Top RV Travel Resources: Useful Links

Top RV Travel Resources: Useful Links

Traveling by RV is an excellent way to explore the US and Canada at your leisure. Whether you’re planning a lengthy road trip or a weekend getaway, there are plenty of resources available to help you locate great campsites, chart your course, and uncover new destinations. In this list, we’ve compiled some of the best websites for RVers, including resources for road and travel planning, camping and RVing directories, national parks and public lands information, special camping and RVing programs, and miscellaneous tools and information. These resources will help you maximize your RV adventure and ensure a safe, comfortable, and enjoyable experience.

Road and Travel Planning:


  • Safe Travel USA: Provides easy access to highway conditions along your route. URL:
  • Mile by Mile Road Trip Planner: Offers a neat trip planning feature with a map interface and loads of information. URL:
  • TravellersPoint: Has a trip mapping feature that allows you to record your routes and share them with others. URL:
  • Find Fuel Stops: Has a tool to locate information on truck stops and places to park your RV along your route. URL:
  • Roadtrippers: Helps you plan your RV trip by finding scenic routes, attractions, campgrounds, and more. URL:
  • GasBuddy: Helps you find the cheapest gas prices in your area or along your RV route. URL:
  • Exit: Provides real-time information on amenities at upcoming highway exits. URL:

Camping and RVing Directories:

  • USCampgrounds.Info: The most comprehensive guide to Federal, State, Provincial, and Local campgrounds. URL:
  • RV Service Reviews: Features real people’s opinions on service places, covering both the US and Canada. URL:
  • Has a growing database of free and public lands camping sites, RV Parks, NP and State Parks with members reviews and pictures. URL:
  • Ultimate US & Canada Public Campground Project: Offers an extensive database of campsites with good info on the campsites and a nicely uncluttered map view. URL:

National Parks and Public Lands:

  • National Forest Locator Map: Has an interactive interface showing all the national forests. URL:
  • Oh Ranger: Helps plan visits to National and State Parks, with camping information and ideas on what to do and places to explore. URL:
  • PublicLands.Org: Provides easy to navigate mapping feature with icons for acquiring paper maps for an area. URL:

Special Camping and RVing Programs:

  • Frugal RV Travel: Offers a wealth of information about traveling in an RV without breaking the bank. URL:
  • Harvest Hosts: A membership program that allows RVers to stay overnight at participating wineries, farms, and other unique locations across North America. URL:
  • Boondockers Welcome: A membership program that connects RVers with hosts who allow free overnight parking on their private property. URL:
  • Hipcamp: Offers unique camping and glamping experiences on private land, such as farms, vineyards, and ranches. URL:

Technical RV Information:

  • RV Storage Checklist: Provides a winter RV storage checklist that gives you a list of the steps to follow to winterize your RV as well as suggestions for storing your RV. URL:
  • RV Walk-Thru Video or DVD: Provides RVers with a lot to learn about how to operate everything on their motorhome or towable RV.
  • RV Careers: This website is for those who would like to pursue career opportunities in the recreational vehicle industry. URL:
Boondockers Welcome – How It Works & Top Regrets

Boondockers Welcome – How It Works & Top Regrets

Are you looking for unique camping experiences?  How about FREE camping? When you become a member of the BW community, it’s like having 3000 friends across the US & Canada that will let you moochdock on their property!

Read on to discover what to expect from Boondockers Welcome and if it is right for you.

What is Boondockers Welcome?

Boondockers Welcome is an RV membership program that gives you access to free campsites across the US & Canada. Most hosts are fellow RVers, offering camping on their private property at no charge. Once you have a membership with Boondockers Welcome, you can search the database to find a host and request a stay. One of the key benefits of Boondockers Welcome is that most hosts offer hookups. Sometimes free, other times there is a nominal fee. Not having to provide your own electricity, water, and other amenities can be a real bonus. Guests are limited to a maximum of 5 nights with the same host, in a 90-day window. This can be one 5-night stay (if the host agrees), or several short stays.

How does Boondockers Welcome work?

Becoming a part of the BW community is easy, from signing up to navigating the site or app. You can do that in four simple steps;

Become a member

When you sign up for the program, you will be redirected to the payment portal for the membership fee. To enjoy all the guest privileges of the Boondockers Welcome community, you’ll pay an annual subscription fee of $79 or offer your property as a host. After subscribing, complete your profile to begin using the platform.

Find a host

BW is a subsidiary of Harvest Hosts which offers similar services. As a member of either of the communities, you can search for available host locations and communicate with the property owners on the mobile app. Altogether, you can select a suitable host from over 5000 available locations on the listings.

Reach out to the host

When you find a host, contact them to know whether the host is open to receiving guests on the dates of your trip. If they agree, you can park your RV on their property on the designated date(s). We advise that you contact your host again a day before your arrival to ensure that the arrangement is still on. You are required to give your host at least 24-hours notice when plans change and you can’t make it.

Boondockers Welcome Host Location Amenities

Over 70% of the host locations available on Boondockers Welcome have amenities that you can use during your stay. While some would allow you to enjoy the hookups for free, others may charge a token amount to cover expenses. You can easily identify which amenities are available on host locations by the icons represented on a host profile and text description. Some of them may indicate;

  • Availability of water in the location
  • The cable icon showing the amp outlet available at a host location
  • Pull-through parking availability
  • The maximum number of nights you can stay
  • RV size limit
  • The number of RVs that can be accommodated at once
  • Tow vehicle parking
  • The dollar icon indicates whether donations are needed for hookups
  • RV dump availability
  • Campfire rings

Other information you will see on the profile include the house rules, a brief description of the host locations, and the sustainability rules.

Boondockers Welcome Reviews

Boondockers Welcome guests and hosts leave ratings and reviews on each other’s profiles, allowing one another to share their experiences. If you are looking for feedback, simply check out the host or guest profile to see what people have to say. That can go a long way in erasing one’s mind and making a decision. You can also check out reviews on the Boondockers Welcome Facebook Page to see user testimonials about the platform.

Boondockers Welcome Community

As a BW member, you can enjoy the company of other RVers easily because Boondockers Welcome is more of a community than a service platform. When hosts accommodate guests, it is usually a case of a boondocker meeting another dry camper. Usually, a person who hosts a guest may end up a guest on the visitor’s property someday. Boondockers Welcome has a Facebook group for its members where people drop reviews, share their thoughts, and employ the expertise of other RVers. Being in such a place feels very comfortable as you can easily engage other RVers, share ideas, get some insights, and catch up on the latest BW offerings.

Boondockers Welcome Cost/Pricing

For guests, Boondockers Welcome has only one subscription plan which is a yearly fee of $79. The membership allows you to stay in as many host locations as you can among the 3000+ available in a year for free. Your host will indicate on their profile whether or not you need to pay for any utilities used during a stay. Host membership is free on Boondockers Welcome. You can register as a host on the platform without paying a dime and enjoy some of the privileges of a guest. You also stand to gain some extra rewards for your membership and hospitality as time goes on.

