8 Boondocking Spots you May Not Know About

RV parks and campgrounds can vary quite a bit in price, and those costs can add up quickly if you camp often. Boondocking is camping without hookups. It’s sometimes referred to as camping off the grid, dispersed camping or dry camping. No water, no electric and no sewer. Many people enjoy this, as it usually means more space and freedom than staying in an RV park. Some people like to exclusively boondock and do it for long periods of time, while others only do it for quick overnight stays only when necessary. Whatever your preference is, there are lots of free places to boondock. Keep reading to find out where they are! There are two boondocking memberships that cost an initial fee, but after your membership is purchased, you can boondocks at their locations for free.

1. Boondockers Welcome

Boondockers Welcome is free overnight parking on private property. People who are usually RVers themselves sign up to be hosts. They offer their driveway, land or property as a place for RVers to spend the night. They only have to offer one-night parking, but many of them allow RVers to stay up to 5 nights! They aren’t required to provide any type of hookups, but some do.

The yearly cost of $50 easily pays for itself in one to two stays. Many hosts enjoy meeting travelers and swapping stories. It’s a great way to meet some interesting people and save money on stopovers when traveling. People can post reviews of the places they stay so you know that other RVers have had good experiences at a specific property before making a reservation.

2. Harvest Hosts

Harvest Hosts is a collection of over 900 wineries, breweries, farms and more across North America. After paying $79 for the year, you can stay on these properties for one night at a time for free. There are some really unique Harvest Host locations such as alpaca farms, lavender farms and air and space museums!

3. BLM Managed Public Land

BLM Managed Public Land offers numerous opportunities for camping under the stars in stunning locations. BLM stands for “bureau of land management” and is easier to find in the west. Boondocking is allowed on BLM land for up to 14 days at a time within a 28 consecutive day period. We’ve experienced some of the most beautiful campsites on BLM land.

4. Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel restaurants sometimes offer RV parking in the back lot. What’s better than a warm, country meal at the end of a long travel day?!

5. Casinos

Casinos almost always allow overnight parking and sometimes longer. Some casinos have sections of their parking lots designated for RV parking and even offer trash cans and portable bathrooms. They also have been known to gift RVers vouchers for gambling or food just for staying on their property!

6. Truck Stops and Rest Areas

Truck stops and rest areas often welcome overnight RV stays, but be sure to park in designated RV spaces and not in trucker spots.

7. Cabela’s

Cabela’s often has dedicated (free) RV parking spaces for overnighters. Some even have water and dump stations!

8. Walmart

Walmart is probably the most well-known option for a quick overnight parking option. You can get your grocery shopping done and rest your eyes for free for the night!

Where can you find these free spots? Campendium is my favorite website/app for finding places to boondock. It is important to note that you should always call ahead before showing up to ensure that overnight camping is allowed. Where have you camped for free that isn’t on this list?

Need some more boondocking information? Check out our article How To Conserve 12-Volt Power When Boondocking to understand the function of your batteries, and find ways to extend their charge. We also have this free video about Running 12 Volt Appliances On Generator While Boondocking:


About the Author: Lauren is a wife, mother of two, photographer, blogger and lover of nature and adventure! Currently traveling around the U.S. in a fifth wheel, Lauren and her family seek to live life to the fullest and continue to look for ways to simplify their lives in order to live larger with less. Follow along on their journey by visiting their family travel blog.


Discussion
  • (will not be published)
  • If your questions pertains to a specific component or appliance, please fill out the info below:

15 Responses to “8 Boondocking Spots you May Not Know About”
  1. Duane Chism

    RV Make: Kodiak, RV Model: 20', RV Year: 2013

    We are committed dry campers and have camped in 30 states.

    Reply
  2. Wayne Roberts

    RV Make: Totota, RV Model: Coaster, RV Year: 1997

    State Forests are my favourite, largely free of the obnoxious restrictions of national parks and consistently featuring side tracks for parking deep in the bush. Love it 🙂

    Reply
  3. Chester Harvey

    RV Make: Holiday Rambler Scepter, RV Model: Scepter, RV Year: 2001

    Your tutorials/videos/infomation are invaluable! Thank you for taking the initiative!

    Reply
  4. Steve Mishler

    RV Make: Tiffin , RV Model: 33AA, RV Year: 2017

    Many Walmarts in Washington State no longer allow overnight parking, be sure to check with the management when you arrive.

    Reply
  5. william barilski

    RV Make: forester, RV Model: sunseeker, RV Year: 2004

    would like to hear from other camper experiences

    Reply
  6. Donna

    RV Make: 24’ RV , RV Model: Airstream, RV Year: 2014

    What type of camping spots are available in. Western Canada?

    Reply
  7. Jann Todd

    RV Make: Trailer, RV Model: Spirit Deluxe, RV Year: 2007, Brand: Casita, Model Number: 17'

    We want to change the wires in the battery box to something not so stiff since they are getting older and could break. What would a good wire be? They are not the standard big red or black wires for batteries. Is there a carbon fiber or something we can use.

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hi Jann,

      Thanks for your patience, here is the Expert reply:

      I actually only recommend only using the stranded copper wire for use in the 12v system. They have the most reliable conductivity and flexibility for 12v wiring and that’s why they are standard for use in these systems. I would not recommend using any other type of wires. They do make stranded copper wiring with smaller strands but more of them and it is much easier to flex. I would check with local suppliers to see if they offer the smaller stranded copper and see if that makes a difference.

      Sincerely,

      Dan
      RV Repair Club Technical Expert

      Reply
  8. Nicholas Bierman

    RV Make: Holiday Rambler, RV Model: Ambassador, RV Year: 2015

    Thanks for the great tips on Boondocking. This is our first season. Can’t wait to go.

    Reply
  9. Marion Vigus-Rainwater

    RV Make: Jayco,sprinter 2500 chassis, RV Model: Melbourne, RV Year: 2017

    I just had the coach summerized, brought it home and plugged it in. Now it will not start. I am new to running as RV as my late husband always took care of this kind of issue, What do I need to do?

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Marion!

      We’d love to help you out. What is the year, make, and model of your RV?

      Thank you!

      Jessica
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  10. julian

    RV Make: national, RV Model: sea breeze, RV Year: 06, Brand: power gear

    rear jacks go down , and the front you can hear the motor but they dont go down

    Reply
    • Customer Service

      Hello Julian,

      Thank you for contacting us. If you want to ask the experts a question they will need the now the make, model and the year of the RV before they can assist.

      If you have any other concerns, please contact us at 1-855-706-3536, or chat with us on our site.

      We greatly appreciate your business!

      Sincerely,

      Joan
      RV Repair Club Video Membership

      Reply
  11. Hans RAUB

    RV Make: Thor Four Winds, RV Model: 23 U, RV Year: 2020

    We are New to RVing, and Excited to trying out all facets of it ! Any Advice is Appreciated !

    Reply