Disabled Parking Permits And Motorhomes: All You Need To Know

Dr Handicap - motorhome
Dr Handicap - motorhome

Motorhomes can be one of the best ways to travel in the US. You can see lots of new places and have somewhere to sleep at night, too! For disabled drivers or passengers, traveling in an RV creates a safe, comfortable environment that can be easily adapted for special needs. If you’re preparing to hit the road for a trip, here’s everything you need to know about handicap parking permits and motorhomes.

Can I use my disabled parking badge on my campervan?

There are several types of vehicles that you can use if you have a disabled parking permit. These include:

  • Personal cars
  • Trucks that weigh less than 5,000 pounds
  • Campervans that are not being used commercially

There are some restrictions regarding size limitations, but these vary from state to state. Some states only permit RVs that weigh less than 8,000 pounds, while other states allow for vehicles up to 11,000 pounds.

If you want to use your disabled placard or license plate, you should check with your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to see what kinds of restrictions there might be before you plan a big trip in your RV.

Where can I park my RV?

If you want to know where you’ll be able to park your motorhome once you get on the open road, it can be really helpful to do some research ahead of time. This can help you make an itinerary that will be easy to stick to during your trip.

The most basic rule is that you can park your RV in any parking space it fits in (making sure it doesn’t obstruct other spaces or curbs). Some places will have designated handicap parking spots, and as long as you clearly display your disabled parking placard in your vehicle, you are definitely permitted to park in those spaces.

Dr Handicap - caravan

Image by Blake Wisz on Unsplash: Many campgrounds have handicap parking spaces available for your RV.

Here are some ideas of places where you might be able to park your RV:

Campgrounds

Many campgrounds are designed specifically for motorhome use, and most also have handicap parking places where you can park your RV with no problems. They’re often the best option for motorhomes, since they have hookups for water and electricity (and some even have Wi-Fi!). As long as you pay for your spot, most campgrounds will let you stay as long as you want as well.

Truck stops

Because these areas are structured for semi-trucks, there are usually spaces big enough to park your RV. This can be a great place to stop (some allow overnight parking too). Plus, many truck stops have accommodations like food and bathrooms.

Casinos

Most casinos allow motorhome parking (typically because they’re hoping you’ll come in and gamble!). This can be a great place to rest, and is often less expensive than paying for a spot at a campground.

Walmart

Although this store might not be the first thing you think about when it comes to camping, the retailer actually doesn’t mind RVs parking overnight in their lots.

It’s generally recommended to park in the back corner of the lot so you’re not taking away closer parking spaces for shoppers. You can also head into the store to conveniently stock up on food and supplies.

State and national parks

These are often favorite destinations for RVers because they offer parking places with beautiful nature surrounding it. They can be safer locations because of park security too. The parking does fill up quickly (especially during vacation time), so make sure to reserve a spot well before the time of your trip arrives.

What restrictions do I need to follow with disabled parking permits and motorhomes?

There are several places that are typically restricted for RV usage, including:

City streets

Most cities prohibit motorhomes from being parked on the street, mainly because they can impede traffic. So, if you don’t want to risk a ticket or fine, it’s best to steer clear of parking on the street.

Private property

If you park on private property, you are taking a chance of being caught trespassing. If you have permission to park there, that’s a different story. But even if you think you might get away with parking on private property, it’s best not to risk the illegal activity.

Rest stops

Not all rest stops allow for overnight parking. They’re generally fine if you’re making a quick stop to use the facilities or to hang out for a bit, but make sure you only stay overnight at stops that expressly permit this.

Dr Handicap - RV

Image by Marcus Platt on Unsplash: Make sure to park your campervan in unrestricted parking places.

The main thing to remember is that every town or city might have its own regulations surrounding motorhome parking. When it comes to your disabled parking permit, there are also restrictions that might vary along your route. Read all posted signs and ask local parking or law enforcement if you’re not sure about a specific place to park. It’s always better to research ahead of time or to spend a few minutes enquiring than to run the risk of getting ticketed, fined, or towed.

Part of your research should also include whether the states you’ll be traveling in accept your disabled parking permit. You might need special passes in some of the states you’re going to visit in order to park in designated handicap spots.

What else do I need to know about handicapped parking in an RV?

One of the most important things to keep in mind is that you should always clearly display your disabled parking placard in your vehicle whenever it is parked. It’s best to hang it from your rearview mirror, but if this isn’t possible, place it on your dashboard in a clearly visible spot. Don’t forget that your placard should be removed from the mirror whenever the RV is in motion.

If you forget to display your placard when parked, you could potentially get a pretty hefty fine. It’s also essential to remember that you cannot lend your parking permit to anyone else. It should only be used if you’re the driver or the passenger of the RV.

Disabled parking permits and campervans actually go pretty well together. With a handicap placard, you can still go on an amazing adventure in your RV. You’ll likely find plenty of handicap accessible parking spaces on the journey. Just remember to do your research ahead of time so you can truly enjoy the ride once you’re out on the open road!

Featured image by Fabian on Unsplash

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