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Can You Sleep In Your Car at Walmart?

Can You Sleep In Your Car at Walmart?


Generally, yes, you can sleep in your car at Walmart. Walmart does not have a corporate-wide policy of allowing people to sleep in their car in their parking lots. It’s up to each store manager to decide. Most Walmart store managers tend to not issue a policy on the matter, preferring not to do anything about it. Some store managers, however, go the extra mile to carve out a special area of their parking lot with signs denoting RV overnight parking.

sleep in your car at walmart
Walmart in Bakersfield, CA

Can You Sleep In Your Car at Walmart?

Most car campers, van dwellers, and RVers are able to sleep in their vehicles in Walmart parking lots across the United States and not get bothered by security or local law enforcement. However, a minority of stores will ask parking lot security to move RVers out. Smaller vehicles like car campers and van dwellers often go undisturbed.

Many cities have laws against sleeping in cars, and those laws apply to parking lots and private property too. The larger cities will go so far as to send parking enforcement officers into shopping centers late at night to cite and fine people caught sleeping in their vehicles.

But even while a city has laws against sleeping in your car overnight, most Walmarts still don’t mind you using their parking to get some sleep. However, they don’t have the authority to overrule law enforcement.

Read our other articles about sleeping overnight at Costco, Home Depot, and Camping World.

Look for 24 Hour Walmarts Instead

Walmarts that are open 24 hours a day are much easier to sleep overnight at because law enforcement and parking lot security don’t know if you’re in the store shopping or not. If you can park closer to the store, instead at the outer edges of the parking lot, it becomes more difficult to isolate you.

Make sure to keep lights off inside your vehicle, and put up curtains in the windows to shade light from your cellphone.

Sleep Where the Parking Lot Overlaps with Other Businesses

If there are other businesses sharing the parking with Walmart, try parking where it’s difficult to tell if you’re parking at Walmart or parking at the other businesses. Look for fast food restaurants that have 24 hour drive thrus. Local parking enforcement may let you slide thinking you’re an employee of the restaurant.

Stay Away from Walmarts in Big Cities

These cities all have laws against sleeping in vehicles overnight, even at Walmarts. Many of these cities will proactively send parking enforcement officers to patrol shopping centers. If you’re in a car or van, you may be able to get away with it, particularly if the Walmart is open 24 hours.

Should You Call the Walmart to Ask?

Many people do call the Walmart ahead of arrival and ask permission to overnight. However, what often happens is that the store manager may not mind you sleeping overnight, yet the assistant manager may not approve. Depending on who you get on the phone, may change your opinion. What we’ve found is that it’s actually better to just go there and try it out. You may find that when you get there, there are already several RVs and vans digging in for the night.

Don’t Drink Liquids Within a Few Hours of Sleeping

This is because if you don’t have a toilet in your car or van, you will have to get out to pee, and then you’ll be visible to security or parking enforcement.


can i sleep in my car at walmart?

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4 thoughts on “Can You Sleep In Your Car at Walmart?”

  1. You should add that when folks get there. They MUST check the END poles for TOWING signs. Even if there are big rigs and other cars parked because I have footage from one that ALLOWED boondocking for years and recently changed that policy and the ONLY notification was small signs posted. What’s sad is they have hired a tow company that believes removing the vehicles are “like repos, only MORE EXTREME” per the owner. They are so “extreme” they block cars in to tow. What transpired at this Walmart location was very unlawful as they could not even confirm their legitimacy and would NOT allow for law enforcement to arrive to confirm either. It was PAY or Your getting towed no matter how long the vehicle had been there. Even less than an hr

  2. At times during covid curfews, a person who was homeless in a vehicle was in violation of the law, no matter where they were making there very existence for that period of time, illegal. These are people already challenged with difficulties most people never even think about. Eating, shelter personal hygiene present a vast array of difficulties for anyone who finds themselves with nowhere to be. Then add on top that no matter where they stand motionless, they are breaking some law? Who decides these things? Free country doesn’t really exist at all anymore. Freedom is very expensive. If your not comfortably wealthy, you have no freedom at all. Is that a free country? No freedom is bought and paid for or you don’t get any in reality. More true today than it’s ever been. Fewer and fewer middle class, richer and richer rich people that are a tenth of a % of society or one in every thousand people have 95% of all moñey on earth. That would decide a hundred dollars amoungst one thousand human beings like this; 999 people scrap for whatever they can individually get out of a pool of five dollars. 1 person gets $995.00 That is a approximate representation of the current division of wealth in today’s society. What was tens of thousands of privately owned business’s and stores, are now wallmart, and amazon. Thousands of family’s making a cut of the profits, boiled down to two. This ends competition for the lowest price because most Walmarts are not trying to undercut another Walmart. They can make any price for anything whatever they want to. All of a sudden one player has every single property on the monopoly board stacked with hotels and it’s going to be difficult to get around the board when the most favorable square to land on becomes, ” Go to jail”


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