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Old 03-19-2018, 06:56 AM   #1
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Boondocking 101

We have lived on a sailboat, at anchor, not in a marina for 5 years. What RVers call boondocking sounds a lot like gunkholeing to us sailors. There are many more similarities but for now I would like to focus on boondocking.

How do you find an appropriate site that is NOT the Walmart parking lot.

How does law enforcement handle your freedom to park where you want?

I don't mind site fees for remote parks that do not exceed $5. So far I have only found one. I cannot and will not pay for an RV park again. They are like trailer park trash rich folks. They turn their noses up at my vintage 1980 rig because why? Are they worried the dirt off my RV going to get on your shiney half million rig? Not in the lifestyle I imagine.

On a boat it's easy, all coastal water is federally governed, we the people and all that. If you can move it you can stay as long as you like for the most part. In an RV however things are different, so many laws, so many signs.

So as the new guy I asking how do you do it, the more primitive the better.

Bill
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Old 03-19-2018, 07:40 AM   #2
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Many national forests permit camping almost anyplace. Each forest will have their own swt of rules. Go to the web site for the individual national forest, and look up "dispersed camping." They may suggest some places, and will also tell you where it is not permitted. As an example, here is portion of that page for the Shoshone National Forest, where I frequently camp:

" Camping is free in the remote areas of the Shoshone and is a great way to get away from it all.
Many people enjoy the solitude and primitive experience of camping away from developed campgrounds. Dispersed camping means there are no toilets, tables, or drinking water. Follow these guidelines to ensure these areas can be enjoyed by future generations.
* Campsites must be 200 feet from trails, lakes, or wet meadows and 100 feet from streams or creeks."

There are some additional restrictions, but you get the idea. In the west, BLM lands are also a good place tp\o boondock.

Joel
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:21 PM   #3
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Agree with the above answer... you need to know the rules of each national forest where you want to stay. In the West, the BLM lands are great.
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Old 03-19-2018, 01:27 PM   #4
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:33 PM   #5
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Lol, reading it right now mtk46
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:45 PM   #6
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water, though, is not 'privately owned', like land is...

but, 'boon docking' or 'dry camping' or 'solar parking' or anything else you wish to call it is fairly simple, but you want to be sure that you are not imposing on others who do not necessarily have the same desires in mind. Anyone can park overnight at a big box parking lot, but several nights or a week and you might get someone's attention, and not in a good way. Finding a true 'long term' overnighting place is a different story. It could be a private owner's land, pasture, or driveway, if you know them and they are o.k. with it, and local ordinances or the neighborhood is o.k. with it also. It could be government land, either local, county, regional, state, or federal, that allows it. Even most of those have a time limit, and sometimes a small fee.
You just have to do your homework and sometimes even get a little creative. It'll certainly not always be 'free', as the owner has some costs of you being there, whether because you are using their electricity, or water, or sewer, etc.

Being mobile is certainly fun, and has it's unique characteristics, but it takes a little work, or even a LOT, if you are trying to do it almost for 'free'.
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Old 03-19-2018, 02:48 PM   #7
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Where are you?

We are in Quartzsite AZ today and you can camp any old place in the desert you want for free.


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Question....On your boat did you have to have lights at night when you were not moving? And could have gone into Monterey Bay California and just parked where ever?
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Old 03-19-2018, 03:06 PM   #8
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Currently in Austin TX at McKinney state park. We are working our way back to the panhandle to check on our boat and do some service to the RV. I came through the Ozarks and found a gem of a campground for only 4 bucks, called Haw Falls. Recommend anyone by there stop and check it out. You are literally nested between two steep mountain sides and flanked by a river/Creek.

I'll work on my signature.

As for living on our boat, unless it is impeading navigation or an established mooring field you can technically anchor wherever you please. Common courtesy prevails but it's still the wild West on the water. No one quite knows who owns what so unless your obviously doing something wrong your left alone. Disclaimer, this is only from TX to NY. I have no experience on the west coast. As for lighting, mandatory per uscg regs.
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Old 03-20-2018, 07:11 AM   #9
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As a former sailor myself I understand what you’re looking for. True boondocking on dry land is easier out west where there are vast swaths of publicly owned land like national forests and BLM land. However unlike a boat, you do need to go to a “marina” or as we call them a dump station to deal with the waste in your tanks. I know it sounds obvious but there is no going offshore and dumping the tanks overboard in a hole. Many municipalities have low cost places where you can dump tanks but many people just pony up the cash for a night at a park every week or two to dump tanks, take long showers, and fill with fresh water.
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Old 03-20-2018, 09:40 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Off Road View Post
As a former sailor myself I understand what you’re looking for. True boondocking on dry land is easier out west where there are vast swaths of publicly owned land like national forests and BLM land. However unlike a boat, you do need to go to a “marina” or as we call them a dump station to deal with the waste in your tanks. I know it sounds obvious but there is no going offshore and dumping the tanks overboard in a hole. Many municipalities have low cost places where you can dump tanks but many people just pony up the cash for a night at a park every week or two to dump tanks, take long showers, and fill with fresh water.
You can dump your black tank on your boat if your 3 miles off shore out in the ocean
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Old 03-21-2018, 09:38 PM   #11
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Bill, funny that you picked that thread title -- Bonndocking 101 -- for I created a YouTube video of the same name that explains exactly what you want to learn:

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Old 03-22-2018, 04:07 AM   #12
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Bill, funny that you picked that thread title -- Bonndocking 101 -- for I created a YouTube video of the same name that explains exactly what you want to learn:


Thanks for the video.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:09 AM   #13
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You can dump your black tank on your boat if your 3 miles off shore out in the ocean
Yeah that was my point. You can do that with a boat but not a RV out boondocking. My attempt to explain that probably didn’t come across very well.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:25 AM   #14
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Mark, what a great video I subscribe to your Channel thank you for sharing that with me
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