The state of Arizona is getting plenty of press lately and a proposed tourism ban is being called for by many. We won’t touch on the politics of what’s happening in that state. Even though I have very strong opinions about Arizona’s actions, I don’t want this page or blog to be concerned with, or be a forum for political issues. There are enough webpages and other mediums to deal with the over glorified world of politics and party posturing.

With that said, if your travel plans include the state of Arizona, today I added some information that may assist with your adventure.

50 Free Campground/RV Parks (with more to be added soon)

94 $15 and under Campgrounds and RV Parks

Arizona is a popular destination for retirees and snowbirds. There are plenty of great desert getaways listed on the Arizona map. Give it a visit.

Coming soon. Arizona Overnight Parking Areas, Nevada Free and Pay Sites, Utah Free and Pay Sites, and New Mexico Free and Pay Sites. Check back for updates, or sign up for Email Updates to get a notification when new information is added to the site.

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4/21/2010
Before we get to the recent additions, I want to point out the list of blogs and other useful sites that I’ve added to the right hand column. Everything from entertaining and informative tales of long term travel to gear reviews to destination suggestions. There are some great people that spend time on the road and the information they share of their experiences is priceless. I learn almost as much from reading their sites as I do on the road myself. Spend some time learning from them and it will only help you see the possible freedom that is available to you and will enrich your next adventure significantly.

Some additions to the Free Campground/RV Park data today includes:

California
85 Overnight Parking Areas. California allows 8 hour stays at it’s wayside rest areas. The use of these facilities this way can come in so handy when traveling long distances and putting many hours behind the wheel in a single day. It is important not to drive while sleepy and it’s nice to know where these spots are before you start a day behind the wheel.

This addition brings California to a whopping 322 free spots to camp or spend a night. Other than needing to do a load of laundry, I can’t think of a reason to pay for an overpriced RV Park in the great state of California.

Nebraska
9 Free Campground/RV Parks
34 Inexpensive Campgrounds/RV Parks ($15 and under)

Nebraska may not seem like an ideal destination at first glance, but the state has a lot to offer the avid outdoorsman. I may spend some time in the state this fall searching for Pheasant. Click Visit Nebraska for other great reasons to visit the state.

North Dakota
11 Free Campground/RV Parks
38 Inexpensive Campgrounds/RV Parks ($15 and under)

North Dakota is also a great state for the outdoors type and offers some great destinations for tourists. North Dakota Department of Tourism

Both North Dakota and Nebraska may only represent travel through states to your final destinations to the West or East and if that is the case, make sure to sign up for email updates so you are aware of when sites are added to these states and when other campground and RV park information is compiled for the remaining states.

Coming soon…

Arizona, Nevada, Utah, and New Mexico. All of these states have a lot of resources for the frugal traveler and we’re gathering much of the data now and should have it available soon. Again, sign up for the email updates to make sure you don’t miss out on future updates.

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Explanation of this wonderful work is below

A couple of changes to the site today and a couple of observations from one of the best campsites I’ve ever occupied.

Change #1: California Part II

Today I loaded 231 $15 and under sites to California. Because the KML file would have been too large to have both the pay and the free sites on the same map, California is going to have two map pages. Each map page will have a link to the other so there should be the opportunity to cross reference the two fairly easily. It’s not the ideal setup, but it’s the best I can do with so many sites in one state. If you need to see the two at the same time while trying to plan an adventure in California, I suggest opening each page in separate tabs within your browser or separate windows so you can see them side by side. You can view both the free sites map and the pay sites map on one page by clicking California on the map to the right or you can click here. Let me know what you think…which brings me to the next addition…

Change #2 Contact Me

I’ve added a contact tab on the Navigation Menu above to make it easy for you to let me know what you think of this project. I really could use some feedback on the site. So If you have suggestions, (constructive) criticisms, or a lead on a great free spot to set up camp—please don’t hesitate to send me an email. I’m hoping to make this a long lasting project and the better I can make it in its early stages, the less work I’ll have to do in the future. So fire away, but please aim carefully and with respect.

Observation #1 Things Don’t Change

When I was in Texas last month I had the misfortune of experiencing some big wind while traveling through the Northern part of the state and it did some damage to the Scamp. My air-conditioner cover essentially disintegrated in to a number of smaller pieces that are still probably being blown all over the state. I didn’t notice the new look of my camper until I stopped for gas and by that time it was too late to find a way to salvage the AC unit itself. It took quite a beating and it wasn’t in the best shape to begin with.

