Boondocking Is Best In A Bowlus®
2020 changed all of our lives, including the way we vacation. With cruise ships docked, amusement parks shuttered, and the general concern of getting too close to people outside of our bubble, many families decided to hit the road in a brand-new RV. Sales of travel trailers, fifth wheels, motorhomes and campervans soared last year.
You don’t have to look far to find all those newly sold RVs. Their owners are filling America’s campgrounds, and that means that a reservation is as hard to come by as hand sanitizer was in the early days of the pandemic. Frustrated with the crowds and the stress of finding a place to camp, many RVers are turning to boondocking, or off-grid camping.
You may be asking, “what is boondocking?” Read on and see if boondocking is going to be your new favorite way to go RVing.
What is Boondocking?
There are a number of ways to boondock. The common theme is that when you’re boondocking, you’re off the grid with no water, sewer, or electric connections. You also won’t have any of the amenities you’d find in a modern RV park like bathrooms, picnic tables, or dump stations.
Purists will tell you that boondocking, also known as dispersed camping or wild camping, happens only on public land. The National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and Department of Fish and Wildlife allow dispersed camping on the lands they manage. Some state organizations also permit boondocking. It’s important to know that the managing agency may only allow dispersed camping in designated boondocking locations, so you’ll need to check with the agency before you set up camp. Also, while most boondocking sites offer free camping, some require a permit, so you’ll need to make sure your paperwork is in order before you set up camp.
Others in the RV world use an expanded definition of boondocking that includes dry camping on a site without water or electric hookups in a developed campground. Take it a step further and you could count overnight parking at rest areas, parking lots, or your buddy’s driveway as a boondock camping site. We prefer the purist definition at Bowlus and have designed our high-end aluminum travel trailers accordingly.
Before you hit the road for your first off-grid camping adventure, here are a few boondocking tips.
The first rule of boondocking safety is to select your campsite wisely. Forest access roads often have spots where you can set up camp. Make sure you’re not in the road, and that your location is big enough to fit both your camper and your tow vehicle. You also want to make sure that you can get out of the site at the end of your stay. A Bowlus is the best boondocking RV because it’s lightweight and maneuverable. With a dry weight of 3,200 pounds, you can easily get in and out of most off-the beaten-path campsites. But it’s still best to inspect before you commit – so walk the site before you drive in.
The second rule of boondocking safety is to keep an eye on mother nature and her animals. A sudden rainstorm could turn your site into a mud pit, so it’s best to find a durable or hard packed surface to set up camp. One of the best things about boondocking is that you’re camping in the backyard of a variety of animals, so there will be a lot of opportunities to see wildlife. But remember they are wild, so giving them space will keep you and your pets safe.
Boondocking spots most likely won’t have a ring for your evening campfire. Before you break out the smores, check for any restrictions put in place by the land managers, especially if you’re in an area that’s suffering from a drought. Assuming there are no restrictions, careful fire management, and ensuring you completely extinguish your fire when you’re through, are the best ways to avoid forest fires. This is the third rule of boondocking safety.
Preparing to Go Off-Grid
When you’re boondocking you need to bring everything with you – including water. If you run out, you’re going to have to tow your camper to someplace with a water spigot in order to refill your fresh water tank. But Bowlus makes it easy to efficiently manage your water usage when you’re off the grid. Our campers come with instant hot water heaters and low-flow flush toilets, so you won’t waste a drop.
You’re likely going to be alone when you’re boondocking, with no other campers around. There probably won’t be any stores nearby either, so make sure you pack the food and personal items you’ll need. With a Bowlus, our unique storage solutions provide plenty of room for the necessities and the luxuries. There are ample cupboards and drawers throughout the camper, including yours and mine closets.
If you do have neighbors, remember that they’re there for the peace and quiet just like you. Don’t park too close and keep your noise levels down. Many travel trailers, fifth wheels, and motorhomes will have to rely on a generator for their power, and that means managing noise will be a struggle, even with the quietest generator. But not when you’re camping in a Bowlus.
The Bowlus Endless Highways Performance Edition offers an electrical system designed for effortless off-grid adventures. You won’t need a noisy generator because our units come with a best-in-class lithium ion phosphate battery that can power your unit for up to two weeks, completely off-grid. The battery will even run the air conditioner for up to two overnights. Connected via internet and Bluetooth, you can keep an eye on your charge and battery performance levels with your smartphone. Plus, every Bowlus is solar panel ready so you can generate power for your camper.
Bowlus travel trailers also come with a built-in propane tank that fuels some of the RV’s essential systems. The heater, cooktop, and the instant hot water system all run on propane. So do the luxurious heated floors. The mix of energy sources allows you to better manage your energy consumption so you can rough it in luxury, off-grid. for longer periods of time.
Boondocking campsites don’t offer the amenities of a campground. That means, among other things, there’s no one there to pick up your trash but you. Boondockers live by the “leave no trace” philosophy and pack out everything they bring in – including the contents of their grey and black tanks.
No matter how you define it, boondocking is easy and fun when you’re in our Volterra, Terra Firma or Endless Highways Edition luxury RV. From efficient water and electric management systems, to our unique storage solutions, we’ve designed our aluminum luxury travel trailers with features that truly make it the best RV for boondocking.