Free and cheap places to stay in an RV, Issue 972

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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:

From OvernightRVParking.com

Cracker Barrel #145, Columbia, MO
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed! Cracker Barrel requests that RVers obtain permission from the store before parking overnight. The lot is small and often busy; late arrival & early departure recommended, as congested lot may make for tight maneuvering. Park in one of 7 marked Bus/RV spaces behind the building, or as directed by the store. RVs that won’t fit in those spaces may receive permission to park along one edge of lot. Small RVs that will fit in a single auto parking space may receive permission to do so. If you park overnight here, please purchase your evening meal and/or breakfast here. Click for details.

Cracker Barrel, South Portland, ME
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed! Cracker Barrel requests that RVers obtain permission from the store before parking overnight – this store requires it. No marked Bus/RV spaces. Park as directed by store; which may be behind the store, parallel to curb at the back of the lot, closest to I-95, or maybe in front of the store closest to Maine Mall Rd. Level, well-lit, appears safe, with some traffic noise from I-95. If you park overnight here, please purchase your evening meal and/or breakfast here. Click 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 OvernightRVparking.com.


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 Butch Allison on our Free Campgrounds Facebook group: “Muleshoe, TX, has five days free… donation suggested.” Editor’s note: It looks like Butch is talking about a free dispersed camping area at 1519-1531 County Road 1248. Muleshoe, Texas. 

Here’s a tip from Laurie Paiva-Adkins: “Most free RV camping will be found on public lands. The best way to find free RV parking spots is to ask the local police or sheriff office. A phone call is all it takes, and you will be surprised at the great places they will direct you to, especially when dealing with smaller communities.”

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.


Resources
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.

FREE STAYS AT TRUCK STOPS:

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 RVtravel.com 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.

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