How to prepare for boondocking

By Bob Difley
You can boondock as long as your on-board resources hold out. Basic equipment for dry camping (without hookups) includes:

•A house battery separate from your starter battery.
•Holding tank for fresh water.
•Holding tanks for waste water from shower, sink, and toilet.

Fortunately, all modern RVs have these features and most have separate holding tanks for water from the shower and sinks (gray water) and from the toilet (black water).

Adding a few optional items can extend your boondocking stays. For instance, a single house battery will not last long if you don’t practice effective energy conservation, like turning off all lights and appliances when not in use, turning off your porch light, restricting use of high amperage appliances and avoid using high voltage AC appliances that require an electrical hookup, inverter, or generator. Running AC appliances through an inverter will quickly drain your house battery.

You can, however, run a generator for short periods to operate a microwave oven, blender, or coffee maker; to re-charge your batteries or operate an air-conditioner would require many long hours of operation, not what most of us want to listen to while camped in the quiet of the forest or desert.

Easy options: Practice energy conservation, and install another house battery — which will double your electric power. Carry extra water in Jerry jugs or collapsible plastic water containers. If you’re really serious about boondocking install solar panels and carry a portable waste tank that you can drive to a dump station to empty without moving your rig.