West Pinal Park, a Pinal County park in Arizona, has been free of charge for years, and even lets RV boondockers stay free. That is, until July, 2013, when the board of supervisors noticed that, while the parks cost around $50,000 to run annually, they did not bring in a cent of revenue. One solution bandied about was that the county could start charging RVers for their previously free overnight stays. This news has gone down like a lead balloon among the boondocking community.
The story started in February, according to Woodall's, when the Pinal County Board of Supervisors discovered that Pinal County parks are operating at a 100 percent loss—the five Pinal County parks have traditionally been free. Proposed fees per night for RVing boondockers would be $10, but the process still has to go through public hearings and run the gauntlet of annoyed snowbirds.
According to freecampsites.net, a popular boondocking resource, there is another major problem with the fees at West Pinal Park. The land was donated by Jim Kortsen—who reportedly specified that the park should be free for all. While day use will still be free, imposing a fee goes against the intended free nature of this desert park.
The Pinal County park states that only groups of 10 or more people can camp there, though historically single rigs have been able to obtain permits. However, the stated policy online suggests that changes are coming and that boondockers should check in advance. Travelers can request permits for up to three days, but there is no guarantee space will be available.
Also known as Kortsen Park, the free boondocking spot has no facilities so is open only to self-contained rigs. Those interested in continuing free boondocking at West Pinal Park should email Manny.Gonzalez@pinalcountyaz.gov.
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