We are always looking for ways to RV frugally and uniquely. We stay in RV parks, but sometimes we want to get away from it all and have a different kind of experience.
Boondockers Welcome is one of the best ways to accomplish this. We have enjoyed our membership and always recommend it to folks as they start thinking about RV boondocking.
So, what is Boondockers Welcome and why should you join? Keep reading to find out.
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How Boondockers Welcome Began
Marianne Edwards and her husband boondocked a lot and they would meet other RVers during their travels.
They found themselves inviting these RVers to stay on their property…and those same RVers would then invite Marianne and her husband to also stay with them.
After years of this, Marianne and her daughter Anna created Boondockers Welcome in the hopes of creating a network and community of like-minded RVers. It would be a place where RVers could meet, exchange information, and provide one another a place to stay.
Now let’s talk about why you should join!
Membership is Inexpensive:
A yearly membership for Boondockers Welcome guests is only $50.
There are no additional fees, you don’t have to pay your hosts for your stay. However, if you find yourself staying with someone offering water and electricity, it is courteous to offer to pay a nominal fee for your water and electrical use. Some hosts will ask for an extra $5-$10 for electricity, but you will know this ahead of time and decide on another host or just go and not use the electricity.
There are very few, if any, yearly memberships that are so inexpensive and that have no additional fees. This is a really great opportunity for anyone that is RVing on a budget.
Depending on your RV lifestyle, you may be able to RV full time and pay only $50 per year for your RV site!!
You can Find a Spot Nearly Anywhere
There are Boondockers Welcome locations throughout the USA, Canada, Europe, Australia, and a handful of other countries.
Once you start RV camping, you will find out that low-cost RV campsites are not readily available in urban areas. Boondockers Welcome helps RVers find boondocking opportunities where you might not expect them.
Keep in mind that even when Boondockers Welcome locations are available, they might not be able to fit your rig. We found ourselves searching in urban areas and only found places that could accommodate RVs less than 25 feet. This isn’t going to work for us or many other RVers out there. So, make sure that you search and pay attention to what size RV they are able to handle.
Boondockers Welcome is a safe way to Boondock
If you are new to boondocking, this is a fantastic way to get started.
You are staying on your host’s private property. If you run into any emergencies, you have nearby help.
Hosts with Boondockers Welcome are locals, they know the area and they can help you find recommended places to visit and where to get any needed items (groceries, fuel, doctors, etc.).
With Boondockers Welcome, you don’t have to worry about staying in parking lots. I’m not saying Walmart isn’t a safe place to overnight, but staying at someone’s house or on their land, someone you have chatted with and feel comfortable with always feels safer.
It’s a great way to make new friends
We use Boondockers Welcome whenever we can for the reasons we have already mentioned, but being able to get to know other RVers and to make new friends is yet another reason we love this membership.
We have made friends in Virginia, New York, New Hampshire, Ohio, and Maine.
Boondockers Welcome simply gives you a safe place to park with welcoming folks.
In our experience, Boondockers Welcome Hosts have always offered us many wonderful experiences:
- We were greeted by friendly horses in the morning
- Invited to local events and hiking trails on 60 acres
- Given kayaks to use during our stay
- Provided with hookups and babysitting
- Taken to local attractions and treated to dinner
It reminded us of the good that is out there and proved that the RV community is warm and welcoming.
It’s wonderful to feel such camaraderie and love when you are so far from home.
Sometimes you get extras
For the most part, Boondockers Welcome is dry camping – camping without water, sewer, or electricity.
Sometimes though, the hosts provide some hookups.
Since Boondockers Welcome parking spots are owned by individuals and not campgrounds, each host provides something different.
Some can only accommodate very small units on the street, while others can have 40 ft motorhomes with hookups.
The Boondockers Welcome website allows hosts the option to provide information regarding the available amenities. You have many opportunities to communicate with your host before you show up. This way you know your hosts, their expectations, and they know you and your expectations. During this communication, both you and your host can make sure it’s a good fit for everyone’s needs.
Along with all the awesome things I have already mentioned, there are some bonuses you get as members!!
You can get discounts for the following:
- RVillage Rallies
- RV Boondocking e-book
- Harvest Host Membership
- RV Trader
- RV Mobile Internet Aficionados
- Fulltime Families Membership
- RV Health
- AND MORE!
Click here to get the full list of resources!
What if I want to Host Boondockers?
If you have a property and would like to host via Boondockers Welcome, make sure you understand how the membership works, what your responsibilities are, and what you can expect as a host.
There is a fee for hosts, but with host rewards, host memberships are offered at 50% off the guest membership and you can earn additional discounts. Details about host rewards are available here.
Also, make sure that you know the rules and regulations in your area. Just because you have space on your property for RVs doesn’t mean that you can have people staying in their RVs on your property. Some HOAs don’t allow RVs on the property at all and even some city and county ordinances won’t allow RVs for more than a day or two.
Review the FAQs and see if it is right for you. Click here.
Boondockers Welcomes Etiquette
Basically, it all comes down to respect. Be the guest that you would like to host.
Do not make arrangements with a host that cannot accommodate your RV. Property owners that are hosting via Boondockers Welcome know how much room they have and what type of RV they can have on their property. If they say they can fit nothing bigger than 35 feet, that’s the maximum size they can fit.
Do not take advantage of your access to water, electric or wifi. Even if you are paying a nominal fee, use amenities as if you were paying for them a la carte.
Please observe quiet hours! If you are running a generator, please do so between 8 am and 10 pm unless otherwise instructed by your host.
Always disclose who you are traveling with – 4 adults, 2 adults and 5 kids, 3 indoor senior kitties, etc. We found the perfect place, a cattle ranch. Then we found out that due to liability, they could not allow us to stay with our children. The last thing you or your host needs is to have to deal with an issue like this once you have arrived.
If you are staying with children and pets, make sure they are not running wild on someone else’s property. Even if they say “oh, the kids are fine” or “yeah, your dog can run around” keep an eye on them for their safety and the safety of others.
So are you ready to join?
Boondockers Welcome is inexpensive, safe, and a great way to meet new RVers.
If you are ready to learn more or sign up, please click here.
I have nothing but positive things to say about Boondockers Welcome.
One day, when we have land again, we will be honored to provide a place for RVers to stay. Until then, we will collect memories and friends visiting hosts across the country!
If you are interested in other ways to save on RV sites, check out this post: How to Save on RV Parks and Campgrounds.
Please let us know if you have any questions and what your experience has been if you are already a member. Thank you!