RV Boondocking 101: Everything You Need To Know

RV Boondocking in the desert

The Ultimate Guide to RV Boondocking

Chances are you’ve heard the term boondocking before. Whether this is because it’s perhaps the most popular and circulated term in the RV community, or it’s a frequent lyric in your favorite country songs, we are here to clarify.

Whatever stage you’re at in the boondock world, we want to extend a warm welcome to this wonderful and exclusive camping community. You can now call yourself an official outdoorsman because the boondocking world cultivates a community of those who enjoy living off the land and soaking in all of natures glory!

From one wilderness warrior to another, we want to share our knowledge on RV Boondocking through this guide. We will cover the who, what, when, where, and how so that you can head out into the vast openness with rest assured!

Guide to RV boondocking

What Is Boondocking?

We are supportive of everyone throughout every stage of their RV Boondocking journey. Before we dive into the specifics, it’s best we provide a definition of the activity.

RV Boondocking is essentially camping or RVing without hookups. This means no electricity, no running water or sewer facilities. While the thought of this might scare some people away, we welcome your real wilderness spirit with our full hearts. Perhaps the rest of you would enjoy more of glamping lifestyle!

RV Boondocking also goes by various other names such as:

  • Dry Camping
  • Dispersed Camping
  • Off-the-grid
  • Off-the-cord
  • Wild Camping

Each of these terms that proceed RV Boondocking, sets the standard of the lifestyle it embodies.

RV Boondocking in a scenic landscape

How To Boondock An RV

Now that you have a good understanding of what RV boondocking is, it’s time to dive deeper into the steps it takes for execution.  The process can be divided into five subcategories: Water, Waste, Food, Fuel, and Power. Let us elaborate on each one to get a better understanding.


Since there are no hookups to running water, it’s essential to understand the importance of bringing a large supply. When shopping for your RV, it’s imperative to consider buying one that holds a larger tank (ex: 60-gallon freshwater tank). Remember, the larger the tank, the larger the water supply, which results in the longer you get to camp out!

This is where conserving water plays a huge effect on your adventure!

Tips for conserving water:

  • Store drinking water containers in your RV for additional supply.
  • Wash dishes once per day, with little amounts of water.
  • Take quick showers, and think about switching to sponge baths.
  • Use public restrooms during traveling to save your toilet for once you get there.


Just like an RV contains a large tank for storing water, it also contains just as large, if not larger of a tank for compiling waste. Typically, exceeding this space limit isn’t the concern, but rather a hygienic measure.  It’s important to keep everything contained so that bugs and little critters can’t manifest it.

Tips for waste consumption:

  • Add Borax detergent and Calgon Water Softener to the back and kitchen tanks to help with odor control.
  • Collect garbage in the kitchen first, then transfer to hefty big black bags.
  • Consider storing in a wooden trunk to keep away from bugs.
  • Buy your own fuel if you are going to be using fuel stop dumpsters.


It’s recommended to use Liquid Propane (LP) gas as temperature plays a major factor. This type of gas can be used to fuel the refrigerator, stove, hot water and furnace (if your motor vehicle is equipped with these features).  Gasoline is also used to power a generator.

It’s estimated that a 30 cylinder lasts around a week without a refill.

Interesting fact= the Champion generator averages a gallon of gas a day.


Food is a strategic element in the RV Boondocking procedure. It’s recommended to pick foods with longer shelf life, depending on the length of your vacation. You also want to consider that foods that require microwaves will use a lot of generator power, that you should try and conserve.

Making a big batch of pasta, chili’s, rice, casserole type of dishes goes a long way and can provide easy leftover meals over the next couple days. Or you can even meal prep ahead of time, with these provided recipes.


The power source is usually provided by a generator that charges up batteries. Or in newer practices, solar power is used by year-round dry campers. This method warrants a higher cost but is practical for those who make RV Boondocking a lifestyle.

Types of batteries to consider:

  • T-105 Trojan brand golf cart batteries (225 Amp hours).
  • To keep in reserve: A 12-volt deep cycle 85 AH battery.

Where Can You Boondock An Rv?

For those of you that are planning your first time RV Boondocking excursion, you might be concerned about safety. The idea of taking yourself off-road, and camping in a remote, isolated location might make some weary. But, when you compare statistics, everyday activities have proven to be far more dangerous than boondocking.

Tips for safety:

  • Introduce yourself to any neighbors within your surrounding area.
  • Put up a “Beware Of Dog” sign in your cabin window to ward off any unpredictable danger.
  • Always tell friends and family where you are going beforehand.

Now that you understand the safety aspect, and hopefully feel more assured, it’s time to pick a spot! Pick a spot that is not too far from a paved road. It’s also suggested to avoid hills and spots that look prone to collecting large deposits of mud.

Pro Tip: If you look up a location beforehand, you can use a satellite to get an overview of the area.

Other factors to take into consideration when picking a spot within your designated location are as follows:

  • The path of the sun.
  • The direction of the wind.
  • Rain. Avoid setting up in a dry wash area. Check if the soil has drainage.
  • The campers nearby.

RV Boondocking in the mountains

The Next Steps

Book Your Next Camping Experience With BookYourSite.com.

Now that you’ve had a chance to familiarize yourself with the RV Boondock world, you might be inspired to plan a trip yourself.

BookYourSite.com does the hard work for you and even offers exclusive discounts and coupons on your favorite campgrounds across North America.

Download the app now or visit the website to make your reservation now!


This entry was posted in Boondocking, Camping, Roughing It, RVing.