RVing is a great way to get outside and relax. In our fast-paced world, we all need this time away! If you really want to enjoy a peaceful escape, boondocking is the way to go. But what is boondocking, where can you boondock, and how do you find the best spots? Keep reading! We’ve got the full scoop, including a list of boondocking apps that will help you locate amazing free campsites!
What Is Boondocking?
If you’ve never heard of boondocking before, you might not even know what it is. Boondocking is a fairly simple concept; it’s basically camping for free without hookups.
For camping off-grid like this, there are many things to consider before actually heading out to a remote camp spot. These things include your water tank capacity (fresh, grey, and black), a power source (like solar), a way to use the bathroom, a way to cook food, and a way to manage your trash. Once you have these off-grid living aspects covered, free camping, here you come!
➔ New to boondocking? Start here: Important Things To Know Before You Go
Tips for Finding the Best Boondocking Spots
There are plenty of places you can boondock—from public lands to parking lots. But just like traditional RV parks, not all boondocking spots are created equal. To get the best sites and stay safe on the road, there are a few simple things you can do.
First, read reviews. It’s best to read them from multiple sources to get a solid picture of what to expect. Another way to get the best spots is to scout them out yourself. This isn’t always possible, but when it is, scouting first is always a good plan. You’ll see what the area is like before committing to staying there. If you get any bad vibes or the spot just doesn’t meet your expectations, then you can keep searching for better options.
Pro Tip: If you’re boondocking for the first time, preparation is key to having an enjoyable experience. Check out these 40 RV Boondocking Tips To Make Your Off-Grid Camping Better.
Best Boondocking Apps and Websites
To find the best places to boondock, we recommend using one or several of these boondocking apps. Not only can you find free campsites, but you can read reviews and locate nearby resources like dump stations. Again, reading reviews is especially important if you can’t check a site out in person. Let’s dive in!
Freecampsites.net is an awesome boondocking website. It is community-driven, which means other campers share places to camp. What’s awesome about this app is freecampsites.net is totally free to use.
If you decide to use this website, consider sharing your favorite free campgrounds. If they aren’t already there, this is a great way to give back to the community. After camping, you can also leave a review to let other people know how it was.
Freecampsites.net focuses primarily on public lands. This map-based search engine allows you to scope out hundreds of campsites. Simply enter a location, and the map will show you all of your options nearby. We have found a lot of amazing campsites this way and hope you will too.
Another option is both a website (campendium.com) and a boondocking app. Campendium lets you search for a variety of things. You can find RV parks, free campsites, and dump stations with just a simple search. The dump station search is definitely a lifesaver for boondocking. Users can complete a form to add new sites, so the website is constantly being updated.
The website and app let you search for places to camp by city, state, zip code, national park, state park, state forest, or campground name. Once you enter a search term, a map populates with all the campsites available in the surrounding area. They show both tent campsites and RV campsites.
To find boondocking sites, you can filter by price and choose “free”. Once you click on a campsite, you’ll get information and reviews about it. The information includes amenities, site length, number of sites, whether pets are allowed, cell coverage in the area, and more. They also often have pictures of the site and surrounding area. It’s a great one-stop-shop for finding boondocking sites and paid RV parks.
This is another awesome boondocking app and website. It has more than just boondocking, though. You can search for all kinds of things. iOverlander has campsites, hotels, hostels, fuel stations, propane, mechanics, dump stations, short-term parking, water, Wi-Fi, showers, and more. If you can’t find it on iOverlander, it probably doesn’t exist. This app is a bit more geared toward car and van camping and overlanding, so be sure to read the reviews to understand the space available and road conditions.
If you are looking to RV or travel internationally, iOverlander is incredibly helpful. It has thousands of places to stay across the globe. And with their app for iPhone or Android, you can take it along in your pocket.
This boondocking app lets you add new places, leave comments and reviews, and see the most up-to-date information. iOverlander is free to use. If you love it, there is an option on their website to donate time or money to the cause.
