’t let this idiot run you off, he was an insecure “little person” who was messing with you. If the inidividual had any authority, he would have asked you to leave; he didn’t, so there ya go!

      • Jason says:

        The piece of filth scumbag was screwing with you on his own accord probably because he knows you arent going to complain or do anything about it. If he had any authority to remove you from the lot he would call the police.

        If I were you I’d complain to the manager and see what happens furthermore I’d leave a negitive 1 star review for that particular wal-mart if the manager did nothing.

        Scum like that might lie to the police if you confront them and falsly accuse you of screaming, yelling, and or physically attacking them if you confront them dirrectly so I’d suggest getting a hidden camera. Im serious btw, if you have a non-hidden regular camera out and rolling it might make people confrontational but you need to cover your butt in case some POS scumbag lies to try and screw with you.

        There are some really evil people out there.

  18. briandaniels says:

    So I am here at a Wal-Mart in Alabama right now and definitely on hyper alert. It’s really nice but its just hearing everything (door slams, homeless guy searching garbage bins, people laughing clear across the lot) that will probably make this a sleepless night. And for some reason, one of the RV’s just moved to the middle of the lot. It’s amazing what is interesting when there’s nothing else to do and can’t sleep. Anyways, thanks for the read and ideas. I may just drop the rear seats, crawl in the trunk, and take a couple of Tylenol PM to get through it until time to head on to the airport 🙂

    • Jason says:

      I haven’t ever really had that problem…I have always been able to relax whenever I had to use Wal-Mart parking lots. (vacation, and the two times I’ve been temporarily homeless) Then again I am a big guy with a carry permit. If someone tried breaking into my vehicle it would wake me up and Id be able to tell were they are breaking in.

      Someone breaks into your vehicle while your in it that will wake you even if they pick the lock whereas it is possible to sneak into a house undetected. Just get a good knife and sleep with it near your pillow or get a carry permit and you will be able to relax.(as long as its legal)

  19. Incognito says:

    Been living in my car due to lack of finances to afford a rental or room and walmart has been a godsend. While traveling learned that not all walmarts or the neighborhood in which they reside are as gracious. Take Colorado many of the affluent neighborhoods that have walmarts forbid overnight stays of any kind. They claim its the neighborhood but either way you’ll want to prepare. Aurora walmarts are cool but there’s some extremely seedy areas in Colorado with extremely seedy walmarts to boot. Stay far away from these types of Walmart parking lots. Especially if like me you are female. All that being said I sure have saved a bunch of Benjamin’s during this personal famine I’m having. Happy car camping.

  20. gNate says:

    thanks for your write up. im planning a trip and dont think i can pull the overnight drive but seriously a CHEAP hotel is gross and frankly the same price as a tank of gas. sooo yep im doing it!

  21. Mary says:

    I fed a stray cat each morning when I used to stop at the Subway inside our town’s Walmart before I went to school. I brought dry food and paper towels from home and fed him/her off to the side of Walmart. One morning, when I was walking to the side of Walmart to fed the cat, before I went into Walmart to get breakfast and coffee, I was startled to see a huge clump of newspapers moving around. To my surprise, out popped a young man who looked around sheepishly. I got the beck out of there, but later I would see him hanging around at times, just inside the entrance…most likely to get warm and stay dry. It was around that time that the feral cat disappeared. Hymn. It is interesting when you think about it…what lives in a Walmart parking lot. It almost has its own ecosystem.

    • Michelle Lauck says:

      That’s an awfully ignorant and prejudiced view of a homeless PERSON. I don’t like that you called them an ‘it’ and implying that they are animals. Many fine folks have found themselves homeless through no fault of their own.

      • katjoy says:

        you didn’t read what the person wrote – nowhere does this person call the homeless person an “it”. Wake up and read it again.

  22. Koko says:

    You only crack your windows enough to breathe. If you cover your back and passager windows with navy blue or black towels or small blankets know can see you. I sleept in truck for 3 mos. Prepare and just be ready for anything be sure to have some protection. Be sure to have water, food, some snacks, first aid kit, flashlight,change of clothes, towel, wash cloth, soap, toothpaste,toothbrush, pillows, covers and etc. God Bless.

  23. Isaac says:

    I have slept in Walmart parking lots too many times to count. As a general rule, if you’re inside you’re vehicle you should be fine. I have actually laid out straight up on the parking lot ground as well. You can pull it off if you lay behind your car in some way, but you are more likely to get woken up and asked to leave. As I’m typing this I’ve actually set up camp inside the actual store, another option if you’re in a pinch. Just pick an inconspicuous location! Scrub life.

