Survey Results: The Most Popular Places for Boondocking and Other Trends

Which states are popular among boondockers, and how do they find epic camping locations?

RVers love boondocking—or dry camping on public lands—for its affordability, scenery, and freedom from crowded campgrounds. Togo RV wanted to find out where RVers enjoy boondocking the most and how they find these scenic locations.

We surveyed Togo RV, Roadtrippers, and RVillage users to find out where and how they boondock. Here’s how today’s RVers are “roughing it.”

Boondocking Trends

  • 26% of RVers surveyed boondock between 10 and 20 nights per year.
  • 30% of RVers surveyed own a travel trailer.
  • 17% of respondents said they boondock solo.
  • 29% of respondents started RVing between 1 and 5 years ago.
  • Avoiding crowds at RV parks is the top reason RVers boondock, followed by spending more time in nature, and saving money.
  • 55% of RVers surveyed travel with their pets.
  • 40% of respondents younger than 44 said they work while boondocking, compared to 13% of respondents 45 and older.
  • Solar power is popular among boondockers regardless of income. 52% said they have a solar power system.

Most Popular States for Boondocking

Arizona was the most popular state for boondocking, according to our survey—25% of respondents listed it as their favorite state to boondock in.

  1. Arizona (25%)
  2. California (9%)
  3. Colorado and Utah (8%)
  4. Florida (7%)
  5. Idaho and Montana (4%)
  6. Alaska, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington (3%)
  7. Georgia, North Carolina, and Wyoming (2%)

Most Popular Types of Boondocking Locations

Over half of respondents said federal land is where they boondock most frequently.

  1. Federal lands (e.g. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service) (60%)
  2. Parking lots/businesses (18%)
  3. State parks (9%)
  4. National parks (4%)

Most Popular Ways to Find Boondocking Locations

Of RVers surveyed, 42% use recommendations from locals and other campers. And 38% of respondents use the BLM website to find boondocking locations.

  1. Recommendations from locals and other campers (42%)
  2. Bureau of Land Management website (38%)
  3. Campendium (36%)
  4. U.S. Forest Service website (34%)
  5. Freecampsites.net (24%)
  6. Allstays (23%)
  7. Harvest Hosts (21%)
  8. Boondockers Welcome (19%)
  9. Overnight RV Parking (14%)
  10. iOverlander (8%)

Biggest Boondocking Challenges, According to RVers

Close to half of respondents (49%) said having limited cell phone service is challenging when boondocking. Other pain points included resource conservation and waste management (46%), and finding campsites (44%). 

  1. Limited cell phone service (49%)
  2. Resource conservation (water, propane, electricity, etc.) and waste management (46%)
  3. Finding campsites (44%)
  4. Learning new towns and areas (18%)
  5. Safety (15%)

The Pandemic’s Effect on Boondocking

34% of respondents said they think the COVID-19 pandemic has changed boondocking. Here are some notable quotes from respondents: 

“Many boondocking locations have been closed due to lack of workers and many not caring for the land properly.”

“A lot more people are camping and it’s harder to find dispersed sites.”

“I think [the pandemic] has increased the desire to boondock and offer places to others. Safer than campgrounds.”

“It has made me (and probably others) consider doing it more often. That puts pressure on boondocking locations.”

“It’s a little bit harder to get supplies and socialize with other boondockers.”

“Can be crowded. More people camping.”

“Due to COVID-19 I was not allowed to cross the border to snowbird this winter and during the summer the areas I like were closed.”

“Doing a lot more camping at our basecamp in Florida. We are in our mid-60s and are hesitant to travel in our Airstream. Some sewer stations have the water shut off so you can’t rinse tanks. Drinking water can be difficult to obtain as well.”

“We aren’t traveling during the pandemic.”

About Togo RV
Togo RV is the ultimate app to keep RV owners organized, inspired, and on the move with a set of tools focused on improving the RV experience. Features and benefits include RV-specific GPS navigation, high-value member discounts, access to free boondocking locations, service and maintenance schedule tracking, customizable checklists, RV Living stories, and a mobile repair locator. Already, more than 300,000 RVers have downloaded Togo RV.

For more information, visit togorv.com.

About Togo Group
Togo Group is a technology joint-venture between THOR Industries and Tourism Holdings Limited. Togo Group is focused on making it easier to experience, own, and maintain recreational vehicles as well as more easily discover, book, and navigate road trips. Togo Group has offices in Chicago, Cincinnati, and Auckland. Learn more about Togo Group and its Roadtrippers, RVillage, and Togo RV products at togogroup.io.

Survey methodology: We surveyed 480 Togo RV, RVillage, and Roadtrippers newsletter subscribers from February to March 2021. For questions, contact editorial@togorv.com.

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