Basic Boondocking Tips and Tricks for Newbie RVers

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Almost all RVs are set up to be self-contained camping vehicles, but in their stock (off the lot) form are generally not going to last too long without hookups. Over time we have learned a many ways to help us dry camp more effectively.

In this video, I describe the various ways we use to help us boondock longer. I discuss issues we face with power, water, waste, heating and cooling the rig while off the grid. I offer some tips and tricks that I use when boondocking.

Here are links to my blog articles related to tips and RV stuff mentioned in the video.

Mr. Heater Big Buddy Propane Radiant Heater

RV Install and Review of the Mr. Heater Big Buddy MH18B

Starlights LED light install

Install and Review of StarLights LED lamps for the RV

Extra batteries install

Trojan 6 Volt Batteries RV Install

2000W Champion Generator Review

Champion 2000 Watt Inverter Generator Review

Renogy 200 watt Solar Panel Install

Installing a Renogy 200W Solar Kit in the RV

1000 watt Inverter Install

1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter *Updated*

Fantastic Vent Fan install

Installing the Fantastic Vent Fan into our RV

Extra Twist-on Waste valve

Twist On Waste Valve for the RV

MiFi Cell Booster review – Wilson Sleek

Boosting RV Internet with the Wilson Sleek 4G

Check out my Favourite RV Updates: “20 Useful Upgrades I’ve Made To Our RV”
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  • If you crack the drivers or passengers window open about an inch, will be enough ventilation to run the mr buddy at night. If your still concerned, carbon monoxide detectors are available very affordably.

  • great video ] am getting a traveltrailer ] 20 ft ] 3400 dry ] would i still need a 2000 watt ] + what does your Generator ] run on ] i will dry camp hopefully all my trips ] whats the most inportian idem to have ~ i will also equipet my camper with batteres , soler, and Generator ] is thire any thing else you can use for power ] thanku 4 your time ]]]*

  • I just purchased the SAME Champion generator for $422 from Amazon (no shipping or tax). Going boondocking for the first time on Thanksgiving Day for 4 days. Also, I installed an EasyStart 364 from MicroAir and it allows me to run my 13,500 BTU A/C on the Champion 2000 inverter generator. I paid $300 for the device and it takes about an hour to install.

  • Thanks for your excellent videos. Learning a lot. With regard to replenishing drinking water while boondocking: you can buy a NSF grade replacement RV water tank in any size from about 10 gallons to as much as 100 gallons on eBay. If you have a pickup, they are far cheaper and stronger than a bladder.
    Used with an inexpensive 12 volt pump and jumper pack or other 12volt source from trailer or tow, it is a very convienient and inexpensive solution.

  • Honda generators are not as good as the junk price you pay for them. Its like buying a Kimber 1911 pistol andhaving it rust. While a Para 1911 for half the price can be submerged.

  • Hi Love Your RV. I have to offer a different perspective on the cost of solar for boondocking. (About 2:303:00 in the video) You implied that solar would cost around $2-3K to set up. This is not necessarily true. It depends much on your lifestyle when boondocking and what you need or want the system to do. It is important to separate needs from wants. Each RVer will be different.

    I typically boondock solo for around a week at a time. I have modest power needs. Here is what I did for about the same cost as your Champion generator. (Still, I'd like to have a generator as a backup.)

    I determined my real-time usage. That came out to between 35 and 50 amp/hrs a day. (fans lights, water pump, etc…) I increased my battery bank from a pair of flooded lead-acid deep cycle batteries to the max the battery compartment would hold. ($200) This gave me 400 amp/hrs of storage with half of that being usable power. With no charging method, I could boondock for 4 days.

    Then, I added a pair of 100 watt panels ($100 each on sale. $150 regular price) hooked in parallel and a PWM charge controller, ($35) and a 750 watt modified sine wave inverter. ($40) I don't run any sensitive electronics when I boondock. I used 1X4 and 1X2 boards and a piano hinge to build the panels into a suitcase type design.(about $20)

    The panels produce 11 amps at 18 volts in full sun. Counting 5 sun hours a day, that totals 55 amp/hours a day of energy produced. Balanced against my 50 amp/hrs a day of usage, I am producing as much as I use. I can go 3 days without sun before my batteries hit the 50% mark. If I manage my usage carefully, (after a day or two of bad weather) I'll use only 35 amp/hours a day leaving 15-20 amp/hrs to bring my batteries closer to a fully charged state. Theoretically, with this setup, I could boondock almost indefinitely from a power standpoint. Total cost of the system was $515 after wires and incidentals of the installation.

    Add 2 more 100 watt panels at around $150 each and you have a 400 watt solar system for about the price of the Honda generator. Additional batteries would be a plus too, but my battery compartment has no more room.

    Those who use more power will want a larger, more robust system and that will cost a bit more, but my point is that you can put together a reasonably priced solar system for boondocking needs for much less than $2-3K. Everyone will be different in their power needs.