‘Boondocking’ part 3 — Fulltime RVers Paul and Becky Bates are ‘independent’ campers


This is the third and final installment of a three-part series on ‘Boondocking.’

Full-time RVers Becky and Paul Bates do both pavement camping and boondocking and prefer to call it “independent camping.”

“It means that we are prepared to dry camp but make use of amenities when they’re available,” said Becky Bates. “Being prepared to live independently is what it’s all about, then you are free to do what you want to do.”

The Bates have outfitted their 29-foot 2005 Wildcat 5th wheel trailer with two stand-alone generators (Honda EU 2000’s) that can be linked together, and three 120-watt solar panels “which allow us to watch TV, run the microwave, and even the A/C, if we’re careful with power use,” said Bates. “It allows us to go to places that are more remote, often more beautiful.”

For more information on low-cost camping —

FreeCampgrounds.com lists almost 2,200 places have been identified that welcome RVers to legally stay a night “for free or nearly free.”

HarvestHosts.com is a site where host farmers and winemakers invite fully independent (no utility services are provided) RVers to visit vineyards, farms and other agri-attractions and stay overnight free of charge. Membership fee is $35 per year.

– “Guide to Free Campgrounds” 14th Edition by Don Wright (Cottage Publications, $21.95, 600 pages, paperback, 2012). Includes 12,000 free and low-cost campgrounds across the USA. This book is arranged by state and then by town names. If you buy only one directory, this is the one.

If you missed “Boondocking, part 1 — with dry camping expert and RV author Bob Difley,”
– or “Boondocking, part 2 — with Frugal RV Travel.com blogger Marianne Edwards,” click here.

Julianne G. Crane

Photo: Full-time RVers Paul and Becky Bates (Julianne G. Crane)

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