Be My Guest Overnight RV Parking.
We’ve been RVing for 13 years and often travel to the southern states to escape the Canadian winters. Our home province is Ontario, so Florida is our nearest warm-climate destination, and yet it’s the one southern state my husband, Randy, and I haven’t been to. Why? Since we’re penny pinchers, you would think that the high fuel prices of the last few years would make Florida our first choice. But fuel is only one of the top two expenses of traveling in an RV. The other is camping.
Southern Texas, Arizona, and California may be farther but, over the course of several months, the benefit of lower-priced or free camping (boondocking) far outweighs the extra fuel cost. Over many decades, Florida has become overpopulated, especially in the winter months. Demand exceeds supply meaning that finding reasonably-priced and available camping in peak season is difficult, if not impossible.
Yet, for the first time, we plan to tour Florida this winter. And we’re expecting to pay for camping only occasionally, if at all. How? By parking overnight at the homes of fellow RVers at locations spread across the state, that’s how! At the moment, there are 36 such locations in Florida; more are being added all the time. Have we met that many RVers who happen to own property in Florida? Not yet but we have their invitation none the less and so can you.
While you may worry about the price of fuel, you can’t do much about it but you CAN camp for free. A new RV club, www.boondockerswelcome.com, matches RVers on the road with those who are at home and have a free, legal, safe overnight RV parking space to offer. This is not another site where RVers list Walmarts, casinos and other free overnight RV parking places they know of. In fact, you’ll find none of those listed. What you will find is hundreds of locations across the continent where you can arrange a free overnight stop on private property – no matter where you are traveling across the nation and, potentially, around the world.
More than just a safe place to park overnight, you might even begin amazing new friendships, include a bit of social time, and find out about the “must-sees” of the area. Who better than locals to hand you maps and tourist brochures and point out the hidden gems, favorite hikes, best restaurant, or cheapest fuel price?
Find a Campsite Easy
The website’s search features allow you to look for stops along your route with your specific needs in mind – the size of your rig, whether pets are welcome, or generators are allowed, etc. Although the site’s name, “boondocking,” suggests no services, many hosts have electric and water hookups available. An annual membership is less than one night in a campground and RVers who can’t offer a host location themselves are welcome too. You can view all the site’s offerings before you join.
Through Boondockers Welcome, I think we have created a service that will endure – one that benefits RVers and the RV industry as a whole. Our hope is that it will continue to grow and spread outside of Canada and the USA and give us the opportunities and incentive to travel in our own country but also to visit parts of the world we never thought we’d see by RV.
On our winter trip this year, Randy and I are planning to spend a whole month in Florida – enjoying the beaches and the parks but, not necessarily the campgrounds – we’ll be hopping from one Boondockers Welcome location to another.
For more information on boon-docking, check out Florida Outdoors RV free Ultimate Guide to Boondocking eBook.