Living in an RV is extremely freeing, as you are towing all the comforts of home behind you. Your comfortable bed and favorite pillow are just waiting for you after a long day of driving. But then the question comes down to, where do you park? We’re all worried about getting that 3a.m. knock on our RV door telling us to move (luckily this has not yet happened to me).
So what can you do to ensure you have a safe and comfortable spot to park and rest your head? Luckily, there’s an app for that! Actually, quite a few. Check out my below recommendations on where to find campsites, from one night stays in Walmart parking lots to month long spots at RV parks.
By far, my favorite app to find a campsite is Campendium. They offer listings of RV parks, rest stops, BLM land, state parks, dump stations and much more. You can read through user reviews to determine what the area is like, check out user submitted pictures and see how much cell signal is at that location. It searches for places near you, so you don’t even have to know the name of the small town you just passed through. Simply click on the My Location option and you can see a map of all the places to stay around you. Best of all, it is free to use!
RV Parky is the next app I check when looking for a quick overnight spot. It’s a great resource for finding RV friendly parking lots, such as a truck stop or Walmart, and works especially well in more populated areas. Honestly, the first time I downloaded this app I was skeptical, as it has an older interface. But it’s an amazing resource for those quick overnight stops that you’re looking for. It’s very easy to review a location, so places often have up-to-date reviews and will let you know if a spot allows overnight parking or not.
Sometimes, a good ol’ search for “campground” on Google maps will bring back some great finds. I’ve had several instances where I couldn’t find a campsite on any of my apps, but after a quick google search, a local RV park pops up. A quick call over to the RV park, and voila you have a place to stay! Every time I’ve called one of the small town RV parks, they have been more than happy to provide late-night check-in instructions and have flexible payments over the phone.
This is a great app for finding truck stops to stay the night in. Especially on the east coast, RV friendly Walmarts or public lands are hard to find. So truck stops often times become your only option for a quick overnight stay. Just remember, this app is focused towards the working trucker and not your family RVer. You have to take some of the reviews with a grain of salt, and they aren’t all rated PG. But it’s my go-to app for when I want to pull into a truck stop, fill up on gas, grab a hot shower, and head out early in the morning.
Truck stops themselves can sometimes be overwhelming, especially if you haven’t stayed at many. Some have strange layouts, and I get worried about getting stuck and not being able to turn around. You also want to be careful to not take up a full truck parking spot if you can help it (especially when you’re under 30′ like myself). Therefore staying at truck stops takes a bit more legwork.
After finding a truck stop on this app, I always give them a call to ask if they allow overnight RV parking. If they say yes, I ask if there is specific RV parking that I can utilize. Afterwards, I always pull up the truck stop on google map satellite view so I can see an overview of the parking lot, where I could turn around if needed, and try to spot the specific RV spots if designated.
For more great information on staying at truck stops, check out Camp Addict’s blog post: Truck Stop RV Parking
I have heard nothing but good reviews about Harvest Hosts. I signed up for a membership several months ago, but still haven’t had a chance to check them out. This app allows you to find wineries, farms or golf courses that will let you stay the night. Fellow RVers have told stories of the great conversations they’ve had with their hosts, the amazing wine they drank, and the peace and quiet of a winery when everyone has gone home. I hope to try this app out soon, and will be sure to update this post when I do!
Whether you are on a vacation road trip, or living full-time on the road, it can be daunting to try to find a spot to stay every night. And as a solo traveler, I want to make sure I am in a safe spot where I can rest easy. I’ve been traveling for over a year and a half, both camping in the back of my truck and in the RV, and these resources have found me a safe spot every single night.
There are many other resources out there which will help you find an overnight or long-term campsite. If you have had success with any, leave a comment below and share your resources!