As a new or experienced RVer, have you heard about Harvest Hosts? You need to know about this low-cost membership program to take advantage of totally unique overnight camping experiences at amazing places, all across the United States and Canada — FREE?! Read on for all the details…
As RV beginners, thinking about buying our first motorhome in 2020, two of my earliest, biggest, and most persistent concerns:
— Where are we going to park this thing???
— What if we can’t find a place to stay?
It is truly fantastic to have your own hotel room with you, wherever you go, but seriously…
Where do you park a 40-foot motorhome, when you’re done driving for the day?
Harvest Hosts is one solution to this problem you definitely need to know about!
I’m excited to share honest info and reviews about the program and our early experiences with you.
After reading this article, you’ll know all the things:
- What is Harvest Hosts?
- Why do you need this program?
- How do you find these cool places to stay?
- Where you can sign up & save 15% on membership!
At the very least, we hope you will be entertained and join us on our now-full-time RV living, working and traveling adventures by subscribing to BooksAndTravelUSA.com. Thank you for reading!
This post is all about the Harvest Hosts RV membership program.
Harvest Hosts: 2,712+ Amazing ‘Free’ Places to Park…
What if we can’t find a place to camp?
With this frantic worry motivating me, as the day got closer to travel from Seattle, WA to Des Moines, IA to pick up our new-to-us 2016 Entegra 40-foot Class A Motorhome, we researched various membership programs, RV trip planners, and campground search engines to come up with a plan.
In general, we discovered parking the RV overnight, with hook-ups, could cost $30 – $70 a night. Or much more, depending on the location and amenities.
We also heard about, and considered, various FREE overnight parking/camping options:
- WalMart and some other retail parking lots (when allowed and with permission).
- Interstate rest areas (again, where allowed), truck stops, and travel plazas.
- Cracker Barrel Restaurants?!?! (yes, it’s a thing!) (with permission from manager)
- Drawbacks: Noisy trucks, smelly diesel generators, sketchy safety.
Yeah… those would be emergency overnight options, at best.
Unique experiences, NOT in a Rest Area, Truck Stop, or WalMart parking lot
We first heard about Harvest Hosts from our new “best friends” and RV mentors on YouTube, talking about *FREE* CAMPING all over the U.S. & Canada.
The idea of FREE overnight parking — saving $30 – $70 or more — nice!
More than that: The promise of unique camping experiences, throughout the U.S. & Canada:
Farms, ranches, museums, golf courses, wineries & breweries — any place with a large parking lot, usually empty overnight.
It’s a Win/Win for the local small business and the RV community.
So… What is Harvest Hosts?
Harvest Hosts is an amazing & super helpful RV membership program.
The quick description:
RV Camping At 2712+ Wineries, Breweries, Farms and More!
A membership program that invites
self-contained RVers to enjoy unique overnight stays.
FREE* OVERNIGHT PARKING at some of the coolest, most unique destinations you can imagine across the country!
*FREE overnight camping, but you agree, as a member, to support these small businesses in exchange, by touring the property, enjoying a meal or entertainment, or buying something (a bottle of wine/beer or other products available: farm fresh eggs & produce, alpaca yarn products, etc.) — depending on what they offer, of course.
- The locations can be a little off the beaten path, to get to the farms, wineries, and other amazing places.
- “Self-contained” = Boondocking.
*** Harvest Hosts: If you are interested in more information or in joining Harvest Hosts,
click the referral link HERE for your 15% DISCOUNT ***
Boondocking or “dry camping” means surviving overnight in your RV without any hook-ups (electric, water, sewer). You rely on your batteries, maybe a generator (if you have one and if it’s allowed), your own tank of fresh water, and gray & black water tanks:
— Gray water = everything that goes down the sink or shower.
— Black water = everything that goes down the toilet.
You take your garbage with you when you go.
(Without hook-ups, the RV is basically a very complex tent!)
Harvest Hosts for Newbies
We joined Harvest Hosts before we traveled halfway across the country to pick up Charlie-The-Unicorn in Des Moines, IA.
