As the saying goes, there is no such thing as a free lunch. But is there such a thing as free RV parking? Actually, yes. While you might not find a free spot that overlooks the ocean with the sound of waves crashing in the background, it is surprisingly easy to find free parking for your RV when out on a road trip. Free spots are a great way to save money when you are only looking for a place to sleep for a few hours before moving on to another location.
When hoping to take advantage of free RV parking, it is best to do your homework ahead of your trip. Locate some possible spots and contact the necessary parties to confirm that free parking is allowed and available. You don’t want to end a long day of driving by finding that you won’t be able to park where you expected, so it is always best to do some research before heading out.
Retail Parking Lots
One of the most well-known places to park your RV for free is Walmart. As you are certainly aware, there are Walmart locations all across the country, so there is a good chance there will be one located along your path. Most locations have huge parking lots, meaning there is plenty of space to park your RV for the night. It is important to note, however, that some cities or municipalities may prohibit overnight parking in places such as a Walmart lot. For that reason, it is best to call the store ahead of time to confirm that overnight parking is allowed on their property.
Besides Walmart, other retailers are known to provide free overnight parking (again, when local laws allow). Camping World is a possible option, as is Kmart. All it will take is a quick phone call to speak with the store manager at any of these retailers to determine if you will be welcome.
Like to Gamble?
More and more casinos are popping up around the country, and they are generally welcoming to RV’ers as well. Plenty of casinos offer free overnight parking, and they may even have a designated spot in the parking lot with electrical hookups for you to use. Of course, if you enjoy playing a casino game from time to time, you can use this as both an entertainment and convenience stop.
Think Like a Trucker
Semi-trucks crisscross the nation’s highways each and every day, and all of those truckers need somewhere to sleep for the night. Truck stops have huge parking lots, plus a variety of amenities that can be appreciated as much by the RV traveler as they are by the trucker. Call truck stop locations such as Flying J to ask if they offer free RV parking at their location. If you are able to find a truck stop to call home for the night, you will be able to gas up in the morning, get a little bit of food, and be on your way. Another benefit to using the truck stop option is the convenient locations they occupy near major freeways.
You probably aren’t going to want to spend all of your RV nights at free locations – after all, there isn’t much to see or do in the parking lot of a retail store. However, for the purposes of getting off the road and getting some sleep, the free options above can certainly get the job done while keeping money in your pocket.