Increasing number of Walmart stores banning overnight RV parking since 2010

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  • The number of Walmart stores that have allowed overnight RV parking has decreased from 78% in 2010 to 58% now, according to data from the head of OvernightRVParking.com, Jim O’Briant, provided to CNN for a report by Nathaniel Meyersohn.
  • This data comes at a time in which RV makers are seeing a skyrocketing increase in inquires and sales.
  • Walmart’s parking lot has historically been frequented by overnight RVers.
  • A Walmart representative told CNN that RV parking policies are decided by store managers, and the corporation as a whole does not track the number of locations that allow it.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Walmart stores that offer overnight RV parking are becoming increasingly more difficult to find, according to data from OvernightRVParking.com, CNN’s Nathaniel Meyersohn reported.

Over the last decade, the number of Walmart stores that have allowed overnight RV parking has decreased from 78% in 2010 to 58% now, according to data given to CNN from Jim O’Briant, who heads OvernightRVParking.com, a subscription-based database with over 14,500 parking and no parking locations. 

Walmart has historically been cited as a popular spot for RV enthusiasts looking for an overnight parking spot.

According to a blog by RVshare.com, Walmart — along with stores like Camping World, Cabelas, and Cracker Barrel — is a “favorite” location for free overnight RV parking, and an article by Brent Rose in Roadtrippers Magazine about finding safe nighttime RV parking even called Walmart the “best-known chain friendly to overnighters.”

“I estimate that I’ve probably spent the night at 70 different Walmarts around the US and Canada over the years,” Rose wrote in the Roadtrippers article. “While they aren’t glamorous, Walmart parking lots typically have good security and plenty of space to park.”

According to Walmart’s frequently asked questions section, the company considers RV travelers “among their best customers” and therefore allows for RV parking when possible depending on store managers, space, and local laws.

Walmart did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

A Walmart representative told CNN that RV parking policies are decided by store managers, and the superstore corporation as a whole does not log the number of locations that allow it.

This decrease in Walmart’s overnight RV parking spots, which counters the company’s historical trust among the RV community, has been reported by CNN at a time in which 46 million Americans are planning to take a RV trip in the next year, according to the RV Industry Association.

A recreational vehicle stops for gas and is fully prepared for a road trip with an RV, Jeep, Kayak and bicycles April 4 2019, Kingman, Arizona

A gas station in Kingman, Arizona in 2019.


Paul Harris/Getty Images



This could potentially affect both long-time RVers and those who are new to the RV world, of which there may be many this year. Over the past several months, RV and camper van companies have seen skyrocketing interest and, in turn, purchases as states started lifting stay-at-home orders and summer vacationers started nixing international travel plans.

According to CNN, there isn’t a clear explanation of the decreasing number of overnight RV parking-approved Walmart locations.

Several people familiar with the RV industry told CNN this may be a result of recent laws in several towns and cities that have banned overnight RV parking, including Berkeley, California, and Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Others involved in the RV world have hypothesized that this may be a direct result of the lack of overnight parking etiquette displayed by some RVers.

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