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hope valley

How to find FREE (or almost free) Camping

Campgrounds Shouldn’t Require a Mortgage.  Like everything else these days, camping is getting to be expensive.  We love State and National Parks but most will set you back $35+ a night for dry camping and private RV parks are even more expensive.  Being the cheap ass frugal travelers that we are, we’ve found a few ways to not only save on campground fees (thus increasing our vital booze fund) but also snag some of the best camping spots ever!

campground in maine

So, here we go…

Boondocking or Wild Camping (my favorite term) is typically FREE and means camping in remote areas without amenities like electricity, sewer connections or bathroom facilities (although we have seen some with vault toilets). Wild Camping is not for everybody but if you’re willing to rough it a bit (or invest in some solar panels) it can save you a ton of money.  This is our favorite type of camping because you are out in nature, no crowds and no rules other than leave no trace!

BLM (Bureau of Land Management) , National Forest and National Grasslands, Fish and Wildlife Managment and so on, are all public lands that allow recreational camping.  To find out where the camping areas are, search the organization plus the state you want to camp in.  For example:  bureau of land management Washington.  To make things even simpler, download this super handy Public Lands app that shows you a map with all the public lands in different colors and has links to the government website that manages that land.

Next, you will want to locate the regional or area office info for where you are headed and give them a call.  If you are struggling to locate the regional office info, you can call the main number and ask for help.  Let them know you are looking for primitive, dry camping or back country camping opportunities for an RV.  They can help you out with directions, maps, road conditions, stay limits, let you know if permits are needed, and it’s a good idea to tell them what kind of rig you are driving (length and width).  If you’re too tall or wide for certain spots they’ll let you know.

If you are in Canada check out Crown Land and Recreation Trails and Sites BC.

Apps and websites like UltimateCampgrounds and Campendium are great resources for finding free campsites in the U.S. and Canada as well.  However, not every free campsite is listed so we always encourage checking the BLM / National Forest / Crown Land etc. websites for the most accurate info / locations.

Here are a few of our favorite spots so far:

 

Free Water Management Camping in Florida

 

Free BLM Land Alabama Hills, California

 

British Columbia, Canada Crown Land

 

Free National Forest Lands outside of Tahoe (hope valley campground)

 

Free BLM Camping 2 miles from Joshua Tree National Park

joshua tree

 

Free National Forest Lands Camping at Grand Teton National Park

grand teton

 

Parking Lot Surfing is our least favorite option (because you’re in a parking lot) but sometimes it’s the only option. We are talking Wal-marts, Cabela’s, truck stops, rest stops and any other business or parking lot willing to let a weary traveler rest their head for a while. The key to this type of overnight camping is super simple…always make sure you have permission. It’s as easy as calling up and asking a store manager if they allow overnight parking, or calling the non emergency police line to ask about overnight parking at any local rest stops or parking lots. Why the police you ask? Because the best person to ask if what you’re planning on doing is legal, is the person who would write you the ticket. I can’t tell you how many times we have called the police to ask about safe and legal overnight parking. The best part is they are open 24hrs! We never thought of this option until a local sheriff gave us the suggestion.

 

This video will give you the run down on the do’s and don’ts of parking lot camping.

 

Discount and Club Camping: There are dozens of RV clubs to choose from, we suggest doing your own research on this one to see what club works best for you and your style (and locations) of camping. Here are a couple of our favorites:

Harvest Hosts:

Membership is $40 for 12months. This is hands down our favorite camping program that allows RV’ers to stay at farms and wineries.  We love it so much we made a video about it and an article explaining the program here: www.gonewiththewynns.com/harvest-hosts-free-rv-parking-farms-wineries

 

Here are a few others to look into:
Good Sam Club – discounts at select campgrounds
Family Motor Coach Association(FMCA) – discounts at select campgrounds
Passport America – discounts at select campgrounds
Escapees RV Club
Recreation USA
Boondocker’s Welcome
Thousand Trails

If you have a favorite we’ve missed, put it in the comment box below and we will update the list. If you’re willing to share one of your favorite spots please do, we’d love to find new great places to visit.

