Casino Camping, part 1: RVers bank on many Casinos for free overnight blacktop boondocking


The popularity of Recreation Vehicles continues to skyrocket for both retirees and millennials. Many of these RVers are looking for ways to trim their overall cost of overnight campground stays.

This is especially true when RVers are traveling long distances and simply want a safe place to pull off the highway and sleep for a few hours before continuing their journey.

Enter the casino industry. Hundreds of casinos across the country are taking advantage of this niche market by offering free overnight stays in their parking lots. This practice of camping, also referred to as blacktop boondocking or dry camping, is when an RVer parks for free on casino property, without the benefit of hookups or other amenities common in fee-based RV parks.

This is the first of four posts on Casino Camping.

“In our early years on the road,” said Jane Kenny, author of Casino Camping: Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos, “every time we would stumble upon a casino, we pulled in to play for a few hours and sample the buffet. No matter what the State, we often noticed a number of RVs parked in the casino lot, usually grouped together at the far end.”

Jane Kenny and her husband, Jack, began RVing full-time in 2000 in their 38-foot Winnebago Suncruiser. They discovered that most casinos are RV-Friendly and allow free parking overnight for self-contained vehicles. Many casinos also offer full-service campgrounds at a reasonable cost.

“Rarely will a casino turn away a camper who asks for permission to stay overnight in their lot, and if they do, it is usually for lack of space to accommodate large vehicles,” said Kenny.

The next post on Casino Camping will feature veteran casino camping RVers Steve and Jackie Jones of Lake Havasu, Ariz.

—  Julianne G. Crane

Photo: BlueWater Resort and Casino on the Colorado River in Parker, Ariz., allows limited free overnight dry camping on the perimeter of its parking lot. RVers are required to check in with security. A full service RV Park is also on the property with 50 amp hook-ups and a boat launch. Julianne G. Crane

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