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Traveling by RV is a fantastic way to explore the country, but finding safe places to park overnight can sometimes be tricky. Here are some tips to help you find those perfect spots to rest easy.

Research Before You Go

Before you hit the road, research potential stops along your route. Websites like Campendium, AllStays, and RV Parky offer reviews and details on campgrounds, rest areas, and even free parking options like Walmart. Reading reviews from other RVers can give you a good sense of whether a spot is safe and well-maintained.

Stay at Campgrounds and RV Parks

Campgrounds and RV parks are some of the safest places to park your RV. These facilities are designed for overnight stays and offer hookups, restrooms, and sometimes Wi-Fi. Most importantly, they are secure and monitored, giving you peace of mind. State and national parks also offer great options, often with beautiful scenery and plenty of activities.

Use Rest Areas Wisely

Rest areas along highways can be convenient for a quick overnight stay, but not all are created equal. Look for rest areas that are well-lit and have good traffic, which can deter potential trouble. Some rest areas have security patrols, which is a bonus. Always lock your doors and keep valuables out of sight.

Consider Boondocking

Boondocking, or dry camping, is famous for RVers looking to save money and enjoy more solitude. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and national forests offer vast areas to park for free. These spots can be remote, so ensure you are prepared with enough water, food, and power. Check for any restrictions or permits required before setting up camp.

Overnighting at Retailers

Many large retailers, such as Walmart, Cabela’s, and Cracker Barrel, allow RVs to park overnight in their lots. Always check with the store manager to ensure it’s okay and follow any posted guidelines. Park in a well-lit area away from the store entrance to avoid interfering with regular customers.

Join RV Clubs

RV clubs like Good Sam, Escapees, and Harvest Hosts offer members access to a network of safe parking places. Harvest Hosts, for example, provides unique opportunities to stay at wineries, farms, and museums. These memberships often come with other benefits, like discounts on camping and services, making them a worthwhile investment.

Trust Your Gut

Finally, always trust your instincts. If a place doesn’t feel right, don’t stay there. It’s better to drive a bit further to find a spot where you feel comfortable and secure. Safety should always be your top priority.

Final Thoughts

Finding safe places to park your RV doesn’t have to be stressful. With some planning and common sense, you can enjoy your travels and have a restful night’s sleep. Happy camping!