Going on a road trip means deciding not to decide anything, sleeping where you want and when you want… pretty much ! The art of boon docking, as we say it here in Quebec, is the specialty of every great Vanpackers. But can we do it everywhere in the province ? Is there legal restrictions ? We share some advice to help you sleep soundly.
The best spots to sleep peacefully during a road trip
In the following places, you can (usually) park and settle in with a clear conscience :
- Village-Relais: Click here to consult the list of parking lots where it is authorized to sleep in different villages-relais in Quebec that have a good chance of being on your route!
- Wal-Mart : the majority of Wal-Marts have no problem accepting the presence of boondockers for one night. There are some exception in the province of Quebec, if ever you’re not sure, directly ask the permission before you park for the night!
- Tourist offices, churches or government buildings : they have parking lots, but take the time to find out about the regulations in force, as these often change from one municipality to another.
- Casinos : they often tolerate boondockers, but again, ask before you settle down!
In every case, you must respect the tranquility and clean the place to leave it cleaner than when you arrived. Don’t hesitate to ask the people you meet their favourite unknown place nearby. Most of them will be happy to help you and they may make you discover some unique places.
We highly recommend you to apply the Leave No Trace travel rules or to read and apply The responsible traveller’s charter in motorhomes, campervans and campers written by Park4night. Keep these commandments in mind on every road trip and you will be an extraordinary adventurer!
… but also
If you still can’t find what you’re looking for, these apps should help you! Be careful though: they are to be used sparingly and with judgment and should not be used to plan your 15-day trip across the province! As we often say, they serve as plan B, C and sometimes D. Our advice: monitor the latest updates made by users of the application. This gives you a good indication if the night spot is still accessible… or not!
This application lists a lot of sites and is updated by the community. It is a MUST in your cellphone if you’re going on a road trip, and not only in Quebec!
This app will facilitate your life and will help you to find your next overnight parking in a few clicks. They also have a website.
FREE CAMP SITE
You just have to give your location to the website and it will show you the free campgrounds nearby !
A nice and easy-to-use tools for a minivan travel, this app is free and only works in. North America. You can’t use it offline, though!
Arrêt Nuitée VR (RV Night Stop)
This new player in the minivan travel community in the province of Quebec. A nice initiative that started in 2021 to respond to the huge demand of minivan and RV travellers through the province. You MUST be completely independent to use the proposed sites. There is no mobile app yet, but you can visit the website or the Facebook page to learn more.
In the end, what’s better than asking the road tripper community? Mon road-trip au Canada: Conseils et Bons Plans group is a group of travelers to Canada, but there are many : En VR pour pas cher, Québec Vanning etc. (all in french 😉 ). These are beautiful communities of regulars, but beware! If you are given a spot to sleep, cherish it with all your heart. Otherwise, you will be the last person to spend the night there and that would be a shame…
A last bit of advice (but not the least) to practice the art of boondocking : always be discreet! If you plan to travel with facilities such as a roof tent, a trunk tarpaulin or if you can’t do without your campfire at the end of the evening, the boondocking is maybe not the best travelling option for you. Instead, head to dedicated campgrounds. You are less likely to be kicked out of your spot and you will attract the wrath of the locals 😉
And you ? Share your advice with us and allow future Vanpackers to live a great adventure.
Last thing! You want to know all the essential apps to travel in the province of Quebec? It’s all here!