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Top 4 Things You Need To Boondock & Avoid The Crowds

This post was updated on March 15th, 2024

Boondocking – Sponsored by Soft Start RV

Boondocking on BLM land near Moab, UT. Photo by Scottybdivin on iRV2 Forums
Boondocking near Moab. Photo by iRV2 member Scottybdivin

Boondocking, or camping off the grid, is more popular than ever now as RVers seek to avoid crowded RV parks and campgrounds. Boondocking requires you to take everything with you and provide your own critical amenities: food, water, connectivity, and power.

Top 4 Things You Need To Go Boondocking & Avoid The Crowds

1. Food

On the surface, this seems like an easy one. Who doesn’t love traditional camping food like hot dogs, burgers, and s’mores? For boondocking more than just a couple of days, however, you’ll want to remember to include canned goods and even freeze-dried meats, fruits, cereals, and vegetables to increase your capacity to carry more food. You’ll also appreciate the variety if you are boondocking for a lengthy period.

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2. Water

Water is critical, of course. You need full water tanks for dishes and showering, as well as plenty of water for drinking. Additional water tanks and packaged water, either jugs or bottles, should be supplemented with a water filter pitcher in case you need to tap into an unknown water source or use your own fresh water tanks for drinking water. Be sure and use a good inline filter when filling your tanks.

3. Connectivity

Nowadays, it’s pretty tough to get so far off the grid that you lose your cell signal. There are a variety of cell signal boosters to help pull in a weak signal.

You should also consider getting a data hotspot device from a carrier other than your primary cell phone carrier. This gives you variety while boondocking, increasing your chances of getting some kind of usable signal in case of emergency. Most phones today have a Wi-Fi Calling setting which would allow you to make calls on your cell phone through your alternative data network.

4. Power

Entire chapters could be written about power requirements. Ultimately, all RVers will end up with some combination of solar, battery, and generator power. Before embarking on a boondocking excursion, batteries should be checked and if applicable, correctly filled with distilled water.

Any onboard solar system should be tested for operation and correct voltage, as well as its surface cleaned to allow maximum exposure to the sun. Generators should have fluid levels checked and changed as needed and should run for at least an hour under 50% load once per month.

Make sure your solar panels are not covered in dirt. Photo via iRV2 Forums

Running one or more air conditioners to keep your family cool is one of the primary challenges boondockers face. RVers using portable generators know that using a small generator, like a Honda 2000, is often sufficient power for most of your boondocking needs.

Unfortunately, many small generators don’t have enough power to start your typical RV air conditioner, making it nearly impossible to keep cool on really hot days. Similarly, larger RV owners can have problems getting enough power out of their generator system to power more than one of the A/C units on their rig, when running everything off the generator.

Get a SoftStartRV

A simple solution to the power versus air conditioning problem is a SoftStartRV A/C starter device. By adding a soft starter to each A/C unit, the power required to start the air conditioner is reduced up to 70%.

Once an A/C unit is going, the power requirements are very manageable by the onboard generator and other power sources. Getting them started is the real problem, and that’s where the SoftStartRV air conditioner soft starters help.

Whether you have one A/C unit in a pop-up camper with a portable generator, or four air conditioners on a 45-foot bus, a SoftStartRV device on each A/C unit ensures you’ll always be able to keep cool while boondocking. Order SoftStartRV A/C soft starters with special discounts of up to $50 off each unit at


Now more than ever the allure of boondocking is taking hold. With improvements in electronics and data access, you can be off-the-grid and still be well connected. If you’ve never tried boondocking, now is a great time. Find a great off-grid campground or just give it a try in your driveway.