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Live in Bus, Trailer, or Camper: How Do You Find Legal Parking?

Unusual Dwellings June 29, 2017

This is the era of unusual dwellings. People are choosing to give up the traditional house with a mortgage, 2 1/2 kids and white picket fence, to live the freestyle life. They can go where they want, visit places they never had time to see, make new friends on the road, and find out just what the simple life is like. But are there cons to this type of lifestyle? Of course, there are pros and cons to every lifestyle. One of the biggest cons of living in a mobile type home is that unless you have it parked on a friend’s piece of land or you’re paying for your own lot, you must find places where you can park your home-on -wheels safely, and legally.

Here are a few suggestions as to where you can park your home without feeling exposed or getting in trouble with the law.

In Nature

Believe it or not, but there are quite a few places you can park overnight safely and legally, many public parks are open to what they call, “boondocking”, which is sleeping and living in a moving vehicle. The National Forest Service is another organization that allows mobile dwellers to park, usually for free, overnight from days to weeks depending on the park.

In a Busy City Area

Another safe place to park where the cops or neighborhood watch won’t disturb you, is an all night busy parking lot where it is not unusual to see cars parked overnight. Your 24 hour grocery stores are one place or any place that is always open 24/7, you can usually park with privacy but this is not a long-lasting idea, eventually someone may catch on and notify the store. But for a couple nights before you move on to your next adventure, a store parking lot is free and normally safe.

Some Truck Stops

Depending on where you are, there are a few truck stops that will allow you to park there overnight with the truckers. Some are very welcoming to boondockers, others will keep a watchful eye on you and demand that you leave as soon as the sun comes up. Try to find someone that works there and let them know that you are simply looking to park and sleep overnight, so that they are not surprised when they see you as they do their security checks.

Highway Rest Areas 

Often while traveling, we see the highway rest areas. Most are nothing but a parking space for long distance truck drivers. They may not even come equipped with a restroom. It’s basically a place where you can park your vehicle safely and not look like a suspicious character, but instead like a traveler looking for a place to catch a few winks of sleep.

Free and Cheap RV Camping 

There are some RV camping grounds that are either free or really cheap that you can park in overnight or for up to a few nights. It’s always good to touch base with someone affiliated with the camp ground so they know that you are not a thief or troublemaker, you just want to have somewhere safe to sleep overnight. Websites like Free Camp Grounds can help you locate these places throughout the U.S. This website is one of the best resources for mobile dwellers, there is on the Internet.

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