Boondocking Basics

Learn the core concepts of off-grid camping, boondocking, and overnight parking

What Stores Allow Overnight Parking?

What Stores Allow Overnight Parking?


Stores like Walmart, Sam’s Club, Costco, Home Depot, Cabela’s, Camping World, Cracker Barrel, Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, typically allow overnight parking. But not always. Certain store locations have chosen to prohibit overnight parking. Large cities usually have laws against sleeping in vehicles, or overnight parking in retail centers. But for the most part, you can usually park overnight at these stores.

what stores allow overnight parking
Overnight parking at a Walmart

What Stores Allow Overnight Parking?

Walmart – Most Walmarts allow overnight parking. Some have even created overnight parking areas. Usually, each Walmart store would prefer you park furthest away from the store entrance so as to allow shoppers easier access. Read more at, “Can You Sleep in Your Car at Walmart?”

Sam’s Club – Being owned by Walmart, it’s no surprise that Sam’s Club is another popular area for overnight parking. Just like with Walmart, you’re asked to park furthest away from the store entrance to give shoppers easier access.

Costco – Many Costco locations welcome RVers, vanners, and car campers to park overnight in their lot. You don’t need a Costco membership to do so. Most Costco stores have large parking lots, making it a popular choice. Not all Costco’s permit overnight parking, but if you can stay furthest away from the store entrance, you’ll probably be fine. Read more at, “Can You Park at Costco Overnight?”

Home Depot – Many RVers have been able to park overnight at Home Depot. The company does not have a corporate policy on this, and instead leaves it up to each store manager to decide. Keep in mind, Home Depot has been selling off much of its rarely-used parking lot space to help raise cash. Read more at, “Can You Park an RV Overnight at Home Depot?”

Cabela’s – Most Cabela’s locations allow overnight parking. In fact, some of them have installed RV dump stations with potable water. Many Cabela’s have created RV parking lanes, or set up a dedicated parking lot just for RVs. Note that the smaller “Cabela’s Outpost” shops may not allow overnight parking due to smaller parking lot sizes. Read more at, “Which Cabela’s Allow Overnight Parking?

Bass Pro Shops – This store chain bought out Cabela’s in 2017 and converted some of the stores into Bass Pro. Today, both Bass Pro and Cabela’s allow overnight parking.

Camping World – Camping World has long permitted RVs to park overnight in their parking lot. Recently however, a small number of location have begun prohibiting overnight parking. But, most locations still allow it. If a Camping World location no longer allows overnight parking in their lot, you can usually park along the street curb. Read more at, “Can You Sleep Overnight at Camping World“?

Cracker Barrel – The famed American-style restaurant and country store chain has long permitted RVs to park overnight in their parking lot. This is because locations usually close up at 10:00 PM and don’t reopen until 7:00 AM. So between those hours, they allow RVers to use their lot. You’re advised to move out by 7:00 AM, however, because Cracker Barrels are very popular for breakfast.

Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and Planet Fitness – These three fitness chains do not have a policy of allowing RVers, vanners, or car campers to park overnight in their lots. However, because they are open 24 hours a day, you can often get away with it. This is because parking security or local law enforcement will not know if you’re there to park overnight, or there to work out in the gym. If you plan to park overnight, make sure to keep the lights off inside your vehicle, or find some way to completely block out the light. Otherwise, an officer might cite you.

Where NOT to Park Overnight

We don’t recommend parking overnight in the following places…

  • Shopping Mall Parking Lots – Large retail centers like shopping malls put in greater effort to keep their parking lot looking inviting and clean. Read, “Is Overnight Parking Allowed at a Shopping Mall?
  • Hospital Parking Lots – Rural and suburban hospitals can be a friendly option for overnighting because their parking lots are not gated, and because many traveling nurses already sleep overnight in their vans and RVs. However, hospitals in downtown areas are carefully patrolled by security. Read, “Can You Park Overnight at a Hospital?
  • Churches – Even though churches have been a safe haven for weary travelers in centuries past, very few tolerate parking overnight in their lots. Many churches in larger cities now reserve their lots for safe parking programs. Read, “Can You Sleep in a Church Parking Lot Overnight?
  • Abandoned Buildings – Even though you could technically get away with parking overnight next to abandoned buildings, these areas are fraught with homeless people, and if you enter a building occupied by a squatter, they have the right to defend themselves. Be careful! Read, “Is it Legal to Camp Overnight in a Abandoned Building?

Local Laws on Overnight Parking

Most large cities have laws that prohibit sleeping overnight in vehicles, or parking overnight in shopping center parking lots. This is done to drive away homeless people from their areas. If your goal is to park overnight at a Walmart in a large city like Denver or Portland, you’ll probably get a knock on your RV door. On the other hand, if it’s a Walmart in a medium to small town, or a rural area, it’s usually a safe bet that you can stay there overnight. Read more about this at, “Can I Park on the Street Overnight?”

Read Related Articles

4 thoughts on “What Stores Allow Overnight Parking?”

  1. Note: Whitestone REIT is an owner and manager of commercial properties throughout the US, and many of their properties include Planet Fitness locations. They indicated via e-mail that they are diligent against overnight parkers and will tow your vehicle away.

  2. It’s illegal to tow a vehicle with someone in it. I’m not homeless. I drive van I’ve converted into a home away from home. Whitestone offered RV overnight parking after they forced someone to leave when directly after his hit and killed a mother and her 2 children. He fell asleep at the wheel. Shameful they go back on their word. Cabela’s, Bass pro shop, gander mountain are best bets. Always make sure E-brake is on, doors locked and Walmart sells motion sensor cameras for 15$. Tow one person and the 5 next to them won’t stand for it. I did not give up my beautiful home, holidays away from family, or every comfort item I had to be pushed around by a cop that has 150 hours of training when a hair dresser had 1500 hours.

    They should know what gun I sleep next to because they sold it to me.

  3. Walmart has started to hire signal security to patrol parking lots at night, even in smaller towns, been chased off from several after only a hour or two, even while the store is closed.

  4. You can add Tractor Supply to this list. I have asked for and received permission in Albequerque, Santa Fe, and I think it was Taos. I only look for ones with larger lots.


Leave a Comment