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Free Overnight Parking


A. Blazev
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Welcome to the Escapee forums. Most Walmart stores do still allow an overnight stop as do Lowe's, Home Depot and several others. There are cities that have enacted ordinances that do not allow RVs to spend the night in parking lots and the stores have little choice but to abide by those laws. Even so, many of us do spend an occasional night at one of these stores. If you get off of the interstate highways and travel the US routes, there are still many small towns that allow an RV to spend the night in a park of parking lot there. We might be able to give more helpful information if you were to give us an idea or where you are seeking places to spend a night. 

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Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!

As was pointed out in another current post, RVing is becoming much more popular. Demand for camping sites is increasing faster than the development of new campgrounds. Here are some resources for locating free or low cost campgrounds: Harvest HostsFree CampsitesUltimate Public Campgrounds ProjectBoondockers Welcome, and Escapees Days End.

Land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the National Forests and Grasslands offer opportunities for vehicle camping in other than designated campgrounds in many areas. The rules vary with each management unit so research is required. Some States allow camping on  Wildlife Management areas, State Fishing Lakes, State Forests, Water Management Districts and Public Trust Lands (School Trust Lands). Again the rules for each area vary so research is required. Some highway visitor centers allow overnight stays (check the rules).

Again, Welcome to the Escapees Forum!!!

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Also some power companies own campgrounds; like the former Northern States Power Co. Check out the Tennessee Valley Authority if you are in their territory. Some Corps of Engineer sites offer free camping as well; we stayed at one overlooking a dam which was not a campground per se but did allow overnights. And there is always moochdocking where you stay with friends or family but overnight in your RV.

LInda

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11 hours ago, whj469 said:

I have never used a free spot. We don't do no hookups, ever.

There are a few free RV spots around with at least elect.  Might be only 20amp or 30amp.  Mostly in small towns.

Not being willing to learn how to park overnight w/o hookups does limit the places you can stop for a quick overnight stay if RV Parks are full.  

Everyone has their preferred way of traveling in an RV. 

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We just traveled from Florida to Tennessee and stayed in bass pro,rural king and Walmart parking lots          . We did find Home Depot that would allow it. We use the all stays app a lot to find places. We went 5 consecutive days during that time. Having large tanks and solar and lithium batteries made it easy. Spent 8out of 11 days in parking lots

Edited by Danandfreda
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What is wrong with Walmart? Article below say about 58% are still allowing overnight parking.

I seldom use Walmart any more. I boondock at rest stops, casinos, motel parking lots, truck stops, etc. 

Walmart Not The Haven For RV Parking It Once Was – Good Day Sacramento (cbslocal.com)

Seldom if ever pay except for NYC and some of the springs in FLA. But that does not mean you can boondock all over the 50 states for free. Every place is different.

I was talking to a guy about boondocking (urban that is.) He said it was low class. OK, call me low class. I try to live within my budget. Gas alone is very high when you take a trip and gas prices may climb even more. 

Edited by slackercruster
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2 hours ago, Danandfreda said:

We just traveled from Florida to Tennessee and stayed in bass pro,rural king and Walmart parking lots          . We did find Home Depot that would allow it. We use the all stays app a lot to find places. We went 5 consecutive days during that time. Having large tanks and solar and lithium batteries made it easy. Spent 8out of 11 days in parking lots

 

Yes, Cabela's / Bass Pro is good.

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Unlike the poster who has never used a free spot, we rarely use campground.  Even if they are low to no cost, they do not have anything to offer us.  Also there are typically no campgrounds where we want to stay. 

 

We have used State land, Forest Service, BLM, Walmart, Other "box" stores, Rest areas, Large pull offs on roadways (seldom and only as last option), Army Corp, Local parks, Other businesses with large parking lots, Moochdocked at friends or friends of friends.  I am sure there are more that I have forgotten to list. 

We have only been doing this for about 5 years, but the last couple of years we spend about 100 nights in our RV.

Edited by Nwcid
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We are not as dedicated as Nwcid, but we very, very seldom stay at an RV Park.  Going cross country we utilize Walmarts, rest areas, open parking areas that allow o/n parking.  For more than just an o/n stop we seek out National Forests, State Parks, City Parks, BLM land, pretty much anywhere that we can find where are not jammed in like sardines side by side with other RVs.  Most of these places are listed on DaysEnd, Campendium, Freecampsites, etc. 

Edited by Al F
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Some years back we used to pretty much wing it with little pre-planning beyond pointing the rig down the road and seeing where we were later in the day when it was time to stop. Did that for years, but times have changed and now we have state park reservations several months into next year to insure we have places to park when we get to southern GA and FL for next winter. Our holiday weeks for this summer and fall are all booked as well at our preferred state parks. The rest of our time will mostly be spent at our private sites in NY and VT. We'd really rather go back to "the good old days", but I don't see that happening any time soon...

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  • 1 month later...
On 3/27/2021 at 7:21 PM, whj469 said:

All of my RV trips are well planned with reservations. I don't even like to stay for one night anywhere.

Boondocking is not for you. With urban boondocking you never know where your bedding down for the night.

I got a little tuck camper. So I use motel parking lots a lot. I used to ask, now just pull in at midnight and bed down. 

Columbus OH was a problem with finding hotel / motels parking lot to bed down in. But eventually found one.

