Can You Park an RV in New York City?


RV in NYC lg

Even if you’ve never been to the Big Apple, you know that traffic is a nightmare in NYC. Still, New York City is a destination, even for RV’ers. But can you park an RV in New York City?

Here’s what I know from driving in NYC many times:

You can park an RV on the streets of New York City for up to 24 hours, provided there are enough spaces in a row to accommodate the length of the RV. Most parking lots and parking garages will not accept RVs. But there may be easier options than street parking for RVs.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a fabulous time visiting NYC.

Besides, you may find that you have a better time parking your RV at a local RV park and just let someone else do the driving for you.

Just keep reading to learn more!

Where can I park my RV in NYC?

RVs can be parked on city streets in New York City for up to 24 hours. However, that requires finding 2 or more back-to-back spaces to accommodate the length. Most paid parking lots will not take RVs, and parking garages will not have appropriate height clearance for most RVs.

Driving in NYC really shouldn’t be much of a problem.

Big rigs, buses, and commercial vehicles travel through NYC every day. The key here is that they are driving through. They aren’t trying to park until they get to their destination.

Additionally, typical RVs qualify as commercial vehicles in the city of New York.

So you need to understand the regulations that pertain to commercial vehicles when traveling around and parking in the city.

Technically, you can park in city spaces for up to 24 hours. But finding a place to park and then actually parking there can be a hassle.

Trying to back into a space on the street will cause a commotion among other drivers and pedestrians. That in itself is enough to put you on edge, which will make parking even more difficult.

But I also wouldn’t leave my RV unattended on a Manhattan street as the risk of a break-in is pretty high.

And then there’s the risk of getting towed. You really don’t want your RV to get towed while you are in NYC. It’s expensive, complicated, and beyond frustrating in a city that large, especially if you’ve never been there.

I really don’t recommend parking an RV in NYC. You’d be much better off parking at a nearby RV park and catching a ride to see the sites.

Is it hard to drive an RV in Manhattan?

Driving an RV in Manhattan, especially large or towed campers is a challenge due to the number of cars and pedestrians, taxis quickly changing lanes without signaling, and narrow streets due to the age of the city.

If you have a solid understanding of your RV, driving around the city isn’t so bad. The key to driving in Manhattan is to constantly be aware of what is ahead of you and around you.

There are people and vehicles bustling around at every hour of the day.

Be on the lookout for pedestrians, take your time, and be prepared to stop at a moment’s notice. Pay special attention to pedestrians. They won’t hesitate to walk around you, cut in front of you, or walk too close to your rig.

You might not see them until it’s too late. Hitting pedestrians is not a good way to spend your time in Manhattan.

Also, be aware that RVs won’t be allowed on any New York State Parkways that run across the state. They prohibit any vehicle over 5,500 pounds. Most RVs will be well over that.

As an RV owner, you know that the term RV stands for “recreational vehicle.”

Some people also know the term “motorhome.” But not everyone knows that not all RVs are motorhomes.

An RV is any kind of recreational vehicle, including non-motorized ones. A motorhome is one that specifically has a motor.

To read more about the differences between motorhomes and RVs, check out this recent article. What really surprised me was how to know if you need a special driver’s license.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Where can I park my RV in Queens?

The best option for parking an RV in Queens is to park outside the city and use public transportation. As with Manhattan, street parking is very hard in Queens for RVs. It requires 2 or more adjacent spaces, but it can also be difficult to back into a space without significantly disrupting traffic.

You might be able to find a public parking spot or even a street spot, but driving an RV around Queens, especially if you are unfamiliar with the area, is going to be stressful.

Just like NYC, it would be easier, safer, and less stressful to get a spot at a nearby campground. Most campgrounds are going to be a bit of a drive to Queens.

Liberty Harbor RV Park is the closest RV park to Queens.

While it’s on the other side of Manhattan in Jersey, it’s close to public transportation, so you don’t have to worry about driving and dealing with traffic.

Where can I park my RV on Long Island?

There are several RV campgrounds in and around Long Island. Additionally, there are some parking lots, both paid and free without height restrictions, which can accommodate RVs.

The hardest part of driving an RV on Long Island is getting through NYC first.

Once you get to Long Island, park your RV at a park and use your towed vehicle to drive around the island.

If you try to cross the George Washington Bridge between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m, traffic will be heavy. Heavy traffic across the GWB is a good thing. You’ll be forced to drive slow, which will be easier on your nerves because everyone else will be driving slow, too.

Once you get to the Long Island Expressway, you can relax a bit. Enjoy the nice drive and the views along the way.

Long Island has beachfront campgrounds with campsites near the dunes and wooded parks overlooking various waterways and bays.

Many Long Island campgrounds feature swimming, boat rentals, hiking, horseback riding, and fishing. During your stay, you can visit the Hamptons, enjoy the food and shopping in Montauk, or just hang on the beach all day.

If you didn’t bring a towed vehicle with you, that’s okay, too. Luckily, Long Island isn’t near as packed as NYC. Additionally, you can find plenty of public parking in both surface lots and garages.

Of course, you should be aware of any height restrictions in parking garages.

Should I park my RV outside of NYC and take the subway into Manhattan?

It will be far easier to park an RV outside of New York, in New Jersey, and then simply take a bus, subway, or shuttle into Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens.

Liberty Harbor RV Park is the closest park to New York City. (not a paid endorsement)

The NY Waterway Ferry runs Monday through Friday. It leaves from Liberty Harbor and arrives at Pier 11, right at the foot of Wall Street. There are other convenient ferries that run seven days per week. You can also walk a short distance to the subway station, which can take you up to the World Trade Center Site.

They have fantastic views, on-site security, and they are pet-friendly.

If you are considering purchasing an RV to live in year-round, you should know that not every camper is cut out for full-time living.

If you are going to be on the road a lot, a Class A motorhome is a good choice. But if you are planning on parking for a while, a fifth-wheel may be the better option.

To read more about how to buy an RV to live in, check out this recent article.

Just click the link to read it on my site.

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about whether you can park your RV in NYC?

I do not recommend parking anywhere in NYC.

Whether you are traveling to Queens, NYC, or Manhattan, your best bet is to park in a nearby RV park. Taking public transportation will be easier on your nerves, and you won’t annoy the locals as much.

Parking on Long Island is not as hard, but getting there can be challenging. Once you are there, you can find public parking lots to park in when out and about.


Photo which requires attribution:

Mitzvah Tank by crowbert is licensed under CC2.0 and was cropped, edited, and had a graphic overlay added.

Cassandra & Jeff Campbell

Cassandra and Jeff Campbell travel on and off with their 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. They write extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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