Casino Camping Location Report: Reno/Tahoe

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August 8, 2008

As many of you know we’ve been in the Reno, Nevada area, and southern Lake Tahoe, since mid July.  We’ve visited many casinos and stayed at three of them; two old favorites and a new one (new to us).

In summer, the whole Reno / Tahoe area is packed with opportunities for outdoor activities; hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing, kayaking, skiing, trout fishing, boating, even scuba diving, and more.  There’s also plenty of sight seeing and exploring to do, along with shopping, dining… the list goes on. 

We’re currently in south Lake Tahoe.  This is our first time at Lake Tahoe, but it won’t be our last!  The weather here in summer is wonderful!  Highs are in the 70’s and 80’s, lows in the 40’s.  There are many days of clear blue cloudless skies and fairly low humidity.  The scenery is breathtaking!  And speaking of breathing, you’ll be above 6000 to 7000 feet here so be aware of potential altitude-related physical problems if you’re coming up directly from near sea level.

What have we been doing?  We drove our toad all the way around the lake, driving clockwise so we’re on the inside lane next to the lake, and we stopped at many scenic viewpoints including Emerald Bay (see the lead photo above).  Plan to spend at least 4 hours if you do this, and it could take all day.  Watch out for hikers and bicyclers!  We also took a sightseeing cruise on the Tahoe Star, a 57 foot boat that belongs to Harrah’s Casino, so Chris got it comped.  There are many other boats of all variety that do dinner cruises, sightseeing, and so on.  We also shopped, ate at some interesting local places, and of course we gambled a little bit.

RV Parking

The Reno area has a good selection of RV friendly casinos including several with RV parks.  South Lake Tahoe has only one casino that allows RV parking, but there are many commercial, federal and state RV parks all around.

At the three locations where we parked the situations are quite different from each other, and this creates a good example of how RV travelers need to be flexible and adapt to the policies at each new place we visit.

Boomtown, Verdi

Boomtown has a Full Hookup RV park, and they also allow free overnight parking for RV travelers.  Truckers are also allowed in a section of the parking lot.  18-wheelers have to park east of a blue line painted on the pavement.  RVs are allowed in the next two or three rows.

Security is very active in enforcing the parking rules, and will quickly ask you to move if you’re in the wrong place.  Staying a few nights is usually OK, check with Security.  There is no formal signing-in process, just park in the right place and don’t cause problems.  Jacks and slides are OK, please put blocks under your jacks to protect the asphalt.  No BBQ grills or other “setting up camp”, no big awning, no patio furniture, etc.

On any given night there might be 30+ trucks and 20+ RVs.  During major events that attract RVs their parking situation can get very crowded.  One example is Hot August Nights, a large region-wide, week long car show that takes place all over Reno and Sparks.  This year it was August 3 – 10, and we headed to Tahoe!

Peppermill, Reno

While Boomtown opens the door to all RVers and says “come on in” the Peppermill is on the other end of the RV friendly spectrum.  I hesitated to mention this casino in the blog; however, it does give me the opportunity to illustrate the wide differences in casino policies.

You must either be a registered hotel guest, or a Platinum or Diamond level player to park an RV overnight.  The Peppermill has limited parking because of a major construction project.  We’ve visited there for several years, and since we’re known gamblers they accommodate us.  It’s one of our favorite casinos.

We always check in with security, either look for one of them on bicycle patrol, or ask an employee inside to direct you to the security office.  Typically, you may park an RV in rows G and H only of their North parking lot.  During the day, construction workers park in this same area, so I recommend arriving after 5:00 PM on a weeknight Monday through Thursday.  Weekends the lot can be very crowded.  There’s very little room to maneuver, so motorhomes should arrive with the toad unhooked.  Parking here is not recommended for RVs over 40′ and Class 7 and 8 trucks are not allowed.