After making it back to Minnesota I took it to a camper shop to see how much this would run me and called my insurance agent to try to get some help. Hilltop Trailer Sales in Fridley Minnesota was very helpful with the estimate and helping to communicate with the claims department of my insurance company and since I was happy with their proposed fix for the situation I gave them the go ahead to get the install going on a replacement air-conditioner.

It took a little longer than I was promised, but I never really hold that against a company. The end result is what has me upset. I went to pick the trailer up and was shocked to find an air-conditioner sitting crooked on top of my camper! Looking from the back, it was leaning to the left…considerably(see above pic).

My shock didn’t go unnoticed by the Service Rep for the place and he came out to help explain what had happened. In short his explanation was a shrug of his shoulders, a big fat I don’t know.

He asked if the previous unit had sat the same way and I explained to him that it had been as level as could be. He then pointed out that the roof of my camper seemed to be sagging a bit on the left and I told him it didn’t used to do that. He got very defensive saying that he was certainly not going to take the blame for any structural damage to the camper and I smiled and said, “Of course you are not.”

I left, I didn’t want to deal with that person anymore. I will be talking to somebody else at the organization and hopefully finding a solution to the problem.

In these questionable economic times with businesses failing everywhere, and with so many great companies showing us a better way to do business, how does an organization like Hilltop Trailer Sales stay in business if this is how they treat their clients? After the resolution of my crooked air-conditioner unit, I will never do business with them again and I will do my best to make sure others know about their practices.

Disappointing.

Observation #2 Hopefully A Few-Things Don’t Change

Yesterday I discovered a great little free campground in Southeastern Minnesota. I’d heard rumors it existed, but couldn’t find any data supporting its existence. For some reason the MN DNR likes to keep the free State Forest campgrounds secret.

This is my new favorite campground of all time. It has 5 sites with fire rings and picnic tables, pit toilets and drinking water. It’s less than 2 miles from my favorite trout river, has another smaller trout stream within walking distance, has a bike path running through it that is part of very long and beautiful State Trail, and has some really nice hikes that the dog and I have enjoyed the last couple of days.

There’s a donation box and I will be leaving a very nice contribution after my stay and I’m going to do a little cleaning up of some of the sites.

I want this place to never change and I want you to have the opportunity to experience this place as well. Look for it to be added to the site real soon and if you are ever in this area make sure to check it out.

It’s a little slice of freedom–please leave it better than you found it.

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You could spend a year touring California without paying a single camping fee.

California has some of the greatest wild places in the country. Whether you’re looking to escape from a northern states winter to an arid desert or find a rarely fished trout stream half way up a mountain–there is free campsite for you in this great state.

Many of the sites are National Forest Service campgrounds, but there are a number Bureau of Land Management boondocking sites in the deserts of Southern California.

Although this is a pretty thorough list of the free sites the state has to offer, there are more secret spots to be found and we will post them as they are uncovered. Sign up for email updates to make sure you get all the latest news on free campgrounds for California and the rest of the country as we add them to the growing database.

Doing the research for California has been so much fun. It’s a nice trip down memory lane and it’s getting me very excited for a trip to the state real soon. I’m getting that rambling feeling again and I think there may be a spot or two in the mountains in the northern part of the state I want to check out.

Coming next week, close to 200 $15 and under campgrounds and a number Overnight Parking Areas for California.

Within the next month I’ll be posting a beginners guide to Boondocking. It will cover some of the basics you’ll need to be aware of before you hit some of the wild and free places that you discover on this website.

As always feel free to leave comments and don’t hesitate to point out any inaccurate information. We checked and double checked everything, but that doesn’t mean we got it perfect.

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Tent View
from Rob Lee
My current project involves some testing with StumbleUpon.com ads to get qualified traffic (camping enthusiasts) to the site in hopes of gathering information about how best to deliver the data I’m collecting on free and inexpensive campgrounds.

If you have reached this page through StumbleUpon, please take the time to look through the site and, if you have the time, I’d appreciate any feedback you could give. Please leave comments in this post as your feedback. Thank you in advance.

Please watch the recently produced video to the right for how best to use this site to locate free and inexpensive campgrounds and RV parks.

Updates are scheduled for early next week that will feature free and inexpensive campgrounds and RV parks for California and Nebraska. You can sign up for email updates to receive the most current additions to the site in your inbox.

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