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (91)

  • Ridley Fitzgerald

    You’ve got some great tips for finding a great RV site to stay. I like how you said to call the regional office of where you want to go and talk to them. If anyone would know the best place to stay, it’d be them! We’ll try that next time we go on a camping trip.

    reply
  • al hakanson

    is there any very long term free tent or van camping besides slab city in the us

    reply
    • Curious Minion

      There is quite a bit. BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands and National Forest and Grasslands are the biggest resources. Links to them and a few more resources are in the blog post.

      reply
  • Phil Balantic

    Hi, We are thinking of opening up a field we have for Dry Camping for a fee. We are in central NY near Cooperstown. Would like input on if there is an interest in using our land. Also where are the web sites for advertising.

    reply
  • bandit

    Camp anywhere. Even in your neighbors yard! Leave by dawn and theyll never know you were there.

    reply
  • Rosalinda Reyes

    how exciting

    reply
  • bigboondocker

    I’m really surprised you left https://freecampsites.net off of your list. They have been around for almost a decade and have more free camping listings than any other resource. They include maps and are GPS compatible. They have a place for users to leave, pictures, reviews, videos, blog posts, and even what cellular signal they received for each campsite. It’s really the best, and easiest to use, free camping locator on the web. You guys are so well versed in the boondocking lifestyle, I can’t believe you guys haven’t heard of it.

    reply
  • Great article and great advice. Big fan of your youtube channel as well, been checking out your posts there for a long time. One other free or really cheap camping option are those managed by The Army Corp of Engineers. Generally these campgrounds are on or near dams and the ones I have been to in our travels with the Escape Pod (see my blog if you want to see her, she is a beauty) are very well maintained and often times not crowded at all.
    Well thank you for the great post, makes me want to get out on the road again.
    The Broke Dad

    reply
  • Jeff Pruett

    My wife and I are looking for remote properties to rv on and bug out to. I am equipping rv with solar for off grid when necessary. We are looking for and area of like minded free people. We love the mountains. Our first preference are rhe Davis mountains in west Tx. Appreciate any thoughts or input.

    reply
  • Zephyr

    I lived on the road as a single woman with no gun for more than 35 years. Had no problems camping wild.

    reply
  • Glenn Pallen

    Excellent site. I have enjoyed all that I have read. What makes this even more enjoyable is where you are now, just outside of EL Paso. I live in Newtown, PA., but was born in EL Paso and returned years later for school. Go UTEP. I used to enjoy going to Juarez with friends Friday or Saturday night, good food and drink and occasionally even some dancing. It was once a safe and nice place to go. Walk over the bridge for free and pay a nickel or so to return. Would you be willing to sell one of your possessions for triple the price you paid? I’m offering you $3.75 in cash. Yes you read it correctly triple what you paid and in cash. Do we have a deal? Continue to have fun and be safe. Glenn

    reply
  • Rainbows

    Hi,
    I own a bunch of unused raw land parcels.
    I would allow camping there, for almost free,
    for just paying the taxes.
    Do you think that could work?

    reply
    • Frank

      Do you have anything in New York?

      reply
    • Reema

      It might work for me.

      Where’s the land?

      reply
  • Rob

    Hey thereally Wynns!

    My family and I (2 adults 3 kids) just moved full time into a 45 foot long prevost, and will begin travel full time in March for the next year or so. We all of a sudden thought about being too big for most natonal parks. Have you run it no being too big to camp in national parks? How big is your rig?

    Thank you for the inspiration, the leadership, and any help you can give

    reply
    • Correct,
      you will have lots of issues getting into state and national parks with a 45′ RV. The good news is there is typically a big rig friendly RV park near most of the popular state and national park destinations. Have fun out there!

      reply
  • Heather

    Elks lodge memberships can also offer another free or cheap option. There are websites dedicated to listing the features at each lodge, too.

    reply
  • Amy P.

