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Old 04-18-2022, 02:44 PM   #1
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Hello All

I will be taking a trip in my newly acquired Class B - Florida to California and back to Florida- and have no intentions to pay to camp during the entire journey. I figure to be on the road for about a month. I do expect to have to pay for dumping fees - but plan on doing my best to avoid that as well. If I am not able to pull this off there is a good chance I will sell the RV as I bought it used and did not pay a fortune for it.

It will be interesting to see where I end up staying and if I make it back alive.

Take care

KF
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Old 04-18-2022, 03:47 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Kurt Franz View Post
Hello All

I will be taking a trip in my newly acquired Class B - Florida to California and back to Florida- and have no intentions to pay to camp during the entire journey. I figure to be on the road for about a month. I do expect to have to pay for dumping fees - but plan on doing my best to avoid that as well. If I am not able to pull this off there is a good chance I will sell the RV as I bought it used and did not pay a fortune for it.

It will be interesting to see where I end up staying and if I make it back alive.

Take care

KF

That is an interesting goal, but please don't try staying in places you shouldn't be staying and help cause more local rules against RV parking. Get permission where needed, use state and local free area like BLM and forest service areas, retailers that are OK with it (check with store manager), some rest stops, etc. Not our style of travel, but quite a few others do rarely pay to stop for the night.
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Old 04-18-2022, 04:46 PM   #3
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goes without saying
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Old 04-18-2022, 07:16 PM   #4
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New B, for you, and free camping, interesting. We travel from Oregon to Key West and back a few years ago, but we stay primarily in state or national or county parks, a couple times on the approved for overnight rest stops. RV Parky is a good app.
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Old 04-19-2022, 07:35 AM   #5
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Please let us know how it goes, especially what works and doesn't for you.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-19-2022, 07:45 PM   #6
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I can do that....
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Old 04-19-2022, 09:17 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kurt Franz View Post
Hello All

I will be taking a trip in my newly acquired Class B - Florida to California and back to Florida- and have no intentions to pay to camp during the entire journey. I figure to be on the road for about a month. I do expect to have to pay for dumping fees - but plan on doing my best to avoid that as well. If I am not able to pull this off there is a good chance I will sell the RV as I bought it used and did not pay a fortune for it.

It will be interesting to see where I end up staying and if I make it back alive.

Take care

KF
My kind of folks.
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Old 04-22-2022, 03:14 PM   #8
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Not sure about the eastern states, but WA, OR, ID and NV all allow overnight parking in rest areas. Different states have different time limits, 8-12 hours usually. In CA it varies, some allow it and some don't.

There also are many free/cheap BLM campgrounds. We stayed in a beautiful campground on a lake in NV about a month ago, and if you have the annual national parks pass, the camping fee was only $3 per night. $6 without the pass.

Also, on many of the mountain passes, there will be scenic overlooks, that basically are rest areas with no facilities. These are often great places to spend the night. Generally after dark there won't be anyone there except a few truckers also just there to sleep.
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Old 04-24-2022, 04:36 PM   #9
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Some of the truck stop chains have dump stations (Flying J and Pilot I think). Quite a few of the rest stops on southern interstates have free dump stations. If you join Boondockers Welcome some of those participating hosts will have dump connections. Get the walmart directory. Boondockers welcome and Harvest Hosts are now combined and also have a plan that includes some golf courses.

Also DO NOT EVER fill your potable water tank from the spigot at a dump station.

Learn what your most critical parameter is. (Ours is black tank, need empty every 3-4 days). That will allow you to better plan stops and hookup needs. Your trip should be easily doable in a class B.

There are many good apps that are helpful. Drive Weather, Dyrt, and RV Dump sites work well.
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Old 04-24-2022, 06:35 PM   #10
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Texas rest/picnic/wayside areas stay limit is 24 hours unless otherwise posted.

