By Kyle & Olivia Brady | Founders of Drivin' & Vibin' | We use affiliate links and may receive a small commission on purchases.
This week our Q&A Series focuses on free camping. The question comes from a YouTube subscriber that has concerns about finding safe boondocking on a regular basis. RJ’s Adventures asks:
I have a question relating to RVing. As an over-the-road trucker, it was a challenge to find a safe place to park and sleep. Some parts of the country were easier than others. How do you guys choose places when you can’t find anything on the internet and Wal-Mart won’t let you park overnight?
The truth is – during our first year of travel we never struggled to find free camping. But, we do have a lot of tools, do hours of front-end research and love being able to create our own energy with solar and generator power!
Here’s How We Do It:
Once we have decided upon a certain direction to travel, our next step is to plot out free camping options. We use five websites to find boondocking locations and research our route at least a week in advance.
All this research really pays off. We might travel 20 miles off our projected path, but we’ll always find free camping!
This is our go-to resource. FreeCampsites has the largest, user-generated database with the most campsite reviews. The boondocking sites range from tent camping, to van camping, to big rig camping.
We highly recommend FreeCampsites to anyone looking for quality free camping.
Campendium is similar to FreeCampsites. It has fewer reviewed boondocking locations, but the reviews are very high quality. Campendium allows easy link-backs to blog posts and the campground images are “more artistic” than other sites.
We like Campendium for the in depth, level-headed reviews.
Boondockers Welcome is a drive-way share program. Users across North America offer their driveways for free camping. Each driveway has its own set of rules and amenities. We recently camped at a Boondockers Welcome site near Seattle and loved it – the site offered free electricity and water!
We like this option for urban areas.
Harvest Hosts is a membership program that provides users with free camping at vineyards, farms, and museums across America. We’ve used it many times and have enjoyed the unique experience thoroughly. As part of the program’s etiquette, campers are encouraged to purchase a product from the businesses shop.
We like Harvest Hosts for unique, rural camping experiences.
The AllStays app is great for finding overnight camping at big box stores. They list all WalMarts and let users know if they allow camping. They also list Cabelas, Bass Pro, Camping World, Costco and Cracker Barrel.
UPDATE: We’ve begun work on a new music project! In April we’ll enter the recording studio to capture an album inspired by life on the road. If you’ve found our blogs informative or inspirational, please give this a look. We need your help to complete the album.
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