Boondockers Welcome Discount Codes

Boondockers Welcome is extremely affordable at $79 / year and is not presently offering discounts. If for some reason you discover that BW is not for you, there is a 3 month money-back guarantee.

Pros of Boondockers Welcome

Becoming a member of Boondockers Welcome presents many benefits to you as a host, guest, or both. See some of the perks of joining the Boondockers Welcome community below;

  • You have access to stay with hosts all over the US and other locations for free.
  • Boondockers Welcome hosts usually provide hookups and other amenities
  • The website and app are user-friendly
  • You can meet with and socialize with fellow Boondockers during your trips and vacations.
  • The Boondockers Welcome community generally consists of friendly, trustworthy, and relatable people.
  • Your hosts may allow you to stay for up to 5 days within a given 90-day window of time
  • The member app provides all the information you need about host locations, including the amenities available and the dos and don’ts laid down by the property owners.
  • You can read reviews left by previous guests and hosts to make informed decisions.
  • Boondockers Welcome is a cost-effective way to find a quiet RV parking space, camp safely, access hookups, and build friendships.

Regrets of a Boondockers Welcome Membership

On the flip side, Boondockers Welcome has some factors that you may see as disadvantages like;

  • You may have to pay your hosts when amenities are provided for using water, sewer, and other hookups.
  • You may have a few options to choose from when guest locations are sparse around your trip destination.
  • Although Boondockers Welcome stays are free, you still have to pay an annual membership fee.

Boondockers Welcome Locations

Currently, Boondockers Welcome has over 3000 hosts spread out in the US and Canada where you can stay in any of those host locations for free. You can access additional 2500+ host locations if you add a Harvest Hosts membership. The interactive maps and search filters on the Harvest Hosts app will assist you in finding a host in your area(s) of interest.

Booking a Stay

Booking a stay on Boondockers Welcome is easy.  All you have to do is;

1.     Search for a host in your trip location.

You can do that by using the search box on the mobile app or Boondockers Welcome website. The various filters will help you to narrow down your search and find a suitable host faster. Some of the filters you can use include, travel dates, destination, hookups, RV size, pet policy, and more.

2.     Select your host

After narrowing down the host listings, choose the most suitable host location for your trip. Click on each host location to find additional information on them before sending a request for a stay. You can see the host names, reviews, availability calendar, and more useful info to help make a decision.

3.     Send a request

Your host needs to know that you wish to stay on their property on a select date. Therefore, send a request to the host location requesting the trip dates and filing other information as required on the form, then wait for a response. The host will usually reply within 24-48 hours.

Is Boondockers Welcome worth it?

$79 is a small price to pay annually for all the perks you get as a BW member and it beats most other camping options for many reasons. One of them is that you get to stay on a private property which often feels safer than random dispersed camping. You can enjoy a hassle-free, fun stay at a host location for nights as a member of the Boondockers Welcome community. The hosts are friendly, usually RV campers themselves, and can make your stay a memorable one. In the end, a one-night stay at a private campground could easily cost more than a yearly BW membership

RV Gas Cost & how to get Cash Back on Gas

We cannot generalize the gas needs of RVs because they get diverse gas mileage depending on their route, size, engine, and cargo. Nevertheless, the average gas RV gets 6-10 miles per gallon, while a diesel motorhome will be in the 8-14 mpg range. If you love boondocking a lot, the expense of fuel alone can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s so important to take advantage of opportunities to reduce RV gas bills to avoid cutting short your adventures. One hassle-free way to earn cash back on fuel is to download the Upside app. App users can earn cash back at more than 50,000 locations nationwide. Save $0.15 per gallon on your first purchase with invite code XXS7F.

Boondockers Welcome alternative: Harvest Hosts

Harvest Hosts is one of those platforms that provide services similar to that of Boondockers Welcome which is not so surprising since both share common ownership.  As a Harvest hosts member, you can access over 2500 locations where you can:

If you intend to stay for a single night at a host location, and don’t need hookups, then Harvest Hosts is a great option. Like Boondockers Welcome, HH requires you to subscribe annually to enjoy the privileges.

Boondockers Welcome vs Harvest Hosts

See the differences between Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome below;

  Harvest Hosts Boondockers Welcome
Vehicles allowed Self Contained RVs Most RVs – even those requiring hookups at many locations
Duration of stay One night Up to 5 Nights in a 90-day period
Hosts Hosts include wineries, farms, museums, and local businesses Fellow RVers and willing Hosts
Amenities Less than 15% of hosts provide amenities Over 75% of hosts offer amenities

Best apps to use along with Boondockers Welcome


RV life- RV GPS and Campgrounds

When you cannot find suitable host locations on Boondockers Welcome, you can always go to RV life to increase your options. The app is designed to locate over 20,000 campgrounds, RV resorts, and parks available in different countries. You can also use RV life to find the best route, depending on your vehicle specification while on your trip. Other tools available on the app include, activities suggestions, weather forecasts, and cellular coverage. You can find out more about RV life here.

Campendium- RV & Tenting camp

Campendium helps campers find over 10 thousand free camping sites in the US, Canada, and Mexico. It has an app that is super easy to navigate at zero cost. Some of the campgrounds that can be found via Campendium include;

  • RV parks
  • National parks and forests
  • State parks and BLM
  • County and city parks

You can also access other info like cell service reports, campsite photos and references, trail maps, public land map overlays, and more. Click here to learn more about Campendium.


You do not have to own an RV before setting out on an adventurous dry camping trip because you can rent one at Outdoorsy. The RV renting platform is one of the most popular places to rent an RV for your trips. Outdoorsy has over 15000 users who willingly rent out their RVs for an income from the platform. You can also join the RVers to earn passive income or rent an RV to jumpstart your Boondocking experience. Learn everything you need to know about Outdoorsy here.

Boondockers Welcome FAQs


What is the benefit of being a Boondockers Welcome host?
Boondockers Welcome hosts automatically become a member of the community when they volunteer. They do not need to pay $79 annually like guest members to use the platform. The hosts also enjoy some special bonuses.

How many locations does Boondockers Welcome have?
Boondockers Welcome has over 3205 host locations in the US and Canada. Members can decide to stay at any of the locations available if their hosts accept their stay request

Who bought Boondockers Welcome?
Harvest hosts acquired Boondockers Welcome in May 2021. The platform which also provides similar services as Boondockers Welcome has since merged both companies and even offers joint services to  users.

How do you join Boondockers Welcome?
You will need to subscribe to the annual membership plan on Boondockers Welcome before accessing the platform. The membership costs $79 per year.

