Do You Use and Appreciate Overnight Casino Parking?

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June 3, 2010


Another Lug_Nut view.  There are many casinos throughout the country, many of them welcome  RV’ers to park and stay overnight.  While there are non-RV friendly locations like Atlantic City and Reno, the majority have out the welcoming mat for these large rolling homes.  Unfortunately their hospitality sometimes is abused by a small minority.  These abuses have, and may lead to restrictions or even total RV parking bans.  So what are these abuses and how can we stop or reduce them?

Aging RV’s that may not even be fit for the road are parked for extended periods of time, some appear not even occupied.  Some of these derelict vehicles house mobile gypsies that have no intention of entering the online casino or its other facilities for the purpose of spending money.  It’s just a place to park free.

A small percentage of RV’ers seem to believe it is okay to park there, disconnect their car, or trailer, and take off to go to other locations in the area.  Some of them visit relatives throughout the day and use the site only to return and sleep.  I have witnessed units being left unattended for several days as people must think it to be a handy storage site.  Most of these abusers do not give the business establishment any return, they just take.  One person I met that stayed several days in a casino parking lot, when asked if he had any luck, stated “They won’t get me in there, I’d rather spend my money elsewhere than give it to them.”

A number of RV’s that visit casinos, Wal-Marts and other free overnight parking locations insist on using their hydraulic jacks.  Many times these are newbie’s that may not be unaware of the damage the jack pads can inflict on the asphalt. A little common sense can go a long way here, just don’t use your jacks.

Then there are the people that think the parking lot is a campsite.  They are easy to spot.  They have their camping chairs out, they are cooking on their bar-b-q and cocktail hour is in full swing.  All of this in a parking facility provided for patrons of a business that offers, gaming, drink and food.  What do they think, this is KOA Kasino?

Well, I guess it is easy to understand that if this minority keeps misusing this privilege, we will all one day lose it.   So, be a good guest and appreciate the kind gesture of the establishment for allowing us to stay overnight. Don’t over stay your welcome. Stay a day or two only.  Use their lot to enjoy their facility, not as a short term storage.  Don’t use jacks on their lot surface and keep the outdoor living for campgrounds.

So, what do you think?  Are you a user, or are you an abuser?

Appreciation of The Privilege    –    Lug_Nut   –    Peter Mercer

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  2. George

    Jim G states: “Re: Overstaying at Indian Casino lots. First we took their land, now their parking.” Well Jim, I’m paying them back a nickel at a time. We always asked permission, they usually have security watch our RV and more often than not, make money on their machines. It’s a win win situation.

  3. MrOAK

    We stayed in several casino parking lots in our trip across country last year. Some were free and some were paid. If paid then I don’t consider them to be any different than a commercial lot and treat them accordingly. I always put my jacks down in my class A RV. All of the free lots that I have stayed in are not very level. I have not seen any noticeable damage due to jacks in an asphalt lot that was set aside for RV’s. We always ask and are directed to the lots that are set aside for RV use. We do eat and gamble in the casino’s but that is because we enjoy that activity not because we feel an obligation to do that. We have never stayed more than one night in a casino because there are always better places to stay than in a casino lot.
    As to Walmart we have never stayed in one overnight. In a pinch while travelling I would consider staying in one but they are not set up for camping very well and are not always in very pretty places. We have parked our RV in the outer sections of a Walmart for several hours while we went sightseeing. Walmart allows that because they get plenty of business from RV’ers. I know we go to Walmart much more often when we are on the road than when home.

  4. Steve Phillips

    Went thru Michigans Upper Peninsula last summer on a Casino tour-stayed at most of them FREE.The one in Christmas and one near Marquette even had free electric.Spent more there than we would of at a campground,and only met 1 abuser{guy with a water tank in the back of his truck and ALL his “Camping gear” out}.Loved it and the Last casino paid for the whole trip.

  5. Lug_Nut

    cltisdale, Great point regarding absorbsion refrigerators. If you use pads under the jacks, as you do, no problem. Great advice, thank you for your super input.

  6. Hello. Read most all your posts : People keep metioning don’t let your jacks down.. Certain situations it is needed, ( When I do , have large blocks of wood(7” x 17”) that goes under each jack .. You better keep your Propane items level-Refrig, Freezer or you are asking for trouble..I do agree with common manners, no matter where you are, including Rver’s, or just talking to your fellow humans…Next Time..

