Nothing is as important, when living the frugal rv living lifestyle, as finding cheap or free lodging as often as you can. If you plan to stay in one place for a long time, you will usually have to budget for a monthly rate somewhere given most people will eventually need power, water hookups or septic access. However, when we travel long distance, like our normal run from Glacier Nat’l Park, Montana to Illinois, we do all we can to avoid those expensive, nightly rv park rates along the way.
That is where freecampgrounds.com comes in. When planning our route, we always go to this site first to make sure that we plan stops in affordable camping areas. How many miles we drive per day depends on where our affordable sites are located. Along our route, once we get further east, the free campgrounds in the direction we’re headed begin to disappear – so we often use a Walmart parking lot for those times or splurge on an rv park the final night, to have access to dumping, hot showers, etc.
Here are the pros and cons we find with this site – even though there are some cons, you simply cannot afford to not take a moment to look because it could save you a bunch of money in the long run!
- Most of the sites are $10, less or free
- They have a search feature which is helpful if you know what town you plan to be in
- You can just click on a state and run through the entire list at a glance
- Wish they had a feature where they put dots on a map for each state to help with locations at a glance. Unsure how far the search feature searches. When searching through unfamiliar areas you become dependent on the names of the towns, which requires looking at a map at the same time.
- Not a large database for most states – but you can help other rvers by adding sites you discover on your journeys! Because there aren’t scores of cheap or free rv sites, we never click any options in the search feature…just let anything available in the general vicinity appear and then we read the description.
- Sometimes data is outdated and prices have gone up, so if a phone number is available be sure to call first to make sure they are still in business and/or that their rate is still economical.
- Don’t expect free rv sites with full hookups or amenities – these are affordable places to stop for the night, but that is all. Read descriptions carefully. Some say “boondocking” meaning there are no hookups whatsoever.
This site, even with some imperfections, is worth the little time it takes to scan an area of the map when searching to save money on your rving journey. We are grateful that the site exists and appreciate having it available. It has saved us money in the past and will do so in the future, too!
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