Featured Image Credit: RV Hive / flickr

Harvest Hosts – How It Works & Top Regrets

Harvest Hosts – How It Works & Top Regrets


Do you want to explore the vast expanse of the United States and Canada in your RV or camper? Campgrounds can become a repetitive, run-of-the-mill experience after you’ve been to so many of them one too many times. The same sites filled with campers and RVs provide the same old scenery and the same old stories of roughing it in the woods. A Harvest Hosts membership may be just the thing you need to get back in touch with the very best parts of RVing. You can have so many more adventures in over 3,000 locations with this $99 yearly membership. But how does a membership with Harvest Hosts work? What are the best features of this membership? And is it worth signing up? In this comprehensive guide, we answer all your burning questions about this RV hosting service. Keep reading to learn if a Harvest Hosts membership will meet all of your RVing expectations!

How Does Harvest Hosts Work?

Harvest Hosts is an RV membership program for RV owners and renters. With a yearly membership, you get unlimited access to overnight stays in unique RV camping opportunities and experiences across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. You can enjoy wineries, breweries, distilleries, museums, and many other attractions. Their main offering is giving members access to over 3,500 locations for free overnight RV parking. You can find an extensive directory of hosts via their app and website, along with partner discounts at various brands, money-back guarantees, and much more. Every Harvest Hosts listing includes:

  • GPS coordinates of the site
  • Maximum RV length accommodated
  • Number of spots
  • Pet Policy
  • On-site facilities
  • Reservation requirements
  • Customer reviews
  • Site photos
  • And more.

Harvest Hosts members can review all the location details and book a stay through the website or app. Members can also contact the hosts directly to get more information about regulations and what they need to know before they drive over.

Why Should You Use Harvest Hosts?

If you’re driving cross country and need to make an overnight stop along the way, Harvest Hosts is the way to go. While there are plenty of other options, Harvest Hosts’ listings include unique experiences that will make your stay more memorable and comfortable. Not to mention affordable—all overnight stays are free if you have a membership! You gain access to overnight parking in properties that have signed up with the Harvest Hosts program. You can enjoy fun and unique locations such as wildlife rescue facilities, fruit and vegetable farms, dairies, cideries, and many more. There’s no need to pay anything once you get there—everything is covered by the membership fee. However, Harvest Hosts members are expected to support the business in some way by spending a minimum of $20. You are free to choose how to spend $20 so long as it helps the business—for example, you can buy fresh produce from a farm, shop for souvenirs from a museum gift shop, or indulge in a bottle or two of wine from a vineyard. With these simple purchases, you help boost local businesses as you enjoy your free overnight stay. It’s a win-win for you and the host! Harvest Hosts locations offer different levels of services for RVers that stay in their properties. The minimum requirement is an overnight parking spot. Some hosts may also provide the following:

  • Water hookup
  • WiFi
  • Separate tow vehicle parking
  • Picnic or patio area
  • Access to their restaurant
  • Farmers market
  • Gift shop
  • Hiking
  • Birding and wildlife viewing

Contact your host directly to learn about all their amenities. Some locations may also allow you to stock up on food, fresh produce, fuel, and more. These resources will limit the need to make multiple stops on your road trip, so you can just enjoy the great outdoors!

Harvest Hosts – Member Reviews

Harvest Hosts also has a member portal where users can post pictures and commentary about their overnight stays. It can be incredibly helpful for other members looking for the best location for their next trip. Member reviews will also give you access to information that the host listings don’t, such as road noise, on-site livestock, cell coverage, site-specific smells, quality of amenities, host friendliness, and more. We found the reviews from users to be mostly positive. Most Harvest Hosts deliver the unique and memorable experiences they promise with their listings. Some members have mentioned a lack of options in certain parts of the country. But Harvest Hosts is constantly adding more listings to their directory, so members can enjoy unique adventures wherever they are.

Can You Use Harvest Hosts if You Don’t Own an RV?

Harvest Hosts memberships aren’t limited to RV or camper owners. Travel trailers, motorhomes, camper vans, truck campers, schoolies, and fifth-wheel trailers are also allowed. Host locations also accept vehicles towed behind RVs.

Types of Harvest Hosts Locations

Harvest Hosts has plenty of hosts across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. The density of locations in certain regions may vary. They offer overnight RV hosting services at offbeat locations such as:

  • Wineries
  • Farms
  • Golf courses and country clubs
  • Museums and attractions
  • Breweries and distilleries
  • And more.

Should You Become a Host?

After all that cool RVing experience and staying at multiple Harvest Hosts sites, many campers consider hosting RVs at their businesses too. And it’s a great idea for not just the added revenue but also the free marketing and visibility boost from RVers all over the country. Besides, you don’t have to pay anything to become a host. You do not need to provide extra features or facilities since all campers must be strictly self-contained. Hosts are only required to host the camper trailer for one night and only if there are free parking spots that evening. Another reason to become a host is to add a fresh revenue stream to your property. RVers love fresh produce and unique experiences and will be eager to find a parking spot without too many other vehicles nearby. Signing up with Harvest Hosts will bring many new people to your corner of the world, and you can enrich each other’s lives with your passions. Harvest Hosts further facilitate this through their offer of free membership for all their hosting partners!

Using Harvest Hosts to Check and Book Overnight Stays


Step 1

Sign up for a membership and register as a new user. Then log in to your account. On your account dashboard, look for the Let’s Find Your Next Host section.

Step 2

There are four Search options that allow you to search by US state, Canadian province, location, and route. Select the one that will suit your situation best.

Step 3

You will generate a map of all locations offering overnight hosting services based on your search. Browse these listings to find what you’re looking for. You can access the various restrictions and requirements of each location. You can click on the hosting sites to learn more about them.

Step 4

Once you’ve finalized the host you want to go for, go to their listing and click the Request A Stay button. Some listings may not have such a button. This means you should contact the host directly to inquire about availability.

Step 5

Once your host confirms availability, you can book a stay with them right away. If the host doesn’t respond to an online Request A Stay query, check your email inbox and spam folders. The host will let you know about all the check-in or parking details you need to know once you arrive at the location.

