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Old 05-07-2017, 04:37 PM   #1
demijac
 
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Boondocking in Canada vs. U.S.?

From a boondocking perspective, should we expect boondocking in Canada to be similar to what it's been in the U.S.? My guess is that expectations should be similar but thought it prudent to ask vs. finding out the hard way.

As background, we love to boondock for a night or two in-between RV park campgrounds. We save a little money and for us, it's also kind of fun - especially when we have to get creative. In 3 1/2 years of full-timing, we've only been asked to move twice and we've never had safety issues. Hoping for a similar experience in Canada. Is there anything we should know?

Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2017, 05:37 PM   #2
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There was a post that indicated the Canadians were not so supportive of free camping, but it was actually related to free full timing. Will be interesting to see what turns up as advice. Pat
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:23 PM   #3
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It will be interesting, indeed, as I don't recall ever reading here about anyone doing any boondocking in Canada.


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Old 05-07-2017, 07:47 PM   #4
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There was a post that indicated the Canadians were not so supportive of free camping, but it was actually related to free full timing. Will be interesting to see what turns up as advice. Pat
A few year ago Virginia and I spent a month in BC and never stopped overnight at a park. No trouble at all but we did take the BC ferry to Prince Rupert from Port Hardy. Then to Prince George, Jasper and slowly South through the Kamloops and back home. Fabulous trip. Want to do it again.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:51 PM   #5
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If I were a tourist travelling in Canada and wished to boondock between RV campgrounds I would do the following.....

1) Have a form letter that a person giving you permission to stay on their property, or, a property can fill out with their name and sign. Provide that person with a copy of the letter. By having the form letter ready, it makes it easy to ask. On the form letter you will state your licence plate numbers (trailer and TV), that you will be respectful of the property, properties surrounding it and not litter or dump any waste tanks, etc, etc. Also remember to place the letter behind the glass in the doorway should an officer shine his or her light on it.

2) Drop into the local RCMP or Provincial police to politely ask for a quiet out of the way place to drop anchor. Again give them the form letter. I would hope that many policepersons would be able to help you out, and with the letter signed by an officer you won't be bothered later on. They may even give you permission to stay at the detachment.

3) Drop by any church and ask for permission to stay in the church parking lot, in return maybe offer to pick up litter on the church grounds. Again ask that the letter be signed by a pastor or deacon.

4) Many businesses that do a breakfast trade would also be happy to have you as patrons the next morning and would be willing to sign for a future customer.

Being prepared with the letter, respectful and polite will get you digs right across this country easily.

As for safety, you take your chances as with anywhere else, be prudent and aware of your surroundings. Most church's are in pretty nice neighbourhoods, and staying at a cop shop for the night is a no brainer.

I would like to think the same rules could apply in the USA as well.

Cheers, and welcome to Canada.
Tony
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Old 05-07-2017, 10:13 PM   #6
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If by boondocking you mean the Canadian equivalent of camping on BLM lands, from what I've seen it's more difficult. There are plenty of what are called "Crown Lands" (that is the term in Ontario), but they are usually remote and covered in forest or bush which makes finding a spot for an RV difficult. No problem if you are on a canoe trip but that doesn't help you. We've stayed in various Walmart parking lots and the same issues apply as in the U.S. (i.e. get permission first) as well as the odd Flying J truck stop. We've passed the occasional casino on cross Canada trips but have only stayed at one as tight parking looked like an issue in the others. The one we stayed at in Ontario was quite welcoming not withstanding the warning signs that overnight camping wasn't permitted (the local council gave in to pressure from campground operators but we stayed after the private campgrounds had closed for the season).
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:22 AM   #7
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We never had any issues, especially in rural areas. A quick question almost always got us a welcoming nod from landowners. Crown Land is sometimes hard to access with a trailer, but there are plenty of alternatives.
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:23 AM   #8
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On our trip to Alaska last summer we used many roadside pull-outs that we found in nice locations along the Cassiar Hwy. We also included a few provincial parks for some variety. Traffic volume on the road is very low and virtually none at night so it's very, very quiet with beautiful starry nights. Listening to the Loons was a special treat.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:58 AM   #9
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I would say, similar to the States, the west has more Crown land accessible to trailers. There are parts of Ontario as well, but harder to find.
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Old 05-08-2017, 11:59 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Isuzusweet View Post
If I were a tourist travelling in Canada and wished to boondock between RV campgrounds I would do the following.....

1) Have a form letter that a person giving you permission to stay on their property, or, a property can fill out with their name and sign. Provide that person with a copy of the letter. By having the form letter ready, it makes it easy to ask. On the form letter you will state your licence plate numbers (trailer and TV), that you will be respectful of the property, properties surrounding it and not litter or dump any waste tanks, etc, etc. Also remember to place the letter behind the glass in the doorway should an officer shine his or her light on it.

2) Drop into the local RCMP or Provincial police to politely ask for a quiet out of the way place to drop anchor. Again give them the form letter. I would hope that many policepersons would be able to help you out, and with the letter signed by an officer you won't be bothered later on. They may even give you permission to stay at the detachment.

3) Drop by any church and ask for permission to stay in the church parking lot, in return maybe offer to pick up litter on the church grounds. Again ask that the letter be signed by a pastor or deacon.

4) Many businesses that do a breakfast trade would also be happy to have you as patrons the next morning and would be willing to sign for a future customer.

Being prepared with the letter, respectful and polite will get you digs right across this country easily.

As for safety, you take your chances as with anywhere else, be prudent and aware of your surroundings. Most church's are in pretty nice neighbourhoods, and staying at a cop shop for the night is a no brainer.

I would like to think the same rules could apply in the USA as well.

Cheers, and welcome to Canada.
Tony

I have never 'boondocked' in Canada, only 'Backpacked'.
Different scenerio, but Tony ' s info pretty well covers it.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:43 PM   #11
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I have stayed at boat launches a few times and never had a problem, drove across the country, and found many of the small towns have RV parks with nobody there, water electric nobody to take my money. It was in September most people you meet are friendly, and helpful if you need it.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:55 PM   #12
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I have stayed at boat launches a few times and never had a problem, drove across the country, and found many of the small towns have RV parks with nobody there, water electric nobody to take my money. It was in September most people you meet are friendly, and helpful if you need it.
THERE YOU GO.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:45 PM   #13
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I think it really depends on your route. A lot of Crown lands (called public lands in the US) are theoretically open, but in BC a lot of them are accessible only via steep, rugged forest service roads. In BC the forest service has a lot of primitive campgrounds, sometimes with small sites accessible via rocky roads. This site might get you started if you're coming this way. http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/
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