There are SO many things I wish I had known when Tom and I first started traveling by camper! It took me a year of RV travel to learn one of the MOST useful RV travel hacks- casino camping! When traveling the United States and Canada by RV the majority of casinos will allow you to camp in their parking lots overnight for FREE. Below I’ll outline why casinos are some of our favorite spots for free camping.
Casinos are often easily accessible from major highways
In the US and Canada many of the free boondocking sites are off the beaten path on wilderness land. While we LOVE wilderness sites for visits of a week or longer they are often difficult to find in the dark and too far from the main roads for a quick overnight stop.
Casinos, on the other hand, are usually easily accessible from the main highways. Casino parking lots are enormous, level, and secure. This allows us to pull in after dark and park our camper with very little fuss.
There are generally no requirements for staying in a casino parking lot. In fact, you usually don’t even have to check in with security! This makes casino camping an ideal late night option if you just want to pull in, cook dinner, and go to bed.
Casino lots are large, which allows for more privacy than WalMart camping
WalMart camping has always been a popular go-to for RV nomads, but Tom and I find that casino parking lots are much larger than WalMart lots. This extra space usually allows us to find a spot far from other campers, which makes for a more comfortable, private overnight. The extra space in casino parking lots also allows us to avoid the traffic of the regular casino customers, so we tend to experience far less noise in casino parking lots than we would WalMart camping.
Casinos offer plenty of dining options
After a long day of driving it’s nice to simply walk into the casino buffet and feast on all you can eat crab legs (we’re total suckers for a good buffet). Casino buffets are not as cheap as they used to be, but if we know we’ll be camping at a casino we often skip lunch in anticipation of a huge buffet meal.
If buffets aren’t your thing, casinos usually offer plenty of dining options at a variety of price points. While we don’t always eat at the casinos we visit it’s nice to know that we can take a night off from cooking if we want to.
Casinos feature other amenities
Some of the larger casinos offer extra amenities like spas and fitness centers! While these are not free for campers, you can usually purchase a day pass to the facilities, which is still often cheaper than paying for a night in an RV park!
Some of the casinos we’ve camped at had other fun facilities like a movie theater and bowling alley! Tom and I very rarely get to see movies in the theater so finding a casino with a movie theater inside is a special treat for us.
And, of course, there is always gambling available in the casinos. We’re not big gamblers, but if you enjoy gambling you can join the free casino player’s club and hit the slot machines during your visit.
How to find casinos that allow overnight RV parking
There are a few excellent resources for finding casinos that allow overnight RV parking. Tom and I use an iphone app called Allstays that shows many of the free casinos. However, we discovered that Allstays doesn’t show every casino, so we also consult Casino Camper, a free site that lists casinos that allow free camping.
Then, if we have checked our app and Casino Camper without any luck we will check google maps as well. Occasionally google maps will find some casinos that are not listed on either of the other resources. If you do use google maps be sure to give the casino a call and make sure they allow RV boondocking in their parking lot.
Casino camping is a fun way to get free overnight parking when you travel. We recommend you give it a try on your next RV road trip!
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