RV Boondocking & Stealth Camping Etiquette

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As the saying goes, “Best laid plans of mice and men…often go awry”. There may come a time that you find, no matter how well you preplan your route, you are without a campsite, are just too tired to drive any further or if your adventurous and just enjoy winging it, then Boondocking is an amazing option!

Boondocking is the term used to describe camping outside of a designated or developed campground, that doesn’t have RV hookups such as a shopping center parking lot, residential neighborhood, park and rec areas, etc.

If you decide to say in a residential area, there may be local ordinances that prevent sleeping in vehicles or extended stays, so if you have to stay for the night, we recommend being “stealth” about it.


Boondocking etiquette tips

  • Get permission from the store manager to spend the night. Try to park for the night after the store closes and leave before it opens, if you can
  • Don’t park near the store, find a spot far from the entrance, park away from other vehicles, along the sides of the parking lot.
  • Be respectful of the property and other boondockers
  • Keep music down; better yet wear ear buds at night
  • Stay sober or keep alcohol to a minimum when boondocking. Don’t fight, argue or yell; keep voices down
  • Keep your dog on a leash and pick up any poop
  • Limit your stay to 1 night, maximum 2 nights. Be mindful of posted signs and stay limits
  • Make purchases such as dinner, drinks, fuel, or other items as needed to say thank you.
  • Put up a blackout curtain between the cab and living quarters, keep blinds closed.
  • DO NOT use the parking lot as bathroom facilities.
  • Don’t set up chairs and barbeque outside in store parking lots, but in campgrounds, parks and rec areas enjoy! Refrain from putting out your awning or using slideouts.
  • Most importantly, keep the area surrounding your RV clean and throw trash in dumpsters.
  • In general, wherever you go use common sense, good judgement and practice the policy of “leave no trace behind”!

Read our previous blog post: What To Do If You Can’t Find a Campground: Boondocking Fun Adventures

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