One of the top concerns among first-time Rvers has to do with “boondocking,” which is also known as camping at sites that do not have access to hook-ups, like water and electricity. When you’re boondocking you rely on the water you have in your tanks and the power generator in the RV.
While many campsites in National Parks do offer access to power and water, there are some in more remote locations inside the parks that do not. Fortunately, it’s not as tough as you think. In fact, it’s not even tough at all, but here are some tips you may want to hold onto if you find yourself in a boondocking situation.
Costs and Locations
One of the benefits of boondock camping is that, unlike typical campgrounds and RV parks, no hook-up campsites have no or minimal nightly fees. As above, you can generally find them in National Parks. And really, what more do you need than a beautiful location where you can park your RV for no or low cost?
There are other places where you may be able to park your RV for free. A Google search can help you find the closest location to where you want to go, but another way is to simply ask around. Other people with RVs may hold the answer.
One of the downfalls of staying at a no hook-up campsite is that water supplies are limited to what you have in your tank. You’ll want to bring as much water as you can to the campsite and use your supplies sparingly. Here are some of the things you can do to make the most of your water supplies:
Do reuse dishwashing water to flush the toilet.
Don’t use silverware. Opt for plastic and paper whenever possible to reduce the amount of dishes that need to be washed.
Do see what campground facilities are available to you, such as bathrooms and shower facilities.
Don’t use soap to wash your hands if it’s not necessary. Use sanitizer or baby wipes whenever possible.
Getting Rid of Waste
When you stay at a no hook-up campground, you won’t have any access to sewage removal. This means you’ll have to take care of your RV’s waste on your own. Here are some of the things you can do to take care of your waste more easily:
Do find out where the nearest dump station is. They are generally in a convenient location to no hook-up campsites.
Don’t bury human waste too close to the ground. Some campers choose to bury their waste. If you decide to do this, make sure you are burying it at least 6” beneath the ground.
Preserving Generator Power
Since generators are most often powered by gasoline, you will still have power when you go boondocking. However, many no hook-up sites have restrictions on when you can use generators. Here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to using your generator power:
Do make the most of your battery charges. Use your electronics until they need to be charged in full to avoid using power.
Don’t expect to have access to Wi-Fi at no hook-up campsites. Stay off the Internet if you want to avoid large data fees.
Don’t cook inside the RV. Bring a portable gas grill or find one you can use at the campground so you can cook your meals without using generator power.
Do use your water pump sparingly as it runs off generator power.
These are just a few situations you may face when you go boondocking. While staying at no hook-up campgrounds can be a lot of fun, it may feel like you’re roughing it, at least at first. With the right preparations, however, boondocking can be a great way to travel and see new place, especially our National Parks.