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#1 slackercruster

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 07:47 PM

Got a truck camper. Are there any doable boondocking spots within 30 miles of D.C.?

Looking for WM's Casinos, motel parking lots (bigguns) or other urban boondocking spots.

Would like to take a 2 -3 day trip there. What are my boondocking options?

Edited by slackercruster, 06 November 2012 - 07:48 PM.


#2 SWharton

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 06:21 AM

There are a couple of county parks available, not quite boondocking but relatively inexpensive. One I read about, I think Green????, is close to the metro stop(maybe walking distance??). Other one is in Fairfax county soome place. Not aware of any boondocking places.

#3 nana25k

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:28 AM

The closest you will get to DC will be Greenbelt Nat'l park. With an America the Beautiful Pass ( formerly a ggolden Age card) it will cost you $8 a night. Its a wonderful spot. The metro is just out the park and around the corner. Your truck camper will fit on a ton of their spots. There is only one circle that is open for bigger rigs and in the late fallwinter the only loop open is loop D. There is a dump and water site. Ohterwise no hookups. Some of the pull offs will hold a 38ft or so MH. It is a quiet urban oasis. They are strict about things like parking even 1 wheel of your vehicle on the grass so if you are towing a car on a dolly you have to be careful. We use it when visiting our son who lives in Chevy Chase.

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#4 Technomadia

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Posted 07 November 2012 - 07:51 AM

Some fellow full timing friends of ours where through DC earlier this year, and wrote a great blog post with a guide to the urban options:

Urban Camping: Washington DC, Found Art & RV Parking

Enjoy!
- Cherie

Cherie & Chris (and Kiki *meow*) / Blog: Technomadia.com
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#5 trailertraveler

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 06:10 AM

...
Some fellow full timing friends of ours where through DC earlier this year, and wrote a great blog post with a guide to the urban options...


From their Blog:"Union Station Downtown DC

This is an over-sized vehicle and RV parking garage used mainly for tourist buses, however they also allow motorhomes to park here as well. Camping inside your RV is not permitted, however we did it anyway." (The bold type was their emphasis added)

Ah yes another advocate of the rules do not apply to me and it is only illegal if you get caught. And folks wonder why RVers get a bad reputation!






#6 slackercruster

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 07:36 AM

From their Blog:"Union Station Downtown DC

This is an over-sized vehicle and RV parking garage used mainly for tourist buses, however they also allow motorhomes to park here as well. Camping inside your RV is not permitted, however we did it anyway." (The bold type was their emphasis added)

Ah yes another advocate of the rules do not apply to me and it is only illegal if you get caught. And folks wonder why RVers get a bad reputation!




That is how us boondockers are. Not trying to get away with anything special...just living.

Too many rules and laws cut into 'just existing' nowadays

#7 David & Lorna Schinske

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 03:48 PM

From their Blog:"Union Station Downtown DC

This is an over-sized vehicle and RV parking garage used mainly for tourist buses, however they also allow motorhomes to park here as well. Camping inside your RV is not permitted, however we did it anyway." (The bold type was their emphasis added)

Ah yes another advocate of the rules do not apply to me and it is only illegal if you get caught. And folks wonder why RVers get a bad reputation!


...Camping inside your RV is not permitted, however we did it anyway. There’s 24 hour security...


Ah yes another place that uses blind security personnel. This may be a "ban" that is in place to give security the ability to boot someone they think may be abusing the privilege or may be a danger to others.

Or I may be one of those "rules don't apply to me" people. After all we did live in a small State Park for months without ever moving (winter off-season). Only catch was we needed to have either the head Park Ranger or his 2nd in command sign us in. Volunteers were a PITA to deal with. I guess I was putting one over on them. I was real tricky with my disguises. Sometimes I wore a T-shirt and shorts, other times I wore a t-shirt and long pants.


You would be amazed what you are often "allowed" to do if you ask nicely and you keep a low profile.

Edited by David & Lorna Schinske, 08 November 2012 - 03:56 PM.


#8 trailertraveler

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 04:43 PM

... After all we did live in a small State Park for months without ever moving (winter off-season). Only catch was we needed to have either the head Park Ranger or his 2nd in command sign us in...you would be amazed what you are often "allowed" to do if you ask nicely and you keep a low profile...


Huge difference betweem asking and just doing as indicated by these statements:

"Camping inside your RV is not permitted, however we did it anyway" No mention of asking permission!

