Casino Camping, part 3: A few courtesies to keep in mind when parking for free at a casino

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This is the third of four posts on Casino Camping.

“Needless to say,” said Jane Kenny, author of Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos, “recreational gaming is a popular activity and more casinos continue to be hospitable to RVers.”

Many resort casinos include multiplex movie theaters, swimming pools and even golf courses. As with any large parking lot, the downsides include bright security lights at night and potential highway noise.

According to Kenny, there are a few courtesies to keep in mind when parking for free at a casino.

“Seasoned RVers cringe when they go into a casino parking lot (or Wal-Mart or Flying J) and see people who’ve put out their awnings, chairs and barbecues,” said Kenny. Essentially, restrict your RV activity to the inside of your rig. “If you want to `camp,’ check into a campground. But if you’re boondocking, be considerate,” said Kenny.

1.) After pulling in, check in with security to verify that you can stay overnight and ask where they want you to park.

2.) Limit your free overnight stay to a single 24-hour period, unless you get permission to stay longer.

3.) If there is no designated area for large vehicles, park on the perimeter of the lot. Don’t take up spaces intended for cars. (Note that casinos in crowded urban areas do not have space to accommodate RVs. Be sure to get permission before you park.)

4.) Don’t abuse the property owner’s hospitality. A parking lot is not a campground. If there’s enough space, it’s OK to open a slideout, but restrict your activity to the inside of your vehicle.

5.) Do not leave your RV unattended for any extended period of time. This may seem like simple, common sense advice, but you’d be surprised at how many folks park their expensive units in a parking lot and then go off to visit friends for a few days. If you are foolish enough to do this, don’t be surprised upon your return to find your unattended vehicle has been towed away.

6.) If you want to ‘blacktop boondock’ at a casino that also has a fee-pay campground as part of the facility, it is essential to check with security to ask about your options for staying overnight.

Some casinos will allow you to stay in the parking lot anyway. But there are a number of casinos that require you to pull into their campground if you want to stay for the night.

The next post on Casino Camping will cover where to get more information about Casino Camping.

If you missed other posts on Casino Camping, click here.

Julianne G. Crane

Photos: The Avi Resort and Casino in Laughlin, Nev., offers a free dry camping area on the packed-sand parking lot behind the casino. There is a full-service KOA campground directly across the street from the casino, with a 24-hour shuttle service available to the casino. Julianne G. Crane

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