Can You Park Your RV on the Street?
You may have seen videos on YouTube of RVs lining the streets of cities such as Los Angeles; you may think to yourself, that is one way to save money! However, most cities and towns do not allow overnight RV parking on their streets. You may get away with it for one night, but you risk getting a parking ticket. Also, many of the people who live in RVs on the city streets are mentally ill or on drugs, and you do not want to stay around them.
Where Can You Park Overnight in an RV?
There are several go-to places where you can find overnight parking while traveling in an RV. However, not every Walmart allows for free overnight parking, especially in big cities. This is because some people have “abused the privilege” and attempted to live in the Walmart parking lot. Likewise, some RVers have been disrespectful, doing things like leaving trash in the parking lot. This is mostly true in big cities, where there may also be a problem with people parking their RVs on the street.
If you park at Walmart, always be respectful; ask the manager if it’s OK. Park at the far end of the parking lot, so you’re not in the way of the customers. Don’t put out lawn chairs or your awning, and don’t leave trash behind. Only stay for one night, and shop inside the store as a way to say your thank-you.
Another great place to stay free in your RV is at casinos; most casinos in the United States are run by Indian tribes and are mostly on reservation land. They may have a special parking lot just for RVs, but if not, park at the outer edge where you will be out of the way.
Many casinos want you to check in with security and may want you to get a “player card” for the slot machines, which is free. The point is, the casino offers free RV parking so you will come inside and gamble. You don’t have to, but that is the idea behind free RV parking.
Staying overnight in an RV at a truck stop is somewhat controversial; yes you can do it, but some truckers do not like it. While it’s unlikely that the owner of the truck stop will ask you to leave, truckers often feel you are taking up space reserved for them. If a truck stop looks very busy, it may be wise to not park there. However, if it doesn’t look busy or crowded, it’s probably OK to park there overnight. Once again, stay at the outer edges of the lot. If you can, leave the marked spaces for the truckers.
One downside to staying at a truck stop is, the trucks leave their engines running all night; it can get noisy and there are exhaust fumes. On the upside, you will be able to easily gas up your RV, and there is often a restaurant inside as well as a convenience store.