Where Can You Park Your RV for Free?

If you travel in your RV, then eventually, you will have to park it to sleep. But figuring out where to park your travel trailer or camper can be challenging. Also, so RV parking spots can be a little expensive, so it helps to know where to park for free. 

Where to find free RV parking 

Do you know that some RV campgrounds can cost upwards of 50 bucks per night? That’s pretty expensive, but RVers are adventurers. There are ways and places to park your RV for free overnight. 

Free campgrounds do exist for recreational vehicles. Only they generally have a first-come, first-serve basis. Also, according to RVshare, free campgrounds rarely fill up and provide the convenience of being able to come and go as you please. They break ties of needing reservations and having strict checkout times. 

Bengal off-road pickup truck RV by Tiger Adventure Vehicles on a dirt road
Bengal RV Camper | Tiger Adventure Vehicles

But free campgrounds may not have RV hookups. So, you might be boondocking. Boondocking, also known as dry camping, means that you won’t have electrical or water hookups. You may not have a place to shower or a water spigot either. 

It’s just you and your camper. Some people prefer camping this way. Often it provides more seclusion from other RV neighbors. You can find free campsites in public land areas that agencies such as the National Forest Service manage. 

Can I park my RV at Walmart? 

Yes, RV travelers can park at Walmart and other stores. But this method should only be used on the way to your campsite. Generally, stores offer free 24-hour parking. So, don’t get too comfortable or unpack all your gear. 

You may also want to be polite by purchasing something from the restaurant or business. Places that allow RV parking include rest stops, Camping World, Cracker Barrel, and Cabelas.

RELATED: Is Traveling in an RV Cheaper for Vacations?

Always read the signs before parking and ask the manager if you can stay there first. Also, some rest stops don’t allow overnight parking. See the rules regarding parking according to your state first. 

But what about truck stops? Technically you can park your RV at truck stops, but not every location is the same. Find a well-lit area that you feel safe in. We aren’t saying truckers are dangerous, but like any public location at night, you should be aware of your surroundings. 

Some truck stops like Flying J have separate parking areas for RV travelers. Also, you can call ahead to see if RV parking is available. If you utilize semi-truck parking, remember that truck drivers need this place to sleep and rest between shifts. Be courteous! 

The best way to find free parking 

To find free RV parking, you can look on sites like FreeCampsites.Net. This will provide a list of free sites or cheaply prices sites along your route. Plus, it allows RVers to leave reviews and provides information about the available bathroom facilities. 

Campers set up in RVs by a lake
A lakeside campsite | Jens Büttner/picture alliance via Getty Images

You can also check out the Bureau of Land Management and National Forest websites. They provide detailed information about your options when it comes to camping in areas owned by the government.