By Nanci Dixon
The great fall migration of RVers has started and casino camping is a valuable resource for the journey. Just like birds, RVers flock to warmer climates so they can winter without snow, cold, or a shovel in hand.
A lot of campgrounds are full and getting a site means planning well in advance. When we are traveling but not sightseeing, we prefer to not make definite stopping plans but just be able to park when tired or when weather conditions force us to. Casino camping is the perfect solution, particularly when the “campground” is an open parking lot that seldom fills.
In this week’s column, I am sharing some of our reader’s submissions that may help others with their own fall migration plans.
Have a backup plan
Knowing that campgrounds and even parking lots can be full, reader Craig D. has some sound advice to keep in mind as you are planning your trip: ”Have a backup plan! My wife and I left Brownsville, TX, on the last day of February 2020 heading for Big Bend National Park and planned to stop for the night at the Kickapoo Lucky Eagle RV Park that adjoins the casino there. When we got to the casino, late in the evening, the RV park was filled to capacity and we ended up driving another hour to the nearest available park in Del Rio, TX. So have a backup plan if you don’t have a reservation!”
That certainly goes for parking lot casino camping too. In the times of COVID, it is advisable to call the casino ahead to double-check that they are open and have availability.
Midwest casino camping
We migrate from Minnesota to Arizona in the fall and generally stay for free at Diamond Jo’s Casino in Dubuque, Iowa, off I35. It is parking lot camping at its best! There is always enough room to put out our slides. Some highway noise but not too bad.
Chris C. writes about a casino in Iowa: “Wild Rose Casino in Clinton, Iowa, has an RV area in their parking lot and allowed us to overnight park. Plenty of lights and a quiet area and some grass areas for our dogs. (As always, all dog owners need to please pick up after their dogs.) Also, need to throw kudos for how many Cracker Barrel restaurants allow overnight parking for RVers too.”
Eastern casino camping
For you East Coast travelers, Marica L. says: “Presque Isle Downs and Casino, in Erie, PA, exit 27 off I 90. Large level parking lot to the right after you enter the driveway in. Well lit and usually several RVs as well as trucks parked for the night. Their shuttle runs every few minutes for those who want to visit the casino or a restaurant.”
Christy C. wrote: “A few years ago, I stayed two days at Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, CT. I was impressed. They had spots for even the big rigs. They also had a separate lot for truckers. They had security and a bus came every 30 min. or so to take you to the casino. There are no hookups or dump stations.”
Southern casino camping
Roy B. says: “We try to stop in Tunica, Mississippi, on our way to and from our snowbird home. Both Hollywood Casino and Sam’s Town Casino have very good RV parks with full hook-ups, level concrete pads, free Wi-Fi and cable. Both have security patrols and are kept neat and clean. Maintenance is prompt for any problems. I recommend them both.” Note: Hollywood and Sam’s Town have free overnight parking too. Tunica and Robinsonville, Mississippi, have several more casinos – Gold Strike, Horseshoe, and Tunica Roadhouse – that also have free overnight parking.
Western casino camping
Headed west? Nickon T. mentioned these casinos: “We have enjoyed our many visits and overnight stays at the Rolling Hills Casino (RV park only) on I-5 near Corning, California. The Blue Water Casino in Parker, AZ, (free overnight parking) plus the 7 Feathers Casino, on I-5 at exit 99 in Canyonville, Oregon. Another of our favorites is the Tulalip Resort Casino (free overnight parking) in Tulalip, Washington. We do not hesitate to recommend ALL of these since we have had pleasant overnight stays over several years of travel.”
Show your appreciation
Lindy M. mentioned being a good guest and remembering to support the casino, particularly when camping free: “We have stopped over at a couple of casinos here in California. No hookups, but since it was only for a night it was fine. What I really like is that they usually have a gas station attached (with pretty cheap prices) and excellent security. Since parking is free we make sure we go inside and eat at one of their restaurants and lose a few dollars in a dollar machine.”
Stopping at a casino, or a casino newbie?
American Casino Guide provides not only information on casinos, it has a gambling primer on slots, video poker, blackjack, craps and other popular casino games and RV, hotel, restaurant information.
Casino Camping Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos is also a great guide.
Join our Facebook Group Casino Camping for more casino information. Post your favorite spots too.
Read last week’s Casino Camping here.
Tell us about casinos you like that other RVers might like. If you have any tips or secrets about casino “camping,” tell us those too, please!