Step 6

The final step of the process is simply checking in to the spot on the day of your booking. Here’s what you need to prepare for before an overnight stay:

Code of Conduct for Harvest Hosts Members


Harvest Hosts requires members to agree to certain codes of conduct when they’re on site. These regulations are meant to ensure the visiting campers don’t inconvenience the hosts. Here are the codes of conduct they’ve outlined for members:

  • All members must book a spot for their RV or camper and confirm their stay before they arrive. Members must not arrive on-site unannounced.
  • All RVs must be self-contained.
  • All RVs must arrive during business hours. (Although some hosts may allow you to arrive beyond business hours. Contact them directly to discuss a schedule that is practical for you.)
  • Inform the host about the type of vehicle and its size.
  • Follow the host’s instructions to get to your parking spot and any other conditions to follow when parking.
  • Furnish your membership card and introduce yourself to the host.
  • Make a minimum $20 purchase to support the host’s business.
  • Do not stay for longer than 24 hours unless previously discussed with and permitted by the host.
  • Park only where indicated. Remember that not all parking spots may be level and are subject to environmental conditions.
  • Keep a low profile and avoid disturbing neighbors.
  • Turn off loud music and generators by 10 pm or during the host’s quiet hours.
  • Ask before you use your generator. If permitted, stick to using it between 8 am and 10 pm.
  • Check local regulations on generator usage.
  • Do not enter restricted or closed areas; ask before entering working farms or historic locations. These sites are business properties and all guests are subject to the location’s regulations.
  • Do not leave children or pets unattended.
  • Only indoor cooking is allowed.
  • Do not light fires of any kind.
  • Ask for permission before putting jacks down. Do not use jacks on asphalt without jack-pads.
  • If you have slide-outs, inform your hosts and make proper arrangements.
  • Check local alcohol restrictions if you want to consume alcohol outside your RV or on the host property.
  • Members must acknowledge that their vehicle is insured according to all local, state, and provincial laws. They must also carry proof of insurance in the vehicle.
  • Members are responsible for their actions and their resulting consequences.
  • Do not litter the parking spot with trash. Take all your trash with you.
  • Thank the host when departing.

If members do not comply with these regulations, Harvest Hosts has the right to revoke their membership privileges without a refund.

Harvest Hosts Packages and Pricing

Harvest Hosts offers three membership plans to aspiring campers. Here are your options and the corresponding price tag for each:

Harvest Hosts Classic Plan

The basic plan costs $99 per year and gives members access to:

  • 3,577+ locations
  • Unlimited free overnight stays
  • 3-month 100% money-back guarantee

Harvest Hosts + Boondockers Welcome Plan

This plan includes all features from the classic plan along with access to 6,716+ listings at $169 per year.

All Access Plan

The premium plan from Harvest Hosts includes all the features of the basic and mid-tier plans along with access to 7,120+ locations. All at the price of $179 per year. The plan and price also include access to the golf course locations (more on that below). The best part of subscribing to Harvest Hosts membership plan is that you can renew your plan for the same starting price you signed up for. Since Harvest Hosts increases their prices almost annually, this is an enticing, cost-saving decision for RVers looking forward to many years of camping in thousands of locations. Your membership begins on the day you join and is subject to renewal on the same day the following year.

Harvest Hosts Golf Courses Add-On

Harvest Hosts offers a golf course add-on with their membership plan. It costs an additional $40 per year on top of their membership fee. The add-on gives members access to overnight parking at golf courses or country clubs in multiple locations across the country. There are also discounts on many on-site amenities, including rounds of golf. You can get the golf upgrade by visiting your member dashboard. Once logged in, you can:

  • Select the Settings tab
  • Click on the Manage Membership tab
  • Then select the Upgrade Your Membership option
  • Now choose the golf course option and upgrade your plan

Harvest Hosts Discount Code Offers

Harvest Hosts provides a ton of discounts on their membership plans. You can check out this link to claim a 15% discount offer right away!

Harvest Hosts Membership Benefits

Here’s a quick summary of all Harvest Hosts membership benefits:

  • Unlimited free overnight stays at any Harvest Hosts location
  • Monthly newsletter with updates on new hosting sites and membership perks
  • Access to the online directory of hosting locations via website and app
  • Access to all pertinent host location details
  • Access to an online portal to request availability and reserve host site
  • Top-notch customer support
  • Partner discounts for various brands

One Harvest Hosts membership is only for one RV or camper. If you’re traveling with multiple campers, each one must have an active member on board. Harvest Hosts also has a mobile app where members can find and book overnight RV stays. It has a complete directory of host sites by state, location, and route, with all the information you can find on the website. The app also has a Request-to-Stay system where members can see the host’s online calendar and submit a booking inquiry.

Best Apps to Use With Harvest Hosts When RVing

Here are some apps that you may find very useful for your RV camping:

  • Outdoorsy (for RV renting)
  • RVshare (for RV renting)
  • RVezy (for RV renting)
  • Roadtrippers (for planning that roadtrip)
  • GetUpside (for cashback on gas)
  • The dyrt (for trip planning and campground database)

Pros of Harvest Hosts



The biggest benefit of using Harvest Hosts is so many privileges for a very affordable price, no matter which plan you choose.

Fresh, Offbeat Locations

You gain access to wonderful locations that are otherwise inaccessible while RV camping. You can explore these niche places and experiences that are very different from your regular camping itinerary. These sites are often not populated by other RVers or campers, which can feel like a breath of fresh air. The sites are out of the hustle and bustle zones in the city, so they are quite peaceful.

Dog-Friendly Site Options

Many of the host sites are very pet-friendly. As long as you keep your pets on a leash and clean up after them, you are free to bring them along.

Network Coverage

Harvest Hosts locations are fully operational businesses, so the areas have good cell coverage and internet connectivity. While not all hosts provide WiFi access, you can maintain healthy mobile connections in these locations.

Flexible Hosts

While some host locations only allow single-night stays, many are open to accommodating campers for two or more nights. Just contact your host directly to inquire about your scheduling options.

Support Local Businesses

The minimum $20 spend option is a fantastic feature that helps local businesses when RVing.  

Top Regrets of a Harvest Hosts Membership


No RV Hook-Ups

A big issue that crops up when parking at Harvest Hosts sites instead of campgrounds is the lack of RV hook-up features. Campgrounds are equipped with all the resources you need throughout your stay, such as water, electricity, and restroom support. Some Harvest Hosts locations may provide these features, but they are far from guaranteed. Hosts are only obliged to provide a parking space for the night. Before you book your next trip, make sure you have considered alternate restrooms, water, and electrical facilities. Contact your host to find out what amenities you can use. If you prefer dry camping, you’ll face few issues with Harvest Hosts.

Removal of Host Locations

Another problem with Harvest Hosts is the occasional removal of locations you may want to visit again.

Planning Ahead of Time

More adventurous RVers may chafe at having to plan their trips ahead of time. There is little room for spontaneity when you have to book your location well in advance and discuss all pertinent details with your host long before you get in your RV and drive.

Is a Harvest Hosts Membership Worth It?

Harvest Hosts is a fantastic option for campers with a very affordable membership price for an entire year of trips. You can make the most of your membership if you’re RVing full-time or planning several cross-country trips within the year. You can try crunching the numbers: determine the number of stops you’ll make in a single RV camping trip. In our experience, one or two campground stays are significantly more expensive than a $99 Harvest Hosts membership. The novelty of the various business locations is worth at least a one-year membership. If you find that you prefer staying in campgrounds instead of parking lots on farms and wineries, then you can cancel your plan. Harvest Hosts also offers a three-month 100% money-back guarantee if you are unhappy with their services and features. Request a refund by contacting Harvest Hosts directly.


