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RVing comes with many expenses, but a campsite doesn’t have to be one of them. Today we’re going to help you find free RV camping all over the US, so your next camping trip doesn’t cost you a fortune. Let’s get started!
What Is Free RV Camping?
Free RV camping is available all over the country, and it might surprise you to learn how convenient these spots can be. You can find these sites in remote areas, in the middle of a city, or even in a nearby parking lot. Whether you set up camp for an extended trip or simply stay overnight, this is a great way to keep down your expenses while RVing.
Where Can You Camp for Free?
You can camp for free across the country on different lands, parks, or businesses. Let’s take a look at a handful of the best locations.
The Bureau of Land Management has public-use lands that are great for RVs, tent camping, or even sleeping under the stars. You can find both developed campgrounds and dispersed camping opportunities throughout the country.
Some BLM campgrounds are more developed than others. You may find restrooms, potable water, electrical hookups, and garbage cans. However, not every camping location will offer amenities.
Your site in a developed BLM campground may only include a fire ring and picnic table. You’ll want to make sure you know what to expect at your location before setting out on your camping adventure.
Free RV camping is available in national forests all across the country. You can enjoy incredible views when camping in a national forest and enjoy the freedoms of RVing outside of an established campground. You can drive down many forest roads and find great spots to set up camp.
Remember that although you can camp for free in national forests, there’s often a five to 14-day stay limit per location. Stay limits will vary from one place to the next and can also change based on the time of year.
Be aware of the stay limit wherever you camp. Overstaying the limit can get you a fine, making your free RV camping trip quite expensive.
Some State, County, and City Parks
Some state, county, and city parks allow free camping to an extent. These will often have little to no amenities, but some RVers have shared how they’ve found parks that offer electricity, water, or even a sewer dump for free. These sites often have stricter stay restrictions than any other park and typically last one to three days.
Many of these camping locations aren’t designed for long-term camping. They work great for short overnight stops or a weekend camping trip. If you want a quick, no-frills camping experience, one of these locations may be a great option for you!
If you want to find free RV camping, you can try lot docking, a growing trend in the RVing community. This style of camping means staying in a business parking lot. In most situations, you’ll have no access to water, electricity, or a dump station. Still, some businesses provide free camping to RVers and offer some amenities.
RVers need to remember that a business is being generous by letting them stay. You should make sure to park out of the way of customers and delivery trucks and maintain a clean camping area. These are great options for those looking for a quick overnight stop on the way to their next campsite.
Pro Tip: Did you know you can stay overnight in most Walmart parking lots for free? Well, you can! But be sure to follow these rules when boondocking at Walmart.
How to Find Free RV Camping
You can use several resources to find free RV camping across the country. Let’s take a look at some of the best ones.
RVers love Campendium’s ease of use and vast database of camping locations, especially the free ones. Campendium has a website and mobile app to find campsites. Filters built into the search engine allow users to change the criteria, including only showing free camping locations.
One of the best features of Campendium is being able to read user reviews of a site. Users often provide details regarding getting to the location, cell coverage, and other tips to maximize a camper’s experience. Users can also upload site pictures to show what future campers can expect to see if they choose to camp there.
If you’re looking for free RV camping, a website like freecampsites.net is a great place to start. All of the locations on this resource are free or under $12 per night. This resource does include sites that require a long-term, inexpensive pass that’s $25 for up to 14 days of camping. RVers love this resource because none of the locations on the site require users to be of a certain age or occupation or to join a club.
The map-based search engine can help you find free or extremely cheap camping locations across the country. When searching for sites in the area, a color-coded system indicates which sites are free, pay, require a permit, or are in the research stage. Many sites listed as “research” are often great lot docking sites for an overnight stay.
If you want the flexibility of using your computer or smartphone to find free RV camping, try iOverlander. Users can submit, change, and find information on places to make overlanding easy.
Users can filter their searches to show free RV camping locations and read site-specific information left by previous campers using the mapping software. The software continues to adapt as more users provide feedback.
Ultimate US Public Campgrounds App
With over 41,000 total campsites and more than 21,000 free locations, the Ultimate US Public Campgrounds App is a great resource. All campgrounds included in this app must be publicly owned and non-commercial. You can find full-service and remote boondocking locations, and amenities vary greatly from one place to the next.
This app uses data gathered from the Ultimate US Public Campground Project. The entire database is updated each month. Filters allow you to customize the results based on different scenarios. Whether you want a particular elevation, camping style, or specific amenities, you can find a great place to stay for your next camping trip.
AllStays Camp & RV
The AllStays Camp and RV app boasts itself as the number one camping app for iPhones. This app has been around for over eight years and continues to evolve based on user-submitted feedback.
Map filters allow you to customize the results based on what you’re looking for in your next camping location. Whether you want a remote boondocking location or a quick overnight stay in a business parking lot, AllStays Camp & RV has a database full of sites for you.
Save Money While RVing
Camping doesn’t have to be difficult to find and doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. This camping style can help save you a tremendous amount of money while RVing. What are your favorite resources for finding free RV camping locations?