Parking Lot Camping

Would You Consider Parking Lot Camping

  • Yes, No Problem

    Votes: 23 22.8%
  • No, Too Dangerous

    Votes: 18 17.8%
  • Only In An Emergency

    Votes: 60 59.4%

  • Total voters


Active Member
Apr 3, 2021
We partly bought our aframe with the idea of avoiding hotel/motels. We can stay connected to the truck, so instantly in to sleep (use bathroom, stove, sink ... whatever). Out west there's so much more open spaces so would just pull off a bit, rather than look for rest stops or store parking lots. If ever we venture East we'll have to do more planning! This has been interesting reading.


Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Sep 9, 2013
Kansas City
I slept in my share of rest areas and other out of the way places when I was younger. These days, however, when we take a longer trip we break it up and plan stops along the way, usually at a state park or other public campground.


Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
Southeastern PA
Walmart parking lots have cameras so if something goes wrong, there's evidence. At least you have that?
I have no faith in security camera. I can't count the number of news clips I've see of someone breaking into a vehicle or building, caught on security camera and they always end with "call police if you can identify these individuals". And unless the camera is within a foot of their face, their own mother couldn't identify them.

Canvas Cur

Sep 29, 2016
South West Florida
Just wanted to add that one of the many reasons for switching to an Aliner from our pop-up was the ability to pull into an area and have the camper up in just a few minutes. We live in a part of the country that is prone to getting hurricanes. Our home is a "manufactured" home in a senior park, and the clubhouse is off limits to shelter in during an emergency. We may be under an order to move out before folks in block houses are told to leave. In just a short while, we could grab our "go-bag" and hook up the camper and (hopefully) head to an area that is not going to get hammered too bad. So, this discussion is very pertinent to our situation. Appreciate all the input! We have heard that Cracker Barrell allows overnight campers, and Wally-World is a thought in an emergency situation. Even rest areas are something we have considered...maybe stay until we are told to leave and head to the next one. I can hook up my 1000 watt Inverter and our car will provide basic power needs for lights and a fan. It will turn on and off by itself and I can plug in the camper plug using an adapter and at least survive for a few days until we can head back home. Keep the good suggestions coming for us "Parking Lot Campers"!

Tonya Harding

Super Active Member
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 15, 2018
Pop up no, hard side probably; local Wally usually has at least 2 TTs on any given day & aren't open 24/7. I would maybe crash in the truck w/ the seats back if need be, & always have an equalizer at hand depending on state location. Never had a problem, don't anticipate any...


Dec 29, 2020
We have an a frame and drove from CA to North Dakota and back this past June. We popped up to spend the night at a rest area in Wyoming on the way out, and at a rest stop just Nirth of Blackfoot, ID on the way back. No issues either time and we both felt safe. But there are other rest stops I'm not even comfortable with stopping at in the middle of the day, so I guess it would depend on my gut feeling about the rest area.


New Member
Jul 20, 2017
I like to ask this question every now and then as times and people change. How do you feel about non-campground camping? By "non-campground" I'm referring to Interstate rest areas and places like Loves. I don't know if Walmart still allows parking lot camping because so many towns banned the practice.

Now of course, doing overnight parking lot camping in a popup camper is a little iffy because of the fact that with a popup, you only have canvas between you and the world, but also, to setup you most likely have to unhook from your TV. With an A-Frame, you most likely don't have to unhook but it's very obvious that you're sleeping in the camper. Where with a hybrid, you can stay connected to the TV and "Go Turtle" (that's when the bunkends are not deployed) making it a bit less obvious that you're asleep in the camper, and not just in the store or whatever. And then there is the option of just sleeping in the TV that night. This is what I've done at least twice.

So what are your thoughts on parking lot camping. In today's world where people are having road rage over windshield washer fluid (yes, this did just happen), is this still a good idea.
I don't have a problem with it, I just don't think I would go to the trouble of pulling out all the slides and setting up (I also have an Evolution). If I had an RV I would do it no problem depending on the situation.


New Member
Aug 27, 2021
I have a Palomino popup beside my Uhaul fiberglass camper and I wouldn't do this. But then I'm in my sixties and wouldn't do what I would do in my forties. Plus I camp alone with a small dog.


New Member
Oct 12, 2021
Northern Utah
This is a hard NO in the PUP. But I have, and probably would still sleep in the car for a couple hours. Especially if the weather is bad or I am very tired. I haven't yet take any long trips across country with the PUP but I think I would try to plan ahead and get all of my destinations lined up. Hopefully it would work out.


Active Member
Jul 6, 2011
In a PUP no way I’d do it unless it was an emergency. I need a little more between me and the riffraff of this world than a piece of velcro to open and reach the door lock. Granted, that’s all I have if I’m boondocking but then I’m not sitting by an interstate with thousands of people driving by. Yes, I can carry some form of protection but if I’m sound asleep that isnt much piece of mind.

in a hard side I would be much more inclined to pull over in one but I’d still be on edge.

for cross country trips we hit a hotel if we are traveling late and taking off early in the morning. I don’t want the hassle of popping up and down for just an overnight and I don’t want to bother my neighbors at a campground. I always do wonder at a hotel if the camper will be attached in the morning. But, I usually find a strategic parking space where I can nestle up backed into a curb or other fixed object nice and tight and make it difficult to unhook and steal the trailer. Probably a little paranoid there but doesn’t take much effort and I sleep a little better.

last summer on a cross country trip with friends we had a really hard time finding a hotel a days drive ahead. 4 of us adults all calling hotels the night before looking for rooms. Every thing was booked within about a 200 mile radius of where we were targeting to stop the next night. Granted, we needed 3 rooms for all of us. ended up going well out of our way to find a hotel. I was wishing I had a hard side at that point. we briefly discussed Walmart but dismissed that idea. Too many people to not need a restroom. I would have pulled over in a rest area for a few hour nap in the truck before doing the Walmart option.


Super Active Member
May 31, 2018
I have a TT, I would do it if I had to. But so far havent. Unfortunately, my far trips have only been to florida, and the TT can get hot. And I will agree, some wallmarts are scary. And some arnt. I have been to a few cracker barrels that were busy, but the rv area was quiet. So, location is key to this idea.

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