RVers…Let’s Boondock!

Sounds like some kind of fun party, right Texas RV ers?! Well in a way I guess it could turn into a party but Boondocking is basically dry camping, or camping without any hookups…electricity, sewer or water. However, there is some difference between dry camping and Boondocking. Dry camping is done with no electricity, sewer or water but it is usually done on a campground. Whereas, Boondocking is also without the electricity, sewer or water but is usually done is in a remote area, for example BLM land. Some people strictly boondock while others will do it for a night or two in between destinations to save on money. If you’re interested in Boondocking there are some thing you outta know.

First, if you’ve never tried Boondocking before we suggest you try out dry camping in a non-hookup campground first to test your skills at preserving fresh water and getting by without electricity.

So now here are some great tips on Boondocking from Motohome Magazine:

Drinking-Water Tips

  • Run the water faucet only when wetting or rinsing while washing dishes and hands, or when showering.
  • Wipe food from plates and utensils with a paper towel (post-consumer recycled towel, of course) before washing, reducing wash water and rinse water usage.
  • Carry drinking water and a back-up water supply in gallon jugs, jerry jugs, or collapsible bladders (available at Camping World). Dump the back-up supply into your water tank as supply diminishes.

Wastewater-Tank Tips

  • Be miserly in your use of water so the waste tanks take longer to fill before requiring dumping.
  • While waiting for the shower water to get hot, save the cold water in a plastic dishpan and use for rinsing dishes.
  • If you partially fill the black and gray tanks en route to your destination, empty them at a public dump station before you reach camp. Top off the fresh water as well.
  • The black tank will take longer to fill than the gray-water tank, so limiting filling of the gray-water tank takes precedence.
  • When your black tank fills up, the only option is to find a dump station if you’re not using a portable “blue” tank. Maximize your visit by filling up your freshwater tanks while you’re there, as long as the water is potable.

Electrical Tips

  • Turn off lights, TVs and radios when not in use. Follow the sun’s schedule for rising and sleeping to minimize the use of lights.
  • Use rechargeable battery-operated reading lights for reading in bed, and for flashlights and lanterns outside. Keep a supply of extra batteries on hand.
  • Read your house battery’s state-of-charge with a voltmeter from an auto supply store or RadioShack (12.6+ volts = fully charged, 11.6 volts = discharged. Recharge your batteries at or before reaching 80 percent discharged, or 11.8 volts, for better battery life).
  • Run your AC generator to operate high-amperage appliances (use only those that run for brief periods, such as a microwave and blender), and group their use when possible – i.e. microwave while showering, wash dishes while showering, use the coffeemaker while running the furnace on chilly mornings – to minimize electricity pulled from storage batteries and reduce AC generator run time. Reduce AC generator time by running the air-conditioner as little as possible.
  • An inverter is a device that changes DC (12-volt) battery power into AC (120-volt) power so that you can plug in small 120-volt AC appliances while operating on battery power. Remember that AC appliances pull 10 times as much power as DC out of your batteries, so use AC devices conservatively.
  • Install additional or upgraded (such as six-volt golf cart) house batteries to increase your storage capacity of electricity.
  • Install solar panels or a wind generator to recharge your house batteries with free electricity. Even on cloudy days solar panels will still charge your battery bank, though not at peak power when under direct sun. Because energy needs vary, contact a solar company with experience in RV installations, like AM Solar (www.amsolar.com), that can analyze your motorhome lifestyle and suggest a system to fit your needs.

So now that you have all of this great information it’s time to get out there and put it to use!   And don’t forget to follow the Boondocking motto….Leave No Trace.   Make sure your RV is in good working order and if you need to take it in for any service or fixups then just stop by any ExploreUSA RV Supercenter today.

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