Most people know that Walmart nationwide allows free overnight parking for campers and RVs. Walmart’s are a great spot—right off the highway and a convenient place to stock up on groceries and other household items during your journey.
But if Walmart’s not your jam or you’re looking for a place with a warm meal close by (hello dinner and/or flapjacks at Cracker Barrell!) or shower facilities, we’ve got some other options for you to consider.
7 Best Places for RV Parking Other Than Walmart:
1. Bass Pro / Cabela’s
Mecca for sportsmen, hikers, and campers, Bass Pro and Cabela’s usually have oversized lots to allow for boat trailers, RVs, and campers. Confirming with the store manager before parking overnight is important, but both are good bets for an overnight stay.
2. Cracker Barrel
Located in forty-five states across the US (Wyoming, Vermont, DC, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska are missing out) but with more locations in the east and southeast, Cracker Barrel welcomes overnight parking and is happy to serve you a delicious turkey dinner or pancakes any time of day. Grab a good meal and a good rest.
3. Truck Stops – Pilot Flying J / Love’s / TA
Certain truck stops provide designated RV parking spaces, often with amenities like showers, dump stations and propane refilling. But these can be busy locations with overhead lights and constant traffic coming in and out.
4. Gyms – Anytime Fitness / 24 Hour Fitness / Planet Fitness
Because they are open 24 hours a day, gyms are a smart option, and they have shower facilities. A Planet Fitness black card membership offers access to all PF gyms across the country for a reasonable fee. They’re a convenient stop for a workout, a shower, and an overnight. It’s recommended that you be a member, but most locations will only check if you come inside to use their facilities.
5. Rest Areas
Many state-operated rest areas along highways allow overnight RV parking as long as you park in the designated section and don’t exceed the maximum time limit. Check with the State Police or each state’s Department of Transportation for specific rules and availability.
6. Big Box Stores – Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco, Sam’s Club
DIY stores and wholesale clubs typically welcome overnight RV guests, and most offer propane, tires, and other supplies. All appreciate your purchases; being a member at Costco or Sam’s certainly helps. It’s advisable to park away from entrances and exits and choose lower traffic areas.
Nearly every casino in the West with a large outdoor parking lot offers complimentary overnight parking as a way to attract visitors. Be sure to check if there are any restrictions or requirements. Casino parking is attractive because of its 24/7 professional security. Remember to try your luck at the slots and check out the buffet!
Things To Note:
It is important to note that policies and availability may change at individual locations, so call ahead to check current regulations and confirm whether overnight RV parking is allowed. Try an overnight parking app such as RV Parky to determine which plazas and truck stops allow overnight parking.
Remember to practice proper etiquette and cleanliness when staying overnight at these locations. Ensure you’re not obstructing traffic or violating any local laws or ordinances. Additionally, regulations might differ between store locations or regions. Stay informed and be respectful of the rules wherever you park.
This summer, the demand for soft starts has sky rocketed. If you intend to use air conditioning when traveling to hot, humid places, you should consider installing a soft starter on your AC unit.
A soft starter is a small electrical device that reduces the required start-up current. It can be used to start your AC unit or other appliances. While an AC unit has a running current of 10-15 amps depending on its number of BTUs, it can take 70+ amps to get a unit started, putting a considerable strain on the compressor.
A soft starter allows the AC unit to get started and then feeds additional current to the compressor gradually until it reaches full speed. Traveling in an RV gives you optimal access to some of the best hiking, national parks, and beautiful sites in the U.S provided you know all the dos and don’t important for RV.