Horizon Casino, Lake Tahoe

Compared to the RV policies of the previous two casinos Horizon is right in the middle.  Like Boomtown they have plenty of parking, and there’s an open invitation for us to all come visit.   They do have some formal, written rules, and although enforcement varies we found it easy to abide by them, and we urge others to do so too.  They require RVers to register at Security and obtain a parking permit which is good for 4 nights.  You’ll need drivers license and RV tag number.  Security is located on the casino floor, if you walk in from the back parking lot, past the pool, past the hotel desk, then turn right and look for a large elevated booth up ahead along the wall.

To understand their rules, just follow the Good Neighbor policy that we practice at Wal-Marts, with the exception that you may stay up to 4 nights.

See you on the road!

We leave today for Carson City.  Happy travels to you, and good luck at the casinos!


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  2. Hi Robert,

    As you discovered, Boomtown is the most RV friendly place in the Reno area, that’s for sure. The KOA is a nice campground and the hotel allows overnight stays and even several nights is OK with them.

    The campground you were originally looking for is still in Reno, it’s just not a KOA. The Grand Sierra (formally the Hilton) still has the RV park that was formerly the KOA.

    Downtown Reno casinos have no RV parking that I can recall. Most don’t have the space.

    South of town on Virginia the Atlantis stopped allowing RVs to overnight unless you have a room there. Ditto the Peppermill, but they make an exception for known gamblers in their system. The Nugget in Sparks previously allowed overnighting but stopped.

    Baldini’s Sports Casino in Sparks does allow RVs to overnight. Likewise a few others out of town.

    We try to list all we are aware of on the website at Let me know if you find anythat I don’t have listed, or discover any errors there. Thanks!

  3. robert shelton

    i read thru the comments on the reno area and couldn’t disagree more…my wife and i came into the reno area about 6:30 pm from salt lake city and tried to find the KOA which i found out later had relocated to boomtown…extrememly tired we commenced to try and find an rv park or casino to park in…every casino that we arrived at we went in and told the management that we were there and just needed to get something to eat, gamble a little and go to bed. expalining that we could not find an rv park etc…we got thrown out of everyone…the locals were very rude etc. what could i do with a 40’er and a dinghy so i found a wal-mart which i got thrown out of and was told only a Super Wal-mart would allow overnighters. i finnaly found one on the outskirts of reno about 10:30 at night alongside several other campers. the manager woke us and everyone else up at 5:30am and was told to get out asap. we said enough is enough and headed out and on the way found Boomtown which allowed rvs and by chance the KOA was located adjacent to this casino. we stayed the night and really enjoyed our time. we also have talked to plenty of rvers that have had the same experience as ourselfs. i’ll go to boomtown, but reno?????

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  5. Richard Nicol

    Something akin to ‘HEY RANGER’

