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Old 05-29-2013, 08:40 PM   #1
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Default Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

I stumbled upon this website while looking for info on something completely unrelated.
Sounds like an interesting concept, but perhaps not for everyone.
Still, it would be one way to meet other campers/boondockers, I suppose.
http://www.boondockerswelcome.com/

Maybe it should be posted on the main "general discussion forum" for exposure, I'm not sure?
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

I put it as one topic but it shows in both places for greater visibility.
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Old 05-30-2013, 01:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Thanks.
The basic premise (I believe) is you join, and gain access to the privately owned boondock parking areas of other members. They may have a driveway, with space for an RV available (no hookups, usually), and are willing to allow folks to use it for an overnight stay, while en route. They suggest leaving a little something as a gift for the host member. Gift card to a coffee shop as an example.
If you have a space for use by other member travelers, you pay a little less for your annual membership.
You don't have to have a boondock space to join, but I think you pay a little more for your membership.
Interesting idea?
They have a map with all the member boondock locations marked on it. They are simply a general location and perhaps a first name only. To get access to the location details, you have to be a paid member.
I'm not sure if there's a down side to any of this?
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

I like the idea. The problem would be incompatible personalities meeting up but that would probably be rare.
The boon-docker can easily move on but the boon-dockee could have a problem if the boon-docker is not considerate.

You have to think that it is like minded people wanting parking and offering parking so it should be fine.

The are free websites for free or low cost camping:
http://freecampgrounds.com/index.aspx
http://freecampsites.net/
http://www.casinocampgrounds.com/index.html
http://www.casinocamper.com

and pay websites:
http://www.boondockerswelcome.com/
http://www.overnightrvparking.com/index.php

I think I'd only be looking for overnight stops but Boondockers Welcome also has listings of people who don't mind if you stay a bit longer.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:29 PM   #5
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

I'm not too interested staying at some strangers house given the many other choices for free camping. Having said that, we did stay at the homes of two fellow B people we know that gave us a level pad and a 30 amp hookup on our recent Texas trip. We knew them from several B socials and rallies, thus, were friends. I don't think they list in any web site for boondocking.

We also have relatives in Indianapolis, IN; Midland, MI; La Crosse, WI; Parkersburg, VA and Burke, VA where we have stayed, free of course. We have had other B people stop and stay at our house that we knew from socials and rallies.
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Old 05-30-2013, 06:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

I like the free part of any boondock website, like some of the ones you posted.
As for meeting strangers, that's how every relationship begins, isn't it? Besides, the other choices for free camping usually involve staying amongst strangers, particularly if it's a boondocking scenario. I would like to have friends all the way from where we live to where we're headed with 30 amp hookups and water. It's a nice feature of your rallies.
How did it (B-10) go by the way? Did you post any updates on this forum, by chance?
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

The B10 Rally was great. There is a thread on RV.net and some postings in the BEE Social Facebook Group. The weather cooperated. There were at least 8 Canadians there with 5 Bs. Where were you?
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Old 05-30-2013, 11:39 PM   #8
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Sounds good, I'll have a look, see.
We had planned to attend as a maiden voyage with the new trailer (I know, but we still have our B, so technically..... ), but Dometic managed to stymie our plans. They had some assembly problems with some of their awnings, including the 9100 Power Awning model, which is the one Keystone stuck on our trailer. My cousin spotted the recall in one of his RV mags, and after doing a bit of research, we found out ours was involved. So, we had to go through the process of contacting Dometic, and then finding a local Dometic authorized service center that makes house calls. The problem description suggested the awnings could unfurl/deploy while the trailer is in motion, so we were stuck in our driveway while the repairs were scheduled, parts shipped, and then the motor replacement was done.
So, that's where we were.
When/where is B-11? (somewhere near Minneapolis/St.Paul?)

btw, Bob and Shaaron who were the organizers of B-10 live not too far from us, I just realized. They live in the same town (a suburb of Detroit) as my late aunt and uncle. I spent more than a few summers there as a kid.
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Old 05-31-2013, 12:08 AM   #9
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Nobody has proposed a B11 Rally yet. One couple suggested central Indiana and is looking into the possibility.
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Old 05-31-2013, 01:50 AM   #10
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Saw that. Amish country? Great pastries.
I'm in.
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Old 05-31-2013, 02:38 AM   #11
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Back to the Boondockers Welcome website. I am one of the original members. It worked out great for me. All original members who have a spot don't have to pay the membership fee. Once they reached a certain number, I don't know what it was they started charging at the 2 tier rate depending if you offer a booondocking location or not. I had one person stay. They came in one night while I was sleeping and when I got up I saw them there but by the time I got out I never met them. Contact is made through the website and you can look up their profile for what that is worth. You can limit their stay, size of rig and many other points. Some members have some to full hookups available others don't have anything. Presently I am in contact for 2 RVers about a stay while passing through next month. As far as problems it really is similar to camping next to them in a campground. I plan on being the guest when I have the chance for a longer trip.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:46 AM   #12
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Interesting. You're an original member and have only had one guest? I guess it would depend on where you were in relation to the major travel routes. If I were headed from Detroit to Buffalo along I-90, I wouldn't want to venture too far off that route just to park for free in someone's driveway or business lot.
So the membership fee is something new? Hmm, I would expect to get a free membership, if I offered a free parking place for a fellow member passing through. It seems fair to exact a fee from those who don't provide overnight parking for other members who do.

