Being a new travel trailer owner, I've been spending a lot of time lately educating myself on the lifestyle. One term I had never heard of until recently is "wallydocking," and there are certain pros and cons to staying overnight in the parking lot of one of the country's most popular hypermarkets.

"Wallydocking" is simply pulling your trailer, micro camper, recreational vehicle, fifth-wheel, converted van, or some other form of RV into the parking lot of a Walmart and going to sleep for the night. It's a form of "boondocking," which is free camping in an area of your state that isn't set up for designated overnight stays. Most Walmarts don't have a problem with this unless you're guzzling beers, lighting fires, or blasting music outside your vehicle.

Most wallydockers are just looking for a spot right off the highway to get some shut-eye during a long road trip. It's also an opportunity to stock up on supplies seeing that Walmart sells just about everything.

Most Walmarts are conveniently located off of major highways and easy to spot. It's for this reason that you'll tend to see so many RVs in the evening hours at Walmart. Some recreational vehicle and trailer owners warn against using Walmart as a rest stop. I took some time to think about wallydocking, and created my own list of pros and cons.

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If you're preparing a meal inside your RV such as chicken or steak and overcook it, you don't have to go far to buy some more food.

If you open your cooler or fridge and find that beer or champagne is running low, Walmart stays open late enough that you can walk across the parking lot and get a cold bottle, 12-pack, or case so you can start the next morning off with a refreshing beermosa.

If a tweaker tries to make off with your propane tank in the middle of the night, the police should be able to respond relatively quickly to the local Walmart.


Some people do sleep in their cars in Walmart shopping centers, so there's a chance you might get an unwanted visitor to your door in the middle of the night.

Staff arrives early and leaves late, so it might get noisy at times you're not used to being woken up.

As far as wildlife or views are concerned, you're going to most likely strike out in both regards. I suppose seeing a pack of stray dogs or a feral cat or two is a possibility.

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