Last updated on June 5th, 2023 at 11:27 am
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After a long day of driving, you find yourself sluggish and in need of a break. It’s a good idea to post up for the night somewhere to get some shut eye and refresh yourself before hitting the road again. The only problem is, there isn’t a campground nearby and you didn’t plan on stopping. There is a hotel nearby though, and it looks like there are a lot of spots available.
But can you park your RV there for the night?
Parking your RV at a hotel is possible, but not without permission from the hotel. Their lots are private property, and parking there without permission can mean you get asked to leave or even towed. Hotels all have their own policies, so if they say no, respect that and find somewhere else to park.
Hotel lots can be an option if nothing else is available, but it’s not an option that you should rely on when planning your trip. This article will give you tips on how to better your chances of getting permission and what hotels are more likely to have parking available for RVs.
Can You Park an RV at a Hotel?
The answer is yes and no. Or rather, it depends.
There isn’t a blanket rule that says you can park at a hotel and there isn’t one that says that you can’t. Essentially, you need to ask the permission of the hotel clerk or manager to park in their lot. It’s entirely up to them if it is allowed or not.
Their decision can be dependent on some factors such as if you are there during peak season if your RV is on the larger side, and just hotel policy. It can also depend on how large their parking lot is, the time of day you ask permission, and the number of people at the hotel. Don’t forget that you aren’t necessarily the only one looking for a place to park an RV, so you may even run into a situation where someone was able to beat you to it!
I don’t recommend planning your trip around parking in a hotel lot unless you’ve been given previous permission by the hotel. It’s not very likely that you will get the chance to park in a hotel lot otherwise.
If you need to park for just a few hours to get some shut eye, or to refresh yourself before heading out again, explain that to the hotel clerk and they may be comfortable with you parking there. They know how many guests are already booked and how many more are likely to walk in, so they’ll be able to gauge if they can give some of their lot space up to you for a few hours or not. If you need to spend the night or longer there, then you are probably pushing your luck.
Can I Sleep in a Hotel Parking Lot in an RV?
Whether or not you can sleep in a hotel parking lot inside your RV will depend entirely on the hotel and its policies. You probably shouldn’t assume you can park in a hotel parking lot overnight without permission. Hotel parking lots are considered private property and if you don’t have permission to be there, then they can go as far as taking legal action against you.
I don’t know about you, but that would probably ruin my trip, so I’d just avoid that situation altogether.
If you are really stuck and have no other options available, you might need to pay for a room in order to get a spot. If you’re already paying for a room, the hotel shouldn’t have a problem with you parking for the night. If that’s the case though, you might as well just sleep in the room you’ve paid for.
It’s probably a better option to look for your nearest Walmart since they usually allow RV parking overnight. There are plenty of options out there of places that will allow you to park overnight without any issues at all.
Sleeping in your RV overnight in a hotel parking lot is unlikely to be an available option. If you do park overnight without permission, it can cause a bit of an embarrassing or uncomfortable situation for you.
The hotel might simply ask you to leave politely, they would be within their rights to have you towed, and they could even get law enforcement involved if they want to. Hotel parking lots are private property, so make sure you keep that in mind.
Never sleep in a hotel parking lot without asking for permission first.
Where Should You Park Your RV at a Hotel?
If you do get permission from the hotel to use their parking lot, whether you plan to sleep there or just need to park for a few hours, you should make sure you’re respectful when you pick your parking spot.
Hotel parking lots tend to be big and should be big enough to accommodate an RV, but the parking lot is intended for guests. If you have a smaller RV you might not need to worry about where you park as much, but if your rig is bigger, then you should definitely ask where the hotel prefers you park.
Some hotels will actually have designated parking for RVs and buses. If they do, make sure to park in one of those spots. If the hotel does not have this option, then they might want you to park as far from the guests as possible so that you don’t take space away from paying customers.
If you are planning to pay for a hotel room for the night, you should still call in advance to make sure that the hotel lot can accommodate your RV. Yes, even if you are paying for a room, make sure the hotel is okay with you driving and parking your RV in their lot. This will give them the opportunity to tell you where best to park that doesn’t make things inconvenient for everyone else.
It’s always a good idea to be prepared and to be polite towards the hotel you plan on parking at. You always catch more flies with honey.
How To Better Your Chances
In general, you should not be relying on the idea of parking in a hotel lot. It should definitely not be at the top of your list because it is unlikely that they will allow you to park there. There are a few tips I can give that will potentially better your chances of getting that permission.
You’ll also have better luck if you drive a smaller, class B, RV, a large 40+ foot motorhome takes up far too much space to expect a hotel to allow you to park there.
1. Ask Later At Night
The later on in the day or night, the more likely you are to get an allowance from the hotel to park. After about 10 pm or later, your chances will increase. This is because you’ll be taking up space that is likely to not be used anyways.
2. Keep It Short
If you keep your visit short and can leave before the guests even wake up, the clerk is less likely to care about your stay. I recommend staying for six hours or less and just letting them know that you are planning on only staying long enough to get a bit of rest.
3. Look For A Full Hotel
This can be a double-edged sword, if you find a hotel that is fully booked and has a full lot because of that, then you’ll be out of luck. If the hotel parking lot is larger and has more spots than rooms, you would probably be likely to get permission because no one else will be parking there for the night.
4. Look For A Big Lot
Look for hotels with larger lots that appear to have open spaces. This will give you a huge advantage when asking for permission to park your rig there. In this case, the hotel will be less concerned with you taking up space since they have so much of it.
This video shows how these tips and tricks can come in handy when trying to park overnight in a hotel lot for free.
Hotels That Allow RV Parking
There are some hotels that will allow RV parking, but even these, I would call ahead to confirm before showing up. Just remember that they have no obligation to allow you to park there considering that it is private property.
The Choice Hotel chain can be a good starting point if you are looking for a place to park your RV. Many of them will have spots available specifically for RVs and buses. The Choice Hotels chain includes Comfort Inn & Suites, Quality Inn, EconoLodge, Clarion, and more. This is a great starting point because they are so common and there are so many of them to choose from. You might even be in an area where there are multiple Choice Hotels to pick from.
Not every location is going to allow RV parking though, and it’s possible that most don’t. So, make sure to call before arriving to make sure that you are allowed to park there.
You might also have better luck finding a hotel that you can park at in travel-dense areas. That will also give you more options since there can be a multitude of options right on one road.
If you are trying to plan a trip, it’s not a bad idea to visit some RV forums and see if anyone has had positive or negative experiences parking at some locations. There are plenty of threads out there with people offering advice and telling their own stories about parking at hotels, so it’s a great resource when you are first looking.
At the end of the day, you shouldn’t rely on hotel parking lots for a place for you to park for an RV. They might seem like they can make a convenient option, but they are private property and aren’t necessarily likely to allow you to park there unless you are paying for a room. With all the other options out there that are completely free and more reliable, a hotel parking lot wouldn’t be my first choice.
There are a few things you can do to better your chances at getting permission from the hotel clerk or manager, but even then it’s not a guarantee.