Is the end near for free camping and boondocking?

June 5, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog AdminI’ve been RVing for over 45 years. My first RV, if you could call it that, was a panel van with a side sliding door. Nothing was built in and a mattress occupied most of the floor of the van. Camping in California state parks back then – none with hookups – cost $6 and you could camp in the national forests (NF) and on BLM land for free. In fact, you could sleep overnight almost anywhere, as long as you didn’t become a squatter and behaved yourself. Times have changed. Now you can’t find even the most primitive of campsites for $6, and free camping, though still an option, is available only at selected NF and BLM locations – a recent change. The Travel Management Rules (TMR) are being implemented that restrict not only on which roads you are permitted to drive your RV but also where you can camp. These camping areas are call Dispersed Camping Areas and are shown on Motor Vehicle Use Maps for each forest. There is a fine if you are caught camping in a non-approved area. Free use of our public lands (which are owned by all of us... Read more

VIDEO: RV Boondocking & Water

April 16, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Here’s another episode of “The Loloho Show,” our ongoing chat series that broadcasts to our YouTube Channel ( In this episode, we talk about boondocking and water management. Anyone who RV camps eventually does some boondocking. And why not? Camping without hookups is arguably the most rewarding aspect of RV ownership. Sure, we all enjoy taking a long hot shower in a full hookup campground. But some of our fondest camping memories have been made off the beaten path. In the video we mention several products that have helped us stretch out our water supply. These include: RV WATER FILTER ( The 2-pack is by far the best deal. JERRYCAN FOR WATER ( DRY SHAMPOO ( OXYGENICS SHOWER HEAD ( BRITTA BELLA WATER PITCHER ( THE NEXT EXIT – INTERSTATE HIGHWAY EXIT DIRECTORY ( And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more fun free videos.  Read More →

Heat Your RV with Propane WITHOUT Using Electricity

January 6, 2014 by · Comments Off 

As winter rolls in, we’re always on the lookout for better ways to keep our RV warm. The Camco Olympian Wave Heater ( merits special attention. This is a propane powered radiant heater that’s designed for use inside an RV. Olympian Wave heaters can be wall mounted, or left standing and used as portable space heaters. 3000 BTUs of safe propane powered heat. These heaters are available in 3000 BTU, 6000 BTU, and 8000 BTU variants. This heat output will heat anywhere from 130 to 290 square feet of interior space. Olympian Wave heaters are powered by propane and use no electricity. With an Olympian Wave heater there’s no battery drain whatsoever. (This is a nice contrast to our Airstream heat furnace which drains battery with every use.) Thus, they are ideal for boondocking and dry camping. 3000 BTUs is good. 6000? Twice as good! (Click the pic for more info.) Olympian Wave heaters are silent. There is no fan or blower noise. Due to the double platinum heating element, there is no significant production of carbon monoxide or other harmful waste gases. These heaters radiate heat directly to people and RV interiors without heating the air first, so warmth is felt immediately. Radiant heat is often compared to solar heat, since it’s the same type of heat generated by the sun. The Mac Daddy! 8000 BTUs of warmth. (Click the pic for more info.) They can be used as a primary or secondary heat source. In other words, you could have a second heat... Read more

Is this the BEST RV SHOWER?

July 31, 2013 by · Comments Off 

RV camping is all about water management. At the same time, we all love hot showers with good water pressure. That’s why we own an Oxygenics showerhead ( It delivers the best RV shower we’ve found. Life without fresh water quickly becomes intolerable. If you are camping at a campground with water and sewer hookups, then your needs are met. But if you are boondocking or dry camping – camping without any water hookup, which my wife and I do often – you are reliant on a limited fixed supply. It’s critical that you use water wisely. Click the pic for more info. No matter what kind of RV you own, you probably have a fresh water tank. That tank contains a limited supply of water that you use for drinking, cooking, washing, showering, and flushing. Our freshwater tank holds 54 gallons of water. Until a person goes RV camping, they have no idea how much water they use on a daily basis. In the United States, the average water usage per person (amongst non-camping persons) is 80-100 gallons per day. Think about that for a moment. Let me repeat: we have a 54 gallon fresh water tank in our Airstream. The average daily usage for two people is 160-200 gallons. If we used water in the same way non-camping people do, our freshwater tank would be dry by noon every day! We’d constantly be running out of water, and life would be a pain in the buttocks area. But we don’t, and it isn’t. Here’s why. Over the years, we’ve... Read more

