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Boondockers Welcome Review | Is It Worth It?

our campervan parked at a Boondockers Welcome private property

If you travel in a camper van or RV, you are probably going to want to consider getting a Boondockers Welcome Membership. Whether you use the membership just a couple of times throughout the year or every time you travel, the value is totally worth it.

Although there are a few requirements you must have built into your camper van or RV. But, these are rather simple items to accommodate. In this Boondockers Welcome Review, I am going to go over everything you need to know about the membership and whether or not it is worth it for you.

This post may contain affiliate links. Disclosure policy.

What Is Boondockers Welcome:

Boondockers Welcome is an annual membership that allows travelers to stay overnight for free on private property. It’s a platform built for RV’ers by RV’ers (although having an RV is not required to become a host). Locations are all over the United States and Canada offering so many great places to rest for a night or so.

Boondockers Welcome Rules & Regulations:

There are a few rules and regulations one must follow to qualify for a Boondockers Welcome membership.

Boondocking is a term for free camping off-the-grid with little to no amenities. Many people enjoy this type of camping for the solitude that exists outside traditional campgrounds and RV parks. So the name “Boondockers Welcome” is in reference to the spirit of boondocking.

Fully Self-Contained:

Each RV or camper van must be self-contained. Meaning, that your RV or camper van must provide a way to sleep, eat, cook, and sanitize all within the RV or camper van. Therefore your RV or camper van must have an interior toilet and built-in holding tanks or bladders for waste water. 

5-Night Stay Maximum:

Hosts have the option of offering 1-5 night stays for guests. Due to insurance reasons, guests can’t stay longer than 5 nights in a 90-day period at one host location. This can be consecutively 5 nights in a row or 5 individual 1-night stays. Therefore, for longer durations, you will need to switch up your stays between different host locations.


Nearly 70%+ of all Boondockers Welcome hosts provide hookups for RV’ers. It’s also customery to compensate the hosts for using their hook-ups. Many hosts will have their expected compensation for using hook-ups on their page.

Generator Courtesy:

Most hosts will have a brief description on their page about whether or not they allow generators and what time you can run a generator on their property. If there are no set hours, it’s best to follow the general rule of quiet hours between 10pm-8am.

Please note, that if a host is located in a neighborhood, be respectful and don’t run a generator all hours of the day. This can cause complaints from neighbors and could potentially lose this option for future travelers.

Vehicle Restrictions For Boondockers Welcome Membership:

There are a few vehicle restrictions, mainly because the vehicle needs to be self-contained. Therefore no tents, mini-vans, cars, SUVs, or pick-up trucks will be allowed to join as guests.

Cost Of A Boondockers Welcome Membership:

The cost of a Boondockers Welcome Membership is $79 per year. If you tend to stay at campgrounds, then a Boondockers Welcome Membership pays itself off in 2-3 night stays. But there are ways you can bundle and save with other memberships. 

Pairing with a Harvest Hosts Membership:

There is an option to pair Harvest Hosts and a Boondockers Welcome Membership together to save money on each individual membership. If you don’t know what a Harvest Hosts Membership is, it’s a similar membership but on private properties of businesses.

Harvest Hosts is a network of wineries, breweries, distilleries, farms, museums, golf courses, and other attractions that allows self-contained RVs and campervans to park overnight. You only need to pay the annual membership fee. And then hosts allow you to stay on their property in exchange for patronage to their business. This ultimately helps out both you and the business, because they are getting customers and you are getting a place to stay the night. 

Check out our full Harvest Hosts Review here, for everything you need to know!

Harvest Hosts & Boondockers Welcome Plan Breakdown

Different Plan Levels For Boondockers Welcome & Harvest Hosts:

There are 3 different plan memberships to choose from when signing up for a Boondockers Welcome membership. In 2021, Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Hosts joined forces to offer some epic membership deals to people like you!

The two memberships differ most in that Boondockers Welcome is offered by peers while Harvest Hosts sites are owned by companies.  

If you want to bundle a Harvest Hosts Membership with Boondockers Welcome, the annual cost is $169. This membership option offers over 8801+ places to stay overnight. 

But if you want to include golf courses too, then the annual membership is $179/year. This membership offers over 9220+ places to stay overnight. 