  24. dputtonen says:

    I am camping out at a walmart right now too and just wanted to add that most of the supercenters have McDonalds – which means free wifi. I set up my lap top, have a cup of tea and enjoy a night of catching up in the digital world.

  25. Eva says:

    Yes I have slept at Walmarts all across the country. Never had a problem. It’s really good when you’ve been driving all night and don’t really want to pay for a few hours rest at a hotel. As long as you leave early in the morning and don’t attract attention or make a mess it’s fine. Less frequently, if there is no Walmart I’ve slept in hospital parking lots too.

  26. Rai Hull says:

    Actually crashing in a Wal-Mart lot atm due to lack of housing. I drove cabs here in Jacksonville, NC and at the old one they dont care as long as you dont do anythinf stupid. Just be careful guys 🙂

  27. jean says:

    My husband and I have stayed at walmart parking lots. You have a bathroom at least and a place for breakfast right there. Window shades are good to have. We also have asked and stayed in McDonald parking lots. Sleeping in the car for a night here and there is ok. Just don’t make a habit of it. A nice shower and comfortable bed every other night is nice. Jean

  28. Dude says:

    In most parking lots here in western Washington state you’ll get some people pissed off at you for being there !!!

  29. Steve R. says:

    I’m actually in a Walmart parking lot right now getting ready for good night’s rest after a long drive. Thanks for the great read..

    ps: So far so good and it seems like there are a number of other people here doing the same tonight and no one seems to mind.. there’s even a police car that’s patrolling here that makes the stay even more easy.

    At the Walmart here in Laguna Hills, Ca.

    -gnight, Steve

  30. Silent Penguin says:

    My son and I are definitely going to give this a try tomorrow night. That list of Wal-Marts that don’t allow overnighters was a big help. If the information is still correct, there’s a Wal-Mart in the town where we were going to stop for night that allows overnighters. If we are sent away, I’ll report back.

  31. Stephanie says:

    My husband and I started full time RV’ing on Feb 1st from California. No jobs, no income, no retirement. Working as we go. We’ve stayed at WalMarts, 99% of the time. We’ve stopped at WalMarts in California, Arizona, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama. OH! And New Mexico. One thing we do, is if there is a security officer patroling, we ask where can we park.
    One security officer, in New Mexico, said she’d keep an eye on our motorhome while we went into the town. We’ve never had a problem. In fact, in Mississippi, one security officer told us we’d be more comfortable at the WalMart on the other side of town, as the one we were at, was a bit sketchy. Never a problem.

  32. Michael says:

    This a great idea! I am going on a low budget road trip up north in a few weeks and will definitely try wal-mart camping.

  33. jack says:

    I was wondering if sleeping over at a 24 hour fitness would be good. I belong to one that has a huge parking area, that is shared by a defunct night club. Any thoughts???

    • Joelc says:

      You’re good there. The gyms usually do not have after hours staff, so no one will be watching. If staff or the police do approach, show them your membership card and go inside. Actually, these type of gyms are pretty cheap per month and offer the needed sink and shower for extended periods away from a motel room.

  34. Mark says:

    I stay at the Walmart in norwich ct at least one weekend out of the month. I usually park away from everyone and I don’t make a mess.

    It’s a surprisingly great spot to pick up chicks. They really seem to dig the “really cool idea” about camping In The parking lot.

    Some of the girls even volunteer to do special favors for me like ash some of my clothes and they even fetch my eats for me.

    I recommend that you try it too

    See you under the lights

  35. sunshine says:

    Ive been homeless now for over a month in Coral Springs(Margate), Florida. I simply approached the Rent-a-cop in the SUV with the lights the patrols the parking lot and told him my intentions. He lets me know where to park every evening based on the flow of traffic and checks on me throughout the night. This entire situation has been a blessing.

  36. Byron says:

    I was just asked to leave 🙁
    I had been staying at Walmart Pkg Lots since Oct – but today a policeman and Walmart mgr asked me to leave- I told them I heard it was Walmart’s policy to let people stay in their cars but the Walmart Mgr said it had never been. bummer

  37. Whirlwind says:

    I found this by accident one night…after traveling a distance to visit a friend, it turned out they weren’t home. Oh well. I found a Walmart, did some shopping, and then tore into my munchies in the parking lot. That’s when I noticed “them”.

    In one vehicle was a Frito-Lay man. There was a business man, still in his suit. There were hippies with dogs. There were a couple of cars with their back seats cram-packed with household odds and ends. So I figured – what the hey?

