Where can adventurers like us park our RVs at no cost?


What is boondocking? Boondocking is RV camping for free! Are you shocked at your RV campground bill? It might  surprise you  to learn that not everyone is paying as much as you are to camp in your RV. There are many places where you can park an RV overnight for no cost at all.

Where can adventurers like us park our RVs at no cost at all? Well, if you are in United States, some possible locations would be  truck stops, rest stops, movie theatres, government land,  and the parking lots of large retail stores such as Costco, Lowes , Sam's Club, etc. If you have chosen a store parking lot location I would strongly suggest going inside the store and talking with management and requesting permission to park there overnight. Rules between individual stores may vary and change over time. I can't guarantee that it will always be allowed. However, there are many locations like the ones I have mentioned and others, that will allow you to boondock. Another courtesy when boondocking in store parking lots is to not use your slide outs, levelling jacks, awnings, lawn chairs etc.

Camping on public land is an experience for the serious RVer. Here you can really get away from it all at the end of a forest service road. Canada is not friendly towards boondocking, however, if you are in a tent, you may camp on Canadian public land for 21 days, then you are supposed  to move to another spot. If you wan't to boondock  with an RV you are best to go south to the land of the free.  If you are boondocking on United States public land there are some general rules to follow: 1) Don't stay in one specific location for more than 16 days at a time. After that move. 2) Don't camp within 100 feet of a water source. 3) Pack in and pack out all garbage. 4) Be aware of any fire restrictions. 5) If there are more than 75 in your crew, get a permit.

Want a great resource on where to boondock on American public land? Visit the website of the Bureau of Land Management. Some other sites related to this are:

Now it goes without saying that boondocking is dry camping. Dry camping is roughing it. Die-hard backpacking campers would say that RVing is not roughing it. That's fine, but for the RVer, dry camping boondock style is ruffing it. You don't have an electrical post to plug into or a water hose to hook up to. There are no campground washrooms or showers. Fortunately, your RV has all of these things already but you will need to fill up your water tanks on the RV and perhaps use solar power or a generator. You may even like to use a portable power station for small devices. For a link to Bluetti's website and add, for a couple of different ones click Bluetti AC50 500Wh/300W Portable Power Station  and Bluetti AC50S 500Wh/300W Portable Power Station.

Most RVers plan to journey to a specific destination and stay at a camp spot of some sort and pay for their stay. That is fine but why not try boondocking along the way between where you are and where you are going? I hope that this short article has got your imaginations sparked over how much fun boondocking could be for you and your family.

Shawn Stevens


Minchey, Jerry. Motorhome and RV Living. Asheville:Stoney River Media, 2015.