The world’s first automated RV park is now open, all because Jim Turntine knows that free RV Parking is never really free. There’s always a price to pay for avoiding a one-night stay at RV parks.
World’s First Automated RV Park Opens
Anyone who stays in big box retail store parking lots for a night understands the hassles. Some areas are sketchy, others are loud and busy with traffic all night long. It’s a terrible way to get a night’s rest. That’s why RV Self Park in Sullivan, Missouri was created.
Jim Turntine is a serial entrepreneur and long-time RVer who understands the stress of searching for safe overnight RV parking–without success. “You don’t know who’s coming and going all night all around you. They’re not set up for you to be there,” he says.
As a dog parent and frequent RV traveler who rarely stays overnight at RV parks between destinations, Turntine wants to eliminate the stress involved in finding free camping places to park. He always hoped that someone would build an affordable, turnkey overnight RV parking lot with full-hookups, but nobody did. In 2018, his wife convinced him to take the plunge. That’s when he decided to build an easy in / easy out RV park with fully automated hookups on property he already owned.
Located at mile marker 223.4 off I44 in West Sullivan, Missouri, the turnkey, fully-automated RV parking spot is located about 45-50 minutes southwest of St. Louis.
What to Expect at the Park
RV Self Park is not a “campground” in the traditional sense. It’s a practical, safe and legal way to park for a night, two nights or a little longer when all you want is a safe place to park. Each site is completely automated and controlled by computers connected to a secure off-site monitoring station.
- Extra long pull-through sites open 24/7, 365 days a year
- 30/20 or 50 Amp electric at each spot, with water and sewer too
- A pet walk
- All-night lighting, for safe and stress free navigating
- Security cameras recording 24/7 with guest access to view all security cameras
Even with the new high-tech hookups, guests will still have access to Turntine’s crew if they need assistance.
When Turntine decided to do develop the parcel, the local town government was happy to help him. The spot isn’t as ideal as Turntine wants it, he wishes it was closer to Saint Louis. But that’s OK. Right now it’s a test model for the other locations he wants to see developed. To make it easy for RVers on the move, future RV Self Parks will be located closer to large metropolitan areas. “It’s an unfolding, new concept, until I get more data and make sure everything works like we want it to work,” he says.
Now that he’s patented and trademarked the first “coin-op” RV park in the nation, investors are flocking to his business model. Turntine is no stranger to coin-op businesses. He’s ready for the attention, since he’s already owned several of these types of business solutions, from laundromats to juke boxes. His goal is to take the stress out of finding affordable RV parking spots. We think he’s succeeded. Check it out for yourself.
Rene Agredano and her husband, Jim Nelson, became full-time RVers in 2007 and have been touring the country ever since. In her blog, Rene chronicles the ins and outs of the full-timing life and brings readers along to meet the fascinating people and amazing places they visit on the road. Her road trip adventures are chronicled in her blog at LiveWorkDream.com.