While hitting a campsite in your RV can be fun and relaxing, it can also start to feel a bit stifling. You’re limited to the area around you in terms of what’s available and you’re often surrounded by noisy neighbors. It’s inevitable that you’ll have to deal with children playing, dogs barking, and passing traffic. All of these things can really put a damper on your otherwise ideal vacation. You might consider dry camping, or boondocking, instead. This refers to any RV camping that’s done without the usage of water or power hookups. Keep reading to learn more about dry camping.
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Check State & Local Regulations
It’s legal to dry camp on most public lands but there are still some regulations you’ll need to be aware of before you park your rig somewhere. In order to camp on private land, you need permission from the landowner. Be warned that there are some tourist attractions that do not permit overnight camping. More often than not, there are signs to inform you of this policy. Public places put limits on how long you’re allowed to say, so be sure to check on this as well.
There are many regions where fires are a highly restricted activity, especially during droughts and in forested areas. You’ll need to find out if there’s a ban in place before you think of starting a fire during your dry camping stay.
Additionally, if you’re not using a blackwater tank or composting toilet, you’ll need to bury your waste under 6” of dirt. Be sure to clean up all of your trash whenever you leave an area. You always want to make an effort to leave the region in better condition than you found it.
Locate a Power Source
A common concern among boondockers is how they’ll power their RVs. Without access to electricity hookups, you’ll have two main options: solar energy and propane. Many rigs utilize propane, which is easy to find at gas stations and grocery stores. It’s also fairly affordable, but you’ll need to replenish your supply if you’ll be out in the wilderness for a while.
However, if you have the means, you can consider installing solar panels on your RV. This will direct the sun’s energy into a battery that you can use on board. This is a sustainable solution and saves you money over time. You’ll be harvesting free energy, after all. This might be an expensive up-front investment, but many RVers will find it to be worthwhile. It can become impractical if you’re camping during the winter months and in overcast areas. This means you might need to have propane as a backup fuel source, especially at night.
Make an effort to use your power wisely. For example, you should avoid using it at night as much as possible. One option is to sleep during the dark hours and rise with the sun. Dress for the temperature rather than relying on cooling or heating units. Incorporate hand-operated tools in your motorhome, such as a French press for coffee and a whisk instead of a mixer.
Prepare for Emergencies
It might seem grim to plan for emergencies, but should one arise, you’d rather be prepared than not. You’ll want to have a number of items in your RV, like blankets, extra food and water, fire extinguishers, a well-stocked first-aid kit, a flashlight, an emergency radio with a charger, signal flares, and so on. You might find a hatchet and fire-starting equipment to be useful as well.
Make sure you inform someone back home where you’ll be and how long you’ll be gone. Check in with them whenever you get the chance. This gives you a point of contact with the outside world. If they do not hear from you after a period of time, they can direct rescue crews to your location.
Still looking for the perfect travel trailer or motorhome? Stop by Ryan’s RV Town! Our dealership proudly serves Seattle, Tacoma, and Bellingham, WA.