Whether you call it boondocking, coyote camping or free overnight parking, freestyle camping with your campervan rental is an excellent way to see America without spending a ton of cash. In addition to free parking lots at places like many Walmart store locations, you’ll find over 450 million acres of public land all across the country where you can camp overnight - for free!
Unlike paid campgrounds you might encounter, free campsites provide no amenities such as picnic tables, grills or bathrooms (though you will find bathrooms at many parking lot sites). But you will find a free place to sleep, and often much more: natural scenery, serenity and wildlife.
Sometimes, you want to stay way out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by peace, quiet and natural beauty. At other times, you may just need a convenient stop for the night that has a bathroom and snacks. Choose the right freestyle camping site that suits your needs.
The Great Outdoors: Public Lands, National Forests & Wilderness Areas
No crowds, no amenities: just you and the starry sky. Federal lands are owned by every American, and camping is always free unless stated otherwise. In forestland, look for brown wooden signs in a trapezoid shape, which indicate you are in public lands. They’ll say something like “Entering National Forest.” Watch for dirt roads that lead off the main road, then find a convenient pullout or drive until the dead end.
Many places will have established campsites with durable packed dirt surfaces; find one with enough room to park your vehicle. These free wilderness areas are most prevalent in the western United States, especially Utah and Wyoming. East of the Mississippi River, they can be hard to come across. Don’t know where to go? Find a Ranger Station and talk to the staff, who will be happy to point you in the right direction.
Remember, no ground tents or fires are allowed on federal lands; and open stoves are usually not allowed either. And be sure to check for any signs that may prohibit overnight parking!
When you just need to stop for the night and recharge your batteries, you’ll find an excellent array of parking lots where you can sleep in your vehicle overnight for free. These more civilized stops usually feature bathrooms, drinks and snacks to buy. Wherever you are, always check signs to make sure that overnight parking is allowed.
And again, be sure to check for any signs that may prohibit overnight parking!
Whether you want to rent a campervan or Motorhome/RV, Bakpak Dave can help you find the right vehicle for your adventure. You’ll also receive expert advice on your road trip.. Contact Bakpak Dave and start planning your next road trip today!
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