    Question about wild camping? We’ve been traveling cross country most of this year and have only wild camped 3 times. I have found that I am usually nervous about being out somewhere totally alone for fear of someone showing up with bad intentions toward a lone camper/rv’er (robbing, etc.). As a result I don’t sleep well when we wild camp. What do you two do to make sure that a place is safe, especially if you are there alone and plan on leaving your RV as you travel around in your car during the day? What do you carry in your RV for protection? I once new someone who had a truck camper and was camping one night alone somewhere when he heard a car come up close to him around 2am. He then heard them open their doors and one of them said “Now” and they started towards his camper. He discharged a gun out a window into the air and they promptly left, but who wants to get to that point? Any advice you have on how to improve your safety while wild camping would be appreciated. Thanks!

    reply
  • Lisa Cantrell

    When we first decided to move into a MH we joined Escapees Club. I hadn’t used it much, really at all, when I met someone who told us about Day’s End which is a directory that is available to their members. SKP’s Club has a number of other services but I have appreciated this one as other RVers send in the info. It’s all free or very cheap camping. I do have to say though that Iowa state parks are cheap no matter what. They are only $16/night during the summer season WITH 50 amp electric and from Oct 1 it’s $11/night.
    Although truck stops are not our favorites either an easy way to find them is through findfuelstops.com. You put in your route or simply where you are going and what services you are looking for (many of the truck stops have showers and stuff if you are trying to conserve water) and it gives a list of all of them. Both very helpful. Agree with Jason and Nikki though about Harvest Hosts being the best overnight places.

    reply
  • Kathleen

    Thanks for the info! My boyfriend and I are about to set out on a trip in a 22′ RV from the Northeast down the east coast, across the southern states, up past the grand canyon/vegas/keep going north, and then back down the west coast before heading back home. We plan to take many of the suggestions you’ve given for Wild Camping, (and maybe I missed it), but how can we find out about parking in cities? We would like to hit quite a few major cities on our journey, and stay for a night or two, and know we can’t fit into a parking garage. Any help is appreciated. Thank you!

    reply
  • Gowestwardho

    Hey guys, Do you know of a way when using the BLM website that you suggested, to Search based on which campsites allow for rigs say under 35′ for example? Unless you found something I cannot, it appears you almost have to drill down to the individual campgrounds PDF brochure in order to uncover their rules on length. Is there a better tool I should know about here? Thanks!

    reply
  • Gina

    I have heard that sporting goods stores also allow overnight parking lot stays, e.g. Bass Pro Shops, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Gander Mountain, etc. Do you know if this is true? Great information by the way!!

    reply
  • AvidBoondocker

    Oh wait. I see it. Nevermind. You guys have got it going on.

    reply
  • Matt

    Hey kids,

    As the wife and I get ready to head out, I was reading over the free camping suggestions again. That’s when I noticed, very few of the places you stay are paved.

    Do you use the leveling jacks every time you camp? We have a gravity/propane fridge, so i know we need to. I believe you have a compressor type fridge, so I guess you don’t really need to be leveled?

    Also, are you ever concerned about finding soft ground? I’m a little nervous, so I believe I’m over thinking everything!

    Thanks for the inspiration,
    Matt

    reply
  • Brian Sweeney

    I Love the idea of camping “out there” on BLM. To be honest, i am very concerned about safety. Are there rangers or any kind of law in the event you are accosted by some BLM lunatic?

    reply
    • There are officials that patrol the area, sometimes we see a ranger every day and sometimes we might not see one for a week. Cell phones often don’t work in the wild, so you’re pretty much on your own. Wish I could provide better safety news, but that’s our experience.

      reply
  • We love Harvest Hosts – learned about it coming back through the Cal. Wine Country. We recently stayed at an Alpaca Farm:
    travelingnavion.blogspot.ca/2014/08/moonshadow-alpaca-ranch.html
    and back in April stayed at Rustic Roots Farm & Winery where we spent a pleasant evening with Bruce & Kathy:
    rusticrootswinery.com
    We’ve visited and/or stayed at a couple more in Oregon but they weren’t as memorable.

    reply
    • Thank you for sharing Kay, we too have had a wonderful experience at the most of our stays.

