Wednesday, September 28, 2022


Is finding a boondocking campsite worth the effort?


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

Hey Bob,
Thanks for your question and answer blog. I feel I can ask questions that I can’t find an answer for elsewhere. And here is one: I like the idea of boondocking but it seems that I spend a lot of time and effort finding a boondocking spot compared to just heading for a campground. I wonder sometimes if it is worth the effort? —Mike

Hi Mike,
It may require changing your way of thinking about finding boondocking spots. If you consider it as only “finding a campsite” it may sound like a tedious chore. But an alternate viewpoint and the one my wife and I use would be better described as allowing an hour or so for exploring and enjoying an area while keeping an eye out for camping spots. We enjoy the exploring and do not focus entirely on finding a campsite. We unhitch the toad and leave the motorhome by the side of the road or at the beginning of a forest road while we explore the back roads. I look not only for the perfect spot, but also at the access road to make sure that I can get the motorhome in, that we will be able to level, and eventually turn around and get out again.

Boondocking campsite Klamath National Forest

Sometimes we will spend an hour driving and considering numerous spots and take a short hike or two (this is what we would be doing anyway even if we had already chosen a campsite) before we decide on one. It’s hardest when we find one good spot after another and want to stay in all of them. Once we decide, we drive back and collect the motorhome and head for our new camp. And we might stay for a few days – or maybe not. We don’t like tight itineraries.

We never complain that it took an hour to find a camping spot, because that was all part of our lifestyle – exploring a forest, stretching our legs, seeing what was around us. Finding the campsite was incidental – but we always managed to find a spot.

Now comes the good part. Grab your binoculars and take a walk, ride your bike, set out your feeders, arrange your camp, set up your barbecue, and place your chairs facing the best view. At night listen to the silence, unbroken by generators, traffic, or conversations. Gaze out at the stars before falling asleep, and wake up to the chirping of birds and the rich smells of the forest. That’s what boondocking is all about.

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

What a great perspective, Bob. Thanks!!

5 years ago

Great spot finding method.

You can also use Google Earth to zoom in on spots to see what’s there before you go.

Tommy Molnar
5 years ago

While we don’t do a lot of ‘forest’ parking (because here in Nevada, forests are in short supply), we DO do a lot of desert boondocking. We love it. Gotta follow the shade around the trailer, of course, but that’s the lifestyle we like. We usually take our bicycles so we can follow the roads and look for our next campsite.

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