Wednesday, January 19, 2022

MENU

Have you spent a free night in a parking lot with your RV in the last year?

How often do you spend a night in some place other than a traditional campground or RV park? Is it routine for you, or only on rare occasions when you can’t find an official campground or RV park to stay? Or maybe you don’t feel like tossing away $40 just to park and go to sleep for the night.

The most famous free “campground” is Walmart, where most stores will permit you to stay overnight in a self-contained RV in an out-of-the-way spot in their parking lot.

Let’s keep today’s poll simple and just ask you if you have spent a free night in the last year in a parking lot of one kind or another.

Remember, the poll can sometimes take a few moments to load, so stand by. It will be right along.

Comments

Subscribe
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

43 Comments
Newest
Oldest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Charlie Morris
1 month ago

Yes 2 times in the past 3 years, I ensured, that I was out of their business way as far as possible, i am Very Greatful & my family & I humbly spend 10s of thousands $ yearly @ Walmart….I do hope there is some way to have a balance, for those who are greatfull for a periodic circumstance, that does not ruin our Great relationship. Respectfully Charlie😊🏈😊

Peggy Coffey
1 month ago

Only spent one night in a Walmart parking lot. Someone tried to break in in the middle of the night. Our dogs barked like mad and woke us up. We left at 4 in the morning vowing to never do that again.

Duckman
1 month ago

Several times. Mostly Cracker Barrel and Walmart.

Bob
1 month ago

I’m a retired truck driver and never ever do I pull into a truck stop with my RV for a night sleep. I’ll fuel up there and get food in my belly. But I won’t ever take a space from a trucker that needs that space to sleep. The trucker have a truck stop for a reason. This is the only legal place for a trucker to spend their down time at. It’s all geared up for truckers and NOT CAMPERS. But like I said. Pulling in to fuel up get food and shop. Then move on. That’s just how I feel about it. Plus who wants to hear a truck running it’s motor all night while you’re trying to sleep.

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  Bob

I use to drive truck and today’s truck drivers are not what they use to be. I won’t park the night in a truck stop unless I have to. All you need do is look up how much unlawful acts take place in truck stops and you may have second thoughts. Seek out another place to stop and don’t forget your friends Smith and Wesson

Admin
RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Hi, Dave. My uncle was a long-haul truck driver for many years, starting in the early ’50s, with a spotless driving record. I don’t remember how many miles he drove, but I think it equalled several round-trips to the moon. And, even though I’ll never be going to a truck stop, I do have my handy friends, S&W, to take with me up to my mountain property, which I share with black bears, mountain lions, etc. (Actually, they’re kind enough to share it with me.) 😀 Have a good night. 🙂 –Diane aka Mountain Mama

Darlene Kolinski
1 month ago

Each winter for the last 4 years I have left Wisconsin with a particular destination somewhere in the Southwest. I usually spend the first four nights on the way at either Walmarts or nice rest areas along the highways until I get to my destination. Then I will usually use campgrounds and sometimes dispersed camping. Same thing in reverse, come spring. It is so convenient when you’re just trying to put on the miles.

Vanessa Simmons
1 month ago

Not a retail parking lot but a few Elks lodges and rest areas most memorable is Roadrunner in NM.

Cal in Florida
1 month ago

We stop at campsites when we need air conditioning or a dump station. Some people travel to camp, we camp so we can travel. I don’t see a crowded KOA as a destination. Truck stops do not have a check-in time, so we can stop whenever we feel like it; don’t need permission or reservations.

Andrea Wenzel
1 month ago

Hey RV Travel! We love to Wally doc! It saves us so much time as they are usually not too far from our main route and we can stock up on a few necessities before we leave in the morning.

Larry
1 month ago

Yes – Truck stops while en route to my destination. Many now have spaces for RV’s to overnight. I prefer them to the other options because they are generally more convenient, they have fast food, amenities, and supplies available. I feel safer because they are staffed and open all night with customers and often LEO’s coming and going. I have been in some Walmart parking lots where I felt unsafe late at night.

Irv
1 month ago

The problem with overnighting at Cracker Barrel, is I’d feel obligated to eat there. I’ve eaten there twice in 20 years and the food was as bad both times as my Mom used to make.

Hidden Due To Upcoming Trip
1 month ago

No, but we have to make a trek south in a few weeks, and we will be staying in a Walmart and a PFJ/Loves lot on the two nights of our three day trip.

John Koenig
1 month ago

I voted NO only because Covid has me “Isolating in Place” (where I feel safe) since March, 2020. I would LOVE to resume my RV treks (which DID entail the occasional night at a Walmart, Cabelas etc) but I choose to exercise prudence until there is more of a “handle” on the whole Covid conundrum. Sadly, I expect that 2022 will be very similar to 2021 (and very possibly worse). 🙁

Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  John Koenig

Better do what you want. There will ALWAYS be another “Variant”. That’s the plan.

Peggy Coffey
1 month ago
Reply to  John Koenig

They will never have a handle on the pandemic. You should sell your rv now because you’ll never use it again as frightened as you are.

Dave
1 month ago
Reply to  John Koenig

John, what class?

George Daniel Mengel
1 month ago

I look for a church steeple from the interstate. They have big lots and only use them one day a week.

Andrea Wenzel
1 month ago

Interesting. I’ve never thought of that.

Wayne Caldwell
1 month ago

Just a suggestion, but you might check to see a pastor’s phone number and call to get permission. Then if the police are patrolling and call him/her, they can confirm that you’re ok.

Philip Smith
1 month ago

Traveling from the East last August, needed a place to stay near Denver. All regular RV parks for 50 miles around were full but there was lots of room at the Cracker Barrel. And a good dinner and breakfast as well.

Charles
1 month ago

Never stay in RV park when traveling. Stay in truck stops or roadside parks or rest stops.

Cat
1 month ago

On travel days, when just passing through and not needing to dump tanks, our first go to is Harvest Host locations. If those aren’t fairly close by, we’ll opt for a Cracker Barrel or other non-Walmart location. Last choice would be truck stops or rest areas. If we’re still passing through and need to dump tanks or need water, or just need AC for the night, we’ll look for a fairgrounds that has shore power. They are usually quite, sparsely populated, safe, and inexpensive. For longer stays we do plan in advance and make reservations as early as possible…we like knowing where we’re staying before we get there!

Diane Mc
1 month ago

Use to. No longer. Too stressful wondering if you can find a spot, if you’ll fit. We are on the back end of our RV travel days so doing it as stress free as one possibly can. If the need arises we would consider it.

Neal Davis
1 month ago

We recently (September 2021) spent one night in a Cracker Barrel parking lot while returning home from having Lloyd DeGerald service our Aqua Hot at his home shop in Arkansas. Realizing that we could not get home in one night, we began calling campgrounds in the vicinity of where we wanted to stop for the night. The only available spot long enough for our 43′ motorhome was $75/night, so we called the Cracker Barrel nearby. We had a delicious meal and a restful night’s sleep, did not have to unhitch our towed vehicle, and paid far less than $75 for the entire experience.

Leslie Smith
1 month ago

Yes, several times each year.

Vincee
1 month ago

Yes, absolutely! When we travel we typically plan a Walmart or Lowes stop the first night, then alternate between campgrounds, Walmarts, etc, and rest stops every other night. We never plan the free stopovers as part of the trip per se as a destination, but only a layover to save a little money along the way and leave more dollars to spend at main stop destinations such as Nashville, the Florida Keys, and Key West and so on.