Boondocking Tips


  • A few businesses such as Walmart, Cracker Barrel, Flying J Truck Stops, casinos, and Cabelas actively welcome overnight parking in their lots. Unfortunately some cities have ordinances that prohibit sleeping in a vehicle within city limits so these same businesses may have signs prohibiting overnight parking. Other possible overnighting spots include big box stores, 24 hour fitness centers, 24 hour grocery stores, hospitals, and on the street near apartment complexes and in industrial areas. This practice is typically for one-night stays while traveling from one point to another. But if you must stay for more than one night, rotate among several spots.

  • Research a city before parking overnight to judge the level of enforcement of overnight parking laws to avoid ticketing and fines.

  • Stay as unobtrusive as possible even when a businesses is welcoming to overnighters. Do not do anything that could call attention to the fact that you are living in a vehicle. Local residents may be uncomfortable with this lifestyle and local business owners may see it as detrimental to their own businesses.

  • Park on the far edges of parking lots away from main traffic lanes.

  • Arrive late and leave early. If you are staying in a town for a long time find more than one spot and rotate through them.

  • Do not set up anything outside.

  • Avoid using slide outs if possible.

  • Do not dump gray or black water or allow holding tanks to leak.

  • Do not run a generator if you're parking in a residential neighborhoods.

  • If you must use leveling jacks put pads or boards under them to avoid damaging parking lot asphalt.

  • Do not deposit large amounts of trash in business trash cans.

  • Pick up after your pets. Be kind to the landscaping crews.

  • Patronize the local businesses if possible.