    > > We had to have the garage door repaired. The Sears repairman told us
    > that one
    > > of our problems was that we did not have a ‘large’ enough motor on the
    > > opener. I thought for a minute, and said that we had the largest one
    > Sears
    > made
    > > at that time, a 1/2 horsepower. He shook his head and said, ‘Lady, you
    > need
    > > a 1/4 horsepower.’ I responded that 1/2 was larger than 1/4. He said,
    > > ‘NO, it’s not. Four is larger than two.’
    > >
    > > We haven’t used Sears repair since.
    > >
    > > My daughter and I went through the McDonald’s take-out window and I
    > gave
    > > the clerk a $5 bill. Our total was $4.25, so I also handed her a
    > quarter. She
    > > said, ‘you gave me too much money.’ I said, ‘Yes I know, but this
    > > way you can just give me a dollar bill back.’ She sighed and went to
    > get the
    > > manager who asked me to repeat my request. I did so, and he handed me
    > back the
    > > quarter, and said ‘We’re sorry but they could not do that kind of
    > > thing.’ The clerk then proceeded to give me back $1 and 75 cents in
    > change.
    > >
    > > Do not confuse the clerks at McD’s.
    > >
    > >
    > > I live in a semi-rural area. We recently had a new neighbor call the
    > local
    > > township administrative office to request the removal of the DEER
    > sign
    > > on our road. The reason: ‘Too many deer are being hit by cars out
    > here! I
    > > don’t think this is a good place for them to be crossing anymore.’
    > >
    > > From Kingman , KS .
    > >
    > >
    > > My daughter went to a local Taco Bell and ordered a taco. She asked
    > the
    > person
    > > behind the counter for ‘minimal lettuce.’ He said he was sorry, but
    > they
    > > only had iceberg lettuce.
    > > From Kansas City
    > >
    > >
    > > I was at the airport, checking in at the gate when an airport employee
    > asked,
    > > ‘Has anyone put anything in your baggage without your knowledge?’ To
    > > which I replied, ‘If it was without my knowledge, how would I know?’
    > He
    > > smiled knowingly and nodded,
    > > ‘That’s why we ask.’
    > >
    > > Happened in Birmingham , Ala.
    > >
    > >
    > > The stoplight on the corner buzzes when it’s safe to cross the street.
    > I
    > > was crossing with an intellectually challenged coworker of mine. She
    > asked if
    > I
    > > knew what the buzzer was for. I explained that it signals blind people
    > when
    > the
    > > light is red. Appalled, she responded, ‘What on earth are blind people
    > doing
    > > driving?!’
    > >
    > > She was a probation officer in Wichita, KS
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > At a good-bye luncheon for an old and dear coworker. She was leaving
    > the
    > > company due to ‘downsizing.’ Our manager commented cheerfully, ‘This
    > > is fun. We should do this more often.’ Not another word was spoken. We
    > all
    > > just looked at each other with that deer-in-the-headlights stare.
    > >
    > > This was a lunch at Texas Instruments.
    > >
    > >
    > > I work with an individual who plugged her power strip back into itself
    > and for
    > > the sake of her life, couldn’t understand why her system would not
    > turn on.
    > >
    > > A deputy with the Dallas County Sheriffs office, no less.
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > When my husband and I arrived at an automobile dealership to pick up
    > our car,
    > > we were told the keys had been locked in it. We went to the service
    > department
    > > and found a mechanic working feverishly to unlock the driver’s side
    > door. As
    > > I watched from the passenger side, I instinctively tried the door
    > handle and
    > > discovered that it was unlocked. ‘Hey,’ I announced to the technician,
    > > ‘its open!’ His reply, ‘I know. I already got that side.’
    > >
    > > This was at the Forddealership in Canton, Mississippi
    > >
    > >
    > > STAY ALERT!
    > >
    > > They walk among us… and the scary part is that they VOTE and they

  6. Judi & Bruno

    We are new on this site and new to RVing. My husband and I live in CT., we have visited the two casino’s in CT, Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods, both have RV parking without hookups, there is planty of room to open the slides on your RV. Mohegan Sun seems to be the favorite casino to most people. Hope to see you there soon.

    Bruno & Judi

  7. Hi Ken, that’s correct about Atlantis. They no longer allow overnight parking and sleeping in the RV; however, they will allow guests with a hotel room to park an RV there, so those are probably the RVs you saw.

    Drew, thanks for the note about the Carson Valley Inn. Although I only list casino RV parks on my website there are quite a few nice parks in the area that aren’t associated with a casino. The same holds true for the Lake Tahoe area, with many campgrounds and RV parks. Since Horizon only allows 4 nites at a time, next year we plan to rotate out to the Zepher Cove RV Park for a night and then back to Horizon.

  8. Drew Mueller

    There is a very nice rv resort at the Carson Valley Inn (although it’s not free). They charge $25.00 a night but it’s very clean and quiet and located 100 yards from the Inn itself- there is a foot path to there or a free shuttle from 4pm to midnight. You can break out the chairs, awning, bbq or whatever you please. The help there is pleasant, courteous and friendly. The resort and casino are centrally located in the little town of Minden- close to many recreational pursuits.

  9. Ken Hall

    We like Peppermill in Reno, but haven’t tried parking there. Directly across S. Virginia Ave. is Silver Sage RV Park. All back-in, it is all paved, sites are long and wide enough. You have to pay, and many rigs need a very long sewer hose, but we can just walk across the street to the hotel.

    Atlantis, just south of Peppermill used to allow parking in the back of their lot, but when we called in June, Security told us it is prohibited by Reno now. However, there were 5 rigs there when we were in town.