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B.C. Walmart Cracks Down on Longer RV Stays

They are usually known as a welcoming sight for RV campers in need of a place to stop for the night or a few days before continuing on with their journey. Besides being a big-box retail store, Walmart parking lots across North America have generally been hospitable to the traveling camper.

But, according to a report by bclocalnews.com, anyone hoping to stay in the Kamloops, British Columbia, Walmart parking lot for an extended period of time can expect to be turned away.

This past summer the company SmartCentres, which owns the shopping center, installed large new signs on the lot reminding customers there is no overnight parking for RVs or trucks.

Sandra Kaiser, vice president of corporate affairs for SmartCentres, said the no-overnight rules were always in place, but not enforced stringently until recently.

She said the measure is not meant to crack down on someone staying a few hours or even a night, but is intended to address RV owners staying for days and weeks.

“More and more campers were coming and staying for longer periods of time, to the point where we were losing parking spaces that we have to provide to our tenants,” Kaiser said, adding the company had received complaints from tenants in the shopping centre.

She noted overnight stays made it difficult for maintenance crews to clean up the lot. Kaiser said maintenance crews are politely reminding campers they can’t park in the lot long-term.

Walmart manager Tim Labermeyer said he’s heard from some customers who expected to park at the store overnight. However, he pointed out many of the Walmart lots that allow overnight parking are owned by the retail giant. The Kamloops Walmart leases the property so, in this case, it is not a decision made by the store.

“We have to abide by their [SmartCentres] rules,” Labermeyer said.

The Kamloops location wouldn’t be alone in banning overnight stays, as a growing number of Walmarts in the U.S. are starting to turn away RVs and campers. Kaiser said the signs and rules are permanent.


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#1 Comment By Bruce Stupy On October 11, 2011 @ 5:19 pm

The main reason for this phenomenon is abuse of the hospitality by inconsiderate RVers. One night is the maximum any camper should stay in a Walmart lot.

#2 Comment By Ed Matlack On October 11, 2011 @ 8:41 pm

Its the fault of the RVers that stay for long periods, not of the Walmarts…when I traveled, I stayed at one or two Walmarts, but only for the night, or even only for a few hours of much needed sleep…Thank you Walmarts for the help to stay awake…

#3 Comment By Dave On October 11, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

I agree with WalMart that RV should NOT use their facility for multi-night stay. It is not intended to be a camping destination and NO RV’er should take advantage of that. It is wonderful that WalMart does allow overnight stay – especially when the store usually gets business from the RV’er stocking up supplies or purchasing fuel at the affiliated Murphy station (if available). However NO RV’er should give the impresion of camping or intend on staying more than a night (possibly two in EXTREME conditions). Jacks should remain stored, chairs kept in bay or on ladder, awnings remain rolled – better yet as a way to thank WalMart for allowing the RV to overnight the patron can police the local area surrounding their RV and remove any trash. Don’t ever misuse a favor offered or it will be lost for all who take part.