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Free Camping at Wineries and Farms

November 11, 2010 by rv.net · 32 Comments  
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2 RVs with vines (2)

What could be better than a free overnight stop?  How about a free overnight stop at a winery or farm?  Welcome to Harvest Hosts™, a new RV membership program offering unlimited free camping!

Kim & Don Greene had been traveling for many years in their motorhome, when in 2008, while traveling across Europe, they were introduced to France Passion, an RV visitation network that invites RV owners to visit farms and wineries and stay for 24 hours.

Upon returning to the U.S., Kim & Don had hoped to find a similar program.  But discovering that no program existed, they decided to create a program themselves.  So after months of research, Harvest Hosts, LLC was born!

Harvest Hosts is the first membership program of its kind in the United States to provide RV owners with free overnight stops at wineries and farms across the country.  Hosts can be found in all of the lower 48 States with new Hosts signing up nearly every day.  2011 will find Harvest Hosts expanding into the Canadian Provinces.

Host vintners and farmers generously invite self-contained RV owners (motorhomes, fifth-wheels, travel trailers, truck and van campers) to visit their vineyards, farms and orchards and to stay for 24 hours, free of charge.  Most of the Hosts are small, mom-and-pop agricultural operations and are not formal campgrounds.  Your visit requires that you dry-camp and that you agree to a common sense “Code of Conduct”.

The Hosts reflect the diversity of the American farm.  You have the option of visiting wineries, u-pick farms, orchards, farm markets, cider mills, maple sugarhouses, dairy farms, flower and herb gardens, creameries, breweries, distilleries, open-air museums and wildlife rescue/animal parks; all kinds of agriculture-based businesses.

Hosts provide an opportunity to learn about the dedication of the independent family farmer and to purchase products right from the source.  They are located in areas that are scenic, fun and full of history and at the end of the day, RV owners can enjoy the peace and tranquility of a parking spot in the country.

Many of the Hosts are also open to the idea of using volunteers, so if you have extra time when you visit, your help might be welcomed.

There is no obligation or requirement to buy anything from your Host.  However, if they are offering something for sale that you like, your support would be most welcomed.  You will get the best value for your money with the freshest fruits and vegetables available right from the source and delectable baked goods, cheeses and bottles of wines that you’d be unlikely to find in big stores.

robertson lavenderMembers of Harvest Hosts receive online access to the Host Directory which contains locations, contact information, hours, GPS coordinates and Hosts’ activities.  They also receive a Membership Card, a Vehicle ID Badge and access to the members-only pages on the website.

Membership is good for 12 months from the date of joining and for the remainder of 2010, the Inaugural Year membership fee is $20.00.  Starting in 2011, new memberships will be $30.00, while renewing members will receive a discount to $25.00.

More information about Harvest Hosts is available at www.harvesthosts.com or you can contact Kim or Don either by email at dbg@harvesthosts.com or by phone at 928-277-1661.

Testimonials:

“Just a quick note to thank you for introducing this exciting concept in the U.S.  Although we have been full-timers for over five years, boondocking is one of those things we never do (probably because of a bad experience one night at a truck stop – have never done it again!).  However, as lovers of wine, and frequent visitors to wineries as we travel – this is a boondocking concept we can buy into (and literally, I’m sure – we WILL buy wine at these locations, since we can afford to, if not paying for a camp site as we travel through!).  Thanks again – we’re looking forward to many new experiences!”

Rosemary and Greg P.

“If this was your brainchild; it was a good one!!  Having grown up in the country in eastern Washington, I am never happier than when I am out amidst the farms, fields and orchards. I can’t wait to take advantage of this opportunity. Thank you.”

Helen K.

