One of the staples of going on a road trip and exploring the great outdoors is an RV. Nothing beats traveling while having the basic comforts of home, but you’ll have to stop and park sometime. The only question is, can you park it at a hotel?
Quick answer, yes, you can. However, take note that the hotel’s parking lot is considered private property, so you need to get clear permission from the management before you can even begin parking your RV there.
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Why Park Your RV at a Hotel?
Unless you’re checked in, either by paying cash or through a credit card to book a room, one thing you have to understand is it is usually illegal to park an RV at a hotel. That said, parking near hospitality establishments should be low on your list of options. But why even consider it?
For starters, a lot of RV campers pick hotel parking lots due to safety. And it’s not just about the security protocols employed by hotels to keep its property safe, but also because you’re near other people. There’s always safety in numbers.
Also, you’re most likely to be near other conveniences. Hotels are situated near key locations, such as laundromats, restaurants, and others, so that pretty much gives you access to those. If you’re lucky, they may give spare laundry detergent if you need one, as long as you ask – though this is highly unlikely.
How to Know if a Hotel Allows RV Parking
There are perks to parking your RV at a hotel, but as mentioned, it’s pretty difficult to spot which ones will allow you to do so.
One tip that will more or less tell you if a hotel allows RV parking is the size of their parking lot. The more spacious and bigger it is, the higher the chances that they will allow you to park your vehicle.
However, that still will not guarantee anything. A sure-fire way to know is to directly ask the hotel, since either way, you’ll have to do it! It will be wise to inquire ahead of time, especially if you know your route will have the establishment’s area as one of your night stops to save time and avoid any hassle.
Pointers for Parking an RV at a Hotel
If you want to increase the chances of getting a “yes” from the hotel’s management, here are a few tips to increase the odds of you being able to park your RV.
Consider the Parking Lot’s Size
We can’t emphasize this enough. If the hotel’s parking lot is large and still has plenty of empty spaces for actual guests to use, they will most likely allow you to park there. Just make sure to use the far end as courtesy to the guests and the establishment.
The Smaller Your RV, the Better
Aside from the size of the parking space, the size of your RV is one of the main concerns of hotels in allowing you to use their parking area. If you’re using a Class A RV that’s imposing and really large, chances are they might have to decline your request. If you have a Class B or C and your RV isn’t conspicuous, then you may get lucky!
Ask Permission Late at Night
Hotels want to reserve the use of their parking area for actual guests. If you ask permission late at night to park your RV, they will more or less agree, as they expect less guests checking in. Around 10PM or even later would be great times to ask.
This pointer really needs to be as clear as possible. Hotels extend the courtesy of allowing you to park your RV, so you have to repay that by ensuring you don’t overstay. Around 6 hours would be okay, or until before guests see you or may need parking slots.
Find Overbooked Hotels
While the easiest tip to get hotels to allow you to park your RV is by booking a room, finding overbooked hotels could also work to your advantage. They may not let you borrow a steamer since you’re not a guest, but chances are they will let you park as courtesy, that is, provided there’s still enough space.
Other Options for RV Parking
It’s not always possible to park your RV at a hotel. But don’t fret, as you have other options to choose from. Here are a few of them.
You’ll have to call ahead, but most casinos allow you to park as long as there are spaces available. As a matter of fact, some of them have specific spots for RV campers, making them good locations for you to stay the night. Just take note of NASCAR race weekends or other big events that casinos may have, as chances are they’ll be overbooked and you might not have a space to use.
Since RVs are large vehicles, truck stops are your best bet when it comes to parking spaces. It’s a commonly used option nowadays, so it won’t be a problem as long as you park straight and remain courteous with others. As an added tip for security, though, make sure to lock up as these locations could bring all types of people.
Another option that you have for parking are large retail stores like Walmart. While most do not offer accommodations needed for RV guests, they do allow RV parking as long as the space is sufficient. Other than that, make sure to contact the store manager or staff on terms and conditions that they may have.
Perhaps one of the most unconventional RV parking spots, almost tied up with hotels, are school grounds. It’s probably at the same, if not higher, level of impossibility as far as allowing RVs to park, but if you’re part of the community and the parking area is empty, they may allow you. As always, just make sure to get permission and park exactly on the spot where they tell you to do so.
Other Private Properties
If you’re traveling across states and looking for a place you can park your RV, you can ask friends and acquaintances in the area if they’ll let you use their parking space. If not, you can always use services like RVWithMe to find spots that allow RV parking. Regardless, make sure to take note of local ordinances as far as RV parking is concerned.