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What Stores Allow Overnight RV Parking?

Have you ever wondered what stores allow overnight RV parking? There are many empty parking lots all over America after the stores close. So why don’t RVers take advantage of them all for overnight parking?

Well, some stores allow overnight RV parking while others don’t. It all depends on city ordinances, store policies, and manager preferences.

We decided to help our RVing community by creating a list of stores that do allow overnight RV parking so that when RVers are traveling and need a place to get some sleep, they can refer here.

Let’s get started!

Disclaimer: Free overnight RV parking is not always allowed at every single one of the stores listed. Rules and regulations vary from state to state, city to city, and county to county. Even if the company allows it, some local jurisdictions prohibit overnight RV parking. Always check and ask permission ahead of time, and never stay overnight in an area with posted signs prohibiting overnight parking. Be responsible, respectful, and remember the RVer’s Good Neighbor Policy!

Can You Park Your RV Overnight Anywhere?

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Sadly, no, you cannot park your RV overnight anywhere you want. While many stores have huge parking lots that would give plenty of space for overnight parking, it’s not always legal or allowed.

Some cities and towns have strict local ordinances that do not allow overnight RV parking or sleeping in any vehicle in any parking lot, publicly or privately owned. You don’t want to have the dreaded knock on your door in the middle of the night telling you to move on.

Another reason you can’t park your RV overnight in store parking lots is because of store policy. There may be insurance liability reasons, or no security presence, and the store does not want to take a chance with someone getting hurt on their property (or someone vandalizing/breaking in/damaging their property).

The last reason why some stores may not allow overnight RV parking is because managers often have the last word about whether it’s ok or not at each specific store. Always call ahead first to see if it’s allowed before settling in. Even if the internet says it’s okay, the manager on duty might have an opposing rule.

What Stores Allow Overnight RV Parking?

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Even though many stores do not allow overnight RV parking, there are plenty that do. Here is a list of stores that our members have used (and we confirmed) that give the ok for overnight parking. Be sure to read each description for details.

1. Walmart

Walmart has been an overnight RV parking go-to for many RVers and is found all over the USA. However, over the last few years, there have been more signs stating “No Overnight Parking” in some locations. Call ahead to confirm that overnight RV parking is allowed and where the manager of the store would prefer you park.

2. Cracker Barrel

This restaurant and country store has allowed overnight RV parking for years. They have specific spaces for large rigs and typically have a quieter parking area. While there, be sure to grab a meal!

3. Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops

These outdoor recreation stores specialize in hunting, fishing, camping, and more. Cabela’s parking lots typically have spaces set aside for overnight RV parking and some even have dump stations and potable water. When Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s they allowed overnight RV parking, too. Always check with the manager before staying.

4. Anytime Fitness, 24 Hour Fitness, and Planet Fitness

Although not specifically stated in their policies that overnight parking is allowed, these are 24-hour/7 days-a-week gyms and because of that parking is allowed during those hours, too. A membership is required to visit these gyms. Go in, work out, take a shower, then get a good night’s sleep!

5. Camping World

This RV accessory, sales, and service business will often allow RVers to stay overnight. Be sure to check with local stores and heed any “No Overnight Parking” signs if you see them in the parking lot.

6. Home Depot and Lowe’s

Big box hardware stores like these have allowed RVers to stay overnight in many locations. However, it’s best to check with the manager before deciding on one of these.

7. Costco

Costco parking lots are typically large enough to accommodate RVs of all sizes and allow overnight parking. Do some shopping or eat at their snack bar. Because many Costco stores also have fuel stations, grab some gas or diesel before you leave the next day. Again, be sure to check with the manager for any reason why you might not be able to stay overnight.

8. Sam’s Club

Like Costco, this wholesale club has huge parking lots where RVs can park. Since they are affiliated with Walmart, they allow overnight RV parking. Be sure to check with the manager to see if staying overnight would be breaking any city laws or company policies.

9. Kmart and Sears

Did you know that Kmart has historically been friendly to overnight RV parking? Sadly, there are very few stores left, but they do allow RVers to get some sleep overnight when needed. Sears is in the same boat, with fewer stores than there used to be. Check with the store manager to see if they allow overnight RV parking and obey posted signs.

