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Get our top tips for saving money on a campervan trip:

Carrie Willink

You’ve booked the flights, booked the Escape Campervan of your dreams, and now it’s time to find a place to camp. This can be overwhelming as some campgrounds and campsites charge as high as $150 a night! Whew. 

Let’s do better – let’s find you a place to camp for FREE! We said it – free! 

However, if you’re a regular camper but new to this ‘free camping’ thing; here’s your warning, You will be limited with little to no amenities. You can, however, find some of the most beautiful spots and you can find many of them via free camping apps and tools!

Coffee in a campervan

Let’s Start With Some Apps And Website Options For Free Camping:

The Dyrt:  Camping made simple! Check out this easy-to-use website (and app option) to find free camping and more. The Dyrt has teamed up with Escape Campervan to give you a free month’s membership! Use this code: ECV1M 

Hipcamp: This site (and app option) is filled with ways to discover and book tent camping, RV parks, cabins, tree houses, and glamping!

Boondocking: Locals invite others to park on their property, share their stories and get a good night’s rest. (see app) Kind of like an Airbnb for campers. Some are free and sometimes have amenities! 

AllStays: Greats maps and planning options.

Reserve America:  You can get a night of free camping if you sign up on their website.

campervan kitchen

Free Camping Locations (Some Natural, Some Not):   

National Forests and Grasslands: The United States Forest Service has 154 National Forests and 20 National Grasslands. You can find free camping throughout! You can even find National Forest land on Google maps or checkout the USFS website here for more precise locations.  

Casinos: Most casinos have a one-night minimum and RV overnight parking. No amenities but instead of spending money on a campsite, you can try your luck at the slots. 

Truck Stops & Rest Areas: Check with each rest area and truck stop. Some offer overnight parking. Some do not. Check with the state’s Department of Transportation ahead of time to prevent any trouble. For a couple of bucks, sometimes they even offer hot showers as well!

Walmart: THERE’S AN APP! Walmart overnight parking. Again, no amenities, but many Walmarts will let you stay in their parking lots overnight. Call ahead to the Walmart you are looking at staying at, as each Walmart has its own policy on it.

Cracker Barrel: Cracker Barrels has a one-night minimum, but yes, you can stay! This is so exciting as you can play checkers whenever you want, with the purchase of a meal, of course. 🙂

Bureau of Land Management: Each state has land owned by the Bureau of Land Management, and sometimes you can camp on it. But it is particular to each state. Be sure you are camping in the right area by checking out this website. 

Kids in a campervan

Things To Think About That Free Camping Apps Don’t Mention:

No Amenities: We can’t stress enough how you’ll need to plan ahead. Here are a few of our quick tips:

  •  Foldable chairs
  •  Plenty of gas in the tank
  •  Warm clothes and blankets
  •  Going to the restroom before places close.  
  •  Body Wipes 
  •  Take Trash with you (packable trash can here) 
  •  Food that you can cook on the campervan stove, not a fire.  

Weather/ Road Conditions: Most of these campsites will be in remote places. Keep an eye on your weather and road conditions. 

Other Campers: Please be aware that other campers may have the same thing in mind. Be kind and considerate with noise; understand this is a shared space. 

Maps & GPS: The apps above should help you with this but also keep an eye on your map to ensure you are in the right area for free camping. 

Leave No Trace: If you haven’t noticed yet, finding free camping is possible, but it takes a bit more preparation and effort. You will be responsible for keeping your site picked up and clean at the end of the day, removing trash, and leaving nothing behind. Not doing so might cause the property owners to reconsider allowing free camping, so please don’t ruin it for the rest of us!

Man in campervan

Download Your App and Book A Campervan Today!

We are thrilled you can get on the road with Escape Campervans and hope this helps you find those free, (some) beautiful sites! Book your campervan and venture off to some happy camping!

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