Are You Ready for Boondocking?

By Bob Jones Mar7,2024

Boondocking, known as dry or off-grid camping, is popular among RV enthusiasts. It involves camping in your recreational vehicle (RV) without hookups to electricity, Water, or sewer. It’s a great way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. However, before you hit the road for your boondocking adventure, there are several things you need to know and consider. In this article, we’ll cover everything from boondocking to how to find the best sites and everything in between.

What Is Boondocking in an RV?

Boondocking refers to camping without any amenities a traditional RV park or campground provides. Instead, boondockers rely on their resources to meet their needs. This means you’ll need a self-contained RV with tanks for fresh Water, gray Water, and black Water, as well as a reliable power source and internet connection if desired.

What to Know Before You Decide to Go Boondocking

Several essential factors must be considered before you embark on a boondocking trip. First, determine how long you plan to be boondocking. The length of your journey will affect the amount of resources you need to bring and how you plan to manage them.

How Long Will You Be Boondocking?

If you’re planning a short boondocking stay, you may be able to get away with minimal resources. However, you’ll need to carefully plan your Water, electricity, and food supplies for longer trips to ensure you don’t run out in the middle of your adventure.

Electricity While Boondocking

One of the most critical considerations for boondocking is your power supply. How much power do you need to run your RV’s appliances and electronics? Will you rely on solar panels, a generator, or a combination? Determine your power requirements and ensure you have a reliable source to keep everything running smoothly.

Water While Boondocking

Water is another vital resource to consider when boondocking. How much fresh Water can your RV’s tank hold? Will you need additional water containers or a bladder to increase your capacity? It’s essential to conserve Water while boondocking and plan your usage accordingly.

Internet While Boondocking

While some boondockers enjoy completely disconnecting from the digital world, others may want to stay connected while on the road. If internet connectivity is important to you, research options for internet access in remote areas and consider investing in a reliable mobile hotspot device or satellite internet system.

Safety When Boondocking

Safety should be a top priority when boondocking. Research where you plan to boondock and be aware of any potential risks or hazards. It’s also wise to let someone know your boondocking plans and have a way to communicate in case of emergencies. Trust your instincts and choose boondocking locations that feel secure and comfortable.

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The Best RVs for Boondocking

Not all RVs are created equal when it comes to boondocking. Some RVs are better suited for off-grid camping due to their features and capabilities. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the best RV for boondocking:

Power Sources

Look for an RV with multiple power sources, such as solar panels, a propane generator, or dual batteries. This will give you more flexibility and reliability when powering your appliances and electronics.

Appliances and Refrigerators

Consider the energy efficiency of the RV’s appliances and refrigerator. Energy-efficient models will help conserve power and make your boondocking experience more sustainable.

Tank Sizes

Check the sizes of the RV’s fresh Water, gray Water, and black water tanks. Larger tanks will allow you to boondock for more extended periods without needing to refill or empty them as frequently.

Wheelbase and Clearance Height

Pay attention to the RV’s wheelbase and clearance height. Boondocking often involves driving on rough terrain or navigating narrow roads, so you’ll want an RV that can handle these conditions without causing too much stress or damage.

Length and Weight

Consider the length and weight of the RV, especially if you plan to boondock in remote areas with size restrictions or limited access. A smaller, lightweight RV will be easier to maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Boondocking Tips for Beginners

If you’re new to boondocking, being well-prepared and informed is essential. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your boondocking experience:

Where to Find Boondocking Sites

Boondocking on Public Land

Public lands managed by agencies like the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) often allow boondocking for free or at a meager cost. Research these areas and obtain any necessary permits or passes before setting up camp.

Overnight Stops for Boondocking

Some businesses and establishments, such as Walmart, Cracker Barrel, and some truck stops, allow overnight boondocking in their parking lots. While not as secluded as boondocking on public land, these stops can be convenient for quick overnight stays.

Boondocking Apps and Websites

Thanks to technology, finding boondocking sites has become easier than ever. Here are some popular boondocking apps and websites:

Campendium

Campendium is a comprehensive online resource for RVers, providing reviews and information about campsites, including boondocking locations.

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Allstays App

The Allstays app offers information on campgrounds, RV parks, and boondocking sites nationwide. It’s a valuable tool for finding the perfect spot for your boondocking adventure.