  • Harvest Hosts official website: This is the most relevant and authoritative source, as it provides direct information about the Harvest Hosts program, membership details, and more.

  • RV Travel: An established online resource for RV enthusiasts, RV Travel provides various articles, guides, and tips related to RVing, including information about Harvest Hosts.

  • Good Sam: Good Sam is a well-known and reputable organization within the RV community. They offer RV club memberships, campground discounts, and various RV-related services. Linking to their content will provide additional context and credibility to your article.

  • RV Life: This online magazine covers a wide range of topics related to RV living and travel. They often feature articles about different RV membership programs, including Harvest Hosts, and provide additional insights and tips for RV enthusiasts.

  • Go RVing: Go RVing is a popular resource for RV travelers, providing a wealth of information on RVing, including destinations, tips, and advice. By linking to their content, you can help your readers discover additional resources and information related to the RV lifestyle.

Final Words

Overall, Harvest Hosts is the best bargain for avid RV campers. For such a low price, you get so much more than what you pay for. Some locations are some of the best places in North America where you can camp your RV overnight.

Harvest Hosts FAQ


How long will it take to get a reservation with Harvest Hosts?
Connecting with a host and booking a reservation can take one day or up to two weeks. We recommend securing a booking as soon as you’ve finalized your trip and found the best stops.

What types of RVs are allowed?
Harvest Hosts locations permit all types of RVs, including Class A, Class C, Class B motorhomes, travel trailers, camper vans, fifth wheels, truck campers, toy haulers, motor coaches, and schoolies. They also allow teardrop-style trailers and vans or truck campers with pop-up roofs. Make sure to check the size accommodations indicated in each listing. Pop-out trailers, bikes, motorcycles, rooftop tents, and ground tents are prohibited. Guests cannot sleep in their car, truck, or minivan. Overnight guests are not allowed to use outdoor kitchens, so all cooking must be done inside the RV. RVs and campers of all types must be self-contained with interior toilets and wastewater holding tanks. Trailers with cassette, porta-potty, or composting toilets must dump their waste off-site.

Featured Image Credit: Cindy Shebley / flickr

Ultimate Guide to RV Boondocking: Tips for Water Conservation, Location Selection, and Enjoying the Great Outdoors

Ultimate Guide to RV Boondocking: Tips for Water Conservation, Location Selection, and Enjoying the Great Outdoors

RV boondocking, also known as dry camping or wilderness camping, is a popular way for RV enthusiasts to enjoy the great outdoors without the need for a campground. Whether you’re traveling cross-country or simply looking for a more secluded camping experience, boondocking offers a unique opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature.

For those unfamiliar with the term, RV boondocking refers to the practice of camping in a self-contained vehicle, such as an RV or camper van, without hookups to electricity, water, or sewer. This means that travelers must be prepared to be self-sufficient and conserve resources, as they will not have access to the amenities typically found at a campground.

Despite the challenges, many RVers find that boondocking is a rewarding and enjoyable way to camp. In this guide, we’ll explore the ins and outs of RV boondocking and provide some helpful tips for those interested in trying it out.


Water Conservation while Boondocking


One of the biggest challenges of RV boondocking is managing water resources. Unlike at a traditional campground, where fresh water is readily available, boondockers must be prepared to conserve water and make the most of the freshwater in their tanks.

When traveling to an RV park, it’s a good idea to fill up your freshwater tank before setting off on a boondocking trip. This will give you a larger supply of water to work with and reduce the need to find water sources along the way.

Once you’re on the road, there are several steps you can take to conserve water while boondocking. For example, you can use biodegradable soap and avoid taking long showers, which can quickly drain your freshwater tank. You can also collect rainwater and use it for tasks like washing dishes or flushing the toilet.

Another important consideration is where to dispose of wastewater. When boondocking, it’s important to follow local regulations and dispose of wastewater responsibly. This may mean carrying it with you to a designated dump station or finding a suitable location to discharge it.

By following these tips and being mindful of your water usage, you can enjoy the freedom and independence of RV boondocking without sacrificing your access to fresh water.

Right Location for Boondocking


Finding the Right Location for Boondocking


One of the most important aspects of successful RV boondocking is finding the right location to park and camp. While there are many potential locations for boondocking, some may be more suitable than others depending on your specific needs and preferences.

One option is to find a designated boondocking area, such as a public land area managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). These areas are usually free to use and offer a range of amenities, such as fire pits, picnic tables, and restrooms. However, they can also be crowded, so it’s a good idea to arrive early to secure a spot.

Another option is to find a privately-owned campground that offers boondocking sites. These campgrounds typically charge a fee for overnight stays, but they may offer additional amenities such as showers, laundry facilities, and electric hookups.

Regardless of where you choose to boondock, it’s important to be prepared with all the necessary supplies, such as water, food, and fuel. It’s also a good idea to let someone know where you’ll be camping, in case of an emergency.

With some planning and preparation, you can find the perfect location for your RV boondocking adventure.


The Benefits of RV Boondocking


RV boondocking is a unique and rewarding way to enjoy the great outdoors. By camping without hookups to electricity, water, or sewer, boondockers can experience a sense of independence and self-sufficiency that isn’t possible at a traditional campground.

One of the biggest benefits of boondocking is the ability to camp in more remote and secluded locations. This can provide a more authentic and immersive camping experience, as well as access to stunning natural scenery that may not be visible from a campground.

Another advantage of boondocking is the cost savings. Because boondocking typically doesn’t require a fee for overnight stays, it can be a more affordable option for those traveling in an RV.

Additionally, boondocking can be an eco-friendlier way to camp. By conserving resources and minimizing your impact on the environment, you can help protect the natural areas where you camp.

Overall, RV boondocking offers a unique and rewarding way to explore the great outdoors and connect with nature. With some preparation and planning, you can enjoy all the benefits of boondocking on your next RV trip.


Managing Your Freshwater Tank while Boondocking


One of the most important aspects of successful RV boondocking is managing your freshwater tank. Because boondockers don’t have access to the water hookups found at RV parks, it’s essential to conserve water and make the most of the freshwater in your tank.

When traveling to an RV park, it’s a good idea to fill up your freshwater tank before setting off on a boondocking trip. This will give you a larger supply of water to work with and reduce the need to find water sources along the way.

Once you’re on the road, there are several steps you can take to conserve water while boondocking. For example, you can use biodegradable soap and avoid taking long showers, which can quickly drain your freshwater tank. You can also collect rainwater and use it for tasks like washing dishes or flushing the toilet.

