By Rene Agredano
From WalMart parking lots to visitor centers, asphalt camping is still allowed in most towns across America. However, property owners are increasingly prohibiting it thanks to the bad etiquette of sloppy RVers. To keep this overnight parking option alive, always practice good manners such as:
Remain Inconspicuous. Remember, you’re staying overnight, not setting down roots. Locate the most distant point in the parking lot, away from customers and delivery trucks. Don’t use awnings, patio chairs or barbecues. If you must use your slide outs, park alongside a wall so they aren’t sticking out into traffic.
Look Respectable. Let’s face it; first impressions are everything and nobody wants a homeless encampment on their property. Keep you and your RV neat, clean and respectable.
Try to Get Permission. If the parking area belongs to a retail establishment, go inside, buy a few things and ask to speak to the manager. If you’re parked at a restaurant, treat yourself to a meal. These are simple ways of saying “Thank you.”
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome. Keep your parking lot camping excursion to a maximum of two days to avoid a run in with the police.
Leave No Trace. From national forests to the urban jungle, the same code of camping ethics applies: pack it in, pack it out. Don’t put your jacks down (they dimple asphalt), and leave the area cleaner than when you found it.
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