What are you willing to put up with for a free spot to park for the night?
How long are you willing to put up with it?
We’re all about free camping. From Walmarting it and casino camping to truck stops, Slab City and the Escapees boondocking guide, we have saved countless dollars while exploring the free side of life. But freedom comes at a price.
In the midst of writing this, we just frantically pulled the slide in while a trucker squeezed his trailer in next to us where we didn’t think any big rig could fit. But hey, it’s a truck stop. And it’s free. When staying at truck stops, we always try to find a spot off in the corner by ourselves, out of the way of of the Bulldogs and Freightshakers. But these gearjammers never cease to amaze me with their maneuvering mastery, and I doubt they are very fond of us campers takin’ up space on their turf. But I digress…
The Best Free Camping is in Texas.
City parks and county parks throughout Texas offer lots of free camping. Many of them have free water and electric sites and a dump station. We spent a couple nights hooked up in Seminole, simply by calling the Sherriff to ask for the key to unlock the 30 amp outlet pedestal. They were on their way to deliver the key, when we called to let them know we found one that was open, and they were much obliged.
Next stop, Denver City, with a nice view of the golf course, a pond, and wide open fields to run Wyatt. For just showing receipts of any money you spend in the county, you can stay for five nights. Free. But then there is that smell… we could only take it for a few nights before we realized why our throats were hurting. The aerial view above clearly shows how the park is situated smack dab in the heart of oil country.
Hereford, TX is a favorite spot of ours in the panhandle. It’s a nice and quiet city park with “Courtesy RV Parking” and I’ll take the CAFO smell over sour gas any day.
But these were all long after we left Black Gap – some of the best free camping we’ve enjoyed this year. Just $12 buys a permit that will let you stay anywhere you can get your rig to safely for up to six months. I miss it already.
Free Camping Resources for RVers
Please feel free to comment with more resources for finding cheap RV camping and free overnight parking. Here are just a few you might just find as helpful as we do:
- FreeCampsites.net – Camping shouldn’t be expensive.
- FreeCampgrounds.com – Find campsites for $10 or less.
- Days End Directory – Escapees guide to camping under $10.
- CasinoCamper.com – Free overnight parking and RV campgrounds.
- Free Campgrounds and Overnight Parking – Courtesy of the Gypsy Journal.
- Overnight Free Parking Guide – Wal-Mart camping guide.
And let us know what you’ve been willing to put up with for a free night’s stay!
- Guide To Free Campgrounds – West, 13th Edition
- Don Wrights Guide to Free Campgrounds Eastern Edition
- The Complete Book of Boondock RVing: Camping Off the Beaten Path
- The Next Exit 2011: USA Interstate Exit Directory
- Casino Camping – Guide to RV-Friendly Casinos, 5th Edition
- Wal-Mart Atlas
- RVer’s Guide to Dump Stations
1 thought on “The Price We Pay for Free Camping”
Thanks – some great tips there and some spots we hadn’t discovered.
Will you consider adding http://www.boondockerswelcome.com to your free camping resources and the Frugal Shunpiker’s Guide Series (http://www.frugal-rv-travel.com/RV-Travel-Guide.html) to the recommended reading list? I’d be happy to send you a sample of the guides but if memory serves me, you already have them???? If not, let me know.