Where to camp and stay overnight in your RV in the USA?

Where to camp and stay overnight in your RV in the USA?

While traveling through the USA, you have several possibilities for staying overnight. Depending on what you are looking for, all amenities, free campsites, quiet spot, easy access, connection with local people, there is something for everyone and for every RV. 

Here are some of the most common camping experiences you might have:

Private campgrounds

Those campgrounds are privately managed. Prices vary depending on the amenities available such as firepits, showers, laundry facilities, playground, pools, etc. You can easily find those campgrounds on Google and make reservations.

NPS campgrounds

National Parks Services manages a large numbers of campgrounds located in all their parks. In high season, reservations are highly recommended because spots tend to fill up fast. Those campgrounds have prime location to explore the parks and are usually very affordable. Amenities might include electricity, water, dump and laundry facilities.

Camping on public lands

BLM (Bureau of Land Management)  or the US Forest Services managed large parts of land in the USA and have dedicated space for people to enjoy wild camping or boondocking. Those spots are usually free but cannot be reserved. Some might have firepits and picnic tables. You can usually stay for up to 14 days.

Harvest Hosts (HH)

HH is a network of  over 1000 wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, museums, and other unique locations where you can park for the night for free. The membership to this network is $79/year and gives you access to all the contact information for each one of those places. Those places host you for free hoping in exchange you might buy some of their products. Some places might allow you to park in the middle of their orchard while other will only offer you a spot on their parking lot. Depending on the type of places, you can have a tour of the farm or museums, and enjoy locally grown food or beverage.

Boondockers Welcome

This website is a community of fellow RVers that allow you to stay for free on their property. It’s a great way to meet local people while traveling and get advice on what to do and where to go. Some hosts even offer to their guests water, electricity and/or dump! The membership is $50 per year ($25 if you are also a host).

Wal-Mart, Cabella and other stores

Camping on the parking lots of some of those stores is allowed depending on the county that they are located in. We recommend that you call the store ahead of time just to confirm. No one likes to be waken up in the middle of the night and asked to leave. Definitely not the most glamorous spot you will find, but this might be a great way to catch some sleep while on a long road trip. We usually use those places when we know we are going to arrive late and leave early. You probably don’t want to spend your entire afternoon on a Wal-Mart parking lot…

Freecampsites.net and iOverlander

Some examples of applications and/or websites that can help you find a campsite or a place to stay overnight while you are traveling. Listings include free and paid options. We personally use those all the time, because it gives you a good idea of the possible campsites around you. Some towns in the USA have a free campground for people to enjoy and you will find them on those websites. Users can leave reviews and pictures for each site. They are very informative on how to get there, what type of RVs can access it or not, is it safe, clean, quiet, etc.

 

When choosing a campsite, we recommend that you think of the type of experience you want to have and the level of autonomy of your RV. Staying at a free campsite for several days with no amenities requires you to be fully autonomous, and monitor and conserve your electrical and water supply.

Alexia McA.

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