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Old 01-27-2022, 05:27 AM   #1
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Experience with Boondockers Welcome?

I'm a happy Harvest Host member doing some trip planning and looking for some safe overnights along my travels. Harvest Host is trying to entice me to become a member of BW as well. Wondering what the experience has been of members of this forum - both as guests and as hosts?

I'm especially curious to know what motivates a host to freely offer their accommodations, rather than listing their property on a site that would pay them to host, such as Hipcamp?

I understand the Harvest Host model, and feel it's a win-win for both hosts and guests. But for the life of me, I can't figure out where the win is for a BW host.

Can someone enlighten me? If I knew what the motivations were of the hosts I would be more likely to become a guest knowing that my style was a match for the host's expectations.

Thanks for sharing!
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Old 01-27-2022, 06:23 AM   #2
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I have used BW several times over the last few years. I think that the primary motivation of the hosts is purely social- meet new people with similar interests. Secondarily I think that there is an altruistic motivation to share.

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Old 01-27-2022, 06:27 AM   #3
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We used it twice and had excellent results. Nice, helpful people who were serious campers and they had space to help travelers. We are basing most of our trip south this year on HH/BW and hope the good experiences continue. We will probably list as BW hosts this year.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:08 PM   #4
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My expectation is that some folks have room for others and do not have the freedom to regularly travel. Having RVers visit extends their travel season. There is also an increase in pride of ownership when others enjoy your property.
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Old 01-27-2022, 02:45 PM   #5
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I would be wondering if the host had a lifestyle they thought maybe others would be interested in.

Has anyone used this service and found the hosts expecting anything other than an overnight?

Or maybe just had someone talk their ear off or not leave them alone?
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Old 01-30-2022, 06:23 PM   #6
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I would be wondering if the host had a lifestyle they thought maybe others would be interested in.

Has anyone used this service and found the hosts expecting anything other than an overnight?

Or maybe just had someone talk their ear off or not leave them alone?
I have the same questions as Keith. Although BW sounds almost too good to be true, my hesitancy with making use of the offerings is wondering about the sort of interactions most hosts are looking for. After a long day on the road I'm up for a little bit of friendly conversation upon arrival, but then I want to unwind quietly before calling it a night. Perhaps my desire for a quiet overnight is not a good match for the expectations of most hosts?

I also had the same second question as Keith - regarding what would be an appropriate thank you for a host, if any. I'm not used to receiving without giving and wonder what sort of an exchange might be warranted. One of the reasons I like Harvest Hosts is the expectations are very clear. I choose locations offering services or products of interest to me, and it becomes a win-win for all of us.

Surprised that this thread hasn't gotten more of a response. Does this mean very few readers of this forum are using BW, as hosts or guests?
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Old 01-30-2022, 06:30 PM   #7
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We joined BW last summer, and we used 5 different host sites over our summer trip. Absolutely would recommend completely and unreservedly. Contrary to some people’s beliefs, there really are people who like to share without compensation, just to give back to the community. All the hosts we used were like that. The hosts took their clues for sociability from us. If we came out and sat in a lawn chair, they would drop over to see if we wanted to chat or not. Most just wanted to offer information about places to see and if we had any questions. No one talked our ear off, no one knocked on our door requesting more interaction. I much, much, much prefer this to having to buy things at a HH location. We didn’t have to get in early enough to fit in a tasting or tour, but they all asked for us to be set up before dark. Two or three had electrical connections, and we used one in Texas for AC, but we are fully self contained and it wasn’t required even then. Most ask you pay $5-$10 for the use of their electricity, but not all do. The host gets compensated with a free membership credit.
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Old 01-30-2022, 07:39 PM   #8
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Yeah, what UTTransplant said.

I have a HH membership even though I'm not traveling yet, because I wanted to lock in their cheaper rates before they did their price hike. It's a full membership so I can roll on the grass of exclusive golf clubs while chugging down my wine bottle & juggling farm-fresh eggs.

The idea of being able to stay a few nights at a place where you can meet new people with similar RVing interests and don't have to spend a lot of money is wonderful. So looking forward to adding Boondockers Welcome to my membership soon!
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Old 01-31-2022, 06:40 AM   #9
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Just the sort of personal experience reply I was looking for. Thanks for getting me over the hump! Looking forward to giving it a try as I plan a long trip for later in the year. And thank you ClassClass for backing that up. It might be a nice addition to those nights when I’m rolling on the grass of exclusive golf clubs while chugging a bottle of wine and juggling a dozen farm fresh eggs!

UTTransplant - when you didn’t use any services, did you feel a need to acknowledge your host’s hospitality in any way other than a Thank You?

My somewhat jaded heart is touched hearing about the unconditional kindness of strangers.
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Old 01-31-2022, 07:58 AM   #10
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We have been BW members for 4 years now and have stayed with hosts in MT, ID, NM, AZ, CO, and WA. We have NEVER had a bad experience and as a matter of fact, we have stayed in touch with many of them after our stays.

The only real benefit for the hosts is that they get free membership to the group when they travel and stay with other hosts, as all BW hosts are (or were) also RV owners.

My opinion is that RV'ers like to spend time with other RV'ers and share their travel and life experiences......... it's kind of like the environment in an RV park in terms of the interaction and camaraderie...... I highly recommend BW.

As a matter of fact; I personally prefer this to the "Quid Pro Quo" of the HH model
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Old 01-31-2022, 08:07 AM   #11
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UTTransplant - when you didnít use any services, did you feel a need to acknowledge your hostís hospitality in any way other than a Thank You?
Actually I do leave a thank you gift. The hosts have been pleasantly surprised, and all of them said it wasnít needed. I give the hosts a pair of microwave bowl cozies I made. Handy when heating up things in the microwave without burning your fingers on a hot bowl.
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Old 01-31-2022, 08:09 AM   #12
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Actually I do leave a thank you gift. The hosts have been pleasantly surprised, and all of them said it wasnít needed. I give the hosts a pair of microwave bowl cozies I made. Handy when heating up things in the microwave without burning your fingers on a hot bowl.
Exactly!! We typically offer to share a bottle of wine (we're winos) and this is a great way to get the conversation going if the hosts are interested!
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Old 01-31-2022, 01:57 PM   #13
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Since Harvest Hosts now has Boondockers Welcome, may b3 difficult to sort one from the other. At least it all the one price now.
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Old 01-31-2022, 02:22 PM   #14
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Since Harvest Hosts now has Boondockers Welcome, may b3 difficult to sort one from the other. At least it all the one price now.
*Tugs at HighDesert's sleeve* Wh-when do I get my Twin Flame, HD?
<--- My little flame is getting lonely. Do I have to do 100 posts to get it?
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