STOP DRIVING – Best Places to Park When Tired in an RV
What do you do when you get tired while driving your RV but the destination is still hours away? After Full Time RVing for almost a year and having visited 34 states in 11 months, we have found a variety of safe options to rest up so you can get an early start on the road (unless you choose to stay for awhile).
Sleeping at Walmart:
Walmart encourages RVers to park overnight when they travel. It’s a safe place often with 24 hour security where you can rest and restock your supplies. Many even have RV sections, we froze and cracked (more like exploded) our water filter while we were in Cottonwood, AZ and Walmart had the Camco filter we needed to easily replace it ourselves. The local guy was 25% more expensive and we would have had to wait 2 days for him to get the parts. Love it or hate it, Walmart’s size helps them succeed in giving their customers cheaper and faster products than most businesses, consistently.
One time we were in Southern Utah and were heading through Page, AZ to Zion and Bryce. We were we planned on staying overnight at the Walmart Parking Lot since we were just going to enjoy the Sunset and then the Sunrise at Horseshoe Bend and head out. When we came around to the back parking area we realized WE WERE PARKING ON THE COLORADO RIVER! This night at Walmart turned out to be really scenic. In fact, you could even walk to Horseshoe Bend from Walmart (we opted to drive the 2 min).
From Page, AZ we headed just 30 miles or so down the road is where we Boondocked for around 5 days at the Grand Staircase Escalante. It was our first time on BLM land so we were really excited. We were blown away at the experience, the beauty and the solitude. We went hiking everyday either on the river or up in the mountains. We parked at the Paria River at an old gravel pit. I found it on freecampsites.net. We love it and have found it very helpful. We had great AT&T cell service but not Verizon.
When we left Grand Staircase we headed around 30 miles to Kanab, Utah. This town was so incredible we wanted to stay for a night and see this town up close. It was late in the day and I called the local RV parks but nobody answered. Many shut down in this area since this is the off season for them. Other times of the year it’s a busy adventure town. So I gave the local Holiday Inn a call and asked if we could boondock in their parking lot for a night. They said yes and offered us 2 nights! It brought income into the town also. We got some work done with Free Wifi at an awesome coffeeshop and outdoor gear store. It was awesome meeting the locals, it seemed like everybody that lived there was a hiker.
You could always swing in for the night in an RV Park and rather than unpacking and settling in, do the bare minimum required to enjoy yourself without having to do to much work getting ready to leave in the morning. We use this technique a lot when we arrive at a campsite in the dark and then move to the “Best Spot” in the morning. We are members of Thousand Trails and have the package where it’s free to stay at any of their locations in the Country. We absolutely love it however on this trip, there weren’t any locations close enough for us to the National Parks. We found a great RV Park, Bauers RV Park.
After we left Kanab, we drove around 40 minutes north to Bauers. While we were there, multiple people came for one night just passing through, stopping just for a quick overnight rest. We found Bauers to be the PERFECT location as a base camp for Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park, both are RV Bucket List Locations! It’s directly in between the two parks and has great areas locally to visit in between. Something we found refreshing is that the Wifi was INCREDIBLE at Bauers RV. That seems to be more and more important for RV Parks as consumer demand is sky rocketing for great Wifi at RV Parks.
Another great place to park for the night while traveling is a truck stop. I’ve found Truck Stops to be my favorite place to fill up with gas because they typically have the easiest layout for getting in and out with the RV. We usually fill up the RV and grab some coffee as a way to say thanks. We use Gas Buddy most of the time which allows us to prepare ahead of time where we should stop to save money. We stayed at this Love’s Truck Stop just outside of Yellowstone National Park and within a few hours were able to be inside the National Park and getting views like this.
We’ve found rest areas to be great place to stay when you are in the middle of nowhere and there isn’t a Walmart around. These often have security and are a great place to pull into for the night. We’ve stayed at many rest stops and many in very scenic locations! This picture was taken at a Rest Area in North Texas.
Yamping (Yard Camping)
This is a fun one. Have you heard the Kacey Musgraves song: “My House”. Some of our favorite memories have been bringing our RV to friends. Nothing beats a little Yamping (Yard Camping) at a friends house.
In San Diego we visited the Richard’s and parked for a few days in their large Drive Way. It was nice to wake up, have some coffee and go for a morning walk with your friends.
Recently we stayed with our friends Mike and Neena who live in Waveland, MS. They live just a couple of blocks away from the Beach on the Gulf of Mexico. This is such a beautiful area. I was shocked to see the impact that Katrina had on this area. It was ground zero for Katrina and 85% of the houses were wiped out. We saw boats in trees and houses that were still in shambles.