Boondocking

 Walmarts and Sam’s Clubs are an excellent option for boondocking or drycamping.

The corporate website has this message:

While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.”

We found several websites that list those locations that don’t allow overnight parking,

 http://www.walmartlocator.com/no-park-walmarts/ 

http://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm

In the past several months some stores have been closed while others have opened. Plus local regulations are always subject to change. For the most up to date information we advise looking the store information up on http://www.walmart.com/store/finder and calling ahead.

Even though common sense would indicate that contacting the store directly would be best plan of action, we contacted other suitable businesses to ascertain what the corporate policy was regarding overnight parking.

Target

Their response was:

“Thank you for contacting Target Guest Relations. I understand that your writing an article for your website, you have an inquiry regarding camping out overnight in a RV at our stores. I’d suggest reaching out to the local store’s Store Team Lead (STL), to get confirmation as to if your request can be granted. “

Here is the store finder link to find and contact the store- http://gam.target.com/store-locator/find-stores

Home Depot

Their response was:

“The Home Depot does not have a universal policy regarding short-term or long-term parking by shoppers or non-shoppers. Each store’s parking policy will be different depending on who owns or manages the property, if the parking lot is shared, etc. These location-specific details make it impossible to accurately tell a customer what will happen to their car if it is left there for purposes other than shopping. If a customer calls with a question regarding parking, direct them to the Store Manager.”

Here is the store finder link- http://www.homedepot.com/StoreFinder/index.jsp

 Lowes

Their reply was:

I have checked and do not show that Lowe’s has a set policy for overnight RV parking in our lots. It would be up to the store management as to if they would allow this. You would need to speak with each management team to see if this is possible.

We value you as a customer and if you need anything else please don’t hesitate to contact me. I hope that you have a great day.”

Here is the store finder link- http://www.lowes.com/StoreLocatorDisplayView?storeId=10151&langId=-1&catalogId=10051

Many Pilot/Flying J’s offer overnight parking we have found from experience that spaces fill up quickly. A drawback is the noise of 18 wheelers all night long. Go to http://pilotflyingj.com and click on the RVs link to download the RV guide that lists locations and amenities in spreadsheet format.

Many casinos allow Rver’s to stay at their facilities. We found this very informative website http://www.casinocamper.com/rv-parking-locations/rv-friendly-casinos that lists those RV friendly casinos by state with website links and phone numbers. We recommend you call ahead to ensure the information is still accurate.

Mall parking lots are also another great alternative, but be sure to check for signs prohibiting overnight parking. One mall location we were at in Pennsylvania was posted “No Overnight Truck Parking” and we were told, unofficially, that this applied to RVs as well.

 

When staying as a guest at any of these locations we believe following these simple rules will ensure an uneventful stay

  • Behave like you would if you were in your front yard, or better still- how you would like someone else to behave if they were parked in your yard.
  • Be unobtrusive- park out of the way and if you must extend your slides don’t block traffic.
  • Be discrete- don’t put out furniture, rugs and satellite dishes
  • Be respectful of the store’s patrons.
  • Put pads down, especially in hot weather, when parking on macadam to prevent damage.
  • When you leave, let it be as clean as or cleaner than when you arrived.

 

Happy Trails!

 






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