"That is how us boondockers are. Not trying to get away with anything special...just living. Too many rules and laws cut into 'just existing' nowadays"

It would seem to me that sight seeing in Washington DC is not just "existing".





Edited by trailertraveler, 08 November 2012 - 04:48 PM.


#9 wanderer

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:18 PM

Got a truck camper. Are there any doable boondocking spots within 30 miles of D.C.?

Looking for WM's Casinos, motel parking lots (bigguns) or other urban boondocking spots.

Would like to take a 2 -3 day trip there. What are my boondocking options?


Perhaps I am not a good reference for this because DC makes me very uneasy. Maryland has a concealed carry permit system which has been illegally suppressed by the State Police even though our supreme court has ordered them to obey the law. The danger here is greater than to the residents alone, it's also a danger to travelers. Maryland does not honor other states carry permits, and does not allow firearms to be carried in vehicles unless you are traveling to an authorized range, or gun dealer, and even then you must have printed proof of a legal visit. Virginia and Pennsylvania do honor carry permits and neither are likely to harass as Maryland can do. If you carry firearms it's best to avoid Maryland.

While I don't think RV drivers have had much problem with this any firearms in the vehicle must not be accessible and ammunition nut not be readily accessible either. If you put them in exterior storage, this satisfies the law, but since MOST RV trailer and Motorhome makers use the SAME keys for these compartments, that would not be safe. You can easily buy those keys, as I am sure many thieves are already aware of this.

At a Raven's game last year an RV owner came out of the stadium (one of the BEST in the nation) to find their RV had been burglarized, their garage door opener and GPS were missing. When they arrived home, so was most of their valuable property. So if you have a garage door opener do not leave it in your RV. And if you have a GPS or smart phone, don't put you home address in it (and carry your papers with your home address with you). And don't leave it in sight either. The druggies around here will break your windows sometimes (as happened last night here) to steal the pocket change people leave in sight for tolls.

Regardless of what others may do, I'd stay well outside the city and take the Metro in. Duncan's Family park is close to the Metro (do not ride the bus, take the Subway). Cherry Hill RV has shuttles to the Metro and tourist buses. I'd make sure that you leave with enough time to avoid being there in the dark.

In DC at the Washington Navy yard, (a short walk from the Subway) is NCIS if you want to see it. You cannot get in. I walked in one day, but there are security doors and guards directly inside. The infamous Black Suburbans are often parked out front, but I did not see any of the "Men in Black." You can tour the Destroyer there, it's Free as is the Navy Museum. The Marine Corps museum is South of here in Quantico. The DC Zoo is very nice, parking is $15 (cheap for DC), but it is on a Metro and Subway stop. Avoid this in summer and especially weekends as the crowds get very bad.

Not much else is free. Parking is almost impossible and expensive. Driving in DC is insane. I'd rather rent a car than try to drive an RV there. In fact I hate driving there. I would feel better in a Bradly M3.

Area attractions that are outstanding include all the museums off the National Mall, the Whitehouse (reservations), The Washington Monument (is closed), the Treasury, etc. etc. and in Chantilly, VA the Udvar-Hazy Museum. The Discovery Space Shuttle replaced the Enterprise and is now display there along with an SR-71, a Concorde, the "Enola Gay" and many other historic planes that had been at the Garber facility in Suitland (an area to avoid). Another area attraction that is outstanding is the B&O Rail Museum in Baltimore. There are two National Aquariums in the area. There is one in the Commerce Building in DC and a very large aquarium in Baltimore (one of the finest in the nation, at which I had been a tour guide).

Although some distance away, the Nation's First Capital, Annapolis, where Washington Resigned his commission is interesting and hosts the Naval Academy which can be visited. We like the dock area with it's restaurants and shopping area. Fourth of July there watching fireworks on a tour boat is fabulous. If you like Civil War history then head West to Frederick where the Monocacy NBP is found. This is a battle where General Lew Wallace (who wrote Ben Hur and became Governor of Texas) with 2800 men held up 30,000 Confederates who were intent on burning Washington DC long enough that Grant was able to bring up troops to man the big guns at Fort Stevens. While Lincoln visited there he was nearly killed by a Confederate sharp shooter. Farther west near Hagerstown is Antietam, the site of the bloodiest battle of the war and farther north in Pennsylvania is RV friendly Gettysburg with several nice RV parks.

