With the number of RV owners getting bigger every year, many people are turning to boondocking as a way to escape crowded campgrounds.
Going off-grid can be a great exercise in self-sufficiency, but it does come with its own unique set of challenges. And for most people, Airstream travel trailers aren’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when planning an extensive boondocking trip.
Although historically Airstreams have mostly been used in developed campgrounds, that doesn’t mean they can’t be used for boondocking. In fact, Airstreams aren’t necessarily any better or worse for going off-grid; it’s just a matter of being prepared.
To save you time, here are the top tips to keep in mind when planning your first Airstream boondocking trip.
Practice Makes Perfect
When boondocking, you won’t have access to any water, sewer, and power hookups. This is why it’s important to do at least one practice run beforehand to make sure you know what to expect. Choose a location that’s close to home just in case something goes wrong; no more than an hour’s drive from where you live is best.
For a real challenge, do your practice run at a developed campground, but don’t use any of the hookups. This gives you the chance to see how long you can go without them, but still have them close by if needed.
Choose A Location With Mild Weather
Unless you plan on bringing a generator, you probably won’t be relying on your Airstream’s air conditioning to keep you cool.
When boondocking, planning your trip around areas with a mild climate takes on a whole new importance. To go dry camping successfully, you’ll want to avoid places with extreme changes in weather. And because the Airstream aluminum can get hot when under direct sun, finding a shady spot to park will help keep the temperature down.
Scout Your Campsite Ahead Of Time
The freedom that comes with boondocking means there is a wealth of spots to choose from, but not all of them will work for an Airstream. Keep in mind that Airstreams tend to have a lower ground clearance, so this will impact your choice of campsite.
Using an app like Campendium gives you the inside scoop on certain spots and lets you read campsite reviews of people who stayed there before. Besides state and national parks, you can also find great boondocking spots on public lands.
Because boondocking requires you to be more self-reliant, you’ll want to take your time packing the right supplies. Hopefully, the practice run you did before should have given you an idea of your specific supply needs.
For the essentials, it’s always a good idea to pack more than you’re used to. This includes things like water, fuel, and food. Don’t forget a medical kit and a satellite phone, just in case.
Just because Airstreams are typically prized for their design aesthetic, that doesn’t mean they can’t be great for boondocking. It’s very possible to boondock in an Airstream full-time, if that’s your desire. But just like any other trip, you need to be aware of the potential risks when going off-grid and plan accordingly.
Tara Mcnabb is a digital marketing associate at NW Adventure Rentals https://nwadventurerentals.com/, a luxury RV rental company with three locations in Washington State. When she’s not scheming about another trip, you can find her sipping matcha tea or watching a juicy period drama.
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