RVing Essentials: 20 Must-Haves For Boondocking
Going off-grid in an RV can be exciting, but it also requires more prep. If you can’t rely on a campsite for hookups, water, electricity, etc. then you need to bring everything yourself. There are lots of accessories on the market, and sometimes it’s hard to tell which ones are actually RVing essentials.
To help you out, we’ve created a list of 20 items that you’ll want to bring on your next off-grid adventure. You may already have some of these RVing essentials, but it never hurts to double-check! Bringing the right gear will make all the difference in your experience. You’ll also be able to stay safe and comfortable with this setup.
A camping generator is one of the most important pieces of gear you’ll need for boondocking. This can be used to charge your RV batteries and power various appliances. Some generators are powered by gas, while others can be hooked up to solar panels, so you don’t need to rely on a limited fuel source. No matter which type you choose, you’ll be glad to have a generator on hand!
2. Solar panels
Speaking of solar panels, these are another item that should be on your list of RVing essentials. If you need to continuously power your RV but don’t have access to electrical hookups, solar energy can be a great option! Many of these panels can be installed on your RV roof and connect to a battery and inverter.
3. Camp stove
If you plan on spending a lot of time off-grid, you’ll need a way to cook food. A portable camp stove is a great way to do this! There are tons of options including tiny backpacking stoves and large fire-pit-sized models. These generally run on propane but can make the fuel last for quite a while.
4. Composting toilet
You’ll have to think about a way to deal with sewage if you’ll be going off-grid. If you’re looking for a way to save water and turn waste into something useful, a composting toilet is a great solution. Many of these models can fit within a standard RV and you can use them for long periods of time.
5. Portable sewage tank
Even if you use a composting toilet, you will need to empty your black tank and dispose of the waste eventually. A portable sewage tank is a great option because it enables you to clean out your RV, remove the tank, and drive it to a dump station with little to no hassle.
6. Water filter
When you’re traveling in rural areas and staying in off-grid campsites, there’s no guarantee of water quality. Some areas have water that’s laden with minerals, chemicals, bacteria, runoff, and other harmful additives. A good RV water filter can strain out the harmful material and give you safe water that’s a similar quality. You can also save money on buying bottled water!
7. Extra water storage
Speaking of water, you’ll need a lot of it while you’re boondocking. Extra water containers are definitely top of the list on RVing essentials. You can either store water in large jugs and containers or bring a refillable water bladder. Chances are, your freshwater tanks will run dry earlier than you expect, so this backup water is very important.
8. RV LIFE App
Planning your route is important when you travel in an RV. You need an RV-specific travel app like the RV LIFE App With RV-Safe GPS so you can look for roads and campsites that can accommodate the size of your vehicle.
9. Outdoor rug
There are lots of hardy and stylish outdoor rugs that are designed for campground use. These will help you keep your surroundings clean and prevent you from tracking dirt into your RV. Most of them are also easy to clean and reuse, so you won’t need to worry about long-term damage.
10. Folding table
Space is limited in an RV, so a folding table is a great way to expand your workspace. If you need more room for food prep, crafting, dining, or working, an extra table can help. These RVing essentials are easy to fold up and store when it’s time to move on as well.
11. Portable heater
Running your heater constantly can take a toll on your RV battery and fuel levels. A separate heater can help solve this problem. They can heat individual rooms and there are lots of different options. You can use an electric heater, radiant heater, oil heater, etc. All of them will help you conserve energy.
12. Cell phone signal booster
A lot of off-grid campsites are located in places with poor cell phone service. This can be a good thing because you can unplug and connect with nature. But if you need help or require an internet connection to do work, a cell phone signal booster is an RVing essential.
13. Water-saving showerhead
Making your water last is part of the boondocking lifestyle. There are a few appliances you can use that were created for water efficiency. For instance, a water-saving RV showerhead can help you use less water at a time, while still enabling you to enjoy showers in your RV.
14. LED lights
A lot of modern RVs come with LED lights, but older ones still have iridescent bulbs. These lights use up more energy and heat, so replacing them with LEDs will make your RV more energy efficient. LED lights are also quite bright and won’t produce the same amount of heat.
15. Collapsible tub
You may need to find new ways to wash your dishes if you’re trying to conserve water. A lot of off-grid dishwashing methods involve a couple of plastic tubs. You can use these for washing, drying, soaking, and storage. Collapsible models will help you save room in storage when it’s time to pack everything up.
16. Instant Pot
Multipurpose tools are definitely RVing essentials. You need to maximize efficiency while simultaneously saving space. Instant Pot multicookers are popular because they can be used for a wide range of applications. There are tons of different settings on each one, so you can make all sorts of meals with a single tool while in your RV.
17. Tool kit
Accidents happen when you spend a lot of time in an RV. Things can break unexpectedly, and you may be far away from any source of help. This is why it’s a good idea to keep a basic RV tool kit on hand. Many repairs can be done by yourself if you have the right tools and know-how.
RVs can develop leaks when we least expect it. These can quickly wreak havoc on the interior and structure if they’re not dealt with ASAP. Keeping a good sealant and caulk on hand will help you fix leaks and rips before they get any worse. You can also use them for your toilet, sink, windows, and any other areas that need reinforcement.
19. Extra fuel
You can power a lot of your RV functions with solar panels and a battery, but you need fuel to drive anywhere. Running out of gas can be disastrous when you’re off-grid, so make sure you always have extra fuel. Keeping some spare propane on hand will also help you power your generator, camp stove, and other appliances.
20. Emergency supplies
Finally, you need to have emergency equipment in case you get stranded. Every boondocker should travel with a 72-hour kit. Stock it with warm clothing, thermal blankets, flashlights, shelf-stable food, and a first aid kit. You can’t prepare for every scenario, but you’ll be glad to have these supplies on hand when you need them.
RVers looking for valuable how-to information have learned to go to the experts. Forums such as iRV2.com and blog sites like RV LIFE, Do It Yourself RV, and Camper Report provide all the information you need to enjoy your RV. You’ll also find brand-specific information on additional forums like Air Forums, Forest River Forums, and Jayco Owners Forum.