There is a famous saying that the best things in life are free. This perfectly fits when you are on the road and thinking where you might be able to park your recreational vehicle without paying a single penny.
An RV is a large vehicle, and you cannot just park it just anywhere you want. You don’t want to pay $50 just to park your RV at a traditional campsite for a night. I have seen many RVers who rarely stay at paid campgrounds and RV parks.
So, is it possible to park your RV for free?
Yes, you don’t have to pay anything just to park your RV. There are a number of places that allow you to park your RV for free. Now you might be wondering how you can find a place like this. Well, below, I have enlisted everything that you want to know.
So, let’s get started!
Do You Really Need to Find Free RV Parking?
Well, yes, absolutely! Who doesn’t want to save money? This is the biggest reason why RVers constantly search to find free RV parking. Moreover, the RV campgrounds, regardless of whether they are public or private, are increasing their rates. If you camp more often, you don’t really want to stay at any of these paid campsites and RV parks.
However, besides saving money, there is much other reason why you really need a free RV parking. Staying at a campground or RV parks means you don’t have much freedom, and you have to follow their rules. While on the other hand, most of us’ primary aim when hitting the road is we want freedom, and we want to experience it.
Moreover, campgrounds are noisy and become more congested during the RV season. While on the other hand, free RV parking sites are rarely fill up. You don’t have to reserve a campsite in advance as well.
Furthermore, finding a free camping site means you are going to witness breathtaking views that most of the time, free camping sites offer – Obviously, I’m not talking about Walmart and truck stops here. You can consider BLM lands and National Forest as your free camping sites with stunning views.
How Can You Find Free RV Parking?
The United States of America is an enormous country. Besides providing unlimited opportunities to everyone, the country has fifty states, and all of these states have incredible attractions, sceneries, and breathtaking views.
However, when it comes to camping, each of its states has different rules and regulations. Some are incredibly camping friendly, and some are extremely strict. If you are an experienced RVer, you already know that you cannot go wrong with Walmart parking when finding a place to park your RV for free.
But you should know that Walmart parking is not the only option that you have got. You can find plenty of places throughout the United States where you can park your RV for free. These places are safe, free, and legal to park your rig.
In this regard, if you are heading to easy of Mississippi, you will find many states that offer free camping, but most of them are only for staying six to eight hours at roadside stops. It isn’t really camping, but if you are tired of traveling all day long, you can use these free parking places to take some Zzzzz.
While if you are heading to the American West, you will find some of the most stunning nature while enjoying the free camping on National Parks and BLM lands. The government owns these places.
Moreover, some other US states also offer similar lands for free camping like Washington’s Department of Fish and Wildlife RV parks. New Mexico offers a pass that gives you either totally free camping or incredible discounts throughout the state.
So, where can you park your RV for free?
Best Place to Park Your RV Overnight for Free
Here are some places where you might be able to park your RV for free.
1. Public Schools
Most of the schools have spacious parking lots that can be used by the community for parking purposes for free. Especially on weekends, when the schools are closed, these parking lots are empty, and you can park your RV for free for overnight stay.
However, if you have parked your RV at a school parking lot, you should stay out of other people’s way and make sure to get out from there early the next morning. Moreover, before parking your rig there, you should ask for permission.
The second place to park your RV for free is Churches. They also have spacious parking lots that are used by visitors for parking purposes. If you’re trying to find a place when the schools are busy, you should find a church with a parking lot. The only time when the church parking lots are busy is on Sundays.
Just like asking for permission to park your RV at a school parking lot, the same applies here. Make sure to move before their busy hours.
3. Rest Areas
Most US states have flexible RVing law and allow you to pull over for an overnight stay. Just make sure not to take the spot of a truck driver. You can find a nearby RV park to pay and stay there, but they can’t.
4. Truck Stops
You will find numerous truck stops while traveling across the highways. Some of these truck stops are operated by chains, such as Pilot Flying J’s and Love’s. You can park your rig there for free. Moreover, these stops also have a bathroom facility, repair services, food, and paid showers.
