Originally Posted by mransford
When you say "boondock" do you just pull off the side of the road someplace if you can't find a spot in a campground?
It depends what state you're in.
Some states have nice wide pull-over areas such as in Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, some of Oregon and Washington and Montana, Alaska. We have used places like this at times but not regularly. In many western states you'll come upon a nice mountain vista or stream and if it's getting to be 3pm or so, yes, we would just pull over and enjoy the peaceful evening. Most places like this would be on a secondary road that doesn't have a lot of traffic and very little during the night so it would be quiet which we like. (We typically don't drive on interstates. We like the back roads.)
True 'boondocking' in our opinion is stopping at the local national forest service ranger's office or a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) office and they can give you direction on good areas and legal areas to stay on their lands. We do this a lot and find gorgeous spots.
When folks mention 'dry camping' that is staying someplace like a national forest campground with dedicated sites but the sites don't have any hookups. Again, there are some beautiful campgrounds like this and many on lakes or streams.
WalMart or other business parking lots are only meant for a one night stay and are typically called 'pavement parking overnight'. Those kinds of places are not meant to set up camp and haul out your BBQ, chairs, awning, jacks down, etc. We've done this very little because we find more quiet places to spend a night and they don't have to cost anything.
Hope these terms help.