Where are safe and free places to park overnight? - Fiberglass RV


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Old 10-13-2013, 08:02 PM   #1
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Where are safe and free places to park overnight?

I was wondering if there are known safe and free places to park/sleep overnight when on long hauls, and no campground around?

Thanks,
Bev Jones
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:31 PM   #2
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RV Parking at Walmart | Walmart Atlas

Overnight Parking Etiquette | Walmart Atlas

Walmart Corporate - Frequently Asked Questions
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:42 PM   #3
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Did it at a Wegmans 1 night this year in Pennsylvania. GPS took us to a closed Wallyworld and Wegmans was next door.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:49 PM   #4
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Highway rest stops are another option that lots of people use. Of course how safe they are depends somewhat on where you are - if it doesnt look or feel safe move on. Have only been at a few of those & often when in an area that is well known for high crime rates.

Casino's are another option - although some will charge a small fee for overnight parking while others actually have an RV park. Some have a surprisingly nice RV section and often $20 or less per night with around the clock security. One I stayed at gave out a $10 voucher to go play the slots and a free breakfast.
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Old 10-13-2013, 08:59 PM   #5
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Excellent links Frederick, thanks for posting those. We only did one night at Walmart, and one night in a truck stop. Asked permission at both places and thanked them for the privilege. Follow the suggestions in your links and we all benefit.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:01 PM   #6
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A website of Casino's that allow RV to overnight either for free or small fee is called www.casinocamper.com
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:09 PM   #7
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Free camping is easy to determine, safe camping is a whole another story. Beside the usual Wal-Mart stop we have used Cabela's. I have liked both these choices because we were with a number of other travelers. Other options include Bass Pro Shops, Cracker Barrel and Flying J Truck Stops. I see a fair number of pushers in our local Home Depot lot. I would guess just about any big box store might allow it, proper etiquette is to ask by walking into the service counter or call the store.

I like Cabela's because; what do they sell a lot of? Care to guess? Chances are at least some of the other campers in the lot are packing heat. That makes me feel safe, others may feel quite the opposite.

I would avoid any type of rest area, unlit area, city street or a place near drinking establishments. I would be especially vigilant on weekend nights. Scout the area by driving around before setting up. Travel with a dog, carry a whistle, air horn or alarm device; these are good deterrents. Pick your city and location or move on if uncertain. Do not stay were you are the only camper. Plan ahead so you can end up with a choice made in advance rather than one dictated by lack of sleep, fuzzy thinking or poor driving conditions.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:56 PM   #8
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On a cross country trip we used freecampsites.net for recommendations of where to stay for free or nearly free. We only stayed at ones that had positive reviews. We had no disappointments and stayed at Walmarts, Crackerbarrels, Camping World, Casinos, and city parks that had campgrounds.
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:08 PM   #9
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WOW!!!! Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!
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Old 10-13-2013, 10:09 PM   #10
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Quote from post #7: "I would guess just about any big box store might allow it, proper etiquette is to ask by walking into the service counter or call the store."
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Actually very very few "Big Box" stores, others than those already mentioned, allow overnight parking and even Wal-Mart has to refuse a lot of times due to local ordinances. The Wal-Mart Parking site listed above is very helpful in finding places that still allow OP as it's called. And in fact, Wal-Mart has a published corporate policy to welcome RVOP's. But as more and more Wal-Marts are built local ordinances are frequently invoked to prohibit them offering said parking. And, when local ordinances don't prohibit OP, owners of larger shopping centers where Wal-Marts are frequently usually prohibit OP.

Best bet is to always ask, or you run the real risk of being rousted out in the middle of the night and being asked to move along.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:31 PM   #11
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Carol, thank you for the link to the Casino camping website.

We have an Android app that helps us find overnight-friendly Walmarts: Allstay Camp and RV. It's a paid app, but very handy we're steaming from one part of the country to another and only need a place to overnight before we keep on rolling. We also used one near one of the National Parks (Joshua Tree) that was all booked up when we arrived so we could gey an early start circling the park the next in the morning when outgoing campers started to vacate.

I always make a point of buying a few things from the Walmarts we stay at.

Just a bit of advice on camping at the Walmart near Joshua Tree. Don't park too close to the Jack-in-the-Box. It's both popular and open all night.

"May I take your order, please?"
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:34 PM   #12
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We stay at WPL* locations frequently. Most have Redbox,a Deli, and a full line of supplies ranging from groceries and pharmacy items to clothing and camping supplies.
Typical stop ....
1] Find a good spot.
2] Go get a Redbox movie.
3] Get Deli and produce for supper.
4] Have good night's sleep.
5] Return the Redbox in the morning.
6] Get pastry and fruit for breakfast
7] Be on our way refreshed.

* (Walmart Parking Lot)
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Miller View Post
Quote from post #7: "I would guess just about any big box store might allow it, proper etiquette is to ask by walking into the service counter or call the store."
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Actually very very few "Big Box" stores, others than those already mentioned, allow overnight parking and even Wal-Mart has to refuse a lot of times due to local ordinances. The Wal-Mart Parking site listed above is very helpful in finding places that still allow OP as it's called. And in fact, Wal-Mart has a published corporate policy to welcome RVOP's. But as more and more Wal-Marts are built local ordinances are frequently invoked to prohibit them offering said parking. And, when local ordinances don't prohibit OP, owners of larger shopping centers where Wal-Marts are frequently usually prohibit OP.

Best bet is to always ask, or you run the real risk of being rousted out in the middle of the night and being asked to move along.
That sounds like California...In the U.S.?...Not so much!
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Old 10-14-2013, 12:43 AM   #14
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Here's another resource Map of Free Camping Areas | Go Camping for Free!
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