Thursday, November 30, 2023


What’s “boondocking” to you? Reader Poll


You hear RVers say they boondock. It’s the act of boondocking. But what do they mean? Is staying any place that’s free boondocking? Is staying in a Walmart parking lot boondocking?

Or is boondocking holing up free on public lands, often in the wide open desert of the American Southwest? Or maybe off the road in a nice spot in a National Forest?

How do you define it? Please take a minute to respond to this poll. Answer as many of the choices as you wish.

Please leave a comment.


Chuck Woodbury
Chuck Woodbury
I'm the founder and publisher of I've been a writer and publisher for most of my adult life, and spent a total of at least a half-dozen years of that time traveling the USA and Canada in a motorhome.



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J French (@guest_8540)
6 years ago

We boondock a few times per year. Sometimes it is a camping area at a Motorcycle Rally & occasionally on public lands.

For us it means, zero electrical hookups, water & sewer. Generally we are good for 4 days at a time with the largest problem being sewer although I do have a sewer caddy which helps for black water.
Otherwise my fresh water tank & generator supply are good for 7 days at a time before refilling.

Sharon N. (@guest_7981)
6 years ago

I think Al’s & Sharon’s definition of boondocking matched my views most closely.

Paul (@guest_7979)
6 years ago

As many have already said boondocking is “camping” getting away from it all at unprepared sites. If you are at a prepared camp site without hookups call it drycamping. Overnight at a big box store, reststop, or such is just that. Of course there are hybrid and exceptions to all rules.

Pat (@guest_7948)
6 years ago

I understand “boondocking” to mean being in the boonies. A simple area, no utilities, no fee (unless there is a fee to enter the park, but not a site fee). Dry camping, as I understand, is a term for staying in a parking lot, no chairs, no awnings, no slides, no grills etc.
We are looking forward to many boondocking adventures when we start our rv life after I retire in August. I’m not one for being close to other people, so being in the boonies appeals to me. Our rig is self sustaining for a few days with moderate water use.

Joel and Betty.... Orange County CA. (@guest_7942)
6 years ago

Boondocking to us means no hookups, no security, dirt all around, no cable, nobody to talk to, no dump. Not for us old people.
Scary. (except Quartzsite}

Jerry X Shea (@guest_7932)
6 years ago

Irrespective of the place you are parked, if there are no hook-ups then you are dry camping. Boondocking, to me, is when you are out in the Boonies – away from civilization on BLM land. Parked in someone’s driveway is dry camping not Boondocking.

Mike Roberts (@guest_7919)
6 years ago

Boondocking means staying in the boondocks!

Wayne (@guest_7908)
6 years ago

Shhh! don’t tell people about boon docking. I do it all the time in our forests and free lands,picking a road away from civilization and really enjoy the quiet away from rowdy campers. I don’t even want to see another camper in distance. I live where these lands are plentiful enough and feel so fortunate to have them. If others found out about it, it would be trashed for sure.

PeteD (@guest_7905)
6 years ago

There is a distinction between boondocking and dry camping. Most people who think they are boondocking are only dry camping. That’s my opinion anyhow.

BRIAN (@guest_7917)
6 years ago
Reply to  PeteD

You have made me change my opinion, you are very correct.

JIM (@guest_7903)
6 years ago

Your word “staying” means what?
1. Stopping overnight on your travels
2. Stop and put down roots for a couple of days
Boondocking to me is staying in an area where you can put slides, chairs ,rug, grill, ect. out. Not pulling over for the night to catch a couple hours of zzzzzz’s.

Al & Sharon (@guest_7900)
6 years ago

I have three categories of overnight stays without hookups:
1. Boondocking: Staying away from designated parking or camping spots, generally out in the boondocks on public land
2. Dry Camping: Staying at a designated camping spot, usually at a numbered site w/o water, electric, or sewer.
3. Overnight Parking: Staying at a spot where most people would not feel comfortable putting out lawn chairs, BBQ grills, etc. Usually at places like Walmarts, Roadside rest areas, or parking lots.
There are some circumstances I don’t have names for. Such as staying in your RV in someone’s driveway or back yard. Sometimes for a week or more.

Wolfe (@guest_7936)
6 years ago
Reply to  Al & Sharon

“Al & Sharon” nailed it in my definition:

Boondock: not a designated campsite, so no amenities beyond nature. You may pay to enter the area, but not renting a certain site. Generally no neighbors within a baseball throw.

Dry camp: designated site, but no hookups. Our default choice, except when pushed into…

“Dry+AC”: no water in/out, but powered. Mostly a mid summer draw, to avoid running genny *just* for Air Conditioning when park nazis only allow 2 genny hours/day and dogs are literally dying.

“Water only/water+power”: pressurized fresh water, sometimes power, but no septic. This is our “full service” since I’ve seen way too many seriously unhygeinic public dumps, and now prefer to cleanly pump at home whenever possible.

“Pavement Parking”: Wal-Mart, rest area, etc. NOT for camping, but just to sleep while in transit. Dont put out slides or BBQ!!

“Visiting”: parking in friends driveway, doesnt matter if you provide your own bed or sleep inside their house.

Susan (@guest_7889)
6 years ago

I think of Boondocking as camping some where for a few day or longer , not over night.

Sharon (@guest_7886)
6 years ago

I am not sure that paying or not paying a fee necessarily goes along with boondocking. You can boondock on public land without hook ups on land that is clearly not an established CG and still pay a long term visitor fee at Quartzite.

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