Free and Low Cost RV Parking and Camping
As part of our “Ways to Save” week I’ve collected a list of links that will help you find parking and camping opportunities all across the country. I’m sure I’ve left out many good resources, so if you know of one that I haven’t listed please share it with us all in the comments area at the bottom.
Links to Resources and Random Comments
Note to readers; since this is a “list of links” I’m posting the entire link instead of the neat and tidy hyperlinks that you may normally expect.
Federal Land and Parks
Many federal government camping locations are free, or low cost. Some are unmarked boondocking areas; known as “dispersed camping”. Others are actual campgrounds ranging from primitive to full hookup.
If you qualify for a National Parks and Federal Recreation Lands discount pass (Access Pass, or Senior Pass) you can save 50% or more on facilities that charge a fee. www.nps.gov/fees_passes.htm
www.fs.fed.us/recreation/map/finder.shtml The US Forest Service has many campgrounds, mostly in the western USA, and many of them are free.
http://corpslakes.usace.army.mil/visitors/camping.cfm US Army Corp of Engineers Camping Locator
www.blm.gov Bureau of Land Management (BLM). If you’ve heard about camping in the “Long Term Visitors Area” (LTVA) at Quartsite and the surrounding area this is who manages the land, and many other areas, mostly in the Western states. You can look at specific states by adding the state 2 letter abbreviation to the end of the hyperlink. For example, this is for California: www.blm.gov/ca
www.nps.gov/ The National Park Service website will connect you to all the national parks
Online Discussion Groups
With any discussion group, especially YAHOO! groups, be sure to look in the “Files” section. Some have extensive compiled lists and links.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/campingtipsgroup: The Camping Tips Group on YAHOO!
http://autos.groups.yahoo.com/group/walmartrving: The Walmart RVing group on YAHOO!
http://rv.net/forum The Open Roads Forum right here on RV.NET has an active community of boondockers and frugal campers who are glad to share information with those who ask.
Other Websites and Resources
www.OvernightRVParking.com: This is the website of Jim O’Brient, who also posts here from time to time. Jim has an extensive listing of free overnight RV parking locations nation wide including Wal-Mart’s, Cracker Barrels, etc. There’s a small annual fee for using the site, but you can earn extra free access time by contributing reports about places you visit.
www.CasinoCamper.com: My website listing casino-based RV parking and camping locations
www.freecampgrounds.com/ A free website with over 1600 camping locations listed nation wide.
www.militarycampgrounds.us/ If you’re active duty, retired, or otherwise qualify the military campground system can provide big savings compared to commercial campgrounds.
Print Publications, Camping Clubs and Discount Cards
“Don Wright’s Guide to Free Campgrounds” is published in two editions; Western and Eastern. We found it to be a good resource in our travels.
Good Sam Club; many RV parks give club members a discount www.goodsamclub.com/
Escapees RV Club; has a network of parks and many commercial parks give a discount to members. Members have contributed over the years to a list of free camping locations called “Day’s End” which is available only to club members. www.escapees.com
There are several camping discount programs offering 50% off on most camping. These include:
Camp Club USA www.campclubusa.com/
Passport America www.passportamerica.com/
Happy Camper www.camphalfprice.com/
Fraternal and Military Organizations
The Elks, Moose, VFW, and some other organizations have RV parking available for traveling members at many of their lodges. This can range from “blacktop boondocking” to a full hookup site, and is usually free or a nominal charge.
What did I leave out?
I know this list only scratches the surface. If you have a favorite source of information about free or low cost camping post a comment below.
Happy travels, and good luck at the casinos,