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Imagine you’re driving down the interstate, hungry, tired and ready to call it a night. Instead of pulling into a campground, you’re looking for a spot to boondock for the night in your RV. One overnight RV parking options is at Cracker Barrel. Keep in mind, every location has different rules so it’s best to call ahead and speak to the manager. For some campers, boondocking at Cracker Barrel is a good alternative to campgrounds when passing through a city. Plus, you can enjoy a hearty meal.
Boondocking at Cracker Barrel
In this video, we share what it’s like boondocking at Cracker Barrel in an RV. The information is also highlighted in the post below.
RV/Bus Parking at Cracker Barrel
Pick up a map at any Cracker Barrel location to see which stores have RV/Bus parking. Another option is to look up the location on Allstays. When you pull into the parking lot there is usually a sign for RV/Bus parking. The parking is usually behind the store with spaces that are long enough to accommodate a large motorhome.
The number of RV/bus parking spaces will vary depending on the store. We’ve seen some with three narrow spots and others with over ten spots wide enough to put a slide out.
This is our Class B camper van parked at a Cracker Barrel in North Carolina. Since the van fits in a standard spot, we did not park it in RV/Bus parking.
When we had a Class A motorhome, we would detach the tow vehicle and parked it in a standard spot. You will see in the overnight parking at Cracker Barrel video that some locations will allow parking anywhere in the lot.
Speak to the Store Manager
We always call the store and speak to the manager before we drive to the Cracker Barrel. This allows us to ask questions about the store’s RV parking policy and availability. Is overnight RV parking allowed? Where is the parking located? How many spaces are available? Are the spaces on a steep hill? Once we receive the green light from the manager, we drive to the Cracker Barrel, setup and head inside to introduce ourselves. Unless you arrive after hours, it’s good to let the store know you’re going to park overnight.
Jacks, Slides and Generators. Ask the manger about putting the jacks down, slides out and running the generator. One manager asked us not to put the jacks down without using jack pads. We’ve found all Cracker Barrel managers to be more than welcoming and accommodating.
Unlike overnight parking at a Walmart, we’ve never had a Cracker Barrel manager tell us we couldn’t park overnight. The staff is always welcoming, friendly and helpful.
What About Safety?
Once Cracker Barrel closes for the evening, the parking lot is empty. Unless you have a fellow RVer parked next to you, it’s going to be a quiet night. If safety is something that you’re worried about, bring it up when you speak to the manager.
Some stores have security patrol at night, others have local police that will drive by. We’ve never been concerned about safety while boondocking at Cracker Barrel.
A Hearty Meal at Cracker Barrel
Depending on when we pull into Cracker Barrel, we will either grab dinner or breakfast. No matter the time of day, we usually order the hashbrown casserole. According to one of the waitresses we met, the side is so popular some regulars come in just to have a plate of the hashbrown casserole. Do you have a favorite dish at Cracker Barrel?
In addition to food, Cracker Barrel country store is filled with an array of items from holiday decorations to jam and clothes. It’s quite fun to walk around and check out all the trinkets.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on October 19, 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
11 thoughts on “Boondocking at Cracker Barrel – Free Overnight RV Parking”
Thank you for the article, very informative!
Thanks Russos for your experiences, which are helpful. I f I might ask for some advise, I am planning a camping in my station wagon overnight at a Cracker Barrel off highway 95 in South Carolina. What would you recommend considering some of the crime?
You’re welcome Patty. I would call the Cracker Barrel location you are considering and speak to the manager.
Thanks for the post. Just reposted to the Little Guy owners group on Facebook. Also enjoy your youtube videos.
The Cracker Barrel store locator on the company website shows an icon for RV/Bus parking when that location has spaces for bigger rigs.
Do you have access to a PDF or JPG copy of the old (now unavailable) map?
We use it while traveling, and our old one is taped together in several places, so getting unusable, I’d like to download a PDF so we can have it printed out when we’ve worn out our current one.
Hey Chas. We don’t have a digital copy of the map. Now we use Allstays to find locations https://weretherussos.com/allstays-camp-and-rv-app/
Thanks for the article Kait. We have not tried boondocking at a a Cracker Barrel before. We will keep it in mind next long road trip. Good tips!
You’re welcome Frank. Happy trails!
I’ve overnighted at a few Cracker Barrels. I’ve always been told they do not have a policy to allow overnighters but they have always said yes. I park my 40 ft 5th wheel as far into the corner of the parking lot that I can get into. No matter where you overnight, if you’re at a commercial business, enquire as to what time they open for business in the morning and be sure you’re gone by that time. 24 hr Walmarts would, of course, be the exception.
Most of the Cracker Barrels we see do NOT have spaces long enough for our motorhome, and certainly not with the toad hooked up. However, there are often unused lot spaces they will tell you to use, or sometimes they are located next to a large shopping area where you can park.