“Can I park an RV on street roads without getting into trouble?”
You’ve probably asked yourself this question if you already own an RV or you’re planning to buy an RV in the future. Considering the size of an RV, even the smaller models, you won’t be able to fit it in a typical garage, and it might not even fit in your driveway! Thus, parking on the street might seem like the only possible option.
Here’s what you need to know about parking your RV on the street.
How Long Can You Park Your RV on the Street?
Streets are considered public property, and RVs are considered as vehicles, so the same laws governing parking a regular car on public streets do cover RV parking as well. Technically, there are no federal laws that cover the parking of RVs, which means that you would need to check whether street parking is possible at your intended destination and planned stopovers.
In most residential areas, Homeowner Associations (HOAs) have rules regarding parking vehicles on the street because it can cause friction between the residents in the area, particularly if the RV owner does not live there. Some HOAs even ban parking RVs in the area altogether, even if the RV is on the owner’s private property or has the consent of the homeowner. It is wise to check with the HOA laws to see what rules cover RV parking.
For commercial areas, you need to check with the ordinances issued by the city or town. While some cities and towns do allow parking RVs on the street in commercial areas, you would need to move the vehicle within 72 hours or risk getting it towed.
Some people try to get around the time limit by moving their RV up or down the block every few days. Don’t be one of these people who follow the letter of the law while completely ignoring the spirit of it! You’ll probably end up arguing with a police officer after angry neighbors or shop owners report you, and trust us. You won’t come out on top of that argument.
Daytime Parking vs. Nighttime Parking
In some areas, there are different rules when it comes to daytime parking and nighttime parking for RVs. During the day, you can park your RV on the street without any problems provided that the street is wide enough, and it does not cause any traffic obstruction. However, once nighttime falls, you might need to move your RV somewhere else. Typically, the time limit for nighttime parking is midnight. If your RV has not been moved once midnight strikes, you might wake up to a ticket on your windshield, or worse, your RV having been towed away.
As with time limits, always check with the local HOA rules or city/town ordinance before parking your RV on the street, especially if you plan to leave your vehicle there overnight.
Where is RV Parking Not Allowed?
There are some places and situations where your RV is not allowed to park on the street under any circumstances.
- One-Way Streets – one-way streets are typically tight and narrow, and it’s not possible to park an RV on one without obstructing traffic. If you park your RV on a one-way street, it will immediately get towed, often without warning.
- Law Enforcement and Medical Establishments – never park your RV in front of a police station, firehouse, or hospital. This is just asking for your RV to get towed!
- No-Parking Zones – this might seem like a no-brainer, but if an area does not allow parking for regular cars, it will not allow parking for an RV. Parking your RV in these areas will get your RV towed and slap you with a hefty fine.
Where You Can Park Your RV in a Pinch
Even with the best planning, there are times when you need to find a spot to park your RV in a hurry. Luckily, there are some spots where you can temporarily park your RV without running into any problems from HOAs or local ordinances.
- Truck Stops – Truck stops are expansive and are built for large vehicles so that you won’t have any problems fitting your RV in the lot. That being said. However, it would help if you still respect that this is a commercial space for truckers. Make sure to park your RV straight, be friendly with the other people using the truck stop, and remove your RV as quickly as possible.
- Casinos – Casinos allow RVs to park in their parking lots, even for periods longer than the usual 72-hours. This is because there is a greater chance that the RV owners will spend money inside the casinos if they are parked in the casino lot. If you’re there during weekends or peak holidays, some casinos charge a small fee for overnight parking.
- Walmarts – Many Walmarts have specific slots in their parking lots for RVs. Ask an employee or manager to direct you to that specified slot so that you won’t get towed. However, make sure that you stay within the time limit, and maybe do a bit of shopping at Walmart to show your appreciation.
- Schools – Schools are considered to be public spaces, so it can be a bit tricky to know whether you’re allowed to park your RV on school property. Some schools allow it, especially if you live in the area or you’ve attended an even there. However, even if the school allows it, the local ordinances might have rules against vehicles parked on school property. Treat this as your last option.
Being a Responsible RV Owner
Aside from obstructing the traffic and taking up a lot of space, there is another reason why many people have issues with RV owners: waste management. Remember, your RV’s waste management system is not directly connected to the city’s sewer lines. When you don’t dispose of your waste properly, it could create a health hazard, not to mention smell horrible! Disposal of RV waste also covers the fluids of the vehicle itself, such as coolant and oil.
As a responsible RV owner, it is up to you to properly manage all the waste disposal of your vehicle. It also signifies that you are a courteous and considerate neighbor, and it might make it easier for you to park your RV on the street.
So, let’s get back to the original question: can I park an RV on the street, without any problems? The short answer is, yes, you can park an RV on the street at least temporarily. However, if you need overnight or long-term parking, you might consider looking for a spot at an RV park. Get more tips on RV parking.