It’s late, you’re tired, and wondering whether or not it’s legal to sleep in a Walmart parking lot. You probably just want to skim the page for a quick yes or no answer, but it’s not that simple!
Although this topic is never black and white here are some signs of a safe stay:
- RV’s and Motorhomes are parked near the back of the lot
- The parking lot is large and empty
- The Walmart is located near a highway or interstate
- There are no signs explicitly prohibiting it (somewhat obvious)
- No patrolling security guard
Making sure that all the above bullet points are good is a way to ensure you don’t wake up a cop knocking on your window in the middle of the night. We will go over more on this later.
Another thing to consider is that all parking lots are legal to camp in if no one knows you are camping. You can read more about stealth car camping here.
Keep reading for more information and details on this subject!
If you’re in a time crunch make sure to check this database for the parking lot you plan to stay at. This is by no means a guarantee that you will not be kicked out, but it’s a good start.
How to Scout a Walmart Parking Lot
Picking a Spot
First things first, you need to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right then it probably isn’t. Sleeping at a Walmart can be dangerous. Please make sure to take extreme caution when choosing where to camp.
When you first roll up to the lot take note of the landscape. Look for empty spaces and well-lit areas.
A common mistake that most people do on there first time sleeping at a Walmart is park in the absolute farthest, darkest corner of the parking lot. This is a huge red flag!
The trick to getting a good night sleep is not drawing too much attention to yourself. You need to try to blend into your surrounds. Try to park in a space where there are a few cars around you but also far away from high traffic areas.
Getting Ready to Sleep
You will probably have to rearrange your car a bit before packing it in for the night. You may also want to use the restroom and grab a late night snack.
When you do this you don’t want to be parked in the same spot you will be staying overnight.
Rustling around in your car will only draw unwanted attention towards you. You want to try to do all of this on the other side of the parking lot and then drive over to the spot you picked to stay. This ensures you don’t raise any eyebrows.
Other Places you can Camp
You are probably wondering if there are other places where can I sleep in my car legally. This is definitely a case by case basis, but here are some go to places.
- Home Depot
- Camping World
- Cracker Barrel
- Bass Pro Shop
- Rest Areas
- BLM Lands
You may want to cross check the place you plan to stay with another database like free campsites to make sure others have tested it out.
As always, stay safe and have fun!