Let’s say you’ve got your dream trip planned. Maybe you’re heading from New York to California and planning on making a few stops at some beloved national parks before you reach your dream destination. Although you might plan for a few stops, chances are there are nights that you haven’t yet planned for or certain campgrounds are completely booked. Instead of forking out extra money to stay at a paid campground have you thought about finding a free place to stay for those single nights you need to just catch a few Z’s before hitting the road again?
Finding free RV parking requires just a little initiative and planning. Wal-Mart, most casinos, Flying J’s and certain large chain stores usually offer free overnight RV parking unless there is a city ordinance against it.
When planning your RVing route you can simply do a simple search online to find potential night rest stops. Before stopping at a free area it’s important to abide by the following rules:
Call For Permission | Whether you’re planning on stopping at a rest area or Wal-Mart be sure to call in advance and speak with the store manage. Ask whether they allow overnight RV parking and if yes, let them know when you will be arriving and when you plan to leave.
Park In The Rear | If you plan to park at a free lot be sure to park in the rear of the parking lot as far away from the more convenient parking as possible. Since you’re parking for free it’s unfair to take a more convenient parking spot that can be used by paying customers. By keeping this rule in mind you can also ensure that free parking is available in the future.
You’re Not Camping | This is important to remember. There’s no need to set up like you’re camping, extend slides, or level the RV. The key here is to keep it simple.
Give Back | Since you’re staying for free a nice way to give back to the business whose lot you’re using is to purchase something from them. That might mean buying groceries or even a small souvenir. Whatever you buy it’s giving back to the business and local community.
Leave It Clean | A general rule of thumb is to leave the lot you stay at cleaner than when you first arrived. Clear away any trash, do not dump your gray water tanks, and be sure to thank the manager before you head out.
Finding a place to camp for free is easy and by following their rules you can guarantee that free overnight stays can be available for years to come. And, with the money you save you can spend a little more once you reach your dream destination.
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