The Admin's Blog

California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife offers a wide array of camping opportunities. (1) Antelope Valley Wildlife Area – No motorhomes or camp trailers permitted. Camping allowed only from May 1 through October 31. (2) Ash Creek Wildlife Area – Allowed. (3) Butte Valley Wildlife Area – Allowed. (4) Cache Creek Wildlife Area – No […]

Merry Christmas and Happy Anniversary from the Free Campsites team! Christmas Eve marks eight years of working with you to provide the best free camping information on the web. We’ve been through a lot of changes over the past eight years. We were not expecting a day when there are more phones than laptops back […]

Exit Private Browsing Mode

In order to improve speed, reduce bandwidth usage, and to enable offline use of our website application we require application caching. While most browsers allow for these features in incognito/private mode, Apple’s Safari browser does not. On an iPad or iPhone, you must exit private browsing to use our website. Disabling private mode on a […]

Adding Solar part seven

Here I’ll try to present some options for solar, starting with a minimalist approach, and ending with full blown 100% off the grid. A. Maintenance only system, with room for expansion: 15 watts of solar for every 100 amp-hours of battery storage. Charge controller: Grape Solar GS-PWM-40BT Use nominally 12 volt panels […]

Adding Solar part six

Charge controllers are a key part of the system. Their job is to charge the battery bank as quickly as possible without over doing it and ruining the bank. Lead Acid batteries are peculiar beasts. They love to be charged and if possible each and every cycle should be brought back to 100% state of […]

Adding Solar part five

Our solar system is going to look something like this: panels–>charge controller–>battery bank. There are several panel types. Some are more efficient than others. In the main, what is most likely to be used are either monocrystalline or polycrystalline.   Mono appear to put out slightly more current under perfect conditions, but real life testing may […]

Adding Solar part four

I’ve been harping on about doing an energy audit. Here are some suggestions as to how to do so. 1. by direct measurement 2. by doing calculations. For direct measurement, find a watt meter such as the inexpensive Kill-a-Watt meter, plug in the rv shore power cord. Total load will need to be kept under […]

Adding Solar Part Three

For those of you who only wish to maintain a bank between trips, simply add a good charge controller that has a battery temperature probe on the battery bank (my current favorite is from Grape and is capable of up to 40 amps of current on the output side) and 15 watts of panels per […]

Adding Solar part two

The heart of a solar system is the storage batteries. However, the type of battery needs to fit the needs of the particular RV’ing style. Some one who always stays in an RV park with a shore power connection can use any type of battery and need not worry about sizing other than whether it […]

Adding Solar part one

This is the first of a series of articles about adding solar to an RV. There is no one simple answer to this question. Since most of us are using lead acid batteries, I’ll start with some information about them. There are at least two ways to approach batteries for RV’s. One is to consider […]

Solar boondocking

Hi all,   Here is a simple flow chart.   Budget–>Energy Audit–>Battery bank size–>number of watts–>PWM or MPPT. What ever type of controller is chosen, make sure it has adjustable voltage set points and a temperature probe that is on the battery.   If you use solar as a battery charger, one rule of thumb […]

Bulk Data Submissions

Do you want to submit more than one campsite at a time? Do you have a list of camping areas that you’d like to upload to, but feel that it’s just too much work to do each of them individually? Use our bulk upload template and send us the data. Gather If the data […]

Update – Trip Planner

We’re very happy to announce that we’ve launched the Free Campsites Trip Planner! Here are some great routes to get you started: Highway 395 Natchez Trace Route 66 Features Driving directions including time and distance. Multiple route suggestions. You may save or share routes simply by bookmarking them or copying the URL. Routes are cached […]


  Welcome to Free Campsites. We are glad to have you. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. After you log in and set up your profile, there are three main things that you can do on the website. Find a campsite, leave a review, and submit a campsite. This article will […]

Hammock Giveaway

  The fun isn’t over yet. We’re doing another giveaway. This time three lucky people are going to score an ultralight hammock!   The Winners Top submitter – Sojodave Random draw – julioates Random draw – JohnnyBlood2   We absolutely love our Grand Trunk Ultralight Hammocks. So much so, that we have ditched our bed […]

Getting ready for the summer travel season? A National Parks Pass should be on your checklist. Thanks to a donation from one of our awesome users (thank you Michael!), we’re giving one away.   The Winner is RavenPeggy!     How Do I Participate? Each campsite or review that you submit to on March […]

Update – 10/12/2015

This summer, I had the misfortune of trying to use my own software to find a campsite on my phone while riding shotgun on a rough mountain road with almost no internet. Between accidental map clicks and lack of internet, it was a pretty frustrating experience. To anyone else who did the same this summer… […]

Dispersed Camping

Most people do not know that camping is available, many times for free, outside of designated campgrounds on most public land. In general, you can camp anywhere in a national forest unless posted otherwise. Individual forests might have their own restrictions, so it is always best to check with them before setting up camp. The […]


BLM LTVA – That’s a lot of letters. It stands for Bureau of Land Management Long Term Visitors Area. LTVAs are places that have been set aside for campers who would like to stay in one area for more than the normal 14 day allotted limit. A flat fee is paid for a permit. Once […]

Overland Expo 2015

The Overland Expo is held twice a year. The west coast version is held in May near Flagstaff, AZ. The east coast version is held in October near Asheville, NC. We attended the Western one. The Expo is where the makers and shakers of choice overland equipment interact with customers. A place where you can see, […]