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Website helps RVers locate free and bargain campgrounds

(May 18, 2004) -- Just in time for the summer camping season, the popular website FreeCampgrounds.com has debuted a new directory of free and inexpensive places where RVers can spend the night.

Hundreds of camping locations throughout the United States are profiled with dozens more appearing every week. They range from scenic government campgrounds to rest areas, city-sponsored RV parks, truck stops, bargain-priced
FreeCampgrounds.com helps RVers find free and inexpensive campgrounds.
commercial RV parks, public lands and RV-friendly Wal-Mart stores. Most locations are posted by website visitors, who share their favorite places and also update or comment on those already listed.

"With prices and circumstances changing all the time, what's true about a campground today may not be true in two months," says FreeCampgrounds.com editor Chuck Woodbury. "By encouraging readers to comment on areas already listed, the information remains up to date."

A March survey of more than 2,000 recreational vehicle enthusiasts by RVtravel.com revealed that approximately 60 percent will seek out free or inexpensive campgrounds this summer to offset high fuel prices. "If an RVer can stay a night for free and save $25 or $35 over what it would cost for an RV park, that money can go into the gas tank the next day," Woodbury explained.

Woodbury notes that most of the FreeCampgrounds.com listings are not for traditional campgrounds, but simply for places to pause for a night to sleep. "An RVer may be traveling from one destination to another and only needs to rest overnight," he said. "They're not looking for a swimming pool, power hookups or other RV park amenities. They simply want a safe place to refresh before heading off the next day."

Among the best deals are those provided by many rural small towns, which offer campsites in their city parks at no charge. "These campgrounds are seldom known outside their local areas," explained Woodbury. "It's not unusual for a community to offer a half-dozen campsites, often with water and electric hookups provided."

Most listings on FreeCampgrounds.com are not found in traditional campground directories. They may be a flat area behind an RV-friendly gas station or in a vacant lot that's popular with "boondockers." Although the website's editors do not recommend that RVers stay overnight in rest areas, they acknowledged it's a common practice. Many truck stops permit RVers to stay a night, as does Wal-Mart, the RV crowd's most popular free overnight stop.

"Perhaps 90 percent of all Wal-Marts allow an RVer to stay a night in their parking lot," said Woodbury. "The unwritten rule is that an RVer can simply pull into a quiet corner of a lot, spend the night and then move on."

FreeCampgrounds.com visitors who post campground locations are encouraged to provide details about their scenic beauty and noise level. "Locations at truck stops and near railroad tracks are obviously not places where an RVer stays for a meaningful experience with nature," said Woodbury.

For more information or to find or report a free or bargain-priced campground, visit FreeCampgrounds.com.

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