    I backed into a spot, threw a blanket up on the front seats of my minivan to block light/peepers, and made myself a bed in the back. There was the ordinary noise of traffic, of course. The lil Walmart security bug whizzed by once an hour or so. Once I fell asleep, it was a good sleep.

    I woke up the next morning feeling rested, not as energized if I had slept in my own bed…but rested. I walked into the store, took a sponge bath in the sink (making sure to clean up after myself), brushed my teeth, and then went back out to the van to change my clothes. Tada!

    I’ve done it again since then, in another town. There are big trucks parked in a “sleeping” section of the parking lot. Park between them for added security. The cops came by twice, but didn’t ask any questions. I made sure to drop the money I saved on a motel room in the Walmart, buying myself goodies that I could then afford! 😀

  38. Ryan says:

    Thanks for all the tips on here. I’m going on a road trip from Boston to Cleveland and back next week and I plan to stay a night or 2 at a walmart. I have a honda element so this helps to be inconspicuous in. Good luck everybody in your travels!

  39. heydroolli! says:

    Hey! great page! I am right now camping ina walmart. 2nd or third time in northern california walmarts…seems a lot more tense(security with blinky lights doing rounds) than what I’m used to, which is the southeast, and south generally. ive had great experiences in florida where thered be open rv campers and other car campers where we’d have coffee in the morning together. I was worried about the security in a couple of walmarts here that I ended up feeling better about the security, such as one in oakland and one in humbolt county. seems there was some illegal drug activity that was unomfortable but the blinking security vehicle seemed to get it to disperse. right now we are being super discreet in the bback of my minivan and are hoping the secuity wont bother us. its not a 24 hr one but we r tired and slept in a non 24 hr one a few times already and its been ok. right now we r in san leandro ca. any advice for car camping in northern cali …humbolt county and bay area would be greatly appreciated…we have been really low on funds and get tired of spending so much time finding places to car camp withoout being bothered(in access to nature spots)

  40. Decompressed says:

    I’m homeless and was referred to the WM in Garfield, NJ by police in another town; a ShopRite manager in a third town confirmed that truckers sleep there. Although it’s a big 24-hour WM in a mall with McD’s and Applebee’s, and although it appears on none of the no-overnight lists I’ve seen online, there are small blue signs along the far side of the lot saying, “No overnite or truck parking.” The semis park lengthwise right in front of the signs; the area is separated from the rest of the lot by a concrete median, and the first night I was there, two cars traveling together pulled into that area hauling RVs. So perhaps the signs mean, “We won’t officially encourage this, but if you’re going to park overnight, do it here. At least one guy slept in his 4-wheel drive truck in addition to three semis and a truck cab besides the RVs and me in an old car.

  41. David says:

    Became homeless on Oct 31 due to a scheme
    hatched by another tenant (!) and a real-estate agent
    (don’t ask for a full explanation– you’ll never get one).

    Drove around for two hours looking for a potential place to park.

    The one local truck stop we have didn’t look like a good place:
    Lots and lots and lots of big trucks,
    but no cars or pickups in sight,
    and very spotty lighting with a sinister glare —
    as if it was intended to discourage “the little guy” from hanging around.

    Finally decided to try the outer reaches of the lot in front of walmart,
    which is part of a large open shopping center.
    Other stores include a separate walmart supermarket, Home Depot,
    Staples, Payless Shoes, Pet Smart, TJ Maxx , and Best Buy.
    Separate structures house a few other businesses,
    including a Chuck E. Cheese and a Wendy’s.

    Other than an erratic lot-sweeper,
    and a few occasional ‘visitors’ who seemed to go slower
    when passing my vehicle than at any other point in their travels,
    there wasn’t much to detract from the location.

    Have parked in slightly different spots in the same part of the lot
    for 4 consecutive nights so far.

    There is another area that seems attractive because
    it is considerably less visible from the street and darker,
    but I’m afraid it could also be colder,
    plus it’s near where a lot of trucks go in and out at all hours,
    increasing the potential for disturbing noise.
    I have so far resisted the temptation to try it.

    My vehicle is a slightly beat-up full-size regular-cab pickup
    with a colour-matched fiberglass camper shell.
    No money is available to change anything about its appearance.

    When commenting, keep in mind that I’m staying in my “home town”;
    I have a part-time job and I’m looking for more work here,
    and have no intention of leaving.

  42. Paul says:

    Yeah,, I lost my partner, the house, the business, the music studio, my Dad, my sister, a shitty part-time slave job at Homo Depot where 19 years olds make more than 60 somethings, my dignity, everything …… play a violin cause nothing really matters to me.

