What is Boondocking? What are its types?



A boondocking site is generally located in the “boonies,” which is why it is called a boondocking site. Boondocking is a great option for those who are tired of RV parks that are crowded or who simply want to be closer to nature. Saving money and staying in stunning locations are huge benefits. Federal lands and national forests are common places for boondocking. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is responsible for thousands of acres across the country. Public property with zero amenities is the key here.

5 Types of Boondocking

Boondocking can be done in a variety of ways. In the RV community, most of these terms are interchangeable, but there are some differences. All of them, however, require that you have an RV hookup while camping.

1. What Is Wild Camping?

Boondocking and wild camping are synonymous terms. Boondocking is the only term whose definition also encompasses wild camping. If you want to boondock away from RV parks, you can do so in the middle of nowhere, but if you want to get closer to civilization, you can also do so nearby. Camping type is more important than location. Taking a trip in an RV and roughing it in the wild. Everything you need is supplied by you, including power, water, and food. It is usually even more relaxing to live off the grid this way, as you are less likely to encounter other campers. On a river’s edge, a truck and RV trailer are boondocking.

2. What Is Moochdocking?

Moochdocking is the practice of camping on the private property of someone else for free. The usual method of doing this is to take advantage of a friend’s kindness, or perhaps a friend’s friend’s kindness. When you’re catching up with friends and family, it can be nice to spend a few nights on friendly territory. The same thing is described by the terms driveway surfing and driveway camping.

3. What Is Lotdocking? 

You might see an RV lotdocking in a parking lot after hours. Lotdocking, or free overnight parking, is offered by some retailers to RVers. Camping facilities are available at Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Sam’s Club, Cracker Barrel, Lowe’s, Home Depot, Pilot, and Flying J. RVs can stay one night free at welcome centers, visitor centers, rest areas, truck stops, and many hotels and motels. The idea here is pretty much the same as with moochdocking. You’re looking for a cheap place to stay overnight along the way. Don’t just assume you’ll be welcomed when lotdocking. Make sure the business is okay with it in advance. You can ask the manager about any crucial ground rules or policies. You should also shop with them before you leave. In addition to showing your gratitude, it keeps the lot open for other people.

Parking lots at Walmart where RVs can lotdock at night.

4. Dispersed camping – what is it? 

Boondocking, like dispersed camping, is when you set up camp outside a developed campground. There is still the possibility that you are in a designated area even if you are right on the edge of the campground.

Protecting sensitive areas and managing properties better is easier when RV camping areas are designated. Boondocking is available in several state parks and national parks. 

Despite there being a water spigot nearby, dispersed camping means no amenities, not even bathrooms.

During dispersed camping, an RV is alone in the woods. 

5. Dry camping: what is it? 

Dry camping refers to both boondocking and primitive tent camping in remote areas. You will not be able to hook up to water, sewage, or electricity while camping without hookups. Thus, you must become self-sufficient at least for a period of time. 


Alternatively, you may choose to dry camp in an unimproved area at commercial campgrounds designated for primitive camping. However, dry camping does not always cost less than camping with hookups and amenities.

More to explorer

Which RVs should be winter-ready?

RVs can withstand freezing temperatures with the following features.  If you plan to camp in cold weather, look for these RV features. 

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