What Is Dry RV Camping or Boondocking?
Campgrounds with full facilities make a great spot to spend vacations with friends and family. They are popular among RVers and often at full capacity in holiday seasons.
RVers love to spend time at camping sites. This is why these campsites are not only populated; they are quite expensive too.
For all the campers who like to spend some time in a quiet place, they might have to look up Dry RV Camping.
What is Boondocking? Basics of Dry RV Camping
What is Dry RV Camping? Dry RV Camping means going to a remote place with no utility hookups. In Dry camping, you don’t have any water, hookups, or electric connections. Not even a dumping ground for waste.
It’s you, RV, and nature.
Campsites have all types of facilities, also known as full hookups. You can use these facilities to make your RV feel at home.
Moreover, you can watch the TV non-stop, use the air conditioner or use the oven for cooking. You don’t have to worry about your RV’s battery‘s power going down.
Want to take a long shower? Don’t worry; the utility hookup will refill the tank, and greywater will automatically go down into the sewer. There’s no worry about your tank emptying or grey water tank filling up.
But, if you are dry camping on your RV, you won’t have any connections like this. There won’t be any 30 or 50-amp power form hookups or the fresh and grey water connections.
You’ll have to live on what you can take with your RV. Seems frustrating? Most people disagree with you. They do it on purpose to connect with nature.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Dry Camping
- While Boondocking, you have more space, but less and even zero people
- Boondocking areas are free of cost, and even if they cost, they’re cheap.
- With boondocking, you get an opportunity to connect with nature.
- While boondocking, you can stay away from cell phones and social media.
- You get privacy compared to when camping at a designated campsite.
- If you run out of fuel, you can get stranded in the middle of nowhere.
- Some boondocking sites have 14 days stay limit.
- Even if you have all the necessary supplies, boondocking without hookups is less convenient.
- If Your RV’s electric connection fails, you’ll have no help available nearby.
- Most boondocking sites have no proper recreational facilities such as pools, safe hiking grounds, etc.
Is Dry Camping Legal?
If you have the permission of Dry RV Camping from the owner or manager of the land, then yes, it’s legal. If you are boondocking in public spaces, you’ll have to get permission from the state’s respective park services. As long as you’re following all the rules set by the owner of the property, you’re good to go.
A tip for boondocking at private or public spaces is to leave no traces of camping. This way, you won’t have any problem getting permission next time.
Practicing For Dry RV Camping
Before going for Dry RV camping, you must know your RV’s capabilities. You need to perform a ‘test run’ for your RV.
For this, you can go to a full hookup campground while staying there, don’t use the hookup services. Before camping, fill your water tank and charge your batteries, etc.
At the campground, don’t connect your RV to utility hookups. This will help you understand the limits of your RV.
While practicing for dry RV camping, you can follow these steps to prepare yourself:
Empty Waste Tanks Before Camping
Before leaving, make sure to empty your waste tanks. While camping, fill these tanks to their full capacity. This way, you can find out how much time it takes to fill these tanks.
Enjoy Your Surroundings
While Dry camping, you’ll have to make do with limited resources. Now, you can stay in your RV while using the TV or AC unit, but you’ll run out of your RV battery in 2-3 days.
That’s why you should practice spending time out of the RV. For example, you can spend time swimming, fishing, hiking, or even setting up a campfire.
Utilizing The Generator
Living off-grid is not a comfortable task. Even if you have batteries, but they won’t last forever. That’s why, for backup power, you can take a generator with you.
The generator will provide enough power to charge your RV batteries, etc., at once. However, use it sparingly as you’ll have limited gas to power the generator.
See also: Best Batteries for Boondocking or Dry Camping
Reasons People Go RV Boondocking
There are different reasons why people go RV boondocking. Not only is it refreshing, but it helps you get close to nature. In addition, you are spending a week or two, using limited resources. With this, you can train yourself to think about the environment we live in and its importance.
RVs, whether they are luxury motorhomes or truck campers, were designed as self-contained units. They don’t need any sorts of hookups to have a good time. Some RVers prefer boondocking because this way, you’ll be making most of your RV’s capabilities.
While the campground is quite expensive, boondocking spots are cheap or free. While some spots might have a limit on how many days you’re allowed to camp, most don’t.
Tips For Dry Camping
When Dry Camping, you can look up these tips to help make your trip less troublesome.
- LED lights don’t consume as much energy, so use them instead of traditional light bulbs. Not only that, these bulbs will prevent your RV from becoming hot.
- Bring food that has a long shelf life. Canned food can also be used during Dry camping. This is to make sure that you don’t have to worry about spoiled food.
- Any devices that are not in use should be unplugged as soon as possible. This is because the phantom load is real, and it can reduce the battery supply.
- Take short showers. This will help in increasing the duration your water reserves will last.
- Although you can dump your grey tank, never dump your black tank out in the open. This is a disgusting act and harmful to the environment.
How Long Can You Dry Camp in an RV?
Dry camping is a challenging yet exciting task. While dry camping, you’ll have to live off limited supplies for days at once.
But how long can you dry camping in an RV? This depends upon your RV and your usage of resources. If you take shorter showers, spend more time outside to save batteries, etc., you can easily camp for 3-4 days.
Professional dry campers can last up to 14 days without any need to refill the freshwater tank. During this period, they don’t need to dump the waste tanks either. Not this may seem a long duration. But the more you practice, the more efficient the dry camper you’ll become.
What Does Dry Camping Mean in an RV?
Dry camping is staying out in the open without any facilities for hookups. It means you won’t have any water or electrical utility connection at your campsite. Dry camping is to make use of all the RV capabilities.
What Is the Difference Between Boondocking and Dry Camping?
Dry camping is another name for boondocking. These both have the same functions, but there is a slight difference between them. While boondocking, you camp out in the open with no developed campgrounds. Whereas in dry camping, you camp even in campgrounds, but with no hookups.
How Long Can You Dry Camp in an RV?
Typically, an amateur dry camper can camp up to 4 days in an RV. With enough practice, they can last up to a week without any hookup. Professional dry campers tend to last as long as 2 weeks.
How Long Can You Boondock in A Class-A RV?
As the Class A RVs are luxury motorhomes, they have higher tank storage for ease. If they are used for boondocking, they are a huge plus point compared to other RVs. You can boondock for as long as two weeks in a Class A RV.
Camping sites with full hookups are quite fun. You don’t have to worry about your reserves or tanks. But for most RVers, this takes away the fun.
They want to spend the time out in the open, in an open space with no one around. That’s why they prefer dry camping.
While dry camping, you won’t have any facilities of full hookup, but you can train yourself to use limited resources. You’ll have to rely on your limited resources.
You’ll get a chance to get close to nature. Not only is it good for the environment, but it is good for you too.
I`m a current Law Enforcement Officer working within the Counterterrorism Bureau in New York State. I have been Camping for over 20 years. My styles of camping include tent, car, truck, van, and RV travel trailer. I have a YouTube channel where I teach all types of camping with an entertaining method: https://youtube.com/@TheSmallsRVAdventures