We’ve mentioned in quite a few of our posts that we use “Boondockers Welcome” sites. So, what exactly is it and is it worth it?
What Is Boondockers Welcome?
Boondockers Welcome is safe, legal, and free overnight RV parking on fellow RVers property. Free as in no fee per night, but there is a small annual membership fee.
There are two different memberships – one where you are a “host” and can offer up property for use, and one where you are simply a user of other people’s property. They know not everyone is able to host other members, for a variety of reasons.
We pay $50/year to become a part of this community for a year, and it pays for itself instantly.
Connecting with the Boondockers Welcome Network
This community stretches throughout North America and even a few other countries. Connecting with members is done easily through their online portal. We’ve booked as far as a few weeks in advance to just a day. These are real people in real neighborhoods just being friendly neighbors to the RVers that need a place to stay.
The site’s map makes it easy to locate Boondockers Welcome sites around your destination or travel route. Here is a search in Florida:
Each location has been generalized for the privacy and security of members. Exact locations are given by the host after contact is made via the online portal.
Each host’s profile gives you a little information about them and the area as well as reviews from other about staying at the site.
The “sites” can be any extra space someone has on their property. It might be an extra driveway, it may be a parking spot in the yard, or it might be a full-hookup designated camper spot the owners installed for frequent RV visitors. You may find yourself in a subdivision or parked next to some cows on a country farm. The Online Portal will tell you all about the site and frequently provide a photo of the space.
From our experience, if it says it will accept 30 ft but you’re 33 ft, you might send the owner a note to clarify. It might just be that they don’t want huge rigs coming all the time, but once in while would be fine.
Be sure to read through the reviews and info about each site. Most of the sites we’ve been to have been great, but some can be a little tight for some rigs. We had to turn around in a fenced-in yard one time and got stuck! No worries though – the host very graciously lent us a hand at getting un-stuck.
Here are some photos from a few of our Boondockers Welcome stays:
We just send the folks a message via the online messaging portal.
We tell them a bit about ourselves and our fifthwheel and our dogs, and ask about availability for the dates we are interested in. Reply notifications come right to our email inbox. We get directions and contact info, and then we show up on the determined day. It’s really that easy!
I’m actually at one right now as I’m writing this blog post in Maryville, TN!
Why We Love Boondockers Welcome
We mostly use Boondockers Welcome spots as a single overnight stop, replacing the need to stop at a Walmart, a Cracker Barrel, or rest stop. It is preferable for a number of reasons: generally more peace and quiet, you can put out your slides, and usually you’ll have some pretty good conversation with some pretty cool people.
Some places even let you hook up your water and/or electric! You just can’t beat that. However, we have stayed multiple nights, and have had property owners try to persuade us to stay for longer!
It isn’t uncommon for hosts to offer help if you’re in a bind. Once, while in Montana, we had a Boondockers Welcome host offer us to use his tools and big work garage to rebuild the front end of our Ram 3500 truck.
Once we’ve been to a place, often we’ll be invited to come back whenever we want – even if they property owners aren’t around.
Interested in Joining?
If you are interested in joining this network, check them out here!
We are a part of their affiliate program, so we get a small commission for anyone who signs up through this link. We appreciate your support!
This post is a review of Boondockers Welcome. All opinions are our own from our experience since being a member since October 2015.
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