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Would You Spend the Night in a Walmart Parking Lot?

Walmart has always undercut the competition for many consumer goods, and now it's coming for motels nationwide... kind of.
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If you've ever walked into a Walmart and thought, "Wow, I could totally live here. Zombie apocalypse destination confirmed," then you are both strange and correct.

According to Fast Company, most of the megaretailer's stores will let folks stay in the parking lot overnight. Photographer Nolan Conway, himself a frequent Walmart camper, reportedly spent three weeks documenting the people who shun motels in favor of a cozy night in their vehicle. Called Waking Up at Walmart, Conway's photos depict people from all walks of life, from those "staying in tricked-out RVs worth hundreds of thousands of dollars" to "homeless families ... sleeping in their cars." Click through to Fast Company to see more photos from this fascinating series.

Readers, were you aware that Walmart allows people to use its parking lots like an RV camp? Would you ever spend the night at a Walmart (outside of the Black Friday time frame, that is)?


Features Writer

Marcy pens consumer news stories of all sorts, in addition to adding pithy prose to many of the roundups you see every day. Her work for DealNews has appeared on sites like Lifehacker, the Huffington Post, and MSN Money. She is by far the most metal member of the DealNews staff, and you can see why by following her on Twitter @ThatBonebright.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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7 comments
donahuememp
Having driven an 18 wheeler for 25+ years I depended on Walmart Parking lots to get a few hour rest. Always felt secure and no one ever bothered me. There were always a fast food place close by if not in a Walmart Store.
Frank Slide
Have taken my family cross country in a motor home and have stayed occasionally at Wal-mart. No big deal, would do it again. It makes the trip easier and faster when you need to pull over for the night but don't want the hassle of a campground.
ski522
I've know this for some time although not sure where I learned that. I believe Walmart's intent is for RV's and not necessarily homeless people in cars. For RV's it's a great concept, since I would imagine a large number of these people wake up and think "before we leave I need to pick up a few small things!"
mrineman
Most Wal-Marts have an entire isle in the car section with nothing but RV supplies. It's definitely a win-win, although the Wal-Mart near where I live in California won't allow it due to insurance issues they claim. RV'ers have known about this for years and years. It's safe, well lit, and the people who stay there always buy a load of stuff from the big W.
Goldenruler
my husband & I are full time RVers & have spent many nights in Walmart parking lots. We will stop there if we haven't reached our destination before dark. I think it's a win-win situation since I always end up buying things while we're there.
BboJim
My in-laws have done it many times while traveling the country in an RV.
Mike_from_the_block
posting from my car @ walmart parking lot right now.
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