    So, I packed up and drove over 5,000 miles throughout the West and southwest and stayed at lots of Walmarts and rest stops. I was asked to leave one Walmart (don’ remember where) because this particular Walmart “leased” the parking lot, so I was told at 2:30 in the morning, and asked to leave by a security woman.

    After coming back to my shitty little hometown after 4 weeks I camped out at what is known as Ghetto Walmart in Maplewood, MO (a large store that’s always crowded, dirty, and has a hugh filthy parking lot). I parked in the noisy parking lot EVERY DAY for a month until a security man buy decided to drive by my car and tell me Walmart only has a two-day parking rule. BTW, hospitals and large motels are good place to camp too, as long as you’re discrete.

    Lesson, if you’re homeless, stagger your camping nights at Walmart. Also, I believe they have to be 24 hour Walmarts for overnight camping … no bonfires or marshmellows allowed. Anyone want to rent out the back of my van?

  43. Jake! says:

    Hey, I just started on my own nomadic adventure of art. Ive slept in the ole Walmart parking lot a bunch, and its definitely easier the more I do it. I guess not caring what other people think, in general, helps in life and even makes some things funny as heck! i.e the look on employees faces when they see you brushing teeth/shaving in the bathroom. Which I always clean up well. Also, theres an “Walmart Overnight Parking Locator” app I have that shows where the Walmarts are and divide them between yellow and red signifying if they’re cool with it or not. This is a really cool blog. And you’re pretty.

  44. John says:

    I work out of town a lot. I sleep in Walmart parking lots to save my self the huge cost of hotels every night.
    This is what I do…..I’m only 5’8 so I drop the back seat down and sleep in the trunk. I have taken the seal out that seals the trunk lid to the rest of the car. It stays much cooling then trying to sleep in the front sear. I usually try to park around the other over nighters….if you’ve been doing this awhile there easy to spot.
    ….Bathrooms….the best are parks! 9 times out of ten there’s hardly anyone there in the mornings…. Second option is Lowes….they always have great bathrooms with free WiFi to boot! If all else fails find a nice grocery store.
    I’ve had run ins before with punk kids in the middle of the night that’s why the trunk is such a better option. No one will ever know your there.

  45. Liz says:

    Going to a festival in Yuma az soon. Going to try staying at one of the locations that wasn’t on the list of restrictions you posted. Nervous because the whole area is a target for border violence but the campgrounds all start closing around 10pm and we won’t make it in til early morning due to work scheduling issues. Good thing is it will only be a couple hours for a quick rest and some breakfast!

  46. Ken says:

    I stayed at Wal-Mart in Venice Florida for one week. The police told me it was Ok so I tried it since I had no where else to go. I have to admit, it was a shitty night sleep since they have leaf blowers running some nights and a street sweeper going through the parking lot on other nights. Florida is one of the worst states to find a place to park and sleep in your car.

  47. Al says:

    I’m late to the party…. but….. how do we show appreciation to the security guard? Buying something is great for the store, but a lot of these security guards at Walmart take looking after the overnighters seriously and make us feel much more comfortable…. I always say thank you…. anyone ever bought a security guard a soda or coffee or given them a little tip? Just curious…..

  48. Tony says:

    My girlfriend and I travel up and down the coast street performing and walmarts have been our number one sleep spot. Never had a problem till we overstayed our welcome at a largo fl walmart. Discreet as we were, somebody must have caught on and we got the boot! There were probably four other sleepers in cars and vans right around us that didn’t get in trouble so I’m guessing a walmart employee tattled. Pretty lame.

  49. Shane says:

    Im in my car right now at a walmart in glen springs Colorado. I planned on stsying in aspen but i ran out of money , just money for gas to get to boulder Co. Im from Pa an did a road trip to bring my Dads ashes back where he belongs in Co . Im on a low budget an my car needs to get rests for these long drives . I feel safe a walmart especially when there is a van with a family doing the same thing . Its a good choice when its a necessity. Thanks guys

    Happy road tripping

    • Ciarra says:

      I hope you had a beautiful trip! I’m from the east cost as well, been up and down but can’t wait to explore out west. your journey must have been amazing for your heart and spirits. take care and keep adventuring!! xx

  50. Katie Cleaves says:

    This is a great article. I wanted to share a little information with everyone. This past week I traveled from Columbia SC to Las Vegas Nevada. I was in a 26 foot Uhaul towing a car. I stayed at a walmat in Vicksburg MS and they were really friendly and showed me where to park. The next night I stayed at a WalMart in Dallas also no Problems. Now I am home in Las Vegas and I know from experience that every Walmart in Vegas allowes people to stay the night. They do this because the casinos will not let you sleep in their parking lot. Even the police will direct you to the nearest WalMart to camp in. I hope this helps.

