Today we did something many RVers do regularly, we do it on occasion. We spent the night on a Walmart parking lot in Boise, ID. Now spending the night on a parking lot is not awful, but it can be noisy and bright. Many truck stops, casinos, and Walmarts allow overnight camping.
There are some guidelines to follow when spending the night in a parking lot.
- If overnight camping instructions are not posted, ask permission to spend the night. There may be a city ordinance that prohibits spending the night on a parking lot. Also, there may be a specific area of the lot where you should park.
- Don’t drag out the grill and folding chairs to set up camp. Remember you are in a parking lot not a park.
- You are dry camping – boondoggling – no water or electricity, so save your batteries and water as much as possible. We limit use of the generator to run the a/c system, microwave, or TV, otherwise the generator is off.
- Make sure you dispose of trash in a trash can, don’t leave a mess on the parking lot.
Why is Walmart a good place to spend the night? First, Walmart parking lots are big and usually you can park at the edges of the lot and not interfere with traffic. Second, there is security that can make it safer than spending the night at a rest stop or along a street. Third, it’s Walmart – a shopping haven. You can run in pick up the things you need and possibly dinner.
Note to the Boise city council, you could use more campgrounds. Consider creating a free or very low-cost camping area in a city park like many other places do. You attract people like us, and we will spend more money in your area.