Boondocking in a Travel Trailer

I have joked that my husband and I need practice before we retire. The Circle Tour was our first extended trip with our newly acquired travel trailer – a 22-foot self-contained unit that we pulled with our pickup truck. We set aside three weeks in August, starting in Minneapolis and traveling clockwise. Our first day included several stops along the North Shore with a final stop at Gooseberry Falls State Park. All the camping spots were full. So, after hiking and viewing the waterfalls, we, along with four other camping units and two semi-trucks, parked overnight in the Visitors Center Parking Lot. Prior to leaving, we made camping reservations at just three places. We never knew how many miles we would travel each day and many of the campgrounds we researched were already booked. We used the popularity of Minnesota’s State Parks to our advantage by learning how to boondock, a.k.a. parking overnight, but not in a campground. We came to really enjoy the flexibility boondocking allowed us to have in our schedule. We always knew we had some place we could stay, even if there was not availability in a campground. Some nights we pulled in late and left early; other nights we pulled in around dinner time and enjoyed the convenience of shopping or doing laundry before turning in. Each state has different laws for overnight parking, so it is best to know those in advance, or just ask the business. Paved locations that we enjoyed included Travel Centers, Walmart parking lots, a Casino, and the lot of tour boat company that we had reservations with the next morning. In Ontario we came across a beautiful marina and paid the owner $20 to park on a grassy spot along the river. Our favorite location was a secluded pull-over site on public land along a dirt road, on the shores of Lake Superior. A few other locals did the same, so we were sure it was okay. Like most RVers, our goal was to leave the place looking like we were never there. Happy Traveling!

Tim & Cheri Frame, Ramsey, MN