RVing is not something that just retirees do anymore. There are more and more millennials who are choosing this type of unique and versatile travel experience as well.
Those who have owned an RV for a long time will likely know the rules about where you can camp or park legally. However, new owners or renters might just hit the road without knowing the rules.
It is important to take some time to learn the rules about parking your RV before you head out on any adventure.
If you have recently purchased a motorhome, one of the things that you might have forgotten about is where you can park it legally when you are not using it. Often, a garage is not going to be an option. The most convenient place to park your RV would be on the street, but is it legal to do so?
Can your park an RV on the street? Yes, in most cases an RV can be parked on the street. The amount of time that you can park an RV on the street will vary depending on the local township and city ordinances that are in place. The rules may also be different based on whether you are sleeping in the RV or if you are just parking it in the street.
Let’s take a closer look into where you can park your motorhome short term and some of the caveats that you need to pay attention to when you are looking for a place for your RV.
Can You Park an RV Anywhere?
When you begin RVing, one of the biggest questions you will run into is where is it legal to park an RV? Most pro RVers will inform you that the best option is to schedule a spot in a campground or RV park in advance. Others might tell you to just go with the flow and park your RV wherever you can find a place.
The fact of the matter is, where you can park an RV is going to be determined by where you are. Every city across the country has different ordinances in place. This means that when you are traveling you will need to consider the place that you are in. You will be able to quickly lookup the laws for the area and find places around you where you can legally park your RV.
The short answer to whether or not you can park an RV anywhere is NO. This is because there are several areas that have banned RV parking.
Can I Park my RV in my Backyard?
There are some towns that ban RV parking in your backyard but will allow you to park your RV in your driveway. Other towns have bans on parking RVs in driveways, but will allow them to be parked in a backyard. Most of the time the rules for where you will be able to park your RV at your home will be determined by the home owner’s association of your neighborhood.
In many cases, a home owner’s association will allow you to park your motorhome on your property as long as the neighbors do not have to see it. This means that the backyard is often the best option.
Can I Park an RV in my Driveway?
Parking your RV in a driveway is typically allowed. However, there are some homeowners associations, towns, and cities that will not allow a motorhome to be parked in the driveway of a homeowner. In other towns, the driveway is the only place that an RV can be parked.
When you purchase an RV it is important to discuss the rules of where it can be parked with your homeowner’s association. You should also research the town ordinances regarding RV parking.
Can I Park an RV on my Property?
Once again, when it comes to parking an RV on your property it will depend on the rules that have been set by your neighborhood association and the town or city that you reside in.
If you are traveling and you plan to park your RV on the property of a friend or family member, it is important to reach out to make sure that this is allowed. In most cases, you will be able to park the RV for at least a night or two.
It is important to make sure that you follow the rules when it comes to where you can park your RV. Failing to follow the laws can result in fines and the possibility of having your RV towed.
4 Places Where Can You Park an RV Overnight
Most of the time you will be able to park your RV in a parking lot without much trouble. However, many parking lots will have time limits, so it is important to make sure that you leave before the time runs out.
It’s essential to ensure that the company allows you to park overnight in the parking lot as there are several places that will not allow overnight parking.
The good news is that there are many places that will allow you to park there overnight. At times you might have to be a bit creative in order to find a place to stay for the night.
Some ideas about where you can park your RV overnight include:
Truck stops are not just for rigs anymore. RVs are no parking at truck stops across the country each day. If you follow the rules of the truckers you are fine to park in these areas.
Make sure that you are courteous, park straight, and leave by the middle of the morning if you choose to park in a truck stop. One of the great things about parking at a truck stop is that you can meet many interesting people and learn more about the underlying culture that has developed at these locations.
Truck stops bring in many types of people who are in and out of the lot all through the day and night. For this reason, it is important to make sure that you lock your windows and doors and keep all of your valuables out of sight both when you are in your RV and when you are out exploring.
There are many casinos located throughout the country and most of them will allow RVs to park in their parking lots when there is space available.
There are some casinos that will charge a fee to park in the parking lot on busier weekends and during holidays. It is a good idea to call ahead and talk to the management before you decide to park in one of these lots. You want to make sure that you are parked far away from the regular parking spots so that you do not end up being towed.
Some casinos will have designated areas for RVs to park. Other casinos will allow an RV to park anywhere as long as it is far enough away from the entrance to the casino.
When it is safe to do so, Walmart encourages the use of their parking lots for RVers.
There are some Walmart locations that have designated RV spots that show you where you can park. If you do not see these spots, it’s likely still okay to park in the lot. Make sure that you are parking away from customers and the entrances to the stores.
In the FAQ section on Walmart’s website, the retailer explains why it allows people to park RVs in its parking lots overnight:
It is also a good idea to shop at the store while you are there as this shows your appreciation for being able to park there.
Access the retailer’s lookup feature to check which Walmart locations do and do not allow for overnight parking.
It is important to note that Walmart is getting stricter about the types of RVs that can park in their lots. It is important to check with someone on the staff before you park there to make sure that you do not get towed overnight. Additionally, there are some towns that have banned Walmart from allowing RV parking. The reason for this is because there were campground owners and townspeople who were upset by the company allowing groups of RVs to park in the lots.
Aside from Walmart, Coscto locations also allow for overnight RV parking. Just check as each Costco location is different.
If you are stuck looking for a place to pull over for the night, a school might be a good option. This is often the last resort option if you cannot find another place to park your RV. There are some schools that consider parking in their lots trespassing, and other schools do not mind as long as you are a part of their community.
Make sure that you check with school officials before you park your RV and make sure that you are moved before school starts the next morning.
It is important to make sure that no matter where you choose to park your RV, you have permission from the management or the property owner ahead of time.
Rules of Engagement
Wrapping up, here are some obvious rules of thumb to follow to make your stay problem free:
- Choose a spot to stay in a far corner of the parking lot and avoid pulling out your awning, deck chairs or set up a barbecue.
- Keep your noise levels down. That includes not playing loud music or running your generator (unless you’ve been granted permission).
- Keep the parking lot clean, and take your trash with you when you leave. If you’re travelling with pets, clean up after them.
- Be vigilant, and only open your door overnight to the police or a security guard.
- Be courteous and polite AT ALL TIMES, even if you’re told that you can’t stay overnight,
- If parking at a Costco or Walmart, ALWAYS buy something as a way to show your appreciation for the free overnight stay.
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