      reply
  • Debbie

    Love your adventures and admire your spirit at such a young age. My husband and I are planning on full-timing in 21 months when we can retire….don’t want to waste anymore time not traveling! We live in AZ and wanted to share cheap camping sites. You can wild camp anywhere in the Tonto National Forest for $3.00 per day. There are lakes, rivers, mountains, and desert for every type of adventure!
    One question….did you have any trouble with campsite length restrictions in state/Nat. Parks with your 40 ft. rig?
    Thanks…

    reply
    • Thanks for sharing Debbie. We will be passing through AZ again late this year so we’ll looking the Tonto NF.
      As for size we have not really had issue with our RV, but we’ve never owned a 40′ rig. Our Excursion is the largest RV we’ve owned and it’s a 33′ RV.

      reply
    • Michael McDonald

      Could you give more information on the Tonto NF camping? Looking at the NF site, I see $6 per vehicle in dispersed camping. And I see limits of mostly 22 feet for trailers. And some stating 40 feet total which puts the Excursion plus toad over that limit.

      reply
      • Your best bet is to contact the NF office by phone and give them the details of your rig, they are better equipped to help you find an appropriate location for dispersed camping.

        reply
  • Luke Ludeman

    Hi there,

    Would you happen to have GPS coordinates for the Hope Valley Campground site you stayed in? Beautiful…

    Thank you!

    reply
  • Jarly

    Love your site/blog! Will be coming back often!

    We’re a young couple too (well like 10 years older than you) and are planning to hit the road hopefully in the next 2 years for our life on the road adventure!

    Wondering if you’ve ever done “workamping” and your thoughts on it? Guess that’s what you do on your own but was wondering if you’ve tried it and any opinions/advice you’d have on it.

    Thanks in advance! Can’t wait to watch & read more.. great info & love your humor (we’re silly too so love it!).

    reply
  • Dawn

    Have you ever been kicked out from a camp spot or had every intention of camping somewhere only to get there and find out you aren’t allowed?

    reply
    • Kristee Hinton

      Yes I have. When I traveled in Wisconsin I was unable to park in the Walmart parking lots there. And when I try to find one in Salt Lake City Utah it was also impossible to find a Walmart that will allow me to park overnight.

      reply
      • Kelli

        Midwest can be kind of weird about stuff like that sometimes. For Wisconsin or Minnesota I would more suggest finding a farm to stay on. There is enough of them around. = )

        reply
        • We found plenty of opportunities in MI and WI for wild camping…but we did stay at several wineries and farms too thanks to Harvest Hosts.

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      • Tessa Hill

        We’ve found that the “no overnight parking” signs are often not accurate for RVs. If you ask at the store anyway, they will likely give permission for you to stay. I think they use these signs because it may give them the right to remove people who abuse the privilege or overstay their welcome. Also, I’ve been told by one store that the sign is only for trucks, but RV’s are welcome. So don’t give up until you check with security or the store manager, if you can find them. 🙂 Hope that helps!

        reply
        • Agree Tessa, don’t give up till you ask. We also call ahead so we have a plan before it gets too late.

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      • Neil & Yoly Mullen

        We had a similar experience at an Interstate Rest Area with the large “No Overnight Parking” signs. There was an official state security officer on duty so I asked him if this meant we couldn’t stop with our travel trailer and simply get some sleep before heading out early in the morning. He smiled and very politely assured me that it was fine for us to do just that. He said that these signs were mostly there to keep local area people (homeless) from spending the night abusing the amenities such as drinking water and bathrooms.

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  • AZClaimjumper aka Bill Cole

    anytime someone asks me a question about “security” or “self Defense”, my stock answer is to say, “I’d prefer to remain non-committal”. I then immediately ask them the same question they just asked me. EVERYONE, has replied with the same “non-committal” answer I gave them.

    And the subject gracefully moves on to some other topic.

    reply
  • Mrs. Shawn Castillo

    One of the best free or minimally priced places we have found to boondock/camp is at Wildlife Refuges.