It’s also important to monitor your freshwater tank levels and refill it when necessary. Many boondocking locations have water filling stations or natural sources of water, such as rivers or lakes, where you can replenish your supply.

By being mindful of your water usage and monitoring your freshwater tank, you can ensure that you have enough water for your boondocking trip and enjoy a seamless camping experience.


Exploring the Great Outdoors with RV Boondocking


RV boondocking offers a unique way to explore the great outdoors and experience the beauty of nature. By camping in a self-contained vehicle, such as an RV or camper van, boondockers can travel to a wide range of locations, from scenic wilderness areas to remote beaches and national parks.

One of the biggest advantages of RV boondocking is the ability to access more remote and secluded locations. This can provide a more authentic and immersive camping experience, as well as access to stunning natural scenery that may not be visible from a campground.

Another benefit of boondocking is the freedom and flexibility it offers. Because boondockers are self-sufficient, they can camp for as long as they like without being tied to a campground’s schedule or reservations. This allows for a more spontaneous and adventurous travel experience.

Of course, RV boondocking also requires careful planning and preparation. It’s important to be self-sufficient and conserve resources, such as freshwater, in order to make the most of your camping trip.

With some planning and preparation, RV boondocking can be a rewarding and enjoyable way to explore the great outdoors and experience the beauty of nature.


Planning for Successful RV Boondocking


RV boondocking is a unique and rewarding way to enjoy the great outdoors, but it requires careful planning and preparation in order to be successful. Whether you’re a seasoned boondocker or new to the experience, it’s important to consider a range of factors before setting off on your adventure.

One of the first steps in planning a boondocking trip is to determine your route and destinations. This will help you decide how much time and resources you’ll need, as well as where you’ll need to find water and other supplies.

Next, you’ll need to consider the type of vehicle you’ll be using for your trip. If you don’t own an RV or camper van, you may want to consider renting or buying one. Keep in mind that boondocking requires a self-contained vehicle with a freshwater tank and other essential features.

It’s also important to plan for potential challenges and emergencies. This may include carrying extra supplies, such as water and fuel, and letting someone know your travel plans in case of an emergency.

With some careful planning and preparation, you can set off on a successful RV boondocking trip and enjoy the freedom and independence of camping off the grid.

With some careful planning and preparation, you can set off on a successful RV boondocking trip and enjoy the freedom and independence of camping off the grid.The Freedom of Camping on the Road with RV Boondocking
RV boondocking offers a unique way to experience the freedom and flexibility of camping on the road. By camping in a self-contained vehicle, such as an RV or camper van, boondockers can travel to a wide range of destinations and enjoy the great outdoors without being tied to a campground’s schedule or reservations.One of the biggest advantages of RV boondocking is the ability to access more remote and secluded locations. This can provide a more authentic and immersive camping experience, as well as access to stunning natural scenery that may not be visible from a campground.Another benefit of boondocking is the cost savings. Because boondocking typically doesn’t require a fee for overnight stays, it can be a more affordable option for those traveling in an RV.Of course, boondocking also requires some sacrifices, such as giving up access to campground amenities like showers and laundry facilities. However, many boondockers find that the freedom and independence of camping on the road outweighs any inconveniences.

With some planning and preparation, RV boondocking can be a rewarding and enjoyable way to explore the great outdoors and experience the freedom of camping on the road.

Using Solar Power for RV Boondocking

RV boondocking, or dry camping, is a popular way for RV enthusiasts to enjoy the great outdoors without the need for a campground. One of the challenges of boondocking is managing your power supply, as you won’t have access to electrical hookups at a campground.

One solution to this challenge is to use solar power for your RV. By installing solar panels on the roof of your vehicle, you can generate your own electricity and use it to power your appliances and devices.

Solar power can be especially useful for boondocking because it’s a renewable and environmentally friendly source of energy. It also allows you to be more self-sufficient and independent while camping, as you won’t have to rely on electrical hookups or generators.

In addition to solar panels, you may also want to invest in a battery storage system for your RV. This will allow you to store the electricity generated by your solar panels and use it when needed, such as at night or on cloudy days.

Overall, using solar power for your RV can be a great way to stay powered up while boondocking and enjoy a more sustainable and independent camping experience.


RV boondocking offers a unique and rewarding way to enjoy the great outdoors. By camping in a self-contained vehicle without hookups to electricity, water, or sewer, boondockers can experience a sense of independence and self-sufficiency that isn’t possible at a traditional campground.
While boondocking can be challenging, it also offers many benefits, such as the ability to access more remote and secluded locations, the cost savings, and the opportunity to camp on the road. With some planning and preparation, you can enjoy the freedom and adventure of RV boondocking on your next camping trip.

Featured Image Credit: Kampus ProductionPexels
In Post Image 1 Credit: Kampus Production / Pexels


Guide to RV Boondocking: Tips for Free Camping and Off-Grid Adventures

Guide to RV Boondocking: Tips for Free Camping and Off-Grid Adventures

The open road awaits, and what better way to enjoy an outdoor adventure than riding cross-country in a recreational vehicle? For those with less ambition, there are even great options close to home that allow for rest and relaxation. Many travelers experience the freedom of enjoying nature’s many bounties by traveling from campsite to campsite, taking time away from the rigors of daily life with an old-fashioned road trip. However, understanding how to be self-sufficient can be an intimidating experience for many novice RVers, and finding campsites can prove both challenging and expensive. Although it means giving up some modern comforts, there is an option that can save a lot of money by providing free parking and no additional expenses: RV boondocking. Not to worry – this guide will provide all the details on how to enjoy life as a boondocker, including tips on where to find free camping and compensating for life “off the grid.”


What is Boondocking in an RV?

In short, “boondocking” is a slang term for “dry camping,” which means enjoying the traveling and camping experience without many modern commodities, such as power, sewer access, or water hookups. Free parking does not necessarily mean delving deep into the backcountry; it can be as simple as finding a suitable highway rest stop. There are a variety of options available to a savvy boondocker to ensure that extended traveling is efficient and cost-effective. Without the expenses that come with staying at an overcrowded RV park, boondocking not only allows campers to save a considerable amount of money but also allows the pleasures of stripped down life, frontier style. Of course, there are options that make it possible to still enjoy some amenities, if going fully dry is a more exciting experience than desired.

What to Know Before You Decide to go Boondocking

It can take a little time and research to learn how to be a proper boondocker. Otherwise, it is possible to find oneself stranded without a place to stay or facing self-sufficiency complications, which can be a stressful experience at odds with the relaxing atmosphere most RV trippers are seeking. First, consider the boondocking benefits:

  • It is free!
  • Campers do not have to suffer overcrowded or noisy RV parks.
  • With seclusion comes peace, quiet, and the ability to commune with the natural environment.
  • Many pay locations require scheduling in advance, so boondockers enjoy the flexibility to travel where they want, when they want and are not tied down to any specific location.
  • Without modern amenities, it is possible to enjoy a life away from technology and experience simplicity.

