Free overnight RV Parking – SPOTTED!

free rv parkingStaying in an RV park has been part of every RVer’s lifestyle. If you have the means to live a comfortable life while on the road, then go ahead and make the most out of it. However, you will soon realize that saving some of that parking fee really means a lot and add it instead to your savings. So why not consider ‘free overnight parking’ then, right? How?

Here are some ‘spotted’ places that offer free overnight parking:

Walmart – they have been welcoming RVers for many years now, graciously allowing overnight RV parking in their parking lots.

Camping World – allows RVers to spend the night in many of their parking lots as well.

Kmart – has been reported to be the first corporate giant to formally endorse the policy of allowing RVers to park overnight in their parking lots. Some malls permit overnight RV parking as well.

Truck stops – is also a great place to stay for free – though some RVers might find the noise level a bit annoying, due to all the semi trucks coming and going.

Travel Centers of America and Flying J – provides separate parking lots for RVs in their area.

Some places you do not expect to be offering free overnight parking for RVs:

Elks Club or Moose Lodge – they both offer free parking.

Supermarkets – since they have a well-lit parking lot, it is much safer for RVers to stay there for the night.

Casinos – they also offer free RV parking overnight.

Schools and Churches – they sure have spacious parking spots for RVers to stay overnight or at times of emergency.

Now you can stay safe and get to save those extra cash staying at free overnight parking spots in town. You do not only explore different places in living an independent lifestyle on the road, but learning to live practically too.




  1. Very inaccurate article with hugely glossed over details. None of these chains allow RV overnight parking at ALL of their locations! At Walmarts it is up to the store manager IF the local laws allow it. Elks Lodges only allow parking for members and suggest a donation. Camping World is converting some of their excess parking areas to RV sales and are fencing the rest. Some casinos have RV parks and do not encourage free parking.

    • That is very true of the Walmart stores…..we’ve seen signs on some lots that say NO RV Overnight Parking.


  2. We encountered no overnight parking in Boise, Idaho and Chelan, Wa. It is not camping and should not take away from RV parks. Stopping and getting some rest is essential.

  3. While it is true that some of the mentioned spotted sites do not allow overnight parking many of them do. We have traveled all over the United States and stayed in many Wal-marts, Flying J, Pilot’s, Rest Area’s, once in a auto repair parking lot cause they were putting new tires on our truck, yes and even a church parking lot. All that is necessary is to respectfully ask permission to spend the night, and park where they direct you to. For us, every case the establishment was more than helpful in letting us spend the night. We never leave a mess and gratefully say thank you.

  4. A lot of Retirees make big plans on RV Traveling and they buy a big RV and hit the road for the first time. The problems start when they fine that everything is not as easy as they thought. They have to fine a campground, They have to park it,(This can be quite a challenge where it is a Travel Trailer, Fifth Wheeler or a Motorhome backing either one of these can be challenging with a little training and practice it can be made painless.) Level it, Hook all the utilities up. all this can be made easy with experience. I have meet several people who are first timers and are ready to give it up. No one should just retire and jump into RVing. You should make several trips preferable with a RVER to see what it is like. It is a great life style. Traveling by car and staying in Motels and eating out all the time can be very expensive. Not so with an RV. One last thing when picking out the RV make a list of the things you and your spouse want in the RV. If this RV is going to be your home on the road for years to come make few if any compromises on your wants. It is a great life we love it.
    Gerald and Paula Bru

    • When I first started out I found the “Old Timers” very helpful if you told them you were new to RVing. They showed me how to get hooked up and even showed me how to level my RV! Grat bunch of folks out there if you ask!

  5. Yeah, um… First off, I can’t understand why ANYONE would want to stay in a busy parking lot where there are NO hookups is beyond me. Here you run the risk of reckless drivers, runaway shopping carts, curious onlookers and safety issues, any of which can easily become more costly than a reserved space with hookups. Of course, emergencies can’t be predicted and are understandable as a last resort, but I would never choose this option just as a money saver.

    • We have had NO problems at any Walmart parking lots. We are in the far end of the lot along side many Big Rig trucks and other campers. We ask permission and thank the manager, plus buy a few groceries. Plus, during November, most parks are closed. We run off the generator.

    • First most people who stay in a Walmart or truck stop are stopping to rest for the night and are enroute to somewhere. They are not “camping” in the parking lot.

      I will add the we always find a Cracker Barrel and have never been turned away. Usually quiet and easy to get into. Most have RV parking areas and usually we do not stop until after the dinner hour. Find the most out of the way spot to part that causes the least congestion. We ALWAYS ASK but have never been turned down. And folks – spend a buck – have coffee and dessert or breakfast. Still a very low cost night and it helps the relationship with the store. ALSO, be very cautious about your slides. No one wants to walk into a slide in the night. – Do you really need to put them out just to sleep!