A 2500 Watt Power Inverter! (& Less Extreme Options)

July 26, 2013 by · Comments Off 

We’ve been discussing our favorite RV camping gear. Over the years, our DC to AC power inverters have proven to be incredibly useful. We typically use them in our truck, but they are also handy inside the RV. For the uninitiated, a power inverter converts 12V DC current (from a “cigarette lighter” style outlet) into household 120V AC current. This allows us to power all sorts of electrical devices from our truck and RV batteries. We do so in our truck when we are traveling down the road, and sometimes inside our RV when we are stopped for the night. We own two inverters – a modest 150W model and a more powerful 400W model. If I was shopping today for my first inverter, I’d go straight for at least a Bestek 300W or a Cobra 400W. Here’s why. This Bestek 300W power inverter is a #1 bestseller. (Click the pic for more info.) We use our 400W model the most. We originally bought it many years ago to power a portable air pump (inflating an air mattress when tent camping) and it worked like a champ. But there are other benefits to the higher power output of the 400W – for example, it charges our iPhones much, much faster than the 150W version. For this reason, our 150W unit is used sparingly. We typically keep the 400W in our truck and anytime we need to charge devices, we flip the “ON” switch and plug up. We use our power inverter as we're driving down the highway - the 400W charges our tech devices quickly. The 150W does the trick too, just a little... Read more

How to find dispersed boondocking campsites on public land

June 14, 2013 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley By Bob Difley Just knowing that you can legally boondock almost anywhere on public lands, such as those managed by the forest service and BLM, as I wrote in last week’s post, does not tell you exactly how to find these “dispersed” campsites (not within the confines of an organized campground). You won’t find any signs saying “Campsite Here” or numbered posts designating campsites.  No hosts in golf carts will lead you to an open site. No, you have to find them for yourself. Since finding dispersed campsites is more difficult than finding campgrounds, it is one of the features that makes boondocking attractive–there won’t be a lot of RVers competing for the same campsite. First, become alert so that you notice when you enter public lands. You will recognize national forests or national recreation areas by their familiar brown signs (photo below).  Seldom, however, will signs identify BLM lands, which mostly lie in the eleven Western states). Much of the  land in the Southwest used by snowbirds in winter is BLM land. Maps are available from visitor centers in states that contain public lands and on the Public Lands website where shaded areas define lands managed by the BLM, Bureau of Reclamation, National and State Forest Services, Fish and Wildlife Service, Indian Reservations, etc.  However, the BLM and some other agencies do not... Read more


April 4, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers We’ve been traveling cross-country for two weeks now on our way to the Canadian Maritimes from California.  I’ll let you know more about the travels in Part 3 of this article. PART 1 – FREE OVERNIGHT PARKING – From my “I wish I could find the picture I took Department,” I send along this: In Mark Polk’s March edition of RV Consumer Magazine — — he has a brief item about Walmart parking, which probably applies to all one-night on-the-road no-charge parking places.   He mentions how putting down the jacks on hot asphalt to level the rig can damage the parking lot surface. We have seen several instances of what we feel is parking-lot abuse during our travels, but none so memorable as the Scamp mini-trailer on the edge of a parking lot with awning out, rug down, barbecue going and chairs and tables all arranged.  It looked like the owners had set up camp for the week. We try not to be judgmental, but put yourself in the role of store manager.  You can understand why he or she would think about putting the lot off-limits for overnight RV parking.  Most managers of businesses work hard to preserve an image of a clean property.  We hope you consider yourself their guests. PART 2 – TRUCKIN’ AND RVers Anyone... Read more