There are several State Parks but most are out west. http://www.dnr.state...us/Publiclands/ I find Elk Neck to be a really nice area. My brother likes Drummer Boy (Gettysburg) and Morris Meadows (upper Baltimore County at the PA line). There are Buffalo at Morris Meadows, the property has been owned by the family since around 1720.

You could spend weeks in DC and never see all that there is to be seen. Check your prices for some attractions before you go as they can be pretty hefty.

#10 Rover

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

Google: Bull Run. I believe it is the 495 West loop and I-66 or the Greenway toward Leesburg. You could always drive in and park at one of the Park and Rides. Enjoy!

:) Living Life One Day At A Time!


#11 Blues

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 04:51 PM

Regardless of what others may do, I'd stay well outside the city and take the Metro in. Duncan's Family park is close to the Metro (do not ride the bus, take the Subway). Cherry Hill RV has shuttles to the Metro and tourist buses. I'd make sure that you leave with enough time to avoid being there in the dark.


Being where in the dark, the District of Columbia? The city is gorgeous at night, with all the monuments lit. Plus, the sun sets at about 5:00 these days, making for very short days if you're a vampire.

My experience with the Cherry Hill area is that it's perfectly safe. I've ridden the public bus from the subway station to the campground at night, by myself, and didn't feel a twinge of anything except gratitude for such a convenient, albeit expensive, location. I don't know about Duncan's Family Campground, but it is Maryland, and you said Maryland is dangerous to residents and travelers alike (which makes me wonder why you recommended it, not to mention that it's over $40/night, and the OP was asking about boondocking in parking lots, which I take to mean free or very low cost).

Not much else is free. Parking is almost impossible and expensive. Driving in DC is insane. I'd rather rent a car than try to drive an RV there.


The OP has a truck camper. Personally, except on Sundays, I usually take the Metro in instead of drive, but a truck camper is certainly doable.

And, "not much else is free"? The Smithsonian museums in DC are free--there are almost 20 of them. Vastly more than the OP could cover in the 2 or 3 day trip the OP mentioned, especially if you add in the National Archives, where they have the Constitution and Declaration of Independence on display for free (hint--we had the place pretty much to ourselves for the hour or so before closing on Christmas Eve a couple of years ago), and looking at the various monuments and memorials.

Then again, three of the most popular Smithsonian museums--Space, American History, and Natural History--are open until 7:30 the week after Christmas, and the American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery is always open until 7:00; perhaps a boycott might be in order of an organization with such callous disregard for the safety of its visitors by enticing them to be there well after dark.

#12 Snowbird55

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Posted 11 December 2012 - 09:35 PM

When do you want to visit?

Got a truck camper. Are there any doable boondocking spots within 30 miles of D.C.?

Looking for WM's Casinos, motel parking lots (bigguns) or other urban boondocking spots.

Would like to take a 2 -3 day trip there. What are my boondocking options?



#13 wanderer

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:32 PM

Then again, three of the most popular Smithsonian museums--Space, American History, and Natural History--are open until 7:30 the week after Christmas, and the American Art Museum and Portrait Gallery is always open until 7:00; perhaps a boycott might be in order of an organization with such callous disregard for the safety of its visitors by enticing them to be there well after dark.

I started out mentioning that I'm not a fan of visiting DC due to how scared it makes me... There are reasons for this.

I'll be in DC soon for the motorcycle show. I will leave by 3:30 pm to make sure that I will be back in my own car and on the Interstate before dark. Not doing this, would be foolhardy and irresponsible.

If you are from this area, then spending 2 hours driving home from work will be familiar to you. I would think nothing of driving 100 miles away from DC to park, boondock, or hotel camp in a safe place overnight. Few people ever died from being too cautious while the opposite is true daily.

#14 SWharton

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:27 AM

As with all places you need to be aware of your surroundings. We went to DC for a week and stayed in a downtown hotel. Pretty much everything we wanted to see was free. Never felt uncomfortable, even at night. Again, as with all big cities, subways are the way to go. Don't even think about driving. the Metro is good and fast, drops you close to wherever you want to go.

We especially liked the USPS Museum, the Library of Congress and the new Indian Museum. DC is a great place to visit just be aware of your surroundings.

To me, the scariest cities have been Houston and LA. There is no one on the streets at night, really weird feeling.

#15 Mike

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 02:10 PM

It has been reported that Washington DC has a higher per capita murder rate than Mexico City. I don't think I will boondock or blacktop camp or whatever too close to there. Too many guns, concealed and otherwise.
Mike
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He who dies with the most toys is still dead........and may also be subject to Mark 10:25.