      Happy Camping!

    • We do all the time and will continue. When you are traveling a thousand miles its nice to pull in, sleep and go. Absolutely nothing wrong with it, and we have never encountered any problems.

  6. Unfortunately, a very few bad behaving or messy people have ruined most of the free parking for a lot of us. I’ve seen some RV’r dump trash instead of walking a few steps to the trash can. I’ve also seen a RV’r dump their black tank in the grassy medium. Disgusting. Many of the above mentioned businesses have limited how many RV’s can park in their lots and the amount of time you can stay. Depending on the store and the State, if you are among those early birds that get permission slips at WalMart in the morning, you can stay. Mall parking will usually give you a warning citation and if you stay another night, they threaten to tow you away. I’ve not yet found a Camping World that allows it, but have stayed after the business closed and left early in the morning. The State Parks require a pass, but they are really cheep and the fee goes towards the care of the Parks, so it feels like a good cause. Some rest stops are beautiful and look like Manicured parks, while others are patrolled by transient dwellers who walk around your vehicles all night. It’s hit and miss. Have a back up plan.

  7. While it is true Walmart offers free overnight camping, not ALL Walmart offer this. Need to check with the mgr before u set up or u could be moving after the fact..been there..done that.

  8. Walmart is a good place when you’re traveling. We always go in and spend some $ with them, its a good trade off. Never had any problems with anyone while we were staying there.

  9. free overnight parking is a convenience, and not intended for your entire vacation if you are on the road and find yourself needing to get some rest say at 7 pm or later, then pulling over is the safest thing to do if possible, and do not fully un hook the RV, possibly just put the stabilizer jacks down, and as stated previously if it is a location that offers goods like a Wal-Mart, go inside and restock on a few things, possibly some lunch meats , bread or breakfast pastries for the next morning, but always ask first and if possibly leave as early as you can and maybe pop in and say thank you or get your morning items then, and what’s great you can use there restroom the night before as you gather a couple items and again in the am, im not saying shower and shave you can use your RV for that just the restroom, some travelers don’t fill tanks with water for highway travel because of the extra weight and fill tanks when the get to a campground, providing they booked a campsite with such amenities And by all mean leave the premises as good or better than you arrived, gather trash and bring it with you or walk 10 feet to the trash can, but get your rest and don’t set up tables and chairs, if we all do this more places will love to have us stay. If its a busy truck stop and noisy and I know I need to get some sleep for 8 hours or less then I suck it up and sleep if I cant o move along, happy camping to all. Also for first timers, start by camping at a place close to home or in your town, you can get the things as you find out what you need an familiarize yourself with the rig.

    • our first camping experience was 8 KM from our house just to practice in a real campground rather than the practice we had in our large sideyard.

  10. I’ll also add that even if you see another RV parked, still ask manager and get their ok. Also don’t level or put slides out or BBQ. It’s for overnight only. Don’t mess it up for others. As mark said, clean up after yourself and don’t dump your trash in their containers.

  11. Very few walmarts allow free parking anymore because of those people that have abused the privilege.
    Truck stops don’t encourage rv parking due to the extreme shortage of space for trucks that requires driver’s get rest.
    Any spot you find in a pinch can do, but there is no substitute for hookups to rest for the night or a month.
    Plan ahead and look for the best accommodation to suit your needs for peace of mind and your security.

  12. I suggest renting an RV first, maybe even a few times, before you buy, especially if you think you’re going full time. We rented twice and knew we were hooked. But we didn’t want the type of RV we had rented. We spent about a year looking and purchased a small trailer in 1976, kept it about a year and purchased a larger travel trailer. We continued to grow–in rv and family size. We’ve been blessed to see every continental U.S. state but two–North Dakota and Minnesota. We went to Alaska twice and I would have loved to have gone back, but my husband said he had taken me twice and I would have to get my “second” husband to take me back. 😜 Sooo guess I’m not going back. We are slowing down now, but life has been good!

  13. Even if you get permission to park overnight at a Walmart, security may not allow it. We went to a Walmart in Riverside, CA that was on the online website as allowing overnight parking (1 advertised they do not, 1 that it was allowed. We went to the 1 where it was allowed, supposedly. ) We purchased items and got permission from the manager on duty, Misty. We informed the current security officer that Misty gave us permission to park overnight on the outskirts of the parking lot. He acknowledged this and said he would inform the next shift. Well, at 12:33 a.m. security was banging on the door, demanding we leave immediately. I told him that Manager Misty had given us permission. The security officer contacted his supervisor, who told us that Misty was not authorized to give permission and we had to leave immediately. My husband is 77 years old and does not see well in the dark. Nevertheless, we dressed and drove to a closed Walmart in another town. We paid on the outskirts of the parking lot and nobody bothered us before we got a few hours of sleep, then moved on.


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