It’s Illegal to Park Your RV in These 5 Places

Traveling around the country in an RV can offer a lot of adventure and fun, but that enjoyment can be hindered when it’s time to park your recreational rig. And while there are plenty of places to park your RV for free, there are some places where it’s illegal to park it. Here are five of them.

1. You can’t park your RV on residential streets

In the early morning sunrise a motorhome stands on a parking lot at the German-Polish border river Oder at the edge of the Oderbruch in East Brandenburg.
In the early morning sunrise a motorhome stands on a parking lot at the German-Polish border river Oder at the edge of the Oderbruch in East Brandenburg. | (Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images)

We’ve all seen RVs and campers parked on residential streets before, but did you know it’s actually illegal to do so? According to the folks at Drivin’ & Vibin’, parking your RV on a residential street is illegal in some towns across the U.S., but fortunately, there are usually signs letting you know that it’s prohibited. 

Of course, you can try and pull a fast one on the neighbors and park your RV on a residential street, but they could report you. In that case, you could face a large fine or even jail time, so it’s probably best to avoid them altogether.

2. Certain rest stops may not let you park your RV overnight

Signs prohibit motorhomes from parking in the village.
Signs prohibit motorhomes from parking in the village. | (Thomas Frey/picture alliance via Getty Images)

While rest stops, or rest areas, are widely regarded as great places to stop and use the bathroom, or park overnight, that’s not entirely the case if you have an RV – at least in some states. According to the RV Hive, it’s illegal to park your RV overnight in states like Colorado, Tennessee, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. In other states, parking overnight is legal as is parking at the rest stop for a number of hours.

3. Parking on private land without permission is prohibited

Signs prohibit motorhomes from parking in the village.
A police officer stops a motorhome with a stop trowel during a check at a parking lot on Highway 9. | (Bodo Schackow/picture alliance via Getty Images)

This one should go without saying, however, just remember to never park your RV on private land unless you have permission to do so. Doing so can lead to great consequences should the private landowner choose to have your RV towed, or something worse.

4. It’s legal to park at campgrounds unless you don’t pay

Volkswagen Transporter T3 Westfalia parked on the parking place for campers, camper vans, and caravans are seen in Warnitz, Germany.
Volkswagen Transporter T3 Westfalia parked on the parking place for campers, camper vans, and caravans are seen in Warnitz, Germany. |(Michal Fludra/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Yes, parking your RV at most campgrounds is legal, unless you don’t pay. Many campgrounds lack an attendant and a gate, so you’ll have to insert money into an envelope to pay for your spot. Remember to do this as refusing, or forgetting, to pay can lead to a hefty fine.

5. It’s illegal to park your RV on public streets between certain hours

Just like with the residential streets, it is illegal to park your RV on certain public streets between certain hours in some states. Just remember to pay attention to the posted signs and park accordingly.

Illegally parking your RV can lead to fines or towing

If you do happen to illegally park your RV in one of the places listed above, then you can face some serious fines or even have your RV towed. The amount of the fines can vary, however, some RV owners have reported getting fined up to $1,500 plus a year in jail for parking in a residential street. However, some fines can cost around $150 to $300, depending on the state and county.

Either way, it’s important to use common sense to figure out where to set your RV for the night. In certain areas and times, even though you “think you can get away with it,” it’s probably not a good idea to tempt fate. Instead, we suggest finding an RV park or another legit place to stay for the night.

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