    There are Wildlife Refuges all over the country, usually managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Alot of refuges have dry camping area’s (no hookups) or will allow you to park overnight in their parking area.

    Each refuge has differrent rules & regulations so do your homework before going. Most are well off the ‘beaten path’ so be prepared to drive a little out of your way to get there, but many have beautiful views and serenity!

    You can find a map on the website and can search each state for refuges in your area. The website is: http://www.fws.gov/refuges.

    Many refuges have walking trails, ponds and lots of waterfowl/wildlife for photography. Just be sure to go after hunting season is over!

    reply
    • Thank you so much for sharing! Can’t wait to get back to the wild (we’re doing the city thing this week) 🙂

      reply
  • Mark

    In Europe Wild Camping encompasses off the road parking on sites where there is little or no jurisdiction and/or it’s uncertain who owns the land. Who would to prevent an overnight stay – the local highway patrol?
    By the way, if you haven’t already done so, check out this UK website. http://www.wildcamping.co.uk
    They maintain (and sell)a database of map coordinates of Wild Camping spots across Europe.
    Lastly, the French are the best at this. All across France there are stopover sites for RVs (or CampingCars as they call them) called Aires de Camp. The French want you to stopover and provide free or cheap means to do so. Aires coexist quite happily with commercial campgrounds.

    reply
  • Eric

    Hello, this is a great post and I liked you post on “Boondocking” as well! I have a question for you…so, I have a “micro-cabin” that fits on a trailer (similar to http://www.tumbleweedhouses.com), however it is custom built. We were thinking about trying to “rent” a piece of private land from someone to put several of these portable homes on. We would just go on BLM or National Forest Land, but I’m pretty sure you have to move after 14 days. Do you have any suggestions for us? We would like this to be semi permanent (keeping it on a piece of land for 6 months to 1.5 years for say). We also are considering the option of renting them out on Airbnb (not sure how this adds to the legalities of everything). What would your suggestions be? Thanks ahead of time, love your site!

    reply
    • Eric you are correct that BLM and National Forest both have stay limits so this would not be an option for you. From our experience the only options you would have are 1. purchasing land or 2. renting land. If you’re interested in working while you live you should check out Farm Stays or a similar program that connects individuals with farmers.
      Good luck, wish we could be more help.

      reply
      • Eric

        Thank you so much for the great reply Jason. Do you have any insight or recommendations on how to “rent land?” I’m not sure how much people actually do this, but hopefully it is possible. I think it would be the best option. Much thanks!

        reply
        • Eric,
          There are people who have thousands of acres of land that are happy to allow people to stay for a small fee; it just depends on zoning and city ordinance laws. The best thing you can do is search on Craigslist, or contact a real estate agent. We’ve bumped into people along the way that have offered an extended stay on their property, and others who have plenty of land to share, but we haven’t really considered it. Think of it as renting a garage apartment but you supply the garage 🙂 Good luck.

          reply
  • Redds

    A little confused, at Thousand Trails you pay $525.00 a year plus pay fees when you go to one of there places?

    reply
    • Tracy

      Check out Thousand Trails directly (http://www.thousandtrails.com/members.asp). You initially pay to belong to a “zone” (how many zones you want to pay for is up to you, once you buy a zone you do not have to re-buy it later.) then you pay just 1 yearly fee as an annual pass (to keep your membership in your purchased zones). You do get 30 days of camping free with that annual pass, any additional days after that cost only $3 a night.

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  • Hi Jason & Nikki!

    I just ran across your wonderful site in searching for information on the wide world of motor-homing. My wife and I just purchased a small, low mileage used one so we will be hitting the road this coming year extensively I hope.

    The reason for the message is just a quick thought about BLM – Bureau of Land Management – lands. I retired 6 years ago from the BLM after having worked in Oregon and Nevada for a combined 30+ years in range land & wild horse management as well as many other responsibilities.

    The great thing about BLM lands – and actually a lot of USFS, USF&WS, and some other public (federal) lands – is that one can camp for up to 14 consecutive days in any one spot – not just at improved or primitive campgrounds…anywhere you can drive to – for free!

