View Full Version : Boondocking

07-25-2008, 03:00 PM
Okay guys how many of you have been boondocking.

The yl and myself go to a lot of places that have no hook-ups,
Endurance rides (equestrian).....
We have a large battery bank so we can stay in the boondocks for a week or more at a time.:jitter:

07-25-2008, 03:05 PM
Now that I actually HAVE a 5th wheel, it's on my list of things to do!
I had the dealer install extra battery capacity as part of the deal.

07-25-2008, 03:26 PM
I am, as I type this "Boondocking" some 100 feet from the nearest (And alas occupied) power outlet.

07-25-2008, 03:46 PM
Not currently but we are awaiting the sale of our home to full time it.
We have had lots of rigs in the past and we have enjoyed being off by ourselves.
I have recharged my batteries via the truck or gensets with the later being favored. I liked a small economical genset and hooked a charger to it.
My new rig has solar panels on it but I am not sure yet just how much of a charge I will get from them so I will not count on them.
The best genset I ever had was the little EU 2000i by Honda. It would run a 20 amp charger and provide minimal AC to my unit to use it's charger in parallel at near idle. I could also get some 13 amps of AC power should I need it. Very light to handle and very quiet too.
Boondocking will be in our plans at least part of the time as full timers.

07-25-2008, 11:13 PM
To me Boondocking is when you don't camp in a campground, just find a place in the forest and start camping. This is what we did when I was a kid, we would find a old logging road find a clearing and set up camp but we used a tent didn't have a RV. Now what I do now is dry camp, no hook ups but I do use a generator to put the batteries back up sense we are power hogs.

07-26-2008, 11:08 AM
One thing to consider if you have a trailer.. The person parked next to me was telling me how how quiet his honda powered 3500 watt "Open frame" (Contractor's) type generator was... Sure it's quiet. In fact you can hardly hear the honda motor over the noise of the generator.

So when I have my generator running I'm feeding him power for a stand alone automatic battery charger.. As I told him.. That's my generator you are hearing... Or are you?

(I got to listen to his all night last night.. Thankfully.. I'm used to noise

07-26-2008, 12:29 PM
His contractor style genset was not most likely very quiet.
Our EU-2000 could run at idle or full throttle producing 13+ amps and we could talk at a normal level with it less than 10' away.
My Onan makes more noise that it did.

One Country Boy
07-27-2008, 09:45 AM
I have to admit, we've not done any boondocking. We're as close to boondocking as you get right now. We've ONLY got the water and power connected. I've not hooked up the sewer line yet. :) Sounds like it might be fun though. I may have to give it a try. Location is Pelham, AL currently.

07-27-2008, 05:03 PM
Many areas of the National Forests are open to use.
Learn how to manage your batteries, your water and such and have fun.
You don't need to camp on cement and baclktop to have fun. :rv:
And sometimes not having neighbors is a good thing.

07-28-2008, 07:47 PM
I guess that I am spoiled to having the air on when we camp...need that hook up

07-28-2008, 09:51 PM
I guess that I am spoiled to having the air on when we camp...need that hook up

I enjoy a cool evening, too. That's why God gave us fall, winter and spring!

Cool weather camping, aside from the short days, is the very best, especially fall and late winter, before the pollen, when the air is crisp and clean. And to do it somewhere with the deafening sound-yet-quiet of the outdoor night...man what a great nights sleep!!

07-30-2008, 12:50 PM
When we get back from this coming up trip in August be gone three weeks we are going to put the solar panels on the RV :poke:
I will be a little costly, being as I am unable to install it myself. But we will be able to dry camp for longer periods of time and am looking forward to using the RV a lot more this next year. The wife works for the schools and will go on the sublist next school year. :eek:
Have to save a little more :money: and not having to pay campground fee's is one way.

One Country Boy
07-31-2008, 10:19 AM
I can see where "boondocking" could be a lot of fun. Especially after Radio mentioned the deafening quietness. It may be something we would like to try in the cooler months. The humidity is more the problem here in the south than the temperature.

