Here’s how to get a free RV (a guide)

In this article, we will discuss several options to get a free RV. We will also share with you how to park for free your RV and how to manage one on the road and stay safe for the entire trip.

How to get a free RV?

There are several ways to get a free RV: 

  1. Google search: Free RV near me. You will be surprised, but this works. Most results will probably redirect you to Craigslist ads. As long as you read them carefully and make sure there isn’t a catch, you can actually get an RV for free. 
  1. Refurbish an old/abandoned RV or minivan. There are so many tutorials online that teach you how to refurbish a van or old RV step-by-step. The good news is that everyone is on a budget, so you will not have to invest too much money in it to make it livable. 
  1. Ask an RV Dealer for free/unused motorhomes. There is an old and unused RV in almost every motor park. As long as you know how to present your case, or if your social network expands to an RV Dealer – you can get a free RV. 
  1. Travel and work at the same time. Finally, there are many RV rental agencies that look for volunteers to transport any type of campers across the country. What’s in for you? You get a free RV for a couple of days, maybe weeks if we count the road back. 

How to park for free your RV

Suppose you go for an RV road trip in the United States but you know that it is not always easy to visit the big cities, due to the lack of parking for your large vehicle. The cities of New York, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles and San Francisco are very good examples.

In general, the best way to visit a city is to park your RV in the parking lot of a shopping centre served by the city’s public transportation system. However, you will have to get back to the vehicle before closing and get back on the road (unless it is in the parking lot of a Walmart that allows you to spend the night there).

In addition to this general tip, here are our parking/camping suggestions for major cities in the United States:

  • In New York, it is better not to drive around town with your RV. Either way, you won’t find RV parking. The best is to spend the night in one of these 2 “RV Park” (camping) located near the city and offering a shuttle service:
  • Liberty Harbor: Located not far from the Statue of Liberty, Liberty Harbor RV Park is the closest to downtown. It also offers a beautiful view of the Statue of Liberty.

However, you should not expect a 5-star campsite. It looks more like a parking lot but it is the most convenient for visiting the city. Shuttle service to the city centre is offered from the campsite.

  •  Cheesequake State Park: More natural and more beautiful than Liberty Harbor but further away (1-hour drive), the Cheesequake State Park campground is not very far from train and bus services to downtown New York.
  • In Boston, there is no official parking lot where RVs are allowed. You can certainly find a mall that is serviced by the city’s public transportation system.

The best way to visit Boston, however, would be to spend the night at the Minuteman Campgrounds. The train station is not far from the campsite and will take you directly to downtown Boston.

  • In Miami, there is parking on Collins Avenue (between 21st and 22nd). The price is +/- $ 15 per 24 hour period and it is possible to sleep on-site (without opening the “slide-out”). This parking lot is well located, near Lincoln Road and its activities. The beach is directly across the street. The place is quiet at night.
  • In LA, Dockweiler Beach RV Park is definitely the best place to sleep RV in Los Angeles and see the city. The campsite is located directly on the beach. Being located right next to the airport, you should know however that the place is very noisy. There is no plane only between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m.

You can get to Venice Beach and Santa Monica by bike via the bike path that passes right in front of you, between the campsite and the beach.

You can visit Hollywood, Universal Studios and Beverly Hill. However, downtown Los Angeles is difficult to access by RV.

Further afield, in Long Beach, there is also the Golden Shore RV Resort.

Is it hard to drive an RV?

Experienced motorists tell us that it is not hard to drive an RV, however, for a newbie, it could pose a challenge. It is recommended that before driving an RV you familiarize yourself with its dimensions, as you must quickly get used to the vehicle and know in what space you can park or if a road is wide enough to fit on it.

High-end mobile homes can measure 1.90 m wide by 5 to 9 meters long, all depending on the model you choose.

Check that all internal parts are well fastened. Mobile homes have many drawers and compartments, which must be well secured to avoid unwanted accidents, likewise, check well that all doors are properly closed, that everything is well secured so that nothing causes harm to the driver and his passengers.

Everything that is inside the motorhome is usually heavy, such as the beds, the refrigerator, the kitchen, so, before driving the motorhome, try to balance the loads or weights, so that it does not wobble on the road, but remain stable. The latter is essential when the trip is to the mountain area

The bottom line

Travelling with an RV is a unique experience as it provides a fantastic feeling of freedom. But driving a car that pulls one of these houses on wheels is not trivial. 

Differences in the vehicle’s response to acceleration, braking and cornering speeds due to the extra weight and increased aerodynamic drag make it necessary to drive particularly cautiously.

Do you know how to get a free RV? Don’t hesitate to share your secret with us!

FAQ on How to get a free RV

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.

How to live year-round in a caravan?

To live year-round in a caravan and benefit from an address, registering with your local office is an idea. However, you must have a link with the municipality where you are making the request such as a place of stay on the date of the request, professional activity in the municipality, family ties.

How to drive an RV?

To drive an RV, you have to know the following tips:

  1. Know its dimensions. It is as basic as it is fundamental.
  2. Spread the load evenly. 
  3. Avoid overtaking.
  4. Drive at a steady speed. 
  5. If there is a strong wind, slow down. 
  6. Use the side mirrors. 
  7. Do not leave loose items inside.

References

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