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COVID-19 Update

We're living in unprecedented times. With things continuously changing in the world due to COVID-19, it's time to spell out what Boondockers Welcome is here to provide, and how we can all act responsibly to help slow the spread.

A few weeks ago (it seems like years ago now), I released a blog post discussing how RVers should be keeping themselves and others safe from the novel coronavirus, the virus that causes COVID-19. While we still stand by almost all of the advice given in that post, constant changes in the spread of the virus and the ways that our society is trying to battle it mean that we need to keep updating our advice to you, our members, both traveling RVers and hosts alike.

We know that many of our guest members are full-timers, without a permanent spot to land and hunker down during this pandemic. Many of our hosts have been incredibly generous, offering to let full-timers stay for extended periods. This is the spirit of generosity that Boondockers Welcome is built-on, and we are happy to be able to provide a platform to help those in need during this crisis.

However....

We can't help but notice that some members are still attempting to arrange stays with hosts for recreational travel. We very much understand the desire to get out into nature and socially distance in national forests or hiking trails. Unfortunately, doing so puts both you and the community that you're visiting at risk.

This is not the time for recreational travel. If you have a home base, you should be staying at home.

The reasons for this are many, but it comes down to the following:

  • The more movement of people from area to area, the more opportunity for the virus to spread. Even if you think you won't interact with anyone, you'll probably need to get gas, and possibly groceries. As much as our hosts can be hands-off, even just handling their extension cord or water hose gives the virus an opportunity to move. If we stay at home, we've removed that opportunity.
  • The health care supports in a community are usually only sufficient to tend to their full-time population. If the worst should happen and you should get sick while visiting an area away from home, you will be putting added stress on a system that is already possibly working at capacity. This is why people are strongly discouraged from heading to their cottages or cabins, rather than staying in their permanent homes.
  • Most state parks and many private campgrounds are closing down. While it can be difficult to understand the rationale for this, recall that most of these places provide bathrooms, laundry facilities, and other communal areas that give the virus an opportunity to spread, and require staff to put themselves at exposure risk by interacting with people or having to clean these communal areas. 
  • Full-time RVers often do not have a place they can go to self-isolate during this pandemic. We should be leaving the few spots in campgrounds and at Boondockers Welcome hosts for those who really need it, either to stay when there's nowhere to go, or so they can stop for a night while trying to get back to a home base or that of family members.

We know that this is a bitter pill to swallow, especially as the weather improves for those of us in more northern climates. My own spring travel plans have all been scuttled, as have those of many of our fellow RVers. But we need to stand together as a community (6 feet apart of course), to beat this thing.

For Boondockers Welcome hosts, we know that many of you have already stated that you're happy to help guests who don't have anywhere to go, or are trying to make their way to a safe place to hunker down. And for that we're incredibly grateful. But please don't feel you need to put yourself and your communities at risk by accepting requests from those looking to travel for pleasure right now. It is 100% okay to say 'no' to these requests. (As always, our hosts accept or decline any requests at their own discretion and are never penalized for doing so.)

For Boondockers Welcome guests, let's be responsible and stay put, assuming we can. Head over to our Facebook Group and chat with others about places you're dying to see, ask advice about the best spots to visit in specific areas, or just generally dream about RVing with likeminded friends. Remember that anticipation and planning can be half the fun. When this is all over, we can all have the most well-researched and planned-out RV trips on record, and our Boondockers Welcome hosts will be ready to welcome you with open arms.

Until then, let's stay healthy and happy dreaming.

-- Anna

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Boondockers Welcome is a community of RVers that provide overnight stays with each other for free while traveling through an area. We help RVers to travel more economically and find options when campgrounds may be full. It’s a great and safe way to meet fellow RVers or for people curious about the RV lifestyle to learn from members, while also providing a safe place to park for one night or up to five nights.

