Jamie Feinberg
by Jamie Feinberg
Posted September 20, 2018

Sleeping in an RV is great. Why? Because you can literally sleep almost anywhere you park it. But if you’re new to RVing, you may be nervous about the idea of sleeping in a new, strange environment each night—not to mention new, occasionally strange people. The truth? We’ve all been there, and chances are, you’ll be just fine.

Here’s a few helpful tips to get over the fear of RV camping in a parking lot.

Practice safety

If you don’t want someone to break into your car or your house, the most obvious step is to lock the doors. Likewise, use common sense safety measures in your RV. Keep the doors locked. Don’t tell people where you’re parking for the night—except for the business whose parking lot you’re using and a trusted family member. That way you can avoid potential stalkers while also dodging a situation where you’re getting woken up by Walmart security. Also be mindful of floodlights. Sleeping under them will make it hard to make your RV dark at night, but sleeping under them will make thieves less likely to bother you.

Wear PJs

If you’re paranoid about a knock from security at 1 a.m. asking you to leave, or you’re nervous something sketchy will happen later and you’ll need to leave quickly, be sure you wear something to bed—we recommend a decent pair of PJs. That way you can either a) Go to the door quickly and answer the police officer’s questions or b) Leave quickly if you no longer feel safe.

RV in a parking lot | Outdoorsy RV Rental Marketplace
Photo by Olivier Collet on Unsplash

Patronize the business 

Show the business that’s providing you with a free parking spot your support. Buy a meal, get your groceries, or purchase gas as a thank you for a safe place to stay. Places like Walmart and gas stations will only continue to allow overnight parking if it’s in their best interest. So patronize their business and help keep their parking lot available as an option to other likeminded road travelers.

Trust your gut

The last, but certainly not least, of our suggestions is to trust your gut. If you feel unsafe, no matter how great you heard a place is, move on. It’s your vehicle and your life, so don’t take any chances. And if you wake up to a startling sound like gun shots or otherwise feel truly in danger, don’t hesitate to call 911.

I hope you found these tips helpful and the idea of camping in a parking lot less daunting.

The next time you’re ready to hit the road, remember to rent your own RV here. If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy these articles about traveling with a baby in tow or the great American rest stop.

Jamie Feinberg

Jamie Feinberg is a blogger, musician, theater artist and educator traveling the country full-time in her RV. She performs with her husband Ross Malcolm Boyd as they travel, and they co-own Tiny Village Music, offering private music lessons online in guitar, piano, ukulele, voice and more.

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