RV parking involves finding suitable places to park or camp in your recreational vehicle (RV). Depending on your location and your RV’s specifications, several options may be available.
- RV Parks and Campgrounds: These are specifically designed for RVs, providing amenities like electricity and water hookups, sewage dump stations, Wi-Fi, and sometimes additional facilities like laundry, showers, picnic areas, and even recreational facilities. They also offer the opportunity to meet and socialize with other RVers.
- Boondocking or Dry Camping: This is when you park your RV without hookups, typically in more remote locations like forests or deserts. Some RVers prefer boondocking because it allows them to enjoy nature and solitude. However, it requires careful planning and self-sufficiency, as you’ll need to carry your own water and power sources and manage your waste.
- Overnight Parking at Businesses: Some businesses, like Walmart, Cabela’s, and Cracker Barrel, often allow RVers to park overnight in their lots for free. However, this is at the discretion of the individual store, so it’s always best to call ahead and ask for permission.
- Truck Stops and Rest Areas: Many highway rest areas and truck stops allow RV parking. Some of these places, especially truck stops, provide amenities like showers, laundry facilities, fuel, and food.
- Street Parking and Residential Areas: In some places, you can park an RV on the street or in residential areas, but you’ll need to check local regulations as many cities and towns have restrictions on RV parking.
- Private Property: With the owner’s permission, you can park on private property. Some websites and apps connect RVers with homeowners who are willing to rent out space for RV parking.
- Special Events and Festivals: If you’re attending a festival or event, there may be designated RV parking or camping areas.
- Long-Term RV Parking: Some RV parks and campgrounds offer long-term stays, which can be a good option if you’re planning to stay in one location for an extended period.
Remember, when parking your RV, you should always follow the “Leave No Trace” principles — respect the environment, clean up after yourself, and leave your campsite better than you found it.
Finding a Home for Your RV in the Music City
Nashville, Tennessee, known as the ‘Music City,’ is a prime destination for travelers in RVs due to its rich music history, vibrant nightlife, and delectable cuisine. However, finding a place to park your RV overnight can be a daunting task. Luckily, Nashville offers a variety of options, from RV parks to Walmart parking lots and more. Let’s explore some of these choices.
RV Parks and Campgrounds
One of the best options for overnight RV parking is the wide array of RV parks and campgrounds in and around Nashville. These sites provide amenities like electrical and water hookups, dump stations, Wi-Fi, and often shower and laundry facilities.
Two Rivers Campground: This conveniently located park is just a stone’s throw away from Opryland and the Grand Ole Opry, making it an ideal location for music lovers. It offers full hookups and a shuttle service to downtown Nashville.
Nashville KOA Resort: This expansive resort, located close to the city’s attractions, is an oasis for RVers. It boasts amenities like a swimming pool, hot tub, and dog park.
Safe Harbor RV Resort: Situated along the scenic shoreline of Percy Priest Lake, it offers an opportunity to enjoy a beautiful lakeside view while being just a short drive from downtown Nashville.
Walmart Parking Lots
As in many areas, some Walmart stores in Nashville permit overnight RV parking. However, this isn’t a universal policy, so it’s crucial to call the store and ask permission before settling in for the night. Generally, this option doesn’t provide any amenities, so it’s best suited for self-contained RVs.
Cracker Barrel Locations
The popular restaurant chain, Cracker Barrel, often allows RVers to park overnight in their lots. There are multiple locations around Nashville, such as in Madison and Mt. Juliet. Similar to Walmart, you should always call ahead and ask permission.
Truck stops like Pilot and Flying J allow overnight RV parking and usually provide amenities such as fuel, food, and showers. There are several such stops in the Nashville area, but remember, these locations can be noisy due to the constant flow of truck traffic.
Street parking for RVs in Nashville can be quite challenging due to restrictions. Overnight parking is generally prohibited in downtown areas, and there may be height restrictions in residential areas. Always pay close attention to local signage and ordinances to avoid fines.
Boondocking and Dry Camping
For more self-reliant RV travelers, boondocking or dry camping can be an option. There are several public lands and parks around Nashville where this may be permitted. However, it’s essential to research each location beforehand and understand any rules or limitations.
In recent years, peer-to-peer rental services like RVshare and Outdoorsy have expanded to include options to rent private property for RV parking. This unique option can give you access to locations you wouldn’t ordinarily find, but always make sure to respect the property and neighborhood rules.
Safe Parking Programs
Check out organizations like SafePark, which connect RVers with local businesses and churches that offer overnight parking. These programs offer safe, legal parking options, and are a win-win for RVers and the local community.
Preparation is Key
Regardless of your chosen parking spot, it’s always crucial to arrive prepared. Ensure your RV is in good working condition, bring all the necessary supplies, and know the rules and regulations of your chosen location. Keep in mind that courtesy goes a long way. Always leave your overnight spot cleaner than you found it, and respect the privacy and peace of others.
Nashville’s reputation as a welcoming city extends to RV travelers. The multitude of overnight parking options ensures you can find the right place to park your mobile home, whether you prefer the convenience of urban locations or the tranquility of nature. The key lies in thorough research, respectful behavior, and an adventurous spirit, ready to explore all the wonders this musical city has to offer.