10. Pilot/Flying J and Love’s Truck Stops

Truck stops technically do allow RVers to park overnight, but we don’t always recommend it. Truck stops exist for long-haul truckers to get groceries, take breaks, naps, and showers, and sleep overnight. Truckers have very specific legal time limits on how long they can drive, so truck stops are an essential part of their workday routine. Because of this, we don’t recommend taking up the limited parking spaces reserved for long-haul truckers. If you’ve ever seen truckers parked on the on- and off-ramps of a highway overnight, over-crowded truck stops are often to blame.

Some truck stops have RV-specific spots, and these are perfectly acceptable to use. Some may even have hookups and RV dump stations. However, taking up a parking space in the semi-truck parking lot is generally not recommended. If you can find another option, please move on and save the truck parking for the truckers who truly need them.

11. Mall parking lots

Mall parking lots are huge! They are very enticing as RVers drive by wondering if they allow overnight parking. Fortunately, many malls do allow overnight RV parking. Never assume that it’s ok to stay overnight, though. Always look for posted signs and check in with mall security or at the management office to see if it’s allowed.

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What Stores Allow Overnight RV Parking? 3

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Why Do Some Towns Allow Overnight RV Parking But Others Don’t?

There are many reasons why some jurisdictions allow overnight RV parking, and others won’t. Unfortunately, some towns ban overnight RV parking or sleeping in vehicles because people staying in their RVs overnight have left behind trash, dumped wastewater onto the pavement, overstayed their welcome, abandoned their RVs, and chosen to set up camp in the parking lots. Some people have even put out camp chairs and cooked out on their grill, right in the store parking lot!

Overnight parking options at stores and public parking lots are a courtesy and a privilege. They are meant to provide safe haven for road-weary travelers who need a good night’s rest before continuing their journey… Not for those seeking a free campsite for multiple days.

In response to this behavior, many towns have passed ordinances against sleeping in vehicles or camping within the city limits to prevent these problems from happening again. It’s why we see so many new “No Overnight Parking” signs in parking lots where we might have stayed before.

Apps and Websites To Help You Find Overnight RV Parking

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If you want to find overnight RV parking as you plan your travel routes, there are apps and websites designed to help you. Here are a few we and our members have used and recommended.

Allstays app: This app reports overnight parking options at stores and more.

Campendium.com and app: Part of a Roadpass Pro membership, this app gives camping options from free to paid. It is member-reported and shares overnight RV parking at stores when filtered by “Parking lot.”

CasinoCamper.com: Not technically store parking lots, many casinos offer one to three nights of overnight RV parking for free.

Freecampsites.net: This website has quite a few options for overnight RV parking. You can filter by location, cost, and more.

Overnight Walmart Parking app: Run by Allstays, this app gives specific information about Walmart stores that allow overnight RV parking.

Escapees RV Club’s RV Parking Options: Through an Escapees RV Club membership, you can get access to a variety of low-cost and free overnight camping options. There are Escapees RV Parks, our discount RV park directory, and free overnight camping opportunities with the Days End Directory. Learn more about overnight camping options with Escapees here.

Harvest Hosts: This membership offers unique overnight RV parking options at thousands of locations. Their app allows you to find places to stay along your route. Many of these farms, wineries, breweries, museums, golf courses, distilleries, and other scenic small businesses technically have stores from which RVers can purchase items during their overnight stay. Escapees members even earn a discount off of the Harvest Hosts membership fee.

How to Find Out if a Parking Lot Allows Overnight Parking

How can you tell if a store allows overnight RV parking in their lot? Usually, there are signs that will say “No Overnight Parking” if you are not allowed to stay. Otherwise, it many be okay to stay, but there are other ways to find out.

When in doubt, look around. Are there other RVs parked in a specific area? If so, then it’s probably okay to park there overnight. If you don’t see any RVs, try to check with the store manager.

You can either go in or call, and they are often very friendly and happy that you are calling to ask. If they give you the green light to park overnight, be sure to ask if there is a specific area in the parking lot that you should park in. Some stores have a designated side of the lot for RVers, and some may ask you to leave by a certain time in the morning to prepare for the new day’s shoppers. It’s also nice to buy a little something as a thank you for letting you stay, although it’s not required.

