Some stores offer more than just everyday low prices. You can find thousands of locations that allow overnight parking throughout the country.
These can make for great places to stop for the night during a long travel day or when you can’t snag a campsite at a local campground. However, not all stores are friendly to overnight parking.
Today, we’ll look at some of the most common places RVers, and other travelers park for the night. If you want a spot to stop, you might consider these locations. Let’s dive in.
Can You Sleep in an RV Anywhere?
Sadly, you can’t sleep in an RV just anywhere. Years ago, you could sleep in an RV in more places, but many states and local communities have cracked down recently. Rules regarding overnight RV parking have made it more difficult for travelers to take advantage of many convenient locations.
In some areas, it’s near impossible to find a spot outside of an established campground. Parking on private property without permission is also a big no-no and can get you in serious trouble. You need to know the local rules specific to where you want to park for the night.
What Stores Allow Overnight Parking?
When travelers need a quick, overnight parking spot, a few places come to mind. Let’s look at a few stores you might already know and some that you might have never considered. Let’s get started.
Walmart parking lots are one of the most popular places for travelers to stop for the night. With nearly 5,000 locations nationwide, many of these stores have massive parking lots that sit empty for most of the night.
These places work great because you can stock up on food, supplies, and other gear you might need during your adventures.
Travelers love Cracker Barrel locations because of their proximity to interstates. These southern-style restaurants often include a handful of oversized parking spaces specifically for RVs and other large vehicles. You can get a good night’s sleep and a delicious breakfast before getting back on the road in the morning.
Pro Tip: Make sure not to do any of these Don’ts of Cracker Barrel RV Camping during your next stay.
Hundreds of large sports stores like Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s have large parking lots. You’ll often find them in shopping centers and other friendly locations for big rigs. T
hey may be few and far between, but some even offer dump stations for RVers to empty their tanks.
Whether you like gambling or not, you can hit the overnight parking jackpot at some casinos. Many offer free (or very inexpensive) overnight parking options. It’s not uncommon for casinos to have restaurants and other entertainment besides gambling. We have even seen some locations with affordable RV spots that may provide water, sewer, or electrical connections.
Some 24-hour fitness centers offer more than just a place to work out and sweat. Travelers have had luck staying overnight at Planet Fitness and 24-Hour Fitness.
Some stealth campers have also had luck blending into these parking lots in areas where overnight parking can be difficult to find.
You may think that camper dealers only sell or service RVs. However, many Camping World and other large RV dealers allow overnight stays. Some offer specific spots for guests to stay for the night, and we have even come across some locations that offer free potable water and dump stations.
Amenities or availability vary from one place to the next, but it’s worth a shot when in a pinch.
You can easily navigate big rigs here as RVs constantly come and go from their lots. So even if you’re new to towing, getting in and out can be very easy.
RVers and travelers aren’t the only ones who need a place to park for the night. Truckers spend hours on the road driving several hundred miles a day.
Truck stops like Love’s, Pilot, and Flying J have services that travelers use. You can fill up on fuel, grab a bite to eat, and even take a hot shower before heading to bed. However, truckers will come and go at all hours and make lots of noise. You may find it more difficult to get a good night’s rest, but it is possible.
Sam’s Club, Costco, and other discount warehouses often have massive parking lots that you can easily navigate with a large RV. You can park out of the way and get some rest before hitting the road in the morning.
There are over 1,000 locations between Sam’s Club and Costco, which means you have plenty of options to consider for overnight parking.
The invention of Harvest Hosts has been one of the best gifts to the RVing and travel community. Harvest Hosts is a network of over 3,000 businesses that allow travelers to stop overnight. You must have an annual membership to Harvest Hosts to stay at these locations.
However, the membership can pay for itself in a handful of overnight stays.
The hosts typically expect that guests will support the business or establishment somehow. However, because many of these are farms, wineries, and other businesses, you can help them in many ways.
Pro Tip: We uncovered Is Harvest Hosts RV Club Worth the Money? Find out before you buy.
How to Find Overnight RV Parking Options
When looking for overnight RV parking options, technology will be your friend. Using apps like Campendium, iOverlander, and All Stays are great tools while searching.
You can also use your favorite truck stop apps to find the nearest location. Harvest Host members can use their mobile app to make finding a place near your current location easy.
You Never Know Where You’ll Sleep When RVing
RVing can be unpredictable and require a bit of flexibility. You may find yourself sleeping in unique places that you would never have imagined. However, this can add excitement and adventure for those who embrace this lifestyle.
If you choose to find unique overnight parking options regularly, you may spend the first few minutes of each morning trying to figure out where you are. Your friends and family might even enjoy hearing about the unique places you wake up each day.
What stores have you found offer overnight parking? Tell us in the comments!
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