Say you get tired on your journey…or you are just not in a hurry…or maybe your budget got sucked dry by an unexpected expense. There are a lot of reasons for not ending up in a campground for the night.
Most everyone knows about free overnight parking at Walmart. All you have to do is check in with the manager at each store first. I would be careful and do some investigating first, however. Walmart stores can be in less than favorable areas of town. There are absolutely no amenities except for level ground.
Kmart has recently allowed overnight stays, but are very similar to Walmart – see above. LOL
Many casinos have become accommodating to RVers as well. Some also have dump stations and water, but you would have to call ahead to verify amenities. Built in entertainment is available for those who are inclined.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offers free camping indefinitely if you are traveling across country. You can stay for 14 days free before you have to choose another site 25 miles away. Please see the following link for more information:
One can boondock just about anywhere if you have the right equipment such as solar power, a large water tank, enough RV storage for food and good organization/planning skills. You don’t want to be in the middle of nowhere and run out of toilet paper! Actually, I think I’d be more worried about food and water. Have you ever seen me hungry? NOT PRETTY!
There is even a website for boondocking on fellow RVers’ properties. The site lists hosts by county or state making it a friendly site. There is an annual fee of $24.95, but if you can also be a host and provide a location, you qualify for a discounted host membership. So it isn’t totally free, but may take away some stress about safety and give you peace of mind if you freak out without any amenities. Some hosts provide a safe, legal location that is free to stop for the night. Most hosts only expect guests for 1-3 nights. Check out how it works for yourself:
Camping World is an RV friendly option – sometimes. It is recommended that RVers call each Camping World to verify their policies. Some that are on private properties are determined by the property owner. Some local ordinances may not permit overnight parking. Camping World suggests checking with each Camping World store about overnight parking. I’ll assume just for the sake of argument that many of these property owners are RV dealers and campground owners.
Cabela’s sounds like a place I’d like to try. They have large sites that allow free overnight parking with fresh water and dump stations. Most also have a kennel for dogs to run and even a place to let horses out to stretch their legs. Some have signs designating overnight RV parking and most require a call. Bass Pro Shops are very similar. You can even shop while you stay! A win win!
It’s nice to have a few safety nets just in case. Hope this helps!