If you’re like most RV owners, you’ve probably taken a cross-country trip in your RV at some point. You’ve probably had to drive for a couple of days before reaching your ultimate destination. However, this experience is not always pleasant. Staying in a specialized RV park every night gets expensive, and isn’t always worth it if you’re only there till sunrise. Fortunately, there are other options.
Free Overnight RV Parking Locations
You can find free RV parking locations across the country, and while accommodations will vary, the common purpose of a place to spend the night is certainly nice to have. Just make sure to get permission from certain locations and make sure to avoid inconveniencing someone else at others. Here are the most common locations that will allow you to leave your RV parked there overnight:
- Truck stops
Most Walmart locations will allow RV campers to park overnight in their parking lots. While this isn’t necessarily an ideal option, Walmarts are everywhere and provide a chance to stock up on food as long as you’re there. Just make sure to ask before you settle in for the night. While most locations are fine with campers spending the night on their property, a few can’t or won’t allow this.
Sometimes, a nearby casino is your best option for an overnight RV stop. Plenty of casino managers understand that travelers need a good place to park, and some even have dedicated RV parking spaces. But before you park at a casino, always ask about their policies and whether they charge overnight fees. Some allow you to camp there for free and only charge a fee during peak times, while others require payment all year round.
3) Truck Stops
While most truck stops have dedicated RV spaces and are technically privately owned businesses that cater to all travelers, be careful if you choose to park there overnight. As indicated by the name, the vast majority of truck stop clientele are professional truck drivers who need plenty of room to park their vehicles. Furthermore, drivers have a VERY strictly regulated timetable for when they must stop driving to rest and take care of themselves, and if all the truck parking spaces are occupied by RVs, they can’t fulfill this timetable and are subject to trouble at work. You won’t be towed for using a truck parking space, but it demonstrates a lack of courtesy and understanding to professional truck drivers. Just look for and use dedicated RV spots at truck stops.
Flying J, an especially popular truck stop, offers a detailed travel guide to help you find RV-friendly locations. Plus, you can leave in the morning with a hot breakfast purchased in the convenience store!
Pro Tip: Truck stops allow you to park your RV there overnight, but always use a dedicated RV spot if you do this. If all the parking spots seem designed for large trucks, find somewhere else.
While technically an option, parking at a school is a last resort. Schools will usually only allow you to park for a single night if you live nearby, have attended an event there, or donated to them. Otherwise, you could get in trouble for trespassing. Call the school’s authorities to see what they will allow.
A Convenient Option
Free overnight RV parking is easier to find than you might think. As long as you take care to avoid getting in anyone’s way or accidentally parking where it’s not allowed, you can easily find and enjoy a free place to spend the night before beginning the next leg of your journey.