!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN" "http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd"> Boondocking Etiquette

Boondocking Etiquette

RVers' code of conduct when spending the night in private business parking lots

Many RVers, including myself, occasionally park overnight on the property of generous retailers, such as Wal-Mart. Even though retailers are located in urban areas (not the boonies), this practice has become commonly known as boondocking.

Unfortunately, a small number of RVers overstay their welcome and act in an un-neighborly way. This reflects poorly on the entire community of recreational vehicle travelers. In response, an increasing number of retailers and communities prohibit the practice of overnight parking, except in licensed campgrounds.

Do your part in keeping this privilege alive, by following the suggestions in this letter, re-printed with permission of the Escapees RV Club:


Dear Fellow RVers,

Some of the most respected RV consumer clubs have joined together to support your right to park on private businesses' parking lots overnight under the following code of conduct:

Industry-Sanctioned Code of Conduct

(RVers' Good Neighbor Policy)

  1. Stay one night only!
  2. Obtain permission from a qualified individual.
  3. Obey posted regulations.
  4. No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills.
  5. Do not use hydraulic jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).
  6. Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
  7. Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.
  8. Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.

If your plans include touring the area, staying for more than one night, or necessitate conduct not within the code, please relocate to a local campground. It's the right thing to do!

Most of the complaints lodged regarding RV parking on business parking lots have to do with aesthetics and perceived abuse of the privilege. There are a variety of competing interests that were balanced to arrive at this industry-sanctioned code of conduct. As you can see, the Code of Conduct is nothing more than an RVers' “Good Neighbor” policy.

Not following the code has serious consequences and is detrimental to the rights of all RVers. Already, some municipalities have passed ordinances to prohibit parking on private business property overnight.

Please do not take offense to this letter; it is only provided as a reminder that RVers must be perceived as good neighbors, or there will be more pressure to institute state, county, and local ordinances to prohibit parking on private business property.

We wish you safe and happy travels,

Signed: Escapees RV Club, Family Motor Coach Association, Born Free Leap'N Lions RV Club, Wally Byam Caravan Club International, Gulf Streamers International Recreational Vehicle Club, and LoW