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 called dry or dispersed camping. It offers many campers the opportunity to enjoy the comforts of their RV while still enjoying nature without the modernization or amenities that campgrounds provide.
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 choosing to boondock as the RV camping experience you seek, there are specific boondocking tips and camping protocols 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 set up shop. Doing so will quickly ruin the boondocking option for others and sour the reputation of campers in general.
Having the opportunity to park and sleep in an RV overnight in a public location is a privilege rather than an inherent entitlement. The same holds for boondocking in remote areas; always honor the environment and leave it pristine for other campers to follow.
When RV camping without full hook-ups, other considerations will assist you in getting the most out of your boondocking camping adventure. Water and power utilization and conservation are always dry campers’ foremost concerns. With some experience and planning, RV campers can quickly 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 wait for the water temperature to adjust for a shower, reclaim that water — you will find many other uses. And remember always to shower using the wet and rinse technique. Many other water conservation options are available for dry campers, and the RV industry has various electronics and accessories available.
Power and electrical needs follow the same conservation laws and require paying attention to detail. Inverters, generators, and solar panels are all options and, in combination, can adequately extend power usage. So many alternatives depend on your existing RV configuration, so the ideal solution is planning.
Determine the type and amount of power your TV, satellite dish, VCR, refrigerator, or microwave places on power consumption. Calculate the load requirements and how best to disburse them before venturing out.
Boondocking can be intimidating initially, but advanced thought and planning can provide tremendous pleasure beyond what RVers look for in a traditional campground.
And you are certainly not alone in the great outdoors regarding boondocking! A simple Google query will yield other RV camping enthusiasts who share boondocking tips, routes, locations, and additional valuable information that only the experienced boondocking camper would think of.
There is also a vast assortment of LTV (Long Term Visitor) Areas in California and Arizona and BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Information detailing designated wilderness areas, regulations, and amenities.
Other experienced boondocking RV campers have put together substantial 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!