Sometimes a manager would love for you to stay in their store’s parking lot, but local ordinances won’t allow them to let you park overnight. Just make sure to thank the manager for their time and then move on.

If the store is closed and you’re still not sure if overnight parking is allowed or not, there are a few different options.

  • Check on websites like Freecampsites.net or Allstays.com and read the latest reviews if there are any available. Often, travelers will leave reviews on free overnight parking spots to let others know their experience.
  • Google the town or city name and the words “overnight RV parking”. If there are prohibitive ordinances or laws, sometimes you can find them on Google.
  • If all else passes but you’re still not sure, you can try staying the night. The worst thing that can happen is that a police officer may come by to ask you to move.

If you don’t feel comfortable trying to stay anyway, there are many other options for RV parking. There are Harvest Hosts locations, Boondockers Welcome, and Escapees RV Club RV parking options.

Best Practices for Overnight RV Parking in Public Lots – The RVer’s Good Neighbor Policy

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As RVers, we continue to face new prohibitive overnight parking restrictions in different towns, cities, and at some retail stores. This is not a new problem, it’s one we’ve been facing and one that Escapees RV Club has been battling since the 1990’s in our commitment to advocating for the rights of full-time RVers.

This is why we developed the RVer’s Good Neighbor Policy. It is a code of conduct for all full-time RVers to follow and share with other travelers to help ensure that we are being responsible and taking care of our overnight parking options. As we mentioned above, overnight RV parking in public places is a privilege, and one we all want to keep. The Good Neighbor Policy and the best practices for overnight RV parking in public places is:

  • Stay one night only.
  • Obtain permission from a qualified individual.
  • Obey posted regulations.
  • No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills.
  • Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (this includes asphalt as it can damage it).
  • Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
  • Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a thank-you when feasible.
  • Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.

Some of the most respected RV consumer clubs have joined Escapees to support your privilege to park on private businesses’ property overnight, so we hope that you will follow these guidelines as well as share them with every RVer you know.

You can download a PDF copy of the RVer’s Good Neighbor policy here.

Wrapping Up

Traveling from one destination to another can get very tiring, especially when driving or towing an RV. It’s why having overnight RV parking options has been so useful for RVers when we come into a town late and plan to leave early the next day. Not only are they usually a very inexpensive or free option, but they are convenient as well.

Our hope is that you can now find overnight RV parking more easily with our suggestions, will know how to stay overnight legally, and will give RVers a good name by leaving the places you stay better than you found them.

Happy travels, everyone!

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8 Responses

  1. This is a great article. Please add to the “Days End” section of the Escapees magazine, the city of Dumas, Texas. They allow free camping with an electrical hook up. Maybe you already have it.

  2. We have had good luck with city parks and county fair grounds. Even had a few with one or more hook-ups. Some have a fee or donation to stay overnight and some with no fees. Then there are the city owned campgrounds which can be a inexpensive alternative. Our hometown has a city owned campground and the rates are cheaper than the local campgrounds. Be sure to give city hall or the local chamber of commerce a call.

  3. We always go in and ask. Also when we are there overnight, we take time to pick up garbage in the parking lot, close to where we are parked 🙂

  4. Sorry but malls don’t allow overnight parking at least in Provo. The security will remove you and if you don’t comply then you will be arrested. I know.

  5. Good info, BUT Walmart should be removed from this list. In 2024, every one of them has a “no overnight parking” sign AND a separate “unauthorized vehicles will be towed” sign. Home Depot (at least, in the smaller C. FL city where I am) is also a bust.

    It’s ridiculous with the rate of full-time RVers, van-lifers, and straight-up “homeless living out of my car” workers there are in this country that cities and states have been allowed to continue these absurd restrictions.

    1. Hi Yvonne, thank you for your comment. Yes, Walmart has restricted many of their parking lots to overnight parking due to city or county ordinances. However, many still allow it so it seemed appropriate to keep it on the list. We, too, are saddened by these restrictive ordinances but also understand that abuse of these parking options has sadly caused them to happen.

    2. Walmart in Merritt island has sometimes up to 7 RV , and campers a night so I guess it’s up to the store managers, but no problem here in Merritt Island!

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