Just wondering what the consequences for boondocking are. Has anyone been told to move along or given a ticket or anything for boondocking in the wrong place? I am in Ontario and interested in the consequences if we get it wrong.
Depends on where you are. Generally people may be told to hit the road at 2 AM but sometimes (unusual) it could result in fines. Maybe if an area is posted as no-overnight-parking. The US National Forest system is putting in place, slowly, maps that show where you can legally dry camp. They are saying that they will just warn people for the nonce but fines may be coming.
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In a city with restricted overnight parking laws (whether posted or not) you could be asked to move or you could be fined on the spot. It all depends on the city and the officer that handles the case. This is why I always call and ask ahead of time when I'm "citydocking" at Walmarts or the like.
In national forest & BLM most likely the ranger will give you the benefit of the doubt with one "warning" before they issue any fines, but it's probably a good idea to call ahead at the local office and ask about the area you plan to stay. At least that's been my experience.
As with everything in the world of today, there are RULES for boondocking. They may state that you must be a minimum distance from the water when near a lake or stream. They may state that you must be a minimum distance from the road right of way. They probably WILL state where you can and can not build a fire, and where you can dispose of "waste material". They will state how and where you can dispose of waste water.
It is, of course, up to YOU (and me) to KNOW the rules.
The rangers might levy fines, it is true. They might also require the payment of restitution for damage and cleaning, if a bad enough mess is left behind.
IMO, it is a good idea!
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I'm guys, I'm purty certain the OP is asking about the rules in Ontario, since they particularly note that.
Me, I've never tried it there. But the Frugal RV notes it's tough to find a legal spot in Ontario. But that asking the management at various public boatlaunches, picnic areas, etc has often resulted in either an OK, or a recommendation where to go.
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You'll never get kicked out or ticketed for boondocking if you make sure it's legal first wherever you want to stay. (Unless of course there's an emergency such as a fire and the area's being cleared/evacuated/closed)
In the case of private property, one must get the owner's permission.
I think you may be confusing boondocking with "stealcamping", which is when folks just park anywhere they please, hide out inside their units, and hope they don't get caught.
Legitimate boondockers check ahead, ask local appropriate authorities if there's any doubt when they get there, and don't get rousted.
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Likely in the Ontario park, the best thing to do is just call ahead. That will pretty much ensure you will never receive the dreaded knock on the door from a ranger.
Where one *will* get fined are attempts at Wally-docking, not realizing the local city or county has no overnighting ordinances in place. Because of the tight economy, municipalities are looking for money without raising taxes, so towns enact no overnighting regulations purely as a revenue source. Even if the WM allows it, it may be the local area doesn't.
There are instances of BLM land boondockers in AZ who have been banned from BLM land because of infractions of the rules. And rightfully so. As others have said, make sure you know the rules and follow them.
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