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Old 05-18-2013, 07:09 PM   #1
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Freedom Parking

Was reading todays RV Travel Newsletter Issue 586. There was a short mention of something they call "Freedom Camping" in New Zealand. It seems to be similar to what is called Boondocking in the US.

I think Freedom Camping is a wonderful name for staying with out being tethered to hookups. I have been taken to task SEVERAL TIMES for using the term "boondocking" in a manner that does not conform to the boondocking nazi's definition of boondocking. Apparently it is incorrect to call parking in a designated campground that has no hookups or facilities "boondocking".

As New Zealand has their own definition of Freedom Camping, I will modify the term just slightly to create my own term that I claim as mine to define as I see fit and that better describes what we do when we are not in a full hookup campground or RV Park. The "Rules of Conduct" are based on actual things that we were allowed and/or encouraged to do by the store managers of the parking lots, etc that we have stayed in. Other groups have their definitions of commonly used terms... so why can't I?

So here is the now Official Definition of Freedom Parking per Me as of 05/18/2013 4:24PM MST!

"Freedom Camping" is any time that one parks their Residential Vehicle in a place and they remain self contained and do not hook up to any utilities and/or do not use any facilities. This can be in any no facility campground, the side of any road, any paved parking lot, any store parking lot, any rest area, shoreline of any water (lake, creek, river, ocean, bay, reservoir), any vacant land either public or private.

Freedom Parking Rules of Conduct:
-- Don't be a sheeple... park away from others.
-- Open an awning.
-- Put your lawn chair out side and sit in it (watch the bats at dusk do their acro-bat-ics).
-- Fire up the gas grill and cook on it, preferably with something from the place you are parked at (gas grills cool down fast and can be packed up shortly after being turned off)
-- Run your generator, no matter what kind it is, if you need to.
-- Stay as long as you are allowed to stay.
-- Do not leave anything outside, unattended. Unattended stuff tends to wander off if you aren't watching it.
-- Use a block of wood under your leveling jacks as it keeps your "feet" clean and from sinking into asphalt or sand/mud.
-- Open your slide outs,if you have them but not where some one can hit them.
-- Park in a manner that will allow you to leave quickly if the need arises (and the reason you shouldn't put out slides or use leveling jacks in parking lots).
-- But do not block any traffic lanes unless you are told to park in that location.
-- Keep a cellphone ON and your current location written down next to your cell phone in case you need to call 911. Remember, even a cell phone that has no current service plan can be used to call 911! If you do not feel safe, then by all means LEAVE! Just because the fools in their sticks-&-staples are staying doesn't mean it's a safe place. After all they did spend tons of money on sticks-&-staples or rather foam-&-fiberglass
-- Pick up after your LEASHED pets.
-- Pick up after your kids.
-- If there are rules posted, then please observe them.
-- Leave your Freedom Parking site as clean or cleaner than you found it.
-- If pulling in late or leaving out early, try to do so quietly.
-- Do a walk around your set up after you pull in (while it's still daylight) AND before you leave out. Some RVers aren't adverse to liberating an item if they need it. Also they are now advocating destruction of personal property of folks who do not adhere to their rules... A friend told me about this thread on Escapees
-- If on private property, you MUST ask permission from a person in charge to park and to do the above mentioned things and ask how long you can stay and where they prefer that you park. And always say thank you for allowing you to park there. If you are turned down, say thank you anyway. Ask if they know of some place that will allow it. You may find a really great place to Freedom Park at.

Never, never call Freedom Parking "boondocking", "wallydocking" or "pavement parking"!!!

I need to design a bumper sticker for the bus advocating Freedom Parking!

If I get some fool that insists that I follow their rules, I will say, I have my own rules... and give them a copy of them all printed out.
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Old 05-19-2013, 11:51 AM   #2
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Re: Freedom Parking

I like the part about breaking out your gas grille and cooking something from the place you're staying. There was a place in CA that had great date shakes (not that you'd 'cook' those but). You'd be advertising the store's goods first hand. Cool. I like it. And the part about being able to leave in a hurry. And the part about feeling safe, when driving motorhomes across the country I parked in a convienence store parking lot for the night outside of Gary Indiana. That was scary. My 16 year old at the time insisted on taking his skateboard outside. I couldn't wait to get out of there. Also learned that parking in Wally world when you don't have facilities you can use in your unit, find one that is open 24/7.
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Old 05-19-2013, 04:02 PM   #3
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Re: Freedom Parking

We tend to stay in Sam's Club more than any other place. They have security that patrols the parking lot several times thru the night. We feel safer there than any place else. We have a business membership that lets us in early as well.

