Boondocking involves camping in a remote area away from most human activities. Essentially boondocking means camping without hookups such as water, electricity or sewer. Others call it “dry camping.” Individuals who prefer to boondock rather than camping always want to spend time by themselves in a quiet, safe environment.
Campgrounds can be crowded and noisy. Also, it requires you to spend a few dollars for the time; one plans to stay there. So do you like traveling around the country, but you don't want to pay the fees associated with camping? Well what are you waiting for let's hit the road, enjoy ourselves and do some boondocking. Also, people who spend a night in the parking lot or alongside the road are also said to be boondocking.
Why Do Boondocking?
People always have various reasons why they prefer one thing over the other. Some of those reasons include:
- To get away from cities which are always crowded and noisy and sometimes be alone enjoying nature.
- Money, some individuals love traveling around and enjoying nature, but don't want to spend money for camping sites, find themselves boondocking to save money.
- Some individuals also do both; the free camping and the paying camping. At some point, one may want a silent, lonely place and other times spend time with others chatting and enjoying each others company.
- Circumstances such as a car failure in the middle of nowhere or having driven for long hours and need a rest before continuing the journey.
Where Do Rvers Boondock?
Well, you can park anywhere, but you risk being fined or your safety. However, there are various places you can boondock. As such they include:
- Legitimately recognized areas specifically for boondockers
- Illegal but well known and used by many without having security or any issues.
- Unauthorized but the authority grants one special permission
- Unofficial in which one may park at their own risk.
- A restricted area where one parks at their own risk of fines or worse.
The most recommended area is a officially recognized area and unofficial but well known and used by many people. Examples of such areas include the Walmart parking lots, Kmarts and other stops that have large parking areas.
What To Observe During Boondocking Parking Lots
- It is crucial to get authorization even if you are sure it is okay to park in that area.
- Ensure you arrive late and leave very early
- In case it is a private business ensure its only one night
- Only park where the owner has directed you to keep off the way of customers
- Ensure you spend some money purchasing items from that business as a sign of gratitude
What Is Needed To Boondock?
A Freshwater Tank
Water is vital, and one needs to carry it and use it sparingly. The RVs come with different tank sizes depending on the size of your Rv. The smaller means less time you can spend boondocking. To help you minimize water usage, here are some of the things that you may consider doing.
- Avoid washing dishes by the use of disposable plates
- Cook your food outside so you don't have all of the kitchen Rv space to be washed.
A Generator And Solar
To keep yourselves away from the dark remember most of the areas are very remote and have no electricity. With these two items and hoping the sun shines, enjoy nature and let the sun do the work for you. Solar is now available in different sizes to suit your needs, and they are also portable.
Caution; when purchasing a generator make sure it is quiet, some are very noisy If you are boondocking near others, it will be very annoying. Remember the generator requires fuel so remember t carry extra fuel. Also, the size of the generator will depend on your usage. If you use your generator for air conditioning then you need the larger one which is noisy. The generator will act as a battery bank ensuring you do not run out of power.
Switch Your Lights
In your RV has the non LED light bulbs, you should switch them out to LEDs. Changing to this style will ensure lower power usage. Thus, allowing you to keep your power on longer without having to worry about anything. Also, you may consider buying solar changers for your computer or cell phones. So you can stay connected all the time without having to use the battery energy for lighting and another usage.
Getting A Good Location
Now that you are packed and ready to set off for your adventure, where are you going? Now let’s look a few available options for you.
- The national forest service offers a lot of boondocking opportunities. You just need to contact them and let them know the length of your stay and the number involved for security purposes. Before the actual day,you should survey the area to ensure it fits your needs. Most of the national land service will allow you to stay for up to fourteen days. You need to carry your garbage with you and leave no trace of your stay. At some places, they may require you to pay a small fee so be sure to inquire in advance.
- There are also several websites that show free campsites, which can help you locate a boondocking spot. Also, you may consider reading blogs of people who boondock to get an idea of where they go and their experience.
- Other rest areas allow parking for about twelve hours, so be sure of the rules of the state or city you are visiting. Some will even let you pull your car alongside the road, while others do not.
