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


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Old 10-13-2013, 07:02 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?

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Bev Jones
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Old 10-13-2013, 07:31 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, 07:42 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, 07:49 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, 07:59 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, 08:01 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, 08:09 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, 08:56 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, 09:08 PM   #9
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WOW!!!! Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:09 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."
-------------------------------------------------------------------
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, 10:31 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, 10:34 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, 10:37 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 10-13-2013, 11:43 PM   #14
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Here's another resource Map of Free Camping Areas | Go Camping for Free!
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:44 PM   #15
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This one is a pay resource but could be helpful. I'll probably try it this winter. Overnight RV Parking
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Old 10-14-2013, 05:43 AM   #16
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I had emailed Cracker Barrel a couple years ago to ask about overnight parking and was told they didn't allow it. Of those that have done it, did you get permission first?
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:03 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by floyd View Post
That sounds like California...In the U.S.?...Not so much!
It also sounds like Wisconsin
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:14 AM   #18
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We've used this method several times over the years and it never fails. It's gotten later than you wanted to drive and you're nearing a small town. We drive around until we find the police station or an officer on patrol. We tell him/her we are tired and ask where we can pull over and get some rest. They have always directed us to a safe location many times offering to allow us to park in their lot with the patrol cars. I had one officer tell me he appreciated us getting off the road when we were tired. Wal-Mart's and Cracker Barrel's are great and we've never been bothered anywhere we've decided to stop but we are very much aware or our surroundings. Mr. and Mrs. Colt and the Dobermans we travel with do give us some peace of mind too!!!
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Old 10-14-2013, 07:30 AM   #19
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It's true that the Wal-Marts in the western states are more apt to have no OP, seemingly mostly due to abusers, which leads to local ordinances against OP. For example, I believe all of Maricopa County, AZ (PHX) is NO OP.

About two years ago the Wal-Mart in Brea, CA one of the last within 30 miles of the beaches/DisneyLand and my house (which is a bit like DL sometimes) to still allow OP, finally went NO OP after a rather beat-up looking class "A" not only caught fire, but the owners proceeded to dismantle it for salvage in the middle of the parking lot.

Unfortunately ratty RV's & less desirable occupants (whatever that means) seem to go together in our warm weather, sometimes with very negative results, leading to bad press for the rest of us.

And YEA, the Grand Canyon is again open, but first snow should fly within the next 6 weeks.....



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Old 10-14-2013, 07:42 AM   #20
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I have found that parking in front of a jewelry store ensures a safe night's sleep.

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