Full-Time RV Living: Know Your Resources
It’s been roughly a month since our full-time RV adventure came to an end. During our trip, we had access to some awesome resources that made things a little easier. With these, we were able to check out places to boondock, dump our tanks, and more. There’s not a lot here, but what there is, is incredibly helpful.
Finding where to boondock in your RV
As I mentioned in a previous post, we boondocked quite a bit, but we followed basic etiquette, including asking permission to park first. We used Walmarts, truck stops, BLMs, and more. Here are some of the resources we used to find these places, plus more suggestions.
Flying J Website
Some truck stops are RV-friendly, including Flying J. Their website is very helpful for finding out services offered and regulations relating to boondocking. Check out all the info here.
Another helpful website for boondocking is AllStays. You can find boondocking spots by clicking on “camping” (scroll down on homepage). You’ll then have to navigate with the buttons for state-by-state/province-by-province listings. The website is a little clunky, but you can get good info there.
Often, if you just search Google for “free RV overnight parking [city name],” AllStays is the first result that will pop up. Checking out the Google result/navigating the website is free; however, if you purchase the app, things get a lot simpler. It’s worth trying the paid version (this is not an affiliate link).
AllStays is really great because people who have stayed overnight or tried to stay overnight at different places will leave their reviews about whether they were able to park and what the area was like. It’s definitely worth checking out at least the free version.
Yet another way to find boondocking is the service Boondockers Welcome. This is a paid service, and while we did not make use of it during our trip, many RVers swear by it. Boondockers Welcome is a subscription service. Guests pay CND$39 annually and hosts pay CND$19.50 annually. With the subscription, guests get unlimited access to host boondocking locations, and hosts get credits towards their own travels.
It personally wasn’t for us, but since many RVers have mentioned this being a great service, I figured I should add it to the list. If you have experience with Boondockers Welcome, please leave a comment and tell us if you think it’s worth the membership price.
Walmarts are really convenient for RVers. Many allow overnight stays, and it helps to overnight at a grocery store, since most of us have to shop frequently because of small fridge sizes and limited storage space on our rigs. However, don’t assume that all Walmarts will let you stay—there are many that don’t, especially in larger cities and/or places that have ordinances against overnight parking. Not all Walmarts are safe to park at, either—this is where AllStays comes in handy, as it shows reviews of people who have stayed in most areas.
The website Walmart Locator shows you which Walmarts in the United States allow overnight parking and which don’t. You can scroll down on the right-hand side navigation and click on “No Park Walmarts by State,” or use the search bar above the navigation links to search by city.
Finding where to dump your RV tanks
If you boondock a lot at BLMs, Walmarts or other places that don’t have services, you’ll need to find a place to dump your tanks. With a family of five and fairly large tanks, we found we needed to dump at least once per week.
Some weeks we didn’t stay at campgrounds at all. During these times, the website SaniDumps came to the rescue. You can search for RV sanitation stations on the homepage search box, or you can navigate locations in the navigation bar at the top of the homepage.
Finding everything else for your RV trip (with kids)
Good old Google was our friend for the entirety of our trip. All I did was search “free activities for kids in [location],” and then I picked the things I thought would be fun to do. This simple step meant we were able to travel on a budget in expensive places like San Diego, California and Dallas, Texas.
Using the websites listed on this post made full-time RV Living a lot easier and simpler for us. Do you know of other online resources that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!