Viewers on my YouTube channel ask me all the time, how I find the Most AMAZING FREE campsites for boondocking in my Class C RV. Below, I’m going to share with you my best tips and secrets for how I find free campsites for boondocking locations using my favorite apps. So let’s talk about Boondocking.
What is Boondocking?
Boondocking simply means “dry-camping” outside of a formal campground. It’s formally called “Dispersed Camping”. There are no services! No toilets, garbage service, water, or electrical hookups. Just you and nature! While it feels wild and free there are some rules and regulations, so be sure to check with the Public Land Agency you’re visiting before camping anywhere.
The Best Websites for Free Boondocking Campsites
So, let’s jump right into the tips and what I use for finding free campsites. I have two favorite websites:
These two websites are invaluable to my RV Life! You plug in the city or town you’re in or simply use your current location’s GPS coordinates and it will show you places that other boondockers have reported. Here’s why I love these resources:
- Each provides great detailed information about the sites they list.
- They tell you conditions and what size rig it would accommodate.
- They often tell you if there’s a cell signal and which carriers pick up service.
- Most sites are reviewed by others, which is invaluable!
In most cases, I already know if I can get there with my 25ft Class C RV before I arrive.
Next, let’s talk about other tools I use for finding my own special boondocking spots!
Are there Apps for finding my own Boondocking off The Beaten Path??
“Is there an app for that?” is probably the first thing you think or say when someone says you should try something new. The answer is YES, of course, there are Apps for going off the beaten path ad exploring public lands on your own! Here are a few of my favorite apps that are available for Androids, iPhones/iPads, and Google devices.
Free Apps and Tools for Going Off the Beaten Path
- Google Earth & Google Maps (Free Apple App Store & Android Google Play Store): Google Maps with Satellite view is my FAVORITE App! If you want to avoid crowded sites and like exploring remote places, you’ll love using Google Satellite View for boondocking. I can use Google Maps to virtually explore National Forests, Deserts (BLM), and other Public Lands for potential camping spots away from the crowds. Then, I can use Google’s Satellite layer to explore an area further by zooming in on the map. It’s the perfect tool because it allows me to can get right down to the road and see any openings for camping. So for me in Class C RV, being able to see the road is really important and it gives me a good idea of whether or not I would be able to drive the roads.
- FreeRoam (Free Apple App Store & Android Google Play Store): This app will help you find campgrounds, boondocking, and RV Parks. There is a filter setting for things like the weather, safety, crowdedness, cell signal, and more. You can also find nearby dump sites, fresh water, groceries, propane, and more. You can even find routes around low clearances! There is a lot of detail with this app than can help you plan routes and make the most of your next campout.
Purchased Apps and Membership Websites for Finding Free Campsites
Now a few tips on apps that you will need to purchase for finding free campsites.
- US Public Lands App ($2.99 Apple App Store & Android Google Play Store): This app will show you an overlay map of public lands around you. It will show you the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Forest Service, National Park Service, Army Corp of Engineers, and more. Moreover, you never have to guess where one boundary begins and one ends.
- Boondocker’s Welcome & Harvest Hosts App (The App is Free Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store): Boondockers Welcome (boondockerswelcome.com) and their app, Harvest Hosts, are great for escaping crowded campgrounds and instead of finding a private spot to camp that is provided by a host. The annual membership fee is $50 and the app (Harvest Hosts) is free to download. What you get in return is access to over 2900 Host locations across the country on private property to boondock for free. You must have a self-contained RV that can dry camp for as long as your stay. This is not for tent camping or vans. Travel Trailers, motorhomes, and truck campers are allowed.
Ready, Set, Let’s Camp!
I hope these resources help you find some amazing boondocking spots this spring and summer. If you’ve never tried boondocking, I hope you will give these resources a try and go explore our beautiful country! Get out there and travel the unknown roads and live adventurously! I’ve listed more apps and vids, below. As always…be HAPPY, be FREE, be KIND.
Helpful Vids & Links:
How to Drive an RV on Mountain Roads Without Killing Your Brakes
Remote Boondocking in a 29′ Class C RV
Easily Share Your Location with Family and Friends with Google Maps
BEST Tires for Boondocking RV Life
My Favorite Free RV Camping Spots
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DISCLAIMER: Carolyn’s RV Life and Carolyn Higgins share her experiences, thoughts, opinions and ideas in this blog post and on this website for entertainment purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, instruction or guidance. Viewers/Readers should consult with professionals before pursing any actions or behaviors exhibited in this video. Carolyn’s RV Life or Carolyn Higgins cannot be held liable in the event of any accident or injury that may occur as a result of application of procedures and information provided in this video.