Whether you rent or own an RV, the trips you take with the vehicles can be truly memorable. And a lot of the memories are made at the locations you decide to stay the night at. For many, these are campgrounds and RV parks. But for others, finding unique places to stay may be necessary for financial or timing reasons during the trip.
We’ve already covered the controversy involved with what is and isn’t considered boondocking with an RV. To be clear, the locations we are about to cover are not traditional boondocking. But it’s interesting to know the different areas that RVs are allowed to stay in overnight.
Where are RVs Allowed to Stay Overnight?
When push comes to shove, you have to get some sleep somewhere. Luckily, there are places for RVs to stay that you might not be aware of.
Private Property or City Streets
One of the most mundane parking spots for RVs might be private property. If you have connections around the country, this may be the easiest way to park your RV somewhere safe and free for the night. But if you don’t know anyone in the region you are currently in, online services like Craigslist do have listings of people willing to let RVs utilize their driveways when needed. City streets are also an option, but you will want to know what neighborhood you are parking in for safety reasons. In addition, many cities are making overnight parking on city streets illegal for RVs, even if there are no posted parking restrictions, so make sure you check the local ordinances.
As long as you are willing to go the way of the trucker for a night, truck stops throughout the country are often open to RVs. The biggest thing when parking an RV at a truck stop is to obey the rules and allow the truckers to do what they need to do. Remember, they are at work, and you are likely on vacation, so being courteous is the way to go. This also includes parking straight within the lines to make sure you aren’t overusing your space. Truck stops can fill up at odd hours of the night, and you don’t want to have to wake up to correct your shoddy parking job.
While not always advertised, Walmart parking lots are often a welcoming spot for RVs. It’s important to talk to the store manager if there isn’t anything marked. If they know you are there and give the okay; you know you aren’t violating any rules. As they will likely tell you, it’s essential to make sure that you park away from the entrances of the building or any parking spaces close to the building. Finding a nice spot in the back of the large lot is the best way to go when parking your rig at Walmart.
In addition to Walmart, which might be the most common and well-known free parking space for RVs in the retail world, many other stores offer RV parking. Again, it’s best to notify someone in the store, like a manager, that you are parking there, if possible. Other stores that allow for overnight RV parking include:
- Home Depot
- Bass Pro Shops
A rest area can be an excellent spot to stop and catch some shuteye with your RV. Like most other spots, rest areas are public spaces, so keep in mind that there could be a lot of traffic, and you can’t regulate who you could potentially come in contact with. For the most part, rest areas offer a solid parking spot for weary RV drivers and riders.
While much of RVing is enjoying the countryside and nature, there are times when you may need to stay in more public spaces. Keep in mind; if you need things like internet access, you may not be able to connect unless you are at an actual campground that offers the service. The outlying parking lot of many of these options will not afford you viable Wi-Fi access. There are also no hookups, so you are on your own for the night in many aspects.