How Does Boondockers Welcome Work:

If you can meet the rules and regulations with your camper van or RV, then you can sign up and pay for your membership here

First, decide if you can also host other RV’ers or Campervans on your property. If so, it is always nice to return the favor! 

Then, sign up and provide as much information as you can about your rig and yourself. The hosts like to know about you and see if they share any similar experiences.  All the hosts we’ve met have been so friendly and welcoming!

Once you have paid and created a profile, you can search through many different host locations via their app. When you know where you plan to travel next, click on the host and request a stay. Hosts will usually get back to you within a day or 2.

Once it’s time to visit the host, it’s best to message them via the app to let them know when you plan to arrive. Many hosts will like to meet you outside to run you through where to park, where to hook-up, the wifi password, and more!

Then, enjoy your stay and leave a review to help other Boondockers Welcome guests!

Cancellation & No-Show Policy: 

Plans often change, so if you know you can no longer make a reservation please let the host know ASAP. It is required to let your host know 24 hours in advance if your plans have changed. 

Please note, that hosts are not being compensated for their time and kindness to allow you to stay on their property. So they are taking their valuable time to offer a safe legal place to stay for the night.

Hosts will notify Boondockers Welcome or Harvest Hosts that you canceled within the 24-hour window or no-showed. If you continue to cancel or no-show, your membership can be revoked with no refund. 

Money-Back Guarantee:

If for any reason you are not satisfied with your Boondockers Welcome Membership within 3 months of signing up, they will refund you 100% of the membership fee.

Pros & Cons Of Boondockers Welcome:

Pros Of A Boondockers Welcome Membership:

  • Free! (other than the annual fee)
  • 70%+ of Boondockers Welcome hosts offer hook-ups
  • Hosts offer stays from 1-5 days
  • Membership can be bundled with Harvest Hosts 
  • Unique accommodation (opportunity to make new friends!)
  • Membership pays itself off in 2-4 visits
  • 3-month 100% money-back guarantee
  • Sometimes hosts will offer the wifi password if it can reach the parking area

Cons of Boondockers Welcome Membership:

  • Vehicle restrictions (no tents, mini-vans, cars, SUVs, or pick-up trucks)
  • Hook-ups are not included, so there will be an additional fee if you need them
  • Can’t stay longer than 5 days with a single host in a 90-day period

Our Boondockers Welcome Review:

While we often find free camping out West, there are many times it is nicer to stay at a Boondockers Welcome property. We find ourselves using the membership most near cities where camping is much harder to come across. Before this membership, we would often resort to stealth camping and not get very good sleep. We would worry about getting the dreaded knock from the police, or a visit from potential thieves. So Boondockers Welcome has given us great peace of mind and allowed us to get a much better night’s sleep.

We also pair our membership with Harvest Hosts which means nearly everywhere we go, we can find great places for overnight stays! Use our Two Roaming Harvest Hosts link to get 15% off your membership

All the hosts we’ve met and stayed with have always gone above and beyond to make sure we felt at home. We’ve been offered the wifi password at each place and also been offered to use a host’s swimming pool! It’s always been fun to share our experiences and learn about the hosts’ experiences in return. We 100% recommend a Boondockers Welcome Membership to anyone who often finds themselves annoyed by paying for campgrounds.

Consider Becoming A Host:

As I mentioned above, consider becoming a host when you sign up to become a guest. If you have a property that allows people to sleep in their RV or camper van on your property, you could help out many tourists rolling through! 

When you become a host, there is a reward program that can get you a free membership, coupons, gift cards, swag, and more. Plus becoming a host is absolutely free. To learn more about becoming a host, check out their host page

Takeaway | Boondockers Welcome Review, Is it Worth It?

If you go on a couple of camping trips per year, I feel that a Boondockers Welcome Membership is worth it. We really only use the membership a handful of times throughout the year, but we love to use it in more populated areas where free camping isn’t available. Which we find very helpful!

We would rather stay in someone’s driveway or on their land than be crammed into a campground in a city that costs $50+/night. Personally, we’ve only had great experiences with the hosts, with each host going above and beyond to make sure we felt at home. And as I mentioned, it more than pays for itself in just a few visits per year.

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