When you are on the road, you might be happy to find a way of saving costs. Many RVers complain about the camping fees because spending a night in a decent location could charge more than $30. With the growing popularity of a nomadic lifestyle, campgrounds are becoming busier and their charges are going up day by day. Spending a night at a luxurious camping resort can be priced at $150 or more. What if you get some free RV parking spots?
The spots for free camping, also known as drydocking or boondocking, are a little tricky to find but not impossible.
Top 5 Free RV Parking Options You Did Not Know About
Most countries have strict parking regulations, so you cannot just pull the travel trailer off the road into an empty space. But, there are still many places to park an RV across the country. Remember that camping for free does not mean that everything has to be dirt cheap or devoid of fun.
Here are some suggestions for free overnight RV parking:
1. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
The agency is on the administrative charge of a huge amount of public lands, more than 247.3 million acres. They allow dry camping, but the staying period varies depending on the spot’s locations.
If you find a suitable BLM place, call the regional office asking if they permit free RV parking. Don’t forget to ask about the rules and the allowed size of the trailer.
2. RV-Friendly Business Lots
There are some businesses that are friendly to the RVers and offer large parking lots for overnight stays. Some stores that allow RV overnight parking are Walmart and Camping World. They have large parking lots for that purpose.
For example, Walmart is super-friendly to the RVers and encourages them to park in front of their stores. Some of their parking lots have a designated space for free RV parking.
However, never forget to ask for permission before parking and keep the vehicle away from the entrances so that customers don’t feel annoyed. Big retailers like Home Depot and Lowe’s also offer the same facility but expect the vehicle to be away from their entrances.
You should never throw garbage on the streets or dump your tanks on the grounds when parking in these business lots. It is your duty to leave the place as it was before setting up your camper. Also, as a token of appreciation and your good etiquette, purchase something from these stores. Walmart has already become stricter regarding the size and type of RVs. Don’t do anything that leads them to revoke the facility.
3. Free RV Parking with Hookups
Where can you park an RV with hookups facilities? Of course, you can!
Few RVers know that there are camping facilities with hookups that offer either free stay or ask for a small donation. All free overnight RV parking stations have dumping stations and water and many of them have electric and water facilities. A few of them have full hookups too. One such free campsite is Waylon Jennings Park in Littlefield, Texas.
If you are in Las Vegas or elsewhere that is lined with casinos, you can get free places to park RV in these entertainment facilities. In particular, the casinos along the NASCAR circuit assign free spots to campers. Demand is skyrocketed during vacations, peak weekends, and NASCAR race weekends, so be prepared to pay a small fee. In fact, it will be wise to steer clear of these spots during the racing events because the fans book everything beforehand.
If you find such a casino, ask the management about free RV parking and if they have any specific spot. Be careful not to block the regular traffic of the facility by parking in front of the entrance.
5. Truck Stops
These parking facilities have been for trucks, huge rigs, and tractor trailers, but not anymore. Truck stops throughout the country now welcome RVs and motorhomes. These points are the best option if you can’t manage any other place for overnight RV parking.
You will be fine if you follow the rules, be polite to others, and don’t create any public nuisance. These truck stops have their own culture that you may find interesting. But, don’t forget about safety. These are temporary stops for all sorts of people. It would be better to keep your valuables locked somewhere and lock the doors and windows when you leave the RV.
Useful Websites to Find Free RV Parking Space
There are many websites where you will get information about where to park RV for free. Some of the most popular and trusted ones are:
1. Free Campsites.
Featuring a user-friendly, simple interface, the website uses a map-based search engine that visitors can exploit to find free and cheap camping areas in their desired locations. They provide an explanation of various types of public lands where RVers can park on.
2. Harvest Hosts.
The website connects you to other people who have ranches, farms, vineyards, or other types of lands. These hosts are willing to provide RV parking space for short-term stays. However, you have to subscribe to a $49/year membership to get the service. Also, Harvest Hosts expects the campers to support the hosts by buying their products or services. But, the experience will be worthwhile. You don’t park in a vineyard or ranch every day, do you?
3. Boondocker’s Welcome.
Another website that requires a $30 membership fee per year. But, it’s a small price to pay for the benefit you get. The platform lets you connect with other RVers who are willing to share their properties with their fellow comrades. With this website, it becomes easier to find free RV parking space even in the most unexpected places.
There are many other similar websites, some offer free services and others charge a small fee. Whether you are a full-time RVer or a seasonal traveler, they can save you on a rainy day.
Last Updated on September 12, 2019