“Freebie” Site Review – Sycuan Casino, El Cajon (San Diego), CA

Hiking the hills near Sycuan Casino

A very spacious free parking spot ~20 miles East of San Diego

Location: Sycuan Casino, El Cajon 
Coordinates: 32.787428,-116.826650. Link to map location HERE
Cost: FREE (overnight). Possibility to stay longer if you request it.
How We Found It: From CasinoCamper.com
Nearest Dump/Water: Lots of dump stations around San Diego. Nearest is Circle RV Resort in El Cajon. There is also a free dump station in Mission Bay (San Diego).

  1. Access – 5/5 Super-easy access here. Road is paved throughout and RV/oversize parking area is a HUGE asphalt lot (easily sized for 20-30 RVs of any size) up on the hill at the back of the Casino.
    Directions: As you enter the Casino go straight -> you will pass the Casino on your right and self-parking on your left. Continue straight to the back and past the employee parking lot. At very back the road will curve to the left and up the hill. The RV/oversize lot is the first lot on your left on the hill directly above the employee parking lot. Shortly after you arrive security will come by to check you in and ask how many nights you’re staying.
  2. Nature – 3.5/5 For an “urban” setting this is pretty nice. The parking area itself is just a big asphalt lot, but it is surrounded by rolling hills with access to “unofficial” hiking directly from your RV.
  3. Isolation – 2/5 Isolation is actually pretty decent considering you are parking your RV in the middle of a Casino. The RV parking area is behind and up the hill from the Casino so you’re separated from all the “regular” folk, plus it’s HUGE so easily lots of space to yourself. You are parked just above the employee lot however, so you will see/hear employees coming and going. Plus security does make rounds.
  4. Pet Friendliness – 4/5 Great spot for pooch. You have lots of space around your RV to hang out, plus access to hiking in the hills surrounding the Casino. Of course doggie can’t access the Casino so that’s the only negative.

Overall Rating = 3.6

Summary: If you’re looking for a spacious and easy spot to stay a few nights for free near San Diego, Sycuan Casino is a very decent site. Located in El Cajon just a few miles off the beaten track it’s peacefully set in rolling hills. What’s particularly nice is that the RV/oversize parking area is behind and up the hill from the main Casino giving you separation, lots of space and relative quiet. On arrival security comes by to check you in and ask how many nights you are staying, but otherwise they leave you be and you are free to extend slides, put down jacks and make yourself at home as you please. The Casino itself is accessible from the back of the RV parking lot via steps and it is so-so (in my opinion), but it has lots of slots/games and offers a free buffet if you sign-up to the Players Club (look online for a coupon). There is opportunity to hike in the surrounding hills, plus you are only a few miles away from the Sycuan Resort which has an excellent golf-course. When we were there we were the only RV and had a nice shade tree and oceans of space to ourselves. Would definitely stop again if we needed a spot to overnight.

Extra Info: Flush toilets in the Casino. Verizon smartphone and aircard worked well (3G only). NO hookups or dump station.

Extra, Extra Info – OTHER BOONDOCKING: There are actually lots more Casino’s that allow free RV parking in and around San Diego. The two most popular are Barona (small RV parking area) and Viejas (allow up to 3 days stay).

View of the massive RV/oversize parking area
View to right side of RV. We were parked by a big shade tree.
View towards the back of our RV. Employee parking lot is directly below and Casino is in the background.
View to right side of RV. This is the employee parking lot. There’s access to hiking in those hills in the back
View of RV/oversize parking lot. Literally oceans of space here.
“Arial” view of parking area from hills. That’s us in the middle. The large structure on the left is regular car parking. Casino is out of view to the left.
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We LOooVE Comments, So Please Do

  1. jil mohr says

    thanks we are fans of casino camping (in the right circumstances of course) and have used the website to plan a bit ahead….always felt safe and like it better then walmarts..:)

  2. Steve & Jean says

    Saw your rig at mission bay yesterday. We decided to stay at Chula Vista.

    Artwalk today and tomorrow, good free show.

    • libertatemamo says

      Chula Vista is a nice spot. You guys are totally welcome to come by for a glass if you have time. Otherwise enjoy your beautiful week-end here in San Diego!
      Nina

  3. says

    Nina – There is actually another nicer RV park up the road about two blocks also owned by the casino. Our RV club usually goes there once a year. There is a nominal charge and it is a very nice Park.

    • libertatemamo says

      Oh cheers for the tip! I didn’t know that. Will add that to our list of places to stay in the area.
      Nina

  4. Ladyphof says

    We stayed at both Viejas and Sycuan recently and found quite a difference between the two. Three days was not negotiableat at Viejas. Players could find a ride to the door of the casino easily in the parking lot via the shuttle that comes around every ten minutes our so. The area provides a gorgeous view, and the breeze through the valley is an added bonus! The endless supply of free coffee, soda, and bottle water offered within the casino was nice, and the choices for dining across the street are exceptional! The new hotel recently added to the casino may have effected the payout of the slot machines, because for some reason we couldn’t win to save our lives.
    After 72 hours of fun, we packed up our Pup, a Rockwood Freedom pop up trailer, and we headed off to Sycuan. As advised online, we called ahead and requested a five day stay, which was granted provided we play our luck in the casino and use our players cards to track said spending. Upon arrival, we checked in with the security overseeing the employee lot, and they kindly welcomed us. We easily found our way to the RV parking, and we’re pleasantly surprised to find it vacant! Midway through the lot, just near the embankment, overlooking the scene, was a nice shady tree which created a perfect place for us to call ours for the week. I noticed in your picture you parked in the same area. Great minds think alike. We had a wonderful time there, so much so that we extended our stay two days, and the security was very accommodating. We even received complimentary buffets from the casino, which was the highlight of the week. Amazing food!!! Highly recommended!!! I can’t say enough good things about the spread!! Just delicious! The casino had a different promotional event everyday and we had fun participating in those. Won a jackpot or two, which is always nice, but really didn’t weight heavily on the fact that we far more preferred our time spent at Sycuan. By the end of our stay, we felt like party of the family, the staff were so warm and friendly!! Great place to post up! We will definitely be back again!
    Safe travels!!

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