    This opens up an immense area in the West to do “Wild Camping” in the truest sense on the wildest lands in the lower 48. The BLM manages 260 million acres in primarily the West and Alaska…the largest land management outfit in the U.S. Think about the possibilities!

    If one did stay for 14 days in any one spot you can then move to some other place and have another 14 days. (There may be some maximum set per year, but I don’t think so…and no one is tracking such anyway.)

    The only caveat’s besides the common sense ones (e.g., don’t litter, disturb management facilities, close gates, don’t empty holding tanks and just “tread lightly” as they say) is to ensure that the lands are not specifically closed to such activities…a rarity to be honest. Well, a rarity outside of designated wilderness areas although those usually don’t have roads anyway.

    On BLM lands very little of it is closed to camping in my experience in most areas. If there is a road of any type that allows access for a motor home there is camping. Usually if an area is closed to camping it is marked, but as you all noted, it is always wise to call the closest BLM office and double check.

    All BLM (and USFS) areas have available decent ownership maps that delineate where lands under their management are, and more importantly, what intermingled lands are private or otherwise off limits.

    Anyway, I’ve immensely enjoyed reading the information on your site and thought I would chime in about the most open and wild of all public lands – BLM. Keep up the great work! Bill

    reply
  • Steve S

    Wow..this is so confusing…I can camp free in certain areas…how do I dump the waste, fill up the water

    My biggest concern…can bears break into the RV?

    reply
    • It seems overwhelming at first, however once you stay at a few BLM or National Forest sites it will begin to make more sense. If we’re staying at a BLM site there typically aren’t places to get water or dump your sewer, so you must be very conservative while Wild Camping.
      As for the bears, from what we’ve been told by countless rangers: “Bears don’t associate RV’s with food. For years people in cars have been feeding bears so bears can, and will, break into your car if you leave food inside while staying in the wild with bears”. Basically be smart, don’t leave food outside, don’t leave food in your car, keep it tucked away inside…and for good measure I wouldn’t bake a pie or grill a bunch of salmon when your in Bear country.

      reply
  • Stacey Dinneen

    Hello….just planning to hit the road in the next 4-6 months. I have a few questions if you don’t min. I work from home so am swapping out my rent for an camping trailer – my husband will be taking out the back bunks and making me an office. We are looking to travel as much as possible in the next two years, while I work for this company an then opening our own (this is the goal) We are looking at solar and just purchase a generator as the travel trailer will not come with one. I will need to power my lap top, a monitor and printer (when needed) in order to work consistently as I train via web ex on a daily basis. I see that you run a website and such – and I will be doing this for 6 hours a day – training and would like to know more about energy consumption and how that will all work. My lap top for work is loaded up with Verizon – but my personal one is not, should I go thru Verizon – or have you found a better way to internet? I know I am rambling but would appreciate any advice. Thank you. Stacey

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  • tyler kawahara

    Do you typically have a loaded gun handy for security? Obviously, everyone has the right to protect themselves, but do you recommend any actions other than keeping the weapon hidden yet handy?

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      • Doug

        There seems to be a general assumption that all RVers camping in the middle of nowhere are well armed—which also protects the unarmed. I have never had anything close to a confrontation or even a burglary in over 11 years of fulltime “wild camping” (I love that term of yours!)

        Whenever someone asks me about my “gun”, I always say, “I’m sorry, I don’t discuss my arsenal with total strangers!” Shuts them up every time.

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  • Scott

    I read “Often times we’ve found free camping in the surrounding areas of popular destinations like Lake Tahoe, Grand Tetons, Savannah, Lake George and many more.”

    Can you please share where you found some wild camping near Lake George?

