How to Stay Comfortable in Your RV without Hookups: Boondocking Tips

Looking to boondock in Florida? Discover tips and techniques for conserving resources, managing energy, and staying comfortable off-grid in your RV while enjoying the state's natural beauty.


9/15/20238 min read

Boondocking Tips: How to Stay Comfortable in Your RV without Hookups

When it comes to RV camping, boondocking is a popular way to stay off the grid and enjoy the great outdoors. Boondocking, also known as dry camping, is camping without hookups to water, electric, or sewer connections. While boondocking can be a fun and rewarding experience, it also requires some preparation to ensure you stay comfortable during your trip.

One of the biggest challenges of boondocking is staying comfortable without access to traditional hookups. However, with a little planning and preparation, there are many ways to stay comfortable in your RV. For example, bringing additional water containers is a must to ensure you have enough water for all your needs, from cooking to staying hydrated. Additionally, switching to low-flow showerheads and faucets can help conserve water and extend your supply.

Another important aspect of staying comfortable while boondocking is managing your power usage. Without access to electric hookups, you'll need to rely on batteries, solar panels, or generators to power your RV. To conserve power, consider using LED lights, turning off appliances when not in use, and keeping your RV well-insulated to maintain a comfortable temperature. With these tips in mind, you can stay comfortable and enjoy all the benefits of boondocking.

Understanding Boondocking

Boondocking, also known as dry camping, is a type of off-grid camping where you park your RV in a remote location without any hookups to water, electricity, or sewer. This type of camping allows you to experience the great outdoors and enjoy the peace and quiet of nature without the distractions of modern life.

Boondocking is a great way to save money, as you do not have to pay for campsite fees or hookups. However, it also requires some preparation and planning to ensure that you have a comfortable and safe experience.

When boondocking, you will need to rely on your RV's water and power supply. You will need to conserve water and electricity to ensure that you do not run out during your stay. This means taking shorter showers, turning off lights and electronics when not in use, and using propane for cooking instead of electricity.

It is also important to be aware of your waste management when boondocking. You will need to dispose of your gray and black water properly to avoid contaminating the environment. Some boondocking locations may have dump stations available, while others may require you to pack out your waste.

Before embarking on a boondocking trip, it is important to research the location and ensure that it is legal to camp there. Some areas may have restrictions or require permits for camping. It is also important to be respectful of the environment and leave no trace behind.

Overall, boondocking can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for RVers who are looking to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy the beauty of nature. With proper preparation and planning, you can have a comfortable and safe boondocking experience.

Planning Your Boondocking Adventure

Boondocking is a great way to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get closer to nature. However, planning is key to ensuring a comfortable and safe experience. In this section, we will discuss the essential steps to take when planning your boondocking adventure.

Choosing Your Destination

The first step in planning your boondocking adventure is choosing the right destination. There are many options available, including public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), national forests, and national parks. Each of these options has its own set of rules and regulations, so it's important to do your research before choosing a location.

One helpful resource is the Public Lands App, which provides information on public lands across the United States. Campendium is another great resource that offers reviews and ratings of boondocking sites. Boondockers Welcome and Harvest Hosts are also popular options that allow RVers to stay on private property for a fee.

Legal Considerations

Before setting up camp, it's important to consider the legal implications of boondocking. Most public lands allow dispersed camping, but there are rules and regulations that must be followed. For example, BLM land typically allows camping for up to 14 days in a 28-day period, and campers must be at least 100 feet away from any water source.

National forests have similar rules, but they may vary depending on the location. It's important to check with the local ranger station to get the most up-to-date information on regulations and restrictions.

Preparing Your RV

Preparing your RV for boondocking is essential to ensure a comfortable and safe experience. One of the most critical considerations is water conservation. RVers must be mindful of their water usage since they won't have access to hookups. This means taking shorter showers, using a low-flow showerhead, and using paper plates and cups to reduce dishwashing. It's also essential to have a full freshwater tank and portable water containers.

Another critical consideration is power usage. Boondocking means no access to electrical hookups, so RVers must rely on their generator or solar panels. It's essential to have a generator with enough power to run all necessary appliances and devices.

In conclusion, planning is key to a successful boondocking adventure. By choosing the right destination, understanding the legal considerations, and preparing your RV, you can ensure a comfortable and safe experience.

Comfort and Convenience While Boondocking

When boondocking, it's important to find ways to stay comfortable and convenient without the usual hookups. Here are some tips for managing water and waste, power solutions, food and cooking, staying clean, and internet and connectivity.

Managing Water and Waste

One of the biggest challenges of boondocking is managing water and waste. To conserve water, consider taking quick navy showers or sponge baths instead of long showers. Keep track of your water usage with Post-it Note markings on the side of your fresh water tank if it is visible. To avoid filling up your black tank too quickly, use a composting toilet or a bucket for solid waste. When it's time to dump, look for dump stations or use a portable waste tank.

Power Solutions

To power your RV, consider using a generator, solar panels, or a combination of both. A generator can be a reliable backup source of power, but it can be noisy and require fuel. Solar panels are a quieter and more eco-friendly option, but they may not provide enough power for all your appliances. To extend your battery life, use LED lights and conserve power by turning off appliances when not in use.

