Boondocking Provides Traditional RV Camping Alternatives
By Charles Hopkins
Published 06/1/2006 | Travel
If boondocking is not a familiar RV or camping term to you, it will not be long until other RV camping enthusiasts introduce you to this time honored RV camping tradition.
The art of boondocking is also referred to as dry camping or dispersed camping and offers many campers the opportunity to enjoy the comforts of their RV while still enjoying nature without the modernization or amenities that campgrounds offer.
Boondocking is also an alternative to one night stopovers at a campground while traveling from one destination to another and many RVers find Wal-Mart parking lots and truck stops to be just the solution. Places like Wal-Mart know the value of catering to the camping community, as they provide a perfect place to stock up on RV camping supplies and outdoor necessities while on the road.
Whether you are boondocking for convenience while heading toward your camping destination, or if you have chosen boondocking as the RV camping experience you are seeking, there are certain boondocking tips and camping protocol to follow.
The first is courtesy and common sense. If you are boondocking in a Wal-Mart parking lot, it is not a good idea to pull out the lawn chairs and camping equipment and setup shop. Doing so will quickly ruin the boondocking option for others and sour the reputation of campers in general.
Any overnight RV stay in public locales should be treated as a privilege and not an entitlement. The same holds true for boondocking in remote locations, always honor the environment and leave it pristine for other campers who are to follow.
When RV camping without full hook-ups, there are other considerations as well that will assist you in getting the most out of your boondocking camping adventure. Water and power utilization and conservation is always the foremost concern among dry campers. With a little experience and planning, RV campers can easily become accustomed to conserving both.
Water conservation while dry camping comes down to paying attention to details. Don't let the water run while brushing your teeth; run water slowly to conserve consumption; and capture water in the shower to recycle for rinsing and flushing. When you are waiting for the water temperature to adjust for a shower, reclaim that water -- you will find many other uses for it. And remember to always shower using the wet and rinse technique. There are many other water conservation options available for dry campers as well and the RV industry has a wide variety of electronics and accessories available.
Power and electrical needs follow the same laws of conservation and require paying attention to detail as well. Inverters, generators, and solar panels are all options and in combination can extend power usage quite adequately. There are so many alternatives and they are dependent upon your existing RV configuration, so the ideal solution is planning.
Determine the type and amount of power that your TV, satellite dish, VCR, refrigerator, or microwave places on power consumption and calculate the load requirements and how best to disburse them before venturing out.
Boondocking can be intimidating at first, but with advanced thought and planning it can provide tremendous pleasure beyond what RVers are looking for in a traditional campground. And you are certainly not alone in the great outdoors when it comes to boondocking! A simple Google query will yield other RV camping enthusiasts who share boondocking tips, routes, locations, and many other valuable pieces of information that only the experienced boondocking camper would think of.
There is also a huge assortment of LTV (Long Term Visitor) Areas in California and Arizona, and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Information available detailing designated wilderness areas, regulations, and amenities. Other experienced boondocking RV campers have put together huge online lists of creative ways to boondock, camping and boondocking forums, travel blogs and other valuable resources.
So if boondocking is in your future RV camping plans, you will find you are in good company -- it's just that the company won't be sitting in the campground site five feet from yours!