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One could argue that the best camping is free camping. Apps have come a long way in helping RVers find great camping locations.
We want to help you make some memories by sharing some of the best free camping and boondocking apps we’ve seen. So grab your phone, open your app store, and get ready to download seven free camping apps many RVers love to use.
What Is Free Camping?
Free camping is exactly what it sounds like, camping with no cost. This is a great way to save money in popular areas where RV parks know tourists will pay massive fees to stay. Free camping spots typically offer little, if any, amenities and so it’s not a camping style for everyone.
Government agencies manage many of these free campgrounds and require guests to acquire a permit before setting up camp. This allows agencies to track who uses the land and to enforce stay limits.
While it may take a little more effort on your part, permits help ensure public lands remain open for campers to enjoy.
How to Find Free Camping
Some of the tactics campers use to find affordable campsites have changed over the years. Previously, you could only find free camping through word of mouth.
Now campers have many resources available to them. Some of the best tools come in the palm of your hand, and you can acquire them in a matter of seconds.
Best Free Camping Apps
Many want a way to save a few bucks but still have a fantastic camping experience. Let’s look at some of the best free camping apps so you can get to adventuring and making memories.
USFS & BLM Campgrounds
This iOS app has approximately 5,700 campgrounds managed by the United States Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
You can use the map feature to locate campgrounds near you and even start planning your route. In addition to finding free boondocking sites, you can see the local weather, elevation, and other helpful information.
Don’t worry if you don’t have an internet connection; this app allows you to view campground locations and information offline. This feature comes in handy as many of the best free camping locations lack cell phone coverage.
Campers created this app for campers, and it works for iOS devices. It has a massive library with thousands of places to stay. You can narrow down the search results to fit your budget by using the built-in filters, including free campsites.
Campendium allows users to leave reviews, including tips and pictures to help future campers maximize their camping experience. You may find information on accessing the site or find a dump station or freshwater to fill up your tanks.
Upgrading to the premium version allows you to filter your results based on reported cell phone coverage, which can help you stay connected while camping.
You can get this free boondocking app on iOS and Android devices. It has campgrounds by the Bureau of Land Management and the United States Forestry Service. You can even use map overlays to get an idea of cell coverage and filter results based on road difficulty, safety, weather, and crowdedness.
We also love that this app allows you to find other resources that campers often use, like dump stations, fresh water, groceries, and propane. You can even meet and interact with other boondockers through the app and see other nearby travelers as well. This newer app updates regularly with new features.
This app, for iOS devices, costs $.99 and will give you access to over 1500 boondocking locations. However, this number constantly grows as more users submit new boondocking locations across the country.
You won’t need an internet connection to search the boondocking locations in this library. You can view the driving distance and travel time from your current location to the potential boondocking location as well. This free boondocking app will also help you find nearby hiking and biking locations.
Ultimate Public Campgrounds App
With over 41,000 free or low-cost campgrounds, you may find a great place to camp in this iOS app. We love that it excludes private and commercial campgrounds and only includes public ones.
This app also doesn’t require an internet connection with the data embedded into the app. However, without an internet connection, you won’t get access to all of the supplemental services available.
iOverlander, available for iOS and Android devices, can help you find some fantastic camping locations by using a map or list view.
Volunteers almost exclusively run this free camping app. The app’s developers commit to always having a free version with high-quality information and a user-friendly experience.
Users can submit, amend, and read opinions and information submitted by other users. The app hopes to help others experience overlanding worldwide but still respecting local cultures, people, and environments.
This iOS app claims to be the number one selling, ranked, and reviewed camping app for over 104 months. When you see its benefits, you may understand why many campers love using it.
The app’s library beats all others by hosting thousands of camping locations. You can filter the map by type and by its more than 30 amenities.
You can change from one camping style to the next and access all the campground’s details with a simple click. Whether you need a phone number, website, or directions, you’ll find it on the Allstays app.
Make Boondocking Better with Technology
You don’t have to work hard to find a place to camp. With the free camping and boondocking apps we’ve listed, you can quickly and easily compile a list of potential locations.
We always recommend scouting campsites when possible, but many of the apps we’ve shared provide user reviews to help give you a great idea of the location’s conditions. We hope these apps make it easier for you to get out and camp.
What’s your go-to app for finding free camping?
Speaking generally, I want to thank you for all the work you two do! Your articles are timely and helpful.