Beginner’s Guide to RV Overnight Parking at Casinos
Beginner’s Guide to RV Overnight Parking at Casinos
Why this is a great option for budget conscious RVers and tips for using it.
By: Kenny & Sabrina Phillips
Sabrina and I are often looking for inexpensive ways to spend a night in our RV, especially while traveling long distances where we will need several overnight stays in a row. One of the nice things about traveling in our Winnebago Vista is how self-contained it is, we can easily go five or more days with no hookups. We try to take advantage of this while traveling by staying overnight in free-to-use parking lots, like Flying J’s, Walmarts, Cracker Barrels, and (our favorite!) casino parking lots.
A major advantage of locations like this is there are no reservations needed so we can travel as much or as little in a day and stop when we are ready, making our travel days very flexible and not pressuring us to travel to a certain destination each day.
Top Reasons to Stay at Casinos
Our number one reason for choosing casino parking lots is security. Every casino we have ever stayed at has been very well lit and has had some type of security patrol vehicle monitoring the parking lot all night long. This puts us at ease while sleeping, especially when in an area that we are not familiar with.
Another perk is the convenient parking. Most casinos will have a designated area of where they would like us to park our RV with plenty of space allowing us to leave our tow car connected.
Something you may not think of when staying at a casino are the amenities, like a restaurant, food court, movie theater, or game rooms. We have taken advantage of all of these while staying overnight at a casino. Often there is even free shuttle service from the parking area to the main entrance of the casino.
Once inside we sign up for one of their player cards. This sometimes gives us meal vouchers for discounted food items or free money to play on their machines. We have even stayed at some casinos that offer a free refreshment bar that included, coffee, tea, sodas, and more.
4. Savings (Usually!)
All these perks make an overnight stay for us not only safe, but a fun inexpensive stay. Well, inexpensive if Sabrina does not get on the slot machines.
Our Favorite Casino
I am going to share our favorite casino overnight spot. (Hopefully by sharing this location this does not make it difficult to get a spot in the future!) That casino is Cherokee Casino and Hotel in Roland, OK.
What makes it our favorite? Free full hookups. That’s right … not only do you get water, electric, and sewer all for free, but they let you stay two nights for free. Since this casino is located right off I-40, Sabrina and I have been staying at this casino for years as we travel back and forth from coast to coast. It is first come first serve, so our main tip for this one is to arrive early as they only have about eight spots.
Of course, you are welcome to stay in one of the spaces out in the parking lot, but you will have no hookups out there. The only downside to these free hookups is that they are all back-in spots so we do have to disconnect the car, but it is worth it especially on long trips where we might want to empty our tanks and refill our water.
This also happens to be one of the casinos offering the free refreshment bar so I can go inside in the morning and get a cup of coffee to start our day of traveling. There is also a gas station and convenience store on the property, making for an easy fill up on our way back out to the highway.
Tips For Staying at a Casino Overnight in an RV
The best way to find out which casinos offer free overnight parking is by calling ahead. This will let you know a few things: one if they allow it, two where they would like you to park, and three if you need to check in with security upon arrival for a tag.
Although the third one is uncommon, there have been some casinos that require us to check in and receive a tag for parking in their lot. Often this tag will just say what day you arrived and what day they would like you to leave. We have found that the casinos that offer a tag still often let us stay for multiple nights free of charge.
Arriving early is probably the best advice, especially when staying at a casino that offers amenities. We don’t know of any casino that takes reservations - even the ones with paid RV spots in their lot. (We have also stayed at a few casinos that will have water and electric spots in their parking lot and will charge a small fee like $10 to $15 dollars for the night.)
Be courteous and obey any rules they might have, such as no lawn chairs or cookouts. Some places may not want you to put slides out. Usually there is a list of rules posted somewhere in the lot or you can ask the security what is and is not allowed.
We also put blocks under jacks to protect their property. We have often stayed at locations where there’s clearly rust marks or even damage to the ground from RV jacks. We want to make sure we are leaving the area in the same condition as we found it since it is a nice perk to be able to stay in these lots and we don’t want any establishments to remove this benefit.
Finally play/gamble responsibly, especially if you are using casinos as an inexpensive way to travel. It is easy to get carried away in the casinos and you could spend more at a machine then you would have at a campground.
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any tips to share, please leave them down in the comment section. Take care, safe travels and good luck all!