We made two Harvest Hosts stops on our way back home (once we figured out how we might survive the night without hook-ups):
— Sentinel Ranch Alpacas – Belgrade, Montana
— Trinity Gardens Lavender Farm – Quincy, Washington
From our first stop in Montana, we fell in love with the unique opportunity to get to know the owners, tour the property — an Alpaca Ranch!!! — and learn about the history and day-to-day operation of their business.
Harvest Hosts & Covid-19
It was fascinating to hear from the owners how the the Harvest Hosts program, and visiting RV travelers, at both of our first stops, “saved” their businesses during the Covid shutdowns of 2020.
When no one else could come, RVers showed up in their self-contained and socially-distanced hotel rooms and supported these businesses. It was heartwarming to hear their stories.
The side benefits to RVers, of course, include: farm fresh produce, wine tasting, beer sampling, cool museums, roadside attractions, and other fascinating places you might never even know to seek out.
All of them welcoming you, encouraging you to come stay overnight in their big, secure, empty parking lots, fields, pastures or properties… for ‘FREE’ (as explained above).
Why do you need Harvest Hosts?
Harvest Hosts works out great on our full time RV travel schedule:
Since we have to be in place in a campground with full hook-ups and internets by Sunday night, to work Monday through Friday, our big Travel Days are Saturday and Sunday, sometimes half-day Friday.
Generally, we have to make some distance, often 10 hours or more, between campgrounds.
We’ve learned, in general, our preference is to drive no more than 4 hours on a Travel Day, sometimes 6 hours, if necessary.
It’s good to start early, take a break for fuel and/or lunch, and arrive at the next destination by mid-afternoon, with time to set up and wind down before dark.
We’ve driven 8 hours and more before, when we’ve had to, but we always regret it.
Harvest Hosts is perfect for overnight stops in-between:
- We map out our route in advance, and decide good places to stop.
- Search the area on the Harvest Hosts app.
- Find and reserve a location.
- Generally late arrival, after a long day, we can pull in and settle in for the night.
If it’s a brewery or winery or restaurant, we’ve got food & beverage waiting for us, so we don’t have to worry about putting together (or cleaning up) dinner.
If it’s a different kind of location, like a farm or ranch or museum, we get a good night’s sleep.
Then we’re up early the next morning to meet our hosts, support the business, thank them for hosting, and still be on the road by 10am – Noon for another 4 to 6 hours.
Harvest Hosts App – Easy Peasy!
Harvest Hosts offers a fantastic search & reservation system to find great hosts in a specific location or along your travel route. Or browse the map. Search by state/region. Easily access all the necessary and helpful information:
- Overview w/ pictures & type of host (winery, farm, golf course, etc)
- Address & specific directions
- Max Rig Size (important!)
- Info & Reviews from other RVers
- And how to reserve: online, call or text, according to the Host’s specific instructions.
So far, on our full time RV cross-country travel adventure, we’ve stayed at seven unique Harvest Hosts, with many more to come (We’ll include the links to pictures and reviews of each location very soon!):
— Dru Bru Brewery – Cle Elum, WA
— The SoJo Norwegian Ranch – Missoula, MT
— Huntley Project Museum – just outside of Billings, MT
— Fargo Air Museum – Fargo, ND
— The Coffee Grounds / K Point Brewing – Eau Claire, WI
*** Harvest Hosts – If you are interested in more information or in joining Harvest Hosts, click the referral link HERE for your 15% DISCOUNT. We are happy affiliates of the Harvest Hosts program and earn $15 for sharing this discount with our friends — and yes, you can too, as a Harvest Host member! ***
Harvest Hosts are so very convenient and wonderful for travel days over the weekend or anytime you’re looking for an overnight getaway or in-between stop.
So far, we’ve been able to find and arrange unexpected experiences and adventures every time we’ve needed a place to camp overnight.
You have a chance to learn a little bit about the people and places you visit. Fascinating history— learning about lives so very different from our own.
You don’t have to stay overnight in a sketchy Walmart parking lot or noisy truck stop.
You don’t have to pay premium fees for a quick overnight stay.
Harvest Hosts is an amazing & super helpful RV membership program.
We hope you enjoyed the article and are inspired and reassured about Harvest Hosts, if you are a new or soon-to-be-new RV traveler. Join us on our current & future RV adventures by subscribing at https://BooksAndTravelUSA.com.