10 Best Free Campgrounds Without Hookups
One of the simplest ways to cutting RVing expenses is staying at free campsites. This type of camping is referred to as boondocking or dry camping, and it allows RVers to camp in natural areas without amenities, free of charge.
Try boondocking, and you’ll realize you don’t need to stay close to RV hookups to enjoy the outdoors. You’ll have the freedom to go deeper into nature than you can at a developed campground, and you’ll appreciate the peace and solitude.
In this post, we will look at places you can camp in your RV without hookups and without paying a dime.
Don’t own an RV? No problem. Simply visit our site, rent a motorhome or travel trailer near your location, and start exploring America.
Let’s get started.
The Main Drag 525 in Sedona, Arizona
If you’re looking for fun in the Southwest without the high expenses of the region, The Main Drag is a fantastic place to camp. It’s a dispersed camping spot located on Coconino National Forest, just a few miles outside Sedona. It will give you access to Sedona’s offerings, from impressive red rock formations, canyons, hiking trails, vortexes to stargazing opportunities. Note that Forest Road 525 is long and a bit bumpy, so you’re better off camping within the first few miles. The area has a 14-day stay limit.
If you specifically want free campsites with power, water and sewer connections, check out our post on the best free campsites with hookups.
Fire Tower Road in Hazen, Arkansas
Located 10 minutes away from the highway, the Fire Tower Road camping area is a peaceful layover spot to spend the night during a road trip down I-40. There are plenty of large, level gravel sites along the road, in clearings surrounded by nice groves of trees. You can use this free RV campaign area as a base to explore Arkansas’ largest city.
Willow Creek Road in Big Sur, California
Need a serene boondocking spot? Leave your worries behind and unwind at Willow Creek Road in Los Padres National Forest. It’s a forestry road that branches of the legendary Pacific Coast Highway. Drive up the curvy mountain road and park at one of the scattered sites along the side of the slope. You’ll love the commanding views of the ocean, and there are lots of wildflowers around the spring. Cell network is a bit patchy, so you may need to bring a cell booster.
Madden Peak Road in San Juan National Forest, Colorado
Madden Peak Road Dispersed Camping is situated inside the San Juan National Forest just outside of Hesperus. This boondocking location has plenty of spots along the road, and they are all clean and spacious. The sites are in the midst of gamble oak forest and there are epic mountain views to soak in. Although remote, there’s good cell coverage in the area.
Cypress Creek Preserve Campground in Land O Lakes, Florida
To the surprise of many, there is free RV camping in Florida, and the options are plenty. One place that’s a real gem is the Cypress Creek Preserve campground. Although primitive and tucked away, it’s just 4 miles of shopping and dining options. It has a locked gate, so you have to make an online reservation to get access. The place offers dazzling waterfront views, multiple hiking trails, lots of tree shade, and most of the campsites have a fire ring and a picnic table. You can also fish, bike, go horse riding, or head to the ocean, less than a half hour’s drive away.
Green Road Dispersed Camping in Nordhouse Dunes Wilderness, Michigan
Just a short drive from the city of Manistee and about a mile east of the stunning Lake Michigan, you’ll find Green Road Dispersed Camping. This primitive camping site is remote and peaceful yet accessible, and you’ll find a ton of pull-offs on the road, all in a beautiful wooded area. The location gives you access to all that Lake Michigan coastal towns have to offer, plus it provides opportunities for stargazing and hiking. From here, it’s just a five-minute walk to the gorgeous dunes and beach.
Harriet Lake Rustic Campground in Isabella, Minnesota
Contrary to popular belief, free camping in Minnesota does exist. And one of the best places to set up camp for free in the North Star State is Harriet Lake Rustic Campground, part of the Superior National Forest. This hidden gem is about 30 minutes from Finland off highway 1 and has a large field for RV parking. There are picnic tables, fire rings, a boat launch, and vault toilets. You can fish, swim, hike nearby trails, and there are plenty of tasty blueberries if you come around late June. Want to treat yourself? There’s a great restaurant in the nearby woods.
Oliver Reservoir in Kimball, Nebraska
This State Recreation Area is a nice, well-maintained park, just 8 miles west of Kimball. It has 48 campsites right on the lake, which can accommodate even the largest rigs. Although it has no hookups, they have an ever-growing number of amenities, including restrooms, drinking water, a dump station, picnic shelters, and handicap facilities. For up to 14 days, you can enjoy boating, fishing, swimming, biking, hiking, jet-skiing, and even wildlife viewing.
North Beach in Corpus Christi, Texas
Beachfront camping for free? Yes, it does exist. If you’re feeling adventurous enough to take your RV off asphalt, head to North Beach, which is right on the water. With the sound of the waves in the Gulf of Mexico lulling you to sleep, you’ll feel like you’ve taken an epic, tropical vacation. This beachfront area offers plenty of space to spread out, the sand is packed hard enough to support most RVs, and you’ll have access to nearby water, a dump station, showers, and a dumpster. There’s a 14-day camping limit.
Tom’s Best Spring Road in Panguitch, Utah
If you’re searching for world-class free camping in Utah, drive your rig to Tom’s Best Spring Road. This is a boondocker’s paradise that can accommodate all-size rigs. There are plenty of spots throughout the road that are nicely spread out in the midst of pine trees. For activities, the area is just a short drive away from Red Canyon and Bryce Canyon, plus it’s great for biking. There are fire pits, decent cell service, and moderate weather when it’s hot everywhere. The maximum stay allowed is 16 days.
Boondocking: A Fun and Inexpensive Way to Explore America
Although finding free RV camping often means forgoing many of the amenities common to more developed campgrounds, it offers plenty of benefits. It gives you the freedom to roam off the beaten path, enjoy nature in its rawest, purest form, and discover more recreational activities.
And don’t forget you’ll save money on your accommodations, which you can spend where it matters—fuel, food, and fun. If you plan to boondock in any of the sites above, make sure you bring all the supplies you need to be completely self-sufficient, and you’ll likely enjoy free camping without hookups.