Their trip planning feature is a little tricky to use at first. But they have a video walking you through how to use it. You can even use it to find RV safe routes by entering your rig height and opting for trucking routes. FreeRoam lets you set how far you would like to travel in a day. Then, you can visualize the next stopping point on the map.
Another helpful feature is the option to filter. You can filter by campground type, price (set to $0 for free boondocking), cell signal, amenities, rig length, and more. Once you find a potential campsite, you can see details and reviews.
US Public Lands App
This app isn’t free, but at a current price of $2.99, there isn’t much to complain about. You can purchase it on Android and iOS devices. The focus of this boondocking app is, unsurprisingly, US Public Lands.
It is important to note that the US Public Lands App creators consider their app a boondocker’s assistant to help find public land borders. The app does not include specific details regarding campgrounds. Rather, it provides an overlay on the map showing you where you might find campsites. It would be best to use this app in conjunction with one of the other great boondocking apps listed here.
Allstays Boondocking Apps and Website
AllStays has several useful boondocking apps in addition to their website. Each app costs between $1.99 and $9.99 as of this writing. They have apps for camping and RVing, overnight parking at Walmart, finding rest stops and dump stations, among others. Currently, the AllStays apps are only for iOS devices, but anyone can use the website.
The website has both a free and a paid Pro version. Campgrounds are broken down by state. Once you select a state, you can map all the campgrounds in that state. There are options to filter by land or park type as well as amenities.
After selecting a campground, AllStays provides additional information. You can see what amenities and features the park has, as well as reviews of the park. Unlike some other websites, most of the campgrounds don’t have photos. You also have to pay for AllStays Pro, which is currently $34.95 per year, to access the filter-by-price feature.
Boondocking is available for iOS devices at a current price of just $0.99. This app will show you free campsites across the country, and there are over 1,260 locations to choose from.
The Boondocking app has a few great features. One is the ability to use the app and find campgrounds even without the internet. Since many of the places you will boondock at might not have a great internet connection, this is super helpful. Additionally, you can get driving distance, local weather, and photos for each site.
The app also allows you to filter based on amenities, access to water, elevation, and more. Even though you have to pay for this app, it is definitely worth the 99 cents if you are a regular or even occasional boondocker.
Pro Tip: Having trouble staying connected while boondocking? Learn How To Get Reliable RV Internet On The Move.
The Dyrt App
The Dyrt is a fabulous boondocking app. It has over 1 million campsites to choose from. You can find free and paid camping on public lands, county parks, private RV parks, National parks, military parks, and more. It was rated the #1 camping app of 2020 and has 4.6 out of 5 stars on Google Play. Plus, you can use it with either iOS or Android devices.
There is a free and pro version. The Dyrt Pro requires an annual membership. However, we think it’s totally worth it at only $35.99 per year! Bonuses of Pro include the option to search offline, plan trips, download maps, and even get camping discounts.
Campgrounds have reviews, photos, weather, and everything else you need to know before planning a stay. You can also filter your search to hone in on sites that meet your exact criteria. The website and app are simple to use, making it one of the more user-friendly boondocking apps by far.
USFS & BLM Campgrounds App
USFS & BLM Campgrounds is a paid boondocking app, but it costs just 99 cents. You’ll be able to use the app to discover almost 5,700 campsites. You can search across various types of public lands, so you don’t miss out on the best spots on US Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land.
Each location shows additional information, including elevation, images, and weather in the area. You can use it easily with a navigation system. Not to mention, you can search for campgrounds even without cell service, which is a great bonus!
Apps Make Boondocking Easier
Boondocking has become so much easier thanks to technology. You might not be able to use all your tech in the boonies. But you can sure use it to help you find the perfect place to escape to. These boondocking apps and websites are a perfect addition to your RV arsenal. With their help, you’ll be able to plan the perfect trip every time!
We Love Boondocking
We love boondocking, and we love RVing in Florida. Many people assume that Florida is so busy and developed that there isn’t any boondocking available. Not so fast! Check out our post on How To Find Amazing Free Boondocking In Florida using the tools above, plus a few additional tricks from our personal experience!
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