08-02-2008, 12:13 PM
Never boondocked, but the feeling of peace and quiet sounds great. What type of battery system for recharging do you use to keep things running. Do you have a generator and is it quiet or do you just hookup to the Tow vehicle. All suggestions would be appreciated...I love camping and when I can get to a quiet place it would be great...

Manual Garcia O'Kely
08-02-2008, 03:23 PM
Boondocking if defined as a non-camping area....well, not yet, but it's been a long time since we car-camped and we are still learning our way around.

But dry camps? Yea, although it's important for us to have water because the Camp-inn tank is 8 gallons, just enough for one camping day, two if you really work it, so I at least like a water source.

We only use power for lighting or a laptop to watch DVD's, so 72 amp-hours is quite a bit, at least if you don't watch movies anyway.

I'm hoping to get a solar package installed at some point. If I could get two or three amps, maybe 4 amps I would be golden even if I was using the HF radio.

For our uses, unless we are staying for several days or temps are really high [meaning we want the A/C], power is a luxury.

I'd like to do more boondocking, but in CA these days it's difficult - sites are not as easy to get to as when I was backpacking!

08-04-2008, 02:05 AM
I have two 130 watt solar panels, with the charge controller, has a booster in it so it should put out about 17 amps. I will see how that works and maybe add 2 more panels.

08-04-2008, 09:54 PM
In the past we have boondocked in La Paz County, Arizona in the winter. (Mucho hot summers require power for the A/C.) A close friend was the resident deputy sheriff in the Bouse area so security was never a problem.

Had easy access to a 2 meter repeater in the area tied to the ZIA system that I was able to full quiet with a homebrew J-pole antenna and a HT.:radio:

Haven't been back there for several years as my friend retired and moved to Pahrump, NV. We enjoy visiting those parts these days.

08-04-2008, 11:53 PM

Hey Jim, welcome to ORR.net. Feel free to jump right in the frey and make yourself at home.

08-13-2008, 07:16 PM
Well we left Chula Vista, Ca. on the 6th of August. Stayed in Lone Pine Ca. on the night of the 6th. Stayed at Diaz Lake. We got into Bridgeport on the afternoon of the7th. Stayed in the National Forrest :camp: :fire: until 10th. Went to Minden Nv. stayed overnight at the Carson Valley Inn Casino RV Park. Really nice campground only $28.00 :money:. We left NV. took NV 207 to US 50, took US 50 to I-5 Took I-5 south to I-205W to I-680 to I-280 to CA-17 to Santa Cruz. Took Hwy 1 south to the KOA in La Selva Beach, Ca. [what a rip $71.00 a day for a dirt spot] {fee Wi-Fi}
Tomorrow we go to Davenport Ca. To another Endurance ride. No hook ups at all. Be there until Sunday then we go to Washoe Valley Nv. For another Endurance Ride Be there from Tuesday until Sunday. We will go into Minden Nv. again and then start for home in Mexifornia :bleh:

I finally got a good nights sleep in this RV we go a foam mattress topp for the bed. and it wa only 53 degrees last night felt good to be out of that heat, will be back in it next week in Neavada.

Will let everyone know how the trip turns out when we get home.

73 de w6pea and w6ome

08-19-2008, 11:20 PM
Well we left Davenport, Ca. on Sunday. We we t to San Marten, Ca. (Don't drive Ca-152 in any RV) :eek: :jitter: Went out of our way looking for Campingworld, they were closed. We went on to Lodi, Ca. We have been staying a really nice and quiet campground. :rv: Except for the Union Pacific Train that goes by every hour on the half hour. Amtrak goes by at 0715 hrs pdt. and again at 2245 hrs pdt. (you can set your watch by them). Will leave here on Thursday, go to Virginia City Nv. Stay there for about 4 days, then go home to Mexifornia. I foung gasoline for less than 4 bucks in Capitola, Ca. $3.83 a gal. what a deal!!:poke:

73 de w6pea & w6ome

08-29-2008, 11:55 AM
Well we got home yesterday evening.
We went from Lodi, Ca. to Washoe Lake campground in NV.
What a great campground only $4 a day. No hook ups but nice facilities. We were there for 4 days. We left there went to Minden Nv. stayed at Carson Valley Inn Casino & RV Park. Nice but nothing special.