  7. Guido

    Had a reservation at a commercial campground in a Nevada city and drove in. It was so grim I drove right out again. Turns out the local casino advertised RV camping (Woodals book), so one phone call and about $20 for the night, and we were set. That is the extent of my casino camping. I see RV’s at the local Wal-Marts, but they don’t seem to be there for more than a day at a time. I am sure there are lots of examples of others abusing a good deal. There is always going to be someone who could be out of step in a one man parade. My $0.02 worth…

  8. Karen

    We’ve stayed at casinos all across the country. There are so many casinos popping up that I believe it would be possible to make a cross country trip and stay in a casino lot every night! We don’t abuse the privilege as we always visit the casino but many times we also use the lot as a convenient base for see area attractions. We have a small class C and no toad so we’re not unhooking but I see nothing wrong with that. As the first poster stated it’s not a casino prison.If the casino offers free or discounted rooms to good customers , they wouldn’t expect them to stay on the casino property the entire time.
    You do have to check out the rules though, because each casino operates differently. Some do not allow you to unhook , use levelers or look as if you are camping in any way. Others don’t mind if you set out chairs and set up barbecues. If you break the rules , they’ll let you know. We’ve seen over night policies changed because of abuse. Good customers are still welcome but restrictions and sign ins sheets are enforced.

  9. Rick

    In response to Thomas Becher, he is referring to AVI casino across the river from fort Mohave south of Bull Head City. I have stayed there several times. There is both a KOA and free dry camping in the casino lot. I have used both. The dry camping for an overnight and the KOA for extended stays. It is a great location and there is a nice golf course there. AVI is a great location and they have a nice dollar breakfast served anytime and free coffee for vets. We stop there a couple times a winter.

  10. Feeline

    We have stopped and spent the night at several casinos during our travels, and it would probably be less expensive to go to a campground, but the casinos offer us the convenience of stopping and parking without the problems of pulling into an unfamiliar campground during the dark.

    Abuses are one of the major reasons that laws and ordinances are made and passed. Casinos, Wal-Marts, and other places that allow overnight parking, do so as a good will gestures, with the hope that people that use the facility, might spend some money at the establishment, they are running a business after all. . Causing damage and/or making a mess of the place will sooner or later result in the these places becoming off limits to us all. Business will usually tolerate more because “the customer is always right”, they don’t want bad public opinion of there business. On the other hand, cities, towns, counties, etc. are less tolerant, and if complaints are received from the locals, the politicians will act by banning overnight parking within their jurisdiction.

    When this happens, we all loose.

  11. Bob Protomastro

    I am not a big gambler but I have stayed at casino’s, when we do stay we go in and usually, if they have a dinner service you have a least one meal. Just a few days is perfect I think in this situation. If you are a regular gambler and go in day after day or shift after shift then by all means I think the casino would want you to stay, but in my situation I think if I just stay the few days, lunch, dinner, or maybe breakfast on the days I stay is my part.

  12. Julie Rea

    Stayed in many casino lots – some free, some are not. 7 Feathers in Oregon has a beautiful park for RVs. While travelling, love to stay at casinos and enjoy their buffets or restaurants. Always stay at casinos that have parking set aside specifically for RV’s. Has always been a pleasant experience.

  13. darthvagrant

    Casino parking? Yeah-been there, done that. Sievereville, TN and Las Vegas are notable exceptions to Wallmarts allowing overnighting be RVers. Several years ago the Wallmart at Sevierville was completely blocked by RVs. One idiot with an apparent 40′ diesel pulling a 30′ trailer spread out the lawn chairs, 10X12 rug and BBQ grille, sound system blaring and with hydraulic jacks down consumed about 1400 square feet of lot. The next year the signs went up. I seriously considered loosening his valve stem Schrader valves a bit to quietly send a message, Actually, I’d feel better now if I had.
    Casinos are handy. I do frequent their restaurants periodically. As far as gambling, I have never lost a hand at any card table, roulette wheel, blackjack, or particularly the slot machines placed for idiots who can’t figure out the vastly better odds at a gaming table. Same record on ALL state lotteries. I have NEVER had a losing card or ticket. Oh yeah-maybe because I don’t gamble. (Street) Drugs, hard liquor, tobacco (of any use) and gambling to me exhibit serious personality flaws and inherent character weakness’
    P.S.: I also don’t talk to myself (pray). Another very common character weakness. Woops, off subject, sorry.
    Just MHO…….

  14. Liz Bard

    I have stayed at the Diamond Jim’s in Bossier City at the RV Park because they have security. I was going to get up early to take the RV to a dealer for repairs. I paid for the RV park because I wanted the electricity and cable since we were new to RVing at the time and needed air and electricity since the generator was in the shop and was going to be installed the next day.

    We also stayed at the Ameristar in Vicksburg, MS at the RV park because that was where we could park. If we wanted to go to gamble or eat in the resturant, we could have utilized their shuttle. As it was, I was tired from driving in rain and wind and did not want to be in a crowd.

