Friday, September 22, 2023


Free and cheap places to stay in an RV, Issue 970

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 60 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:


City of Firth Nature Park, Firth, ID
FREE! Overnight parking and dispersed camping is allowed. Park has numerous roadways, turnouts, etc., all unpaved, and all suitable for small RVs only. No hookups, no potable water. Picnic tables, Porta-Potties, and trash receptacles on-site. Many trees for shade, but open areas as well. River access. Believed to be open all year, but may not be accessible in winter. No reservations. Maximum stay: 3 days in any 7-day period. Click here for details.

West Tower Campground, Osceola National Forest, Lake City, FL
FREE! Overnight parking and dispersed camping is allowed. RVs of any size are allowed. No designated campsites; dispersed camping in a pine forest. No hookups, no dump station. Potable water available, but may not be via a threaded tap. Trash receptacles. Restroom with flush toilet; cold-water shower. Device charging station. Lighting near roadway only. Level, quiet, and appears safe. Open all year. No reservations. Maximum stay: Believed to be 14 days. 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 excellent 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.

And this guidebook should be an essential resource for RVers who boondock on public lands: Bureau of Land Management Camping.

From Facebook user Jenna Weiss on our Free Campgrounds Facebook group: “Forest Road 525 is a forest road on the outskirts of Sedona, AZ. The road is dirt, but manageable at low speeds. Here is a great article about it.”

From Facebook user Judy Kay Smith on our Outstanding but affordable RV parks Facebook group: “Wes Watkins Reservoir in Harrah, OK, off of 1-40 close to Midwest City. Full hookup at $25 a night. First-come, first-served.”

Please join us in our Facebook groups, Outstanding but affordable RV parks, and Free Campgrounds.

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.


Here’s Pilot Flying J’s directory of locations that allow free overnight RV parking, plus info on fuel discounts, propane and dump stations.

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 365+ newsletters for she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



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