Top Ten Boondocking Essentials

Seek adventure and go off grid!
January 12, 2023
By: RV Happy Yet (Jennifer and Caleb) 2022 Brand Ambassadors

RV Happy Yet shares their experiences going off grid. To RV means having minimal items due to weight, but to also go off grid without hook-ups for electricity and water? Jennifer and Caleb share their top 10 MUST HAVE Items!

When we decided to dive into full-time RV life one of the biggest appeals was freedom…the ability to go where we wanted when we wanted.

RV Happy Yet-Jennifer and Caleb travel full-time in a Cougar 368MBI with their 2 fur babies. Living life to the fullest, they have traveled across North America and boondocked in some of the most fascinating and beautiful "secret" spots!

It didn’t take long for us to realize the best chance at truly getting “away from it all” included boondocking. Also known as “dry camping”; boondocking is essentially camping without hookups (water/electric/sewer). We made the decision to have a complete solar system installed and hit the road. After six months primarily off-grid here are a few items we consider “must haves”.

1. Extra Fresh Water

One of the biggest restraints to boondocking by far is water. Conserving water while showering, doing dishes, and cleaning is a constant battle, therefore having an extra supply in the form of water jugs or a water bladder gives significant peace of mind.

2. Water Filter

This is important whether you are boondocking or not but especially in some off grid locations. You may even consider investing in a premium filtration system if you or your animals are drinking the water directly from your faucet.

3. Generator

Even with a significant solar system there is always a chance for cloudy/rainy days. Having a generator allows you to recharge your batteries quickly and run electronics throughout the day and night. A good generator would allow even the most novice RVer enough power to boondock.

4. Extra Gasoline

Speaking of generators, you will need to power it somehow! Be sure to carry plenty of gasoline so you do not run out.

5. Propane

You will also need sufficient propane since you may be using the furnace and/or stove more often than you would with electric hookups. This is especially important if you have an absorption refrigerator. If you are boondocking in the winter months you may be surprised at how quickly you can go through propane!

6. 12V Fans

If you are boondocking in a warm climate, this is absolutely essential. Air conditioning units take a significant amount of power so having a few low wattage fans will save energy in the long run while keeping your RV much cooler. USB powered fans are another great option.

7. Signal Booster

Part of being “off-grid” includes being away from civilization, which naturally results in poor cell service. Having a cell booster will allow you to boost what little signal you do have. Of course, there are some areas where no matter what you do… cell service is just not possible.

8. Kingpin Lock

It can be a bit unnerving to leave your home on wheels in the middle of nowhere if you decide to drive into town. Having a kingpin hitch lock adds an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

9.  Solar Powered Outdoor Lights

Another way to enhance the security around your boondocking site is to set up solar powered motion sensor lights. This is important not only to deter possible intruder into your campsite but also to deter wild animals. In addition, the lights will provide a clear view of your surroundings at night for your own safety.

10. First Aid Kit

Last but certainly not least, be sure to have a full emergency kit. You will also want to keep plenty of extra non-perishable food items and water in case of emergencies. Being away from it all comes with an added layer of responsibility in terms of safety.

Honorable Mention: Portable Waste Holding Tank

This will allow you to boondock longer without concerns about your holding tanks filling up. You can simply empty your black/gray water into the holding tank and transport it to the dump station without moving your entire rig.

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - Attributed to Mark Twain