Boondockers Welcome is Finding its Place in the RV Community
By Quinn He
Finding a place to set up camp for the night in an RV can be a stress-inducing aspect to RV travel. Walmart parking lots are always an option, but they can get crowded, noisy, and unsafe, especially during the current pandemic. If only there were other free alternatives to overnight RV parking. Luckily, Boondockers Welcome is filling that void for subscribers.
In an RV, you’re already socially distanced from the outside world as it is, bathroom, sleeping, and eating are all taken care of, but regarding that second point, you’re going to have to park someplace when it’s time to turn off the lights.
Boondockers Welcome is a web service that allows users to become either hosts or guests, well not just any web service now that I think about it.
The service that acts as a middle man for hosts and guests that are traveling with RVs. Hosts are property owners that can allow parking of an RV of any size. Guests look online and can find a host that fits their needs, which for many only require a driveway, and for a $50 a year subscription, can stay at any host’s location they find.
Becoming a Host
Boondockers Welcome is run off good Samaritans signing up as hosts on the website. Anyone with parking accommodations large enough to fit an RV, ranging from Class A to C, can become a host through the website.
Even if you don’t have a power source a road tripper can hook up to, don’t sweat it since you hosting them is more than enough; a host can make up for it with a warm meal and a cold beer.
Lute, a member of the service rejoiced that they were given, “a packet of materials with information on the area….leading us to the Root River Bike Trail and a great piece of pie!
“We were also given many special treats from their garden and sent off with home-made 17th-century hot chocolate.”
So, as you can see becoming a host isn’t so hard and the benefits that come with it are tremendous. All that needs to be done on a host’s end is make an account and let the road nomads come to them. What comes with becoming a host for RV travelers is a multitude of life experiences one could not have realized until now.
First off, meeting a plentiful amount of new and interesting people that find themselves on the road is already reason enough to sign up as a host, everyone is different and so are their stories.
Imagine telling your friends about all the colorful people you’ve met just by letting them park in your driveway? Who knows, maybe you’ll meet a new friend.
Families, couples, grandparents, solo travelers, friends, any term you can use to categorize a group of travelers will be on the road at one point or another, acting as a pit stop on the way will mean the world to them and maybe to the host as well.
If a host happens to RV travel themselves, a whole entire world of conversation and, possibly, friendship could blossom from such an encounter.
In the same vein, hosts that also decide to use the service as a guest themselves can also earn credit points towards their subscription for every guest they host.
One user, PhoenixAcres, notes, “I originally became a host to give full-timers with nowhere to park a place to stay during the Covid19 pandemic. If found that I get back just as much, or more, from the Boondockers who stay here. I have a trip out west coming up and I will use Boondockers Welcome hosts for our overnights as often as possible.”
Becoming a Guest and Saving Serious Money
Becoming a guest on Boondockers Welcome is almost as easy as becoming a host, if not easier. An absolute must for any RV traveler is to be in a completely self-sustaining RV. That means having a dedicated gray-water tank, a toilet, and a sink. No exceptions. These requirements are in place to primarily protect the gracious hosts you will be staying with.
Many hosts may just want to leave you to your business and vice versa on certain occasions and disturbing a host to use their bathroom is a big no in that regard.
Unlike a host subscription, to become a guest on Boondockers Welcome, you must pay, but the price is only $50 a year and half that if you’re also a host.
This price may frighten you at first, “Why should I pay $50 a year for something I may only use during the summer,” but when you look at prices for RV campsites even for one night, you’ll be scrolling through your browser history to find Boondockers Welcome.
Travelers choose to become guests for loads of different reasons. “In the beginning the motivation for joining was economical but we quickly found out that meeting our amazing hosts and other guests was a far greater motivation. We have stayed at some amazing places and met some amazing guests,” says members Larry and Rose Ann.
Guests all across the boards have cited Boondockers Welcome as being the ultimate money saver when it comes to RV parking. “I HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend this site! So instead of spending $150 today on lodging, we spent $50! Who could ask for a better July 4th present,” says member holly jacobs.
Essentially, the entire service is the RV version of Airbnb, kind of. When booking a stay with a host, the entire set-up of the website resembles that of an Airbnb or hotel.
Arrival dates are shown on a calendar with amenities and suitability, which includes favored phrases like “pets welcome” or “barbecues allowed.”
The host’s profile, displayed on the same page, include references, and location as well.
Searching for the Perfect Host
The process to look for a host is more like scouring for one, with about 2374 hosts in the United States with about a little over a hundred around the rest of the world. A route planned across the country should have no problem finding housing for RVs on this site. If you’re in South America, there may be an issue since currently there are about two available hosts at this time.
If your trip is within the United States or the greater Canada area, there should be no issue finding a place to set up shop for the night. The more flexible a traveler is with their route, the more hosts that will be available in their path. Finding a friendly host on Boondockers Welcome is a fluid experience that requires only a few clicks.
To get 15% off, use code GONOMAD at check out.