The Death of Overnight RV Parking

The famous saying is that all good things must come to an end. For years, RVers have been enjoying the convenience of overnight RV parking all over the country. However, we’re sad to say that it looks like the days of overnight RV parking won’t last much longer.

From what we’ve been seeing, we don’t blame many of the popular places for no longer allowing overnight RV parking. Today, we’re looking at why overnight RV parking is dying and who is to blame.

Let’s get started!

What Is Overnight RV Parking?

Overnight RV parking is when RVers park in parking lots and other open public spaces. These are typically businesses like Walmart, Cracker Barrel, and other locations with large parking lots that typically sit empty overnight.

Those that can be generous and show hospitality allow RVers and other large vehicles to park in their parking lots to get some sleep during their travels.

Find out if you can park your RV overnight at a library 📚

Does Walmart Allow Overnight RV Parking?

Walmart is one of the most popular options for overnight RV parking. However, not every Walmart allows it. Some stores are cracking down on overnight stays due to some users abusing their hospitality.

If you want to stay overnight at a Walmart (or any other establishment), it’s good to call ahead and get permission. You don’t want to go out of your way to stay at a location and discover you can’t stay.

5 Reasons Overnight RV Parking Is Dying

During our adventures, we’ve encountered some incredibly rude behavior from a very small minority of RVers. Here are five reasons we’re not surprised overnight RV parking is dying. Let’s take a look!

People Aren’t Asking for Permission

Many locations that allow overnight parking ask that you get permission before parking. This can help prevent any issues, especially if it isn’t allowed.

Too many people simply park their RVs in locations without reaching out to the establishment to get permission. All it takes is for one camper to be in the way or disrupt the normal flow of business, and the property owner will put an end to future overnight parking.

Guests Are Leaving Messes

One of the most frustrating things we’ve seen from overnight RV parking guests is the mess they leave behind. This causes an issue for the establishment and the entire surrounding community. Trash left behind typically blows away in the wind and spreads to other businesses and residential properties.

Overnight RV parking areas aren’t places to leave anything behind, especially trash. However, trash isn’t the worst thing we’ve seen.

We’ve found bottles full of urine and human and animal waste at some locations. No mess is excusable, but human waste left behind for property owners to deal with is just plain inappropriate.

Trash is just one of the many reasons we’re also seeing the disappearance of boondocking sites.

People Are Damaging Property

We get that accidents happen, but you should always report it if you damage property when parking overnight. Too many people fail to take responsibility for their actions and are causing issues for the property owners.

Whether you hit a light pole or damage a shopping cart corral, it’s your responsibility to fix it. Property owners have to pay out of their pockets to fix damages caused by overnight guests.

Not reporting the damages hurts the chances of others staying in the future.

Some Are Camping for Multiple Days

The keyword in overnight RV parking is the word “overnight.” This typically is the business allowing nomads the opportunity to park for a single night. Some people take advantage of the hospitality by staying for multiple nights, weeks, or even months.

We’ve seen RVs parked in parking lots, and we’re almost sure they can’t safely travel on the highways. We empathize with those with no other option or place to stay, but we also understand that it creates a negative atmosphere for the property owners and the business itself. They don’t want customers to feel uncomfortable or take their business elsewhere.

Local Rules and Regulations Are Banning Overnight Parking

Sometimes the business or property owner doesn’t have the final say when allowing overnight parking on their property. Local rules and regulations are frequently changing across the country to prohibit overnight parking.

This is typically how communities combat homeless camps from taking over an area and allows law enforcement to issue citations or tow vehicles.

This is why you must call ahead and get permission from the business before staying overnight. You never know when a local rule or regulation has changed, and the community’s stance on overnight parking may have changed.

You don’t want to get a knock on the door in the middle of the night from law enforcement or receive a citation for violating the local rules and regulations.

R.I.P. Overnight RV Parking

It once was very easy to find a spot for overnight RV parking. However, we’re seeing more posts from fellow travelers complaining about their favorite locations no longer allowing overnight stays. =

It’s crucial for those who enjoy overnight RV parking to do our very best to stay responsibly and set good examples for other guests. The future looks grim for overnight RV parking, but we can save it if we all work together.

Have you had trouble finding a place for overnight RV parking lately?

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