Thinking about boondocking with your camping trailer for the first time? If so, you’re going to want to read this article! Summer is here and the Great Outdoors is calling- there’s no better time to take your camping trailer on a boondocking trip!
What is Boondocking?
Also known as dry camping, free camping, or wild camping, boondocking is a term used by seasoned camping enthusiasts that means parking your camping trailer in a place with no access to water, electric, or sewer services. In other words, you’re completely off the grid with nothing around but your trusty camping trailer and everything you packed for your journey.
While the opportunity to completely disconnect and be one with nature can be an amazing experience for outdoor enthusiasts and a chance to away from it all, roughing it in a camping trailer can still be pretty…well, rough if you don’t know what you’re getting yourself into. We’ve compiled a list of tips from veteran camping trailers to help you plan the best boondocking experience possible. Enjoy!
First Step: Meal Prep!
Planning ahead and preparing meals in advance can be a real time-saver when you’re without access to water and the only way to heat food is on a propane stove. Putting together heat-and-serve ingredients ahead of time- or, better yet, making salads or other kinds of food that don’t require cooking- gives you more time to relax and enjoy being unplugged from everyday life rather than spending all your boondocking time working away in your camping trailer’s kitchen area, either preparing meals or cleaning up after them! Think about it- prepping meals in advance not only reduces or eliminates trips to the store while you’re boondocking but also cuts down on the number of dishes you have to do and keeps your trash output to a minimum.
It’s OK to Skip a Shower
When boondocking, try to see if you can shower every other day instead of daily to lessen your water consumption and leave more in the tank so you don’t unexpectedly run out. Personal care products such as dry shampoo and baby wipes can help you cut down on the funk factor while you’re on your shower-free day of boondocking.
Optional showers not an option for you? Introduce yourself to a “Navy shower”- that is, turning on the water long enough to get wet, turning it off to soap up and wash, and then turning it back on just for the rinse-off!
Repurpose Shower Water
Speaking of the shower, consider keeping a bucket in there to catch any excess water. You can re-use this runoff to flush the toilet, which not only reduces freshwater usage from the tank but also lightens your load by minimizing gray tank water. Win-win!
If it’s daytime or you’re not really using the lights, leave them off when the generator isn’t running. This also goes for electrical items that you’re currently not using. Staying mindful of this can help to conserve power for when you really do need it!
Catch a Breeze
If you’re boondocking in a warm climate, leave the windows of your camping trailer open in the evening to cool it down naturally with a nice breeze and chilly night air. Only use the A/C intermittently to reduce the drain on your generator and help with its fuel economy.
Check Your Signal
Make sure you’re in a spot that has sufficient cellular/Internet coverage ahead of time by using a coverage map from your cell phone service provider. Even if you plan to stay off the grid for a few days, it’s good to have adequate cellular coverage in the event of an emergency.
Stay Covered for the Unexpected
Even though you carry auto insurance for your camping trailer, it’s wise to look into additional coverage that can help in the event of a breakdown. A camping trailer is much less useful if the vehicle towing it has broken down! Most people search for an extended car warranty that can cover any potential repairs or part replacement your camping trailer may need over its lifetime. In California, this is called Mechanical Breakdown Insurance. If in California, be sure to check out Olive’s Mechanical Breakdown Insurance | No waiting period. This way, if something happens while you’re boondocking, or on your way to or from your campsite, you won’t be hit with a huge bill and a bunch of headaches!
Keep a Lid on It
In order to prevent wild animals from scavenging your trash bins, make sure to store your trash securely inside your camping trailer. Planning on grilling out? Be sure to bring all leftover food safely inside to ward off any unwanted visitors.
Stay in the Loop
“Off the grid” doesn’t have to mean “lost in the wilderness.” Even if your plan is to get away from it all while you’re boondocking, you should leave your GPS coordinates with at least one friend or family member so they know where you are. This will not only help you stay safe in the event of an emergency but will also give your loved ones peace of mind while you’re gone.
What’s the point of boondocking if you’re not there to have fun? Making the most of your boondocking experience will make you more likely to want to do it again in the future. Be sure to take plenty of time to relax, enjoy nature, and make memories that will last for a lifetime.
If there’s one thing we can guarantee, it’s that your first boondocking experience with your camping trailer is certainly going to be memorable. However, we can also promise that following these tips can help ensure it won’t be memorable for the wrong reasons! Planning ahead, taking necessary precautions, and staying mindful of conservation of resources will get you on the road to becoming a seasoned boondocking camping trailer in no time!
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