  51. Pamela says:

    Great site!
    Love that you have done your research and encourage others to do the same!

    While I have not car-camped at a WM, I have RV friends who have. My son car-camped for two months or so back in the early 2000s after returning home from his active duty military tours. I gathered some good info from him and wanted to pass a really good tip along to my fellow Travelers.

    Here’s the tip:
    Some kind of Security Camera is your friend. It does not have to be costly or always on but putting a formal notice that you have a Security Camera on-board your car, truck, trailer, RV, will put off most of the thug-types from picking You as their target. Why? Because most have prior rap sheets and the last thing they want is to be on-camera causing trouble again! A friend drilled a hole in the bottom of his van and he puts a very tiny micro-cam down thru it. If he hears something odd, he turns it on and he has a 360 view of things from the bottom of his van. Sound odd? Well, you can tell if someone is right at your van or not. You can tell a lot by the shoes and pants a person wears too. Most Security personnel wear some kind of uniform or oxford-style shoes or at least are groomed somewhat officially. Thugs and peepers are not, so it does give you a quick thumbs up to be extra alert or not. Most cameras run on batteries or a USB so a 12v cig-lighter socket convertor is fine to use for only when needed. Long USB and 12V cords are easy to find most anywhere these days. Thanks to WM’s lights you don’t need to even have an extra light source to use them, images will still show up! And, when your cam is not in place within the drilled hole, simply use a bottle cork and plug the hole while traveling 🙂 Well, there ya have it. An easy security cam set-up that offers a 360 bottom view. Yes, some would say that there are better options but few offer that 360 range without costing an arm and a leg. Uh, and NEVER wear PJs to bed! Sweats or shorts and a tank are always better…it is hard to say you are ~just resting~ for a little while when you are dressed in PJs for the night!
    Anyway, hope this little tip helps someone WM Camp safer and helps your budget to advance your wanderlust adventures! Safe road-trip travels and WM Camping to everyone.

    Extra note about this:
    ALWAYS post by your Driver’s Door that you have a Security Cam running! In many areas of the country it is the law…privacy issues if you do not warn others about having one.
    Personal Disclaimer Disclosure: I am a former Police 911 Communications Dispatcher. So, if it is LEGAL do it. If not, find somewhere else it is LEGAL. ALWAYS ASK, the devil is always hidden in the details 🙂

  52. Marianne F. R. B. Webster says:

    Some call this BoonDocking” or even Stealth Camping Have not done this yet, but who knows in the future???. We are avid campers and are converting our mini van into a van-camper tired of taking down rain sopped tents…. Cudos to you for your blog! Too bad America is not like it used to be way back when you could camp just about anywhere….Of course one could always try. Nothing like an adventure or challenge!! I am tempted to try it at at Rest Area Stops because some have security to keep things safe…. Have fun with your travels!!!
    Marianne R. B. Webster :
    I am at kasieque at hotmail.com

  53. Peter says:

    Yep. Just did so 2 days ago. The Wallmart in Bristol VA.

    I pulled in at 11:30 PM and drove over to the area where an RV was already parked. I crawled over the back seat of my Jeep Wrangler and slept between the back seat and the hatch at the back of the Jeep. After a 16 hour drive, it was a great way to get needed 4 hours. I woke up at around 4 A.M. and continued my journey to NJ.

  54. greg says:

    Was resting in a walMart parking lot in ft Lauderdale, fl. When security told me I could not do that. Well there was a van right next to me doing the same thing. I said why. he stated they Dont allow it. Talked to manager no problems there. The problem was I am a black male. The gentleman in the other van is white. So the guy in the other van said well why are you telling him to move and not me. We are pretty much doing the samething. To make a long story short I stayed after both me and the other guy went to management and complained about the issue. The manager called the security company and their supervisor came out and apologized. Wow life can be good.