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Comments

  • LuckyLinda

    LuckyLinda   

    Thank you for the information. I am so grateful for Boondockers Welcome at this difficult time. I am traveling home and have been successful using Boondockers and private campgrounds. Keeping isolated is not difficult in an RV but finding a safe place to park is very important. Boondockers Welcome hosts are wonderful. Thank you so much.
    BWadmin

    BWadmin on 04/06/2020 5:29 p.m. moderator  

    We agree, our hosts are amazing! :)
  • Edc1951

    Edc1951   

    Thank you so much Anna!!
  • Wantok

    Wantok   

    Anna, Thank you so much for your thoughtful message re travel at this difficult time. I just plead with all members to read it and abide by the restrictions on non-essential travel. We really need to get this thing under control so we can get out the other side :)
  • TheSandbirds

    TheSandbirds   

    Anna, Thank you for this great message put out to we the members of this wonderful group. I also want to give a sincere thanks to all the BW hosts that gave us a place to stay while we hurriedly traveled from FL to CA to be with our daughter, son-in-law and our granddaughter in Mid-March as the virus began taking a foothold on the country. Our daughter is here with no family and we needed to be come just in case they became ill and our granddaughter would have been left with no one to care for her. The kindness we encountered with our hosts along the way was heartwarming and generous. Thank you Boondockers Welcome and all our Hosts for being there for those that must travel during this crisis.
    BWadmin

    BWadmin on 04/06/2020 5:30 p.m. moderator  

    And thank you for your kind words!
  • Isail27

    Isail27   

    Thank you Anna for the excellent advise in these trying times. We needed to travel mid March to meet up with my daughter and I must say our first two stays ever with Boondockers Welcome hosts were fabulous. The hosts were kind and friendly, yet we were all able to maintain safe isolation from sharing anything unwanted. We have chosen to stay in the Southwest where the threat is less than the eastern shore until it’s safer to travel, but I do hope when it’s time to leave that we’re able to find BW hosts along the way to help us get home safely. Thank you to all the hosts for your generosity and kindness to those who found ourselves misplaced for this unprecedented time.
    BWadmin

    BWadmin on 04/06/2020 5:31 p.m. moderator  

    I think it's safe to say, our hosts will be there for you when you need them. :)
  • Trekkers

    Trekkers   

    We are very grateful to our BW hosts last week in Australia. They were many hours away from home in a different state but offered us their driveway even though they were not there. We had five nights at their beautiful beachfront location waiting to confirm a flight from Brisbane back home to Vancouver, then another flight to arrange to Toronto. They were able to make it across Australia’s closed state border to their home. We had two enjoyable evenings with them, at a two metre distance, sharing stories. During this difficult time, BW hosts are shining. Special people❣️
    BWadmin

    BWadmin on 04/07/2020 10:01 a.m. moderator  

    Wow, what a great story! We are so glad to hear that our Australian hosts are available for our guests during this difficult time as well. Yes, our hosts are very special people indeed.
  • cwmacphail

    cwmacphail   

    Beautifully done message. 👍🏻🚐
  • samphrone

    samphrone   

    what an excellent message. i recently settled after 18 months of full-time. i am so concerned for my fellow travellers, especially as awareness has been limited about the spread. thank you. please stay safe and well everyone. 🙏💚🦾 samantha aztlan view, nm
  • MordenWillie

    MordenWillie   

    We would consider providing a space for someone in need.
    BWadmin

    BWadmin on 04/11/2020 11:09 a.m. moderator  

    Thank you for being such an amazing host! We will certainly reach out if we hear of anyone in your area that may need a safe place to park.
  • TammyWeston

    TammyWeston   

    I just found this site and I am so grateful. My family are full-timers. I have my son with me now as well because his university and dorm closed due to the virus. We have stayed in Lake Havasu for a month now but it is getting into the 100-110 degrees and is just too hot for us. We need to head over to a cooler place to hunker down during this time. Gas stations have worked for us but some places do not feel safe. We are so grateful for the gas stations that let RV's stay. However we have two dogs and would like to hunker down for a week at a time while we travel to Colorado. This way the stress of traveling is not too much because I do all of the traveling and have fibromyalgia so I have to limit the amount of travel I do. Thank GOD for this site, the amazing people, and our incredibly sensitive message. Thank you
    BWadmin

    BWadmin on 04/23/2020 6:47 a.m. moderator  

    We are so glad you found us and it has been helpful for you. Stay safe!
  • JoanaBroussard

    JoanaBroussard   

    We are looking forward to setting up at BoonDocking Welcome host .
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