Here's a new website on boondocking or at least RV inexpensively...

Baby boomers looking toward retirement may not be aware of how affordable and adventurous the RV lifestyle can be, especially if they’re traveling to the American Southwest and are willing to try boondocking.

According to a new website,, RVs were built for boondocking ( camping in remote areas without being hooked up to power, water, or sewer ), and the American Southwest was built for boondocking. 

The Southwest offers plenty of opportunity for free camping on publicly owned lands but the monetary savings is not the only consideration.

The website displays photos of many scenic locations throughout the Southwest, including views from free camping areas – a stark contrast to RVs parked in rows, side by side, in a crowded campground.

The newest generation of RVers, the retiring Baby Boomers, aren’t content to go south just to sit in the sun all winter. For them, maintaining a high level of physical activity is important. Walking, hiking, cycling, kayaking, and canoeing are considered activities that can be continued well into old age. Nowhere is there greater opportunity for these activities than in the South-western States.

But you don’t have to wait for retirement to travel this way. The site’s author Marianne Edwards ( 55 ), and her spouse, Randy ( 56 ), discovered this style of travel in 2000, when they purchased a 15 year-old camper van and set out for a year-long trip. They thought it would be a once-in-a-lifetime adventure.

Upon discovering how cheaply they could travel by virtually eliminating campground fees, they took off for another 5 months in 2004, and again in 2006, and are embarking to the Southwest for 5 months from January to June of 2008.

Edwards created the website, and a series of travel guides, The Frugal Shunpiker’s Guides, in response to questions from family and friends who wondered how a part-time waitress and a housepainter/handyman could afford to travel as often, as far, and for as long as they do.

A simple and frugal lifestyle in small-town Southern Ontario allows the couple to work just part-time and still set aside $5,000.00 for a 5-month trip every 2 years. Even with rising gas costs, this easily covers all their expenses.

Detailed trip expenses are listed on the website,, which also offers advice on finding free scenic camping, choosing an RV, boondocking safety, and desert hiking. The couple’s upcoming trip will be chronicled on the website’s blog.

Marianne Edwards worked most of her life in ownership and senior management roles in the hotel and restaurant industry, working her way slowly up to the position of part-time waitress. From experience, she highly recommends living a simpler life, working less, and playing more.

Marianne Edwards
Box 1272, Elora ON
N0B 1S0
  1. Anonymous
    Margo What a great web site! Very practical information that got me motivated about taking a trip to the southwest. When I make some definite plans, I'll certainly buy the travel guides. Look forward to reading about your upcoming trip.
    on 12/16/2007
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