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Full Time RV Living Blog

We Dry Camped St. Louis

Our RV Parked at Casino Queen

Laurie was pretty excited about heading to St. Louis, and her Google map quickly filled with markers of places she wanted to go. We planned on dry camping as much as possible, but quickly found out that St. Louis is not very RV friendly. Most areas around the city have recently (as of this posting) adapted ordinances against overnight parking, making a large portion of Walmarts unavailable to us for a stay. Luckily, there are a small few who can still allow overnight parking and, combined with a couple of casinos and Horseshoe Lake State Park, we were able to start knocking locations off the list.

EDIT: Casino Queen No longer allows boondocking due to safety concerns.

One handy casino, which also has an RV park if you need it, is Casino Queen. A short walk across the parking lot will take you to the Metro, where you can access attractions all around the city. A longer walk across the bridge will take you toward the Jefferson Expansion Memorial.

Casino Queen Parking Lot

Casino Queen Parking Lot, with the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial in background.

Visiting the Jefferson Expansion Memorial was well worth it. The arch provided a great view of the city from above – and we could even see our house in the Casino Queen parking area.

Also on our bucket list was City Museum. Words cannot begin to describe how awesome this is and, for someone who do not care for heights, areas of this massive playground-for-all-ages provide a terrifyingly fun experience. City museum also contains a 10 story slide, a large cavern area to explore, and much, much more.

And, as things will always happen, we had our NanoStation die on us. We found a shop that sold them 39 minutes south of us and, on the way there, our rear brake started smoking when the brakes were applied. We noticed a shop, Jumper’s Auto Services, located on the same street as the tech shop that did a great job and had us back on the road in a couple of hours.

Jumper's Auto Service

Jumper’s Auto Service

The St. Louis area is full of neat things to see and we really enjoyed our stay. We will leave you with a few other random stops we made in our journeys, before it became too hot and we needed to move on.

Dry Camping at Horseshoe Lake State Park

Our Spot at Horseshoe Lake State Park

Horseshoe Lake

3321 IL-111,
Granite City, IL


While dry camping around St. Louis, we stayed at Horseshoe lake for a chance to dump, refill, cook outdoors, and drive to places in only the van.

Horseshoe lake is located close to St. Louis – about 30 minutes from the city, and also only a five minute drive from the Cahokia Mounds and other interesting sights.

Overall the park was quiet, baring one night where a truck decided to race around the campground loop a few times before leaving again.

Covered trash cans and water spigots are available in regular intervals through the camping area, and a dump station is available at the front of the campground. Bonus points, checkout time is 3 PM – so there is no rush to get out in the morning.

Overall we enjoyed our stay and, if in the area long enough, will be staying again.

Rating by Alan Cook: 4.0 stars


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