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32 Responses to “Free Camping at Wineries and Farms”

  1. butterbean carpenter on November 11th, 2010 6:38 pm

    Howdy Hotdogjones,
    Thank you, for informing us about Kim&Don Greene’s great idea and website..
    We live in the middle of nowhere and have thought about putting in some spots
    for RVs.. I don’t see how we could offer anything besides space to park and the peace and quiet and dark skies full of stars, because we’re too old to farm any more
    but we do have American Miniature horses and cats for children to pet.. We do have a dry climate(not sultry) and good highway frontage access..
    butterbean carpenter
    Running Star Ranch
    Coleman county
    Texas

  2. Barbara Palmer on November 11th, 2010 7:14 pm

    We have been members of Harvest Host since June 2010, and have stayed at several different wineries and one fruit stand in Washington State. All of our experiences have been positive, with the hosts universally welcoming and accomodating. In most cases, we were the first Harvest Host member to stay with the host, and had to explain what actually constitutes an adequate spot for a 37-foot motorhome with a toad to park – the concept of level and able to suppport our weight was new to some hosts, but they all have been able to find an appropriate spot for us. We’ve enjoyed the peace and quiet of a summer night on a hillside above Benton City, watching the mooon and Venus set over Mt. Adams, helping bottle 260 cases of Merlot at Rock Wall Cellars in Omak, and meeting local folks who know lots about the history of the place we are staying. Of course, it usually ends up costing us more than we’d pay for an RV park by the time we buy a bottle or two of wine!

  3. Patti Gallagher on November 11th, 2010 9:47 pm

    Hi.. We are 1st year new rvers and have done one workamping job with the COE that was fun.. This new idea is fabulous. We were wary of boondocking and after reading the comment above, I think we will join the Harvest Hosts and experience boondocking the safer way. Thank you for the information.

    Butterbean carpenter.. why don’t you ask Kim and Don to add you to their places to stay… if you have the room..and like company now and then.. It would be nice to visit a place with horses too!! (Our kids are grown now..but that doesn’ t mean WE don’t like critters too!! ) …, I would think that ANY place that was willing to offer a spot …whether it’s a “working farm” OR not should be able to be included. We will be in Texas next year.. and would love to stop by to visit … Please email me how to reach the Running Star Ranch if you would consider a visit.

  4. Don & Irene on November 11th, 2010 9:51 pm

    Have often thought of the same concept as we have lots of winery`s in British Columbia Canada where we live. This could easily be expanded to other interesting agricultural farms like orchards. Looking forward to the expanded Canadian list of hosts.

  5. Barbara Remm on November 12th, 2010 3:51 am

    I will be a newbie sometime soon and the thought of a countryside spot with quiet is more to my liking than a big campground. Looking forward to this kind of RVing. Thanks for the heads up.

  6. Vicki Sherouse on November 12th, 2010 7:58 am

    Reading this post gave me the thought that some of RV nets reader’s might be interested in some basic information on RVing in Europe. We are just completing our 12th month doing just that! I don’t know how to contact the site’s moderator though.

  7. Mac McClellan on November 12th, 2010 8:03 am

    Interesting article, thanks for the information. I love wine and we dry camp about 180 days a year so I’m sold!

  8. Don Greene on March 24th, 2011 9:21 pm

    Thanks for the great comments about Harvest Hosts. If any body has any questions feel free to email us directly, dbg@harvesthosts.com. We’re always available to help. By the way, we now have over 245 Hosts!
    Don & Kim

  9. Homepage on June 16th, 2012 8:13 pm

    … [Trackback] …

    [...] Read More here: blog.rv.net/2010/11/free-camping-at-wineries-and-farms/ [...] …

  10. Dean and Dorothy on June 25th, 2012 10:04 pm

    Note to butterbean and whoever it may concern. Would welcome a “space” to spend a night or two. Off road, secure, don’t need hookups, just a place to rest the tires for a spell. Animals are an added attraction. Would no doubt leave a “”donation”" at the gate upon leaving. Anyone with land fairly close to highways and is now “retired” would be a good use for the land. Don’t know what kind of insurance –not responsible waiver or whatever it would involve. Will keep checking the list of campsites.

    Travelers would welcome the layover………………..gypsy at heart, not quite ready to give up my wheels. Keep’em rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ –git a long—-.

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