A fun, free way to RV, Boondocking is skipping the designated campgrounds and staying without hookups, whether that be in a big-box store parking lot or immersed in nature on Crown Land.
Great for saving money on a trip or just enjoying an off-the-grid adventure, it’s important to research the rules and regulations along your route to choose the perfect spot.
Crown Land Camping
If you’re looking for a remote RV adventure, camping on Crown Land is the way to go. Canadian residents can camp for free on Crown Land, up to 21 days at any one site per calendar year. Keep in mind that they are generally remote and not always RV accessible, especially those up rough logging roads, so head to your favourite RV forums and do your research. Crown Land is regulated provincially, so check out provincial government sites to find a map of where to find it.
A bit more developed than Crown Land, provincial recreation sites or non-operating parks that allow camping offer a more structured off-the-grid experience. They will sometimes have very basic amenities, but be prepared to be self-sufficient.
Rest areas and truck stop
Not the quietest places to stay the night, but if you’re traveling long distances, truck stops and rest areas can be a convenient place to break for the night. Check for any signs concerning overnight parking, and we recommend choosing a well-lit area for safety.
Parking lots at shopping malls or big-box stores
The parking lot of a big box store can be a welcome stop for the night along your journey, and a quick place to restock your cupboards while you’re at it. Stores like Walmart and Real Canadian Superstore often allow overnight RV parking at the back of their parking lots. Look for signs to confirm if overnight parking is allowed at your location, or check with the store management.
Boondocking in town
Parking rules and bylaws vary from town to town, so do your research. Many cities restrict the length of time an RV can park on a residential street, and some don’t allow over-night parking at all. RV-specific parking rules are not stated on parking signs but are still enforced, so take a look at the city’s website.