Camping World changing policy on overnight RV stays?


By Jim O’Briant

See “Quick Survey” at bottom of article.

Over the past 15-20 years, Camping World was a reliable place where RVers could count on being granted permission to park overnight for one night. More recently, as Camping World has increased its focus on RV sales and not just accessories, parts and RV service, this has been changing. More and more Camping World stores now have fenced, gated parking lots, locked at night, and they no longer allow overnight RV stays.

At least one Camping World location, in Wood Village, Oregon, now allows Overnight RV parking ONLY if the RV was purchased at a Camping World RV dealership. If it was, then free overnighting is okay, provided you jump through all of the hoops: Arrive before closing time, ask permission, verify that your RV was purchased from a Camping World RV dealership, and obtain an overnight RV parking pass to display on your rig. No parking pass means no overnight stays — along with the possibility of your rig being towed in the middle of the night.

Free & inexpensive places to stay overnight in an RV.

We have yet to learn whether other Camping World locations have adopted this same policy, or will in the future.

If your travel plans include a possible overnight stay at a Camping World, we recommend strongly that you telephone ahead to verify what the location’s policy is. And please comment here to share what you learn about any specific Camping World store.

Jim O’Briant is the editor of Overnight RV Parking, the most comprehensive source of information about free and inexpensive places to park overnight with an RV.


RVT793; RV123-5-2017


39 Thoughts to “Camping World changing policy on overnight RV stays?”

  1. LeBlanc Randy

    If I was Cw corp management and read all these negative comments, I be so ashamed to have my name associated with CW. But again management financial bottom dictates policy. Shame.

  2. PM

    I just stayed at a CWGS (Camping World, Good Sam) Campground. It was located on I-20 near Anniston AL. It seems when Camping World bought the local dealership, they inherited a campground with it. They have added many new sites, and it makes a lovely place for an overnight. I hope this is a sign that CW will get into the campground business, with Encore and Carefree buying up the parks and turning them into permanent park model places, we have fewer and fewer sites available. This park was well laid out with all pull thrus and clean and few frills, just what we need for overnights. It had wifi, laundry and fhu.

  3. Phil

    Camping World is a sorry excuse of a retail store that puts the customer last. I won’t ever walk into another Camping World Store to help Marcus. Like he helps the customer.

  4. Mindy Danberry

    Never ever…

  5. Bee O'Neil

    Camping World was a customer service/satisfaction company in the late 80s, until the founder sold to one of the ‘profit oriented’ corporations.

    Not long after the takeover of Camping World, the nine week certification course for RV Service Technician that had graduated over 50 classes, was abruptly shut down by CW administration, with no explanation provided to the staff. The program also provided a reliable source of certified technicians to CW as a source for trained technicians.

    What I did notice after CW sold out was the increase in the prices. For example I was replacing the AC heating element in a fridge for a friend and went to a local family owned rv repair shop, who did not have the element in stock. Price: $51.00. Checked another locally owned shop, not in stock. Price $61.00. Last option, CW., not in stock, but could be delivered the next day. Price: $80.00! That puts everything in perspective for me when it comes to CW.

    Camping World belongs at the bottom of the list with it’s current leadership.

  6. George Croome

    As a Canadian member of CW, I am fed up with being ripped off when purchasing stuff on line. Of course I understand the exchange rate but they rip us off on the shipping costs. I will not subscribe to the magazine this year as they wan t an extra $12 to ship to Canada. Also need more GoodSam parks in Canada to get value from membership. .George

  7. Walt

    We have found camping worlds to be hit and miss. Their service desks, however, are almost all staffed by “advisors” who act like you are bothering them.

    As for staying overnight, we have been told that Good Sam’s members can always stay overnight.

  8. gene snyder

    i stopped at a camping world to look at a new camper sales lady very nice then high pressure sales come out , that was enough for me and left i will not buy from camping world even accessories there towing service i will not use. the company that uses profit before customer service i boycott will not use them.

  9. Doug Brungardt

    I am thinking about purchasing an RV, but from the comments here, I will be avoiding Camping World.

