Last week we released a video on our favorite place to stay other then Walmart. As a result, many of you wanted to know where else to stay other than Cracker Barrel because they are not in all parts of the country. So I made a part 2 video! Cracker Barrel is still our go to spot for quick overnights, but in this video, I share all of the other locations that we prefer to use other than Walmart.
We want to know if you have used any of these locations, plus what is the most creative or unusual place you where able to park overnight for free? Most of these locations are for staying just one night in between camp spots, traveling across country or to scout out the next camp spot. Please don’t stay any longer unless it is an official camping spot.
A lot of these RV parking locations will depend on the size of the parking lot, local ordinances and restrictions. Often it is a stay at your own risk. We recommend asking if you don’t want that knock on the door late or worse a ticket or a boot on a tire. Other people will say, if you don’t ask, the answer won’t be no. WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THAT!
So as parking overnight at Walmart gets harder and harder to find, if we work together as a community of RVers, vanlifers, nomads, travelers and truck drivers, we can all have plenty of places to stay at. Lets share the locations we have found and leave them better then when we arrived! We want to be known as the best patrons of these free parking locations.
So here are the locations that Cheri and I have personally stayed at:
- Casinos – Some casinos have paid campgrounds and RV parks, but often free RV parking. These can be available for more than a one night stay as well! I have even received partial hook ups for free! Join the casino’s players club for perks like free food and gambling credits! On one casino camping stay I actually got paid to stay because I won a few dollars gambling. Check out this website for listings of casinos to park at: http://www.casinocamper.com/
- Planet Fitness – Planet Docking! Haha! Cheri’ and I are members of Planet Fitness and have stayed overnight there before. We love PF! You can check out our experience at Planet Fitness by watching our 30 Day Challenge video series: http://enjoythejourney.life/challenge
- Cabela’s – Cheri’ and I stayed at a Cabela’s up in Minnesota a few years ago. When I asked management, they said it was OK for customers to park their RV overnight. Some Cabela’s have dump stations available as well, and you can find them by using the All stays app.
- Boondockers Welcome – Boondockers Welcome has a yearly membership fee to gain access to host locations all over the country. Hosts are often fellow travelers with a sticks and bricks location that have parking space for your RV. Some even have partial hookups. You are expected to provide the host with a small gift or cash at the end of your stay.
- Food Lion and other grocery stores – In the part 2 video above, I stay at a Food Lion when I got the RV back from the factory for repairs. I asked management and they said no problem, this was in Summerville South Carolina. So don’t overlook grocery stores with large parking lots.
- Lowes, Home Depot and other hardware stores – We stayed in the back of a cracker barrel, but the front of a Lowes. So we think we were officially in the Lowes parking lot. Another possible location for a quick overnight RV spot.
- Driveway surfing at a friends place – Or also known as moochdocking! Cheri hates this term but I had to use it anyway haha. We stayed in the back of my uncle’s business for weeks one time we were visiting in Minnesota.
Our last choices, about equal to Walmart in my opinion (or maybe even less desirable in some cases):
- Truck stops – Flying J, Loves, TA, Pilot, etc. We don’t like the diesel fumes and we don’t like taking up spaces that our trucker friends need to use.
- Rest areas – Some of the same issues that truck stops have. They are very loud, but widely available. Some rest stops do not allow overnight RV parking. I’ll link to an article that someone shared about rest area rules by state.
Places we haven’t stayed but viewers have reported on:
Even though I have been RV living full time for nearly 5 years, there are so many places I have not even tried yet. Here is a list of possible overnight RV spots!
- Kmart – Kmart apparently was the first place to offer overnight parking to RVers according to an article that we will link to below.
- Harvest Host – Or what I like to call winedocking! With a membership to Harvest Hosts, you can stay at wineries, breweries, museums, farms and more. You are also expected to make a purchase in exchange for your stay. You say I have to buy a bottle of wine?? That sounds tough! Haha! (Use our link and get 15% off your membership!)
- Sam’s Club – I know, it’s owned by Walmart, but apparently some RVers have made Sam’s Club a quick overnighter location.
- Shopping malls – This was a new one to me, but as Cheri and I drove through the Destin Florida area, we did notice an RV parking in a mall parking lot for several days. We just kept wondering, did they ask permission to do that or were they trying to do some stealth camping?
- Bass Pro Shop, Dicks and other big sporting goods stores – You can also find these locations on the All Stays app!
- Costco, Sears and other big box retailers – Let us know in the comments if you have used any of these.
- Elks Lodge and Moose Lodge if you are a member – Also listed in the All Stays app!
- Military free first day or more at select campgrounds – In addition to a military discount, a few campgrounds offer one or more nights completely free to members of the military. Thank you for your service!
- Churches, arenas, movie theaters, hospitals and hotels – Wow, what an unusual list of places to stay in your RV overnight!
- Camping World – Camping World and Good Sam are the same company. So if you have a Good Sam membership you may be able to stay at select Camping World locations. Be sure to call ahead. Cheri and I did stop at a Camping World recently to fill up with water. Some also have a dump station available.
- Bankrupt stores – Not sure about this suggestion. Security would definitely be a concern.
- Park at the police station? Really? I got a recommendation to call or stop by a police station and to ask where you could park safely and legally overnight. They also suggested that the police might let you stay in their parking lot right there! That certainly would be the safest place to park. Now I want to know if anyone has actually done this.
If you have used some of these locations, let us know in the comments below or on the video comments. If you have other quick overnight RV parking spots to recommend, let us know as well! Safe travels friends!
Links (Note, some of our links are affiliate links. We earn a small fee when you use our links. Thank you for supporting our website!)
All Stays App: http://enjoythejourney.life/allstays
Boondockers Welcome RV parking: http://geni.us/boondockers
Harvest Hosts – RV at wineries, breweries & more: http://geni.us/winedock
Passport America – Save 50% on 1000’s of campsites! http://enjoythejourney.life/HalfOffCamping
Get $100 off a Thousand Trails camping pass! https://mbsy.co/sPrcV
Overnight parking rules for rest areas by state: https://www.interstaterestareas.com/overnight-parking-rules/
More overnight parking places: https://rv-roadtrips.thefuntimesguide.com/rv_parking-2/
Casinos you can park at: http://www.casinocamper.com/
30 Day Challenge Series: http://enjoythejourney.life/challenge
Walmart Parking videos: http://enjoythejourney.life/walmart