  55. photobuttonsusa says:

    I try to locate a Walmart that is nearest to a for-pay campground. The nicer the campground the better the Walmart is for camping supplies and quick foods. Also the Walmart has more camper staying there, often overflow from the for-pay campground that is full. Oh, and it’s easier to blend in too. Campers shop at all hours of the night so who is to say you’re camping overnight or that you are getting groceries and heading out again? Not me 🙂

  56. danny says:

    im in the military and due to my family living 500 miles away and not being able to afford rent in two locations, walmart is where i crash. not all who sleep there are dirtbags or lazy homeless. alot are travellers and the rest are those who are in just tough situations. a good idea i can pass on is to park in an area where there is a restaurant on the premises. plantation fl for example has a steak and shake there. if you park near it their employees assume you are a walmart employee and vice versa. since both are open 24 hours you do go undetected as long as you keep a low profile. i like some other posters sleep in the trunk with the rear seats down. its uncomfortable…. very. you can at least stretch your legs and not have to suffer night after night in the fetal position. walmart sells a 9 dollar foam pad for mattresses which helps. i wish i was up north where its cooler at night. dont expect a good nights sleep if your rucking it in miami haha. you do what you have to do. save your money, sell water if you have to and better your position in life. always remember that there are children in third world countries that have it worse than you. happy travelling and god bless.

  57. Vi says:

    My understanding is that Walmart as a corporation welcomes overnight camping. But, they have to obey local ordinance which may not allow it.
    Another factor is who owns the parking lot. If the walmart is part of a mall then overnight parking is not up to Walmart.
    Here is a list of places that do not welcome overnight camping.

  58. Nina K says:

    Definitely check out the city ordinances by calling the city Police department in the area the Walmart is located as well as the Walmart location. I went to a festival in Oregon near the Cornelius Oregon Walmart. I needed the bed in the back of my SUV to nap during the day in the festival parking lot as well as sleeping in the Walmart parking lot over night due to my chronic fatigue. At 1am an random citizen came to the Walmart with a police quality spotlight and shined it in our car for 5 minutes straight illegally parked on the road. He then parked behind us glaring at us from his rear view mirrors. He apparently called the police on us when his bullying tactics did not get us to leave. The police came at 3am and we explained that we were incapable of making the 3 hour road trip back home and really needed to sleep unaware of the city ordinance. Fortunately for us, they let us sleep and we promised not to be back. Thank you Cornelius Police Department for being reasonable and respectful and letting us stay with a warning. We were parked as far as possible from the store and we did purchase breakfast foods in the store the following morning. At 9am as we were packing our belongings from the front seats to the back of the SUV’s to leave and low and behold, the same random citizen came back and creepily parked just behind us chain smoking irritatingly glaring at us through his rear view mirrors. He had an American Eagle mural on the back of his truck canopy and apparently thinks he is saving America by taking Americans freedoms away from overnight resting in the parking lot even though the Walmart was fine with it. There were RV’s, Trailers, and Vans, undisturbed, but if you are in a car or SUV he will harass you with his spot light, and stake you out morning and night making you unclear of your safety. We promptly left leaving no garbage behind and plan never to be back. It begs the question, if there is a city ordinance to parking on the streets, does that city ordinance have any legal say if the sleeping is on Walmart property and they are fine with it? Is the Walmart parking lot city property or private property of Walmart. I want to stay within the legal parameters of the city but I would like to know what the legal parameters are if anyone happens to know.

  59. Everett says:

    The Canton MI Walmart is very safe, and isn’t crowded in the mornings (unless it’s a weekend). Great place to catch some Z’s if u can’t afford a hotel.

  60. Graham says:

    We toured the US in 2007 and covered 12,000 miles in three months. We stayed mainly in Walmart carparks, Flying J’s and the odd camping ground. We had a 17ft 4 berth hire camper. We had no problems although we couldn’t stay in Walmarts in California. and the odd place but 95% were fine. We stayed two nights in Jersey city Walmart and took the bus each day to Manhattan There was even a bus stop in the carpark. I’m planning another trip now (our final fling) for three months LA-New Orleans-New York. I’m hoping Walmarts will be so obliging again.. We did buy most of our food and gear there.
    New Zealand

  61. Ryan says:

    The wife and I have been road tripping for 9 months now, we tend to like truck stops better cause of the showers. Here’s a tip to avoid getting the boot from a walmart in the middle of the night, buy beer before you sleep and keep the reciet. We were booted from many a place before we figured this out. Think about it, what security guard or police officer will ask you to leave if they think youve been drinking? Plus if you dont drink the beer any of the local homeless will be MORE than happy to take it off your hands.

  62. Helen says:

    As a single female I have spent many nights in a Walmart parking lot while traveling due to miss timing while driving, or not enough money for hotel. I have never had any problem. I always make a point to buy a little something from the store in the morning.

  63. Bri says:

    The Walmart I’ve been staying at (currently night two) is the first one once you enter Oregon from Washington. It’s right by the water so you can hear frogs/crickets. Also, there are other over nighters, lots of parking, and wifi!!!

