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Old 03-01-2021, 02:30 PM   #1
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Default Finding dispersed camping without cell service.

This is a general question about finding campsites for a B van. As an example, we are planning a trip to Death Valley and are not able to make reservations due to availability. We will try the FCFS locations, but what resources do you use to find campsites if everything Is full an there is no cell service to use apps like Compendium, Allstays, or Dyrt?
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Old 03-01-2021, 03:04 PM   #2
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https://www.google.com/maps/search/r...8!2d36.5322649
Now how you're going to find out if one of them have a vacancy is beyond me if you don't have cell service. Guess your just going to have to drive around.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:02 PM   #3
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Default iOverlander

IOverlanderís Apple app keeps the database of campsites on your Apple device so no data necessary. We usually use iOverlander as our first go to app followed by others (Allstays, Campendium and google). Allstays has better listings of the BC free recreation sites than iOverlander but iOverlander has better 1st hand reviews and we have used extensively in both North and South America. IOverlander with Maps.me are our go to apps.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:48 PM   #4
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Dashmead, In addition to using user-based apps such as Campendium and All-stays to find legal dispersed camping on public lands, it's a good idea to check with the agency that manages that land.... often that's National Forest or Bureau of Land Management. Check the appropriate website and/or call the office. That may take a bit more research, but you should know where you go. BLM area adjacent to Death Valley NP is managed out of Ridgecrest Field Office. https://www.blm.gov/office/ridgecrest-field-office From retired US Forest Service officer.
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Old 03-01-2021, 09:52 PM   #5
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I may have answered my own question. We have a Garmin RV 785 and it has a database of iOverlander sites and some other resources. My only issue is that some of this crowd-sourced information is unreliable or the location is not acceptable. But in a pinch, I'll appreciate almost any spot to park overnight.
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Old 03-01-2021, 11:11 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NAZCamperVan View Post
Dashmead, In addition to using user-based apps such as Campendium and All-stays to find legal dispersed camping on public lands, it's a good idea to check with the agency that manages that land.... often that's National Forest or Bureau of Land Management. Check the appropriate website and/or call the office. That may take a bit more research, but you should know where you go. BLM area adjacent to Death Valley NP is managed out of Ridgecrest Field Office. https://www.blm.gov/office/ridgecrest-field-office From retired US Forest Service officer.
This would be my first approach if possible. I am one of those people that get stressed if I don't know where I am spending the night. I wish I were more comfortable with uncertainty. With our new B van, perhaps I can learn.
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:11 PM   #7
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Default You're worrying about the wrong thing....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashmead View Post
This would be my first approach if possible. I am one of those people that get stressed if I don't know where I am spending the night. I wish I were more comfortable with uncertainty. With our new B van, perhaps I can learn.
Finding a place to spend the night in a Class B is not difficult, the rig can stop virtually anywhere without parking restrictions. And, most people would not realize that it's a camper van. Class B's are known for "stealth" stops.

What concerns me even more is "no cell service".....I have two cellphone platforms and hope it's enough in case of an emergency, but, I know someone who carries a satellite phone.

Good luck.....We discovered that it's easy to find any Walmart, Cracker Barrel, dispersed camping, BLM site or even park for a few hours at a rest stop if you are really tired.

Enjoy your rig...... but make sure you carry plenty of water.
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:22 PM   #8
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We reserved a spot in a very nice RV place in Beatty, NV. Then we went over to the Furnace Creek Campsite which takes RV's, but no reservations (National Park). We hung around until 10 am, when everyone is supposed to leave, snagged a spot and blew off Beatty. Cost us 3 days at $20/day at Beatty, but we got into the heart of Death Valley, which was our goal. Dave W
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:42 PM   #9
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If you show up mid-week at around noon, it generally is pretty easy to snag a site at either Furnace Creek or Stovepipe Wells. And both have a dump station and potable water available.

If you show up at 6 PM on a Friday night in April, all bets are off...
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Old 03-07-2021, 04:53 PM   #10
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Your question is confusing. The title has dispersed camping but the body talks about campsites.

There are lots of places in Death Valley where you can disperse camp along the secondary roads--especially in a B van. However, you have to beware of loose sand--especially when parking off a road.

It's a lot easier to explore Death Valley if you camp in a different spot each night and avoid driving back and forth. Don't just stick to the National Park.

Thirteen years ago I did a week long tour of Death Valley in a Jeep with a cot-tent. There's a website: Death Valley in a Week: 1000 photos (800 x600) many with GPS coordinates of a driving trip that shows our route with lots of photos.

Be aware it's 13 years old and things may have changed. We spent a few nights in established campgrounds.

We did the trip in April--not yet too hot on the valley floor and not too cold in the mountains. The snow melted just enough for the mountain roads to reopen a few days before we got there. Mid-April would have been better.

It was the best trip I've ever done in 50 years of camping.

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Old 03-07-2021, 05:36 PM   #11
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We have cellphone and satellite communications in our van but the satellite communications (InReach) is because I also adventure motorcycle and it InReach keeps my wife happy knowing we have a way to get help. Most of my motorcycle buddies also carry InReachs and they work well worldwide (I have used on Continental Divide, Silk Road, Vietnam, New Zealand, Australia and South America) and I have used it where there is and also where there is no cell service. It also gives those that you share the link with - if you turn on tracking the ability to know where you are; plus reach you. I have used in van when traveling alone through more remote states especially when going off the beaten track and throughout South America. Fortunately I have never had to use in an emergency but it is sure handy for checking in to home base or texting. I also take it on remote hikes since its not much heavier than a cell phone and works wherever you have a clear line of sight to sky.
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Old 03-07-2021, 06:25 PM   #12
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Default Finding Campsites when there is no cell service

A recent post queried how one finds campsites when they had no cell service. In the olden days we used paper data to find campsites and frankly I still go to them first outside of cities We likeBLM and more rustic forestry sites. These rarely change much year to year. If you like off the grid more rustic sites I recommend you keep the folliwing two books in your van. Free and Low Cost Campgrounds. by Camping America and Camping With the Corps of Engineers. The Woodalls Camp Guides cover more private and state/national parks. If you are heading up to Alaska get Milepost, the driving/camping guide to the north.
We probably clocked 150,000 miles on the backroads of North America before there even was call service. The beauty of a Class B is that you can stop almost anywhere if necessary. If certainty is a must then you need to stick to the more retail side of camping and make reservations well ahead of tine when you do have cell service.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:20 PM   #13
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do a search for boondocking before you go. there is an old/abandoned rv property just outside the park. lots of concrete slabs and dirt parking areas. It's near the park entrance close to the Inn.
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Old 03-07-2021, 10:21 PM   #14
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There is a really good campsite on route 190, just before you get into Death Valley Nat. park - on the left. Look for concrete pads and RV's. 190 is the road that runs from Death
Valley Junction to Furnace Creek.
It shows up on Google Maps as "desert campsite", but you have to zoom in pretty far before it shows up. It's near Pyramid Peak and Bat Mountain.
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