Years ago, I inquired at a couple bases. Asked the cops if I could park overnight in the commissary or exhange parking lot. Both times I was told no, for security reasons. One Navy base did allow it, but that base is now closed.
On two separate occasions, we were able to park in the commissary parking lot at Kirtland AFB, due to the FamCamp not having openings. Not sure if that is still possible, because the last time was about two years ago.
Homestead FL does not have a MCG, but stuck me in the gym parking lot for a night on my way to the Everglades. Happened twice - ask at base security. This was years ago, and am not sure policy still the same. At the time, they were floating a plan for an MCG, but have no clue if that's still in the works. Same thing happened to us at Kirkland too a couple times. As I recall, that base has a small MCG and no overflow, no restroom or shower facilities.
I guess it would depend on the base CO and security issues. Never hurts to ask, but I'd bet it's a base to base policy and not military wide.
Homestead will park you in a lot buy the Motor Pool if you have accommodations at billeting. We stayed there in March of this year and it was quite a hike to the billeting area. Again, the issue was security. They would not let you park anywhere except in this one particular area. So if you want to drop your passengers or disconnect the toad you can save nearly a half mile walk to billeting. They will let you stop to unload and load in the morning but only if you brief them in advance. You are not permitted to stay in your motor home under any circumstance.
There will probably be exceptions to this (there ALWAYS are), but I think you will find that MOST (not all) military bases will not allow camping anywhere but a designated campground (I.E., FamCamp). As has been said, security is the main reason for this. Probably best to assume any given base will have this security restriction. I know for a fact that Hill AFB, UT will not allow boondock camping.
Bob Hicks, from Utah
I’m 76 years young and going as hard as I can for as long as I can.
“Free men don't ask permission to bear arms.” ― Glen Aldrich
I believe there have been a lot of security changes over the years based on the political and military policy at present and in the future. I expect it will become more and not less secure over time - probably a good thing.
my advise to OPs specific situation/thread topic of boondocking is adapt the "we're only spending the night, in transit" mode and stealth camp...forget the idea of boondocking...
Every base I've been too I've seen it happen daily, random RV parked somewhere without issue or van/pickup/car parked without issues...paying fees...key phase is parked, not habituated and especially don't make the appearance you're having fun as this will inspire those who don't like your appearance of happiness to make trouble for you.
if a base has a campground and you're just passing thru in an RV just pull up to camp office lot late (after 10pm) and park, go to sleep use alibi "it is/was too late to park safely and didn't wanna make a disruption"...macdill is notorious for this in the fall as snowbirds head for the keys. People have been doing this for yrs they use the shower house, even do laundry in shower house watching tv not hanging out in their rig making their rig appear non habited to onlookers (potential complainers) then be gone in morning before 6amish when atypical campground hosts do rounds making notes of non paying squatters whom essentially are not paying fees...
If they don't have a campground, show up late @ POV sale lot, stealthy don't hang out in chairs under rolled out awnings or attract attn, just go night night no gen set running no ac/heat and be gone in the morning, nobody will notice (there is guy doing it in fort Snelling Mn as I write this, has his class c with tv antenna up in a parking lot across from base hotel and security isn't bothering him?) because he isn't boondocking, he's stealth camping just going nite nite ))
he's been here at least a week since I first noticed him...even has his drag behind tow bar drug Ford ranger he disappears all day long in (no tow dolly laying around, tow bar is in his truck bed)
Smart enough to use different parking spaces nightly of said parking lot instead of parking right outside his RV so as not to make impression he's there camping/squatting; not so vigilant types see this as just random vehicles parked in a parking lot, nothing to see here....
if anyone does make issue be courteous, say you felt tired and took a nap, act embarised and move out somewhere else pronto which should be easy as you should be move out/roll away ready...in the end you camped free for the night which seems fair as you weren't spread out grilling, watching outdoor tv drinking with music, using facilities other than base gym etc.
After some yrs using, experiencing military campgrounds I feel the old ways of asking security seems honorable, respectful, but in today's DoD being direct and communicating your intentions, confirming your plans will only attract attn to you/make trouble for you in modern new military where dependents are seemingly more important than servicemen/veterans onbase, "putting the cart in front of the horse" adage defined...its like you need a female dependant & bratty kids to validate your veteran status on base privs???