When we first started traveling in our RV, we didn’t know about free RV parking. thought we had to stay at an RV park every night. Even the nights where we got in late and left early the next morning. I’m not sure if it was fear of doing something wrong, or a need to feel safe, but we spent a lot of money on RV spots in the beginning.
So much wasted money.
Now, it’s one of my favorite things to talk about. It’s like temporary free living. If we need to stop overnight, we look for the free options. And we’ll share many of those options with you. This is probably one of the top tips we wish we knew when first starting out.
Not only is Walmart the best place to get your camping goods from but it also serves as a great place to get free overnight parking.
However, not all Walmart stores provide you free parking. Only a few do and the ones that do also require you to follow some camping etiquette. These stores provide you with dry camping which means you won?t get electricity, dumping grounds or water stations. You also don’t want to pull out your awning and start grilling on the BBQ in the parking lot.
Hence, you will have to make these arrangements yourself. Make sure that you have previously checked with the store regarding parking spaces for RVs so as to avoid being abruptly awakened by the security guard asking you to park elsewhere.
As we now know that this is a really generous gesture from the folks at Walmart. So, to keep getting such benefits and more, always leave the campsite neat and tidy. Keep yours as well as the stores? public image safe by respecting these policies and you’ll be fine to stay there.
Free RV Parking: Casinos
We love parking at casinos.
This is another option for RVers to spend a night in an inexpensive way. Numerous casinos allow overnight parking for RV and also encourage the occupants of the RV to spend a night, explore yummy meals and try their luck at the slots or tables.
There are many casinos like the Desert Diamond Casino in Tucson, Arizona that, besides providing a space for overnight casino parking, even helps with entire hook-ups for the night. We stayed for several nights while exploring Tucson, but the full hookups weren’t there when we were.
Couschatta in Louisiana has full hookups and can get booked quickly. But you can also just boondock in their parking lot for a couple of nights.
Make sure that you first call up the particular casino and check with them to make sure that there is no event going on for the particular night that you want to stay. Also, some casinos might charge a nominal amount for your stay.
So, it is suggested that you check it with them beforehand. Other casinos have parking lots specially allotted for RVs. You might want to check this too with them to avoid being woken up in the middle of the night.
Usually, just call the casino security department to verify it’s ok and so they know you’re on site.
Free RV Parking: Truck Stop Locations
Truck Stops are a major ocean of overnight parking for RVs. They are spread all across the country and come with a lot more than just overnight RV parking.
Instead of charging you for parking they depend on the food, fuel and other kinds of stuff that you buy. And if this still seems less than enough to you, some also provide dumps where you can empty your tanks, usually with a nominal fee.
There are stores from where you can stock up on supplies. Some of our favorites, like the T&A, provide full fledged restaurants. As these are truck stops, they can also hook you up with appliances of 12 volts that might prove useful. Repair parts and items that you otherwise might not find in retail shops can easily be purchased from these stops at a minimal charge.
Not only do they provide you with overnight parking but also many other facilities to make your journey smooth and enjoyable. You will sure have an amazing experience at any of these stop locations.
Free RV Parking: Cabela’s
The sports and outdoor store has great facilities. We stayed at their store in Lehi, Utah, just outside of Salt Lake City while exploring that area a few years ago. They had a dump facility at the time and a way to get more water if needed. I can’t remember if there was a maximum stay, but we only stayed for 3 nights while exploring the area.
We also shopped in their store for several items, which is what they are hoping for. We loved it.
Some restaurant chains like Cracker Barrel that are situated on exits on the freeway or fast-food chains like Subway and Burger King provide free overnight parking for RVs.
They even have spots assigned especially for RV or truck parking. As if this wasn?t enough, many restaurants even provide free Wi-Fi access to their customers. You are surely going to have a wonderful stay at any one of these.
Lodges and Small Towns
Small towns are very welcoming to the RVers. Many lodges and parks offer a night?s free stay and encourage you to explore some restaurants or enjoy a movie while you are staying.
The passers-by are a large part of their economy hence they welcome the tourists with open hearts. Some lodges, besides providing you with overnight camping hook you up with electric supplies as well.
In case you plan to stay for more than a night, you can avail their free services for a day and keep enjoying these services at a very reasonable rate, for the succeeding days.
Camping World, for one, is always there when you or your RV needs help. Besides stopping for an overnight stay if any problem arises with your RV, you can always stop at one of their eighty-five nationwide chains and get your RV repaired and equipped with added accessories.
How to Find them While Driving
Sometimes you don’t have everything planned out and don’t know where you’ll be staying. A great way to look for these free parking spots is to use this awesome site. AllStays Pro
It’s more than just an app for parking, but you can filter on practically anything RV related. We usually filter on Walmart, Casinos, and Trucks stops to see what’s the nearest location coming up when it’s time to stop for the night.
It’s been one of our favorite sites to use and I’ll be doing an extensive review on it soon.
The next time when you are in a dilemma regarding places to stay overnight or park your RV, you can always turn to these easily available options for a wonderful and comfortable stay.
Whether it is for the purpose of staying in for the night, taking a break to empty your waste tanks, equipping further supplies for your onward journey or just pausing to explore more of the area, all the above-mentioned options are equally viable and will only add to your experience.
Who knows you might make an acquaintance or two for the future or simply gain an experience that might help others who are in a similar situation. But make sure irrespective of wherever you are staying, you leave clean and tidy. And it never hurts to drop a thank you note. That?ll be all for today. Hope this article will take some stress of your mind when you?re planning a long road trip after a tiring week in the office.