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How to Find Boondocking Sites (2024 Tips & Resources)

| Updated Jan 17, 2024

With overbooked campgrounds, more and more people are turning to boondocking. Here’s how to find boondocking sites and helpful tips, too!

As long-time boondockers, Jennifer and I love getting away from crowded campgrounds and into secluded bliss. We’ve traveled across the country, boondocking on public land and private properties (with permission) and moochdocked with friends and family.

We’ve shared many boondocking tips and resources over the years through our RV Lifestyle blog, podcast, and YouTube channel

Needless to say, we are experts on how to find boondocking sites wherever we travel. So, now, we’re summarizing it in this ultimate guide of resources and tips.

We hope this guide will help give you more flexibility in your travels and throw open the door to new experiences that only boondocking can provide.

If you buy something through our links, we may get a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep our lights on so we can continue to provide helpful resources for RVers. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

How to Find Boondocking Sites

What You Need to Know About Boondocking Destinations

Jennifer and I have been boondocking for over a decade, and we never tire of it! This style of camping has given us access to so many more places we would’ve never experienced if we relied on hookups.

If you’re not familiar with boondocking, I highly recommend you read the following:

That last article is a MUST-READ for everyone– not just boondocking newbies. Unfortunately, bad etiquette is leading to more and more Boondocking Sites Getting Shut Down. So, we all need to do our parts to ensure boondocking lives on!

Helpful Boondocking Tips & Resources

In this video, Jennifer and I share lots of dry camping and boondocking tips as we camp in “The Big Wild” of Pigeon River State Forest in Northern Michigan. It’s one of our go-to boondocking spots!

Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

Here are some other helpful boondocking resources:

How to Find Boondocking Sites

Though many boondocking sites are getting shut down on public lands, there is still a LOT available. And even though boondocking on public land may be declining, boondocking on private land is increasing. 

So, don’t buy into the rumors that boondocking is dead! Here is how to find boondocking sites, including helpful apps and websites. 

Start With Public Lands

The most common boondocking sites are on public lands, such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Army Corps of Engineers, State Parks, National Forests, etc. However, it’s important to note that there are often limitations to RV boondocking.

For instance, most national parks allow tent camping anywhere but limit RV boondocking or dispersed camping to certain areas. So, it’s important to check the regulations of any public land you visit.

That said, Jennifer and I have enjoyed countless stays on public land. Even though there are sometimes restrictions, there are still LOTS of great boondocking opportunities. You can spend your entire RVing “career” boondocking on public land!

So, my first advice on how to find boondocking sites is to start with public land. **We break down HOW to Find Boondocking Sites on the different types of public land in this Step-by-Step guide.**

BUT boondocking isn’t limited to public land. More and more private properties and businesses are opening up their land to visitors. There are some great apps and websites that connect you with these free camping spots.

How to Find Boondocking Sites

Harvest Hosts

In short, Harvest Hosts is a unique camping membership. You pay a membership fee to join, and then you can stay overnight at different locations for free. While you don’t get charged for the camping, members are usually expected to patronize the place they are visiting. 

For example, if you stay the night at the winery, purchase a bottle of wine. Are you staying at an apple farm? Buy an apple pie! It’s a great way to support small, local businesses!

Not all locations are businesses, however. There are a growing number of private properties, often belonging to fellow RVers. They open their property (or even driveway) to help out or commune with fellow travelers.

Using this link and the discount code: RVLIFESTYLE15 you get 15% off Harvest Hosts annual membership.

Its membership is well worth the cost, but you don’t have to take our word for it. You can also read What RVers are Saying About Harvest Hosts.

And since the next suggestion, Boondockers Welcome, is owned by Harvest Hosts – make sure you look at the top of the page for PLANS and see how combining them might make good sense for your situation.

How to Find Boondocking Sites

Boondockers Welcome

Jennifer and I are also longtime members and BIG fans of Boondockers Welcome. It’s a hosting service where private landowners offer a spot on their property for self-contained RVs to stay the night.

As primarily boondockers ourselves, we’ve loved how easy this service is to use to find private, unique places to stay on our road trips. Not to mention all the amazing hosts we’ve met along the way.

You can get 15% off your Boondockers Welcome annual membership using the discount code: RVLIFESTYLE15

To learn more, read 7 Reasons Boondockers Welcome is Worth It.

Remember to look at the top of the page for PLANS and see how combining Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome might make good sense for your situation.

photo of a dispersed camping boondocking and rv dry camping spot - How to Find Boondocking Sites
Our dispersed camping boondocking spot in the Pigeon River Country State Forest in northern Michigan


AllStays LLC is known for a whole suite of apps designed for RVers, truckers, and travelers. They also have an incredible browser-based resource called AllStaysPro.

The AllStays apps (like AllStays Camp & RV, RV Dump, etc.) are very nifty to have on your phone. Though, they are only available on iOS. The company’s most useful resource, however, is AllStaysPRO.

I recommend you read about the differences between AllStays and AllStaysPro. But, in short, AllStaysPro has MORE information than the apps and is updated more often. 

Using this link and the discount code: rvpodcast you can save 10% off your All Stays Pro annual subscription.


Like what you see in these videos? We'd appreciate it if you would Subscribe to our YouTube Channel (easy to do right here) and consider “ringing the bell icon” to be notified of any new video from us. 🙂 Thanks!

Moochdocking is another form of boondocking that relies on family, friends, and sometimes friends of friends. At its most basic level, moochdocking is spending the night for free in your RV on the property of friends or family.

Some people call it driveway surfing. Often it is overnighting in a driveway, backyard, or on the lawn.

A lot of boondockers moochdock at some point because it’s a great way to visit family and friends across the country without burdening them with boarding you in their home. They (and you) get to keep your privacy.

Just be aware of the Pros and Cons of Moochdocking, before committing to it as a primary form of boondocking. 

Need the Ultimate Guide to Cheap or FREE RV Camping Sites?

How to Find Boondocking Sites (2024 Tips & Resources) 1

Camping can be expensive. 

Especially if you are spending more travel time in outdoor spaces. Or, perhaps you’re living and working from your RV. 

Traditional campgrounds can also be crowded and noisy. It can sometimes feel like the opposite experience you are seeking by getting away from civilization and into nature. 

That may be why you are looking for cheap or free RV camping sites and that’s why I’m here to help.  I’m going to introduce you to boondocking in off-the-beaten-path campsites and then teach you how to find them.

This ebook (not a print book – but you could print this one out on your own if you wish) is available right now.

Here's your Ultimate Guide to Cheap or FREE RV Camping Sites

Mike Wendland

Published on 2024-01-16

Mike Wendland is a multiple Emmy-award-winning Journalist, Podcaster, YouTuber, and Blogger, who has traveled with his wife, Jennifer, all over North America in an RV, sharing adventures and reviewing RV, Camping, Outdoor, Travel and Tech Gear for the past 12 years. They are leading industry experts in RV living and have written 18 travel books.

3 Responses to “How to Find Boondocking Sites (2024 Tips & Resources)”

September 03, 2023at12:58 pm, Fred Mogg said:

I am retired and would like to try out this boondocking I have a 27-ft RV toy hauler


September 03, 2023at12:56 pm, Fred Mogg said:

How do you find places to boondock at around the United States


September 05, 2023at12:03 pm, Team RV Lifestyle said:

Hi Fred – We would suggest reading the links Mike included in the article – gives you lots of valuable information on how to get started – Happy Trails! Team RV Lifestyle


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