Left there for home decided to go to Yosemite, (CA-120 :mad: no good, even worse pulling a toad) from there we went home, after driving for 7 hours stayed (don't stop at Westley Rest Area what a dump, looked like some one emptied their tanks in the rest room) :jitter: over night in Santa Nella RV Park just off I-5 nice and quiet nothing special, went thru Tehachapi stayed at Mountain Valley RV Park. (hard to find but nice) we left there yesterday went south on CA-14 to Ca-138 to I-15 to home.

Put about 2500 miles on the rv, ran like a dream, no problems :bleh:

w6pea & w6ome

08-29-2008, 04:36 PM

Glad you had fun with no insurmountable problems.

08-30-2008, 02:18 PM
Would you believe we forgot the digital camera. Took everything else, but we found it kitchen table. We were in a Wal Mart in Nevada, almost bought a new camera but couldn't see spending almost $650.00 dollars :money: when I have a Nikon F6, and a Ricoh KR-10M. I could just see "She Who must be Obeyed" if I walked out of Wally World with another camera! :poke: We also have 3 digital and 2 more 35mm cameras plus an Olympus Infinity Super Zoom330. :p

Boy did it feel good to sleep in our king size bed. :jitter:

w6pea & w6ome

08-08-2009, 12:58 AM
Well we did it again this year. When school was out we packed up the RV and left. We were gone for a little less than a month.
We left on the 28th of June. We finally got out of here on the day we left at 1515 hrs. :jitter: Drove up US-395. Got to Adelanto Ca. at 1830hrs. Went in to the Grocery Store, did some shopping and had dinner. Then we went on to Ridgecrest,Ca. We stayed at the Elks Lodge. Got up the next morning and drove to Lone Pine, Ca. We went to the BLM Campground at Tuttle Creek. (Can't beat $2.50 a day) We stayed there for 6 days. Then we went into Minden NV. Stayed at the Carson Valley Inn RV resort. ($28.00 a Day:fuss:) We were there for 3 days, Then we went back south on US395, Went to Bodie, CA. (Ghost town) can't camp there. Went to the BLM Campground at Crowley Lake. (Again can't beat $2.50 a day) We were there for a couple of days. Then we went to Horton Creek Campground 9 miles N of Bishop, We were there for 12 Days. We wanted to stay at Convict Lake but the place was full up. After leaving Horton Creek we went to back to Tuttle Creek. Great Trout fishing, Then we came home. With our Solar system we did not have to run the generator at all. We did run for the a/c a couple of hours on afternoon it was only 105 degrees.
Had a great trip. We were home for two days and then went out again for a week. I purchased an 2000w pure sine wave inverter for the RV and also bought another solar panel when the panel gets here I am going to install all of it.

As it was we did not run the generator more than 5 hours during the hole trip. Also if you have an inter-agency pass from the BLM/NP/Army
Corps of Engineers and you are disabled or over 62 you can stay for half price at any BLM Campground most only cost $5.00 a day.
73 de w6pea

One Country Boy
08-08-2009, 10:25 AM
Interesting, enjoyed reading about your trip. Thanks for posting.


08-08-2009, 10:30 AM
Re person who said the contractor grade generator next to me was not all that quiet:

That was my point.. As I said, I could hardly hear the engine over the noise the generator portion was making (It was loud)

Re: Needing air on.. Depends... January, in Michigan... Air is important, but air, conditioning, = FURNACE not cooler :) ON the other hand when I boondock, it tends to be Quartzsite AZ.. And USUALLY, a bit of cool is a good thing there.

08-08-2009, 08:15 PM
We are with Mark....The 3 yls in the family would go bananas if they couldn't have their air and the other necessities..and the nintendo ds's.

Besides, I have a hard time camping without sewer for a week...the girls haven't quite grasped the idea of water conservation. LOL

10-13-2010, 05:28 PM
My wife and I are very interested in boondocking. I've Googled the subject for good locations and the only thing I have found are addresses for Wal-Mart Superstores and that somehow doesn't seem like fun at all.

10-16-2010, 10:21 PM
I think boondocking sites are often considered secret spots by those that have worked hard to find them or sometimes found them by accident.

