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Old 03-26-2012, 09:48 AM   #1
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Thoughts on boondocking

I am a newby, haven't even bought AS yet but am looking. I like the idea of boondocking and intend to do my share when I get AS. I would like to hear more on how to find places, do you just take your chances and hope that no one will object? Are there laws that regulate it from state to state? Are there any books, pamphlets, etc that would help in this regard?

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Old 03-26-2012, 10:03 AM   #2
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Greetings from the Florida Panhandle

Welcome to the Forums. We're glad to have you with us.

Boondocking opportunities seem to be more difficult to find as the years go on due to more concerns for the environment, etc. There is still what is referred to as "dispersed camping" in most of the National Forests. This allows making camp in just about any area where there are not any prohibition signs. Unfortunately, these "prohibited" areas are becoming more and more common as the years go by. There are also boondocking opportunities on much of the BLM (Bureau of Land management) lands. BLM lands are primarily in the Western United States.

I'm afraid that the day is coming when the only boondocking opportunities will be the Wal-Mart parking lots that still allow overnight parking.


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Old 03-26-2012, 10:10 AM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I was afraid that might be the case.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:18 AM   #4
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There's a forum on this site devoted to boondocking:

Boondocking - Airstream Forums
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:08 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forums.

Get a copy of the Florida Gazateer. I don't have one, but I have seen one and there are a lot of camping places on here without hookups, ie. boondock camping- just what you are looking for. The more you boondock, the more you will come into contact with other boondockers and can learn about other spots from them.

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Old 03-26-2012, 12:18 PM   #6
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Welcome to the forums. There are several things to think about if you're new to this.

Most people new to RVing believe that they will spend much of their time boondocking. Once they have an RV, most people find that they like the predictability and amenities of organized parks and campgrounds and do most of their camping that way.

The prospects for boondocking vary regionally with the best site availability being in the southwestern states.

I have found that the best way to locate good sites is using a combination of maps (showing where public land and access roads can be found) and scouting the area in advance. Occasionally I have run into county and city parks that allow camping that aren't listed in major directories. In national and state forests scouting is necessary to find nice sites with access roads that are workable for a trailer.

Good luck with your search.
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Old 03-29-2012, 11:32 AM   #7
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Florida... boondocking?

Jammer gave you excellent advice.

I would expect most of the eastern USA running west to the Mississippi River is primarily private property. Private camp grounds are probably the way to go in Florida, maybe State/Federal reserves. You probably have the thickest forests that I have ever encountered, but I have never tried camping in your part of the country!

The western states offer true variety from Casino RV parks to back road Forest Service hunter camp sites that are accessible to an AS. DeLorme Atlases can give you an idea of Public Lands and Private Lands, although I do not trust it more than 60% of the time for accuracy. Smaller scale Forest Service maps are superior out west.

Since we are use to low humidity, warm/hot days and cool evenings... I am spoiled rotten to the core. But the thought of not having an air conditioner in the humid parts of the USA would keep me tethered to an electrical outlet at an established camp ground... now I am a basket case just thinking about it.

Check some of the EXCELLENT Forum threads of getting into the wilds. It will test your skills and confidence, but if you are out in the Rocky Mountains... there is a place waiting for you and your family. It is remote at times, but safe. After making the adjustment, Lord forbid, you might even consider the thought of moving out here... less any ocean views, of course.

Welcome to the Forum and these people will let you know when you are wrong... as I have found out myself over time. But make it an unplanned exploration to those places you have thought of camping at or near just to get the mind ready for some real back country camping! Working around school vacations... well, established RV Parks can fill up, some of the time.
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Old 03-29-2012, 12:28 PM   #8
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The state parks in Florida are some of the best.

If you camp in the mountains above about 2,500 ft in North Carolina, Virginia and Tennessee you won't have to be tethered to an electrical outlet. Same is true next to the ocean for NC and Virginia except for the hottest part of the summer. None of the campgrounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway have any hookups at all. Camping is about being outside anyhow. I don't want to spend my days sitting in an air conditioned trailer.

I really like the challenge of boondocking. Point the trailer north and armed with an awning and an Endless Breeze fan and a comfortable chair plus a cold beverage and I will be outside enjoying nature.

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Old 03-29-2012, 12:44 PM   #9
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Probably one of the best sources of boondocking/low cost camping info is the Days End directory put out by one of the Members of the Escapees club. They also have an Escapees boondocking group. You must be an Escapees member to get this info.

In regard to the Florida Boondocking?
We just returned from 60 days in Florida. 15 of those days were at organized rallies. Our camping cost for the trip after assigning value to the rally camping when not known was $5.93 a day
If I back out the rallies our average for the remaining 45 days worked out to $1.11 a day. One of those days was in a rest area, the other 44 were all in legitimate camping spots.
We utilize National Forests extensively, also state forests, wildlife management areas etc. Some of these locations took a lot of hunting and will remain secret unless I know you really well, but they are out there and are little used.

We do not like private campgrounds and do not use them unless it is a rally. I may be the only person who ever belonged to passport america for 4 years and lost money on it every year
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Old 03-29-2012, 10:05 PM   #10
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Well... maybe some day.

Touring Dan. You seem to know your area and we might have to check out some of the country East of the Mississippi. Thank you for the insight. Arkansas and Oklahoma in the Summer was an experience not worth describing. Like I said, heat and humidity just curl my hair.

It would be nice to have some of your experience in North Carolina and the area at 2,500 feet elevation on a thread... and some photographs. We consider 3,500 feet the breaking point for the humid and dry air zone here. Geologically, the Appalachians were higher than our current Himalayan Mountains. They are just so old that they are worn down to their roots. I found that surprising myself, but why would a geologist tell a yarn that big if it were not true?
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Old 03-30-2012, 07:10 AM   #11

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This will be our 8th Season with "Cloudsplitter", sans full service.

This is how we camp.

Is it boondocking? Don't know, but it sure is fun!!!
A little pre-planning works best.


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but I’m the Husband, so we went to Cleveland. 😂

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Old 03-31-2012, 04:01 PM   #12
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Sweet - last time I was boondocking is when we lost power at Malibu RV resort...
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Old 03-31-2012, 04:41 PM   #13
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My last time was when the tornado cut the power to TOG. jim
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:10 PM   #14
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Greetings and welcome to the forums!

User Bob Thompson has a series of threads in these forums entitled "Cheap or free in ..." You can use those threads to locate all manner of areas. I recall that the threads are organized by state.

You can locate those threads by clicking on "Community" (blue link bar, top of screen), then "Members List." From there, you can use the members search tool to locate Bob. Then locate all of Bob's threads from his profile page.


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