We've also overnighted in the camping area at a Mississippi rest area on I-10, they also had a dump and fresh water hook ups in the camping area.
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Old 04-24-2022, 10:59 PM   #11
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Another helpful site is...
Freecampsites.net
Just a thought but paying for a site once in while that will give you access to potable water & dump area will probably only end up a few more $'s than paying just to dump...
I'm in SoCal & the nearest dump station to me is $25!
Enjoy your adventure
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Old 04-24-2022, 11:10 PM   #12
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Another helpful site is...
Freecampsites.net
Just a thought but paying for a site once in while that will give you access to potable water & dump area will probably only end up a few more $'s than paying just to dump...
I'm in SoCal & the nearest dump station to me is $25!
Enjoy your adventure
How far are you from the nearest national park? In DVNP the dump stations are free, and you don't have to be camped in their campground to use the dump station. They also have free water refill separate from the dump rinse hose.

In the Moab, UT area, a lot of gas stations have free dump stations. We found one in Price, one in Green River, and one in Moab.

The one in Green River said the water was potable, but it was obviously being used as a dump rinse hose and was located at the sewer dump. so not recommended. The ones in Moab and Price had separate fresh water.
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Old 04-24-2022, 11:25 PM   #13
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Try this:

freecampsites.net

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Old 04-25-2022, 11:24 AM   #14
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We love iOverlander app to find places to overnight, dump, get water. Free app and very useful, especially when traveling out west. I would recommend joining Boondockers Welcome as well.
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Old 04-25-2022, 12:33 PM   #15
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I'd suggest adjusting the mindset a bit. The original post sounds like "if I can’t camp for free, I may not camp at all." If you can afford a camper, you can afford a camping fee here and there.
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Old 04-25-2022, 01:57 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by coffeemate View Post
We love iOverlander app to find places to overnight, dump, get water. Free app and very useful, especially when traveling out west. I would recommend joining Boondockers Welcome as well.
Agreed. We use the iOverlander App every trip. Saves a ton of money. We usually stay at a state campground once a week, to plug in, dump, shower, reset our gear, etc.
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Old 04-25-2022, 02:07 PM   #17
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Sounds like you might be a Walmart guy overnighter.

We've stayed overnight at many a Walmart. If you eat in your van you still have to buy food and Walmart has it. If you eat out, Walmart's are usually surrounded by fast food joints.

If you just need to rest, nap and move on, rest stops will do.

Walmarts are everywhere. Cracker Barrels are a step up. No semi trucks around and usually in the back. If you plan to have a hearty breakfast when you wake up you can't beat it.

We stopped at a restaurant in Louisiana had dinner and stayed overnight in their parking lot with permission and then had breakfast. The Cajun food was that good.

We joined Harvest Host and seek out wineries (for my wife) and breweries (for me) and do imbibe local craft offerings and stock up with a wine bottle or six pack if they sell them for the road or next campground.

State park campground are inexpensive and have free dump stations and water and of course they are mostly interesting and scenic. Texas is a big state. For a $70 yearly pass purchased at the gate in the first park you can stay after for free in as many parks. Coming and going you could probably hit at a minimum of four parks and save with that yearly pass. I bet you could stay in at least 6 parks coming and going, that's if you want to enjoy your trip.

Only in the west will you find free camping in National Forests and BLM land. Stop at Quartzsite, free dispersed camping and interesting.

If you don't plan to stop in the available National Parks on your trip you might as well sell the van.
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Old 04-25-2022, 02:09 PM   #18
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You might find an old blog post of mine interesting...

TOP TEN LESSONS FROM AN OFF-GRID MONTH ON THE ROAD

...or my Instagram feed, where I took that kind of analysis one step further in describing off-grid contactless wilderness COVID quarantining in Canada according to strict laws that come with six-figure fines if they are broken. IG username interstate.blog.
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Old 04-25-2022, 02:13 PM   #19
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State park campground are inexpensive and have free dump stations and water and of course they are mostly interesting and scenic.
Some state parks are not cheap anymore. Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina is now $70.
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Old 04-25-2022, 02:35 PM   #20
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Only in the west will you find free camping in National Forests and BLM land.
Plenty of free National Forest dispersed camping in the East. We are fortunate enough to live within a 2-3 hour drive of two National Forests (Allegheny and Monongahela). Many, many spectacular and secluded campgrounds, both paid and free. We spend a lot of time there. There are dozens of other National Forests throughout the East.
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