RV Boondocking: A Beginner’s Guide

RV boondocking

Ever heard of RV Boondocking? If you’ve been curious about it, then this article is for you. Below, we present everything a beginner needs to know, from its definition to considerations, to campsite suggestions.

What is RV Boondocking?

To begin, what is RV boondocking? Simply put, it is a type of camping where you don’t make use of hookups. That means no electricity and water supply, as well as the absence of sewage. Just you or your family and your vehicle immersed in nature. There won’t be any need to contend with crowded campgrounds or noisy generator sounds. Accordingly, RV boondocking is also called dispersed camping, off-grid camping, and dry camping.

Why do people go boondocking?

There are many reasons people choose to go RV boondocking. However, the primary reason is cost. When boondocking, you stay out of campgrounds, and thus avoid the fees associated with it.

Another reason for boondocking is more mobility. Given that you aren’t confined by a campground’s location, you can park much closer to your destination. For example, if you want to be closer to a beach, or stay in the middle of wilderness, you will be able to do so.

Considerations for RV Boondocking

Before you set off for boondocking, there are several things you need to consider, all of which are closely related to each other. This includes the condition of your vehicle, length of your trip, food and water supply, water and energy consumption, and waste disposal.

Vehicle Condition

Like any normal trip, you should make sure your RV is fit for travel. We’d venture to say this is even more important if you’re planning on boondocking. This is because boondocking demands more of your attention to detail.

Make sure you know the capacity of your water tanks, batteries, generators, and other power sources. If you choose a remote area far from civilization, you’ll have a problem if you suddenly run out of these resources because you failed to budget them correctly.

Length of Trip

Your vehicle condition ties in with the length of your trip. You RV will set limitations or where you should go, or how you should plan your trip. For example, if you have a small water tank and are planning to go boondocking, it would be best to choose a location that is near other campgrounds. This is so you can easily go to and fro, refilling your tank.

Note that having a smaller vehicle doesn’t mean you can’t take longer or farther trips. It just means you have to really plan out your route. Make sure you pass by places with hook-ups, or that you can easily reach civilization in case there are emergencies.

Food and Water Supply

Now the length of your trip will dictate your food and water supply. Make sure you have enough to sustain you for the duration of your trip. You don’t want to go hungry or die of thirst, right? This is important mainly because when you’re boondocking, you might not have access to that much stores. What you bring with you, is what you will be making use of.

Unlike staying in campgrounds, where there are usually stores, communal bath houses, or even community food activities, boondocking will have none of those. You might find fellow campers boondocking, but they might not be as eager to share their resources. After all, they’re also operating on limited food and water.

That being said, make sure you either bring enough food, or stay in a place where it’s easy to come by, such as a river where you can catch fish. In terms of your water supply, make sure you have enough for drinking, bathing, and food preparation.

Water and Energy Consumption

Second to the last on our list of considerations is your water and energy consumption. Remember, you will not have a steady supply of water or electricity. As a result, you’d have to be more careful of how you use your resources. Running out of water, especially drinking water, in the middle of the wilderness is not responsible boondocking. This is why it’s important to be aware of your vehicle’s condition before setting off on a camping trip.

Water Supply

In terms of water supply, you should know your RVs carrying capacity because that information, coupled with water pressure and gallons disperse per minute of your shower, faucets, and toilet, will let you budget and adjust your use accordingly. Save when you can. For example, you can capture the water wasted from your shower and use it to wash the dishes or flush your toilet.

Energy Consumption

When it comes to your energy consumption, look into other sources of power, just in case you ran out while on trip. For instance, having more batteries or carrying a generator would be a good idea. Additionally, limit your use of appliances to the basics of the basics, such as your lights, refrigerator, and water pump. Turn them off when you don’t need them.

Waste Disposal

Last on our list is waste disposal. You cannot overlook this factor when boondocking. Specifically, we’re referring to your toilet waste. Most RVs have a black tank that holds it. Fortunately, they do not fill up easily. That being said, you should be aware of its capacity.

Due to the fact that you can’t just empty your black tank anywhere, you should plan your routes in such a way that there are dump stations nearby. That way, you’ll be able to dump your toilet waste properly.

Sites for RV Boondocking

There are several places in the country where you can park your RV for boondocking. That being said, do your research before you decide on parking anywhere. Some cities have certain rules or ordinances in place about where you can park your RV and for how long.


In summary, RV Boondocking can be an intimidating experience for beginners. However, it’s not impossible. As long as you follow the guidelines we mentioned above, you’ll be fine. If you need more ideas, we have another article about dry camping, which you can read if you click here. So, are you ready to try dry camping?

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