Rest Stops and Truck Stops Aren’t The only Overnight Spots
Sometimes you don’t have a choice but to pull over and stay somewhere for the night unexpectedly. Those who drive a stealth van can get away with parking overnight at more locations than someone who drives a Class B campervan. Regardless of what kind of traveler you are, if you’re looking for overnight RV parking, there are steps you should take to find the best options.
Overnight RV Parking Tools
I suggest starting with the google earth tool before you arrive at a location. Google Earth is a great way to see the parking lot and pick out a spot before you arrive. You can also look for free overnight parking ideas. There are lots of resources online. Specifically using RV LIFE Trip Wizard – you will find most of these locations while planning your RV route.
Some stores are only capable of handling so many RVs, even when it comes to smaller rigs and vans. Always check with the store manager first to see if they are still accepting RVs and if your size works. Don’t be disappointed with the manager if they deny you an overnight RV parking spot. They almost always follow city and county restrictions on what is permitted in their area.
If it is an emergency, talking to someone about your situation can be a simple way to find someplace to stay. One night we broke down on the road, and the closest place we could limp to was a hotel. It was a Sunday evening, and we had nowhere to take the RV that evening. We finally found a repair shop we could take it to at 7 am the following day. The hotel’s night manager was kind and let us pull onto their back lot and stay the night even though it was no financial gain for their hotel.
I would also recommend checking with local churches for emergency parking. Just leave early, don’t tie up their resources, and remain as self-contained as possible until you can remedy your situation. Of course, this is a good rule to abide by no matter where you stay.
Store Overnight Options
While researching overnight parking options at stores for 2022, I found the best bet is to check in advance. Only two stores have official comments posted anywhere about overnight RV parking. Those stores are Sam’s Club and Walmart. Although Cracker Barrel does put a little RV in the bottom corner of their billboards if RVs are welcome, no official policies are currently mentioned online concerning overnight RV stays.
So whether you are looking at a list of stores we perpetuate as overnight friendly or other lists online, be aware these stores have no official policies, and you must check with individual managers.
Common Overnight RV Parking Locations
- 24 Hour Fitness
- Anytime Fitness
- Bass Pro
- Camping World
- Cracker Barrel
- Home Depot
- Planet Fitness
Keeping These Free Overnight Parking Spots Open Is Up To Us
Overnight RV parking options remain strong and valid. But the ongoing list of most stores is only as good as the community of RVers who help keep the information and experiences up to date online for fellow RVers. As long as we continue to patronize these businesses, leave no trace of our visits and generate future sales for them, they will continue to be open to letting us have free overnight stays. This cycle of overnight RV parking is all on us. Let’s do a good job!