One of the pieces of knowledge that a future RV owner should think about is the need to park it. Whether you are at home or on the road, finding a parking space can be a matter of either finding a place frequented by RVs, or in the case of home, making one.
But how big is an RV parking space supposed to be? Is there a standard size or is it based on the size of the RV?
A fairly typical RV parking space in an RV lot tends to be 20 feet wide by 40 feet long. For reference, a typical car parking space is 9 feet by 18 feet.
RV Width & Length?
An RV can range from actually fitting into a regular car parking space to extending out 50 feet long. Since RVs can be considerably different in length and width, it’s important to do a little research when traveling so you know where you will be able to park.
Some national parks only allow an RV of up to 25 feet long. This is in part to allow for a larger number of parking spaces in a smaller area.
Before headed to a national park, look up their parking info and be sure you are allowed to park an RV of your size within their parking lot.
Campgrounds and RV parks
Campgrounds and Rv parks tend to be more forgiving with RV parking space dimensions, in part because they are designed for the purpose. While you’ll probably get a space that accomdoates 40 or more feet long, many will also have a paved area for a patio, campfire, and other services like shore power, water, and more.
You should still call ahead and get information, especially if your RV is very large, but an RV park is an ideal place to park an RV.
RV parking spots are also known as “pull through spots.” Since the average car parking space is about half the size of an RV parking space at least in length, RV owners have been known to pull through two spaces.
This is frowned upon unless signs indicate otherwise but tends to happen at the end of a large parking lot.
How to decide on RV parking spot sizes at home
Residential driveways tend to be lackluster for parking multiple cars – and worse for parking a whole RV without using the lawn, too.
While your needs might vary, a good RV parking spot is the length and wide of your RV, plus at least a couple of feet on both sides. The extra space is to ensure that you have enough room to open the door completely and get out, then walk around – all while being free of obstacles.
A pretty easy way of determine the width you need is to setup either the RV itself in it’s future parking spot and use a tape measure and paint or stake to mark where the driveway should end, or use ropes to mimic the length and width, and add a few feet.
At home, the larger issue might be deciding how much of your lawn or the side of your driveway you want to cover in pavement. RVs take up space, but the presence of an “RV pad” might actually increase your home’s value for another RV owner planning to buy.
Measure for lifts and pull outs
In addition to the width of your RV, your RV could have an awning or slide outs that take up space too. When making your own space, measure with these out if you plan to use them at home. While not every RV has slideouts or other elements that add width, they need to be considered.
Where do I park in a typical parking lot?
While knowing the size of a typical RV parking lot is useful, it’s also good to know where to park when you are stopping for supplies at a big or small store, and there just aren’t any spaces for you.
Many big stores like Target, Walmart, and others depending on your area of the country have big enough parking lots or entrances that you could park at the end and take up multiple spaces temporarily without causing too much of a hassle.
Consider parking facing toward the exit to avoid having to pull your RV all the way around in a potentially busy parking lot. You can lower your risk of being disruptive or scraping someone.
Planning ahead doesn’t always help
While you can call ahead and see if places you want to visit have RV parking spaces or have room to accommodate your 40 footer, there are also some things you can do to worry less about parking space dimensions.
Have everyone practice parking
Everyone in the RV who can legally drive should practice parking the RV. Use your own cars if you need to do a good simulation.
Use your eyes
With the above practice comes the ability to “eyeball” whether or not you should park in a particular space. You don’t always have time or ability to hop out and measure the parking space with a measuring tape. Once you’ve parked a dozen times, you’ll get the hang of where your RV is going to fit – and where it’s not.
RV parking spaces are somewhat standard depending on how accommodating an RV park or campground decides to be. At home, you can readily develop your own plan based on how much space you want to use.
The best way to know how to park your RV is to practice, then do it. The first few times might be nerve-wracking and slow, but you’ll get used to it. Having every driver learn to park the RV also reduces the reliance on one driver if they aren’t available.
We wish you the best in finding the best, easiest place to park your RV when not in use.