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On the "GO" overnighting


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#1 buckland

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 04:51 PM

After returning from a trip where, due to bad timing/weather/rerouting etc.... , I wished I had had more emergency resources for overnighting on route somewhere else. Say if I was traveling from New England to Florida I would be mostly riding the 'slab' to get as far south asap... sleeping...repeat. So not needing the overnight place to be anything other than fairly quiet. I use a number of camping apps and I most  certainly would avoid Walmart at all costs. I came across Harvest Hosts a couple years ago and just did not see the point as I like to be away from civilization (generator users) but they had a 20% discount today so for a year $79 I thought I'd try it and see. 

 

Is there anyone out there that has experience with staying at their locations? The good the bad and ugly truths . I see it as a way to get somewhere else not as a traveling norm.

 

Thanks in advance.


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#2 Wallowa

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 05:33 PM

Buckland,

 

From your post I gather you are not a boondock camper?  If you want to get away from the crowd there are a couple of "free camping" sites online that pinpoint locations across the US where you can set up camp off the grid...I have used them and found the camp sites to be convenient and with a lot of solitude, if you pick and choose...and always have an alternative.

 

Phil


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#3 buckland

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 05:49 PM

I am mostly a boondocks camper... however living on the east coast and heading a long haul drive I was seeking a place to sleep ... not hang out.  I have many free camping apps and use them whenever possible.... but if you are near a metro area late in the day after 10 hours driving ...I then am look for a a safe sleep spot. I have used the some apps and have ended up trying multiple sites before finding a safe/clean place. 


Edited by buckland, 26 November 2021 - 05:51 PM.

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#4 DavidGraves

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 07:51 PM

Howdy

 

We joined Harvest Hosts last year primarily to help with just such "in transit stays" for our West East West trip last summer.

 

In sum we were glad we did....in many urban areas it is critical to us to have a "target" for the next nights stop.

 

Many Harvest Hosts locations are at museums or other cultural venues that provide at least some incentive to stop.

 

The truth is that most of the HH that we visited were after hours parking areas near a business or other HH venue that we left early the next morning.

 

Most HH we visited had light attendance.

 

One did have a generatoramus who parked stupidly close to our door and fired it up to be able to activate his slide out....30 minutes later I asked and he agreed to shut off the fumes and noise.

 

All in all, I think HH offers something useful to WTW folks....

 

YMMV

 

Happy Thanksgiving

 

David Graves


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#5 buckland

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 08:22 PM

Thanks David… that’s what I was expecting … mostly parking lots but that is fine if a bit out of town… the only time I see using it is in last resort situations… though breweries seem to have a magnetic affect on me!…. I think my wife would catch on if the only place we camped were in alcohol venue parking lots….
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#6 DavidGraves

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 08:48 PM

Your welcome...don't get me wrong. Many were an interesting grassy spot behind the barn etc......and a few were very nice remote gravel spots near a museum in the woods that we wanted to visit.

 

The HH website and search engine was a bit confusing to me at first but relative straightforward after we learned how to use their map.

 

Ironically, the HH sites we visited were FAR less crowded than pay campgrounds for the same area...go figger.

 

We only used them when we wanted to...also used some USFS camping and some state parks.

 

Side note: I used to hit the better truckstops along I80 or I90 when making a mad dash series of 500 mile days.

 

This trip many of the truckstops were wacko crowded with long lines for showers etc...in one state we even saw automated Billboard sized real-time "truck parking space" counters for the long haul drivers to plan their day.....that was a first for me. 

 

David


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#7 billharr

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Posted 26 November 2021 - 10:37 PM

Got HH last January as a friend recommended it. Not a lot of places where we travel on the west coast. Only stayed at two so will not be renewing. One was great 43 Olive Oil Ranch by Paso Robles. Spot up on the hill overlooking the valley, fire ring full of wood, great hosts. Second in Coarsegold CA. Winery just parking lot. 3 of us jammed in on top of each other, said these were the only HH spots. Then the BIG party started and could not get out if you wanted to. Just not enough on the west coast for me to renew. Looking at the map many more on the east coast.


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#8 Ted

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 03:53 PM

We joined this year and have stayed in two so far, a winery and an alpaca farm. Both were pleasant and we will stick with it. There are a lot in wine producing areas. Farms are more spread out and can provide on the road options. I prefer those as both are usually quiet in the evening. As much as I would like to visit a brewery, don't think I would want to overnight near one. The thought of having to hear their customers coming and going until 11 or 12 is not for me.


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#9 NRVhawk

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 05:07 PM

We had good experiences with HH this fall when my wife and I did a six week VA to BC trip and back.   We stayed at three HH sites along the way. 

 

At the first, we camped between a nice pasture and a barn in Indiana where the host had his woodcrafting business.  Very quiet (except for the occasional owl and coyotes), and we were the only ones there.   The second was at an apple orchard in WI on the top of a ridge with a beautiful sunset view of the valley below.  Again, it was quiet and we were the only ones there until 5 am when workers arrived to get to work on the apple harvest.  Not a problem, as we're early risers.  And on the way back through Indiana, we parked next to a barn on an organic farm.  This time there were two other campers.  One was on his way west after being an exhibitor at Expo East, so he had an interesting rig to look over.  The other camper pulled out a guitar and serenaded us with some professional level playing.  But again, very quiet after 9 pm.

 

Of course, you're expected to patronize the business, so we did early Christmas shopping at the woodcrafters, loaded up on apples at the orchard, and filled our fridge with free range eggs and organic cheese at the farm.  HH requires you to certify that you have self contained grey water storage, so I added a PVC drain pipe tank to the truck bed before leaving on our trip.  But honestly, no one at the sites we visited came to check and see if we were using a grey water bag external to the camper.

 

We found that Harvest Host was a good alternative to staying at state parks in the midwest where there are few national forests (and almost zero BLM sites) to boondock.

 

The organic farmer told me that the last few years had been challenging for his farm economically.  But he said that since he signed on as a HH host,  sales had increased quite a bit, and he was feeling more optimistic about the long term prospects for his farm.  So I left feeling that the HH program is beneficial to at least some of the host sites.


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#10 daverave

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Posted 27 November 2021 - 08:51 PM

Thanks for starting this thread as I have wondered about the HH option. Some friends with a luxury van endorse and use them frequently but we were under the impression that many (most?) do not have toilet facilities so your rig must be self-contained for those, um, functions. Is that what others have seen?


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