VW Camper Family

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I may start a new group soon about good places to camp for free...  There are groups reviewing camp grounds, but for those of us on a low budget, it would be nice to share some free spots that we know of...  But right now I don't have any because I am just beginning my trip around the U.S. 

I know that a lot of national forests and bureau of land management areas allow people to camp at a spot for free up to 14 days and after your time is up you must move to another spot at least 25 miles from your previous spot.  I am going to try to find some good locations and share them with you.  :)

Does anyone have any suggestions for me?

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Great topic. Don't forget to add Kmart parking lots. 8)
Good free spots are getting scarce... I know of allot of places in Northern California where you can get away with 1 night. To find a place to really lay out a camp, I usually have to give up any notion of sea side views etc.
I usually stealth camp with only my 4 tires touching the ground. If you start putting out your awning and chairs, etc.... It tends to raise the locals hackles for some reason. People will complain and the cops will come for a visit.
We have touched on this in California Campground Reviews and Gold Country Campers groups. Maybe it makes sense to start a group just for this discussion.
Walmart still allows stays in their parking lots but that is for mostly people passing through. I am not aware of any free camping spots in socal. I have been camping in the blm land many time. I have to pay $6 a night. However the ranger does not come around everyday. Good subject though if you can find anything.
Hello Laura,
I really enjoy finding and staying in places I discover and are free. We travel between Buffalo NY and Northern MN threw Michigan and Wiconson as well as Ontario a lot. Our intention is to go east, eastern NY,Vermont/NH/Maine so insights in that direction are also important to us.The potential in a disscussion group like this might also be in what to look for.
When we're on the road there are indicaters/signs to look for. The more we can become familiar with things like that the better. National Forests are a great place to start.
I look forward to following this thread.
All the best,
Dwight
Staying in parking lots is the last resort in my book. I've done it but as we become more and more comfortable on the road other more welcoming opertunities reveil them selves.
Inner cities would be an interesting to explore but suberbia and Ug-walmats-ug help me!
This could be an intersting thread.
Bring it on..
Interstate Rest Areas.
Sure much like Walmarts, not a camping spot but a place to kick it overnight when fatigue sets in.
I only post these options because the author of this topic refers to a cross country trip.

As a footnote.....
Places to avoid, KOA Campgrounds.
I'll take a rest area over freeway camping any day.
Just one man's opinion.
Free spot near Fort Bragg, Ca...... One spot I have been using for more than 15 years.... N. of Fort Bragg, Go 15 miles to Westport... Then 2 Mi North of Westport to Westport Union landing state beach. Heading North, go to the last exit to the State park and campground on the left... It is the day use area at the North end. Directly across the highway from the day use lot, you will see a Cal Trans pit area. At the South end of that is a narrow paved road. Follow that back about 150 feet. Park behind the trees, on the wide grassy area so that the mansion on the hill can't see you. You can see the ocean from there, but nobody can see you from the highway. Hike toward the mountain 500 feet, on the overgrown trail, and there is an abandoned blue and white '84 Vanagon that has been overgrown and hidden back there for 3 years now. All the glass and motor are intact, so nobody ever goes back there. I was there last week, and it is still one of my favorite free spots. I wouldn't have a fire, but you can do everything else.
If you happen to need parts.... The Vanagon isn't pretty, but it is still complete.
@Brian-
Will you re-post this in the California Campsites group? Or, I can do it for you. We should keep this review for others to see. This discussion might disappear one day. Sounds like a wonderful spot! Thanks for the info.

Yeah, If you can move this over there.... I don't know how without re-writing it :-) Brian.

westywoman said:
@Brian-
Will you re-post this in the California Campsites group? Or, I can do it for you. We should keep this review for others to see. This discussion might disappear one day. Sounds like a wonderful spot! Thanks for the info.
thanks for the tips everybody! Brian~ that sounds like a great spot I will have to check it out once I get to Cali.

So far we have parked in Church parking lots off the main routes we are traveling on... National Forest Land is where we will be shooting for, as well as Ghost towns on old Route 66.

As far as Wal*Mart camping goes, we have yet to try it out but I hear that in some towns they forbid over night parking and Wal*Mart lots are where the police go to enforce this law. And by enforce I mean wake you up, make some $$ (fines) and make you move on. So I will be avoiding these unless there are signs specifically posted stating we can legally park overnight. After all free parking isn't really free when you get a ticket!
I aviod camping in cities if I can, but sometimes ya' have to. Any large 24hour place usually will work if you are low-pro. I draw my curtains tight, and have one behind the front seats instead of the one that covers the windshield. I put my anti-theft steering wheel lock thing on the wheel, 'cause it makes the bus look unoccupied.
Then I arrive late, leave early. I also park somewhere in the middle, with other cars under the lights. Then your small interior light is invisable, and likely un-needed. If you are in the back row in the dark, all by yourself... It looks like you are camping. I also carry a police scanner. That just saved me last week. I was parked in a turn-out with ocean views, when I heard the cops talking about me. I drove off, made a big loop, and heard the cop say he couldn't locate me. I heard him go 10/10, which means he was going off shift. So I went back to my spot and had a wonderful hassle free night.
Brian.

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