Friday, December 8, 2023


Free and cheap places to stay in an RV, Issue 956

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:


Cracker Barrel #108, Smithfield, NC
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed. RVers may park overnight along the edge of Cracker Barrel lot, provided they obtain permission from the store manager. Do not park in marked Bus/RV spaces behind Cracker Barrel, as these are in Outlet Center Lot where Overnight RV parking is not allowed. The lot may be very full during meal hours, so be prepared to wait until lot clears out, or have an alternate location in mind. Level, well-lit, with road noise from I-95. Click here for details

Rhythm City Casino Resort, Davenport, IA
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but obtain permission from casino security or hospitality desk in lobby. Park in one of 20 marked long-vehicle spaces in far NE part of property. Well-lit, level, and appears safe. Likely I-80 traffic noise from trucks parked here. Steak house, buffet, and sports lounge on site. 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

Two new guides to free campgrounds
Roundabout Publications has teamed up with the Ultimate Public Campground Project on these two new guides. Discover thousands of designated camping areas in the West and in America’s Heartland – real places – not big box store parking lots. Included are areas managed by various governmental agencies. Learn more about the West edition or Heartland edition.

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!

Facebook user Robert Parker wrote: “The American Legion Post 75 in Cortez, Colorado, is open to RV parking. Dry camping only $5 night. Large lot for rigs. Lodge OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. We will stay here as camp hosts to help them get it set up. If you’re looking for a place to stay to see the Mesa Verde National Park, Hovenweep National Monument, Durango & Silverton and Four Corners Monument, try staying here. The parking lot will hold 40 rigs – large, pull through. Water and dump is close by city water plant and Maverick Fuel station east of town. Lots of good restaurants. The Legion is open 6 days a week for food and drink but closed Tuesday. Come and join us for a fun time. and it is very quiet here.”

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

Walmart Directory: Best printed directory of Walmart locations
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.

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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