  64. whodathoughtit says:

    Years ago I made a lot of trips all over the deep southeast, once on a trip to PC, FL I had friends coming down a few days later to meet. first night there I decided it was too late to waste money on a room, I drove down past the strip by the beach and found a fast food closed for the night and I pulled just to the side of it (I and a friend) we let seats back went to sleep woke up 7ish next morning, then went to the public dock which had parking, restrooms, outside showers, water fountains and a store across the street to buy food and of course the beach. After a day of swimming and sleeping and resting on the beach we took showers, used the restrooms, brushed our teeth (showers with our swim suite on) and then took turns changing into our night cloths in the car and getting ready to hit the strip for some fun, then at about 3am went back to the same parking lot to camp again, this time oversleeping until the place opened up and decided to call police because we did not actually make it into a parking spot that 2nd time but by then we were well rested being woke up at 11am, ask to leave so we did the same as before at the public beach spot and meet our friends that night and shared a large room. Another time we figured out that just down the road was a lonely skinny beach with tons of thorn brush between it and the road which had a pull over spot and a tiny trail to beach and we camped on the beach at night and never had a problem. I got sleepy driving and fell asleep and drove off the road once but recovered and pulled over at old mom and pop gas station and kicked the seat back and went to sleep in the day time with people walking by my car as I did not even try to be discreet and woke up hot as it was summer time but got my sleep about 5-6 hrs and cranked up and left, no one said anything to me. I have done this gas station sleep over since then and no one said anything. I use to work 16-20 hrs a day and had to drive 300 plus miles a week and would try to make it home if I could but a few times I drove until I could not drive anymore and have even pulled off the shoulder of the road and went to sleep, so in other words if you have to you have to, let them wake you up if they feel they have to, its about all they can do unless they smell alcohol on you., so don’t drink and camp. and btw the camping thing on the ground just sux when you wake up with ants bitting you, so wal-mart is better than dirt. For the record I know a manager at wal-mart (daytime) and he said the best way to camp there is to come in the day time even with the no camp wal-marts as no one looks for you in the daytime to be camping (sunroof comes in handy to let the air circulate), just drive at night, its better on traffic, your engine breathes better at night so better gas mileage plus if its summer at night time you can crack the windows and save more on gas rather the A/C, another trick is to drive until the weather get bad if its looking like it may rain then camp, lot sweepers do not sweep in the rain. Some towns have all night bowling, movies, bands, events, ect, just stop in then sleep, use one of those parking lots that charge 2-3 dollars and park in a lot or deck, you are suppose to be there, if someone wakes you just say o.k. and leave if they say so. The hospital is so cool because if its a large one, people sleep in the lobby and their cars waiting to see loved ones in the morning, then go get the buffet breakfast for cheap with restrooms, does cost parking fees most times though but way less then $48.99 and bed bugs. I joined a Hunting club that leased land many with ponds and got keys to gates & clubs for properties to hunt from central Fl to central Al, some of these had very nice camp houses with kitchens to beds, Free food as it was common practice to leave some of you catch or hunt in these nicer ones in the freezers they had as I did in their freezers or gave to the other members before I left and come ready to help plant some deer plots or in one property fill the wild hog feeders in FL on ten thousand acres for a few days a years, put up some stands here and there, or go around with a truck load of dog food feeding the catfish in the ponds of another property (about ten ponds,) and bring back some cats for a fish fry and feed the club one weekend and everybody is happy, and I mean good people that still friends with today, basically for the cost of a weeks worth of hotel rooms at fair market price you can have a whole years worth of lodging and food you catch, share or hunt, restrooms, showers, beds or at least a camping spot and I mean a camping spot for your RV, Car or tent. This last one is by far my best kept secret too. Plenty of land or water, food, friends that help you, and odd jobs for making money as soon as everybody figures out what you can do, look for one that is a year around club and stay far from the party clubs, they come and go and will take you with them.

