If you’re planning an extended RV trip across the country and want to save some money, one option is to reduce parking fees. But where to park an RV for free? Are those places easily accessible?
The good news is there are still some places that allow campers to stay overnight without charging anything. We’ve rounded up 7 such options in this blog post.
Remember that some places could have specific conditions or requirements, and they all have their plus points and downsides. So, when planning your trip, map out whether the routes have access to these free parking for motorhomes and small trailers and if the available options meet your requirements.
Where to Park an RV for Free: 7 Places
Finding a parking place can be challenging when you’re on the road in a trailer. But there are some excellent free places to park an RV if you know where to look.
Check out these RV overnight parking places that let RVers stay there for free or for a minimal fee.
Truck stops should be the first option if you are worried about where to park an RV for free. They have large designated areas for RVs and offer showers and restrooms access. You can also get electrical hookups and other amenities for a small fee.
A couple of mobile apps, including AllStays, provide detailed information about truck stops and the facilities they offer. Some of them also include an offline Google Map feature, so finding the location will never be a problem.
The downside to truck stops is that there is no supervision or security, so it’s essential to ensure that your rig is locked up and your belongings are secured. If you are traveling alone, inform a close one about your whereabouts every night.
Take smart decisions when on the road and stay safe.
National parks are another great option for overnight free parking. They offer beautiful scenery and camping opportunities; many have well-maintained RV areas with hookups for water and electricity. Plus, entrance to national parks is usually free.
Some parks may charge for amenities like showers, Wi-Fi, picnic areas, and playgrounds. Remember that some state and county parks may be busy during peak seasons, so it’s best to check the park’s website or call ahead to reserve a spot.
Parking Lots of Churches
While this may not be the most conventional choice, it has worked for many people in the past. Churches have a lot of space and usually post signs letting people know their parking spot is available.
It’s better to list the churches along your route and search in Google to see which ones offer this facility. Don’t forget to email or call them beforehand to ensure they still provide the service.
Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Where can you park an RV for free? You see that all free options may charge for amenities or other services, but the BLM lands are entirely free.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees millions of acres of public land across the United States. This includes national forests, parks, and recreation areas, which offer a variety of recreational opportunities, such as camping, fishing, hiking, and more.
Remember that these campsites don’t have any kind of facilities. So, choose them only if you have experience with boondocking.
In addition, make sure to follow all campfire regulations and respect wildlife by keeping your noise level down at night, and your food storage containers closed when not in use. And last but not least, be sure to clean up after yourself.
Casino Parking Spots
Seems like an unlikely spot, but casinos offer free RV parking with hookups. Are there casinos along your camping route? Check their websites or call directly to ask if they provide a parking facility and whether the RVs have a size limitation.
Not all casinos offer free parking. Some of them charge a fee during peak hours. A few casinos may charge a fee, which will still be cheaper than paying for parking at RV resorts and parks.
Visit the Casino Camper website to check which casinos offer overnight RV parking.
Walmart RV Parking
Walmart is to your rescue if you are worried about where to park an RV for free. The big-box store operates in over 4,000 retail locations across the country, and many of them allow RVers to park overnight.
You should always ask the store manager whether the facility allows parking or not. Also, remember that the place is just for parking, not a camping spot to pull out the awning, set up the chair, and light a campfire.
If the store allows you to stay there, you can return the courtesy by shopping for essentials before leaving.
Some other companies that provide the same facility are Bass Pro Shops and Cracker Barrel restaurants.
Harvest Host Sites
Harvest Host offers free parking but only for the members, and the membership costs $79 per year. However, that fee is still lower than the overnight parking in many RV parks and resorts.
Also, that membership brings along many unique facilities, making it a value-for-money deal. It has thousands of spots across the country, so finding a suitable parking spot won’t be an issue.
Harvest Host is a network of various firms, including wineries, breweries, farms, and similar ventures. When you stay there, you will get to test free samples of products, including cheese, fine-quality wine, fresh produce, and many other things.
The network also sells a Golf Plan to give members access to golf courses, luxury clubs, and other facilities.
There are a handful of places to park an RV for free. While some may be more convenient, they all offer a place to stay without any charge or for a small fee. Research and find the option that works best for you before starting your journey.
Now that you know where to park an RV for free, it’s time to start planning the perfect trip!
Scott you obviously have a very good sense of humor because your suggestions for free places to park and RV overnight or laughable. You indicate that national parks are a great place to park but my wife and I have recently taken two cross-country trips and finding any parks that offer free camping for an RV or trailer are very rare. You also state that most parks have no entrance fee which in our experience is totally in accurate. Most state parks and even county parks do charge a fee to use any other facilities.
And if you were including the national parks run by the national Park service, all of them charge some sort of entrance fee and have specific places that you have to go to to camp and most of these have to be reserved 11 to 12 months prior to the time that you plan to visit.
You also mentioned Walmart as a place to park free. WalMart previously did offer the service but due to abuse by users most Walmart stores have stopped allowing this practice.