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RVing message boards => Destinations, RV Parks, Routes => Camping at Wal*Mart and other non-campgrounds => Topic started by: HRDWRK on January 27, 2016, 09:43:04 PM

Title: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: HRDWRK on January 27, 2016, 09:43:04 PM
Hi:

If you are on your way to a destination and you just need to stay a night or few hours to get some rest, what and where would be the safe place to stay? Wallmart? Rest stop? any other palace? We travel from WA to CA ate least few times a year to see and take care of family and friends. Many time we are just heading down there straight. We would like to use our RV since we have few pets to take with us and we hate to check in to the hotels for that reason.

Thanks
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: Rene T on January 27, 2016, 09:52:36 PM
Hi:

If you are on your way to a destination and you just need to stay a night or few hours to get some rest, what and where would be the safe place to stay? Wallmart? Rest stop? any other palace? We travel from WA to CA ate least few times a year to see and take care of family and friends. Many time we are just heading down there straight. We would like to use our RV since we have few pets to take with us and we hate to check in to the hotels for that reason.

Thanks

I would stop at Walmart's. Just make sure yon ask the store manager if it's OK to stop (even if there are other RV's there already) to get a few hours sleep. Always have a shopping cart with a couple of items in it to show you are buying from them. Do not extend your slides unless you really have to. Do not pull out the grill and make it look like you're camping.  Do not leave any trash behind.
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: Tom and Margi on January 27, 2016, 10:10:57 PM
Many of us have used this rest stop over the years.  Don't have any current information on safety, but it's probably OK.

http://www.rvtravel.com/blog/rvshortstops/2009/04/best-california-rest-area-for-rvers.html
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: Tom on January 27, 2016, 11:04:42 PM
We're in the 'not at Walmart' camp and, in almost 30 years of RVing, have not felt the need or desire to stay overnight at a WM. OTOH we have friends who stay at Walmarts, truck stops, rest areas and almost any place that's "free".
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: HRDWRK on January 27, 2016, 11:19:42 PM
Many of us have used this rest stop over the years.  Don't have any current information on safety, but it's probably OK.

http://www.rvtravel.com/blog/rvshortstops/2009/04/best-california-rest-area-for-rvers.html
We have actually stopped at this rest stop couple of times. We didn't have our RV at those times. It is a beautiful place.
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: Mtn Mike on January 28, 2016, 12:20:53 AM
There's a couple of websites with references to "free" camp spots. I really enjoy using this one: http://www.campendium.com/   . You can set the filter to "free" and search whatever area you're in. No affiliation but I've used the site many times to find spots to stay the night. 
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: Frizlefrak on January 28, 2016, 12:24:10 AM
A lot of Cracker Barrel locations will let you overnight as well.
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: JX2Fields on January 28, 2016, 05:16:58 AM
 A lot of casinos have free overnight parking for rvers, some have now started to charge a small fee to keep the riff raft out, which is to bad.
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: SeilerBird on January 28, 2016, 06:00:37 AM
For a $25 a year subscription you can have access to Overnight RV Parking's database of 10,000+ spots to park for free in the US. I used the service for many years when I was full timing and it is easy to find a spot no matter where you are;

http://www.overnightrvparking.com/
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: Rancher Will on January 28, 2016, 06:11:09 AM
You will get many comments from various people about any stopping place, even for or against specific RV Parks. Everyone has their preference.

For over 50 years we have stopped overnight, and longer, at dozens of types of locations, many free plus many actual RV Parks. Many types have been mentioned here over time and I believe that we have used all of them. One that has not been mentioned often, but one that we use often, is parking lots at various commercial businesses.

Over the years we have often noticed what seems to be large parking spaces at shopping centers, auto dealers, manufacturing factories, other commercial businesses, city or membership club parks, athletic parks such as local baseball parks, etc., etc., More often than not when we ask permission to park there overnight we are welcomed. Often we are the only RV parked in some of these places over night and find peace and quiet while gaining new friends.

We have stayed overnight often in some of these free places so  that we have become known to them are welcomed back each time.

Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: scottydl on January 28, 2016, 07:54:53 AM
We have an area of the forum dedicated to this very topic: Camping at Wal*Mart and other non-campgrounds (http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/board,75.0.html)

We've never yet camped at a non-campground (except family members' driveways), but would certainly do so if we needed a quick stopover during a long trip.  Next year we plan on driving from IL to FL to camp with family, and along that route might be our first "parking lot" sleeping experience.
Title: Re: Where to stop for free?!!
Post by: TonyDtorch on January 28, 2016, 08:13:34 AM
Be aware that things are a little different here on the left coast.  ( so. Cal. )


Because of the mild weather we have a lot of down and out people that also compete for those "Free" camping spots around towns.

many cities have had to increase enforcement on "Street camping".  In most cities Walmart's are forbidden by city ordnance to allow overnight camping.

 It gets bad down the street where my shop is located, almost every day there is 2 or 3 RV's parked.
 
So, if you park overnight in an industrial area,    don't be surprised if you get a knock on the door.

I think the cops know who is parking overnight and who is living there but they have to enforce the laws equally.