Boondockers Welcome Review: Your Complete Guide

Have you been debating if a Boondockers Welcome membership is right for you? We get it, one of the first questions we asked ourselves was why buy a membership when you can camp for free on BLM land anyway?

Well, in this article we are going to give you the facts about Boondockers Welcome so you can make your own decision. We know plenty of RVers that love the membership and the experiences that come with it. Read on for all the details!

Boondockers Welcome Review

History

Boondockers Welcome was co-founded by a mother-daughter team, Marianne Edwards and Anne Maste. Marianne has been RVing for over fifteen years and has a passion for traveling large on a small budget.

Anne is Marianne’s daughter and has a degree in Computer Engineering. She worked in embedded software development for ten years before joining her mother in expanding Boondockers Welcome.

Boondockers Welcome Purchased By Harvest Hosts

On June 10th, 2021, it was announced that Harvest Hosts purchased Boondockers Welcome. We love our Harvest Hosts membership, so it’s great to see two companies come together.

The CEO of Harvest Hosts, Joel Holland, said “we are excited to bring Boondockers Welcome into the Harvest Hosts family. While Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome members won’t see or feel immediate changes, our future vision is to create bundled options that give members access to more than 5,000 locations through one simple platform.”

Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Hosts will continue to run separately for now; both continuing to offer their individual membership plans. While it will be nice to have these two platforms combined in the future, you will still need to purchase each membership separately if you want them both.

Demographics

Just like the name, this membership welcomes boondockers of all ages and walks of life. The only rig restriction they have is that your RV must be self-contained. Meaning sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation are to be handled completely inside your RV.

Their website states “a toilet, sink, and a built-in grey water tank are absolute requirements. Confirmation that you’ll be traveling in a self-contained RV is required to purchase or activate guest privileges.”

Woman sitting in a chair in front of her self contained RV and two bicycles.

What Is Boondockers Welcome?

Let’s get to the good part! What exactly does this membership look like and what benefits will you receive. There’s more to Boondockers Welcome than just boondocking on land, so let’s dive in.

How It Works

To join, you will create a user profile, add a picture, and begin searching their large database of hosts.

When searching for a host, we’ve found the website to be extremely clear and easy to use. All of the information you need regarding rig size, hookups, location, and the host rating is clearly displayed.

When you find a host that is along your route and can accommodate your rig, reach out to request to stay. It’s important to note that all Boondockers Welcome hosts are offering you a place to stay on private property and is legal to do so in their county.

Once approved, the host will contact you and provide driving directions and any additional information you need to know about the property. Enjoy your stay and remember to leave a review when you leave!

A screenshot of the map available on the Boondockers Welcome website showing all of the hosts in the US.

Benefits and Discounts

Your Boondockers Welcome membership comes with additional benefits and discounts. One of those being 10% off the registration for the Spirit of the Road Rally. We attended this rally in February 2020 and really enjoyed ourselves!

Additional benefits include:

  1. Free RV Boondocking in New Mexico Guide
  2. 20% off a monthly membership with RV Health
  3. $10 off your annual membership with Fulltime Families

Boondockers Welcome Amenities

While the purpose of Boondockers Welcome is to find a safe place to park your rig off-grid, some hosts offer additional amenities. Some of those additional amenities include water, electric, WiFi, firepit, pull-through parking, and even a dump station! Obviously, it all depends on what the host has on their property.

a screenshot of what the amenities section looks like on the Boondockers Welcome website.

Peer to Peer Reviews

Once you have stayed at a hosts’ property, you are able to leave a review about them. One feature we do like about Boondockers Welcome is that the host is able to leave a review about you as well.

We think this is a great check and balance and ensure you are a good guest as well. It encourages both parties to be kind and considerate.

Length of Stay

How long you can stay on the property is completely up to the host, however, standard stays are typically 1-3 days. Some hosts are extremely friendly and encourage you to stay a week if you want, while some hosts are located in rural areas so 1-2 nights is plenty.

A screenshot of the host amenities on the Boondockers Welcome website

Locations

A unique benefit to Boondockers Welcome is that they have hosts all over the world. That’s right, the world. New hosts are constantly signing up, so if you’ve ever wanted to take a road trip in another country, be sure to utilize your Boondockers Welcome membership!

Keep in mind not all properties are homes either, some are ranches, farms, wineries, or vacation properties. You’re getting a large selection of beautiful locations as well.

If you are interested in other unique places to stay, check out Harvest Hosts.

A man standing in front of a pop up camper van with the awning out. They are on a hosts property from the Boondockers Welcome website.

Additional Cost

While it’s not required, Boondockers Welcome encourages you to leave a token of your appreciation. This is especially true when your host has provided you with hookups of any kind.

Although some hosts clearly state on their profile if they request donations or not for hookups, we still think it’s the neighborly thing to at least offer.

You Can Be a Boondockers Welcome Host Too

If you become a host on Boondockers Welcome and offer free camping on your property, you will receive 50% off a one-year membership fee. Also, every time a guest completes a stay at your property, you’ll be rewarded with a credit for 3 months of guest privileges. 

Additionally, becoming a host is a great way to meet other RVers on the road. We’ve heard some people become hosts before they start RVing so they can get a taste of the lifestyle and gain valuable insight from their guests.

How Much Is Boondockers Welcome?

A one-year subscription is only $50 and you get to camp on hundreds of hosts’ properties for free. We know RV parks that charge more per night! Don’t forget, if you sign up to be a host, this cost goes down to $25.

Boondockers Welcome Satisfaction Guaranteed

This is the first RV club we’ve seen that offers a satisfaction-guaranteed policy. The Boondockers Welcome website states “Try Boondockers Welcome for 90 days. If you’re not 100% satisfied, your subscription fees will be refunded. No questions asked.”

Woman counting money at a table

Other Memberships

If you like the idea of Boondockers Welcome but not sure if you like the idea of staying on other people’s property, check out Harvest Hosts. The membership allows you to stay for free at wineries, breweries, museums, golf courses, and more.

If you are full-time and looking to save money, check out Thousand Trails or Passport America. Both memberships will allow you to greatly reduce your nightly campground costs.

Are you looking for an RV club that is based around having a community or additional discounts on other RV-related products and accessories? Check out Escapees RV club, FMCA, and Good Sam Club.

FAQ

What is boondocking?

Boondocking (or dry camping) refers to staying in an RV in a remote location for free without being hooked up to water, power, or sewer. 

What is the cost of Boondockers Welcome?

A one-year subscription is only $50. If you sign up to be a host as well, this cost goes down to $25. There is no cost to sign up as a host only.

How do I find a host to suite my needs?

Use the filters and our search tool to show only the locations that are along your route and can accommodate your RV size.

What’s the etiquette guests should follow?

You can find the Boondockers Welcome Courtesy Contract here.

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