Boondocking outside of Bryce Canyon National Park Summer 2018
What is Boondocking?
Dry camping, wild camping, dispersed camping, living off the grid are common names used for camping/RVing anywhere with or without limited amenities. Boondocking usually means NO RV hookups, no developed campsites, normally outside of the city limits.
Nearly all public land has a limit of how long you may camp on it. That limit is most often 14 days or two weeks. This is our favorite way of living, off the grid a bit out in nature.
There is something about looking for the perfect spot to call home, and not being crammed into a small RV slot at a park. Don’t get me wrong, every once and awhile you need hookups to “recharge” long hot showers, batch cooking and just getting stuff done in town.
It’s fun to live this way, even though there are limits on electricity and water consumption. Learning to conserve water and power is also better for our environment.
Boondocking can be a HUGE test for a person that has never really liked camping, not very experienced at it. You learn really fast how to conserve your water usage, you change how much you use power. You also find out really fast just how far your tanks can really go before they are FULL and need to be dumped.
Boondocking at the Grand Canyon Oct. 2017
Our Top 5 Tips for Boondocking Successfully
1. Finding the PERFECT spot!
We like to use Campendium.com to read reviews from other RVers that have stayed in places we are wanting to stay to see what they have to say about the area.
Ten to 14 days usually gives us plenty of time to get to know an area. For us full-timers staying put for ten days to two weeks helps reduce monthly mileage, saving fuel and dollars!
2. Conserve Power Usage
Replace incandescent lighting with LED lighting so you can read the rest of our RV tips and conserve power! LED lights run much cooler than incandescent lights and use up to 1/8th the amperage. We also have a battery-powered lamp we use when boondocking.
Charge everything before bed in the evening and then turn off your inverter to save power overnight. We watch “TV” on our tablets, phones or laptops.
Have a good generator to charge up your batteries, you need one even if you have lithium batteries because not every day is sunny! Solar will come in very handy, even just one panel on the ground pointed towards the sun.
3. Conserve Water Usage and Your Tanks
Use water jugs or water bladders to transport fresh water to refill your tanks. While waiting for hot water to reach the faucet we collect the cold water in a pitcher for toilet use. We also use a basin in each side of the sink in the kitchen for dishwashing.
The use of paper plates and bowls help reduce the number of dishes you wash. We also use environmentally friendly soaps and wet wipes for cleaning.
Take “Navy” showers. Navy shower: Run the water and wet down. Turn the water off. Lather up. Turn the water on and rinse.
Dump your tanks BEFORE you set up camp. We can go around 2 weeks without dumping our tanks. Two weeks is about my limit as well but we are going on 30 days at the time of writing this blog post! (we have dumped in town and moved sites in this time frame) Don’t dump grey or black water on the ground!
4. Cooking – You have to Eat?
One thing we try to do is batch cook while we are in an RV park before we go boondock somewhere, that way we have pre-cooked meals for boondocking just heat and eat, which in turn makes less dirty dishes and trash. We use propane to do most of our other cooking. We also like to cook outside, we use our Weber propane grill and our Green Mountian Smoker.
5. WiFi – Staying Connected
Boondocking doesn’t mean we aren’t able to work or get on the internet. We need WiFi so we can work and stay in touch with family and social media plays a big part in our lifestyle. So we ALWAYS test the cell singles before we set up anything. We use AT&T and Verizon hot spots and we have T-mobile on our phones.
Normally we will either have at least one of those working for us, however, if it is a weak signal then we will get out our weBoost and our high gain antenna to boost the signals. If that doesn’t work we will move along. As I mentioned above we use Campendium.com to find our sites because it has great information about cell signals in the area.
Boondocking in Quartzsite January 2019
There you have it! Our Top 5 Tips for Boondocking Successfully. We have come to love being out and away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Don’t get me wrong having hookups are nice but so is not having close neighbors.
Do you prefer RV Parks or Boondocking?
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