Known as a big-box retail store that has something for just about everyone, Walmart has also garnered a reputation for being friendly to the traveling camper.

But, RVers hoping to stay in the Carlisle Walmart parking lot on Noble Boulevard for an extended period of time can expect to be turned away. Or, ticketed and towed.

The store has installed large signs at the entrance of the lot reminding customers that overnight parking for RVs or trucks is prohibited.

Carlisle Police Lt. Michael Dzezinski said the rules have been in place for a long time.

“This parking enforcement isn’t anything new,” he said. “The property owners have asked us to enforce these parking regulations for RVs and tractor trailers for several years, and we’ve done so when time permitted or a complaint was received. As such, there are signs posted in each entrance to the lot that advise motorist of the parking restrictions.”

Further, Dzezinski said, enforcement actions typically involve tractor trailers that aren’t making deliveries to stores within the complex, as well as RVs that are attempting to occupy the parking lot overnight.

A spokesperson for the local store could not immediately be reached.

However, a message posted on the chain’s corporate website said, “While we do not offer electrical service or accommodations typically necessary for RV customers, Walmart values RV travelers and considers them among our best customers. Consequently, we do permit RV parking on our store parking lots as we are able. Permission to park is extended by individual store managers, based on availability of parking space and local laws. Please contact management in each store to ensure accommodations before parking your RV.”

One Walmart location that has a no-camping policy resulted in a $1.2 million RV being towed earlier this year at one of the stores near Chicago.

The policy has many drivers livid.

“I cannot even legally park my RV while being a paying customer at the Carlisle, Pa., Walmart store without being issued a parking citation by your police department,” out of town RV owner Charles Quinn said in an email to The Sentinel.

“Apparently, the overzealous property owner has asked the police department to cite all trucks and RV in this privately-owned lot, even when they are paying customers,” Quinn said.

That the Carlisle Walmart prohibits the parking is a shame, said local resident David Hardy.

“I will be passing the word to all of my RVing friends to bypass Carlisle in the future. Not only will Walmart suffer from the loss of business from the RV community but other businesses in the area will be bypassed while RVs go to places that are more welcome,” Hardy said.

New Jersey resident Larry Socha parked his $1.2 million motorhome at a Walmart near Chicago in June to attend his 50th high school reunion but, according to the Glen Ellyn, Ill. Daily Herald, his RV was towed away from the Walmart parking lot while he was running errands for his 90-year-old mother.

Socha had thought the RV had been stolen, but later discovered the store had the vehicle towed off the lot, the newspaper reported.

A spokesperson for the store claimed the manager knocked on the motor home’s door a few times before ordering the unit towed.

Socha also told the paper that the parking lot was listed in an online directory of free overnight parking lots. It cost him $872.50 to get his RV and its contents back.

The Walmart located in Carlisle is likely responding to some property damage and other concerns, officials said.

“I can’t speak directly for the property owners, however I believe that their position is based on two primary concerns,” Dzezinski said.

“First, they have experienced damage to landscaping and other property as a result of trucks and similar vehicles trying to maneuver within the confines of the parking lot,” he said. “Second, the lot isn’t designed in such a manner as to be conducive to the travel and parking of such large vehicles.”

It should also be noted that when the shopping complex was initially proposed, the Borough had to grant a zoning variance for the amount of parking spaces within the center, Dzezinski said.

“Essentially, there wasn’t enough parking for the square footage of the complex,” he said.

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(11) comments

Thewholetruth
Thewholetruth

Hey RV people. No one cares. In fact, please take this walmart with you when you leave town. It's nothing but a freak show.

my2cents
my2cents

Problem with the Carlisle Walmart parking lot is the design, not the number of spaces. Walmart tried repeatedly to tell the borough that back when the borough was insisting they must have more spaces. Walmart told them that adding spaces to satisfy the borough ordinance would result in an unsafe design, but the borough wouldn't budge and the end result was the borough wound up approving a terrible design just to squeeze in more spaces. No Rv parking is good policy!

CarlisleGirl
CarlisleGirl

Just as with raising a child, one must be consistent. Failure to enforce gives tacit permission.

whiterav
whiterav

I lived on Ridge St, across from Wal Mart. I didn't think the RV's were a problem, but the tractor trailors were on the lot all night, idling loud the whole time, and the diesel fumes were strong. I did notice a couple of years ago, that the overnight parking was stopped.

eels2010
eels2010

I understand the store's concern, but I do feel bad that a trucker or RV driver can't even stop there to shop for 20 minutes without getting a ticket. Doesn't seem fair.

jmix69
jmix69

This is old news. Overnight parking of RVs and Tractor-Trailer trucks has never been allowed there. Those signs were installed over a year ago. If you violate the traffic laws and get caught by the police, you will likely get a ticket. DUH. If you can afford those RVs, you can afford to go to a facility with proper accommodations.

Arielh2
Arielh2

It has to do with the trucks. Tons of trucks used to park there and once it was known as a space that they could stay overnight for free... The RVers just got lumped in because of the trucks.

MrSmith1
MrSmith1

Wow, this article is actually very misleading as the Carlisle Commons Shopping Center is NOT owned by Walmart, but by a real estate company known as DDR. Walmart is actually a tenant much like Staples, TJ Maxx, Al's Pizza, etc., Nice fact checking!

Twiddle Dee
Twiddle Dee

Hey RV people. Yes someone cares. Please leave the walmart when you go and even though it's a freak show, it's the lowest prices for what they sell, in town. If we all had unlimited funds, maybe we would stay away from the "freak show" but since we don't, we'll still be consumers there. Oh, and "freak show" is all relevant to those who view it.

TruthSeeker
TruthSeeker

It's amazing that this is deemed "news." Especially in an area where there are more than enough RV accommodations.

RaySampsin
RaySampsin

This is the same reporter who misrepresented who owned the Law School and various other problems, so I am not at all surprised that the article is misleading (along with the fact that this isn't news worth reporting!)

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