Parking lot camping has a new upgrade: RV hookups.
Many RVers are familiar with the conundrum of where to stay overnight while on the road. Should you pay for a campground or stay for free in a business parking lot (with permission) for the night? While campgrounds can be expensive, parking lots offer minimal amenities—for my family, the lack of electricity for the A/C unit is the main deal breaker. That’s why Love’s Travel Stops with hookups are a perfect in-between option for overnight RV parking. The franchise currently owns 18 locations with full-service RV sites and is in the process of developing more.
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We tried it out and would definitely do it again. Here’s everything we learned about camping at a Love’s Travel Stop.
More Than Overnight Parking
While RVers have long known that many businesses grant permission for overnight camping, Love’s Travel Stops is taking this a step further by providing RV-specific parking spots at some locations, adding more amenities to locations designated as “Love’s RV Hookup” sites, and developing campground experiences at Love’s RV Spots.
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Each Love’s RV Hookup location provides a handful of sites with full or partial hookups. You might find electric (30 and 50 amp), water, and sewer hookups. These can be reserved online or in person, with kiosks located on-site. Current pricing ranges from $32 to $47 per night. Most of the current RV Hookup locations are in the Midwest and South.
In addition to the RV Hookup sites, Love’s has a developed campground option at one location, labeled an “RV Stop.” The Cordele, Georgia, RV Stop has more than 40 RV sites, a splash pad, pavilions, a pickle ball court, fire pits, and more. And, in 2021, Love’s entered a franchise agreement with KOA to create a full campground location adjacent to a Love’s Travel Stop, but this project hasn’t been completed yet.
What It’s Like to Camp at a Love’s RV Hookup Location
My family opted to stay at the Leavenworth, Indiana, Love’s RV Hookup location while on a recent cross-country road trip. This area was convenient for where we needed to rest for the night.
After browsing options on Campendium, we found a campground where cell phone signal coverage was limited and another location that cost more than $80 for a 14-hour stay. Both were solid options, but neither fit our needs for the night. Then, I found the listing for Love’s Travel Stops and was intrigued.
We arrived at our Love’s Travel Stop as the sun was setting. We easily found the RV Hookup spots located at the edge of the parking lot. The site was sufficient in length and width, with plenty of room to open our deep slide-out. It was relatively level, saving us from needing to level the trailer for our short stay.
In order for the electricity pedestal to work, Love’s requires travelers to check in first. This was the only time we had some confusion, as I initially couldn’t figure out how to do so online, and the tablet at the kiosk wasn’t working. I went inside the convenience store and easily checked in.
The on-site restaurant at Love’s meant we could set up and head to dinner, without going through the extra steps of unhooking our RV. This also gave our warm trailer a chance to cool off as the A/C worked. We purchased some supplies in the Love’s store before returning to our site.
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While similar parking lots can be noisy with surrounding traffic, our A/C drowned out most of the noise. Throughout the night, I occasionally heard rumbles across the parking lot, but they weren’t bothersome.
The next morning, we filled our gas tank, ice chest, and stomachs (all at Love’s) before departing. As someone who dislikes navigating gas stations and other stops while we’re on the road, I appreciated that we were able to do all of these tasks in one location.
Benefits of Camping at a Love’s Travel Stop With RV Hookups
The new Love’s Travel Stops RV Hookup sites offer many benefits to RV travelers:
- Full- and/or partial-hookup campsites with free WiFi
- Easy access to the interstate
- On-site fuel pumps and convenience stores, open 24 hours a day
- On-site restaurants at many locations
- Online reservations
- Clean, well-maintained locations
- Access to showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, dog runs, propane refills, dump stations, and more
Considerations When Camping at a Love’s Travel Spot
In order to decide whether a stay at a Love’s location is right for you, consider the following:
- Be sure to check which hookups are available at your selected location.
- The parking lots are brightly lit—window coverings can help.
- You’ll hear trucks in the lot and possibly interstate traffic.
- Don’t expect to find shade—most sites are in the open sun.
- There isn’t grass between the sites at most locations.
- This isn’t a traditional “camping” experience.
The Final Verdict on Camping at Love’s
While Love’s Travel Stops don’t offer the full camping experience, they definitely meet—or exceed—the needs of many RV travelers who are looking for a spot to overnight park and recharge. For us, the price was fair, especially since we could power up the A/C all night long with hookups, and we appreciated the many on-site amenities.
After our pleasant stay at a Love’s Travel Stop, we will keep this option on our radar. You may want to put it on yours too.