Boondocking is very popular with a core group of RV’ers. It simply means overnight RV camping without electricity or sewer and water hookup. This can include anything from camping at a remote Bureau of Land Management area to spending the night parked in a Walmart lot.
When staying in a parking lot, “professional” boondockers know never to set out lawn chairs or a barbecue at your location. (Which also means no sitting around a campfire, roasting marshmallows!) Boondockers try to make as little of an imprint as possible in exchange for a free night to park.
Where to Set up RV Camp
The majority of Walmarts and K-marts are open to boondockers. They usually have a specific location set aside for RVs and big trucks. My husband and I – who took a year-long trip in an RV around the United States – always talk to the manager ahead of time and thank him/her for allowing us to stay the night. Cracker Barrel and smaller casinos are also open to letting RVs park for free. The majority of Cabela’s stores invite RV’ers to spend the night with brightly lit, RV designated areas.
We’ve boondocked with Walmart and Cabela’s many times. It makes sense for travelers who’ve been driving all day and simply want a place to park for the night before setting out early the next morning. In return, we always make a point of buying something from the store as a way to say thanks. After all, what RV doesn’t need a supply of toilet paper and marshmallows?