Perhaps those are examples of the downside of the concept?
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Old 05-31-2013, 04:00 AM   #13
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

I wonder how your homeowner's insurance would see that kind of setup. It isn't really for money, but does have a reward for letting people stay on your non business property. Would they deny a claim, saying you were running an undeclared business? I don't trust insurance companies at all, so I may be overly skeptical.
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Old 05-31-2013, 03:12 PM   #14
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Hmmm, another good point.
Would the same insurance claim logic be applied to a relative who parked on your property during a scheduled visit, or while passing through?
The interpretation of an arm's length relationship might be the issue. Do public and private campgrounds carry different insurance, or do they simply state "use at your own peril" in the contract for your campsite?
It would certainly be something to consider prior to allowing a scheduled visit and use of your private property by someone you've never met before. It might be considered a commercial venture, because you and others have paid a fee for a service.
Skepticism or not, it's a good point.

As Davydd suggested, there are other, less complex, free camping options out there.
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Old 05-31-2013, 05:42 PM   #15
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Bringing up the insurance thing does seem to open a can of worms. I can envision a few scenarios, especially nasty because funds have changed hands, making this arguably a commercial enterprise. Even if a dollar changes hands, that is a confirmation.

1: Guest causes damage to a neighbors property. Neighbor sues. Because money was exchanged, insurance calls it a commercial venture and denies the claim.
2: Guest trips, sues. Again, because money was exchanged, insurance laughs at any chance of paying.
3: Neighbor calls the HOA and says that there is an unlicensed commercial business at that site. A lot of places have restrictions for short term commercial guests because they don't want a neighborhood turning into a "hotel alley".
4: The guest refuses to leave. The money exchanged forces the homeowner to have to go through the courts for eviction proceedings.
5: The guest files for bankruptcy. The landowner now has to have them on their property for six+ months until it gets discharged.
6: The guest uses insane amounts of water and electricity. Since there is nothing stipulated in the contract, the homeowner has to eat those bills.

Of course, these are all unlikely events, but the fact that money changes hands can turn this into a legal quagmire.

Instead, what would be the best thing would be a free website (with donations accepted) that would allow people to offer places, as well as ask if there are any available. This way, since no funds have changed hands, a non-paying guest is a lot easier on the legal system (and is covered by homeowner's insurance) than a paying tenant. What would be interesting is to have a site that does background checks and cryptographically verifies accounts. That way, one could know that someone asking for a place isn't a felon (a lot of HOAs ban felons from residing.)
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Old 05-31-2013, 08:45 PM   #16
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

7: Guest "expires" while on your property. Yikes!
8: Guest does accidental damage to your property. Has no insurance or other capability to compensate you to cover the damages.
9: ?

The list could get quite lengthy, if we really tried.
Probably a nice idea, fraught with far too many potential legal issues for the average homeowner to have to deal with.
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Old 06-02-2013, 09:47 AM   #17
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

The funny thing is that a site like that isn't really needed. I've had "B" owners in various places around the US offer me space privately for parking if I decided to head that way on a vacation. The trick is just to make contacts either by this forum, Facebook, or others.

This is one of the nice thing about "B" rigs -- because of their size, it doesn't take much to find a place to overnight. If one isn't running the A/C, a 15 amp plug is good enough, water from a hose used briefly to fill up the FW tank is useful, and sewage clean-outs (which are a must to keep tree roots at bay) can double as dump stations.
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Old 06-04-2013, 12:36 AM   #18
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike
I stumbled upon this website while looking for info on something completely unrelated.
Sounds like an interesting concept, but perhaps not for everyone.
Still, it would be one way to meet other campers/boondockers, I suppose.
http://www.boondockerswelcome.com/

Maybe it should be posted on the main "general discussion forum" for exposure, I'm not sure?
I am a member of BOONDOCKERS WELCOME. Have been for a year now and have not only stayed a members' sites but have hosted a couple of folks as well. I had a trio from Australia stay and am expecting a couple from Texas in a couple of weeks.

I have stayed at half dozen members' properties and all were great and very accommodating. There are currently over 700 members in North America. It is a great resource.

To answer the one poster ... there is no fee paid to your host. It is offered as a free service for one or two nights. I think the poster is trying to complicate a very simple program.

As was stated upwards of 500 members are considered Charter Members and didn't pay to join. I believe there is a nominal fee to join now.
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Old 06-04-2013, 04:12 AM   #19
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

I think it's the "nominal fee to join now" that might make it technically appear to be a commercial venture in the eyes of an insurance company considering a claim. They may be of the opinion that the person boondocking on your property has paid for the spot as a service, because they may have paid money to join the site to gain access to a service. It might be seen as a commercial operation by an insurance company, and may cause any claims to not be covered by a typical home owners, non-commercial, insurance policy.
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Old 06-04-2013, 06:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Boondockers Welcome - ever tried it?

As with anything, if a "tip" is offered, only accept it at the end after the guest has prepared to leave. Make sure that it is considered a "gift" and not a payment. Gifts are non-taxable (if under $15K IIRC), payments for services are. If you make an agreement up front, then it could be seen as a business deal. If there is a non-required payment at the end, then it is just a friendly jesture.

I don't think it has got to the point where an insurance company can regulate your courtesy.....of course sometimes I think wrong.

..........Rocky
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