Go RVing, hit the road–and save money too with these tips

March 29, 2013 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

There hasn’t been a better time in the last few years to hit the road in your RV than now. The economy moving ahead–if a bit sluggishly, Spring is almost here, and the RV industry is on the rebound. You can make your RVing even better by saving money on the road to further extend your camping days by trying some of the following cost-cutting measures to reduce your overhead while not constricting your lifestyle. Most are just changing your old habits for new, more efficient ones. Drive 55. Lower speeds means more miles-per-gallon. Relax, and you will enjoy the scenery more and have less stress at lower speeds. Avoid fast starts and quick stops. It’s all about torque and kinetic energy, which with the proper use will save fuel. Keep tires properly inflated. It can save up to 3% on fuel mileage. Stay longer at campgrounds or boondocking sites. Check out campground weekly rates, sometimes significantly less expensive than the daily rate. Boondock more often. Save campground fees, and losses at the weekly rec. room poker games. Install a solar system. Provides renewable free power to enable camping longer off the power grid–and you can save on campground fees by staying at no-hookup campgrounds. If traveling and staying only one night in a campground, pay less by choosing a non-hook-up site (sometimes called a tent site) or stay at lower-priced regional or state parks, or at businesses that welcome over-nighters like Walmart, Kmart, and Cracker Barrel Restaurants. Eat... Read more

Alternative free (or cheap) overnight camping when on the road

March 1, 2013 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

Bob Difley Campground costs are an important aspect of the RV Lifestyle, and taking some extra effort in choosing where you will spend the night while on the road can save a considerable amount from your monthly expenses. You may enjoy a full service campground when you are spending several days enjoying their amenities, but when you just want to stop for the night and leave early in the morning, paying for a full amenity RV resort can get expensive. However if you keep your eyes out as you travel, and do some advance research on the area you plan to travel through, you may find some opportunities to save some money, but also enjoy something different for a change. The three ideas below for alternative overnight stopping spots are taken from my ebook, 111 Way to Get the Biggest Bang From Your RV Lifestyle Buck. Boat Launching Ramp and Marina parking lots Check with the Harbor Master’s office whether you can park overnight in the parking lot or elsewhere in the harbor (photo – Port San Luis harbor, Central California), or if you see other RVs, ask them. Boaters and anglers often sleep overnight in order to get early morning starts. You don’t necessarily have to have a boat, and you might enjoy a walk around the harbor area and even find fresh fish available if a pier or wharf is part of the set up. Most will charge a moderate overnight parking/camping fee, while others won’t, so don’t be afraid to ask. If the marina is large, you can probably get by just by pulling... Read more

Saving money on the road: Many states offer special rates for seniors or state residents

October 6, 2012 by Bob Difley · 9 Comments 

By Bob Difley The following is “Number 7 State Parks” from my ebook, 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang from Your RV Lifestyle Buck which is available in the Kindle store at Amazon or in PDF format from my website. Many states offer special rates for seniors or state residents Many state parks offer special reduced rates Examples of special rates include California that offers $2 off their regular rate to seniors over 62 and Oregon that offers an annual pass for off-season camping at reduced rates. New Jersey offers free camping Sunday night through Thursday night in the off season; some states offer a small discount for non-weekend camping. Georgia offers discounts to veterans. Check as you go from state to state as some states alter their rates based on their current visitation, such as in Arizona where some state parks will offer seven days if you pay for five if they are not full. How to find these special rates. When you visit a state park check with rangers or office personnel for any special rates being offered. You can find official information on the park’s Web site, but some deals are made only at the individual park. Offer to do some park clean-up, maintenance, or other volunteer services in trade for a free campsite. ►Tip By checking in advance on states’ specials, you may be able to plan your trip to take advantage of the best rates offered. The following is “Number 7 State Parks” from my ebook, 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang from... Read more

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