If you’re planning to hit the open road in an RV this summer, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before you gas up and go, including what to pack, where to go, and which campgrounds or RV parks to book. Finding a safe place to sleep for every night of your journey can seem daunting and expensive, but thankfully, Boondockers Welcome is here to simplify your trip (and save your budget) with free overnight RV parking on private property around the U.S. and Canada.
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Marianne Edwards, chief Boondocker and co-founder of Boondockers Welcome, created this platform with her daughter, Anna Maste, to solve an issue she encountered throughout her 15 years of RV-ing. “I recognized the need for a better option than a noisy Walmart parking lot when we were en route and only looking for a safe, legal place to stop for the night. I knew how friendly and welcoming RVers are; we frequently exchanged invitations to stop and visit while exploring each other's home turf,” she said. Boondockers Welcome doesn’t just benefit the RVers who get a free place to stay. Edwards says it’s great for those who host, too. “Not only is hosting RVers easy — they carry everything they need with them to be self-sufficient guests — but they're good company, too. We love the opportunity to share our travel stories with someone who's genuinely interested. That's how the idea for Boondockers Welcome was born,” she added.
What is Boondockers Welcome?
Boondockers Welcome is a community of hosts — people who own property and allow RVers to park on it — and guests who are looking for a place to stay overnight. Guests pay $50 per year to access the community of hosts on Boondockers Welcome — they don’t have to pay to stay on a host’s property (although they’re encouraged to pay for any utilities or electricity they use), so this is a great way to save money during an RV trip. Guests can stay at a location for up to five nights, and they have to be traveling in a fully self-contained RV that has a bed, sink with a grey water holding tank, and toilet.
According to Carrie Andress, community support specialist for Boondockers Welcome, “Host locations can range from a driveway at a house in downtown San Francisco to several acres of land in the country with no one else in sight. Many hosts are RVers themselves, are new to RVing, and looking to get more information about the lifestyle or just simply enjoy the company of guests.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, Boondockers Welcome has seen a big uptick in new hosts joining the platform, especially as campgrounds closed to combat the spread of the virus. Campgrounds are beginning to reopen again, but according to Andress, “Boondockers Welcome is an even better and safer option for RVers as it is completely easy to social distance from your host and you aren’t surrounded by other RVers.” With hundreds of locations across the U.S., Boondockers Welcome provides a great option for RVers looking for isolated and private places to camp while they explore the country this summer.