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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Hi, Thanks for posting this much needed resource.

From January to early July 2010, I was on a road trip from CA to MA, and had no budget for the expensive State Parks in California. I spent almost 5 months in that beautiful state so had to get smart on where to stay overnight. My findings may not be appropriate for day camping, but here they are and hopefully this info' might be of use to other's traveling around this awesome continent.

I found one BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT site that was beautiful and only $2 per night. It's in Three Rivers, New Mexico. Stunning petroglyphs and views of White Sands in the distance from the hill where the petroglyphs are located. See photos on my blog and Facebook pages mentioned below.

Most times, I parked for the night in:
- quiet streets after going round the block a few times to check out the area (even did this in LA)
- church car parks or in the street outside a church
- Walmart, after checking on the individual store policy (only place that I found not allowing overnight
parking was Oxnard, CA)
- once, just off the highway ... I-40 ramp eastbound at Winona exit, at top of ramp there's small road to the right
- a few hours in rest areas, sometimes midnight to 6:00am! (never tried this in CA as most were closed anyway)
- in 24 hour McDonalds - great free wifi too

Now I've written this, I'm going to add it to my BLOG's travel tips page. Thanks.

Cheers,
Carole Brown and her YesWeCan CamperVan

Carole AND THE YESWECAN CAMPERVAN can be found here:
FACEBOOK page...
BLOG: http://yeswecanjourney.wordpress.com
Further to our last comment, now added our tips on overnight parking and two more camp sites (they charge, but low rates for groups) here

If this is helpful, we're hoping you'll subscribe to our blog to receive emailed updates by going to http://yeswecanjourney.wordpress.com/
Still much more to write about our roadtrip. And many more photos to share on our Facebook page

Cheers,
Carole Brown and The YesWeCan CamperVan
I started a group! Please join~ I am taking a few hints posted here in my first discussion in the group, but please feel free to start your own!
Hi Laura, I did join your group (this group) and enjoyed adding my findings. After writing more than I anticipated I thought I'd update the travel tips page that already existed on my blog, with what I'd written here. I'm not trying to compete or take the discussion elsewhere, so I apologize if it looks like that. I thought I'd direct you to my blog for the other info' on campsites because those were not free, and this group is about free camping spots.

I had such fun on my road trip that I enjoy sharing it with others. If you take a look you'll see it's about a journey and the amazing people I met across the country and my own personal perspectives.

Cheers, Carole

Laura Anne said:
I started a group! Please join~ I am taking a few hints posted here in my first discussion in the group, but please feel free to start your own!
Great thread!
Making note of all the great information being shared.
nope~ no competition here! the more the better, share anything you can :D I'm glad you posted your blog's link I have been reading a lot! Thanks again


YesWeCan CamperVan said:
Hi Laura, I did join your group (this group) and enjoyed adding my findings. After writing more than I anticipated I thought I'd update the travel tips page that already existed on my blog, with what I'd written here. I'm not trying to compete or take the discussion elsewhere, so I apologize if it looks like that. I thought I'd direct you to my blog for the other info' on campsites because those were not free, and this group is about free camping spots.

I had such fun on my road trip that I enjoy sharing it with others. If you take a look you'll see it's about a journey and the amazing people I met across the country and my own personal perspectives.

Cheers, Carole

Laura Anne said:
I started a group! Please join~ I am taking a few hints posted here in my first discussion in the group, but please feel free to start your own!
Hey everybody, I also found this website that is awesome: http://www.boondocking.org/

you can put the coordinates in your GPS and find good boondocking spots. I don't have GPS but i hope someone may find this site of use!
Thanks. This looks worth a try. To look up your latitude/longitude to use the boondocking site for free places to camp, you can find your co-ordinates at http://www.bcca.org/misc/qiblih/latlong_us.html


Laura Anne said:
Hey everybody, I also found this website that is awesome: http://www.boondocking.org/

you can put the coordinates in your GPS and find good boondocking spots. I don't have GPS but i hope someone may find this site of use!
I park in Denny's parking lot for the 24 hour Denny's. If I need to, I can go in and use their bathroom. I usually go in and eat something and I keep the receipt, to prove I am a customer. I usually go in and eat breakfast the next morning, especially if it's cold and I need to warm up. I am low key about camping, I don't have a camper, I sleep on the middle bench. I never do obvious stuff, like hang out underwear to dry on the mirrors!
A warning: someone told me that if you leave a vehicle unattended in Denny's lot, they will have it towed.

Truck stops often have a 24 hour restaurant and that would be a good place to snooze.

What I look for is a lot of foot traffic and bright lights, because I feel safer there. I wouldn't want to camp out in a lonely spot in the middle of nowhere, all alone.

I have spent the night in WalMart parking lot, but the parking lot sweeper upper cleaner guy was a turkey. He went round and round my truck at least 18 times! But I never gave him the pleasure of sitting up and letting him know he woke me up.
A guy used to hang around here a few years ago, was the quintessential - professional stealth camper. I learned a few things from him. He was about 60, and lived full time in the NF in his olive drab 70 or 71 Ford Econoline van. From the outside, his rig looked like a clean, olive green van with a ladder on top. The ladder was permanently installed, with the middle rungs modified to hold his solar panels. Just looked like a ladder. The inside of the van looked like the inside of a sailboat... Very well set up and comfortable. There was a sliding metal door seperating the drivers area from the back. You couldn't see anything but the front seats from outside. He never stored anything up front. He had a Semper-Fi Marine Corps sticker on the bumper, and 1 or 2 small NRA stickers in the windows. He said he never gets messed with by anyone.
He always kept everything inside the van, and would even put his folding chair away every time he got up. He was kind of OCD about that chair. I guess what I learned from him is to keep your set-up clean, and efficiant, so you don't have to set things outside, or on the front seats. Keep your van washed and clean. Always look like you just got there, and are just about to leave. It helps to look like someone not to mess with. (NRA stickers anyone?)... If you don't look like a victim, you will never be one. If you don't look like you are camping, you won't get in trouble for camping.

Brian.

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