Are you unsure about experiencing RV life without hookups? If you haven’t made the leap but want to give it a try, these three boondocking tips for newbies can prepare you for your first big off-grid adventure.
Boondocking is Total Freedom
One of the biggest joys of RV ownership is the ability to camp anywhere your rig can go, without being hooked up to water, sewer and electric utilities. This kind of “boondocking” is a camping style that makes the most of your self-contained home on wheels. With full freshwater holding tanks, robust RV batteries and conscientious camping habits you have the ability to enjoy some of the most stunning locations in places where less ambitious campers are willing to go. Of course this kind of freedom comes with a price. For RVers, that means keeping in-tune with how you use up RV resources like battery power, water and holding tank space.
RV Boondocking Tip #1: Conserve Energy
Your RV batteries are a lifeline to comfort during off-grid adventures. The most important thing you can do to make your boondocking adventures a success is to get to know your RV generator and understand RV battery basics. This will keep your batteries in prime condition and ensure a comfortable experience.
Make an effort to drop those power consumption habits you learned at home. Your goal when boondocking is to reduce reliance on your RV generator. Start by switching your RV appliances like the water heater and refrigerator over to propane power. And don’t forget to unplug mobile devices once they’re done charging. When the sun sets, make a conscientious effort to turn off lights you aren’t using. Every small power consumption reduction helps when your life is powered by your RV batteries.
RV Boondocking Tip #2: Conserve Water
Daily water consumption in a normal home isn’t a huge concern. But when you rely on storage capacity of your RV’s freshwater holding tanks, everything changes. Whether your rig has a 50 or 100 gallon fresh water tank, your supply is still limited. If you want to camp longer in the backcountry, break those water-wasting habits, starting in the kitchen and bathroom. For instance, don’t use fresh water to clean your plates or sinks. You’re better off grabbing a paper towel to wipe down surfaces. Swipe food scraps off dirty plates and utensils before doing a final wet wash. And over in the bathroom, have a stockpile of water-saving bath products, like dry shampoo and disposable body wipes. Finally, if your chosen off-grid campground has a public toilet, use that instead of your own. RV toilets are one of the biggest water guzzlers in the roaming home.
RV Boondocking Tip #3: Conserve Noise
For many RVers, camping without hookups seems positively prehistoric. But for many others, off-grid boondocking is a way of life. This group of RVers is in search of a scenic, quiet place to park, camp and get closer to nature. And once they arrive, it’s safe to say that most don’t appreciate other campers’ late night parties and audible generator buzz. Should you find yourself boondocking with strangers in the outback, please keep your noise level in check to keep the peace. Don’t run your generator too early or too late in the day, try to minimize your dog’s barking and if you party with friends, follow good neighbor quiet hours (10 pm to 8 am usually).
Some of your best RV adventures can happen when you unplug from water, sewer and electric utilities. Just follow these tips for better RV boondocking and eventually you’ll get the hang of it. Once you give off-grid life in the backcountry a try, you’ll open the door to unforgettable experiences and enjoy all the comforts of home wherever you go.
About the author: Rene Agredano
Rene Agredano, a Coach-Net member since 2015, is a self-employed full-time RVer who enjoys writing, jewelry design and animal advocacy. Her adventures with a three-legged dog and husband Jim are chronicled at LiveWorkDream.com
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