Chances are if you’re an RVer (or any traveler) you’ve eaten at a Cracker Barrel. If you haven’t, you’re missing out! The restaurants are famous for their delicious home-cooked food and country farmhouse atmosphere. But are they RV-friendly? Do the restaurants permit overnight RV parking?
Is Cracker Barrel RV Parking a Thing?
Per their website, most locations can accommodate motor coach or RV parking. You can search locations to see if they are RV or bus accessible. (The FMCA Road Atlas & Travel Guide also highlights Cracker Barrel locations.)
Of course, you must check with each individual location for details and rules. Prior to arrival or upon arrival, ask to speak with the store manager to learn the location’s policies.
Not every Cracker Barrel allows overnight RV parking. You always should get permission before staying overnight.
If staff has granted you permission to stay overnight, it’s important to ask these questions:
- Is it okay if I run a generator?
- Can I extend my awning and slide-outs?
- Can I put down my leveling jacks?
What To Expect
Cracker Barrel generally designates an area of its parking lot for RV and bus parking so that it does not interfere with general customer parking. The spots are around 40-foot long and do not have any hookups, so plan to dry camp.
You can expect the restaurant to be busy during mealtimes, especially during the weekends. Most locations open at 6 a.m. and close at 10 or 11 p.m. It is not recommended to arrive after hours unless you have received permission already from the store manager.
Cracker Barrel Overnight RV Parking Tips
Make sure it is allowed.
While most Cracker Barrels allow overnight parking, there are some that do not. You can either call the restaurant ahead of time or go inside and ask when you arrive. Make sure you ask to speak to a manager and see if it is okay, even if you’ve heard from fellow RVers, websites, or apps that it is allowed. Ask first-hand for yourself.
Be respectful of your surroundings.
Remember that you are staying in a business’ parking lot, not a campground. That means keeping your noise to a minimum and not disturbing other customers’ experience or disrupting employees from their normal business. Do not set up lawn chairs and grill your dinner in front of your RV.
Show your appreciation toward the restaurant.
Make sure to be polite and thank staff for letting you stay overnight. In the morning before you hit the road, fill up on breakfast or at least buy something from the location’s gift shop. It is a good gesture to show you are thankful for the service they provided you.
Only stay for one night.
Don’t get greedy and take advantage of Cracker Barrel’s generosity. Stay for only one night before you continue on with your RV adventure. There might even be other travelers who will need your parking space the next night, so don’t hang out all day.
Leave the parking lot in better shape than when you arrived.
Clean up after your pets and pick up any trash you may create. Even if the trash isn’t yours, help the staff keep their parking lots looking nice. Deposit all trash in the nearest dumpster.
Stay safe at all times.
If you feel like the area is not safe or makes you feel uneasy at all, do not stay there! There are plenty of other options for free overnight RV parking (Walmart, anyone?), so don’t risk it. Expect there to be no security on site from the time the employees leave at the end of the night until the morning crew comes in the next day. You are parking at your own risk.
Have you parked your RV overnight at Cracker Barrel? What was your experience? Comment below.
we have used cracker barrel several times, eating dinner has been our choice for a good night sleep, as well checking with the manager for their blessings .
Cracker Barrel has always been very cordial when we have stayed there. We always get permission and always have dinner there. Thank you Cracker Barrel.
We always ask and we eat dinner and breakfast . The food is great. We never had a bad stay.
Thanks Cracker Barrel’s
Same here great food good stay
Have stopped overnight at Cracker Barrel on numerous occasions. It has generally been a good and pleasant place to stop. Have always felt safe there. We always ask at the desk and have never been turned down. On one occasion stayed two nights, with manager’s permission. We were running from a hurricane in the Southeast and weren’t sure where to go. Manager was okay with that and would have let us stay longer.
On our 9000 mile, cross country trip, we stayed at several, ate at most all, so much so that we got kinda tired of the great food.
But loved it every time.
First trip in my RV going Rt 66 from NM to ILL ; stayed at CB in Amarillo and Springfield MO ; both pleasant stays. Can’t go wrong with their food!
We love to stay at Cracker Barrel. They have always been very agreeable. Also we spend $60-75.00 on dinner and breakfast!
We always go in for dinner and ask the manager if it’s ok to spend the night. We also go back in for breakfast before we head out in the morning and thank them. It’s always been a safe and pleasant experience!
We have been full time RVers for 25 years. In that time, we have stayed overnight at Cracker Barrel a lot. We have always asked and have never been turned away. Thank you Cracker Barrel for the hospitality and good food.
We used CB a number of times for overnight, and on a couple of trips, actually planned our route to take advantage of their hospitality.
Yes, always ask.
We have run our genny a couple of times, but only after they have closed for the night, and when there were no hotels close by that might be disturbed.
I suggest scouting the parking area before committing yourself, as we found ourselves in a couple of tight spots trying to maneuver out of the parking lot during the morning rush.
Yes, we always have breakfast, and often dinner. We have been enjoying Cracker Barrel since the days of the old “Store #1” in Lebanon Tennessee in the 70s
We stay at Cracker Barrel all the time and always eat dinner and breakfast there.
We have stayed at CB a time or two after checking for permission. We do not ever put down our levelers on asphalt and usually do not extend the awning. Because we can navigate in our RV without extending two sides we only open the bedroom one when we close up for the night.
Staying at Cracker Barrel is always an interesting adventure, but there are three things to keep in mind:
1- Always ask permission
2- Always thank the manager before you leave.
2a Always give something back (dinner/breakfast)
3- Always have an exit route planned so you are not blocked in.
The points made in your article are all good tips. Usually the main reason that some Cracker Barrels do not allow overnight parking is because the municipality in which they are located prohibits it. Therefore, the nearby Wal-Mart parking lot may also NOT be able to accommodate your RV for the same reason.
We have often found that some Cracker Barrel stores allow cars and pickup trucks to fill their RV parking spaces, making them unavailable. My wife and I enjoy their reasonably-priced meals, but they have become so popular that there are often full parking lots and long waiting lines.
Eat at CB many times. As I travel I use the rv parking while I have dinner or supper.i have always had campground reservations. It is a welcome convenience to have a place to park rv. I like CB to eat at even when I don’t have rv with me.
All of the above comments are true. We have stayed many times at CB and always find the managers are more than helpful. We always call ahead for permission, and always have dinner and breakfast there for a”thank you” Enjoy the Cracker Barrel services available!
Many Cracker Barrels will put a small RV drawing in the bottom right corner of the billboard you’ll see right before their exit. Of course, still ask to see or speak with the manager…but if this symbol is not there, it’s a good bet RV’s are not accommodated at that location.
We have stayed at Cracker Barrel only a few times. We are full time in a 45′ rig and the ‘RV spots’ at most CB do not fit us. However, some CB have usually large lots and we can park in an unused section, one example is Binghamton, NY. We have always asked first and bought dinner and breakfast, the staff has always been friendly and accomodating.