When you RV, you always learn something new. Whether it’s about how to avoid dropping weird stuff down the toilet,  or learning new boondocking tips, you’re always growing.

When we met Kelly and Al last winter in New Mexico, I couldn’t believe we had been on the road almost two years and didn’t know about the Escapees Day’s End Directory. We were on our way to Texas to join Escapees because we knew about all of their perks, but we didn’t know about this one until Al and Kelly (aka The Bayfield Bunch) told us about it.

The Day’s End Directory is a comprehensive collection of practically every low cost and free boondocking spot in North America, compiled by the folks who know best, Escapees members. For just $5, you can join this private Escapees group, the Day’s End Yahoo Group, and gain access to the directory. It has literally thousands of locations of free and cheap campsites, and members update the information regularly.

The only downside to the Day’s End Directory is that it’s created in oldschool format. The book is available as a CD or .rtf file only, and you need to rifle through about 500 pages to find locations by state and city. It’s laborious and time consuming, and cost-prohibitive to print. To get around that, I created a PDF of the Western states we are visiting this year, and sent the file to Kinkos for printing. It cost me $12 to print CA, AZ, NM and TX.

I hope some day the Escapees powers that be will pay a young geek to  take over the project and convert the listings to some kind of searchable database like our friend’s Jenn and Johnny’s FreeCampsites.net.

But until then, this behemoth book is still the best money you’ll spend if you like to get out into the wild, or just need an approved, safe place to crash for the night.

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8 Responses to “Escapees Boondocking Guide: Best Five Bucks We’ve Spent”
  1. Rene says:

    Just got this update from the person who runs the Directory, Guy:

    “People cannot just send me $5 for the Directory, unless they are members of the Escapees Club.

    Another is: Although I provide the Directory only to SKPs, the Directory is my property, and I do not work for the Escapees Club.

    The Directory was started about 20 years ago by Bob Ed. I bought the rights to it from him a year and a half ago. At this point, trying to convert somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 listings to a database, is a task that will probably not get done. Any free time I have has been spent cleaning up the oldest unreported-on listings, and I’m sure you’ve seen some of them and how bad they are.

    There is now a PDF version of the file available for download each edition in the Group Files section, in which I have placed a left-side menu of active link bookmarks to the beginning of each State/Province section, and to the Notes at the end. RTF version there also.

    My efforts to clean up the Directory some have, I believe, produced a vastly superior document, and September 1 the prices go up a little to correspond with that. $10 for a download, $15 for a CD. $7/year download access renewal via Yahoo Group.”

  2. Don Wood says:

    This website has helped me in the past. It’s only halfway toward an efficient site but does allow selection by state. http://freecampgrounds.com/

    I’m not a young geek but have been thinking about improving my personal campsite listing (currently offline) to allow advanced searching both by state, city and other criteria but also by GPS radius. If I do it I’d open it to other peoples postings as well. It would be online and allow printing of the search results.

    Criteria would be things like cost, dump, water, discounts, posting date, type RV, level sites, satellite view, etc

    Does that sound like it could be usable?

  3. Angie says:

    Thank you Rene!

  4. Just starting the research phase for a move to a life on the road for our little family. Thanks for the great resource. Especially liked the last solar panel post.

  5. el jefe says:

    seems like you`d complain if they hung you with a “new” rope!!

  6.  
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