Fulltime RV Boondocking

Fulltime RV Boondocking

If you want freedom, and have a love of nature, then the life of a fulltime RV boondocker might be for you!




Camping with your RV on public lands, is a lifestyle many strive for, but it takes a little planning. First of all, you will need an RV that is appropriate for boondocking; that means a rig with adequate ground clearance, and tanks large enough to get you and your family through at least a week of dry camping. However, tanks large enough to last 2 weeks is even better. A refrigerator large enough for at least a week to 2 weeks of food is also a necessity. Likewise, you’ll need adequate cabinet space for a week to 2 weeks of dry goods.

If your goal is to boondock, then you will also need solar panels and/or a quality generator. These can keep your lights and appliances running easily without shore power. A two way (AC electric and propane) or three-way (AC, DC electric and propane) refrigerator is also a necessity. It will operate and keep your food fresh while “off the grid”. A propane stove is also preferable, as microwaves and electric stoves draw a lot of AC electricity; you may not have enough AC if you are not plugged in at an RV park.

If you want to live the boondocking lifestyle, you will likely need to locate to the states west of the Rockies; “Back East” has very little public lands. free camping is often difficult back east, although not impossible.

You should also ensure that your cell phone carrier has coverage outside of the major metro areas; most fulltime boondockers have Verizon or AT&T. These are often the two carriers that have the best coverage in rural areas. Check your provider’s coverage maps, to see if you will get a cell signal in the areas you wish to camp in. Of course, every provider has dead areas, but some providers have a lot less coverage than you might expect. If your goal is to do a lot of boondocking, ensure you have a cell provider that has maximum coverage in the areas you plan to travel.

You should also carry old fashioned paper maps, and know how to read them. As mentioned above, cell service may not exist, and your apps may be rendered useless. You also need a GPS unit, which relies on satellites, and not on cell signals. It’s a good idea to plot out your routes before you hit the road, and write it down.

In many ways, you may need to go “old school” as a boondocker; embracing the old fashioned ways of doing things, rather than relying solely on modern electronics. Navigation by GPS and paper maps, cooking on a stove rather than a microwave, DIY repairs on the road, seem to be skills lost these days. But if the lifestyle of a fulltime RV boondocker appeals to you, then embracing a life of challenge and learning is a part of that.


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