Just Park It: Tiny House and RV Friendly Businesses

Welcome to Today’s Tiny House Parking Spot! In this vlog series, we explore a wide variety of parking options across the US, from tiny home communities, boondocking sites to travel pit stops and more. Have you ever traveled through windy Wyoming? In episode 5, Christian and I road trip across the sparsely populated southern Wyoming. Rest areas and campgrounds are few and far between in this area. So when we needed to pull over for the night, we lucked out and found a Walmart.

As the sun was setting, we decided to pull over for some rest. It was a relief to escape the growing winds. We also make a habit of not driving after dark. Our preference is maximum visibility and minimum additional towing challenges. No driving in rain, snow, or high winds. Just as we pulled into the 24-hour Walmart, we immediately spotted a no overnight parking sign. With no other available options, we decided to risk being asked to leave. There were several RVs parked there too— comforting. There is safety in numbers; right?

Most Walmarts, typically all 24-hour locations, are RV/overnight parking friendly. There is almost always at least one travel trailer at every one we stop at. Sometimes it can feel like a campground. As a rule, it is essential to be a respectful guest wherever you park. Be quiet, courteous and don’t leave trash. If you are looking to park overnight, keep an eye out for signs. You can look up individual Walmart parking rules on RV sites, like RVParky (also available as an app). Occassionally you can find this information on the local Walmart webpage or Google reviews. If you decide to risk being booted, as we did, be prepared to politely leave when asked. To be honest, this has happened to us a two or three times. On one occassion, a kind security officer directed us to a nearby parking lot where we could park overnight without any issues. Our advice: always be kind and courteous, especially to security guards.

New episodes of Today’s Tiny House Parking Spot available every Tuesday HERE.

The good news for us rebels, we made through the night at that this southern Wyoming Walmart with no problems. As often happens, we went into the store to buy a few supplies before hitting the road again.

When in transit from point A to point B, especially during long trips, it is important to know where you can pull over when the need arises. With a big tow vehicle and tiny house on wheels, this is not always easy. Research your planned route before each leg of your trip to look for opportunities to fuel up or stop for to rest.

Here is a helpful list of RV and THOW friendly business and travel planning tools:

  • AllStays Truck and Travel app: an excellent tool for the newbie tower. It helps you navigate around low clearances and know which routes are big rig friendly. It has a thorough directory of travel centers and truck stops, an easir refueling experience for THOWs and RVs. Also includes camping spots.
  • RVParky website and app: a directory created by full-time RVers to help fellow RV-ers on the road. As you’ve noticed, if something is RV-friendly, it is ususally THOW-friendly.
  • TryItTiny.com: a growing tiny house parking database, with spots across the country.
  • FreeCampSites.net: campgrounds and overnight parking listing site.
  • Bass Pro Shops/Cabela’s: this now combined chain allows for overnight parking. Often there is a designated area, dumping station and access to water.
  • Cracker Barrel: the vast majority of locations have RV/bus parking spots that allow for overnight parking. Check each location’s website to see if it is an RV-friendly location. In our experience these are typically more quiet than Walmart parking lots. We love waking up here, and going inside for a cheap, yummy breakfast.
  • Walmart and Sam’s Club: see above!
  • Camping World: overnight parking available at select locations. When in doubt, check with the store manager.
  • Casinos: many casinos have RV parks or allow for overnight parking, but there is sometimes a catch. You must gamble a certain amount of money to get your over overnight pass validated…
  • Rest Areas: these can be a real life-saver! They are not all created equal. Some have nice bathrooms and picnic areas, and others are just pavement, barely off the highway.
  • FlyingJ truck stops: our favorite place to fuel is up. Most locations have RV lanes which mean no overhangs! Also, we always save $1-1.50 off each full tank at any PilotFlyingJ location; thanks to our Good Sam membership. Reasons to love the truck stop RV lane can be seen here:
    flyingj_th pit stop.jpg

    Do you have other overnight parking recommendations or travel tips? Let us know in the comments below.

    -Alexis Stephens, Tiny House Blog contributor

    My partner, Christian and I are traveling tiny house dwellers. Together we’ve been on the road three years for our documentary and community education project, Tiny House Expedition. We live, breathe, dream the tiny home community every day. This is our life and our true passion project. We are very grateful to be able to experience this inspiring movement in such an intimate way and to be able to share our exploration with all of you.

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