    Thank you.

    reply
    • Try contacting the Green Mountain National Forest Ranger Station, it’s a total pain but worth it if you want to sleep out in nature. It is a drive to Lake George so it may not be worth it if you are wanting a vacation in the city.

      reply
  • Dom K

    Enjoy-America.net.
    We found great RV parks and locations at http://www.enjoy-America.net. They are similar to PA but a bit less fees. I think the quality of their campground selection is better too. We get in everywhere when the other club says full!. We like to take Cruises and got it for free when we joined another club. Gosh how can you not just love this lifestyle!
    Thanks for your stories. Hope more will follow.

    reply
  • Ginny

    We have been rving for the past 8 years. Since we are not full-timers we can only camp during the summer months when the kids are out of school. We have always camped with either full hookups or ele. & water sites. Boondocking has been something we have thought about, but have never done. My question has to do with running the generator. Since our camping is during the hot summer months, we have to run the AC. We are usually out touring an area during the day, so the AC wouldn’t be running much, but at night there is no way we can sleep in a hot rv. What is your fuel comsumption when you are boondocking with the AC running at night? Also where do you go to dump your tanks?

    reply
    • You can dump your tanks at any nearby RV resort, state park, etc. Check online before you leave to see if there is a dump station nearby. it takes a while to use up the black tank, but your grey tank will be a problem with a family. Some people bring extra water tanks on a trailer if they plan to stay for a long time. If you want to camp for only a short period you can easily use disposable plates, and shower in town at a state park or national park. There are safe and legal ways to disperse of your grey water if you have an extra fresh water source. If there is a fresh water source nearby (i.e. a river) you can clean the water and make it safe for drinking, and you can use a solar shower to clean up thus maximizing the fresh water in your tank.
      As for the generator ours claims to use 1 gallon for every 3 hours on a light load. If you’re running 1 A/C I’d call that a light-medium load so you can expect to use a little more fuel. Of course everything depends on how much of a load you’re pulling, if your A/C only runs for 3 hours during the night you can estimate you’ll use 2 gallons of fuel to run the A/C. Just a guess based on our 6000 watt Generator, contact your manufacturer to get the specs on fuel consumption.
      Hope this helps.

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  • I cannot wait to get to the Tetons. That photo is simply gorgeous!

    reply
    • Jenn, you’re so sweet! I know when you make it there you will love it! FYI – let us know when you go as there is this great Asian place that makes their own beer in Jackson Hole and it’s right up your alley!

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  • mary van

    The Grand Tetons look amazing! It is really fun seeing the many places you have visited and explored.

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  • Ron

    Jason and Nikki,
    Enjoy watching you guys on TV and reading many of your tips and about your adventures. Like yourselves, I love the Tahoe area, also. Thanks for the Boon….ooops, Wild Camping tips. Hope all your adventures are safe.

    reply
  • We like all that you do and how you do it. We always enjoy your twist on things!

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  • Randy Spencer

    This sort of article is why I follow you, totally cover all the bases, congrats

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  • Oh how I miss all the wonderful boondocking opportunities for ‘Wild Camping’ out there in the west!

    I’d like to share a couple of the resources we use to find free & cheap camping opportunities:

    http://www.FreeCampSites.net – Free resource, run by fellow younger full time RVers.

    http://www.allstays.com – Great website, with a highly regarded smartphone app to go along with it.

    http://www.overnightrvparking.com – Run by a fellow full time RVer with a $25/year fee. He verifies all information submitted.

    Also, in our experience – once you get outside of California, state parks are much more reasonably priced across the country. We’re currently bouncing around Florida, where state parks range from $17-24/night (except down in the Keys) – with electric & water hook-ups. And they’re amazing parks!

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    • Markus

      The allstays RV app saved our trip to the Southwest! I can highly recommend it. http://www.allstays.com/apps/camprv.htm
      Yes, there are lots of BLM grounds in the Southwest – but only very few are accessible with a 25 feet RV… So this app led us to great and affordable places!

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  • “Wild Camping” Love it!

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  • Gary

    This is a great source of information just what I’m looking for. thanks a lot of guys.

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  • The Grand Teton’s photo is absolutely beautiful!! Seriously you should consider selling your photos as stock. I used to work for a camping company and they would love to find photos like that.

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  • ha.. it’s funny you have an ad from campbell cove (of the many in lake h) this is where we camped while there! love the photos of your big rig in the wilderness..

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