Recreational vehicle rentals and vacations go together like peanut butter and jelly. There’s nothing like the open skies, endless possibility, and sheer freedom that comes with a camper (towable) or motorhome (driveable) rental to break out of the monotony of everyday life! However, renting an RV for a vacation means you’ll need to learn one very important thing: where you can and can’t park it.
What’s the Big Deal About Parking an RV?
Why is this a topic of interest on our recreational rentals blog in the first place? Can’t you just park an RV in any safe and open spot overnight? The short answer to that is “No.”
Plenty of places have restrictions on where and how their parking spots are used. Unless you want your rental vehicle towed and eventually deal with the resulting contractual consequences, you better brush up on your knowledge.
While our team at Fractional Toys is more than happy to provide some guidelines about where you can and can’t park, keep in mind that the following material is just that: guidelines. There exist exceptions to every rule, and state law in many cases can affect where and how you can leave your rented camper or motorhome. Make sure to read the fine print!
If you ever find yourself unsure about legality during your RV adventure, don’t be afraid to ask the proper authorities. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Where You Can Legally Park
Before we begin, a great rule of thumb: if you’re paying for it, you can park. Go figure!
If you purchase RV parking, you’ve got use of the space until your time runs out. If you want to play your RV rental trip safe, paid spaces are the way to go.
Check Out RV Campgrounds for All the Hot Commodities
Among the most obvious of our “you can park here” entries are RV campgrounds. They’re not just for those who own! As long as you’ve paid the proper fee, any RV can park there.
Campgrounds are also great places to chat with other, more experienced motorhome and camper enthusiasts and get some traveling tips – not to mention potentially hook up to Wi-Fi and get water and electricity. Because they generally contain quite a few people, they’re also a safe place to stop, even if just for the night.
Truck Stops Can Do in a Pinch
While they may not be as luxurious as RV campgrounds, there’s nothing like the sight of a truck stop after a long few hours of driving. Though some Fractional Toys motorhome rentals come with a built-in shower, those who have a camper rental without one can make use of the showers here.
Keep in mind that truckers also use these facilities, so never park in a trucker’s designated space. Also, keep your noise levels down out of respect, and treat the place more like a quiet hotel for vehicles and less like a bustling campground.
Finally, try not to use truck stop facilities for extended periods of time. Truckers often are required to rest for a given number of hours before getting back on the road, so get out of there quickly to give them the opportunities they need.
And it goes without saying, but don’t park people in!
In hopes that you’ll do some legal gambling, many casinos have designated spots for RV rentals – some free, some not. Given that entertainment and great food are never in short supply in these areas, they’re often a great spot for adults and their RV rentals to spend the night.
They can be bright and noisy, but the good news is that they’re generally secure, as security cameras abound.
Where Not to Park
The list of spaces in which campers and motorhomes are prohibited is much smaller than the list of places in which they are allowed – more of a footnote than anything.
However, it’s still important that you, as a recreational rental enthusiast, follow the rules.
● You don’t want legal trouble
● You don’t want to ruin your trip by arguing over parking space
● You don’t want to get your vehicle towed
● You don’t want to pay parking tickets
So, where can’t you park an RV?
Well, a caveat—you can park there, just not for prolonged periods of time. These are markedly different from truck stops. You can use the facilities, but they are intended for brief breaks. Get back on the road quickly.
Without permission, that is. Trespassing is illegal. Need we say more?
It’s either frowned upon, potentially against the law, dangerous, inconveniencing, or a combination of all four.
How to Park an RV Rental
We’ve covered the “where’s,” but what about the “how’s”? Legally parking an RV isn’t just about location, but about technique, too. If you’re not careful, you could end up damaging public or private property—and nothing is worse than the guilt and potential fines that come from that!
While you’ll no doubt cover parking techniques in the licensing classes you’ll take, quite a bit of time-saving and safety-boosting technique is learned on the fly, so we’re here to cover a bit of it below.
And, of course, in our recreational rental blog for first-time roadtrippers—but back to the practical stuff!
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help!
RV Life, which provides maintenance software for RV owners, says that “parking an RV is no easy feat, and you’ll have to look out for tail swing. In many cases, your mirrors won’t give you a full view of the situation, so you could end up hitting something that was in your blind spot.”
All of those reasons are great ones to gather a ground crew when you need to park your behemoth of a recreational rental. It has nothing to do with your skill levels or ego, but everything with circumnavigating the problems an inherently large-sized vehicle creates.
Windows down, have your helpers direct you while you’re slowly worming your way into a parking spot. RV rental parks are back-in only, which means that you’ll need to execute an L-turn or similar complex maneuver—so allow your helpers to mind your blind spots.
Assess the Situation Before Choosing a Spot
Not all campgrounds are created equally; some have larger RV rental spots, some smaller. You’ll need to plan out where you’re going to park well in advance, or you might end up in an unsafe and / or illegal situation.
Check campground websites before you even pull in. They’ll frequently tell you all about what they’ve got available as far as size goes. Mind these limits; you don’t want to end up with a camper rental or motorhome rental parked halfway into the middle of the road!
Once you arrive, get out of the vehicle for a moment and check out the terrain of the parking lot. It’s hard to see potential sloppy spots and speed bumps when you’re in the driver’s seat, and your helper crew has enough to worry about, so set yourself up for success.
Ready to Hit the Road? Fractional Toys Has the Resources You Need
Armed with your new knowledge and Fractional Toys’ fantastic recreational rental fleet, nothing is stopping you from embracing the excitement of the open road. For more information about our vehicles, give our Oakdale location a call at 651-360-1617, or reach our Rogers shop at 763-265-6891.