Into every lifestyle a little adventure must fall!  So there you are with your trip all worked out thinking you know where you are going to stop, rest etc but sometimes things just happen!  There are so many reasons why you would need a place to stop that you didn’t plan on, so I won’t bother listing them here.  But never-the-less it does happen from time to time!

The list below is not for campsites, but they ARE places where large rigs, perhaps with tow vehicles are traveling often, where a tractor trailer can fit and pull through and are usually a safe bet for RVers.   We aren’t likely to damage the roads with our weight, or have trouble with different road heights or strange obstacles.  We aren’t going to find ourselves in a tight spot we can’t get out of, and the natives are accustomed to seeing large vehicles in these places.

Last Minute Short Term Parking Places

Community College – We have noticed, no matter where we go that the local community colleges in larger cities always have unmetered street parking, plenty of it, and usually does not have parking restrictions.

Truck Stops –  Most Freeway and Interstate truck stops aren’t going to mind at all if you stop for a night, for a long nap and take a load off.   Larger ones have areas for RVs and sometimes even comfort stations or hookups and dump stations services.

Hospital Parking – Obviously hospitals are service centers for the general public and while this may not be a quiet place to sleep safely you can bet that a short stop will most likely go unnoticed.

Marina Parking –  I have been surprised to see at the Marina’s many a space for an RV and also noticed how inexpensive it can be to buy a parking pass for the night.  It would appear that many people are staying overnight in Marina’s either on their own boats or in their RV’s.  It’s certainly worth investigating if you find yourself in this situation with a large marina nearby.  I’ve also noticed that around these same areas, ample street parking often unmetered to allow for visitor traffic to the marina & marina restaurants/attractions.

Casino Parking – While most casinos have security tooling around to check the parking lot, lots of them will gladly let you park overnight at no cost.  Others have seriously inexpensive areas for overnight RV’ers.   So not only can you stop, eat a great dinner and have a drink, you can wander back home at the end of your night with them, have a good rest and then hit the road again in the morning.

City Parks – Something new to us is that in the West City & Town parks & recreation departments are welcoming to overnight RV’ers.  Furthermore, hardly anyone uses these services it seems, especially in the off season.  Many times the services are FREE!


Breckenridge, CO White River National Forest
A sign to heed while RVing! Moose ARE Dangerous!

Places we hope you do NOT park:

The great shopping center super store parking lot debate will continue, here is MY opinion on this hot button topic.

Unless you absolutely have no other choice, please do not contribute to the growing numbers of people who camp overnight or stay in a shopping center parking lot in their RV, truck stealth camper or van.  While this has become popular and IS accepted in some locations/businesses, it is quickly becoming a No No across our nation.  Those shopping centers & stores that still allow this will only be able to do so if the privilege is not abused and an increase in numbers will be an abuse.  Park at these locations only in an emergency, only with permission from the store management and while you are shopping or perhaps for a catnap on the sofa to help you stay awake long enough to find a better spot down the road.

Neighborhood and Subdivisions are not a place to park unless you are parking along with one of the residents of the neighborhood.  We visit our friends or family and park in front or behind their homes temporarily when we do, but never just randomly join a neighborhood.    Even in a stealthy van setup, please stay out of neighborhoods.  We are all trying to keep a low profile and no one wants to be the reason a community was up in arms about RV’ers or Stealth Campers.  There are plenty of choices out there, that are free and safe.

Never park anywhere without checking out the local signs.  An unwillingness to investigate is never an excuse to break posted laws.  When we arrive at strange places after dark, even in the National Forests…  we still head out with headlamps and maglight and our dog to hunt for the signs.  There are almost ALWAYS signs.   Trust me.

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