Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 01-20-2018, 09:18 PM   #1
Bus Nut
 
Thomas1985's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Location: Fayetteville Arkansas
Posts: 419
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Carpenter
Chassis: GMC G3500 Vandura
Engine: V-8 5.7L Gas
Free camping and boondocking

I would like to make this a sticky thread if the site management thinks it is worthwhile.
Let's try to keep this as an ever growing list of free campsites and safe places to boondock.
Put at least the state location in bold so others can quickly scroll through and find what is relevant for their area.
Also, if we could keep discussions to a minimum and on topic it will remain a more easily searchable resource.

To start it off:

Everyone traveling around Florida should search for Water Management Districts. There are always a few places in each district that allow camping for free up to 30 days. A lot of the locations just allow hiking, boating, fishing but it's a cool opportunity for solitude and an alternative to State Parks.

https://floridadep.gov/water-policy/...ment-districts

You just have to take time to make an account and request a permit and you're good to go. Almost all will be a boondocking situation by the way.

Here is a small list that is easily searchable:

- Deep Creek Preserve
- DuPuis Management Area
- Hickory Hammock Wildlife Management Area
Thomas1985 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2018, 07:43 PM   #2
Almost There
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 71
I really like the app "Ultimate Campground". You can find locations on a map, it has a ton of information about each site, and you can sort by all kinds good stuff like elevation. It's available for iPhone, Android, and Mac but I only have used it on iPhone.

The app "US Public Lands" is also really cool, but I don't find it as useful for finding boondocking locations.
__________________
Professionally converting vehicles and making custom furniture with a combined 14 years of mechanical/electrical engineering experience.

https://www.thunderstruck-studios.com/
ThunderstruckStudios is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2018, 07:44 PM   #3
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,028
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
I use that app but honestly we've been Walmart regulars for the last year or so.
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2018, 07:54 PM   #4
Almost There
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Fort Collins, CO
Posts: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I use that app but honestly we've been Walmart regulars for the last year or so.
Nice! All the walmarts around here don't allow overnight parking ='( I've seen Rv'ers and skoolies alike asked to leave late in the afternoon.
__________________
Professionally converting vehicles and making custom furniture with a combined 14 years of mechanical/electrical engineering experience.

https://www.thunderstruck-studios.com/
ThunderstruckStudios is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-18-2018, 08:03 PM   #5
Bus Geek
 
brokedown's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Weeki Wachee, FL
Posts: 3,028
Year: 1997
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: TC2000 FE
Engine: Cummins 5.9
Rated Cap: 72
I don't stick around during the day, just overnight. Pull in after dark and pull out at sunrise.

I met a guy in Fort Pierce who had been living at Walmart for 3 months with a small RV, a minivan, and 5 motorcycles.


Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
__________________
Keep up with us and our build!
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter
brokedown is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-19-2018, 09:31 AM   #6
Bus Nut
 
ACamper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Colorado
Posts: 310
Quote:
Originally Posted by brokedown View Post
I don't stick around during the day, just overnight. Pull in after dark and pull out at sunrise.

I met a guy in Fort Pierce who had been living at Walmart for 3 months with a small RV, a minivan, and 5 motorcycles.
Sleeping at Walmart with 5 motorcycles. lol Priorities
ACamper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2018, 07:54 AM   #7
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Posts: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by ACamper View Post
Sleeping at Walmart with 5 motorcycles. lol Priorities
Have bikes, gang members wanted!
sparq is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2018, 03:36 PM   #8
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: NW Florida
Posts: 57
Year: 2001
Coachwork: International
Engine: DT-466
freecampsites.net is a great resource. I found many beautiful locations out West. A little harder to come by here on the East coast though...
Beeb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-03-2018, 07:36 PM   #9
Mini-Skoolie
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Bar Harbor Maine
Posts: 67
Year: 2005
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: Vision
Engine: C7 caterpillar Allison automatic heavy foot
Rated Cap: 72
New DAVID PAULIDES Missing People That the Parks Don't Want You to Know ... https://youtu.be/bfRqp5AqixE via @YouTube
Smokey's pipe dream is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 01:45 AM   #10
Site Team
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: Nanaimo, British Columbia
Posts: 191
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokey's pipe dream View Post
New DAVID PAULIDES Missing People That the Parks Don't Want You to Know ... https://youtu.be/bfRqp5AqixE via @YouTube
Video unavailable. From the title, I assume it was crazy even by YouTube standards.
Polarweasel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 03:17 AM   #11
Bus Geek
 
EastCoastCB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Eustis FLORIDA
Posts: 22,219
Year: 1999
Coachwork: Thomas
Chassis: Freighliner FS65
Engine: Cat 3126
Rated Cap: 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polarweasel View Post
Video unavailable. From the title, I assume it was crazy even by YouTube standards.

Some of it is a bit wild but its just cases of missing folks from nat'l parks.
Heres another series-
__________________
.
Roll Your Own Build Thread
EastCoastCB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-14-2020, 10:03 AM   #12
Bus Crazy
 
Drew Bru's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Minnehaha Co., SD
Posts: 1,067
Year: 1996
Coachwork: Amtran
Chassis: International
Engine: DT466
Rated Cap: 65
Huh, not sure how we missed this thread. Freecapsites.net is a nice resource that we use quite a bit. We mostly use Campendium.com and the Campendium app, which we cross reference with freecampsites.net. Google Earth is a super handy resource that we use to do a sort of "fly by" over public lands and forest service roads to look for boondocking rigs and fire rings or pull-outs.
We'll usually find a place on Campendium, then scope out the area in our towed vehicle once we get there...this allows us to find more remote spots.
We've only ever boondocked out west, never tried it out east...which we've heard is next to impossible.


