All your questions about how to use Boondockers Welcome while traveling are answered here.
All hosts must provide boondocking (camping without any services) for free. Hosts are permitted to charge for hook-ups or any additional services if the guest wants to use them. Hosts should mention this up front on their profile but, even if they don't, guests should ask whether the host wants payment and how much, before hooking up. Be prepared to dry camp if you don't want to pay. The website is not intended to be an income source for hosts but some hosts actually operate a small campground. As long as they offer boondocking for free, they're complying with our policies and may list their location on the web site.
Hosts are not permitted to charge for parking. Free overnight parking (boondocking) is the whole idea of the web site. This is not intended to be an income source for hosts.
They may, however, ask for reasonable compensation to cover costs for electric or water if it's used.
Usually $3 or $5 per night maximum. Even if they don't request payment, if you plug in, please offer to reimburse for any costs when you leave. Of course, this is even more important if you're in a big rig, have run your A/C or furnace, or stayed more than one night. Common courtesy is the rule of thumb.
Once you've decided the general direction and route you plan to travel, use our search tool to find hosts who may have a spot available. Search host locations by destination, available dates, and length of your RV. Add any additional filters that are important to you. Click on the individual pins to view host profiles. Click "Request This Location" to submit a stay-request or "See Host Profile" if you just want to ask some questions first.
All stay requests must be booked through the "Request this Location" button. Once a host accepts your request through the web site, you'll receive their street address, directions, and contact information. They will receive your real name, address, and phone number as well.
The host's response rate will give you an idea of when you might expect a reply. At the moment, all notifications are sent by email. Members will soon have an option to receive text notifications as well.
No. If that's why you joined, you're in the wrong place. You should look for a campground that offers a weekly or monthly discount or post an ad on Craig's List.
Even hosts who are flexible about maximum number of nights only expect requests from RVers who are actively traveling. They offer free parking, but only for a night or two en route or just long enough to see some of the local sights. Do not request to stay longer or request RV storage. Doing so would put hosts on the spot, tie up the location preventing access for other members, and defeat the purpose of the service.
Requests outside of the intent of the service may result in loss of guest privileges.
Hosts welcome different types of RVs. The stipulated maximum length refers to the space designated for the RV itself. Your tow vehicle may need to be unhitched and parked separately. If separate tow vehicle parking is available, it will be listed on the location profile.
This will vary from host to host. Many don't mind same-day or sometimes even last-minute requests. Some prefer not to commit to a request in the distant future. Each host can set their preference for their request window, and guest requests must fall within this window in order to be submitted.
The web site also limits the maximum to 2-months in advance. This is to prevent host stays from being as difficult to arrange as a campground reservation
Most hosts are RVers themselves. They know that part of the joy of RVing is blowing with the wind without planning too far in advance.
You may hear back immediately or it could take a couple of days. Hosts who have had several requests in the past year will have a "Response Rate" on their profile. It will give you an idea of what to expect. Note however that requests expire after 48 hours if the host has not responded at all. You will be notified by email if your request expires.
Most hosts are RVers too and may be traveling without reliable Internet. Notifications are currently sent by email but we plan to add text notifications as an option in the near future.
You may send requests to multiple hosts for the same dates, but please use common courtesy: reply to messages as soon as possible and, once you've been accepted by a host, cancel other requests immediately.
Unless your hosts have posted these as available on their profile or voluntarily offer them after you arrive, it is not proper to ask for "extras" of any kind. Guests should be as non-imposing as possible and show appreciation for what is offered. Requesting more might result in a negative review or even a formal complaint.
If you're listed as a host yourself, you're able to "pay it forward" . You may even get the opportunity to reciprocate their hospitality when they travel to your region. Whether or not you're a host yourself, a small gift, a thoughtful thank you card, or other gesture of kindness is appropriate.
Most importantly: When your stay is complete, you'll be prompted by the system to confirm that it happened. When you do this, they will be rewarded with credits for guest privileges for their own travels.
Also, don't neglect to post a review for them!
If you've used electric or other hookups during your visit, especially if you stayed more than one night, please offer to compensate your host for any costs. They may not expect or accept payment but will appreciate the offer, all the same.