US Public Lands App

This app provides detailed information about public land areas, including boondocking options, fees, and regulations. It’s an excellent resource for boondockers who want to explore public lands.

Boondockers Welcome

Boondockers Welcome is a membership-based platform that connects RVers with hosts who offer boondocking spots on their private property. It’s a great way to meet fellow travelers and find unique boondocking locations.

Harvest Hosts

Harvest Hosts is another membership-based program that allows RVers to overnight at wineries, farms, and other unique locations across the country. While not strictly boondocking, it provides an alternative to traditional campgrounds.

Our Top 7 Boondocking Essentials

1. Water Bladder

A water bladder is a portable, collapsible container that allows you to carry and store extra Water while boondocking. It’s a practical solution for increasing your freshwater capacity.

2. Biodegradable Soaps

When boondocking, it’s essential to use biodegradable soaps and cleaners to minimize environmental impact. Look for eco-friendly options that won’t harm nature.

3. Composting Toilet

Composting toilets are a sustainable alternative to traditional RV toilets, requiring Water and a sewer system connection. It allows you to dispose of waste in an eco-friendly manner while boondocking.

4. Water Filter

Investing in a high-quality water filter is crucial for boondocking. It ensures that the Water you consume is clean and safe, even if you’re filling up from natural water sources.

5. Leveling Blocks

Leveling blocks are essential for boondocking in uneven terrain. They help stabilize your RV and ensure that you’re comfortable inside. Look for lightweight and durable options that are easy to carry and set up.

6. Generator

If you rely on electricity to power your RV, a generator can be a game-changer while boondocking. Look for a quiet and fuel-efficient model that suits your power needs.

7. Bug Spray

Don’t forget to pack bug spray! Boondocking often means being surrounded by nature, including insects. Protect yourself from bug bites and enjoy your outdoor adventures uninterrupted.

Boondocking Gear We Recommend:

While the essentials listed above are a good starting point, there is additional gear that can enhance your boondocking experience. Here are some recommendations:

Meet the Author

John Doe is an experienced boondocking and author of the best-selling book “The Ultimate Guide to Boondocking.” He has traveled extensively in his RV, exploring some of the country’s most remote and beautiful boondocking locations.

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10 Must-Know Tips for Boondocking in an RV

What is Boondocking?

Boondocking, also known as dry or off-grid camping, is the practice of camping in a recreational vehicle (RV) without any amenities provided by a traditional RV park or campground. Instead, boondockers rely on their resources for power, Water, and other basic needs.

1. Know Your Power Supply

How Much Power Do You Need?

Before heading out on a boondocking adventure, it’s crucial to understand how much power you’ll need to run all your RV’s appliances and electronics. Consider the power requirements of your refrigerator, air conditioner, lights, and other devices. This will help you determine the capacity of your power supply.

Options for Power and Starting Simple

You have several options for powering your RV while boondocking. Solar panels, portable generators, or a combination can provide electricity. If you’re new to boondocking, starting with a portable generator is recommended, as it’s relatively easy to use and provides a reliable power source.

Ideas for Getting the Most Out of Your Power Setup

Consider implementing energy-saving habits and investing in energy-efficient appliances to maximize your power supply. Replace incandescent light bulbs with LED alternatives, use propane for cooking instead of electric stoves, and turn off unnecessary devices when not in use. These small practices can go a long way in conserving power while boondocking.

2. Conserve Water

Boondocking Tips and Tricks to Save Water in the Kitchen

When boondocking, it’s essential to minimize water usage in the kitchen. Use disposable plates and utensils to reduce dishwashing, or opt for biodegradable materials if you prefer reusable items. Additionally, collect the Water used for rinsing fruits and vegetables to reuse for watering plants or flushing toilets.

Boondocking Camping Tips to Save Water in the Shower

Showers can be a significant source of water consumption while boondocking. Consider taking shorter showers and turning off the Water while lathering up. You can also invest in a low-flow showerhead that reduces water usage without sacrificing pressure.

Thoughts on Drinking Water

While many boondockers bring their drinking water, some filter natural water sources using portable water filters or purification tablets. If you decide to go this route, research the area’s water sources and take necessary precautions to ensure the Water is safe for consumption.

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