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RV Boondocking: Tips to Go RVing without a Campground or RV Park

All RVs have unique features, but they share one thing in common: RVs by their very nature are built to go boondocking.

This type of camping puts your RV to the test as you make do without water, electrical or sewer hookups.

Technically you can enjoy RV boondocking (dry camping) in a parking lot, but today we’ll explore RV boondocking in remote, natural settings.

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  by soggydonkey
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by soggydonkey

Tip #1: Choose Your RV Boondocking Destination

Sharpen your RV boondocking skills in America’s public lands.

First, decide what activities you want to pursue, such as fishing, bird watching or hiking, then choose a national park or national forest that allows off-grid camping and your activity.

Next, ensure your driving route is safe for RV travel by asking the local forest ranger office, purchasing a book like the Mountain West or East Directory, and talking to other RVers in online discussion forums such as the Escapees RV Club’s Boondocking Forum.

Tip #2: Prepare Your RV Power System

rv-boondocking-go-rving-1RV Boondocking is easier with an RV solar-power system because it reduces your reliance on a generator and shore power.

But don’t plunk down thousands of dollars right off the bat for the latest solar technology.

Go dry camping a few times, then decide if you want to buy a system.

With or without power from the sun, always verify that your existing RV batteries are in good shape by performing these RV battery maintenance steps before departing.

Tip #3: Stock Your RV for Boondocking

Shop for items that make boondocking easier.

To reduce your water consumption, stock your kitchen galley with aluminum foil, paper towels and plates.

When it comes to small electronics that you keep on board, purchase a pack of batteries to eliminate your reliance on RV house batteries.

A box of moist towelettes are an effective way to maintain good personal hygiene without needing to shower every day.

And finally, remember to fill your generator with gas or diesel.

Don’t forget to top off that spare gas tank to ensure you won’t run out of power in the middle of nowhere.

Tip #4: Conserve Resources, Save Holding Tank Space.

rv-boondocking-go-rving-2Conserving water, fuel and food is critical when civilization is far from reach.

Meals and bathing are the greatest water-wasters.

You can reduce water usage by creating a meal plan that enables you to feed your family with one-pot dishes or barbecued foods.

Consider a water saving camping sink to conserve water for hand washing and light bathing.

It’s smart to eliminate microwave usage as even one small microwaveable dish will consume large amounts of fuel.

Once you arrive at your destination, park within easy walking distance of a public toilet to conserve fresh water and holding tank space.

Tip #5: Waste Disposal

The final item before you set off on your RV boondocking adventure is waste disposal.

Some public camping lands have sanitary dump stations – but many don’t.

Use the website SaniDumps to locate nearby public dump stations and private RV parks that allow visitors to use their dump station for a small fee. The cost is usually between $10 to $25.

Most public lands lack trash receptacles, so you’ll probably need to stow your garbage in sturdy garbage bags and take it when you leave.


When you’re a novice RVer, boondocking requires thoughtful planning.

But once you get a few boondocking trips under your belt, you’ll want to go off-grid camping every time!

If you want to learn more about great boondocking locations, take a look at these articles:

3 thoughts on “RV Boondocking: Tips to Go RVing without a Campground or RV Park”

  1. Bob thanks for reading and for your helpful information. I heard lots of murmurings about the new plan but hadn’t researched it. If you have any links you’d like to share please do so for reference here. Thanks again, happy boondocking!

  2. We are looking forward to going to camping, just us 2, depending on each other, finding places we can go fishing. Others attractions we have never seen, but each would enjoy, as long as we are together.

  3. Great boondocking tips, Rene. I would suggest also before anyone goes boondocking in the national forests that they either go online to the website of the forest they intend to camp in or visit the ranger station or district office for that forest since the forests are implementing a new Travel Management Plan that designates what roads are permitted for vehicles to drive on and where dispersed camping (boondocking) areas are located. Camping just anywhere is no longer permitted in those forests that have implemented the TMP and will soon include all forests. Some BLM areas are also implementing restrictions on driving and camping. The forest service says, though, that most established boondocking areas will be included in the legal dispersed camping areas unless restricted to enable recovery of overused areas.
    Bob Difley (boondockbob)

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