23 Secret & Unusual Overnight RV Parking Spots (That Aren't Walmart)
As the RV, van life, and travel community keeps growing, it can be harder to find a safe spot for overnight RV parking. More and more Walmarts are not allowing it. Included below are 23 unusual places you probably haven't thought of using as RV parking spots.
Please note that these are spots usually just for one night. Also, these locations are a stay at your own risk. Just because it's free and might be allowed doesn't mean it's safe.
Airports or smaller community airports are known as flaming. Not glamping, but flaming (that's fly-in camping). Now, a lot of this might be for tents, but it's been suggested that you could also bring your RV or van in there.
2. Colleges and universities
I've never thought of this before, but many are prepared to have tailgate parties for sports games, and also prospective students that are checking out the campus.
That makes sense that when the boats are in the water in season, their storage locations might be available to park RVs. If you've used this, let us know down below.
4. Shopping malls
This was a new one to us because you wouldn't think that would be allowed. A lot of viewers have commented that they do this.
It makes sense that if a family was visiting a patient, that would be an easy way to allow RVs to stay overnight. Now, maybe you're not visiting, so just get clearance from the hospital or security.
6. Convention centers and arenas
That makes sense because they host big events and they're going to need parking spaces for vendors or bands that come into play for concerts.
A lot of viewers have said that they use this. Churches have large parking lots that are often open a lot of the week.
8. Movie theaters
Yes, big large parking lots that probably clear out late after the last movie showing, but that would be kind of awesome to park your RV and check out a movie.
Number nine is hotels with large parking lots or a field right by them for truck parking. Some of these will be reserved for guests only.
10. Race tracks
This is probably a place that you would do in between the races, but also another fun location where you can catch a race and then camp overnight.
11. Public libraries
Interesting, I don't know how popular public libraries are these days. Maybe their parking lots are more available.
12. Police stations or fire departments
Several viewers have told us they have done just that. There's a side benefit to this, you can go to a police station and ask them where you can park legally overnight in that town or community.
They can either tell you where you can go, or they will just let you park right there in their parking lot.
Yes, Kmarts, I've learned, were the very first big box store to allow overnight RV parking even before Walmart's.
14. Sam's Club
I know Sam's Club is owned by Walmart, but apparently, some RVs have stayed overnight at Sam's Club. We still have not.
15. Costco, Sears, and other big box retailers
Yes, there are still apparently 33 Sears locations left and some of our viewers say that they have stayed at some of these other locations as well.
16. Bankrupt stores
A lot of these big retailers that have gone out of business lately, now they've got huge parking lots, nobody's there, probably no security. The only thing I would be concerned about is security.
17. Stores under construction
Number 17 is warehouses, shopping malls, etc. that are still under construction.
The parking lots would be mostly empty because the stores haven't opened yet. There may not be anybody there to ask permission. So this is, again, a stay at your own risk.
Like CVS and Walgreens, they do have some good-sized parking lots, but maybe would be more suited for a vehicle or a van.
Now let's move to the last five on our list. These are the five that we have stayed at that are unusual or might be a secret to you.
19. Food Lion or other grocery stores
Yes, we did this a few years ago in South Carolina. We asked management and it was no problem. A couple of big trucks spent the night there as well.
20. Fairgrounds and city parks
We just used this in Montana. It was quiet and just a great spot for $0 for the night. I should jump in here and mention that some of these places also have hookups and they are still free.
21. Fitness centers
Number 21 is Planet Fitness or other fitness locations that you might be a member of. We used to be members of Planet Fitness a few years ago, and we stayed there. The cool thing about this is with the fitness facility, they've got showers.
22. Lowe's, Home Depot, and other large hardware stores.
A few years ago, we were looking for a spot, and there was a Lowe’s, and we did stay there. I'm being told by a lot of our viewers that it's hit and miss that some of these places say no overnight parking, so you need to ask.
23. Bass Pro Shops, Cabela's, Dick's, and other big sporting goods stores
We stayed at one of these in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota a few years ago overnight. We're told that some of them have dump stations you can use for free or for a fee.
Overnight RV parking
Have you already used some of these places for overnight RV parking? If you have, go ahead and comment down below. If you think of any others that we haven't mentioned here, go ahead and comment down below.
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