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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Could you share your pack up and pack down routine inside and outside your camper as you are constantly moving from place to place and any tips for keeping that simple? Thanks, love following your travels.
Hello. We live in British Columbia, Canada and travel to Arizona for 3 months in new year[retired]. Looking for a website showing “events” in towns along the way. We travel down the road in search of warm weather and spend a few days in an area, then move down the road to the next point of interest. Would like to visit events in small towns and plan accordingly. eg– balloon festival, fireworks, music, lawn mower races, garlic festival, etc. Not really interested in big city happenings, more small town/village/community area events… Thanks Don Ellis
This is a video of what a travel day looks like for us and the preparation. Hopefully that helps!
Hello! We also use ‘ioverlander’ app or website to find free campsites.
I don’t really know of a site like that. I would suggest looking at the Arizona tourism Facbook page or like the tourism pages for specific cities on your route.We found that those offer good ideas of whats going on in an area. Hope that helps!
We’ve never heard of that one! We will check it out, thanks!
Thanks for another great article on camping. We seemed to move away from it so we are selling our PW class B for a travel trailer, maybe the smallest lance trailer that doesn’t seem to have all the PW amenities. Hopefully, we’ll get back to camping as we once new it.