Overnight Parking In Your RV

Tips & Advice
Ben and Christina McMillan lounging in front of their Jay Feather travel trailer

As an RVer, there will be times when you’ll need to park your rig overnight somewhere. You might be in between campground reservations, wanting to break up a long travel day, dealing with unexpected weather, or maneuvering road closures and traffic issues. Regardless of the reason, understanding how to safely and legally park overnight in your RV is an important aspect of travel. Here are some tips and advice to help you find a suitable overnight parking spot.

Ben and Christina McMillan's RV parked at an overnight parking spot

Stay Safe And Secure

Safety and security are the top priorities whenever you’re parking overnight in your RV. Try to choose a well-lit area and park in a dedicated RV or bus parking space. These spaces are specifically designed to accommodate longer, wider vehicles and should offer you more room. If there aren’t any RV-specific spots, try to park away from any entrances, exits, or heavily trafficked areas. If you can, we recommend parking against a curb to avoid being too close to another vehicle. Once you’ve parked, be sure to lock your tow vehicle, RV and any outside storage compartments. Don’t leave any items outside of your RV, close your blinds and keep any valuables out of sight to deter potential break-ins.

Be Aware Of Local Laws And Ordinances

Different cities will have different rules. For example, some Walmart locations will allow you to stay overnight in their parking lots while other locations won’t. Generally, this has to do with the local ordinances that either allow or prohibit overnight parking. You can usually find rules about overnight parking on the city’s website, or you can call city hall directly and ask. If you’re planning to stay in a parking lot, call the place of business and ask if it’s okay to park overnight. 

Wherever you park, be respectful of your surroundings. This includes keeping noise levels down, properly disposing of trash and avoiding generators (or using them sparingly if absolutely necessary). If you happen to park illegally, you’ll likely get a knock on your door in the middle of the night from a police officer. They’ll typically just ask you to move but they may issue you a ticket or fine.

How To Find Overnight Parking

RV-specific travel apps such as Overnight RV Parking, Campendium and Harvest Hosts are a few of our favorites when looking for overnight parking. Planning your route ahead of time will allow you to research different parking options. Many of these apps have interactive maps that can show you parking locations along your route or within a certain radius of your location. Be sure to read any reviews about a parking location to make sure it’s a good fit for your situation. We like to stay overnight at places that offer something other than an area to sleep. For example, we’ll try to stay at or near grocery stores, a street near the center of town or somewhere with a nice view. Though this isn’t always an option, we try to make our overnight stops fun and useful.

Places To Park Overnight

Our Favorite Overnight Parking Locations

  1. Freeport Village Station

    This city-owned parking lot in the town of Freeport, Maine, is within walking distance to great shops and restaurants. It's free, has a one-night limit and is well-lit.

  2. Weldon Mills Distillery

    We found this spot in Weldon, North Carolina, through Harvest Hosts. It has ample parking, is near the gorgeous Roanoke River and it has some of the best whiskey we've ever tasted.

  3. 7 Cedars Casino

    This casino in Sequim, Washington, allows you to park for up to three nights. There is a designated section of the parking lot just for RVs and they even offer free electricity. While parking here, we got to enjoy free entertainment in the casino and eat at their fabulous restaurant.

Overnight parking is an essential aspect of RVing, one that requires proper planning and execution. By following these overnight parking tips, you can find safe, legal parking spots that will enhance your experience and ensure a stress-free journey. Remember to plan ahead, be aware of local laws, use designated RV spots, be respectful of your surroundings, and stay safe at all times.

Travel Trailers

Travel trailers are the most popular type of non-motorized RV. No doubt you’ve seen one pulled down the highway hitched to a car or pickup. Travel trailers come in all sizes including tiny jellybean-shaped models with a chuckwagon kitchen in the rear to the massive house-on-wheels with picture windows and a sliding glass patio door.

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An travel trailer RV parked in a green field.