  10. Momma D

    Shopping around for an RV and not shopping there.

  11. BruceinAZ

    We’ve found that most Camping Worlds don’t even provide RV parking for shopping at their stores. We had several occasions while traveling last year where we needed parts while on the road and were unable to find parking for our 40′ coach and towed to at least 4 stores where we tried. I think Marcus Lemonis has totally changed the focus of Camping World away from customer service to strictly profit making. I’ve also found that nearly everything Camping World sells is available elsewhere at a better price. We’re lifetime members of Good Sam and were Camping World Presidents Club from 1989 until Marcus did away with it several years ago as well as Highway’s and Lifetimer magazines. Any more Camping World is the last place I look when shopping for RV related products.

    1. Linda

      Yes I agree to trying to find a place to park with my 40’rv so I can go inside to get parts that I need. Very disgusting, they used to be for the camper but now it is just sales of their campers???

  12. Sandie

    IT does not surprise me that Marcus Lemonis no longer wants RVers staying at CW parking lots. I would think it would be a natural and safe place to stay and shop but they do not care about us, just the $$ they make off us. MORE and MORE people are realizing how bad they are and now shop elsewhere including the Amazon etc. I am surprised they do not offer it as an EXTRA for their membership in Good Sam. ELKS clubs have overnights at many of the lodges for members and some for non members.

  13. Paula Di

    Back in the day (1980s, 1990s) Camping World was like a candy store for we RVers. We’d stay overnight and go in and buy stuff we needed, using our President’s Club discount. We retired & went full-time in 2009. Thought CW would still be around but they had already cut off the President’s Club for their so called “specials on line”. Yeah sure… Early years we’d stop by a CW, buy stuff and stay over night on our way through the area. It was perfect. Then Marcus L got involved and they went for the “camper”, tenters in particular. We saw the writing on the wall… Of course their RV parts and merchandise inventory diminished and there was no camping available anymore. Now it’s all RV dealerships. We thought that CW would be a part of our RV support system at retirement… NOT!!! If you want some very good RV service check out one of the Alliance Coach locations in Wildwood, FL and Lake Park, Georgia. They understand we RVers, know their servicing and repair and have the products. PLUS they have overnight camping with hook-ups for those having service performed. We give them an AAA+++, Camping World FFFF—-

  14. Jim Cornwell

    We had a Sat dish installed in central OR CW and it hasn’t worked right since. we did spend the night there and it was an OK place for 1 night. We used to stay overnight at the Bakersfield, CA location but they have recently stopped that accommodation. We never buy anything there because they’re so overpriced. It’s also expensive to join there “club”.

  15. Liz

    We purchased our travel trailer from the Camping World just south of Chattanooga, Tennessee. The sales staff were helpful and well informed, Ralph cheerfully taught us how to drive with a trailer attached, and we stayed free in their onsite RV park for many days learning about RVing. On the flip side the Service Manager was poorly informed, lost track of whether parts were ordered or not, and employed staff who used air ratchets to reinstall our wheels after packing the bearings. The Camping World in Rapid City, SD fixed the mess Chattanooga caused with their ‘stripped’ lug nuts and didn’t charge us a penny. They were disgusted. So, not everyone in a Camping World is good or bad. Not every location is all good or bad. Regretfully, like most businesses these days you hope for the best and try to be informed so you can ask good questions when something seems fishy.

  16. Chuck

    I haven’t set foot in a Camping World in years. Don’t like their “takeover” mentality of the mom and pop places.
    They are the Walmart of the RV industry without the lower pricing. Anything I could get at Camping World I can get elsewhere. Too often this is just a short trip to Amazon via the internet if I can’t find it at my local RV shop first. I’ve never stayed overnight at one and guess I never will since my camper was not bought from them. They just keep expanding with takeovers. How much money do they need.

  17. Tom Moeller

    How they keep the doors open in Macon,ga is beyond me.

  18. Tom

    Tried to purchase a used American eagle last week in Macon,ga camping world.Complained to company headquarters,got a call about the poor unknowledgeable sales person and I guess it has stopped there.Taking my money elsewhere.