Edited by slackercruster
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On 3/28/2021 at 4:44 PM, Dutch_12078 said:

Some years back we used to pretty much wing it with little pre-planning beyond pointing the rig down the road and seeing where we were later in the day when it was time to stop. Did that for years, but times have changed and now we have state park reservations several months into next year to insure we have places to park when we get to southern GA and FL for next winter. Our holiday weeks for this summer and fall are all booked as well at our preferred state parks. The rest of our time will mostly be spent at our private sites in NY and VT. We'd really rather go back to "the good old days", but I don't see that happening any time soon...

Yea, first part is how I roll. I guess if I stayed at parks I'd have to make reservations as well. Heard on TV this morning you need reservations just to drive into Yosemite for the day now.

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On 3/28/2021 at 1:44 PM, bigjim said:

I admire your organizational skills and if that makes you happy what more can you ask?  Not being at all critical but that would make me crazier than I already am.  Just being nosey I wonder  what you did in your work life. 

 

Hey, some people don't RV...they got private jets!

I used to stay at Liberty RV Jersey City for my NYC trips before the corrosive virus hit. They had a beautiful Class A bus, brand new on maiden voyage and it got sideswiped the entire length coming into the campgrounds. The guy was rich and didn't seem to care.

That is one of the few time I have to stay at a campground...when I worked in NYC. I used to pay $75 a day and park in their gravel parking lot for the boats. It was a good opportunity to see the rich and the poor RV'ers. I' think it is $85 a day to boondock there now and $120 with full hookups.

Early in my days there I had a van as a neighbor with 2 young teens, a mom and granny all 4 living in a old van. (regular van, not RV van.)  They were from the Carolinas and said they come up once in a spell to get the big city fix out of their system. The little girl asked if I had a cup or a bowl for their puppy to have some water. It was pretty sad. But they didn't break in while I was gone working...so they were good neighbors!

If I ever come into some $$ I'd buy a Lazy Daze or cheap Class C, smaller size. I liked to ski in VT, but it rusts out the RV, so quit. So maybe I would not want to rust out a Lazy Daze or maybe if rich enuf I would not care? Lotto will have to decide that. I may only be rich enuf to rust out cheap class C's.

Another time they had a Airstream mini convention there. Wooo...what nice rigs the Airstreamers have! You see all sorts there...rich to poor. 

Edited by slackercruster
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If you become an Elks Club member there are good affordable RV parking options.  I don't think the newer younger campers have discovered this yet

 

Casinos are another option. casinocamper.com

Faithfulparking.com  is a new option starting in churches

 

Edited by trostberg
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1 hour ago, trostberg said:

Faithfulparking.com  is a new option starting in churches

I tried to check out this option thinking my church might like to participate but many of the links on their website don't work. I tried to email them but they don't list their full address and I don't use the only mail option provided. If you can communicate with them, you might ask them to address their broken links and post an update here.

Linda

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  • 5 months later...
On 3/26/2021 at 12:28 PM, sandsys said:

Also some power companies own campgrounds; like the former Northern States Power Co. Check out the Tennessee Valley Authority if you are in their territory. Some Corps of Engineer sites offer free camping as well; we stayed at one overlooking a dam which was not a campground per se but did allow overnights. And there is always moochdocking where you stay with friends or family but overnight in your RV.

LInda

I can vouch for that. In Modesto, CA, there are two lakes (Modesto Reservoir and Woodward Reservoir) that have full hookups for $20 per night if you are 65+. Up near Mt. Ranier, there is a campground on Alpine Lake that is $25 per night if you are over 65.  I am sure that there are MANY like this if one only knew where to look.  Does anyone know of a web site or list of where these power company campgrounds are? Thanks for your help!

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  • 1 month later...

How do I find the SKP members who allow the free parking on their property. I can't figure out how to search it. I have posted below what I saw on the Escapees website.

Overnight Parking With SKPs

 

SKPs is a friendly acronym used to refer to members of Escapees RV Club. Many SKPs own property across the country where they welcome fellow members to stop for a night or two. These sites are often free, or available for a small fee, and the listings are only available to Escapees members.

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1 hour ago, Bert2 said:

How do I find the SKP members who allow the free parking on their property. I can't figure out how to search it. I have posted below what I saw on the Escapees website.

Overnight Parking With SKPs

 

SKPs is a friendly acronym used to refer to members of Escapees RV Club. Many SKPs own property across the country where they welcome fellow members to stop for a night or two. These sites are often free, or available for a small fee, and the listings are only available to Escapees members.

Signing in to this forum is not the same as signing into the Escapee member pages. Did you do the latter?

Linda Sand

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On 5/19/2021 at 2:52 PM, trostberg said:

Faithfulparking.com  is a new option starting in churches

It comes up as "currently down for maintenance, check back later" at 7:30 today.

8 hours ago, Bert2 said:

How do I find the SKP members who allow the free parking on their property. I

If you click on the OVERNIGHT PARKING tab you will find additional information. You do have to first sign into the member section, then under the benefits tab click on overnight parking. In the page that then opens, to the lower right you will see a tab OVERNIGHT CAMPING and click on it. The directory is maintained by and Escapees member and is available to members only.

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On the trip I never take the Free Overnight Parking. But heard that Home Depot, Lowe's and few other offer that. Though I know a site called "free camp sites dot net" you can have a look on it my friend

Kind regards

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