Where can I sleep in my car legally?

If you’re thinking about hitting the road this summer but want to save your money for souvenirs, then you might consider sleeping in your car or van. However, if this is the case you’re probably also asking yourself “Where can I sleep in my car legally?”. Toyota of Orlando is here and as usual, making it simple ™. Check out this guide to safe places to sleep in your car.

Where can I sleep in my car legally if I’m living van life?

Van life – choosing to streamline your life and live in a van or camper while you travel around – is quickly becoming a popular way of life for people who want to live outside the confines of a typical day-to-day. However, paying for campgrounds every night can quickly add up, leaving them shelling out almost as much as they would if they were staying in hotels or Airbnbs. This often leads to the question “where can I sleep in my car legally?” as van dwellers try to save a few bucks. Here’s a comprehensive list of safe places to sleep in your car.

where can I sleep in my car legally

Rest Stops: Rest stops are a pretty obvious place to pull over and stop for the night – this is their intended purpose, after all. Rest stops are located along highways and interstates (you won’t find them on normal streets in Orlando). It’s completely legal to sleep in your car at a rest stop, and many of them have 24-hour bathrooms, picnic tables, and vending machines if you need a pick-me-up. However, rest stops see a lot of through traffic so be sure to lock up, be aware of your surroundings, and put your privacy shades up when it gets dark.

Welcome Information Centers: Welcome Information Centers are similar to rest stops – you’ll find them on major highways and interstates as you cross state lines (for example, when you leave Florida and cross into Georgia). They usually have large parking lots to accommodate travelers, and you can go inside before they close to pick up free maps and recommendations for the best sights to see in the state. You’ll also likely have the place to yourself – welcome information centers aren’t typically a place where people pull over to camp. Just keep in mind the bathrooms will only be open as long as the information center is.

BLM Land: If you like to get out of civilization and stretch your legs, BLM – Bureau of Land Management – land is a great option to set up camp. It’s dispersed camping, which means no water, sewage, or electricity hookups, but it’s free and legal to camp on. You can camp for free on BLM land for anywhere between 14-30 days depending on where you are. Just remember the Leave No Trace motto and be sure to take all of your trash with you when you leave.

Casinos: Casinos are another option on our list of safe places to sleep in your car, but they might be a little more difficult to find than some of the other options. Casinos are open 24 hours a day and usually have security patrolling the parking lots, which gives you some added peace of mind. You could also pop inside and try your hand at the slot machines or grab something to eat while you’re there. However, some casinos may not want you spending the night in their parking lot, so be respectful and be ready to move if a security officer taps on your window.

Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops: Did you know that some (but not all) Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops make it onto the list of safe places to sleep in your car? These outdoor stores have bathrooms, snacks and drinks, and camping gear. It’s best to call ahead and ask if overnight parking is allowed before you plan to stop for the night at one of these stores.

Walmart: Walmart is probably a top option when asking yourself “Where can I sleep in my car legally?”. You’re allowed to stop and spend the night without issue, you have easy access to snacks and drinks, and the parking lots are well-lit, which means they’re safer. Most Walmarts are 24 hours which means 24-hour access to bathrooms. You might even be able to hook onto their free WiFi!

How to find safe places to sleep in your car

You’ve got our Orlando Toyota list, but we know sometimes it’s tricky to find options when sleeping on the road. Here are some apps and sites you can utilize to find a spot to pull over:

  • iOverlander
  • The Dyrt Pro
  • FreeCampsites.net
  • FreeRoam
  • HipCamp

Get more Toyota of Orlando tips for camping in your car

Whether you need a Toyota that’s spacious enough to hit the road or want more tips for camping in your car, we’ve got you covered! Call Toyota of Orlando today at (407) 298-4500.