RV Life: Where to Camp In D.C, Philly, NYC, and Boston

A friend of my mom’s is wondering about where camp along the upper east coast, so here it goes!

We were only 2 months into traveling full-time when we went to D.C. But, somehow we had a knack for finding the right spots. We stayed at Greenbelt, Maryland campground. When you are pulling through the cities to get to this campground, you might say to your GPS, Yeah, right! There can’t be a campground in the middle of this city, you useless device! But really, it’s there, just perfectly hidden by thick trees!

Located only 12 miles away from Washington D.C, and only a 1.5 mile walk away from the Metro, this campground was perfect! Only a short walk through the forest to catch your train into the city!  We never had to disconnect our truck from the travel trailer! And, the campground has showers (bonus)!

Two years later, we ended up in Philadelphia! I honestly don’t even know how my mother stumbled upon this, maybe from another traveler having done it, but we stayed at a bus parking lot named Callowhill. You know, where tour buses can park the vehicle overnight. For $30 every 24 hours, you can park your RV in a gated lot, not 10 blocks from the Liberty Bell!!! You’re that close too the city. It was pretty safe, with nice attendants. The lot even had a grassy side, so if you have doggies with you, they have a perfect potty spot!  However, it was noisy. The train would squeal by just 20 feet from the trailer, but realizing we had a good deal (Instead of being at an RV park 35 miles out of the city), we just willed ourselves to sleep deeply.

In the months up to going to NYC, we were worried about where we’d stay.

In an RV, or towing a travel trailer through the city is really tricky. You have to know where you are going, or you won’t escape that area for about 2 hours.We went around FlatBush  and Utica Avenue in Brooklyn a few times before we finally got on the right road… Even though we had passed the correct road about 3 times by then.

Luckily, Mom found a recreation area just outside of Brooklyn. Dry camping (no water hook-ups, no plug-ins, no sewer) is available at Camp Gateway. Camp Gateway is on part of New York’s old airport base, Floyd Bennett Field. This was an interesting place! The ocean was right there across the park. People fished often, and had weekly bicycle races around the old airport runways. There are also nice tent spots in grass fields. They offer showers as well, and potable water.

A sunset view from the lot
To go into the city, all ya gotta do is catch the bus Q35 in front of the Visitor Center 2 miles from the campground, that takes you onto Flatbush Ave, then you catch the subway at Flatbush Ave and Brooklyn College into NYC. It was kinda confusing to figure out at first, and trust me, you will need to sit and study the maps before you get on any bus or train!!

For our visit in Boston, we stayed at Wompatuck State Park, only 35 minutes from the city, and 24 miles away from Plymouth Rock. It’s dry camping, but water spigots are everywhere to fill up your tank, and they have free public showers. Heavily wooded with tons of trails.

We took the ferry from Hingham, taking about 30 minutes to arrive in Boston. From where you get off at the harbor, everything is in walking distance.

Riding the ferry in!
You really do have to play with maps and websites to really figure these city things. I guess the east coast just likes being confusing… πŸ˜›

And remember! If you are disabled and have an Access Pass, you get half off of all recreational campgrounds, Corps of Engineer campgrounds, National Parks, and even some state parks like Wompatuck in Mass! You can even get discounted metro train passes! Seniors also get discounts.

Hope some of this info helps!




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