Last Updated on 05/06/2023 by Glynn Willard

There’s nothing like waking up to magnificent views with lots of space and it didn’t cost you a dime.

Yes, boondocking is amazing! Finding free boondocking sites doesn’t come without work and planning, but it’s worth the effort.

Over time, we’ve developed specific criteria for the best boondocking sites and solid method for finding free camping locations.

I hope this helps you rapidly become a pro at finding the perfect boondocking location for you and your family.




Criteria For A Great Boondocking Site

There’s a lot of land out there for boondocking. The sites can be limited, but there’s still enough to be a little picky.

These are the things I look for in a great boondocking location:

  1. A good distance from other boondockers.

  3. Passable roads for our travel trailer and tow vehicle.

  5. Close enough to a town to obtain supplies.

  7. A soild cell signal for our phones and hotspot.

  9. Preferably a dump station and place to fill our fresh water tank on the way to our selected boondocking location.

    How To Find Free Boondocking Sites?


    App Scrreenshot.

    My arsenal of apps to find free camping, water, dump, diesel and cell signal.

    Here’s the million dollar question. Especially for a newbie!

    I begin first with apps. And the number of boondocking apps is growing daily.

    But the big names in apps to find boondocking are still Campendium, ioverlander and This list grows by the week.

    It’s not specific to boondocking, but Google maps app is crucial for a birds eye view of boondocking locations.

    Of those listed, I like to use and iOverlander combined with Google Maps.

    1. To begin, I look forward a few weeks in our area and find options within 200 miles on and

    3. Next, I layer on cell reception, looking only at sites within cell range. That doesn’t always work in our favor. Starlink is rapidly changing this for many boondockers.

    5. Then I select plan A, B and C options.

    7. Next, I find the locations on Google maps in satellite mode.

    9. I make sure the sites look like they can handle a total of 50′ trailer and tow vehicle combo

    11. Finally, I add them to a list to decide on when we’re ready to move. I always prepare an option A, B and C close to one another incase the first option is unsuitable or full.

    That’s the basic low down on how I find boondocking sites.

    Cell carrier overlay on

    You can also use to find free camping locations. It’s not as user friendly as the apps, but can be helpful as a backup.

    Another Way To Find Free Boondocking Sites?


    Other boondockers nearby can be a wealth of information.

    Another great way is by speaking with other boondockers and getting their suggestions and input.

    Some may be willing to share. But many like to keep their boondocking locations a secret. I don’t blame them.

    Many of the best locations have a limited number of spots. So the less locals talk about it, the more likely they will have a spot when camping.

    Regardless, if you’re kind and develop a good rapport, you may find them revealing some great “secret” boondocking sites.

    It pays to be nice.

    The Best Days To Look For Boondocking Sites

    Hands down, the best days to look for boondocking sites are Tuesday through Thursday. This is easy if you’re fulltiming in an RV.

    Since we were already on site for the weekends, we can tell you about our experience every time.

    Friday, starting around 4PM, rigs would start pulling in until after dark.

    And by Saturday morning, most or all boondocking sites were occupied.

    We always looked at each other and said “no way, not on a weekend!”

    The Best Time To Look For Boondocking Sites


    Since we’ve narrowed down the best days, let’s talk about the best times to find boondocking locations.

    We always aimed for between 1PM and 3PM. Why?

    1. It gives other campers who are leaving time to clear out opening more sites.

    3. New arrivals tend to show up after work around 5Pm to 7PM.

    5. We like to have time to set up before preparing dinner.


    What If All The Boondocking Sites Are Full?


    Boondocking sites in Sedona, AZ fill quickly.

    This has happened to us on many occasions. I learned the hard way to establish a plan A, B and C.

    Plan A was always closest, B a little further and so on. About half the time, we had to move on to plan B and found a spot.

    Fortunately, I can count on one hand the number of times plan C was full. With no more options, we had to resort to “the next step.”

    We looked for larger spots where the occupants were there and outside.

    On every occasion, we mentioned our time on the road that day and asked if we could share their site.

    On one occasion, they were reluctant, but still said yes. Turns out they were leaving in the morning anyway.

    Most of the time, people were fine with it and we would spend time getting to know them. I would even find out their favorite beer and when I drove into town, I would bring back a 6 pack for them.

    That always went over well and was appreciated.

    So, if you have to share a site, offer something in return.

    Wrapping Up How To Find RV Boondocking Sites

    The key on how to find free boondocking sites is to have a plan.

    Use the apps to find plan A, plan B and plan C for a place to boondock.

    The best days and times are Tuesday-Thursday from 1PM-3PM.

    Make sure you finetune your boondocking etiquette if you are in need of sharing a site. Remember kindness and giving go a long way.

    If you’re curious about the best RV for boondocking, you can read our experience with boondocking RV’s.

    Happy boondocking!
    We appreciate any help we can get to bring you great content. Donate or buy us a coffee on our Ko-Fi site.