When you purchase a fully equipped motor coach, you have what amounts to a home on wheels. However, even the most mobile of mobile homes need to stop for the night, or for several consecutive nights. If you leave this part of your journey to chance, you may find yourself staying in inconvenient, uncomfortable, or even dangerous areas.
A truly satisfying motor home lifestyle hinges partly on the ability to select the best parking options for different situations. Take a look at five possibilities to suit your varying needs, circumstances, and preferences.
Sometimes you may need nothing more than a quick, free place to spend the night, refuel, and get some sleep before setting out on the next leg of your travels. Fortunately, you'll find numerous 24-hour stores that happily cater to travelers, to the extent of allowing them to park overnight.
Truck stops play an essential role in providing this kind of service. They primarily exist to provide fuel, groceries, and temporary resting places for long-distance transportation workers and their vehicles. However, many of these combinations of general store and gas station also offer dedicated fuel pumps and other facilities.
One advantage of a stay at a truck stop involves the ready availability of automotive parts and supplies. If you need a replacement for a burned-out fuse or light, a 12-volt coffee maker, a quart of motor oil, or just about any other helpful travel accessory, you'll probably find it at a truck stop.
If you park at a truck stop, avoid parking in any spaces reserved for commercial trucks. Drivers need to know that they can find a place to park that suits their schedule and route. Look for parking spaces in the general parking area, or ask the manager where you can park.
Certain discount store chains, notably Walmart, also have a general policy of allowing motor homes to park overnight. Bear in mind, however, that some locations may have to adhere to local strictures against overnight parking. Always ask the on-duty store manager whether you may spend the night before you settle in.
RV parks offer a tremendous range of amenities. Some include little more than a parking lot, restrooms, and some picnic benches; others provide full water, sewer, and electric hookups as well as social activities, WiFi, and other state-of-the-art comforts. Look up RV park reviews in your area to check amenities and prices.
Some RV parks extend discounts to members of specific RV clubs or associations. If you plan on spending much of your time at these parks, consider the potential benefits of a membership subscription. You may also enjoy discounted rates if you sign a multi-month agreement for an extended stay.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) oversees 247.3 million acres, or approximately one-eighth of the nation's land, located mostly in western and southwestern states. The BLM seeks to maintain and preserve these largely undeveloped areas, but it also makes them available to travelers and campers, including motor home drivers.
You may choose to take advantage of either a BLM campsite or a dispersed camping area. Some BLM campsites offer many helpful amenities, including RV hookups. However, they usually require a fee in exchange for these comforts.
A dispersed camping area in a forest or desert won't include amenities, but your stay will cost you nothing. You stay at a dispersed camping spot for 14 days within a 28-day period. After the 14th day, you must move at least 25 miles away from that spot's radius until the 28th day has expired, at which point you may return to your original site.
The concern for many motor home owners will involve the quality and accessibility of the BLM land. If you own a large coach, you must determine whether the area offers sufficient clearance and flat, open ground. Rocky or muddy undeveloped land, or a particularly crowded campsite, may not prove suitable for your RV.
Wherever you choose to park on your ongoing travels, The Motorcoach Store can get you there in style. Contact us with any comments or questions you may have.