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Old 04-30-2015, 12:28 PM   #1
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Brevard , North Carolina
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Newby question about boondocking

I read all the posts under boon docking but there were no answers.....just a bunch of stories about how great it is.

We finally got the 23' '73 Safari in good shape with everything working but now I'm afraid to leave and go camping at random. I don't want to plan or make reservations. We are headed to New England for 6 weeks of roaming around in rural areas, not cities. Mostly we plan to stay in state parks.

What I need to know is what kind of places can I overnight besides Wallmart? What are the legalities of just parking somewhere?
Where do I have the right to park and sleep and for how long? Can I overnight at rest stops or truck Stops? I thought about finding a empty house for sale and using their driveway.....or maybe church parking lots. I don't want to be run off by the police or security people. I'm sort of afraid to go down back roads and gave to back this trailer for a couple of miles to get out.

I am afraid to take off in case we can't find a park and we have to spend the night just driving the expressway. We're in our 70s so that's not safe. I just need some backup ideas. We can't afford expensive camping parks. Can I park in shopping center lots?

Any ideas to help me feel more comfortable are welcome.


Lynn and Chuck in Dewdrop the Airstream
Mountains of NC
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After circumnavigating on 40' sailboat, cruising the USA in our '73 Safari, Tara!
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:37 PM   #2
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You will have to ask at Walmarts, not all allow over night parking. As to parking/squatting on private property without having permission from the owners, you are going to have to take your chances. Technically it is trespassing and could lead to legal issues. There are thousands of miles of dirt fire roads and hundreds of lakes in Maine. Most are open to the public. Some are gated by the lumber companies. When I lived there I used to tent camp all the time on the lakes. Never had any problems. Might be a different story with a trailer. I do not know the current status of overnighting at highway rest stops in Maine. Personally I say just go, have fun and do not worry about the small stuff.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:16 PM   #3
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If ever in Oregon, the Willameete Valley, you can park at our place----it's lovely 20 acre farm, 7 acres treated as a park along Butte creek, small waterfalls, swimming hole, trees, peaceful, etc. Free! Keep us in mind if you ever come our way.
I know this isn't an answer to your question. When I was a child, our parents used to overnight in Catholic Church / school playgrounds. Now that is frowned upon. However, I recently read that a member made a point of asking the Parish priest with the offer to pick up litter.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:21 PM   #4
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Walmart has been good to us in our travels. The only negative has been the noise of the early morning vacuum truck as it cleans the parking lot. A small thing for what they are offering I say. I hear that Cracker Barrel restaurants will allow us to stay in their lots but have never tried. Same for Flying J truck stops. On our way to Florida in January we asked and were allowed to overnight at a Camping World in Roanoak, Va. I've also heard that Cabela's sporting stores will allow. The one in Hamburg, Pa even has a dump station way out back in their parking lot. Never stayed there yet. Not so many National Forests here in the East but out west most ( maybe all) will allow dispursed camping. That means almost anywhere you can pull off and be as remote and secluded as you want. So, as you see there are some options. Perhaps others will offer more suggestions. Roadside rest areas, I'd be cautious about using. The forum also has a list of those who will offer courtesy overnight parking as does the WBCCI directory.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:36 PM   #5
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I am still relatively new to RV'ing, but what I keep hearing from very experienced RV'ers is very often that they really have almost never been unable to find a suitable RV park to stay...a little bit of planning ahead and I am sure? you will be fine and that mostly you are just worrying about something that is unlikely?

I am far too paranoid personally to stop off on property that I am unsure is private, or I am uncertain about....but that is just me...
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:39 PM   #6
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Map of Free Camping Areas | Go Camping for Free!
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:42 PM   #7
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Roger....that's just what I need to know to feel a little more comfortable. I have the nerve to try....it's just that we take meds that make driving unsafe. Yeah...we could skip them but that's not good either. I was gonna use that as an excuse why we'd have to wait until morning. I'm episcopalian and thought about using a church parking lot in a real pinch.....
You've taken the time to give me more confidence.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:47 PM   #8
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There is a Facebook group ''Airstream Courtesy Parking". I believe there is an organization that for a small annual fee will help you connect w/ farms, orchards, wineries that allow camping on their property.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:51 PM   #9
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Wow....you guys are a big help. I always found such good help on this forum....thanks a bunch. I love that free camp sight page.
We sailed all the way around the world, anchoring in exotic places, so it's not that we aren't brave, just unfamiliar.
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Old 04-30-2015, 01:58 PM   #10
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Duncan's....I kept your info for our trip out west. We have over an acre in mountains of NC but not level enuf for another AS! Let us know if you come this way.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:03 PM   #11
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:08 PM   #12
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:03 PM   #13
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A Little Pre-Planning is the Key

You can solve your dilemma by a little advance planning, even if just a few days ahead. *Check a number of web sites that cater to folks seeking free overnight arrangements. Armed with data you can have a terrific trip.

Http://www.freecampsites.net
Http://www.freecampgrounds.com
http://www.boondockerswelcome.com
Overnight RV Parking * ($25/yr but has ~12,000 N.Am. spots)

Remember, anytime you want to stay on private property (church, store, etc.) always ask for permission from the store manager, priest, whomever is in charge/owner.

Overnight Etiquette-
- Stay one night only!
- Obtain permission from a qualified individual; don't rely on a store clerk.
- Obey posted regulations.
- No awnings, chairs, or barbecue grills outside your RV.
- Do not use jacks on soft surfaces (including asphalt).
- Always leave an area cleaner than you found it.
- Purchase gas, food, or supplies as a form of thank you, when feasible.
- Be safe! Always be aware of your surroundings and leave if you feel unsafe.

If you haven't already, get the seniors national park pass which is good for 50% discount on camping (if there is a charge) and free entrance to federal parks: Nat'l Forests are free. It can help cut costs when you find no other available option.
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:07 PM   #14
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And go to youtube and watch seemore's videos!
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