Can You Park an RV at a Hotel? We Have!

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Well, the answer to whether you can park an RV at a hotel depends on a lot of factors. If you decide to make a stop and actually rent a room in the hotel rather than sleep in your camper, then it should be no problem. However, if you just pull up, take up three or four parking spaces, and drag out your barbecue grill and your camp chairs, I would have to save that’s a big NO.

While there is no hard and fast rule about parking in a hotel parking lot, you must consider it private property. Parking your RV in a hotel lot would be considered trespassing and could result in you being asked to leave or even being towed from the area.

The good news is that some hotel chains and individual locations allow overnight parking for RVs at their hotels if you do it correctly. Read on to learn more about whether you can or should park your RV in a hotel parking lot overnight.

Can I Sleep in a Hotel Parking Lot in an RV?

Can I Sleep in a Hotel Parking Lot in an RV?
Make sure you stay in the back part of the parking lot, allowing guests to take the prime spots.

The rules about whether you can sleep in your RV in a hotel parking lot will vary from hotel to hotel. If you are not paying for a room, chances are you need to find another place to park.

Never assume that you can park in a hotel parking lot. You could end up having to leave in the middle of the night or even be towed.

If the hotel has a large parking lot and you believe parking there is your only option, make sure and get permission. You might even need to pay for a room to justify parking your RV overnight.

Maybe you’re traveling South down the West Coast and need a stopover when you hit California. You can book a room in Sunnyvale sleep in the king bed, enjoy the amenities, and head out refreshed in the morning.

Where Should You Park Your RV at a Hotel?

If you ask the hotel manager and are allowed to park your RV in the hotel’s lot, first ask where the best place is for you to park. If they don’t have an answer, park as far from the front as you possibly can. This will keep parking places freed up front for paying guests.

5 Tips For Overnight RV Parking at a Hotel

If you choose to park your RV overnight at a hotel, there are several things that you should keep in mind. Follow these tips for a better overnight experience.

1. Ask the Manager for Permission First

Always ask the manager for permission to park your RV in their lot. Never assume that they won’t care, notice, or do anything if they see you. This is private property, so they have every right to make you leave.

2. Park in the “Back 9”

Park in the Back of the parking lot
If possible, keep your slides in and keep a low profile if you are given permission to park your RV at a hotel.

If you do get permission, park your RV at the furthest point in their parking lot so guests can have the best parking spaces. Make sure you are well out of the way of other vehicles and don’t block entrances or exits.

3. Consider This as Contained Boondocking, Not A Campsite

Don’t use the hotel parking lot as your campsite for a weekend getaway. This isn’t the place to pull out your outdoor furniture, barbecue grill, firepit, etc. If you can open your slides, make sure you are not in the way of other cars coming or going.

Keep quiet and have a low profile. Use this lot as a one-night stay. Continue with your journey as early as possible the next morning. 

They may allow you to be there, but if you keep a low profile, they will be more likely to allow the next RV to park there as well. Remember, you don’t just represent yourself. You also represent all of us.

4. Don’t Get Offended If They Won’t Let You Use Their WiFi

The WiFi is for paying guests inside the hotel. Please don’t try to tap into it. Most hotels have their own policies about the use of WiFi by non-guests.

5. Thank the Hotel the Best Way with a Great Review

Thank the Hotel the Best Way With A Great Review
Don’t forget to give the hotel a great online review as a thank you!

If they allow you to park for free, be sure and thank them when you leave and clean up any trash you have, including dog poop. Like any campsite, make sure you leave the place better than you left it.

Hotels survive on reviews. Use the manager’s name or someone else that you connected with. A good review from an RVer is like that extra “feather in their cap” that can show future hotel guests how kind the hotel staff is to those who stay with them.

Hotels That Allow RV Parking

A comprehensive list of hotels and motels that allow RV parking would take up a lot of room in this article. You can always call before you stop. Also, check out this AllStays website that gives a state-by-state breakdown of places, including hotels, that allow you to park your RV overnight.

Motel 6 and Super 8 seemed to be on many of the state’s lists. These could vary by state or even city, so always check with the individual location.

What Can Happen If You’re Caught Overnight Parking at a Hotel Without Permission?

Since hotels are private property, parking your RV overnight can be considered trespassing. The hotel is within its rights to ask you to leave, have you towed, or worse.

If you are lucky, the hotel might not even know you are there. They could assume that the RV belongs to a guest. This is a rare situation and a big risk that is easily avoided by going inside and speaking to the on-duty manager.

I would not want to be woken up in the middle of the night by someone asking me to leave. You could be asked by the hotel management, or they could call the police, which might result in trespassing charges brought against you. This could result in court fees, a fine, or worse.

Other Places to Park Your RV For Free Overnight

Other Places to Park Your RV For Free Overnight
Bass Pro Shops generally allow overnight RV parking.

There are tons of places where you can park your RV overnight. Walmart is a common place, but again, make sure you ask permission before you stay.

In recent years, Walmart has changed some of its policies because of people that leave trash, overstay their welcome, or park unsightly RVs in their lots. Different stores will have different rules.

Many casinos allow overnight RV parking. Although, we checked at a casino online, and it indicated RV parking was allowed. When we arrived, there were no RV parking signs anywhere.

We had to move on to the next possibility. Truck stops, particularly Love’s or Pilot/Flying J, are usually good options. Again, make sure you are a good guest by following the rules, and not leaving any sign that you were there.

Place such as Cracker Barrel, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shops, and some rest areas in certain states are also places that accommodate RVers overnight. Those that do allow RVs to park can fill up quickly. Of course, you can always reserve a spot through Boondockers Welcome or Harvest Hosts.

Final Thoughts on Parking an RV at a Hotel

If your RV looks like this, you might want to think twice about parking it in a hotel parking lot.

Parking your RV at a hotel is possible. Hotels usually have large parking lots that can accommodate large vehicles such as trucks and RVs. However, don’t be sucked in by thinking you can get away with parking there without following a few simple rules.

To recap:

  • Ask to speak to the manager and ask for permission.
  • Maintain quiet hours.
  • Don’t set up your outdoor patio gear.
  • Stay self-contained.
  • You can extend slide-outs if you have room.
  • Use it as a passing-through stop. Don’t stay more than one night if possible.
  • Pack out your trash. Don’t fill up their dumpster.
  • As you would at a campsite, leave it looking better than when you arrived.
  • Provide the hotel with a positive review.

Once you have followed these tips, you will have a great stay. The hotel will be happy and will consider saying yes to the next RVers who roll through.

Related Reading:

1. FREE RV Parking Overnight At Walmart (Rules & Safety)

2. Best Places to Find Free Overnight RV Parking

3. Is Overnight RV Parking at Costco Allowed?

4. Can RVs Park Overnight at Cracker Barrel?

Terri Nighswonger – Author and Full Time RVer

Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd have been RVing and work camping for six years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.

In Addition to the RVBlogger team, Terri has written for RV Life and RV Camping Magazine and is always excited to talk about her passion for RVing and her knowledge and experience in work camping.

Writing is Terri’s passion, but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.

They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the West for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead.

Full Time RVer Terri Nighswonger

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1 thought on “Can You Park an RV at a Hotel? We Have!”

  1. We have taken our class A to hotels when we stay in the hotel of course after ascertaining that it will be OK with management. Hampton Inn is our preferred hotel stay with the rv. Never had a problem- we park at the edge of the lot, take up a few spaces and ask for a room that looks out onto the rv just to keep an eye on it. You can only do this is suburban areas- not in a big city or a down town hotel.


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