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RVers Boondocking Policy

Escapees has a long history of protecting RVers rights and ensuring the lifestyle we all love is not jeopardized or taken for granted. One example of this is the Escapees Good Neighbor Policy, which has become the industry standard code of conduct for overnight parking.

As thousands of new RV enthusiasts join us on the road, it is more important than ever to be good stewards of our environment. Protecting and preserving our public lands should be our honor and must be our pledge. Whether we choose a national park, national forest, Bureau of Land Management (BLM) site, or other public lands, these practices always apply.

Remember, camping on public lands is a privilege, not a right. Abuse can create tighter regulations, raise maintenance fees, and have an overall negative impact on public lands and our ability to use them in the spirit in which they were intended. With the help and support of our advocates, the Escapees RV Club has created a condensed list of “Best RVing Practices” to ensure that our public lands will remain beautiful treasures that we can retreat to as we travel.

Public Lands Parking Etiquette

  1. Respect the Rules of the Land. Observe posted signs, obtain permits when necessary, follow usage limits, and camp only in designated areas and pre-established campsites, which vary depending on agency and state regulations. Bear in mind, some of these lands fall under federal laws, not state laws.
  2. Treasure the Terrain. Camp on durable surfaces. Avoid damaging surfaces or modifying terrain by digging, moving large rocks, cutting plants, etc. Stick to predesignated paths without widening them or creating new ones. Remember, there are native plants, organisms, and ecosystems that interplay here and can be easily damaged.
  3. Respect Your Neighbors. Avoid overcrowding an area or blocking your neighbors’ view. Orient your RV so that your generator isn’t directed at them and respect quiet hours. Rules vary but are generally between 10pm-8am. Maintain a tidy campsite. Keep noise to a minimum so everyone has a peaceful experience. Drive at a campground speed and be aware of kids, wildlife, pets, and your dust trails.
  4. Respect Nature and Wildlife. Keep pets under control and clean up after them, even in the wild. Don’t entice, feed, or approach wildlife. Limit and eliminate use of pesticides. Check for burn bans; be mindful of firewood rules and make sure your fire is fully extinguished. (Remember, exhaust pipes on vehicles and generators can trigger fires.) Consider a propane fire pit that you can carry with you and snub out easily.
  5. Pack it In, Pack it Out. Keep your holding tanks closed! Secure fresh water from approved sources and dispose of trash respectfully in public trash receptacles. Lower your impact with bio-degradable products.

    Learn more about the RVers Boondocking Policy and the impact RVers can have in this blog post by Escapees Technical Advisor, Mark Nemeth.

Always leave the area cleaner than you found it!
Take only memories, leave only footprints.

Download the RVers Boondocking Policy

As RVers, we should be good stewards of the land to protect this privilege for future generations. Not following these practices can have serious consequences and could be detrimental to all RVers. Already, some public lands have been closed to camping because of overcrowding, damage to the land, and guests overstaying the time limits. Following the best practices will help ensure that we all remain good neighbors to each other and the land.

If you feel that someone is unaware of these practices, share these resources with them in a positive way.

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Recommended Resources

Bureau of Land Management

In addition to the Bureau of Land Management Headquarters Office in Washington, D.C., the BLM operates 12 state offices that have jurisdiction across the nation.

Contact Info: https://www.blm.gov/locations

 

National Park Service

The National Park Service is a bureau of the U.S. Department of the Interior and is led by a Director nominated by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

Contact Info: https://www.nps.gov/aboutus/contactus

US Forest Service

Their mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.


More Info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/

Leave No Trace

This organization accomplishes its mission by providing innovative education, skills, and research to help people care for the outdoors. Be sure to check out Leave No Trace and “The 7 Principles”.

More Info: https://lnt.org/why/7-principles/

Tread Lightly!

Tread Lightly! and its partners lead a national initiative to protect and enhance recreation access and opportunities by promoting outdoor ethics to heighten individuals’ sense of good stewardship. Tread Lightly!’s goal is to balance the needs of the people who enjoy outdoor recreation with our need to maintain healthy ecosystems and thriving populations of fish and wildlife. 

Learn More: https://www.treadlightly.org/

How To Do Your Part

Share the RVers Boondocking Policy with others.

Please share, but do not alter, the RVers Boondocking Policy on your own site and link back to this page to help spread the word to new and seasoned boondockers. Use this document as a tool to help educate others in a positive way on the best practices for boondocking. 

Consider volunteering or attending a clean up day to help keep pulbic lands clean and available. 

Volunteer with the BLM: https://www.blm.gov/get-involved/volunteers

Help out on National Public Lands Day.  The fourth Saturday in September is National Public Lands Day. Many parks are open for free this day and hold clean up and resotration events. Find an event near you –https://www.neefusa.org/npld

Remember to take only photos and leave only footprints. 

COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease) Notification - Escapees RV Club is monitoring the situation closely. For up to date information, please click here.

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