We have been staying in various different Harvest Host (HH) locations throughout our travels the past three months, and it has been such a gem. Harvest Hosts is a network of participating farms, vineyards, and museums that allow RVs to dry camp on their property for the night. To view the list of participating hosts, you do have to be a member. An annual membership fee runs between $40-44.
By Logging into the website, you can find participating hosts based on location, and each summary page provides info on what amenities (Wi-Fi, walking paths, picnic spots, etc…) you can expect to find at specific locations, as well as how many rigs, and at what length, may be accommodated. Most hosts are only able to take a couple rigs at once, and you will need to have a fully self-contained camper/ RV in order to participate, as bathrooms are not provided.
In our short time, we have been able to stay at several wineries, a lavender farm, an air & space museum, and a cheese farm. Depending on the host, the parking spot can range from a grass field to paved parking areas. In almost every instance, we have had the entire location to ourselves for the night- giving us a taste of what it would feel like to have your own private vineyard!
There are some written and unspoken practices amongst the HH community. Obviously, respect the space and don’t leave trash, don’t build fire pits, don’t relieve yourself outside, or make excessively loud noise. Also, keep in mind that this is different from free boondocking on public lands. If it’s a winery, arrive before tasting hours have ended and purchase a tasting. If it’s a museum, go in to visit the museum and check out the exhibits. Interact with the business and support the community!
We have had some truly memorable experiences, which have included: watching the Game of Thrones season finale while dining out in a vineyard, a late night stroll under airplanes, and waking up to the smell of fresh lavender on a farm. A Harvest Host stay is a fun way to support local businesses and a budget-friendly alternative to more traditional over-night accommodations.