It is my opinion that you will not find a list anywhere and that if your lucky, a good friend might share one or two of his/hers with you.

Boondocking sites are found by searching maps, Google Earth and driving many miles and trial and error.

Best of luck to you.

JIM ;)

10-17-2010, 02:36 PM
While looking for something else, I found this. It may be of interest to you.



10-17-2010, 03:35 PM
While looking for something else, I found this. It may be of interest to you.



Excellent information and a good read too! Thank you for taking the time to post.

10-20-2010, 05:50 PM
While looking for something else, I found this. It may be of interest to you.



After a little more research from the link you provided, I found free boondocking sites near Amarillo where I live! A little too far from the office for workamping, but lake Meredith might be a nice weekend getaway to test our boondocking skills!

10-20-2010, 09:25 PM
Let us know how it went after you try it.


Dick Noble
10-26-2010, 06:11 PM
Just posted on "RV systems" thread about solar and wind system for boondocking. We went to Imperial Dam, AZ last January for the month. I loved it. Lots of work to keep the water filled, the sewer empty and the solar system working. Had to use our small 1200w Coleman generator way to much,found out that one of the 4 batteries I'd purchased from Wally World was no good. They replaced it and I've since put together a 500w wind generator and purchased 4 more solar panels. We intend to spend Dec and Jan there.

06-13-2012, 03:17 PM
Spend most of our time in our 30' 5th wheel boondocking. CA Anza Borrego State Park for the majority weekends in the winter time. We can do 3-4 day weekends on battery alone, and run a honda i2000 generator to run the microwave. On a COLD weekend, we may run the generator for a few hours to top off the batteries if the furnace runs all night.

Been cross country and back LOTS of times and the only time we stay in RV parks is when we need hookups to run the roof air (middle of the summer) or lots of water.

06-14-2012, 12:31 PM
Normally we either stay in Membership parks or Government parks (or a moose lodge or 4) but when we do our semi-annual hike north or south (Depending on which semi it is) Wal-mart, Lowes, Home Depot, Meijer's and McDonalds type boondocking is clearly on our list of activities, Even a Flying J or 3.

Also spent time out in Arid Zone A (Airizona) on BLM land where this time of year there is nothing but miles and miles of miles and miles, but the last half of Jan (When we were there) it's wall to wall RV's.

Off Pavement
06-16-2012, 09:50 AM
If it wasn't for boondocking (defined as remote location camping outside a developed campground), we wouldn't own an RV. We fulltimed 5 years in a 36' DP off the grid 99% of the time. We followed the seasons and only put 15 hours on the generator in 5 years. Granted it is easy to find great boondocking locations in the west, but most folks don't really know all the places that may be available to them near home.

Surprisingly, most state wildlife areas permit dispersed camping (boondocking). When it's not hunting season, these areas are often the perfect place to set up camp. Some of these locations are so ritzy as to have a firepit or perhaps a picnic table. Every state is different, so you may need a state recreation stamp, or a fishing/hunting license to be legal for the free camping benefits available.

The US Forest Service is really helping folks find areas open for dispersed camping that are not familiar with an area. The USFS is generating MVUMs (motor vehicle use maps) that show open roads and trails and available dispersed camping locations. Very few US forests do not permit dispersed camping. Here is a link to all available maps online... USFS MVUM's (http://www.fs.fed.us/recreation/programs/ohv/ohv_maps.shtml)

A few of our favorite locations...

Boondocking in Bridger-Teton National Forest - Wyoming

Boondocking in Pike National Forest - Colorado

Dry camping at Crowley Lake BLM Campground, California.

07-01-2012, 08:17 AM
I have made custom LED lights for every thing in my camper collect rain water or stream water (I do keep fresh water) replaced the vent fan with a Fantastic fan (low power 2 amps) use a small 1,000 watt generator to recharge the battery. I have a disconnect for the camper charger so that I can run an inverter connected to the battery and plug the camper 120 V into it for weather reports news etc. as needed. Both my tanks are 21 gal. so I don't need to dump for a great while and I have a pump to pump gray to black. While charging the camper battery I also charge the 35 amp gel cell so I can use it to power the IC706 MK2 G!