Another amazing resource is Harvest Hosts, which we've done a couple of. If you're not familiar with it, it's a network of wineries, breweries, farms, and museums where you can stay overnight for free. There's a yearly fee, I think it's $80, and it's considered the polite thing to do to support the business who's spot you're crashing at. Boondockers Welcome is a similar network of private individuals who let you stay on their property. We're members, but haven't used it yet.
__________________
Our Build: https://dazzlingbluebus.wordpress.com/
Drew Bru is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2020, 01:12 AM   #13
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,026
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Wow, it seems there are a lot of interesting options!
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-15-2020, 06:25 AM   #14
Bus Crazy
 
somewhereinusa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Andrews,Indiana
Posts: 2,192
Year: 1991
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: AARE
Engine: 3116 Cat 250hp
Rated Cap: Just the two of us.
Quote:
I met a guy in Fort Pierce who had been living at Walmart for 3 months with a small RV, a minivan, and 5 motorcycles.
Gee, and people wonder why Walmart and other places with large parking lots are making travelers not welcome. I have spent my fair share of nights in Walmarts in a semi. I made it a point to ask while I was holding a bag of just purchased items. Those are not "free" parking lots. The store paid a great deal to have it paved, pays for maintenance, pays for electricity to light it and probably, pays taxes based on size and improvements. All with the expectation that people who park there are going to purchase something.

Another good source for free camping is https://www.boondockerswelcome.com/ There is a yearly fee, less than one night in a campground, you can search and request a spot online. We have been members since it started and even offer free electric. Some hosts in really popular areas request a small fee for electric but, we only get a few guests a year. ( Walmart,motorcycle guy would be welcome here but, only for two nights.) We also have our place listed on freecampsites.net
somewhereinusa is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-20-2020, 08:57 AM   #15
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 534
Coachwork: In the market
Quote:
Originally Posted by somewhereinusa View Post
Gee, and people wonder why Walmart and other places with large parking lots are making travelers not welcome. I have spent my fair share of nights in Walmarts in a semi. I made it a point to ask while I was holding a bag of just purchased items. Those are not "free" parking lots. The store paid a great deal to have it paved, pays for maintenance, pays for electricity to light it and probably, pays taxes based on size and improvements. All with the expectation that people who park there are going to purchase something.
Agreed. As a truck driver my order of options are: 1) truck stops (it's even in the name!); 2) rest areas (some have no overnight parking signs but every time I've asked LEO it doesn't apply to truckers); then 3) Walmarts (but usually only once a week for resupply and then I keep a database in my Navigation device of which are truck-friendly). I also have a Planet Fitness black card and stickers in my window but PF is even less truck friendly than Walmart. The order might be a little varied for RV/skoolie parking and definitely not more than one or two nights.
Sehnsucht is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-21-2020, 10:19 PM   #16
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Eastern WA
Posts: 6,340
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Bluebird
Chassis: All American RE (A3RE)
Engine: Cummins ISC (8.3)
Rated Cap: 72
It is a shame that a few are screwing up what was a great convenience.

I went full time on the road from 1995-2001 and spent close to half of that time overnighting at Walmarts around the country. In all of that time we visited 40 states and only found one Walmart that didn't welcome us. That was in Plainview Texas. They had a "gateway" at each entrance that limited access to vehicles under 10" tall. We always shop at the places we stay.

More recently we have found that Home Depot, Cracker Barrel and Cabellas have welcomed us.
PNW_Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2020, 12:20 AM   #17
Bus Geek
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,026
Year: 2002
Coachwork: Thomas Built Bus
Chassis: Freightliner FS65
Engine: Caterpillar 3126E Diesel
Rated Cap: 71 Passenger- 30,000 lbs.
Cracker Barrel has been good for us ... as are certain rest stops. The few Cabelas we have visited have "No Overnight Parking" signs.
Native is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-22-2020, 04:39 AM   #18
Bus Nut
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Lebanon, Indiana
Posts: 534
Coachwork: In the market
Cabela's and Cracker Barrel are RV options but not semi truck options so thank you for reminding me of those.

RE the Walmart situation:. I've probably commented this before but there's a number of factors which play into parking-friendly-or-not Walmarts. One is the reality that a few inconsiderate folks prompt a blanket prohibition that affects the rest of us. But also, technically all Walmarts have no overnight parking signs as it is Walmart corporate policy although it's up to each store whether they choose to or are required by local ordinance to enforce it. This is actually what I've seen happening in many areas because when Walmarts first build they usually go just outside the city limits or one highway exit away but eventually the city annexes them and subjects them to municipal parking laws. There's also been a lot of chatter about third party towing or clamping which is bordering on predatory but I can understand that a Walmart may not go into such an arrangement to be vengeful, they're just trying to keep from running afoul of the law and an aggressive enforcement company turns it into a money making scam.
Sehnsucht is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:00 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×