  65. Rich says:

    I’ve been living in my car at the same Walmart for over 6 weeks now. Never had any problems with the management or security… they like me. Of course I am not homeless or destitute. I purposely sold all my belongings and moved into my SUV to save money and as a transition to eventually selling the truck to backpack the world for the next 10-20 years or so. I am taking the final step adopting a minimalist lifestyle, which I have been work toward most of my life. I “retired” about 16 months ago even though I am about 25 years from retirement age. Where I’m at rent is ridiculous at $1200 a month for a 1-BR. By moving into my truck I cut my cost of living down from around $1900 a month (which is already pretty low) to around $400-500 a month, saving over $16,000 a year. I have exactly what I need, nothing more, nothing less. I get better free WiFi speeds at Walmart than the cable company gave me, charging me $70 a month). I’ve already purchased my backpack and some of my items for the trip. It’s great knowing that even if I spend the estimated $7000-8000 for all my brand new clothing, laptop, camera equipment, kindle, Galaxy S7 and miscellaneous items, it’s still cheaper than 6 months of rent, not to mention the other utility costs I no longer pay. I have no debt, no leases or contracts, and nothing tying me down to any one location. I worked much of my life in low paying healthcare jobs. I now trade stocks and stock options, which I can do from anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection and a decent computer. I gotta say I love it so far, and it will only get better from here. Sure, there are trade-offs and it isn’t always an easy lifestyle, but it sure feels like freedom and it’s a constant adventure, so I can’t ask for more. Walmart is very convenient for food and other essentials, and pretty cheap as well. It’s like having a 20,000 square foot pantry and closet where people rotate out your produce and stock your shelves for you everyday for free and you can just get what you need, when you need it.

  66. Allen says:

    I’ve done it once in an emergency when I could not find a rest stop or a place to park my RV while traveling. Pulled in @ 1:30 AM at a 24 hour superstore and by 4:30 already received a ticket. Not a welcoming place in my opinion. The myth of buying something makes no difference. They don’t keep tracking of what vehicle you are in.

  67. Ken says:

    I have car camped at WM many times with no problems, just show up after 11 and leave early. Another great place to car camp for a night or two is the underground parking at a hospital. Quite often you can find a shower and hot coffee in their waiting room area.

  68. Stephen Giljum says:

    Bellevue Walmart #5939 12620 SE 41st Pl…
    Users say No Overnight Parking
    Garden Center, Grocery, Pharmacy, 1-Hour Photo Center…

    I have verified that you cannot park overnight at that Walmart. Security will ask you to leave the property. You can park on the street on the north side of SE 41st Place in RVs or trucks. If you are in a car you can park on either the north or the south side of the street.

  69. David says:

    I’m homeless too,my wife and I sympathize with all of you who do not have a place to live…do not let the comments of the trump lovers bring you down!

    • Nikki says:

      I have been homeless since September 2016, due to husband of 20 years leaving and getting laid off after 9 years with my job. I get a measly $180 a week unemployment check, which usually goes for one night a week in a motel to shower and get a good nights rest, and food for the rest of the week. I truly understand what it’s like to fall on hard times, and the shame that comes with it. My three teenagers have had the hardest time, and i don’t wish homelessness on anyone. It has opened my eyes to the severity of the homeless population though, as there are always plenty of others joining me in parking lots. People don’t understand that it’s not easy to get a job when you have nowhere to get ready every day, you shower once a week, you always look disheveled. I need a place to live to get a job and I need a job to get a place to live. It is quite the predicament to be in. Anyway, I split my nights between Walmart and parking behind hotels…this seems to work out okay for me. I was only woken up by cops once in these six months, and that was at the beginning of my homelessness when I didn’t know any better and slept in a mall parking lot. That was a rude and embarrassing awakening, so I am always sleeping with one eye open. Good luck to all of you Walmart neighbors.

  70. Josh says:

    yea they are shitty employers. i got let go on my second week because i did not work fast enough. i am allergic to dryer sheets and some febreez. i asked to work in another area and the manager said i can either do it and have it done by lunch or i can go home. i went home

  71. The shopping news says:

    I am 25 years. From few days I was feeling tension. I was looking for a product. So, I was finding some website but didn’t get it. At last I studied your website and get the shopping news of this product. It is 100% working. Now I am happy. I am fully satisfied of your website. Thanks a lot.

  72. Rvrhonda says:

    We travel often for work with an rv. We stay at walmart parking lots in our rv. We park to the outside. Near a light. We don’t unhook from our vehicle. We come late and leave early. Its always been easy and quiet. We have yet to be the only camper in the lot.

  73. George says:

    Not sure if anyone has recently been parking in Wal Mart lots. In North Carolina most Wal Marts no longer allow any overnight parking. The Wal Mart closest to me now has signs that say ” NO OVERNIGHT PARKING OR CAMPING – TOWING ENFORCED”.

    Looks like Wal Mart found out that they might be in the position to actually help people, and couldn’t stand the thought of that.

  74. Douglas Lake says:

    thank you for sharing this information. this was a really cool guide. i use window tints to cover any uv rays from the sun. this will surely help in the hot sun when camping.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *