We’ve been boondocking for over 4 years, and today we want to share some of the best boondocking apps we’ve found with you.
While some of the apps on this list have an initial cost or an optional upgrade cost, most of them are free.
Side note: We both have Apple iOS devices, so all the apps mentioned are available in the Apple app store. Some apps may also be available for Android users, but others may not. If you can’t find an app for Android, definitely search and see if a website is available.
Before we get to the list of boondocking apps, let’s answer a very important question. What is boondocking?
What is Boondocking?
Boondocking, often known as dry camping, refers to the practice of camping in remote areas without the typical amenities found in developed campgrounds. The term “boondocking” originates from the word “boondocks,” signifying a rural or remote area.
Unlike traditional campgrounds, where you might find water, sewer, and electrical hookups, boondocking typically means relying on your own resources. It’s essentially off-the-grid RV camping, often in public lands or undesignated spaces, without direct access to power or water sources.
There’s also a variation called “moochdocking,” where individuals camp on a friend’s or family’s property, sometimes even in commercial parking lots. While moochdocking may occasionally offer basic amenities like water, the spirit remains the same: embracing the wilderness and self-reliance.
Ways to Find Free RV Boondocking
Now that we know what RV boondocking is, let’s go over some of the best ways to find these dry camping locations.
- Word of Mouth: Connecting with other RVers can yield some of the best, less-known spots. Whether you start a conversation at a rest stop, campsite, or RV park, fellow travelers are often willing to share their favorite places.
- Ranger Stations: If you’re near a national forest, stopping by a ranger station can be incredibly beneficial. Rangers usually have up-to-date information on current conditions, road closures, and the best places to set up camp.
- Websites & Online Forums: Websites like FreeCampsites.net and forums like the boondocking section on RV.net provide valuable insights and recommendations from seasoned boondockers.
- Social Media: Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have boondocking groups and influencers regularly sharing their favorite spots. They might provide coordinates or general areas that have proven to be good boondocking locations.
- Boondocking Blogs: Many seasoned RVers and travelers maintain blogs detailing their adventures and sharing insights on the best places they’ve found for boondocking. These blogs often provide firsthand experiences with photos, directions, and tips specific to each location. Click here to check out some of our favorite boondocking locations so far.
- Boondocking Apps: A growing number of phone apps are tailored to help RVers and campers find the best boondocking locations. These apps typically feature user-generated content, allowing individuals to add, review, and update information on various sites. They can provide real-time data on accessibility, potential amenities, and any challenges or restrictions associated with each location. These apps can streamline your search for the perfect spot and ensure you have the most current information.
The Best Apps for Boondocking
1 – Campendium App
- RV Parks and Boondocking Spots
- Parking Lots that Allow Boondockers
- Tent Camping
- Dump Stations
- Helpful Reviews
- Cell Service Reports
- Photos of Boondocking Locations
In our opinion, the very best boondocking app is Campendium! We primarily use Campendium to find boondocking locations although there are a lot of other reasons we use the app as well.
Whenever we are looking for a place to boondock, Campendium is where we start. There are many helpful reviews on the app for each location and often information about camping spots you can’t find elsewhere.
If we are near a national park, we use this app to find a boondocking spot nearby.
2 – AllStays App
- Paid and Free Campgrounds
- Propane Refill Locations
- Truck Stops
- Bridge Clearances
- Dump Stations
- Helpful Reviews
- Location Information
- Cost is $9.99
AllStays is very similar to Campendium. It’s a paid app, but it’s worth a download if you travel with your RV often. There are a lot of great features!
I do love how this app shows low-clearance bridges. I wouldn’t rely on it alone for this but it’s a great feature! Another really helpful feature is that it shows you where you can fill up your propane tanks.
3 – Storm Shield App
- Track Multiple Locations
- Hourly Weather Forecast
- Daily Weather Forecast (up to a week out)
- Wind Speed
- Weather Alerts and Safety Information
- Visual Weather Radar Patterns
When you’re boondocking it’s important to keep an eye on the weather forecast and know how to prepare. We love the Storm Shield app and use it all the time.
There are a lot of weather apps we could recommend but this one is our favorite. No matter what weather app you choose to use, make sure to keep an eye on the forecast and don’t get caught unaware!
Some boondocking locations become extremely muddy during high storms and can cause you to get stuck. Others are near a river or lake and can become quickly flooded during high storms. Be aware and stay safe!
4 – FreeRoam App
- Boondocking Locations
- RV Parks
- Helpful Reviews
- Lots of Campground Information
- Cell Signal
- Weather Averages and Forecast
- Product and How-to Guides
- Trip Planner
- Social Forum
FreeRoam is made primarily for boondockers but also has a lot of helpful information about RV parks.
I love how much information you can find out about each location with this app. You can even set filters for how big your rig is, elevation, cell signal, and more!
5 – The Dyrt App
- Dump Stations
- Pet Information
- Access Information
- State Park Camping
- Site Types
- Trip Planning
- Helpful Reviews
We haven’t personally used this app extensively yet but we have some friends who use it almost exclusively for booking their campsites. It’s perfect for both RV boondocking and tent camping.
Tip: If you’re just looking for free boondocking, change the filters to “free,” and it will make it easier to see all of the free campsites.
The Dyrt Pro Membership has even more features, but the free version of the Dyrt app has all the basics that you need.
6 – OpenSignal Internet Speed Test App
- Speed Testing
- Connectivity Map
- Coverage Information
- Cell Service and Wifi Information
- Compare Coverage for
Because we live in our RV and travel full-time, we have to have reliable cell service for both of our jobs. OpenSignal allows us to scout out an area in advance and speed test to see how good the cell service is.
This is such a helpful app for us! Whenever we get to a new location, we run a speed test to determine which of our wifi sources are the fastest. Download this free app if you haven’t already!
Are you looking for a job that you can do from the road? Check out these unique job ideas for full-time RVers!
7 – RV Dump Stations+ App
- Dump Station Locations
- Flush Water Info
- Fresh/Potable Water Info
- Helpful Reviews
- User Input Locations
An RV dump station is one of the most common things we have to look for when we’re on a road trip and boondocking. If we aren’t staying at any RV parks then we have to find somewhere to dump our tanks every couple of weeks.
This is a great resource for finding dump station locations and all of the helpful information you’ll need to know about them!
8 – AllTrails App
- Hiking, Biking, and Running Trails
- GPS Tracking and Offline Maps
- Save Your Favorite Trails
- Helpful Trail Information
- Pet Friendly or Not Pet Friendly
- Trail Type
- Exact Location
- Elevation Gain
- Trail Length
- Loop or Out-And-Back
- Helpful Reviews
If you want to find great hiking trails near where you’re boondocking, we highly recommend the AllTrails app! Don’t miss out on any of the great trails that might be nearby your location.
We use this great app everywhere we go! It’s extremely helpful with planning hiking activities and knowing exactly what to expect. This app is one of our favorite resources to use when we’re visiting national parks as well.
The Best Websites for Boondocking
While there are a lot of helpful free camping apps for boondocking, there are also several websites that can be useful to boondockers as well.
Freecampsites.net is a crowd-sourced platform that lists free boondocking sites and low-cost camping locations across North America.
It provides the details of each site and user reviews. These often include helpful information regarding road conditions, amenities, and other firsthand experiences.
Another valuable resource is overnightrvparking.com, a site dedicated to listing places where RVers can park overnight for free or a very small fee.
Their listings include everything from rest areas and truck stops to stores and local parks. Each location comes with detailed information on parking rules, safety, and nearby amenities.
Casino Camper provides information on casinos that allow RVers to park overnight.
Many casinos welcome RV visitors, expecting that they might use the casino’s facilities or dine in their restaurants. It’s a win-win for both the traveler seeking a safe spot for the night and the casino hoping for some patronage.
Whether you’re a seasoned boondocker or a newbie, these websites offer an excellent starting point for your next adventure.
Other Helpful RV Apps
While the above RV boondocking apps are our favorites, the following apps are all honorable mentions that are worth checking out as well!
- iOverlander – A user-driven app providing details on boondocking spots, accommodations, and points of interest for overlanders and travelers.
- US Public Lands App – An app mapping out public land boundaries, aiding users in finding spots to recreate or camp legally.
- USFS & BLM Campgrounds – An app offering information on campgrounds managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Ensuring nature enthusiasts find regulated dispersed camping spots to camp in national forests.
- Gaia GPS – A versatile mapping app catering to hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering detailed topographic and satellite maps.
- Avenza Maps – Allows users to download georeferenced maps for offline use, ideal for areas with limited or no cell coverage.
- WikiCamps – A user-generated database that provides information on campgrounds, caravan parks, day stops, and more.
- HipCamp – An app that connects campers with unique camping experiences on private land, from farms to vineyards.
- Outly – This intuitive mapping tool visualizes public lands, making it easier for campers and hikers to find outdoor destinations.
- Park4night – A community-driven app that helps travelers find and share places to park and camp overnight.
- Ultimate Campgrounds – Comprehensive resource for locating public campgrounds across the U.S. and Canada.
- Roadtrippers – Assists travelers in planning road trips by highlighting places of interest, restaurants, and accommodations along their route. Their trip planning feature is top-notch.
- iExit – Offers real-time data on what services and amenities can be found at upcoming highway exits.
- Google Maps – A widely-used navigation tool that provides directions, traffic updates, and points of interest across the globe.
- Harvests Hosts – Connects RVers with unique camping experiences at over 2,500 wineries, farms, and attractions where they can stay overnight.
- Boondockers Welcome – A platform where members can offer or find places on private property to boondock for free.
- Passport America – Provides members with discounts on campgrounds across North America, making RVing more affordable. Learn more about how you can save with a Passport America membership here.
How do you find boondocking locations?
There are several ways you can find boondocking locations. Some of the best ways are through boondocking apps like Campendium, word of mouth, social media, and asking at Ranger stations.
What is the best app for free camping?
Campendium is the best app for finding free camping spots because it’s easy to use and full of helpful information. People who use the app share their experiences with photos and details, like if there’s good cell service. It’s an excellent tool for anyone who loves free camping, whether they’re new or have been doing it for years.
Learn more about RV Boondocking:
Conclusion: The Best Boondocking Apps
I hope that you’ve found this list of the best camping apps for boondocking helpful and that they will help you enjoy your boondocking experience even more!
Have you ever used any of these apps? What other helpful apps for boondocking do we need to try?