What is it really like to boondock or dry camp.

When we started this journey we knew we did not want to park for any length of time at RV parks. We decided that boondocking or dry camping was our preferred method of seeing the country. But how do we do that?

The first thing we did was invest in new batteries and 8 solar panels of 160 watts each. To use your solar power you turn the inverter on and plug your appliance  into an outlet that says inverter. All unmarked outlets only run when your generator is on or when you are plugged into shore power.. In learning that lesson I netted myself a new vacuum, could have sworn the old one didn’t work, found out later that the on board vacuum system only works when the generator is on or when we are plugged into shore power.

We have a 90 gallon fresh water tank, a 70 gallon grey tank for dishwater and showers, and a 35 gallon black tank (toilet) plus a 35 gallon propane tank. When you boondock at BLM (Bureau of Land Management) areas you can only stay for 14 days before you must move on. Making those tanks last as long as possible is the fun part.

Dishes are done once a day, (I hide them under the sink cover). An electric tea kettle is used to heat water up to wash them using much less electricity than heating up the water tank. I use a dishpan inside the sink to use less water and then water the grass outside when done.

The most fun part is taking a shower with as little water as possible.  Showers are only done when you REALLY need one, soap and washcloth suffice most of the time. We have a jug in the shower to catch water until it turns warm.  You get wet, shut off the water and soap up, turn the water back on and rinse. Bingo your done. If you did really well you only used a cup of water, at least thats what it feels like.

Did you ever have a saying at your house “If it’s yellow let it mellow, if it’s brown flush it down”? Well that goes without saying when dry camping. You also learn to pee outside whenever you can. My husband calls it marking his territory.

Finding a place that you can camp for free or little to nothing requires some research. We like to use campendium.com, and free campsites.net. There are also some Facebook groups that you can search in.

When we lived in our sticks and bricks house we took so much for granted. When we finally pull into an RV park to empty our tanks and do laundry it feels like we are living high on the hog. Running hot water with electricity for all your needs is pure heaven. And the showers, oh my goodness.

Sometimes it is the little things that make you realize how very blessed you are.


2 thoughts on “What is it really like to boondock or dry camp.

  1. MOM

    When I was growing up in Iowa this was normal. The water was in a pump in the pasture, the bathroom was outdoors and the hot (warm) water was in the reservoir of the cookstove. Thimble baths were Saturday before you went to town with the eggs (to have the money to buy groceries). So now you are back to the 40″s. I’m in favor of running water, indoor bathrooms and every other modern thing. (except the I phone which still boggles my mind!). Lots of love. MOM

    Liked by 1 person

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