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Old 08-22-2020, 11:11 AM   #1
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Spontaneous travel tips

The appeal to RV travel for me is the freedom to explore without an itinerary. I would be interested in techniques used by experienced RV travelers for last minute overnight locations when traditional parks are not available. I know some businesses like Walmart, Cracker barrel or casinos will sometimes allow overnight stays. I have also read about clubs like Harvest Hosts and I know a little about BLM camping.
Thanks
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Old 08-22-2020, 11:32 AM   #2
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Some of the major sporting goods stores don't mind an overnight stay. Cabela's, etc.
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Old 08-22-2020, 12:21 PM   #3
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X2 on Cabela/Bass pro but go in and register...name, rig’s tag, & phone #. I like Walmart's/Sam’s that are not 24 hours...I come in after it closes and leave before it opens. I’ve done the same at CrackerBarrel, Lowe’s/HDepot. Most hospitals have large enough parking lots and it’s not uncommon to have families staying out there.
My fallback is small airports where I go in and ask how much to “tie down”... only been charged once but got the WiFi code.

BLM/USFS is dispersed camping (usually free) often on the side of a gravel road or in short pull offs... not recommended going in after dark.

We just finished 5 weeks out West (CO, WY, MT) without reservations until we had a better idea where we’d be. Stayed mainly in Public CGs that do not take reservations. With 2 big rigs I make reservations a week in advance for Sun-Monday to dump and resupply at Private CGs.
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Old 08-22-2020, 01:49 PM   #4
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These are exactly the kind of tips I was hoping for. Thank you!
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Old 08-23-2020, 07:26 AM   #5
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I’ve been tempted to post that I carry various church logos/shields that I put in the windshield for the appropriate parking lot I’m using, but someone would take me seriously and do it. Better be gone early Sunday morning before you’re boxed in.

I have asked large construction/trucking companies (big parking areas) for permission to park overnight...usually OK but not always.

Unless it’s really late (after midnight) and I’m really tired I’ll give up and use a truck stop... noise and crowding makes them my last choice. Same with most rest areas unless you stop before 5PM. I’ve had better luck using closed weights stations and one time a open one...went in and asked as it had a large unused parking area.
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Old 08-23-2020, 03:30 PM   #6
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I don’t boondock, never did. Always planned my stays.
Now with an all electric RV no way am I going to boondock.
I guess I can run the generator for some of the night but would rather not.
We need electric for everything from the cooktop to the fridge.
My 6 house batteries wouldn’t last and my auto gen will be running all night.
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Old 08-24-2020, 07:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2cyber71 View Post
I don’t boondock, never did. Always planned my stays.
Now with an all electric RV no way am I going to boondock.
I guess I can run the generator for some of the night but would rather not.
We need electric for everything from the cooktop to the fridge.
My 6 house batteries wouldn’t last and my auto gen will be running all night.
I probably should just post X2 on the ^^^ as more people are boondocking making it harder to find sites. Today there’s lots of info on the net about places so more people are boondocking

[mod edit]

The only reason to run the generator at night is if you need AC and in that situation staying at a CG with electric may be a better option.

Yes, my rig (and previous) is “total electric” and we boondock 80% of the time during the summer. My 21 cuft EnergyStar refrigerator draws 1 amp AC or 8 amps DC when running 40% of the time so ONE 100AH battery will run it all night [mod edit]. In the morning I will crank the generator to make coffee and charge the batteries for 45 minutes. In the evening while cooking I’ll run the generator for an hour...I do not use the auto start.

I put too much money into my NoCold before going residential (previous rig and BEST mod ever) [mod edit].
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