Tuesday, November 28, 2023


Free and cheap places to stay in an RV, Issue 976

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

Forrest Park, Lamesa, TX
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed! The city-owned park has 8 back-in 30/50A E/W RV sites, located across the street from the playground in Forest Park. There is a dump station on-site. Water may be turned off in winter. Very wide sites will accommodate 40′ rig with toad parked crosswise in space. Spaces re-graveled as of Oct 16. Level, not brightly lit. Some traffic noise from 9th St, which cuts through the park. No apparent security issues. Maximum stay: 10 consecutive days or 12 days in any 30-day period. Signage states for visitors only, not for commercial travelers or vendors. 2019 rate: free for the first four days, $20/day after that. Click here for details

Sportsman’s Warehouse, Anderson, SC
FREE! Overnight parking is allowed but please obtain permission from the customer service or store management. Park in far NE part of lot, furthest from the store, without obstructing traffic lanes. Level or close to it, well-lit, appears safe and quiet. There are 5-6 restaurants within walking distance. 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 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 Kathleen O’Keefe on our Free Campgrounds Facebook page: “When you are driving on 118 down to Terlingua (Texas) from Alpine (Texas), 14 miles south, I have stayed in the roadside picnic area on the left-hand side of the road. You can park a large RV there and it is legal. And also, the American Legion on the right-hand side of the road (118) gave me permission to park there overnight too. Go in, have a drink, maybe get something to eat and ask. At the time, they had free wifi also. The Marfa Lights viewing area is also free to stay overnight. It’s on the highway out of Alpine towards Marfa 67/90. Then, I almost forgot, 22 miles south of Alpine is the Elephant Mountain Wilderness. You can boondock for free there.”

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 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.

Emily Woodbury
Emily Woodburyhttps://www.rvtravel.com
Emily Woodbury is the editor here at RVtravel.com. 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 RVtravel.com she's hiking, cooking or, well, probably traveling.



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