While these are fantastic benefits and are many reasons why so many people decide to give boondocking a shot, there are a few important considerations to take into account:

  • Cell service may be unavailable or of low quality, depending on the location.
  • As expected, there are some rules and regulations about where RVers can park for free.
  • “Off the grid” means just that – access to amenities such as showers, trash receptacles, water hook-ups, power, picnic tables, bathrooms, and other luxuries will more than likely be unavailable, which means finding alternatives if necessary.
  • Roads can often be rough and more difficult to navigate further from civilization.
  • Stores, medical facilities, and other services will likely be unavailable or distant, depending on the chosen location.

Boondocking Tips for Beginners

More than likely, the first boondocking experience will involve a lot of trial and error. While one of the greatest benefits of boondocking is the amount of freedom and flexibility associated with it, the very first time should involve a good amount of planning to ensure there are fewer of the latter. Consider these helpful tips to help prepare for the journey:

Choose a Date and Location

It is a good idea to have at least the first destination established (and a backup location just in case) so more time can be spent making sure that all supplies and other necessities are prepared. After all, one of the most common problems newbie boondockers face is not having something that they will later need upon arrival.

Weather Watch

When more experienced, weather may not be as significant of an issue, but it is best for the first trip to take place during ideal weather conditions. Keep in mind, there may not be cell service available upon arrival, so make sure to check the weather for as many days in advance as the duration of the stay at least, so there are no untoward surprises.

RV Maintenance

Whether renting an RV or using an owned model, run through a maintenance check to reduce the opportunity that something could go wrong, especially if the journey will be extensive. Remember the basics, too! No matter how tip-top the RV might be, running out of gas in off-country terrain is a challenge most do not want to face.

Bring More than Sufficient Supplies

One of the most important tips for boondocking is to have the right supplies and more than enough in case of the unexpected. This does not just refer to the absolute essentials such as food and clean water, but also to clothing, toiletry supplies, cooking supplies, and anything else that is part of the RV camping experience.

Charge Technology in Advance

Even if the point of the adventure is to get away from technology, have all cell phones charged and ready to go. This can make all the difference in the event of an emergency or if additional research is necessary to help solve beginner problems on the road, especially in the likely event that the site has no electricity. Even if the location does not have cell service, it can have several benefits (such as the flashlight feature), and can still prove a life-saver in a difficult situation as it may be possible to drive to cell service range if the need arises.

Other Tips

There are a wide variety of other tips that can help ensure there are no bumps in the road when it comes to the first boondocking journey:

  • Avoid arriving at night, as ample daylight is important for establishing and organizing the initial camp location.
  • Determine whether the site has generator hours beforehand, and if not, consider bringing a generator if necessary.
  • Be conservative with power, as it is often a limited resource when boondocking.
  • Prepare supplies for cooking and other necessary activities that require little or no electricity.
  • Ensure the RV has an appropriate water supply and practice methods to conserve water. Always fill the water tank completely before leaving home.
  • Have portable jugs or other containers to refill water without having to move the RV. A drill pump can make transferring water to the tank much easier!
  • Establish an effective plan for dealing with human waste, as this can draw animals or contaminate nearby water.
  • If using a generator, bring extra gas. For solar panels, make sure there is an inverter.
  • Using reflective covers on RV windows is a cost-effective way to regulate temperature.
  • Leave any site as good or better than it was upon arrival. That means picking up any garbage and avoiding causing any damage to the land itself.
  • Consider a short journey for the first time as a dry-run to work out the kinks. That way, if something goes wrong or is forgotten, it is easier to accommodate.

How to Boondock Safely and Responsibly

RV camping comes with the same risks that traditional campers face, but with the added protection of having solid walls and lockable doors and windows. That being said, there are certain considerations for maintaining safety while boondocking:

  • Upon discovery of an incredible boondocking location, make sure staying there is legally acceptable or get appropriate permission to avoid potential risks.
  • As traveling off-country can be unpredictable, make sure that any country road is wide enough to accommodate the recreational vehicle’s size and currently accessible, even if that means walking a short distance down the road or scouting with another vehicle in advance.
  • Remember that the weather can affect road conditions as well, so always have a good idea of upcoming forecasts.
  • Make sure that any potential location will enable the RV to turn around – it will make departure significantly easier and ensure that it will not become trapped or stuck while maneuvering.
  • A major point of boondocking is enjoying nature without the presence of others. However, because of this solitude, take precautions to ensure protection from local wildlife and other potential emergency situations, having a contingency plan in place for worst-case scenarios.
  • Respect the land, the wildlife, and other people. Empty waste tanks at approved locations and be especially careful not to start a forest fire.

Essential Supplies for RV Boondocking

It can be difficult to decide what is necessary for boondocking (especially for the first time) because there are such a wide variety of options. While what will actually be required depends a lot on the location and what resources are available, here are some top choices to ensure that any RV boondocking expedition can be a success.

Power Necessities

  • A generator and/or solar upgrades
  • Batteries
  • Gas and extra tanks
  • Propane
  • A power bank for charging electronics

Water Necessities

  • A portable water tank
  • Water bladders, bags, or jugs for spare water and transporting
  • Water filters
  • A composting toilet
  • A pump for transferring water easily

Food Necessities

  • More food than expectations dictate
  • Foods that are energy-dense and simple to prepare, along with healthy snacks
  • A portable grill
  • Recyclable dishware and utensils, including paper cups

Safety, Security, and Comfort

  • Medical kits
  • Tool kits
  • Bug spray
  • Flashlights
  • Door and compartment locks
  • Space heater(s)
  • 12V fans
  • Mobile signal boosters and chargers
  • An atlas or maps
  • Weather appropriate and extra clothing

Rules of Boondocking

There are, of course, rules that should be followed when boondocking to maintain safety and environmental purity. In fact, dispersed camping sites such as National Forests and State Parks have mandatory rules that must be followed. Here is how to stay out of trouble:

  • Leave no trace – pick up everything brought in so that the site appears in its natural state.
  • Don’t dump tanks on the ground, especially waste tanks
  • Park at least 200 feet from water sources to maintain the purity of the water and vegetation natural resources
  • Choose an open spot, preferably one that has been used previously to prevent damage to the natural environment and its flora and fauna.
  • Never leave fires unattended and do not harvest firewood without permission.
  • Respect the wildlife – do not leave out trash or other harmful contaminants and leave any encountered animals alone.
  • Be a good neighbor. If there are others nearby or the property belongs to others, be considerate about noise, waste, loud generator usage, and appropriate distance to avoid being inconvenient to others.
  • Know the stay limits and observe them.