Food and Cooking

When boondocking, it's important to plan your meals and bring non-perishable foods that don't require refrigeration. Consider using a propane stove or grill for cooking, as it's a more efficient way to cook than using an electric stove. If you do have a refrigerator, make sure it's running on propane or shore power, as running it on your RV battery can quickly drain it.

Staying Clean

To stay clean while boondocking, use dry shampoo and baby wipes instead of taking daily showers. If you do need to shower, consider using a solar shower bag or a portable shower that you can fill with water from your fresh water tank. Use biodegradable soap and dispose of gray water properly to avoid environmental damage.

Internet and Connectivity

To stay connected while boondocking, invest in a cell phone booster or a Wi-Fi extender. Many RV parks and campgrounds offer free Wi-Fi, so take advantage of it when you can. If you need to work remotely, consider using a mobile hotspot or finding a co-working space in town.

By following these tips, boondocking can be a comfortable and convenient way to enjoy the freedom and flexibility of RV travel without the usual hookups

Safety and Respect for the Environment

When boondocking in an RV, safety and respect for the environment are of utmost importance. Here are some tips to ensure a safe and environmentally friendly experience:


  • Always let someone know where you are going and when you plan to return. This is especially important if you are traveling alone.

  • Keep an eye on the weather and prepare for emergencies. Bring a first aid kit, extra food and water, and a backup power source.

  • Use common sense when parking your RV. Choose a level spot away from hazards like trees, cliffs, or bodies of water.

  • Lock your doors and windows when you leave your RV and at night.

  • Be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts. If something doesn't feel right, move on to a different location.

Respect for the Environment

  • Leave no trace. Pack out everything you pack in, including trash, food scraps, and human waste.

  • Use designated campsites and follow any posted rules or regulations.

  • Keep noise levels down and avoid disturbing wildlife.

  • Use environmentally friendly products and practices, such as biodegradable soap and solar power.

  • Bring garbage bags and dispose of trash properly at the nearest dumpsite or in a designated receptacle.

By following these safety and environmental guidelines, RVers can enjoy a comfortable and responsible boondocking experience.

Tips and Tricks for Successful Boondocking

Boondocking can be a fun and rewarding experience, but it also requires some preparation and planning. Here are some tips and tricks for successful boondocking:

  • Bring additional water containers: A sufficient water supply is always a main concern when boondocking. After all, one uses it for everything from bathing and washing dishes to cooking and staying hydrated. Even with good water usage habits, a limited water supply can often deplete much more quickly than one would like. Bringing additional water containers can help extend the water supply and make boondocking more comfortable.

  • Conserve water: Conserving water is essential when boondocking. One can take shorter showers, use paper plates and disposable utensils, and wash dishes in a basin to save water. Tracking water usage with Post-it Note markings on the side of the fresh water tank can also help to conserve water.

  • Research boondocking camping spots: Researching boondocking camping spots before heading out can help one find the perfect spot to camp. RV boondocking apps can be a great resource for finding free camping spots and other amenities.

  • Have a self-contained RV: Having a self-contained RV is essential for boondocking. One needs to have a fresh water tank, a gray water tank, and a black water tank. A generator or solar panels can also help provide power when camping off-grid.

  • Bring extra batteries: Bringing extra batteries can help to keep the RV powered when camping off-grid. One can also invest in a battery monitor to keep track of the battery's charge level.

  • Stay warm: Staying warm is important when boondocking in colder weather. One can use a portable propane heater or invest in a catalytic heater to keep the RV warm.

  • Be conservative: Being conservative with resources is essential when boondocking. One can turn off lights when not in use, use energy-efficient appliances, and avoid using high-powered electronics to conserve power.

By following these tips and tricks, one can have a successful and comfortable boondocking experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you stay safe while Boondocking?

When boondocking, it is important to stay aware of your surroundings. Always park in well-lit areas and lock your doors and windows at night. Avoid parking in isolated areas and be cautious of strangers. It is also recommended to have a first aid kit and emergency supplies on hand.

How do you shower while Boondocking?

One option is to use a solar shower bag, which can be filled with water and left in the sun to heat up. Another option is to use a gym or recreation center with shower facilities. Some RVers also install a shower in their RV and use a water pump and portable tank to supply water.

How do I prepare my RV for Boondocking?

Before heading out to boondock, it is important to make sure your RV is equipped with the necessary supplies. This includes extra water, food, and fuel. It is also recommended to have a generator or solar panels to supply power. Make sure to check your RV's batteries, tires, and other systems before leaving.

How long can you stay in an RV without hookups?

The length of time you can stay in an RV without hookups depends on the size of your water and waste tanks, as well as your personal usage. On average, RVers can stay between 3-5 days without needing to refill or empty tanks. It is important to conserve water and power while boondocking to extend your stay.

What are some dry camping tips and hacks?

One tip is to use LED lights instead of traditional bulbs to save power. Another is to use paper plates and utensils to save water. It is also recommended to bring a portable waste tank to make it easier to empty your RV's tanks. Additionally, using a water filtration system can help conserve water and make it safe to drink.

What are some boondocking tips and tricks?

One trick is to use a GPS or map to find free boondocking sites. Another is to park your RV in the shade to stay cool and conserve energy. It is also recommended to bring extra blankets and clothing to stay warm at night. Additionally, using a portable solar panel can help recharge your RV's batteries.