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Walmart used to be a haven for RV parking, but more stores won't allow it

July 31, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Walmart is known for its mammoth superstores that sell everything from groceries to treadmills. For thousands of RV travelers, though, its stores are appealing for a different reason: Spacious parking lots where people can relax and stay overnight for free.

For thousands of RV travelers, though, its stores are appealing for a different reason: Spacious parking lots where people can relax and stay overnight for free.

In 2010, about 78% of Walmart stores allowed overnight RV parking.

A Walmart representative said the company does not track how many stores allow overnight RV parking or whether the number has gone down in the past few years.

Most RV parks and campgrounds charge an overnight rate, and Walmart lots appeal to travelers looking to save money.

People who track the industry say part of the reason more Walmarts are restricting overnight stays is because local ordinances have cropped up in recent years banning overnight RV parking in business parking lots in places such as Branson, Missouri, Sherwood, Oregon and Mountain View City, California.

Travelers and overnight parking trackers like O'Briant also believe that more Walmart stores are restricting the practice because people are increasingly using parking lots to camp out for an extended period of time.

Five years ago, he quit his job in product development along with Kait, who was in marketing, to travel around the country in their RV and started parking in Walmart lots overnight for convenience.

Sharon Shea, 76, who chronicled her RV journey around the country from 2013 to 2016 in her book "Three Years in a Walmart Parking Lot," said she is concerned about the impact of more Walmart stores restricting overnight parking on RVers, particularly for those who can't afford to stay at campgrounds.

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