Monday, December 4, 2023


Free and cheap places to stay in an RV, Issue 949

Free and inexpensive places to stay with your RV in the U.S. and Canada!

Updated weekly

When it comes to free places to stay a night in an RV, Walmart is the best bet. We estimate that about 65 percent of all its stores in the USA allow stays in self-contained RVs.

Other businesses that allow free overnight stays include Flying J Travel Centers, Cabela’s, Cracker Barrel restaurants (official policy is overnight stays are NOT permitted although most stores allow the practice), Costco and Kmart. Many RVers routinely stay in shopping center or factory outlet parking lots. Many casinos allow or even encourage overnight stays in RVs.

Recent reports of free and inexpensive places to stay with an RV:


Cabela’s (Parking Lot Parking), Sidney, NE
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed for one night only. This lot is often extremely busy and full, with painted lines delineating parking spaces close to 70 ft. long. Pull as far forward in spaces as possible, to leave room for a smaller RV behind you. DO NOT EXTEND SLIDES as they may be struck by trucks arriving after dark. The lot is well-lit and clean. Store also has a full-hookup RV park, at rates that exceed our usual maximum of $20/night. Dump station in lot with non-potable rinse water. Free potable water fill near dump station too. Free WiFi. Click here for details.

Warren County SB Parking Only Rest Area, Saint Charles, IA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed on a seasonal basis. The entrance ramp to I-35 is on an uphill grade, and winter weather often causes unsafe re-entry onto I-35. State of IA allows RVs and other vehicles to park in a rest area for a maximum of 24 hours. This rest area has parallel parking along both curbs. No other amenities. Click here for details.

Overnight RV Parking, with more than 14,000 locations listed, is the largest and best resource for locating free and inexpensive places to spend a night in an RV. For membership information and a demo of the site, click here. A modest membership fee required, but try the free demo. Watch a video about

Please join our Facebook group, Free Campgrounds, and share your favorite free camping spots or submit free or inexpensive campground information to us here. Thanks!

Kate Spenard Munson asked on our Facebook group, Free Campgrounds: Does anyone know if you can still park in a casino lot even if it’s closed?
Overnight RV Parking answered: “The reports we’re receiving tell us that most casinos that have closed have also closed their parking lots. There may be exceptions, but each casino runs its own operation and sets its own rules. If there’s one specific one you’re thinking about, you should call them first, or at least have a backup location in mind.” 

See last week’s free (or almost free) locations here.

Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations
Guide to Free Campgrounds: Best-selling directory, year after year.
Overnight RV Parking: More than 14,000 location listings. Inexpensive membership required.
Harvest Hosts: Members can stay free overnight at farms & wineries.

AFFILIATE OFFER: Save 10% on campground fees when you join the Good Sam Club!

Helpful videos
• Video: Where to camp for free in an RV.
• Video: How to camp in an RV at Walmart for free.
• Video: Best source of free and inexpensive RV camping.
• Video: Which “Big Box” stores allow free RV camping?
• Video: RV camping for less than $1 a day. Stay months.
• Video: Okay to stay overnight at truck stops?
• Video: Camping at Elk Lodges. An amazing bargain.

Walmart Free RV Parking

Walmart’s official policy about overnight stays in RVs.
The ABCs of “camping” at Walmart.
• Guidelines for overnighting in an RV at Walmart.

Good Reading
RV park owners say “Walmart campers are cheapskates.”
The appeal of boondocking in the desert.
Articles and information from about boondocking.
Six safety tips for overnight RV stays at casinos.
Free camping at wildlife refuges.
Why overnight RV parking at truck stops is a bad idea
Try winter boondocking at LTVAs in AZ and CA deserts.

Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodbury is the editor here at She was lucky enough to grow up alongside two traveling parents, one domestically by RV (yep, Chuck Woodbury) and the other for international adventures, and has been lucky to see a great deal of our world (and counting!). She lives near Seattle with her dog and chickens. When she's not cranking out 700+ newsletters for she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



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