Road trip camping

Has anyone utilized the Walmart parking lot to sleep on a road trip? Is it safe? Is it noisy? What’s your experience?
I’ve also heard of people using truck stops. Anyone with that experience? Heard showers and amenities such as laundromat are generally exceptionally clean. Seems like those could be good pull in and sleep options if they’re safe and quiet. Not sure if truckers frown on non-trucker use of parking space. All info and experience is welcomed…


I know people that utilize Walmart. When we lived up in Alaska the Fairbanks Walmart was like a KOA. It was insane.

Cabela’s also allows camping in their parking lots. Depending on the area probably quieter.

Stayed at the TA outside of denver after me and the dog started getting altitudes sickness up at Camp Dick ~11,000ish? feet. they had 2 lots, 1 for campers and 1 for trucks. I ended up talking story with my “neighbor” and most of the cars and campers were locals living there. it was loud but i got my nap and then on my way. I have stayed at a couple rest stops for a quick over night nap. I’m not dick and set up camp… Just pop the top and go to bed. Nobody has bothered me.

This has been somewhat useful:

Thank you! I think that will be useful.


Normally if you ask the truck stop parking attendant the first few rows are reversed for cars and vans… Walmarts Kool I always pull to the side by the oil
change place…most Walmarts will let you once in awhile you will find one that doesn’t normally the security guy will just knock n let you know. I never had any problems at Walmart as far as safety.Noise is just like staying by a road depends on the spot as far as that goes…you can get away with park n ride bus stops for the night as well those tend to be a little less light pollution n quieter…if you end up by a casino they have RV camping for the night as well.

From my road experience, you are correct. Walmart, Cabelas, Bass Pro, truck stops (Love’s, etc.), Cracker Barrel and for a couple of hours rest stops. The key is to not camp! Technically this means not deploying your GFC.
Is it safe? For the most part, but situational awareness on your part is key to being safe in these places.
Are these places quiet? Never! Remember everyone is looking for a free and convenient place to stop for a few hours.
One very important thing to remember! Ask for permission to stay at any of these locations (except rest stops for a few hours) and get the name of the manager or supervisor you asked. If the security guard ask you why you there, drop the name of the person whom you spoke with.
Have fun!

1 Like has been a good resource as well. Others on here may have more experience with it, but basically crowd-sourced information for this type of thing.

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It’s probably going to depend a lot on the particular spot. In urband/suburban areas Walmarts are mostly folks living there, not passing through, and I wouldn’t really want to display what would be perceived as a flashy and expensive tent. If you keep it closed less of an issue. I have tiny loud children these days so more risk adverse, but used to sleep pretty much anywhere. Like others have said it’s situational awareness. Give folks space, don’t ask anyone to quiet down, etc…

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Adding rest stops. Most don’t care and if they do they just ask you to move.