Camper parked at the Cracker Barrel in Henderson, NC
For Newbies,  Places

In Appreciation of…Cracker Barrel

When we just need a quick overnight stop near the interstate, we have parked overnight at Flying J’s, Pilot Travel Centers and Love’s Travel Stops. Benefits: We park in the regular parking lot and have 24-hour access to toilets, fresh coffee in the morning, and easy gas fill-ups before we hit the road. 

For our October trip to Kentucky, we had planned to stop at a Pilot Travel Center in Nitro, West Virginia. We called ahead and they said that they allowed overnight RV parking and had space. When we got off the exit—after dark—we encountered dozens of big rigs in line waiting to get into the truck stop. We quickly decided that we would not stay there. 

Cracker Barrel to the Rescue

I quickly Googled “overnight RV parking near me” and saw that there was a Wal-Mart, the Mardi Gras Casino & Resort, and a Cracker Barrel nearby. To confirm we could park overnight, I first called the casino but nobody answered the phone, then tried the Cracker Barrel in Cross Lanes. They answered, and said we could park overnight.

Tracy raises a cup of coffee at Cracker Barrel.
Enjoying a hot breakfast at Cracker Barrel.

We got there in short time and parked in the designated lot behind the restaurant. There was another RV parked in the corner and a semi truck. We checked in—unneccessarily—at the hostess station and used the restroom before we settled in for the night.

It was a little noisy with road noise and the truck running all evening, but my ear plugs took care of that. The next morning, we walked into the restaurant for breakfast, then got on our way.

For the first leg of our trip south this year, parked overnight at the Cracker Barrel in Henderson, North Carolina. They have a small area marked “RV and Truck Parking” on the side of the restaurant, which was very unlevel, and a very large parking lot behind. We parked in the back of the regular parking lot, which was level and next to some trees. We spent a quiet evening, then had breakfast in the restaurant the next morning. 

Yes, we are experienced RV travelers, but woefully late to the Cracker Barrel game. Cracker Barrel restaurants provide safe places to park and good, hot breakfasts within walking distance in the morning. According to Wikipedia, there are 660 stores in 46 states, so you can probably find one on your route.

If you want to stay at a Cracker Barrel, always call ahead to make sure they allow overnight parking. And check the reviews online. I’ve found RV Parky and Campendium useful. We are now definitely in the Cracker Barrel fan club and will look for the signature brown and orange signs during our travels.