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21 Advantages of Being Boondocking-Ready

Most RVers would not give much thought to equipping their rig for boondocking unless they plan to actually do it - go boondocking that is - in the traditional sense of camping out “in the boonies” with no services for days or weeks at a time. But there are many added advantages to being boondocking-ready!

And the truth is, with most RVs, it’s not necessary to add any elaborate or expensive equipment. They’re built to function without hookups for at least a couple of days at a time – longer if you know how to conserve your resources just a little. A little planning and the right mindset and you’re ready to enjoy all the advantages of…

1. An unobstructed view of nature.

2. More space, peace, and solitude than you’ll ever find in a campground.

3. Convenient camping at music festivals, rodeos, and other events.

4. Knowing you can get through the night without services if campgrounds are full or not open for the season.

5. Staying in National Parks, State Parks, and National Forest Campgrounds. Most only offer dry camping.

6. Romantic settings. The bare necessities are all you need – you, your partner and no one else around.

7. More Boondockers Welcome hosts to choose from. On average, only 80% of our hosts offer hookups.

8. Saving money when attending RV rallies. Boondocking passes can be a lot cheaper.

9. A safe harbor in a pinch at Walmart, Bass Pro Shops, Cracker Barrel, and other retail parking lots.

10. Beach camping.

11. RVing in Mexico where most campgrounds aren’t equipped with hookups.

12. Your own quarters when you visit friends and relatives.

13. Attending a wedding or other celebration without worrying about drinking and driving because you can spend the night in the parking lot.

14. An evacuation plan in case of floods, hurricanes, fires.

15. Being prepared for prolonged power outage at your home. Move into your RV until the power is restored.

16. Making a pilgrimage to Quartzsite, AZ, to join the largest annual convergence of RVers.

17. Surviving a vehicle breakdown until help arrives, even if you’re in the middle of nowhere.

18. Waking up where the fish are (or where the trailhead or canoe launch is).

19. Saving money on hotel rooms if your RV breaks down during a trip. Many repair shops will allow customers to stay in the RV in their parking lot.

20. Using a Harvest Hosts membership – the hosts don’t provide any services.

21. Attending Burning Man. If you’re not equipped for boondocking, chances are you won’t be going.


Photo by linda wartenweiler on Unsplash

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Boondockers Welcome is a community of RVers that provide overnight stays with each other for free while traveling through an area. We help RVers to travel more economically and find options when campgrounds may be full. It’s a great and safe way to meet fellow RVers or for people curious about the RV lifestyle to learn from members, while also providing a safe place to park for one night or up to five nights.

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  • R and R Travellers

    R and R Travellers   

    We have enjoyed the comfort of our RV when caught in a snow or ice storm. We just pull off the road, fire up the furnace and wait it out. When we set-out from Ontario for the "South" prior to charging the water system in our coach, we fill a 5 gallon water container & use it to flush the 'loo' and wash dishes and ourselves, until we get below the freeze line, usually around Indianapolis.
  • ejpatty


    Good reasons for the most part. Some I probably would not partake in. However, I would like to know everyone’s thoughts on what is the basic things needed for Boondocking? I have an older class a. Put new batteries in this year. It’s 26 V deep cycle RV batteries. No cold weather for us as we live in the desert. But would like to have the ability to linger should I find a nice spot.
  • ejpatty


    That would be two 6 volt batteries.
  • xctraveler


    The first basic is knowledge of your needs. How much electricity you use over a day will determine how much battery you need. With that knowledge you can decide whether you need solar to recharge the batteries in the morning or rely on your generator. If you are looking at a a few days every so often, the generator will be most cost effective than solar panels, albeit noisier. What are the capacities of you tanks, fresh water, grey and black. What is your tolerance for skipping showers, how long is your or your spouse' hair (affects water use in the shower.) can you eat food that does not require a lot of water for prep and clean up. We started by going out for 1 night and measuring our needs, we eventually extended to up to 8 days without needing to empty the grey and fill the fresh and stayed in the same place for 2 weeks at a time. You could even take a campsite with no sewer to see how well you can conserve water.
  • Dreambuilder


    We have boondocked from the most easterly Walmart in St. John's, NL to the most westerly Walmart in Prince Rupert, BC. The only times we have been kicked out of a mall is when we neglected to ask the mall manager for permission. We always obey the signage and move on if it prohibits over night, and never abuse the privilege. Back country boondocking is peaceful.Boondocking with Boondockers Welcome made us new friends in Newfoundland that we still keep in touch with. Not having to pay for every night we camp enables us to travel farther and stay in campgrounds when we want to.
  • Dreambuilder


    PS: I love this list. It is so right on. Thanks for posting.
  • Perth123


    We have been RVing since March 31 we have learnt alot made our mistakes along the way. We boondock when possible at host locations and now we are traveling staying in forest service parks we are currently dealing our water eventually we want to add solor
  • AcadianMaine


    Very good advice from xctraveler. We traveled to CT for 6 days. We had to boondock unexpectedly for 3 days. What we didn't realize is how much battery power the refrigerator uses, when on gas. We completely drained our two auxiliary batteries. We don't have any solar panels, but will think about adding them. Boondocking is great but do know your usages and limits.
  • Marianne

    Marianne on 06/16/2018 11:36 a.m. moderator  

    Another reason it can be helpful to be "Boondocking Ready" - Dry campsites are not as popular and often available after RV sites with hookups are all booked up.
  • atraveler


    LOL, last time I boondocked was in '77 with a pup tent for 3 months. Now that I have a travel trailer, I have not given much thought about boondocking until reading what others have written. NOW, I have to consider it, due to $, available space, or other factors. Very good and interesting thoughts are presented here. Thank you all, for your advice.
  • kjkohlhaas


    We have a 20' travel trailer with two six volt batteries, no generator and 140 watts of solar. We boondock almost exclusively when in the southwest. If we have access to fresh water (hauling using two six gallon jugs) we can stay put for about two weeks before the food runs out and the holding tanks are full. We shower every 2-3 days.
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