How Much Does Boondocking Cost?

How Much Does Boondocking Cost?

More often than not, almost everything you set out to do in life costs money. It is important that you know what it would ”COST” you to accomplish the same. So, what do you need in order to boondock well you see it turns out, not much at all. Anyone who camps or sleeps in the woods or desert is more or less boondocking.  Everyone is going to have different packing lists for things when they head into the wide open spaces. Meanwhile, let’s stick with the basics. We all need to eat, drink and stay warm (or cool).

How much does boondocking cost? The cost of boondocking can vary greatly, it will depend on which type you are doing. Do you plan to use a Class A motorhome, Class C motorhome, trailer or just a tent? This will make a big difference in your cost of boondocking.

Recreational Vehicle:

This for some individuals is the ultimate way to shrink your footprint, disconnect, and surround yourself with nature. (i.e. you could even save a lot of money while doing it).  For this same folk, boondocking is a hands-down favorite way to live and the ultimate or sole reason to own a Recreational Vehicle (RV). In a bid to create a sense of humor, some people would even say ”RV is not just a home but also a mobile office and work studio when boondocking.”

Living and traveling full-time in a Recreational Vehicle is of course not free, but you would be surprised at how affordable it can be. That said, you actually have a lot of flexibility when it comes to expenses – depending on your budget and how you like to travel.

Rig:

If you want to boondock extensively or decide you want to move with the sun. By continually being in different climates, then a larger rig might be your best bet. Meanwhile, your upfront cost will be higher but it will gradually decrease over time.

Food:

You obviously know this is key or important — you’ve been eating your entire life. Even so, be sure to take plenty of food and either keep all food items securely packed away. Bring your own bear-resistant containers, as there won’t be any storage at the boondocking sites that are bear proof.

Water:

Regardless of where you’re going, you’ll need to think about hydration. If you’re only going to be camping near streams, you could go minimalist and bring a backpacker style water filter or iodine tablets. Otherwise, you’ll need to bring your own water. Remember that water is needed for drinking, cooking, cleaning dishes, and possibly bathing.

It is also paramount to note that water conservation is very essential while boondocking. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t shower or live normally.

So, with a few very affordable adjustments you can cut your water consumption in half without having to make a sacrifice. Meanwhile, it is okay to switch to a low flow showerhead like an Oxygenic and install a shutoff valve so you can turn off the water when you are lathering up. With these two simple and inexpensive changes combined, you could save a ton of water without losing water pressure. In fact, you can even take a “regular” shower and only use a couple of gallons containing water. An unexpected benefit is – you never run out of hot water, even with your little six(6) gallon propane/electric hot water tank.

In the same thought, most hardware stores sell faucet aerators but it’s almost impossible to tell the best ones. You could order the 1.0 GPM faucet aerators for only a few bucks online.  Switching over to low flow aerators will have you feeling a lot less guilty about washing your hands and dishes. Some individuals would even say paper plates are a waste and no fun, we’d much rather use dishes. Undoubtedly, this easy switch reduces water consumption to the barest minimum.

NOTE – For doing dishes and any general cleanups outside. Solar Shower is highly recommended and the water stays nice and hot without using any electricity.

Power:

If you plan to go boondock for more than just a few days, you’ll need a reliable power source.  When you’re boondocking in extremely cold or hot temperatures, you’ll need to run a space heater or the air conditioner to stay comfortable. If you work on the road as some folk do, you’ll need to charge your computer and other devices. That said, there are basically three recommended ways to getting enough power for extended boondocking stays.

Generator :

Your RV might have come with an onboard generator already installed. But if your RV does not have one, you would need to purchase one separately. Some individuals would still bring along a gas powered generator for additional power even if their motorhome came with an onboard propane generator. Reason because? They want to save the propane for other things in the Rv, so they like the additional generator for back up. Plus, it’s much easier to take the gas generator tanks in their vehicle to refill them. It is a lot easier than it is to take the whole RV to refill the propane. This may be something you should consider doing as well.

Upgrade Your RV’s Batteries :

It is often being recommended by many people to upgrade your RV’s batteries for longer usage. Meanwhile, there’s a whole lot of options but the golf cart batteries are a great and affordable option. Or you can check out some Battle Born Lithium Batteries they weigh a lot less and last a lot longer.

Solar Panels :

Solar panels are a great environmentally friendly way to increase your power supply while boondocking. RV batteries can only supply so much power and generators are loud and can burn through propane and gas quickly. In addition, solar technology continues to improve and the price of solar continues to drop. One motorhome we looked at the Winnebago Navion comes with 200 watts of solar already installed. You could also purchase these panels to ensure you ain’t lacking power in any way. They are also super lightweight and are a breeze to install.

Safety:

It is commonly said by most people who boondock, ”We’ve never felt unsafe while boondocking. However, boondocking in desolate spots can put you at risk for encountering wild animals, put you out of cell phone service and far away from help in the case of an emergency. So Its always good to take extra precautions.  It’s recommended that you carry bear spray, know where the nearest services are, and telling your loved ones your exact location. Many would say they haven’t heard a single boondocking horror story. So as long as you’re smart and careful, you’ll be fine.

Cellular Service:

Another challenge that boondocking presents are finding spots that still have good cellular service. Because, if you’re like some folk, you don’t want to be that off the grid. They work from the road and their jobs rely on a good signal. Campendium reviews will sometimes have the cell signal listed, but that’s not always the most reliable source.

The Coverage app:

The coverage app allows you to overlay and compare cellular coverage maps for AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. Before you go to a new location, you can research whether or not you’ll have a signal. You could use a combination of Verizon and AT&T. So rather than looking at both of the carriers websites, you could access it in one spot with the Coverage App. There’s also no Internet needed to use the app – the coverage maps are saved for quick access.

WeBoost Drive:

Meanwhile, if having a good signal is important to you as well, it is recommended that you get WeBoost’s Drive 4G-X, which is a powerful, professional-grade 4G vehicle booster. The Drive 4G-X makes sure that you get better voice and data with fewer dropped calls. You will get improved voice quality, with faster uploads and downloads. This also allows up to 2 hours additional talk time in weak signal areas.

Furthermore, WeBoost boosts cell signals up to 32x and enhances 4G LTE and 3G signals for Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Straight Talk and more. All components that are needed for installation are included.  Just plug the Drive 4G-X into the car’s power supply and place the magnetic antenna on the roof.

Location:

Trying to find some comfortable temperatures while boondocking can sometimes be difficult. Aside from bringing the appropriate gear, look for moderate natural temperatures. When it starts to get hot, start to look for places with shade and higher elevations. When the weather starts to turn cool, look for sites in the desert. No matter how appropriate your gear may be, the best system of climate control is always Mother Nature.

NOTE :

Besides your standard camping equipment and toiletries remember to also bring extra clothes. You might also need a portable stove, plenty of toilet paper and baby wipes. You should also bring whatever car chargers/adapters you may need.

Additionally as a boondocking etiquette; always remember to be respectful, use existing roads and camping spots. Don’t forget if you pack in/pack out, share the space, and leave the area as you found it.

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