Keep your heads up Walmart boondockers…literally. I heard from a friend, who knows this guy, who hangs out with this couple who overheard that some Walmarts may be installing overhead bars at some of the their stores across the country. If there is a bar at a Walmart you wished to stay overnight at, it is likely due to a city ordinance. These bars will restrict height limits to 12 feet at the entrance to their parking lots. From my understanding, a spokesman from FMCA contacted Walmart for comment, and this is what they got in reply…
If any Walmart location has an overhead bar to prevent over height vehicles, it is either because there is local ordinance against overnight parking, or conditions at the store are not favorable for large vehicle parking. The company policy is that Walmart welcomes RVers overnight but requests that they secure permission from the local store upon arrival, or call ahead so they can be directed where to park. However, it should be kept in mind that Wal-mart is not meant to be used as a campground but only as an overnight situation.
That being said, Walmart also counts RVers as some of their best customers and will do everything they can to accomodate your RV. So, while in between campsites or RV parks, most Walmarts are OK with you staying the night. Just keep in mind that they are a business and you should still follow the same protocol as you would at any campground. If you wish to boondock at a Walmart, call ahead and make adequate preparations.
Of course, before you even pull into the parking lot, remember to “watch your head”…there could be a vehicle height restriction bar you may not have assumed would be there. Hitting that would certainly be unfortunate.