• Gavin Dudd

Where To Park Your Food Truck Over Night

Updated: Jul 6

Storage companies are not the only place you can park your food truck overnight

A good friend of mine (we shall call him Dave) started a food truck business a few years back. It was his pride and joy and things with the business were going well.


That was until his food truck was vandalised twice and eventually stolen from the street in which he lived.


Needless to say, Dave doesn't park his food truck on a public street anymore.


So where can you park your food truck overnight?


Popular solutions for overnight parking are in enclosed secure parking in a warehouse, outdoor covered or uncovered in parking lots and on business premises that have available space.


However, there are many more places you can go if you want to save a bit of money. You just need to get a little creative and think outside of the box.


In this article, I will list all the places you can take your food not only overnight to keep it safe.



Parking restrictions


Aside from wanting to protect your food truck from being vandalized or stolen there are parking restrictions for large vehicles such as RV's and food trucks on public roads in the US (for readers in the UK the laws are more relaxed).


Therefore, you cant usually park large vehicles on the street or in front of homes unless you are loading or unloading at specific times.


This means you will have to find alternative measures to store your food truck overnight. Luckily there are quite a few different solutions to this problem.



Indoor enclosed parking (warehouse)

When looking for food truck space to rent, Indoor storage to store your food truck overnight is probably the safest option for keeping your truck safe.


This is where you store your truck in a warehouse-type facility where you would have a code to the gate and warehouse.


Most storage companies offer 24-hour access but its worth checking.



Pro's


  • Secure parking

  • onsite staff

  • CCTV

  • Alarms systems

  • Avoid wear and tear damage to your food truck from the elements



Con's


  • Most expensive type of overnight storage

  • Minimum monthly contracts

Where to find parking near you:



Outdoor parking (covered)

These are dedicated parking areas or lots where you can store your food truck.

Sometimes this type of store will be secured with gates and sometimes it will not.


They will also be coved by a canopy which will protect your food truck from the elements.


Pro's


  • A canopy protects food truck from the elements

  • Cheaper than indoor storage

  • Can be gated

Con's


  • less secure than indoor storage

  • Minimum monthly contracts


Where to find parking near you:



Outdoor parking (uncovered)

If your food truck being uncovered is not a big concern for you then uncovered outdoor parking is a good option.


This is an open space in a car park with a truck storage company and similar to covered parking the storage company may offer some security such as a gate.



Pro's

  • The most cost-effective option


Con's


  • Does not protect food truck from the elements

  • Minimum monthly contracts

  • Often less secure


As this type of storage does not offer weather protection you may want to consider an RV cover to protect your food truck.


You can buy here on Amazon at the latest price.......


Where to find parking near you:


Private property


There are lots of people out there looking to make extra money from their unused space.


For example, people could have large driveways or land at the back of their house that is unused and they want to rent.


You will, therefore, see food truck space to rent, advertised on sites such as:


  • Social media

  • Craiglist

  • Gumtree

  • Facebook market place


Pro's


  • Price often more competitive than storage companies

  • Can often negotiate the price


Con's


  • Not a professional storage company so might not be covered by insurance

  • Often no contracts hence nothin' in writing in an event of a legal dispute


Related articles:

Friends & family


It's not what you know, but who you know as the old saying goes.


This has probably been your first port of call when thinking about where to park your food truck overnight.


But just in case it slipped your mind its worth mentioning family and friends can be a very useful resource when called upon.


And if your uncle Jim don't have space he may know someone that does.

Business lots (commercial premises)


There are businesses that have space in or outside of their premises but don't advertise.


Its, therefore, worth approaching businesses in your local area that you see may have free space.


You know the old saying if you don't ask you don't get.


Types of business you can approach that often have large amounts of storage space are:


  • Warehouse production/supplies premises

  • Breakers yards

  • RV and Car sales lots


Pro's


  • Will likely be secure if on a business premises

  • Can negotiate a price


Con's


  • Not a professional storage company so might not be covered by insurance

Campsites


Campsites have large open spaces with capacity for onsite parking and storage for RV's.

Food trucks are similar in size so it may be worth contacting camping companies to see if they can accommodate you.


Some popular campsites where you could find food truck storage overnight in your local area are:



Pro's


  • Will likely have a level of security

  • Can negotiate a price

Con's

  • Not a professional storage company so might not be covered by insurance

  • Often not as secure as storage with a professional storage company

  • May not offer protection from the weather with indoor storage




Free food truck parking options


Some times traditional food truck storage facilities may be oversubscribed, which means you may have trouble getting a space.


However, there are other solutions available if you are willing to think outside the box and most of the ones mentioned below are free or come with an expectation you pay for a small service (food or drink).


But bear in mind these free parking solutions are not suitable for long term parking, but rather for when you need to take a pit stop with your food truck overnight in between events.


Carparks


Some car parks offer free overnight parking between certain hours. Most of the time public and private car parks will have 24 hour CCTV which is viewed remotely from a security box.


Carparks are also well lit which can make these a safe option.


Truck stops


Used for long haul trucks who travel the length and breadth of the county, truck stops are a good free alternative to park your food truck overnight.


As long as you buy some food or gas from the station they should be fine with you to park there overnight.


Walmarts


I'm adding this because I have been reading Walmart lets RV's park overnight.

However, I have also read comments of people having their RV's clamped or towed away.


So I would defiantly check with your local store first before parking your food truck.


You don't want to come back in the morning for that big event and find your food truck has been towed!


Casino Car parks


There are many Casinos in the US that offer free parking or a very small fee on the basis you use their services.


This doesn't mean you have to gamble away all your hard-earned cash but can be as simple as just having some food and drink in the restaurant.


Check with the casino's reception or security first to find out what their policy is before parking your food truck.


As you can imagine casinos will have high levels of security and a lot of people milling around so this helps with peace of mind.


Check out the list of RV friendly casino parking near you here.





Things to consider when storing your food truck long term


If you shut up shop for the winter you probably will be thinking about long time storage. Storing your food truck long term is a bit different than storing it overnight


Therefore, there are a few things tips to keep your food truck safe and ready to go when you recommence:


  • Check your insurance coverage

  • Remove all foodstuffs

  • Use moisture-absorbent material on the inside to prevent mould

  • Disconnect propane tanks

  • Remove all fuel and valuables

  • Make sure it is covered from the elements

  • Cover windows to prevent sun damage

  • Disconnect the battery or use a Trickle Charger (battery charger designed to be left on for a long period of time to re-charge the battery).


You can buy an RV trickle charger from Amazon here at the latest price

How much does it cost to park a food truck?


Food truck parking at a traditional RV storage facility will all depend on the location, the size of your truck, how long you store it or if it is covered, uncovered or indoor storage.


With other types of storage, we have discussed such as in business premises it's hard to give an example as you will most likely have to negotiate a price.


But the figures below should give you an idea of what you should be willing to pay when it comes to negotiation.

Professional RV & food truck storage costs:


Outdoor storage = $30 to $100 per month

Unheated indoor storage = $50 to $125 per month

Heated indoor storage = $100 to $450 per month


Source: Storage.com



Final thoughts

Some of the places I have outlined are suitable for both overnight and longterm parking but places like casino parking lots or campsites may only be suitable for the short term.


But with all types of parking and storage remember to always check your own insurance to see what you are covered for.


In addition, ask (especially professional storage companies) what additional protection they offer and bare in mind you may need to sign a contract based on a minimum period.


Whatever you decide to do make sure have the right protections.

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