Are you thinking of heading to Cracker Barrel for a stopover during your next RV travel day?
It can be a nice place to stop overnight and get a few hours of sleep. However, there are some unspoken rules to know before going. You don’t want to end up getting blasted like these people on Reddit.
Why Was the Redditor Disgusted?
Reddit user Anonforresearch recently stayed at Cracker Barrel while traveling through the area. The Redditor arrived 30 minutes before the store closing, and they were disgusted to see that the parking lot resembled an RV park.
When they pulled in, they saw “several huge pull behinds with [all] their slides out taking up multiple [RV] spaces, and the trash cans were overflowing with full trash bags…”. When user Anonforresearch woke up to leave before the Cracker Barrel opened, every RV was still there, and it seemed like they had no plans of going.
Anonforresearch says, “There were two people standing outside their RVs chit-chatting in pajamas. Several huge pull behinds with ALL their slides out taking up multiple RV spaces…I’m sure I’m part of the problem by having even stayed several hours but can’t we do better than this and be appreciative that we have an “emergency spot” when rest areas aren’t an option”
Here’s a sampling of comments from the post:
“I’m still bitter about the time I pulled into a Cracker Barrel one night, after hours in the rain, to find a single travel trailer had parked across all five of the RV spots, had all of their slides out, and was running an open frame generator to watch TV.” – jestergoblin
“hard to believe people can’t grasp how this looks from the other side of the conversation. talk about overstaying one’s welcome.” -FlowStateVibes
“I’m learning it’s more losers in campers than not. It’s so trashy at campgrounds now. I hate camping in any campground. They pack you In And charge too much. Then do nothing with issues on site.” -dreamsthebigdreams
Can You Spend the Night in Cracker Barrel Parking Lots?
You can spend the night at Cracker Barrel in their parking lot for free. As the Redditor stated, you need to appreciate that you have an “emergency spot” when rest areas aren’t an option.
Cracker Barrel isn’t an RV park. It is a parking lot available for short-term stays as a stopover.
Rules to Follow While Staying at Cracker Barrel Parking Lots
There are some rules to follow before staying in a Cracker Barrel parking lot. Let’s go over them to make sure you’re ready before spending another night in their parking lot.
When you arrive – or better yet – even before you arrive, call ahead to make sure they allow overnight RV stays. Ask if there’s a spot in the parking lot where they prefer you park. You can also see if they want you to leave by a particular time.
It would be best to find out any other instructions they’d like to pass along. Even if online reviewers or camping apps say you can park overnight, it’s best practice to ask. Also, only take up one spot. If there are signs saying no overnight parking is allowed, heed their warning and don’t park there.
You’re Not Camping
Please refrain from doing anything that would make others ask,” …is this an [RV] park now?” like the original Redditor. There won’t be hook-ups at Cracker Barrel. This spot is for parking and sleeping, not for living. Don’t set up things outside your RV or pull out all your slides.
It isn’t a place to set up stabilizers or unhook your tow vehicles. It’s best not to run your generator (especially while the business is open), grill, or sit in lawn chairs outdoors. Pull in for the night and leave early to get on your way. Reddit user Anonforresearch worried that a failure to follow these rules would make it so that “…Cracker Barrel isn’t going to let people sleep in their lots out of necessity…” anymore.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome
This isn’t a place to sleep in and stay into the morning or afternoon. It’s a courtesy for Cracker Barrel to open up their parking lot to you. In return, it’s best to leave before Cracker Barrel opens. The only reason you should stay after they’ve opened is if you’re waiting to order your breakfast.
Support the Restaurant
Please go ahead and buy something if you’re staying. Sure, you’re not getting hook-ups, but you have a safe space to park. Support the restaurant that’s opened up a spot for you. Order something before they close or order your breakfast before heading out in the morning, but choose at least one option
Is It Safe to Stay at Cracker Barrel?
Cracker Barrel stores are well-lit locations to park overnight. They may not have security or a gated fence, but they’re a safe place to get a few hours of shut-eye. Make sure your RV and tow vehicle, if applicable, are well within the lines and aren’t too long for the parking spaces.
Do Other Businesses Allow Overnight Stays?
Several businesses allow overnight stays in addition to Cracker Barrel. Walmart historically allowed overnight RVs, although many stores no longer have RV overnight parking. Sam’s Club and Costco are also reliable options. Cabella’s and Bass Pro Shops, Camping World, and home improvement stores typically allow overnight RV parking, too. Finally, casinos and truck stops usually allow RV parking and may even have RV-designated sites.
To find overnight parking options, use websites like freecampsites.net or AllStays. Some stores may have signs posted against overnight parking or may have city rules against overnight stays in vehicles and campers.
Be Courteous When Staying Overnight at Cracker Barrel
If you’re traveling to your next destination and need a quick stopover spot, Cracker Barrel can be a great option. Be sure to call the restaurant to get permission ahead of time. Leave no trace and keep a low profile while you’re there. Remember: this is a parking lot, not camping.
Have you ever stayed overnight in your RV at a Cracker Barrel?
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