Wanting to save money on campgrounds by boondocking? Still looking for the perfect boondocking site? Struggling to find those picturesque campsites? We can help.
What Is Boondocking?
Boondocking—also known as dry camping—is a popular option for RV enthusiasts who want to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the great outdoors without the amenities and restrictions of traditional campgrounds. Boondocking involves camping on public lands or private property without hookups or services.
While boondocking can be a fun and exciting experience, finding safe and legal campsites can be challenging. Below, we will explore some tips and resources to help RVers find safe and legal boondocking campsites.
Understand the Rules and Regulations
Before you get started with your search for boondocking campsites, you’ll want to understand the rules and regulations that oversee different boondocking areas. Different states and public lands have different rules and regulations and some lands will prohibit boondocking altogether.
By taking the time to understand each state’s laws, you’ll avoid “the knock” of law enforcement letting you know you are in violation. Plus, you might save yourself some money by avoiding the fines and penalties that come along with illegal boondocking.
Utilize Online Resources
To help you find boondocking sites, there are several online resources that RVers can use to find safe and legal boondocking campsites. Here are some of the more popular resources:
Campendium is a website and app that allows RVers to search for campsites, including boondocking sites, based on their location. To find boondocking sites, you’ll want to check the FREE box to get rid of all the traditional campgrounds.
Free Campsites is a website that provides information on free campsites and boondocking locations throughout the United States. While not as popular or exhaustive as other options, it is still a helpful tool for those seeking boondocking sites.
iOverlander is an app—and website—that helps RVers find free and low-cost campsites, including boondocking sites, across North America. This resource will list off every Cabela’s, Walmart, Rest Area, Cracker Barrel, and more parking lots. Plus, they can help discover those remote locations too.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages millions of acres of public lands, including many boondocking campsites. The BLM website provides information on where and how to camp on public lands.
The United States Forest Service (USFS) oversees 154 National Forests in the United States and many allow boondocking. Check each National Forest for specific details.
Consider Private Property as Your Best Option
In addition to public lands, private property can also be an option for boondocking. However, it’s important to obtain permission from the property owner before setting up camp. Some RVers find success in reaching out to farmers, ranchers, and other landowners to request permission to camp on their property. However, this has become less common due to the lack of respect on private property.
Use Boondockers Welcome
Boondockers Welcome has been helping RVers boondock on private property for years. By getting a Boondockers Welcome Membership, you can make new friends and stay at 3,000+ locations across North America.
At these locations, you don’t pay any camping fees and many allow you to stay for up to five nights. The added bonus of 70% of these hosts having hookups is quite nice too.
Get A Harvest Hosts Membership
Harvest Hosts has connected with 4,000+ small businesses that allow RVers to overnight on their grounds without any camping fees. By getting a Harvest Hosts Membership, you’ll have the chance to camp at wineries, farms, golf courses, and more.
Be Sure to Practice “Leave No Trace” Principles
Boondocking campsites often lack amenities, so it’s important to practice “Leave No Trace” principles to minimize your impact on the environment. This includes packing out all trash, using designated fire pits or grills, and avoiding disturbing the local wildlife.
Boondocking can be a fun and exciting way to experience the outdoors and save money on camping fees. However, it’s important to find safe and legal campsites to avoid fines and penalties. By understanding the rules and regulations, utilizing a Boondockers Welcome Membership, and practicing “Leave No Trace” principles, RVers can find safe and legal boondocking campsites and enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the great outdoors.
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