Originally Posted by Tyler6357
Hi: I'm brand new to RVs. I haven't even taken my first trip yet and I was wondering about this topic. It's clear that the longer you stay at each location that you go to the better deal the it will be to RV. I was wondering how possible it is to just stop somewhere without a hook up and sleep the night? Will they kick you out of large big box parking lots if you stop to sleep? Is it hard to get a spot at the rest areas with the truckers? Also, if you arrive late at a destination, it might be better to wait until the next day to check in at the campground. That way the first night is free and you maximize your time when you do get a hookup. It seems like the flexibility of my motor home can save a lot on eating expenses and other things things too. For example, boat rentals: I can carry an inflatable boat with a small trolling motor for fishing in the MH storage compartment without even needing to tow a boat. I think its smart to take longer trips and stay extra days to make it worth the gas to get there.
Also, I was looking into joining "Passport America". They offer 50%discountsts on campgrounds throughout the US plus they have a roadside assistance program for about $100/yr if you get the 3 year deal. Does anyone have this and how is it working out for you?
Sure you can park overnight without hook ups at a lot of places. If you have a few days to read about Walmart parking here is the place Walmart's Parking
Walmart, Sam's club, Cracker Barrel are just a few places to stay. Just be sure to ask the manager permission.
Flying J truck stops are a good overnight spot and have spaces reserved for RVs but depending on which one and when can be full up. Use caution at rest areas, some are patrolled by the police and some have no overnight parking. Use your instincts with them. If it doesn't feel right, take off.
One problem with just parking and not going to a CG is that if you need to make reservations the CG may charge a fee if you cancel late and rent your site to someone else. If you are just winging it without reservations then sure why pay for a night, set up in the dark and go to sleep.
The boat is a great idea. We carry a 14' Zodiac and a 30hp outboard in our basement storage. It does take up some room but it is nice to have a boat at the locations we frequent. Almost always on the water.
Before joining Passport America check the restrictions for any CG you might plan to stay at. Some are off season only and have time limits. We looked into and would have joined just to get the discount until we read the restrictions. Off season only and half off the in season rate. Another had a five day limit.