Are you looking for RV boondocking locations throughout the United States? Well, we have a shortlist of RV camping locations that we have fallen in love with. From free campgrounds to dispersed camping locations, here are the 5 best RV boondocking locations we have found.
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Before we Begin
Boondocking is camping out in the boonies on public land without hookups. It is also be referred to as dispersed camping.
Dry camping is any RV camping without hookups (no water, no sewer, no electricity). It is the named usually given to organized campgrounds without hookups.
This blog post will explore both boondocking and dry camping locations that we have enjoyed as a full-time RVing family of 4.
RV Boondocking on the Florida Panhandle
There’s plenty of RV camping in Florida, but finding free dry camping spots is a little trickier. Most boondocking in Florida falls under wildlife management and requires online registration.
Our favorite dry camping spot in Florida is Bayside Campground (AKA Escribano Point Wildlife Management Area, AKA Grassy Point) on the Florida Panhandle.
The campground has 12 sites on the water with zero hookups. Before you arrive, make sure to have empty waste tanks, a full fresh water tank, and a generator/solar for your electric needs.
Bayside campground is beautiful, quiet, and offers plenty of water activities and wilderness hikes. Watch out for wildlife, it’s everywhere!
RV Boondocking In Tennessee
We found one of the nicest free campgrounds in Tennessee: Meriwether Lewis National Monument Campground. It’s paved, and it has super clean restrooms.
This is another dry camping location, but there are 2 water spigots to fill up your freshwater and the bathrooms are heated and have outlets – you can charge your devices in a pinch!
The campground has 32 paved sites that are first-come, first-serve and fit anything from a tent to a large motorhome.
This is a place to hike, refresh yourself in Little Swann Creek, and explore a piece of history.
RV Boondocking in Maine
Unlike the dry camping spots I’ve listed so far, I’m including a state park in Maine that ISN’T free. It is a well-defined campground that requires reservations and a fee ($25), but there are zero hook-ups. Your campsite (1 out of 30) is unpaved and includes a picnic table and fire pit.
Aroostook State Park has 1 amazing bathhouse. They are clean and private. The entire building has numerous doors that lead to private individual toilets and shower stalls. In addition to the bathhouse, there are 4 vault toilets and 2 water spigots.
Unlike most parks in Maine, Aroostook State Park is open 365-days a year! This means you can enjoy kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling!
RV Boondocking in Colorado
There is no shortage of boondocking in and around Colorado and we have just begun to scratch the surface. I’m finally getting into what most people envision when we talk about boondocking, up on a mountain, surrounded by mountains, and no designated campsites.
Mount Shavano Wildlife Area is located in Salida and is a gorgeous dispersed camping BLM location. The road up to the camping area is rough and unpaved, but once you get up there, you can pick and choose a fairly level spot. There is absolutely nothing up there except you, nature, and other boondockers. Be prepared with your own water, electricity, and make sure those holding tanks are empty.
Once you set camp, get outside to hike, bike, or just enjoy the beautiful views of the Rockies. You’re just minutes from historic Salida with shops, eats, drinks, the Arkansas River and so much more.
RV Boondocking in Arizona
Once again, we are in the land of boondocking. Arizona has no shortage of dispersed camping and amazing ecosystems that make your jaw drop. It is also the location of the Grand Canyon. There is a lot of camping within the park, but there are other options out there.
The Kaibab National Forest is all around the Grand Canyon and has plenty of first-come, first-serve dispersed camping with zero hookups. This is a great way to avoid the crowds, although if the park’s campgrounds are full, everyone ends up in this boondocking area. You need to have everything you need before you get here, fill that freshwater tank and empty those tanks and have plenty of fuel if you run a generator.
We stayed on Fire Road 688. It was just us and the woods. There are plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing, hiking, and biking, and of course, you are just down the street from the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
How to find RV Boondocking Locations
By this point, you might be wondering how I found these locations. Although you can search all over the internet for boondocking spots, our favorite source is freecampsites.net. It has everything you need – location (including GPS coordinates), details on terrain, cost, size of rig it will accommodate, cell signal and so much more. All the information is provided by folks that have been there and it is reliable. Occasionally you will find a location with hardly any information. We have never tried one without a good description, we just don’t have the luxury of time to check it out before we are ready to set up camp.
Other locations to search for boondocking sites:
Overnight RV Boondocking
The locations I listed are more than just overnight stays. They are either near some amazing locations or are a destination on their own. So, how do you find overnight locations along your route?
Freecampsites.net has listings for various businesses that allow overnight stops for sleepy RVers:
- Rest Areas
- Truck Stops
- Cracker Barrel (our FAVORITE! Safe, convenient to the interstate, and budget-friendly breakfast for the family!)
If you are looking for an overnight spot that is not at a business or public location, you might want to check Boondockers Welcome. It’s a member-only site, but only $50 a year!! After that, your stays are free or just a couple of dollars if your host provides hookups. Boondockers Welcome allows RVers to stay on private property. It’s a great way to stay somewhere safe and test out your boondocking skills. Without Boondockers Welcome, we would not have been able to take our amazing, budget-friendly RV trip from Florida to Maine. More than once, we found ourselves filling in our campground and RV park stays with staying on Boondockers Welcome properties.
Another option is Harvest Hosts. It is another member-only site and these are still business, but they are wineries, breweries, farms, and other places that offer a quieter and nicer spot than your typical overnight business location, and somewhere to do a little shopping. We haven’t purchased a membership yet because we can see ourselves blowing the budget on wine and draft beer!!
Well, what do you think? Hopefully, this list gave you a starting point as your research RV boondocking locations.
Ready to learn more about boondocking?