  19. Eric

    I purchased a travel trailer at the Bartow, Florida location, which is about 2 or 3 hours from my home. When I made an appointment for an upcoming service visit I was told I could stay overnight the night before. Apparently this practice is not offered to non-customers.

  20. John Connaughton

    While there are a lot of valid negative things about Camping World, the sad fact is there are not very many other RV places (dealers, etc.) that usually have much of a store on par with most of the Camping World stores (for accessories and such). Most other RV places are just Sales & Services, often if they have a store it is tiny with very limited selection. If more other RV places carried as much as most CW stores, I’d gladly shop there.

  21. Mr. Fuddled

    In my thinking, when I see “franchised” establishments such as KOA or Camping World parks, I see nothing more than marketing strategy. I remember the old days when the “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” was used alot to imply the product had been “tested” and found “superior” to its competition. In reality, the seal means absolutely nothing other than the manufacturer bought the endorsement. The end result? More sales for them and a fat “endorsement fee” to Good Housekeeping. Follow the money…

  22. Bill

    Many Camping Worlds are now franchises, and like the KOA comments the parent (Godfather) company doesn’t have control. Most of them are still run the same way they were before putting up the new sign.

    1. Buzzelectric

      Camping World franchise? Do you know this as a fact? Or is it fake news. It just seems that anyone can say anything and many believe it.

  23. Steve Kelley

    I bought my travel trailer from Camping World in Woodstock, GA nearly three years ago. It was a pleasant experience and the staff is always friendly and courteous when I go in for something. However, the abysmal access to the property and limited parking means NEVER pull or drive ANY RV into this facility unless you are leaving it for service (which I have never used). There is no place to turn an RV around and barely room to park it. Needless to say I doubt they allow overnight parking but don’t know for sure.

  24. Susan Callihan

    We have stayed twice at the Camping World just north of El Paso, TX. We obtained permission ahead of time, parked where they indicated (next to a light pole with a 30-amp plug!), and filled our propane tank before leaving the next day. The staff was very friendly and respectful. I would stay there again, as it’s handy on the way from A to B, and we felt safe.

    1. Denny

      It’s the Anthony, Texas exit on I-10 between El Paso and Las Cruces, NM.

  25. Jim, Ret/DAV/USA & Karen Barrett

    Thoughts from central Florida: There was time when name “Camping World” meant something positive in the ‘wonderful world of RV-ing”. Now not so much.

  26. EgWilly

    Stopped shopping there a couple years ago….they are not interested in my needs. Only my $$$.
    Service is dismal, clerks are rude and unknowledgeable.
    A great example of a company that grew too big for its britches!

  27. Bonnie

    We stayed at Camping World Bartow for a week after buying our RV from them. It’s the last one I’ve seen in our travels that allowed overnight parking.

  28. Tommy Molnar

    15 years ago we spent one night at the Rocklin, CA facility to have awnings installed on our travel trailer (which we did NOT buy at Camping World). It was nice back then. Now, I wouldn’t buy chewing gum there.

  29. Kevin Wilmouth

    We spent four nights at Camping World in Oregon waiting to get our electric step repaired. Other campers seemed to live there. The sad thing is the part was available in town but in true Camping World service thinking, they could not take fifteen minutes to replace the step motor.

  30. Micheal Whelan

    We never have stayed at a Camping World. I only stay for free at the places I do business with as part of my anti freeloading philosophy. We have found Camping World to be over priced and poorly stocked. Mom and pop outfits understand customer service and support, a concept that escapes Camping World.

  31. ...Vello

    We’ve stayed a couple of times when we had service work booked there the following morning.

  32. Tars

    We bought all of our r v stuff at camping world. I do our own service but that’s really not all that much work. We have never stayed overnight at Camping World but disappointed that it is now off the table. Will probably start buying our RV needs someplace else now .

  33. Arnie

    Don’t really like Camping World anyway……overpriced and cheaply made products …… not to mention there service sucks !!!!

    1. Bobby

      I agree 100%.

    2. GG

      We agree. And NOT customer oriented period!

Comments are closed.