One of the great joy’s of having an RV is being able to go places, comfortably and easily. At least this is true for me. It’s not so much that it costs less than it would to travel by auto (or bus, plane or train) and stay in hostels, apartments or hotels… one can be a frugal or spendthrift traveler, no matter how one gets around.
What is great about RVing is the convenience of having a custom-convenience equipped studio apartment traveling along with you… so there is no packing and unpacking. At least not in the conventional motel-hopping sense.
There is, of course, the packing-up that must be done every time the mobile household is converted for use as a highway vehicle… and then converted back again when stopping overnight. Moreso even when moored to full-hookups and docked for several days or a week. And still, these routines can be managed pretty quickly and with no more effort than it would take to move into and out of motel. Thus to me — and apparently to a whole lot of us — the trade-offs are more than worthwhile.
Once the fun begins (see my list of things I might like to do at the bottom of this page), finding a good place to park is at the top of my list and boondocking is a welcome means for reducing the cost of travel. Especially when the travel-plan of the moment calls only to get from point A to point B expediently and there is no need to stop at an RV park.
Today, many business, municipal, county, state and federal locations charge little to nothing for an overnight place to call home. Many Walmarts, military campgrounds, Camping Worlds, Flying J’s, Pilot Travel Plazas, TA Travel Centers, Cracker Barrels, Cabelas, Bass Pro Shops, Sam’s Clubs, rest stops on Interstates, casinos, truck stops and hospitals, some private landowners, farmers, ranchers, vineyards and breweries greet self-contained RVs for a night or two, absolutely free.
For extended stays, there are many opportunities to ‘earn’ a site with full-hookups in exchange for doing chores like landscaping, bathroom cleaning or office work. Much of this work is seasonal, and some of it pays wages in addition to the RVsite.
Listed below are some of the many resources to find free or very thrifty places to camp and other resources useful to the Frugal RVer. Please contact a campsite directly for the most current information. And make sure to check out my list of places that look interesting at the end of this page… let me know if you have a favorite to suggest… <smile>
If you know of a site that should be listed here or find links that deserve updating, please email to Christine@gozarks.com
ALWAYS contact a campsite provider/host directly for the most accurate information about fees, availability-dates and discounts.
- Free Campgrounds
- RV Parky
- Overnight RV Parking
- The Good Luck Duck
- Free Campsites
- Walmart RVing: Yahoo group shares info about Walmart locations that permit overnight RV parking.
- Harvest Hosts: fee-based membership service that connects roadtrippers with property owners who allow self-contained RVers to boondock at wineries and farms.
- Boondockers Welcome: fee-based membership program for connecting private property owners and RVers.
- Guide to Free Campgrounds several directories available for purchase
- Free RV Camping lots of links to lots of campsites, parks and other resources
America the Beautiful – the National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass – admits the RV and passengers to various federal lands, recreation areas and campgrounds, some at no cost, some with a 50% reduction in standard rates:
- General Information on Federal Recreation Sites
- Bureau of Land Management
- Bureau of Reclamation
- Fish and Wildlife Service
- USDA Forest Service
- National Park Service
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Although only designated locations honor America the Beautiful Senior Pass (and it’s forerunner Golden Age Passport) discounts, nearly all campgrounds which offer any sort of discount to Seniors will accept it as proof of age-related eligibility.
SOCIAL NETWORKING & WORK-CAMPER RESOURES
PLACES THAT LOOK INTERESTING TO ME <smile>
Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, near Jasper, Arkansas. Has a week-long horseback riding program. Rents cabins — no mention of RVs. Would love to go horseback riding. Haven’t been since I was a kid.
Land of Oz at North Carolina’s Beech Mountain and a lot of other places on this Roadtrippers page look like fun.
More to come… see ya soon… <smile>