‘Six Safety Tips for (RV) Parking at Casinos’ by popular RV author Jane Kenny
With snowbirds returning home and the camping season just around the corner, more and more RVers will be on the road, many looking to travel long distances in a short amount of time … these folks often look for a place to ‘blacktop boondock’ for a few hours or overnight.
‘Blacktop boondocking’ is essentially dry camping, without hookups, in a parking lot in order to get a few hours rest. However, most states discourage overnight parking at interstate rest areas; shopping centers ask RVs to leave at the end of the business day; and, many 24-hour supercenters have posted “No Overnight Parking” signs.
RVers can usually stay overnight at a truck stop, but these parking areas tend to be crowded and noisy.
She reports that casinos throughout the country have long welcomed adult RV travelers because the chances are high that the casinos will get additional business in both gaming and restaurants. In exchange, RVers get a relatively quiet, safe spot to rest for the night. Because most casinos are open 24/7, security personnel are always on duty and tour the grounds.
Six Safety Tips for Parking at Casinos
Jane Kenny offers the following suggestions for smooth ‘blacktop boondocking’ at casinos:
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.
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.
Jane Kenny is author of three extremely popular RV reference books: “Casino Camping, A Guide To RV-Friendly Casinos,” 8th edition (2017), paperback, $16.95; “Corps Camping – Guide to Campgrounds Managed by the Corps of Engineers” (2015), paperback, $16.95; and “RV Retirement in the 21st Century: How to Travel in a Recreational Vehicle” 2nd edition (2014), paperback, $16.95.