We all want to be parked out in the wide open spaces with the birds chirping and a great big moose sleeping 100ft off the front of our campers, don’t we?
I know I do. But in order to get to those scenic and remote locations, sometimes you need to haul your home-on-wheels for hours and hours of even a few days and nights.
So what do you do when you are towing for 24 hours, but you want to stop and take a nap or sleep through the night? Stop at a hotel? Yeah, because you have everything you need to live for a while already packed with your bedroom included – the last thing you want to do is pay for a room at a hotel. Enter Walmart Camping.
Walmart wants you to stay in their parking lots, for FREE.
This isn’t some urban legend or old-wives tale from long ago that doesn’t apply in our day and age. They actually want you to pull in and travel safe.
What’s the catch with the free campground then?
You might be thinking that there is some sort of catch. Well, not really. It is a way to give first, and should you remember that you did forget to bring a much need item, snack, or toothbrush – you’re already in the right place to pick it up before heading back out to your far away destination.
Let’s cover some basic etiquette. Much like a campground that you intend to stay and setup at, go ahead and give your neighbors as much space as you can. Not all campers are as skilled at maneuvering their trailers around as you are. Most only pull it out of the driveway a few times a year, so don’t expect them to be able to even back it up without dinging the front panel of your new dodge.
Also, this is a free spot to park and rest for awhile. It’s NOT a spot to setup and tailgate like at a football game. You may have your comfy chairs, barbecue, and outdoor TV with you. But that doesn’t mean that you are free to setup camp and get to partying. Sorry, but you are a guest and a free guest at that. They can ask you to leave if they want to.
Some locations are REALLY nice!
Not all Walmarts are located in sketchy areas you’d rather not visit. Some locations have better landscaping than a lot of so-called Resorts that I have pulled into.
The golden rule applies here – treat it and the people around you like you would like to be treated. If you see some litter, pick it up. Leave it in better shape than when you pulled in and the next time you need to take a nap on the long road it’ll be there for you still.
Cabela’s took notice of the give first gesture and decided that they want in on the opportunity to bring RV enthusiasts closer to their front doors too.
While there isn’t as many Cabela’s locations around the US as there are Walmarts by the numbers, they are not open 24hrs like Walmart is so there’s less traffic/people coming and going throughout the night. Which makes for a quieter stay while on concrete camp pit stop.
They went ahead and put in Pump & Dump stations for an extra incentive to search them out while in route too.