    Both times the RV parks were clean with full hook ups. There were no trees around since they wanted as many to park as possible. This was good for a overnight stop.

  15. Gary Altig

    Parking Lot overnighting (Casino or otherwise) in Reno is against City ordinance.
    However, In Sparks, the next door City, Casino overnighting is encouraged.
    Especially at the Nugget. RV parking has been set aside and closed off after
    a few days, with a new area opened. This allows overnighting without long term

  16. Lug_Nut

    Thomas Becher, In answer to your question, yes. If you enjoy their food establishments you are probably being a good user. Thanks for your input and good question.

  17. Can anyone rate the top 5-6 best 5th wheels or travel trailers acording to quality? Thank You, Pete

  18. Allen Zabner

    My wife and I have stayed overnight at a few Casinos. We do however utilize the facilities inside, ie: restaurant, slots, etc. We have always respected the fact that the Casino “allows” us to stay there overnight. We have dropped the jacks on occasion when the lot isn’t flat or even. One thing we make sure of before parking, is to check in with security and make sure we are allowed to park overnight.
    We are users, because we as stated above utilize the facilities. We also make sure to park out of the way as to not be in the way of cars and other RV’s.

  19. Thomas Becher

    I’ve been tempted to stay at a casino, but I am not a gambler and I would feel bad that I didn’t spend any money there. Would it be alright to go in, enjoy a meal(buffet or menu) and go back to the camper? In Hinckley Minnesota they have a wonderful campground, but you pay something don’t know because I didn’t stop. And across the river from Bullhead City in Nevada there was a casino but it had a KOA campground. Again not free.

  20. Sheila Allison

    We have stayed at Wal-Mart only when we go inside and ask permission to stay and where they would like for us to park. We so far have never been turned away and usually spend money there. If you goggle you can find the ones that do not permit overniters.

  21. Jim G

    Re: Overstaying at Indian Casino lots
    First we took their land, now their parking lots!!

  22. Lee

    We’ve never stayed in a casino parking lot. We don’t do casinos either. But one of the finest RV parks we have ever visited is run by the Oneida Indian Nation in update New York (in conjunction with their casino), The Villages at Turning Stone, near Verona, NY.

    Large RV spaces, lots of trees and beautiful landscaping. Ponds, trails, sports, a shuttle to the casino, playground, literally everything you could want in an RV park. Highest ratings from Woodall’s and Trailer Life. Check it out at

  23. Jim G

    Coincidentally just last week I drove, our car, by the courtesy RV lot, on my way to enjoy Frankie Valli, and was AMAZED to see about 100 RVs of every size and configuration. It looked like an RV rally with such an assortment as this was the first time I realized that this privilege was even offered. Granted the casino provides the parking with the intention of increasing business but why not take advantage, but I would NEVER even contemplate setting up camp, let alone lower the awning and fire up the grille. I guess it takes all types, but what a SHAME that some folks spoil it for the majority of RVers who would appreciate the frebbie.

  24. John Hinbest

    We are only consideing staing at a casino in Minasota because along with there dinning and other atractions is an economical campground. Parking for RV’s not sized for cars, hock-ups and at a good price. Who said that casinos could only have hotel rooms?

  25. Bernie & Karen

    We are user’s – not abusers! We haven’t parked in a Casino yet, but we sure have seen a lot a abuse in Walmart parking lots and private stores. It’s really sad when a big Class A or really long 5th wheel just thinks the parking lot was built for them exclusively. We recently watched a big “A” with a tow vehicle pull into a small private parking lot, unload his car and then proceed to drive away somewhere else! Meanwhile his RV was blocking lots of slots in a too small a parking lot.
    Walmart parkers are just bad – parking too close to the store, taking up too many spots because of just stopping in the middle of a row, slides out, etc.
    Worse, they’ll be the first to complain about no more parking in Casinos or Walmarts – it’s privilege to do so – please stop abusing it for the rest of us!

  26. Art Armstrong

    We agree with your assessment and it is pot-on………as usual.

    I have witnessed such abuse but it wasen’t at a casino, it was a Walmart and the guy was un hooking his tow vehicle and said that he woud be back in a few days as they were going across the state (FL) . I only wish that I had told the jerk what I was thiking.


  27. Dave Taylor

    I’m more of a user than an abuser. But I have left my trailer to go shopping or do other things. I view the “Casino RV relationship” as a two-way street. I gamble and eat at their buffets, but I do not consider myself to be residing in a “Casino Prison;” there is far more to traveling than just gambling and eating buffets. From the way I’ve been treated by most Casinos, I believe they consider RVers a substantial source of income. However, if most RVer start using the Casinos solely for parking, I would not blame them if they stopped allowing us to park there. RVers have to respect the fact that Casinos are running a business…