In North America, we use the word, 'boondocking' when referring to freedom camping.
Boondockers Welcome (http://www.boondockerswelcome.com) is similar to New Zealand's Park-Over-Properties scheme. Through this web site, private property owners (fellow RVers) offer free overnight parking. But you don't have to be traveling in North America to be a Boondockers Welcome member. Although the majority of hosts are in Canada and the USA, membership is expanding into other countries, with several hosts already listed in New Zealand and Australia.
Through www.boondockerswelcome.com, RVers who don’t require a
campground every night – only a place to park for a night or two while they
visit an area – can easily find a friendly host who welcomes boondockers.
Members introduce themselves, contact each other to arrange a stay, and provide
references for each other; it’s all done securely through the web site. Those
who offer a host location can decide how often, when, and which guests they’ll
accommodate. Travelers search for available spots along their route and can
filter search results to show only those that meet their needs, such as the
size of their rig or whether pets are welcome.
We (my husband, Randy, and I) are Canadians and have been RVing across North America for more than fourteen years. We've always been avid boondockers so, for us, freedom camping seems natural. We realized early on that this is what our motorhome was built for but we know some RVers can’t imagine camping without
hook-ups. Although Boondockers Welcome hosts are not expected to provide electricity, water, or wi-fi access, many can and do include these extras. Some even have an RV dump station.
Not everyone has the luxury of an extra parking space on their property so there’s also a category for RVers who want to use the site while traveling but can’t provide a boondocking location themselves.
We launched the web site in 2012 with expert help from my "techy" daughter, Anna Maste. Together, Anna and I administer, maintain, and promote the web site but we also use the service ourselves: offering overnight parking at our home in Ontario, Canada and visiting fellow members in our own travels, whenever we can.
We believe meeting local people is part of the adventure of travel and Boondockers Welcome enhances those opportunities. It’s not just about saving money on camping and not just an on-line community; it is fostering new friendships among like-minded RVers in real world settings.
To encourage participation in other countries, we're offering an exclusive $10.00 discount (that’s 50% off first year of membership) for those who offer a boondocking location outside of USA and Canada. To take advantage, enter coupon code: RVWORLDWIDE (This is a limited time offer.)
About the Author:
Marianne Edwards is co-owner of www.boondockerswelcome.com and the author of a series of e-book guides, The Frugal Shunpiker’s Guides for Boondocking in the American Southwest, available through www.frugal-rv-travel.com. She and her husband travel in a small camper van and, when not on the road themselves, have hosted many freedom campers on their property in Southern Ontario, Canada.
Take advantage of 'Local' hospitality and knowledge on an RV Exchange made possible through RV Worldwide.