Last but not least be sure to carry your bedding, clothes and enough food these are very important. With all this equipment you can be assured you can last for a few days or even a couple of weeks.
What to consider while selecting a boondocking area
Security; ensure that the area you choose for your vacation is secure enough from robbers or wild animals. If you are near a big city where the crime rate is high, try not to park there it is a bad idea.
Make sure before settling in a specific location ensure that you are granted permission to park there. Obeying the law will give you peace of mind and make sure you have a great time. In case you consider parking in a private property be sure to ask for permission from the owner or the manager.
Is Boondocking Illegal?
Free camping is not illegal as long as certain rules are observed. One should ensure to camp only in the areas that are allowed by the law. Also get permission from the property owner. Avoid littering around or leaving traces of your presence in a particular area.
Important Features to Consider While Shopping For An RV To Use For Boondocking
Water is a necessity, and one cannot do without. Thus, it is important to consider purchasing a RV that has enough fresh water tank holding capacity. Depleting your drinking water may limit your free camping time. Hence the more extensive the tank, the longer you stay camping. You may also be forced to look for water source like a river a freshwater lake. Also, you may consider carrying with you bottled water for drinking. Thus, ensuring that the tank water is for other use other than drinking. Having drinking water separate will reduce water wastage and meet your needs up to the last day of boondocking. Thus, the chosen RV should be large enough to host your bottled water. If the tank is large and you have bottled water the longer, you can stay in the boonies.
Black Water Tank
The black water tank collects the sewage from the toilet. If it gets full, you have no business staying in the boonies. Thus, the RV should be equipped with a large black tank to hold the waste for all the days you plan to stay camping. In case it gets full avoid disposing it on public land as it is illegal. However, in most cases, you will run out of fresh water long before the black tank gets full.
Gray Water Tank
The gray tank is for holding water that has been used for dishwashing. In most areas, they will allow you to dump the gray water tank while others do not allow. If you are in an area where it is illegal to dump the gray water tank, then when it gets full you have no business to continue staying there. You may be forced to look for a dumping site. However, if it is legal to dispose of the gray tank, then you may have more days to camp and dispose of your waste as per the rules of that area.
The size of your fridge will determine the number of days you spend in the boonies. The larger the fridge, the longer you are likely to spend in the boonies. Reducing the need to visit the grocery which in most cases is not near the better for you. Thus it is essential to consider the size of the fridge while purchasing the RV. In fact, the freezer cannot hold a lot of foodstuffs; you are likely to spend few days camped since one cannot stay without eating.
Clothes Storage/ Clean Clothes
Most of the time people always forget to consider where they will keep their dirty clothes. Considering that each day you will be needing to change into clean clothes after your navy shower. it is important to have enough space to keep your dirty clothes. Also, you would not want to run out of the clean ones either. Thus, when purchasing a RV ensure it has enough space to hold all your dirty and clean clothes, otherwise you may come to an end abruptly. Also, you may be forced to move and look for water body where you can fetch water for washing your clothes.
It is critical to ensure that you have enough power for your RV. Otherwise, you may be forced to get out of the boonies and look for a charger. When purchasing your RV it is essential to consider the size of the power bank that comes with it. The larger the size of your power bank the fewer the number of times that you need to recharge your batteries. Also, it will ensure that your lighting stays on all day and night.
Having enough propane is important to support the time you are going to spend in the boonies. The propane will be used to heat water for bathing and dishwashing. If it gets depleted, you may be forced to end your camping. However, the chance of it getting exhausted before other necessities like water is low. It is more likely that you will run out water before you finish the propane.
How to Ensure A Successful Boondocking
- Pre-wash your fruits and vegetables just before you leave for your adventure. Ensuring that whatever you carry is clean the better for you as it will increase chances of staying as it reduces the amount of water usage which is a critical element.
- Use disposable plates thus reducing the need to wash them and hence saves water.
- Make sure you keep a reasonable distance while parking your RV from others to avoid invading their privacy.
- You may also consider preparing your meals before you leave to minimize amount of your energy usage.
If you love nature and would like to travel around and spend as little money as possible, here is your opportunity try dry camping. Where we enjoy ourselves and save cash for other things. If you love adventure, what are you waiting for let’s get with boondocking.