Friday, June 2, 2023


Are boondocking spots becoming as crowded as campgrounds?

Here’s a question from a reader of about boondocking. 

Hi Bob,
I would like to know if you are finding the same problem that Chuck is with the RV world getting too clogged with all the many new RVs being produced. I’m hoping that the boondocking world is not getting as clogged as the campground world seems to be. —Bob D. (in New Mexico)

Hi Bob D. (nice name you have there),
When I started fulltime RVing a few decades ago my wife and I didn’t worry about crowded campgrounds. In fact, I hardly made reservations since we were wanderers, easily distracted away from where we were headed, and just as often took additional days or weeks to get where we were going. Getting a campsite wherever we ended up was not a problem except for an occasional Friday afternoon or Saturday morning, and then we would find a boondocking spot instead. But times have changed. RV manufacturers today are on a production binge, and the prospect of finding last-minute developed campsites in summer is beyond problematic.

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However, all the new RVers traveling about are not quite ready to flock to boondocking locations just yet. Even before the big thrust in manufacturing, the percentage of RVers that boondocked was very low, somewhere around 10 percent, and not all of them boondocked all the time – only once in a while – so it was not a problem to find a boondocking spot. Though the number of boondockers has likely increased, the percentage has probably not increased – and possibly decreased. Most RVers still are not comfortable boondocking, which is good news for those of us that are, as the crowds have not yet arrived at most boondocking locations – though it may become more crowded the closer you get to a national park. Another consideration is that there are jillions (that’s not a scientifically provable number) of places an RVer can boondock in national and state forests, on BLM land, on Indian Reservations, Bureau of Reclamation land, and in National Recreation and Fish & Wildlife areas, etc.


Using Quartzsite (the largest boondocking area in the country) as an example, if you looked for a boondocking campsite just across the highway from the big tent, you would find RVs packed like sardines in order to have the shortest walking distance to the tent. But all you have to do is move out away from the congested area and the farther out you go the fewer RVs you will find.

But the vast BLM lands can hold more boondockers than in the national forests, where trees prevent the same kind of wide-open camping possibilities as the BLM provides. However, you will always be able to find boondocking campsites – and although maybe the most popular locations will fill up on weekends, it is nothing like the crowds looking for developed hook-up campsites.

Keep boondocking – you will still be one of the less-stressed of RVers looking for a spot. 

Read more about boondocking at my BoondockBob’s Blog.
Check out my Kindle e-books about boondocking at Amazon.

Do you have a question for Bob? Email him at bob.rvtravel (at) .




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5 years ago

Perhaps the RV herd will be thinned out when the economy implodes again with all the shiny RV loans.

5 years ago

We learned years ago, after doing the research, looking and homework finding our “boondocking spot”, keeping our mouth shut was the best protection to it being there the next time we cruised through the area.

Bob Duncan
5 years ago

Thanks Bob. That’s hopeful.
Santa Fe Bob D.

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