Over the years, RVers have discovered that parking lots of casinos, truck stops, stores, and other businesses can be great places to boondock. These locations offer conveniences like highway access, amenities, and security. However, there are also challenges like noise, restrictions, litter, and lack of hookups. This article explores the advantages and challenges of boondocking at businesses and provides tips to help RVers make the most of these unique overnight spots.

Why Businesses Allow Boondocking

Casinos, truck stops, retail stores and other businesses allow boondocking for several reasons:

  • Attract customers – RVers parked there overnight are likely to come in, shop, gamble or make purchases.
  • Provide convenient, safe parking – Well-lit, secure lots appeal to solo travelers or families.
  • Increase foot traffic – RVers explore the area on foot rather than driving elsewhere.
  • Build goodwill – Allowing boondocking earns good word-of-mouth and repeat business.

Of course, businesses also have to manage concerns like noise, litter, security issues, and overstayed visits. But most find the overall benefits outweigh the challenges.

Advantages for RVers

Boondocking at casinos, truck stops and other businesses offers these advantages:

  • Convenient highway access – Easy to get to off major interstates and highways.
  • Amenities – Some provide free wifi, showers, laundry, restrooms, even pool access.
  • Security – Regular security patrols and lighting provide safety.
  • Options – Choose from many nationwide chains and independent businesses.
  • Savings – No fees compared to RV parks with full hookups.
  • Community – Meet fellow RVers also staying there overnight.
  • Entertainment – Casinos offer gaming, restaurants, events and more.
  • Supplies – Truck stops and stores provide propane, gas, groceries.
  • Peace of mind – Well-lit sites offer security for solo or family travelers.

Etiquette and Best Practices

To be a respectful boondocker at businesses:

  • Always ask permission before parking overnight
  • Limit stay to 1-2 nights
  • Minimize noise, litter, and generator use late at night
  • Keep rig clean; use site only for overnight parking
  • Take security precautions – be aware of surroundings
  • Follow all posted rules and regulations
  • Patronize the business if possible
  • Dispose of waste properly at designated stations
  • Be self-contained with water, power, waste management
  • Be prepared for anything – have a backup plan
  • Leave no trace – pick up all trash
  • Thank the manager for allowing you to stay

Other Popular Boondocking Locations

In addition to businesses, popular boondocking spots include:

  • Public lands (National Forests, BLM, State Parks)
  • Rest areas along highways
  • Roadside pull-offs and scenic overlooks
  • Parking lots of closed businesses
  • Farmer’s fields or rural private land with permission
  • Municipal parks, fairgrounds, etc.

When choosing a spot, consider accessibility, allowed stay length, amenities, reviews from other RVers, cell signal, and environment impact.

Potential Challenges and Solutions

Boondocking at businesses does come with some challenges:

  • Noise – From nearby traffic, generators, or the business itself. Choose a quieter spot, use earplugs, or run an air conditioner for white noise at night.
  • Light pollution – Parking lots can be brightly lit all night. Bring darkening shades or curtains.
  • Security – Take basic precautions like locking doors, not leaving valuables visible, and being aware of surroundings. Park under lights and security cameras if possible.
  • Weather – Heat, extreme cold, rain or snow can be issues. Have back up power, water, and waste solutions.
  • Waste disposal – Know dump station locations ahead of time. Consider mobile pumping services if staying longer term.
  • Lack of hookups – Bring extra water, fuel, and battery power. Conserve resources.
  • Saving money – Fight the temptation to go in and spend!

By planning ahead, choosing locations wisely, taking basic security measures, and practicing leave no trace ethics, RVers can enjoy the benefits of boondocking at businesses while minimizing the challenges.


Boondocking at casinos, stores, truck stops and other businesses offers convenience, amenities, and savings compared to fee-based RV parks. But it also comes with challenges all RVers should be prepared for. With some research, planning, and following etiquette guidelines, business sites can be a rewarding part of an RV travel lifestyle – offering security, community and unique overnight experiences.


  1. Boondocking in Commercial Locations – Good Sam Blog:
    • Discover the ins and outs of boondocking in commercial locations with Good Sam’s comprehensive guide. Learn the best practices and find the most welcoming spots for your RV.
  2. Free Overnight Parking for Campers – Campnado:
    • Campnado offers a detailed list of free overnight parking options for campers. Dive into their resources to find the perfect spot for your next boondocking adventure.
  3. Boondockers Welcome:
    • Join the Boondockers Welcome community to connect with fellow RVers and find safe, free places to park. Their platform bridges the gap between RV owners and hosts willing to offer a spot.
  4. Stony Boot Blog:
    • Stony Boot provides insightful articles on the RV lifestyle, including tips and tricks for boondocking at businesses. Stay informed and make the most of your RVing experience.
  5. Where Can You Park Your Camper for Free? – RV Life:
    • RV Life delves into the world of free camper parking, offering valuable advice and locations for boondockers. Explore their recommendations and enhance your RV travel plans.


Featured Image by Keith ParkerCC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons