Urban RVing: Things You Need to Know About RVing in the City

Camping trailer vector illustration. Car with caravan for camping in summer journey. Car camp trailer. RV with driver on the road in the city

When most people think of RVing, they think of the great outdoors, the national parks, wildlife, and nature in general, but one of the best things about RVing is that it’s a fantastic way to travel to do anything. You can even take your RV to the city.

Many people will be surprised to find that RVing in urban environments is really pretty easy, and there are often accommodations for RVs. Before you jump in your RV and drive to New York City or Los Angeles, though, you need to know about a few things and be prepared for urban RV camping. Here are some things you need to know.

There are RV Resorts and Campgrounds in the City

An rv park in the city
Image from Getty

Most major cities have an RV resort or campground either very close or actually in the heart of the city. You might be surprised to learn that some of the biggest cities, like Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, and even New York City, are pretty RV friendly.

While you may still need to pay for public transit to get around the city while your RV is at the campground or resort, that’s usually not a problem because of the robustness of the public transit. you can also Uber or take a taxi in pretty much any city, too, so getting around to various places within an urban area shouldn’t be too big of an issue.

Parking Lots Can be Good for Urban Boondocking

Most people have heard of Walmart boondocking. It’s fairly common. However, it’s important to note that Walmart isn’t the only place in the city where you can boondock. Casinos, visitor centers, state fairgrounds, and convention centers often have large parking areas and will let you boondock there.

You’ll often have to pay a fee for parking there, but it will be far cheaper than renting a space at the local RV resort or campground. Free boondocking is a little more difficult to come by. Walmart is usually an option, and some other big box stores are another good bet, but otherwise, you’re likely going to have to pay a fee to park your rig.

It Can Be Loud

lots of loud city noises and people
Image from Getty

Cities are loud places. There are cars, people, public transit and all sorts of other things that make noise at all hours of the day and night. If you’re camping in the city, you need to be ready for this.

Get yourself some earplugs. If you can’t sleep with them in, then maybe a noise machine or loud fan will do the trick. Personally, I sleep with a fan on. It helps me sleep and keeps any outside noises from being too disturbing to my sleep.

You’ll Want Some Blackout Curtains

It’s not just loud in the city, it’s also bright. There are streetlights, lights from buildings, passing cars, etc. This means unless you don’t mind getting hit with a bright light in your face at night, you should invest in some blackout curtains.

At the very least, you’ll need some curtains of some kind. Shades and blinds work well, too, but light usually gets in around them, so using both is honestly the best choice.

If Boondocking, Forget Using Slides

Rv slide outs
Image from Getty

Slideouts are great, and if you’re urban camping in an actual resort or campground you should use them. However, when it comes to boondocking in urban environments, you should probably forget about deploying your slides.

Most of the time, boondocking in the city means taking up a parking space or two, and your RV will already be pressed for space. This means utilizing slides is out. If you have an RV that’s impossible to move around in with the slides not deployed, then you need to think about this and probably make a reservation at a resort or campground.

Plan Ahead of Time

This means the places you’ll stay and the route you plan to take to get to those locations. City streets can be tight and your RV may not fit on certain routes. Make sure you have a good route selected ahead of time on the main roads.

When it comes to places to stay, if it’s a resort or campground, make sure to make a reservation ahead of time. If it’s a boondocking situation, just make sure you’re okay to stay there. Calling ahead is never a bad idea.

Do you have any tips for urban RVing? If so, leave a comment below!

Urban RVing_ Things You Need to Know About RVing in the City



  1. The Walmarts in many urban areas do not allow overnight parking. It is usually a city reg. I have found the best Walmart’s is the mid west. Arizona and California usually not. I have never found a Camping World or any place that sells RVs to allow overnight parking. That seems stupid to me because we are their customers. I would say to stay in the driveway of a friends house but most cities don’t even allow that. And RV parks in a city are expensive. And you can’t even park in the tourist area usually. No RV spots. Cities really do not want RVs around. And we have a small RV only 24’.

  2. It’s nice to know that there are RV resorts even in urban areas. I’ve been thinking a lot about buying my own RV someday in order to go for long relaxing road trips with my closest friends. Knowing that there are places to stay without having to drive very far will make things a lot easier to plan for such road trips.

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