Are you planning a road trip across the USA?
If so, then boondocking is an awesome way to save money and have fun! But before you leave home, make sure to check out these 10 tips for offroad adventures. They’ll help keep your adventure safe and enjoyable.
You won’t regret it. These RV boondocking tips are tried-and-true ways that we’ve found work best when we’re on the road. We hope they help you too!
Keep reading to learn more about how to prepare for a successful boondocking trip!
1) Practice First
What do we mean by practice? We mean practice before packing everything up into your trusty overland rig and heading out on an adventure. You need to know about your rig’s limits as well as how much power is coming from your batteries.
Plus you don’t want alarm bells ringing when they shouldn’t be ringing (and conversely, you don’t ever want them not ringing when they should be ringing).
2) Fully Charge Your Batteries Before Departure
When you’ve got a 100 Ah of battery capacity, don’t head out with them at 47% in the morning. This is a rookie boondocking mistake and is super easy to avoid – just leave your rig plugged in overnight or for a few hours before departure.
Once your deep cycle marine battery is fully charged, monitor the voltage when the engine is not running. That way you’ll have an idea when they’re starting to run down on power and will need to turn off appliances/power systems to keep things going until it’s time to find your next campsite.
3) Practice Camping With No Power At Home
For this one, I’m going to refer you back to the first point: practice!
You need to know your rig’s limits and there’s no substitute for practicing in your backyard (or even better – your parents’ garden!). If you’ve got a friend with an Overlanding setup, ask if you can borrow their auxiliary battery and inverter setup. That way, you can run all of your normal electrical appliances without any risk of running down the main vehicle batteries.
4) Power Requirements
So now that we’re clear on our power requirements, what do we usually need? Well, there are lots of options out there depending on how much power needs to be stored up or used at once. The general rule is more expensive = more power. But it doesn’t all need to be expensive!
Your onboard solar battery monitoring hardware is a great way to get an idea of your power requirements. You can also purchase batteries from https://www.endurobattery.com/
5) Cooking Requirements
Once again, we’re back with modern-day overlanders needing not very much power at all (for cooking). You don’t need bulky gas cookers nor do you need huge electrical cookers either. A simple crockpot will run off around 8 amps (most of the ones you’ll find for sale are 12v though) and is more than sufficient if running on low power.
A couple of days worth of food can easily be heated with this amount of power. If you like to cook up your own ‘ready meals’, then why not try making them in bulk? Buying the stews/chillis/soups in large glass jars means that they’re already pre-cooked (to an extent) which will save you time on the fire, as well as power!
6) Fill Up With Water Before Setting Out
If you’ve filled up with water before setting out, then there’s no risk of stopping at the public tap to top up – unless you specifically need/want to of course.
Never rely on the availability of water at campgrounds, especially in warmer climates where drought is a huge issue – it’s just not worth the risk! There are plenty of places that you can stop to fill up your boondock camper tank if necessary though.
7) Practice Camping Without Water At Home
This will be more relevant for those who don’t have any experience in wild camping and may not have ready access to a pond or river nearby. Again, this practice needs to happen before setting out on an adventure trip because there is simply no substitute for knowing what works for your setup and how long you can go without running water on board.
8) Use Gravity To Fill Up Your Tank
If you’ve ever wondered how the water trucks manage to make it up some of those steeper hills, then now is your chance to find out! If you have a large camper or caravan on board, this tip should come in very handy for filling up your tank without having to rely on jerry cans/hoses.
The secret lies in using gravity – just park at the top of the hill and connect one end of a hose to your vehicle’s onboard tank opening. Let it run free downhill into another container (bucket etc.). You won’t need much more than 10 feet of tubing for this trick so don’t worry about carrying around extra hoses with you.
9) Use Microf Cloths For Wiping Down
This is a small tip, but something that makes a world of difference to the feel and smell of your interior once you’ve come back from an adventure!
Microfiber cloths are great for wiping down all surfaces including surfaces made out of plastic. You can also use them on your exterior too if you don’t want to use soapy water or solvents. Just be sure not to scratch any painted/coated parts using these cloths!
10) Practice Using Your Stove Without Power Beforehand
If you’re planning on cooking outside with the sun, then this may just save your bacon one day – knowing how long it takes for things to boil over a fire! This goes double if you have an alcohol-burning stove on board.
Don’t forget that fires require oxygen to burn, so you’ll need to crack a window open further down the hill if it’s breezy outside. It’s also best not to cook in high winds of course – wait for calmer conditions!
Want More Boondocking Tips?
We hope you found these boondocking tips helpful in planning a trip. Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to do it! If you want more information on the topic, be sure to check out our blog for additional inspiration and ideas. Happy travels!