How Long Can You Boondock in an RV?

Remember that dispersed camping sites generally allow campers to reside in a specific location for up to 14 days. While taking into account stay limits for specific locations, the only other factors determining how long a camper can boondock in an RV are the camper’s desire and availability of supplies.


Unless using a water purification/filtration system, water is one of the major limiting factors for extended RV boondocking. If unable to create potable drinking water from streams or other sources, make sure to have a large, full water tank and several extra jugs.

Conserving Water

Of course, taking care of water usage will preserve it for a longer time. Wet paper towelettes and disposable plates, bowls, and utensils can save a lot of water, as they prevent the need to use as much of it for washing purposes. Run-off water from some activities can be reused for others, so have a system in place to collect gently-used water for non-hygienic re-use. Also, when using water for purposes such as shaving or brushing teeth, collect a small amount of water rather than letting a faucet run.


Limiting how often people shower is an easy way to conserve a lot of water, as is taking shorter showers during those instances. In the interim, baby wipes and similar means can help maintain hygiene without taking a toll on the RV water resources.


If paper plates are not an option, wash dishes in a bucket or similar limited space. This will save more water than using a sink and allow easy repurposing of the remaining water for other uses that do not require the water to be clean.

Refilling Water

It is sometimes possible to refill water from stores or refill stations. Having a transfer pump can be invaluable in these situations as it will make it easy to move water from jugs to the RV tank.

Dumping Tanks

Never dump tanks anywhere other than designated dumping facilities. Wastewater can cause terrible damage to the environment and potentially contaminate water and animals. Make sure your waste tank is completely empty when beginning the journey so that it will last for a longer period of time. To reduce tank usage, consider only flushing the RV toilet as necessary to eliminate solid waste and limit flushing toilet paper whenever possible, as it takes more water to drain. It also may be an option to use a bush outdoors to limit the need to flush water. A composting toilet can be a best friend when boondock RVing.


When conserving power, consider the following options:

  • Avoid using a propane furnace whenever possible, as the vents use electricity.
  • Space heaters, especially the battery-operated kind, can provide an efficient heating alternative.
  • Battery-operated fans are an equivalent option for keeping cool.
  • An excellent ice chest can serve as an alternative to using an RV fridge.
  • Avoid using electrical devices to perform duties that can be done manually, or at least ration these appliances.
  • If using solar panels, choose a location that makes sense to generate optimum power.
  • Consider using battery-operated lights or even replacing the other RV lights with LED replacements.

Other Things to Consider

Remember that the weather can be unpredictable and can subvert even forecast predictions. Keep extra blankets, warm clothes, rain gear, umbrellas, and other weather-specific gear handy in the event of an unexpected change in temperature or precipitation. Also keep in mind that this can make road conditions dangerous and could potentially result in an RV becoming mired in the mud. Have a plan and resources available to prepare for as many contingencies as possible. Also, keep an atlas or paper maps of the area in case necessary.

Top 4 Options for Finding Free RV Parking

When it comes to finding locations to spend the night, there are many options, some better than others. Here are four common options for boondockers:

Unauthorized Parking

While not usually the recommended method, sometimes the situation calls for drastic measures. As long as there is not a posted “No Parking” sign or some other deterrent, campers can sometimes get away with a quick overnight without permission. Obviously, the smaller the RV the better chance that this attempt will go undetected, but there is always the risk of a security visit or upset landowner. When possible, try to acquire permission before holing up for the night on questionable premises.

Store Parking Lots

In a pinch, many large retailers will allow an RV to remain in their parking lot overnight. Obviously, this is a short-term solution with expectations for a single night and not an extended stay. While this is a better option than unauthorized parking, make sure to contact the store in advance to ensure they have no issue with it or that is exactly what this will be.


This creative moniker is so named because this free parking comes at the expense of family or friends. In other words, this method involves mooching off acquaintances, and getting permission to stay on their land without payment. However, even family members have limits to their generosity, so make certain not to overstay the welcome. During the time spent on this land, make sure that it remains in the same state (or better!) that it was found while respecting any neighbors.

Dispersed Camping

Each state has options that allow for free camping on public land. This may include areas such as State Parks, Wildlife Management locations, and National Forest Land and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) property. While this is the best free parking method to avoid negative consequences, keep in mind that most of these locations are “first come, first serve” and will have regulations in place, so do the homework in advance. Fortunately, RVs are generally allowed to stay up to 14 days (verify this), so dispersed camping is a great option for a multiple-day stay. Plus, when the duration expires, it is possible to move to another valid location and restart the clock.

How to Find Boondocking in National Parks

RV boondocking is generally allowed in National Parks for up to 14 days unless specifically stated otherwise. While National Parks are generally easy to locate on Google Maps or other similar services, another option is to make use of the National Park Service locator, which allows a search by state.

How to Find Boondocking in National Forests

The National Forest Website is a great resource here, providing opportunities for the intrepid adventurer to enjoy some of the greatest natural environments available. They offer a Forest Finder to help seek boondocking opportunities, which allows the user to identify National Forest locations. Another option is this map provided by the US Forest Service.

How to Find Free Camping in the Backcountry

When seeking lands off the beaten path, remember that one of the best options available is to use dispersed camping. The Bureau of Land Management website not only provides all rules and regulations in regard to using their public land for camping purposes, but they also provide a camping search and even a cool interactive map to help plan an incredible RV boondocking adventure.

How to Find Free Campgrounds

When trying to find suitable free campgrounds, one of the best methods is to use websites or apps that are specifically designed to promote these locations. Here are some places to start:

  • Freeroam – Offers a wide variety of location searches and provides weather details, reviews, amenity descriptions, and a lot more information to help decide which park to choose.
  • net – Using a simple interface, this website is intended to locate campsites near the searcher’s location.
  • com – Another user-friendly website that provides information on free camping sites as well as links to RV Parks and popular dispersed camping organizations like the National Park Service.

Boondocking Apps and Websites

There are many phone apps that make it easy to perform searches for free campsites on the go. Here are some great options as well as other websites that can be useful in finding the ultimate boondocking destination.

  • iOverlander
  • Gaia GPS
  • The Dyrt (free and paid versions)
  • HipCamp
  • VanLife

Get Out and Start Boondocking

With this ultimate guide in hand (or on-screen), there’s no reason not to set out on an epic RV boondocking foray. Remember to keep the first trip simple and prepare accordingly! It can be helpful to design a boondocking checklist before each trip to ensure the completion of all basic RV maintenance and that nothing is forgotten. Once the maiden voyage is over, the various included resources can serve as guides to a longer journey to more exotic locations. Boondocking is a great way to escape the bustle and stress of city life and enjoy a rural experience, getting back to the basics with nature.  It’s time to enjoy nature’s bounty and explore the many wonders of the wild, so get out there and start boondocking!