The stuff you see about RV life on Instagram is great and all, but one thing that is less exciting is the cost of ownership. From insurance payments to RV maintenance costs, there is a lot to budget for if you’re an RV owner.
For this reason, many RVers are looking for ways to cut costs. One of the best ways to go about this is to save on RV storage fees. This leaves many RV owners asking, “Where can I store my RV for free?”
Surprisingly, there are a number of free RV storage options. That said, whether you’ll be able to find one that works for you depends on your individual situation. Check out the list of options below to see if you can find your answer.
The first and most obvious solution is to store your rig in your driveway. This is the perfect solution (if it’s possible), as you can keep an eye on your RV and have easy access to whatever you store inside.
Unfortunately, there are many reasons storing your RV in your driveway may not work. Perhaps your driveway is too small or too steep for the motorhome or trailer, or maybe your HOA doesn’t allow people to store RVs in their yards whatsoever. In these cases, we recommend trying one of the other free RV storage options on this list.
Maybe you can’t use your driveway because it’s too steep or small, but storing it elsewhere on your property would be fine. In this case, you might consider storing your RV in your yard instead. Not allowed to have an RV in the front yard? Depending on your setup, the backyard could also work.
We love the idea of storing in the yard because the RV is so easy to access for repairs or to pack for a trip. That said, you do need to make sure the RV won’t sink into the yard and get stuck. (Parking on boards can help there.) Also, you will want to make sure the RV is relatively level when parked—something that can be difficult in some yards.
If your biggest issue is an HOA rule against RVs that are stored in view, and if your rig is small enough, you could consider storing it in the garage. This is ideal for protecting the RV against the elements and keeping it handy all the time. It also removes the need to park in grass, but you will need to be able to get the RV into the driveway.
Depending on how cold it gets where you live, you may even be able to leave a space heater running in the garage while your RV is stored there and avoid the need to winterize the rig. This is something that comes in very handy if you like to take the RV out on an occasional trip in the winter, and you don’t want to winterize and de-winterize each time.
A friend or family member’s property
Maybe your own driveway, yard, or garage won’t work. That’s not to say nobody else can have an RV parked on their property. If you have a close friend or family member who has land, ask if you can store your RV there. Or, if you don’t want to ask them to give you the space for free, you could try bartering—for example, maybe you could offer them the occasional use of the RV in exchange for storage.
If you go this route, be sure to avoid parking in mud so you don’t get stuck, and find a level spot where your fridge, cabinets, and frame won’t be damaged from sitting on an unlevel surface for too long.
Church parking lot
Many churches have large parking lots that are very rarely completely full. These lots are ideal for storing an RV. You probably wouldn’t be able to store your RV at a church all the time, but if you have such a church in your community and you need storage on a short-term basis, it’s worth asking if you can store your RV there.
Of course, you would need to be prepared to move the rig if a big event was happening and the space was needed by the congregation. Additionally, you’d want to make sure you and the church both have a clear agreement in writing about where you’re allowed to park, how long you’re allowed to be there, and what is expected of you in return.
Other local lots
If you know somebody who runs a business in your community and the business has a decent-sized lot, you might ask about parking your rig there. Again, we wouldn’t expect to park in the lot of a local business full-time, but if you just need storage for a week or two, it can be a very good option.
Again, you will want to make sure you have a well-thought-out agreement in writing. This will ensure you avoid miscommunication. Additionally, you’ll want to make sure you aren’t taking advantage of your friend or hurting their business in any way.
Finally, if you still haven’t bought your RV and you’re thinking about storage ahead of time, you might consider asking the dealership you buy from about storage options. Many RV dealers offer RV storage, and many offer discounted storage to their customers. In some cases, there are even deals that include the first year of storage on the RV lot for free!
If you can, try to work out a deal where storage is included in the purchase of your RV. This will give you peace of mind, as you’ll buy knowing you have a safe place to put the rig when it isn’t in use.
There you have it: the answer to “Where can I store my RV for free?” Of course, there’s a chance none of these options will work for your specific needs. In that case, you might consider paying for a seasonal or annual site at a local campground, storing your RV in a traditional storage lot, or asking a local business if you can pay to store your rig in their parking lot.