Can you park an RV overnight at Bass Pro?

In this blog post, we will answer the following question: Can you park RV overnight at Bass Pro? We will explain where you can and cannot (legally) park your RV.

Can you park an RV overnight at Bass Pro?

Technically yes, you can park your RV overnight at Bass Pro, practically it will depend on the store manager. Most Bass Pro, Cabelas and Walmarts allow RVs to spend the night in the parking lot, but some places may not be RV friendly at all!

Although there are fewer Bass Pro stores than Cabela’s, if you travel near the southern part of the country, you can find them in pikes. If you read online, people have had mixed experiences parking their RVs overnight at Bass Pro Shops. Many of the stores do not seem to welcome motorhomes, which is not due to company policy but to local ordinances and other rules. That’s why it is always a good idea to call ahead.

There does not appear to be a designated area to park your RV in the Bass Pro Shops parking lots, so keep that in mind. If the lot is full or if there is not enough space for your motorhome, then you will have to move on.

A few tips if parking overnight at Bass Pro:

  • If you don’t want to come to the store to request overnight parking clearance, it’s best to call.
  •  To find store locations and get a feel for sleepiness in advance, use these two mobile apps: Allstays Truck and Travel and RV Parky. If these two apps tell you that overnight parking is allowed at the location you are targeting, then you have a plan. Otherwise, read the comments of other users and get an idea. In addition, the Allstays app tells us how many kilometres to drive to the chosen Walmart.
  • If you have a choice of two or three stores a few miles apart, choose the furthest from the highway. The possibilities for it to be open 24 hours a day decrease and by the same token, the chances of peace and quiet increase.
  • On-site, keep your extension closed. Try to be as discreet as possible.

Where can I park the motorhome if not allowed at Bass Pro?

The truth is that the answer to this question is quite simple: the motorhome can be parked in the same places as a car or a van. Therefore, you can park on the street without fear of the police arriving and fining you.

If the parking lot is full at Bass Pro or the store manager has denied you overnight RV parking, here are a few alternatives:

  • Park on free public lands;
  • At Walmart;
  • At a casino parking lot.
  • In front of a friend’s house.
  • BLM Land and National Parks.
  • Rest stops.
  • Campgrounds and RV parks.

So, what is the reason for the belief that you cannot park a motorhome on the street of a city except in certain areas, or that you have to pay for a camping site if you want to stay overnight?

Since 1966 camping has been regulated, and free camping is prohibited throughout the national territory. If you camp in an area that is not authorized for during your trip, you can be penalized. The amount is greater or less depending on the rules that govern each state or the municipality of the state.

To shed more light on this issue, it is important to know what the terms parking and camping imply.

Parking is leaving your vehicle in a space enabled for it, while camping involves unfolding an awning, taking out some chairs and a table or some other type of external element. In this second case, it is possible to require that you do it in a specific parking area for motorhomes or a campsite. But nobody can forbid you to park the motorhome on the street unless it is forbidden to park any type of vehicle.

How to park a motorhome:

  • That does not exceed the perimeter of the vehicle.
  • The motorhome must rest on the tires or be shod with safety wedges.
  • You cannot spill fluids of any kind, or connect to a water supply or others without authorization (electricity, gas, etc.).

Can I park and sleep in the RV on the street?

If you meet the conditions that we have explained before, you can do whatever you want inside the motorhome. No one can come and tell you that it is forbidden to leave the motorhome there or to use it while it is parked. Just make sure there is nothing sticking out of it. And of course, do not disturb the inhabitants of the area where you have decided to stay the night.

When it comes to camping, a very important aspect is the parking and overnight places, since depending on their characteristics and the services that provide the experience, it can be very different.

When it comes to parking or spending the night with a caravan or motorhome, we can differentiate different types of places or establishments, depending on the services offered. The parking place can have various facilities, such as electrical connection, drinking water connection, TV signal connection, etc.

And, regarding the services of the establishment, they can include: overnight, gas station, restaurant, cafeteria, supermarket, surveillance, covered parking, swimming pool, etc.

The main types of establishments suitable for RV parking

One of the questions that arise most frequently is: “Can I park my motorhome in a service area and spend the night?” Most of the time the answer is yes, but it depends on the service area. Most of the service areas are usually owned by the municipality for free use. There are also private areas and spaces set up in the campsites that can be used upon payment.

  • Public roads: in general, caravans and motorhomes can park on public roads and even spend the night inside, as long as camping elements are not deployed. However, there are local regulations that prohibit parking and spending the night in urban areas.
  • Parking: car park that has a space reserved for parking motorhomes, with ample parking spaces. It allows you to rest or make tourist visits, but not to spend the night.
  • Guarded parking for caravans and motorhomes: parking for motorhomes that have guarded parking but does not allow overnight stays.
  • Overnight area for RVs: places where it is possible to stay overnight but lack any other service. Ideal for very short stays.
  • The service area for caravans and motorhomes: an establishment that has a minimum supply of drinking water and the possibility of draining the water.
  • Camping for caravans and motorhomes: a tourism camp that allows the camping of caravans and motorhomes.
  • Camping for static caravans: establishment conceived for the permanent or semi-permanent installation of caravans and motorhomes. 

These types of campsites are generally intended for mobile home type caravans, although there are motorhomes who do not like motorhome service areas and prefer free parking, for most motorhomes the motorhome service areas, if they exist, are the first choice, due to the various services they offer.

In many free parking places such as rest areas on motorways, roads and highways that do not have permanent surveillance, overnight stays and even simple parking can be a risk, so they are not recommended places.

Conclusions

Of course, if there is a choice, we recommend you plan your trip well and stop with your RV only at campsites with basic amenities. This type of camping for RVs usually has the basic services included, that is to say: electricity, water (at least within the nearby area) and bathrooms (generally with a shower, although not always with hot water). 

Do you have any questions or comments on the content? Let us know!

FAQ on Can you park RV overnight at Bass Pro?

Where can I park an RV?

An RV is perfectly entitled to park in the parking spaces along the roadway. However, its size must allow it, it must not interfere with road traffic or pedestrians. However, due to its size, the motorhome cannot park everywhere.

Where to stop with a motorhome?

A motorhome can stop in town in a parking space and spend the night there. It does not matter whether the motorhome operators are on board or not, as long as they comply with the regulations.

Is it legal to sleep in a Walmart parking lot?

The quick answer is: Yes, it is legal to sleep in a Walmart parking lot. The less quick answer is that it can be done as long as you ask for permission and adhere to the regulations and you are not camping there. 

Can RVs stay overnight at Flying J?

Yes, RVs can stay overnight at Flying J truck stops. There are usually parking spaces that allow you to empty and refill your water tanks, you can use the restroom facilities and even connect to Wi-Fi. Still, RVs at truck stops are a controversial topic.

References