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Old 06-24-2021, 05:38 PM   #1
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Newbie needs advice on finding overnight camping spots...

We've camped in our TT for years on our own property. Now, we have a 2019 Coachmen Class A and need help knowing where it's OK to overnight camp for free.

We don't know the ins and outs of camping at, say Walmarts or Cracker Barrels.

How do you know which ones allow overnight stays and which don't? Is there a website or app?

Any tips are greatly appreciated.
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Old 06-24-2021, 06:24 PM   #2
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Use google to search.

We are currently overnight in WM. The neighboring town where we wanted to stay had a city ordnance against it. This town does not.

If you are unsure you can always make a phone call and ask.

As for overnighting at these places you will see a list of "rules" on this website and others. Most of those rules do not take into account situation or location.

The best way to look at your stay is, "am I doing anything that will disrupt their business". If the answer is no do it, if the answer is yes, do not do it.
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Old 06-24-2021, 06:45 PM   #3
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Get in late, get out early. No awnings, jacks, lawn chairs etc. Park far from the store, do not impede traffic or take up spots if the store is busy. Ask the manager. Leave the area cleaner then you found it. Buy something, anything but buy something.
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Old 06-24-2021, 09:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WalkTheWalk View Post
We've camped in our TT for years on our own property. Now, we have a 2019 Coachmen Class A and need help knowing where it's OK to overnight camp for free.

We don't know the ins and outs of camping at, say Walmarts or Cracker Barrels.

How do you know which ones allow overnight stays and which don't? Is there a website or app?

Any tips are greatly appreciated.
Well,

First off, here's a site that may help in terms of available Walmarts that allow camping; https://www.allstays.com/c/wal-mart-locations.htm

Second, a very large percentage of National forests DO allow *boon docking* style camping but, it's always good to check with the local Ranger station for any pertinent information.

Not all "Cracker Barrels" allow camping or overnight stays either. Heck, we've been in a couple of those that barely have enough room for small cars.

As for Walmarts, yep, we've stayed at a few. I have, every single time, gone in and went straight to the manager or, highest ranking person on staff at the time and asked permission to stay for the night, out in the farther part of the parking lot. I have yet to be denied. We pretty much always go in and buy something, even if it's not needed. Walmarts aren't my favorite place to stay but, it's nice to be able to zip into one in a pinch and be at least somewhat safe.

There's also articles, books and pamphlets on free camping all over the U.S.
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Old 06-25-2021, 05:45 AM   #5
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Get in late, get out early. No awnings, jacks, lawn chairs etc. Park far from the store, do not impede traffic or take up spots if the store is busy. Ask the manager. Leave the area cleaner then you found it. Buy something, anything but buy something.

Right on. Call ahead and the customer service will tell you if it is OK and where to park.
On our recent overnight stop at a Walmart in Indiana, 2 5th wheels came next to us. Disconnected from trucks, jacks down, slides out, generators out and so much commotion that I think they came there to party for 2 weeks. That kind of behavior will destroy these spots for all of us.
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:01 AM   #6
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I have parked my RV on city streets before. Nothing illegal about it. If you're just looking to crash for the night, find a residential neighborhood and park on the street.
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Old 06-25-2021, 06:18 AM   #7
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Casino parking lots are another option.
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Old 06-25-2021, 07:28 AM   #8
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Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas also let RV’s stay overnight.
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:04 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by SergioP View Post
Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas also let RVís stay overnight.

I read on one RV site the other day that since Bass Pro bought Cabelas, they have ceased that practice. Corporate decision I suppose. There is a Cabelas in Mitchell that will have a large number of RVs there most every night from spring to fall.
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Old 06-25-2021, 08:47 AM   #10
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I read on one RV site the other day that since Bass Pro bought Cabelas, they have ceased that practice. Corporate decision I suppose. There is a Cabelas in Mitchell that will have a large number of RVs there most every night from spring to fall.
Cabela's is in the process of removing the dump stations from their lots, but I have heard nothing about stopping overnight parking. We have spent the night in both Bass Pro Shop and Cabelaís parking lots in the past, so this isnít BPS changing somethings up toownership change.
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Old 06-25-2021, 09:12 AM   #11
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There are lots of apps that show overnight parking spots. My favorite is AllStays Camp&RV. When you identify a possible parking spot, call the store and double check if they allow RV overnight parking. If they do, ask them where they prefer you to park. We always try to park along an edge next to where we can put at least our bedroom slide out. Many places have parking such that we can put all our slides out without impeding traffic. No levelers on warm asphalt, though we have used wooden blocks under the tires.
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Old 06-25-2021, 09:27 AM   #12
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Free camping

https://www.campendium.com/free-camping
https://freecampsites.net/
https://rvlife.com/free-campgrounds-in-texas/
https://usfs.oncell.com/en/index.html
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Old 06-25-2021, 10:04 AM   #13
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I have parked my RV on city streets before. Nothing illegal about it. If you're just looking to crash for the night, find a residential neighborhood and park on the street.
"Nothing illegal about it"????
Well Partner, I think you better re-think that. There are cities/jurisdictions/sub divisions/ etc. across the U.S. that not only have had NO OVERNIGHT PARKING/CAMPING ordinances in place, but many more are jumping on the bandwagon and are strictly enforcing those rules and ordinances. Heck, there's thousands communities where even the home owners can't park in their own driveways and streets.

And if they can't, I'm pretty sure they won't tolerate any OUT OF TOWNER parking in front of their home.

Nope, I'd definitely hunt for a Walmart or Cracker Barrel or Casino.
Scott
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Old 06-25-2021, 10:54 AM   #14
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Thanks a million. Your comments and suggestions are very helpful. That Allstars website is amazing, too.

I also didn't realize that hot asphalt could be damaged by the levelers. That would end overnight camping for others. Great tip.
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