Essentials for RV Boondocking

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There are few things in this world as freeing as RV boondocking. Boondocking, also known as dry camping, means going out into the middle of the wild, far from all civilization. This is where you’ll set up your “camp” complete with electricity and water so you’ll be able to live out of your RV for as long as you’d like. However, you need to be extremely well-prepared if you’re going to do this, so we’re here to bring you the essentials needed for RV boondocking.

1. Solar Panels

We highly recommend getting yourself some solar panels if you’re going to be out in the wilderness for more than a week or two at a time. If you’re going out for months, then these are an absolute necessity. No matter which batteries you have, you’re eventually going to need to charge them up again. Yes, you can use a generator, but solar panels are the preferential option for many reasons.

First off, solar panels are completely quiet, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet or the sounds of the river bubbling nearby or birds chirping in the trees. While generators do vary in terms of noise production, they always create some amount of noise which can detract from that.

On top of that, there are solar panels for every budget and power needs. As they require little to no maintenance you can really focus on enjoying yourself instead of babysitting the panels. Quite possibly the most appealing benefit though, is the fact that it’s incredibly ecofriendly.

2. Portable Washing Machine

When you’re boondocking, you’re not going to be very close to any laundromats. You’re probably not going to be washing your clothes in a lake or river anytime soon, so you absolutely will need a portable washing machine. These machines come in different configurations. Some require no electricity at all, and are operated by pushing down on a type of pump to circulate the clothing in water and detergent.

Others are electric just like regular washing machines, though as they have a more compact footprint they require much less power than the full-sized models. Not only that, but they are more lightweight and easy to move around.


Driving an RV in the middle of nature is much different than driving in the middle of the city. You’ll need to take special considerations not only due to the added size and length of an RV, but also plan out gas station stops, weather conditions, and much more.

You’re not going to get the vast majority of this info from the GPS on your smartphone, but you will from an RV GPS device. These devices come with large color touchscreens so you can quickly and intuitively navigate through the maps and details without taking too much time on the learning curve.

As they come with either flexible mounts or suction cup mounts, you can place it in your cockpit at eye level so you don’t have to take your attention off of the road and instantly read directions.

4. RV Cover

RV boondocking, most times, means that you’re going to be in areas without much cover. Places that do offer protection from the sun oftentimes come in the form of trees that produce sap or you end up with bird droppings and leaves on the roof which can be a hassle to clean. RV covers help to protect against all kinds of debris, along with protection against the elements, moisture, UV rays, etc. to prolong the life of your RV and keep it looking its best.

These covers come in specific models going off of the make and model of your RV to ensure you easy and clear access to windows and doors so you can keep it protecting the RV without restricting access at all.

5. Air Conditioner

Being hot is not only uncomfortable but can also pose a serious risk to your health, along with the health of your vehicle. Sure, you could always bring along a fan but they’re simply not as effective at circulating cool air and are much louder.

While air conditioners do require installation, it won’t take you long at all – especially considering the incredible benefits once you get everything ready for use. Air conditioners made for RVs are perfect, no matter what you enjoy doing. If you like watching TV or playing games, you’ll never even notice the AC’s noise, whereas fans can be downright distracting or even annoying. Falling asleep in a cool room won’t be an issue now as AC units made for RVs are near-silent. You may even forget you have it running!


Boondocking may be scary or you may feel a sense of uncertainty your first time before going just because you’re taking yourself out of society and away from the way of living that is all most of us have ever known. However, it’s perfectly safe if you follow our tips and other simple safety guidelines. Along with our tips, simply trusting in your common sense will take you far. We know you’re going to be successful in all of your future adventures on the road and while dry camping as well.

One thing is for sure: no matter which of the 5 essential tips for boondocking you take advantage of first, they’ll mark a significant positive impact on your travels. We hope our guide has helped you feel more comfortable and have helped you ready yourself for RV boondocking. Thanks for joining us, and we’ll see you again soon!

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Richard Remick

Richard is the founder and the chief editor of Outside Pursuits. Passionate about the great outdoors, Richard spends much of his time in Colorado enjoying skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, and camping. When at home in Florida, he is most often found in the water. He loves water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking, snorkeling, and scuba diving. He is a certified scuba diver. Because of his wealth of knowledge and experience, Richard has been invited to contribute articles to many outdoor-focused websites, such as Florida Rambler, and has been profiled on travel websites such as JohnnyJet.

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