Parking your RV in California

rv parking laws california

Parking your RV in California

rv parking laws california

RVs are great. They’re big enough to hold everything you need while you travel, they eliminate the stress that goes hand-in-hand with having to figure out where you’re going to stay and eat while you’re vacationing. They allow you to stay at places such as national and state parks overnight and for extended periods of time. Some people find that they enjoy their RV so much, they sell their house and take up full-time residence in the RV.

What some RV owners don’t realize is that California has laws in place that prohibit them from parking the RV anywhere they feel like.

Parking your RV in one of California’s Rest Stops

The good news is that California’s rest stops are one of the places that you can park your RV. The bad news is that you can’t use these rest areas for long term camping. Your RV is allowed to be in the rest area for 8 hours. It’s long enough for you to get a decent amount of sleep, enjoy a short picnic, and take a break from the road. Once the 8 hours are up, you’ll have to move on.

Parking your RV on the Side of a Public Street

Parking RVs on the side of the streets is a touchy subject. Obviously, if you break down, it’s better to pull over than to drive under unsafe conditions, but that’s a temporary situation. Leaving an RV on the side of the road for more than a few hours can create a great deal of discord. 

There are some neighborhoods that might allow you to park your RV along the side of the road. One the other hand, there are several that don’t, this is especially true in areas that have an active homeowners’ association. The problem with having RVs parked on the side of the road is that it blocks the homeowner’s view and it can make things difficult for people driving their car on the street. The general rule of thumb is that you shouldn’t park your RV on the side of the street unless it’s an absolute last resort, and even then it should only be for a limited time.

Most cities prohibit RV parking on streets, alleys, and city parking lots from the hours of 10 pm through 6 am.

In Parking Lots

Over the past few years, an interesting trend has developed. An increasing number of RV enthusiasts have taken to parking their RV in store parking lots. Walmart is a particularly attractive choice. While some stores will allow you to do this, others don’t. You’ll want to check with the store manager before settling in the night.

Where you can Park Your RV in California


The great thing about taking an RV through California is that the state has set things up so that it’s easy to find a legal and safe place to park your RV. There are several areas scattered throughout the state that are designated RV camping places. Many even include electrical hookups, though you’ll likely have to pay a small amount for the amenities.