Although these stops are exclusive built for large trucks, they also have areas for RV parking. You should also know that sometimes they might not let you park your RV for free, but they do most of the time. In this regard, you can get detail by calling them or using an app “AllStays.”
Regardless of whether you’re in the United States or Canada, there is a number of casinos that allow you to park your rig for an overnight stay. They have spacious parking lots, and some of them are no different than RV campgrounds. However, they don’t have hookups. Although they might find them empty during the whole week, they are as crowded as a campground on weekends.
But why do casinos offer free parking? Well, just like Walmart parking lots, they are also smart enough and counting money off you once you are at one of their parking lots. However, not all the casinos offer free parking, so it would be great to get detail by calling them before you get there.
6. Walmart Parking Lots
Most (if not all) Walmart stores allow you to park your RV for free. Some Walmart stores don’t offer free parking or parking at all because they don’t have that much space to accommodate RVs. So, you should get detail by calling them. If they allow overnight parking, you should also ask for permission before parking your RV.
Best States for Free Overnight RV Parking
Here are the best US states for free RV Parking,
Colorado tops the list of best US states for free camping. It offers a massive amount of free camping opportunities with stunning peaks. The western half of the state is worth exploring. You will witness some of the most breathtaking mountain views.
Here are the Best RV Parks and Campgrounds near Denver, Colorado.
The second best state that you can go for free camping is none other than Arizona. It offers plenty of attractions, including old mining towns, Petrified Forests, Grand Canyon, and much more. The state is truly one of the most amazing places to explore with more than two-hundred free camping sites.
California is yet another one of the most amazing state for free camping. Besides its well-known and most attractive cities, such as San Francisco and Los Angeles, less known places like Redwoods and Yosemite are also worth exploring. When heading to the eastern portion of the California state, you are all set to take your camping to a whole new level.
Don’t you love forest canopies, stunning mountain peaks, rushing rivers, and outstanding weather? Well, you cannot find all of these camping adventures in any other state except Washington. The free camping opportunities that the state offers make it one of the best states to explore.
Oregon is known for its one of the US’s coolest cities, farmer markets, deserts, and breathtaking rainforests. It also offers plenty of free camping opportunities to make sure you have a camping trip that you remember forever.
If you want to experience a classic camping experience, there is nothing better than heading towards Idaho state. Although it isn’t as popular for camping as some other US states, you will surely be going to enjoy your trip to Idaho.
Don’t be surprised to see Michigan on this list since it is the only eastern state of the country. I’m not treating Michigan any special. The state offers an abundance of free camping opportunities that include natural areas, such as National Scenic Lakeshores, rest areas, and much more.
So, that is all about where you can park your RV for free. I sincerely believe that this comprehensive guide will help you find the best free places to park your RV. I have tried my best to explain everything in detail. I have also talked about the best US states for free camping. Parking your RV at any of the above places is safe, convenient, and free. You don’t need to park your RV at a campground or RV park and pay just because you want to take some rest. However, staying at a place that allows you to park your RV for free, you should make sure to ask for permission first, do not overstay there, and keep the place clean. You’re welcome to post a comment below to share anything related to the topic.
What US state offers the best free camping opportunities?
Colorado state tops the charts when it comes to free camping sites. The state has Fish and Wildlife Service, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Forest Service, BLM land to provide you free camping opportunities.
Can I use Walmart parking lots to park my RV for free?
When searching for a place to park your RV for free, you cannot go wrong with Walmart parking lots. However, most of the Walmart stores have designated lots to accommodate RVs for an overnight stay, but not all. It will help if you get detail by calling them. Moreover, before using the Walmart parking lot for RV parking, you should also ask for permission.
Does free camping sites also offer hookup facility?
No, most of the free campsites where you can park your RV for free don’t have the hookup facility. However, it is not a big issue since you are parking your RV for free.
Why should I find a free place to park my RV?
The main benefit of finding a place where you can park your RV for free is you will save money. Moreover, you will also have more freedom, and most of the free parking places are not as noisy as campgrounds or RV parks.