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Hipcamp vs. Boondockers Welcome

We're frequently asked how we're different from Harvest Hosts. Another common company we get confused with often is Hipcamp. So, we thought we'd outline the key differences between us.

Hipcamp is like Airbnb for campers. You can find many places to park your RV, pitch your tent, or enjoy some glamping. The website is free to search but you will have to pay a nightly fee to stay at a location. Locations can range from ranches, vineyards, farms, open fields, or a driveway. They have recently expanded to include rooms and cabins similar to Airbnb and VRBO. Additionally, Hipcamp now offers experiences such as animal encounters or the opportunity to stay in a tiny home. 

Once you choose the area you want to camp you can begin looking at each hosts' detailed profile. Some hosts will offer dry camping while others will offer various hook-up options. You can also use filters to help search for camping options that will allow pets, etc. There are reviews for hosts which gives you a little peace of mind when making a reservation, especially because you are paying for it. Once you're ready, it's easy to make reservations directly on the site as well as communicate with the host.

Boondockers Welcome has many similarities with Hipcamp, but also some important differences. We also offer various types of camping experiences, some hosts have hook-ups, you can use a filter to search for the right location, and you can read references for host locations (and guests!).

The main difference is, with Boondockers Welcome, you pay a yearly fee to join (although if you are a host you could be a guest for free) but then all your stays are free except for the cost of any hookups you use. Boondockers Welcome also does not allow tent campers to join as guests. Our hosts prefer guests who are traveling in fully self-contained rigs. While some hosts on Hipcamp allow reservations for a week or more, our hosts' availability vary from one night to five nights. We also don't offer organized experiences although most guests and hosts will tell you they have great experiences meeting each other. 

Here's a handy table to see the major similarities and differences:

  Hipcamp Boondockers Welcome
Cost $15-$60/night $50 yearly fee (50% off for hosts), all stays are then free
Hookups Available with some hosts, included in the nightly fee. Available with many hosts at cost.
Amenities Varies by host, can include fire rings, waterfront, bathrooms, showers. Varies by host, can include fire rings, waterfront, etc. Bathrooms and showers are uncommon since all guests must be self-contained.
Search Ability to search based on date, amenities, RV length, etc. Ability to search based on date, amenities, RV length, etc.
User References Ability to leave references for both hosts and guests. Ability to leave references for both hosts and guests.
Reservation Style Some "instant bookings" available, others require host to accept. All stay requests allow hosts to review and accept or decline manually.
Hosts Hosts are property owners hoping to make some spare cash. Hosts are usually RVers or aspiring RVers themselves, interested in sharing their property and area and meeting and/or learning from their guests. Hosts also earn credits towards their guest subscription with each stay.
Stay Length Up to hosts, some specify a minimum number of nights. Up to hosts, 1-5 nights per stay request allowed.
App Apple & Android app available Apple & Android app available

So, while Hipcamp can seem similar to our service on the surface you can tell we're quite different in many, important ways. 

If you've used both services, include a comment below on your experiences with both and how they compared!

Boondockers Welcome Logo

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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  • LittleItaly


    Most of the Hip Campers that have visited are unaware of BoonDockersWelcome. I promptly inform them if the difference in both. Most are grateful for the new knowledge.

    BWadmin on 12/14/2020 11:19 p.m. moderator  

    Thanks for spreading the word about our community!
  • 2blonds2usa


    The Boondockers welcome app is currently available for Apple & Android.

    BWadmin on 05/11/2021 11:43 a.m. moderator  

    Ah, thank you so much for catching that! We have updated the blog post. :)
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