How We Drove Cross Country Without Paying For a Campsite

We traveled across the country without once paying for a place to stay! No, we did not sleep in Walmart parking lots or rest stops! We took our RV from east to west without staying at a store parking lot or a campsite. Instead, we stayed at breweries, wineries, museums, and people’s driveways. Reading that last sentence you are either super intrigued or just confused. Let me explain.

We used two RV membership groups every night while we drove across the country: Harvest Hosts and Boondockers Welcome.

Harvest Hosts

The first RV group is called Harvest Hosts. For a small yearly fee, you are given a list of breweries, wineries, museums, and farms across the country that allow you to camp on their property for FREE! Honestly, some of the most beautiful places we have camped have been the rolling fields of a winery or farm. I particularly love visiting breweries and being able to simply walk home.

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Boondocking at Climbing Bines Brewery. Fingerlakes, NY

Boondocking at Climbing Bines Brewery. Fingerlakes, NY

Boondockers Welcome

The second RV group is called Boondockers Welcome. This is essentially the equivalent of couch surfing but for RVs. Again, for a small yearly fee, you are given a list of people across the country that allow you to park at their home for FREE! We love this group because we could typically find host locations near city centers, which allows us to park our “large” RV for the day and either walk, bike, or UBER to the cities we want to visit.

As great as this was for saving money, it was the experiences of meeting the many hosts along the journey that made this trip that much more memorable. Whether it be just for one night or a whole week, we highly recommend you experience these! It should be noted that these groups have strict standards on your vehicle type and style; essentially limiting users to only using a type of RV. These groups were actually one of the deciding factors for us when trying to decide if we wanted a van or RV!

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