We have been told many times by the store managers that we can cook on a grill while parked overnight.

We have been told that we can stay more than one night in several places other than a Sam's Club.

Many of the things that are discouraged by the various camping clubs have been allowed and in some cases encouraged. I will never forget the Sam's Club in Ironwood AL (north side of B'ham on I 59) that not only encouraged us to grill but invited us stay in their parking lot for over a week so that we could attend their towns festival. I have asked about parking overnight at several clubs and with only one exception so far have we been told it was not allowed. The one that said no said to park down by the WalMart due to the small size of their allotment of the parking lot. We have also been told many times that we could deploy our awning. Ditto for running our generator.

I do not know if we have unique experiances or if we have been very lucky. I suspect that what we have experianced is in reality the norm. I suspect all the rules are pushed out there by the same folks who think that you "OWE" the local campgrounds your business. BTW,that only applies to campgrounds. You are not depriving hotels or restaurant of your business because of using your RVs facilities. Which leaves me a bit confused over their selective reasoning unless the yhave an agenda.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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Re: Freedom Parking

I think the distaste comes from a lot of the pics from out west,cali/nevada I think.....it looked like a small city with the number of rv's,S&S,5'rs and even popups deployed,awnings grills tiki lights and lots of trash,I was apaauled by the pics.
We are like you and hae stayed many a place becaue I guess e were genuine friendly etc...it will always be cleaner when we leave and that incudes govi/private sites
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:27 PM   #5
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Re: Freedom Parking

Made a freebie website/blog...

Freedom Parking

That's going to piss some folks off! But I doubt they will ever find it.

I did it mostly so I can say "I've been using the definition of Freedom Parking that has been on the internet since 2013!" :P

Later (this week or next) I will add some links to free and low cost places to park. I now have a 2nd job. So in addition to my normal 20 hour week (4AM to 8AM) at Home Depot, I'm working at a Family Dollar part time (this week it's 16 hours.. 5PM - 9PM).

I'm not sure what else I should put on the website or if I should leave it just the definition, rules of conduct and the links.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:42 PM   #6
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Re: Freedom Parking

Quote:
Originally Posted by bansil
I think the distaste comes from a lot of the pics from out west, cali/nevada I think.....it looked like a small city with the number of rv's,S&S,5'rs and even popups deployed,awnings grills tiki lights and lots of trash,I was appalled by the pics.
But those folks are semi homeless. And the parking lot owners can tell them to clean up or leave. I've seen the same images. The sticks-&-staples RV crowd usually lump skoolie conversions in with those poor unfortunates. Yet, a great many of the "nose in the air" RVers aren't too far from being in the same situation. Just one blown motor/transmission away from it. Or one heart attack.

I recently read where 50% of Americans can not come up with $2000 CASH in a days time without borrowing it. They do not have that in savings or even a mason jar!

And when I stop to think that my parents bought all their vehicles (except their first) with cash. David & I haven't had an auto loan in over a decade. We pay cash. Our last "payments" were on our house. Now we own our "house". And we can move it to another place if jobs dry up here. And we are still playing catchup! Give me a couple more years and we will leave NM with a stash tucked back. We will put our "retirement plan" into play after we get to Texas... where ever we happen to land. We learned a long time ago that we are our best "employer".

Unlike many folks... we got a plan!
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Old 05-20-2013, 05:49 PM   #7
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Re: Freedom Parking

Quote:
Originally Posted by lornaschinske
I recently read where 50% of Americans can not come up with $2000 CASH in a days time without borrowing it. They do not have that in savings or even a mason jar!
That reminds me, I need to check on my mason jars. I planted them to see if I can grow money trees. :-B

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Old 05-20-2013, 07:10 PM   #8
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Re: Freedom Parking

Das Mel, you have a way with words.

Perhaps you should consider writing as a hobby, avocation, means of securing dollars.

I enjoy every one of your posts.

I can see that you have your mom's brains.

I do not know much about your dad, but you must have both of their talents.

Please continue to post on this forum.
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Old 05-20-2013, 07:51 PM   #9
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Re: Freedom Parking

If I ever managed to publish any of my craptastic writings before my Sister, she would be so mad.

*Rubs chin*

...I should do that.
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Old 05-21-2013, 07:05 AM   #10
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Re: Freedom Parking

Neat website and you already have folks registering
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