26 January 2015

The Reality Of Boondocking In Panama City, Florida

When you’re a cheap and cheerful traveler and looking to make your pennies stretch as far as they can, then there is nothing better than getting something for free. And that’s where boondocking comes in. After all, what could be better than a free campsite? You can find some amazing places to camp for free in the great outdoors or you can find some not so amazing places to camp for free in town. 

Since we got Scamper (our 13’ Scamp travel trailer), we’ve stayed at Walmart overnight a few times. It’s about what you would expect – it’s a parking lot. Bright street lights, vehicles pulling in and out and the only greenery around are some straggly weeds poking through cracks in the pavement. But, what the heck it’s free. And if you run out of milk for your morning coffee, it’s a pretty hand place to be parked. And trust me, a morning without coffee in our Scamper isn’t a pretty sight. People get a little cranky when there’s no coffee to be had. 

The other day, we had our first non-Walmart boondocking experience in Scamper. We found ourselves a parking lot that allows overnight parking in the historic St. Andrews district of Panama City, Florida. The marina was right on our doorstep and we were surrounded by bars, restaurants and cute little shops. It doesn’t get any better than this, does it?

Scamp Panama City FL

We had a great day walking around Panama City, followed by pizza and beer and then snuggled up in Scamper for the night. Sounds good doesn’t it? I mean, views like this at sunset at the marina – just spectacular.

Panama City Sunset

But here’s the reality of boondocking in this particular place. Yep, that’s right, we’re parked right next to some dumpsters.

Scamp Panama City Dumpster

And what happens when you’re parked next to a dumpster? People chuck bottles in it at all hours. Nothing sweeter than hearing the sound of bottles breaking all night long. And then there are the folks that pull into the parking lot playing loud music with some sort of annoying thumping bass line. And why set an alarm clock, when you can get woken up by the garbage trucks emptying the dumpsters? 

But hey, it was free. And free is good, isn’t it?
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  1. That's a great find in the that little town. Will be following.

    1. I think we were lucky to find it. Loved the central location - so great to be able to walk around town.

  2. Are you guys still looking for a boat? Have you checked out Vacilando?

    1. We are. That's what's been great about our little travel trailer - we have a place to stay while we look for boats. Have seen that Vacilando is on the market. Not sure if it's the right one for us though. Thanks for the tip though. Let us know if you come across anything else. We've got our eye on a few. Hopefully will find the right one for us soon.

  3. Very nice and informative article, thanks for this post..

    1. Thanks for your nice feedback and stopping by our blog!

    2. You do realize that was drive-by spam and not real feedback, right? The name is a link to a website that pays for links...

      We've been to that spot in PC before -- I did not know they allowed overnight parking in your rig.

    3. I usually catch them, but that one slipped through. We haven't had any spam problems in a while. Next time you're in PC, you'll have to try it out - great spot!


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