So if you’ve been watching our Youtube channel for any length of time, you know we are hard-core Glampers. We like our soft bed, we like all the comforts of home on the road. And we have never, I repeat NEVER gone for more than 1 night without some sort of utility hookup. That is until recently. (RV utility hookups are water, electric, or sewer).
We recently completed a 9-day boondocking-only stay in east Texas. Yes, you read that right NINE STRAIGHT DAYS we camped with absolutely NO hookups whatsoever. The Glampers went BOONDOCKING! And not for just a night or two but for NINE days straight.
And we learned a TON so buckle up! I am going to share not only how we were able to survive with no hook-ups but also tips and tricks for how to boondock. All WITHOUT comprising the comforts of home.
Boondocking Tip #1 – Lithium Batteries!
If we did not have our new lithium batteries from Battleborn, this experience would not have been as fun. Lithium batteries charge faster than traditional led acid batteries PLUS you can get the entire amount of power available. For example, we have four 100 amp hour Battle Born Lithium Batteries. We can drain these batteries down to close to zero. With traditional led acid batteries, you cannot drain the batteries very far before you begin to have power issues. Basically just because you have a 14-volt battery, doesn’t mean you have 14 volts of available power. Around 11 volts, inverters will go into preservation mode because the battery has been drained. Meaning you have nowhere near the available power with lead acid or AGM that you have available with lithium.
Boondocking Tip #2 – Solar is nice, but not a must
Currently, we do not have solar. But after this lengthy boondocking experience, we are planning on installing it in the near future. We were able to use our onboard generator for a few hours each day. This allowed us to charge up our lithium batteries with our inverter/charge from Xantrex. Now, because our rig is an older motorhome, we replaced the factory inverter/charger. The replacement is the Freedom XC Pro which has a lithium profile. This means we are getting the full amount of charge we should be. And are not putting something old with something new which can be a potential for issues.
Boondocking Tip #3 – OxyGenics Shower Head
I was so surprised how our new shower head from Oxygenics really changed our boondocking experience. Showering in our RV when we’ve not had hookups wasn’t fun. This is because the water pressure with our water pump has been fairly low. With the oxygenics shower head, the pressure was NO DIFFERENT than we are hooked up to water! And this showerhead actually saves water. The way the oxygenics shower head works is water passes through an air vacuum at high speed, which infuses oxygen into every drop of water. Then, pressurized and expanded the water is released through the shower head nozzles, creating a highly efficient use of water that conserves energy and water. I am loving this new shower head both for boondocking and for also just everyday use when hooked up to water as well.
So, will we do this style of camping (boondocking) AGAIN? I’m going to answer that question a little later but first I do want to say that one of the things I was super thankful for during this experience was NO black tank smells. We couldn’t dump our tanks for 9 days so that’s a lot of you-know-what in the black tank. And did not struggle with smells ONCE because we use Unique Camping + Marine drop-in pods and toilet cleaner.
Boondocking Tip #4 – Water Conservation
There are some things we did to conserve not only water but waste tank space. (And we got some of these great tips from our friends that we went boondocking with).
One thing we did was to use use a dish pan in the sink to catch all our dishwater when washing dishes. Then we used this water (instead of our freshwater) to flush the toilet. We did the same thing when showering and waiting for the water to heat up. We would catch this freshwater in a bucket and then use it to either flush the toilet or for washing dishes. And then again, always use dirty dishwater for flushing the toilet. I also washed some socks and underwear in a bucket of water we captured from the shower as we ran out of clean socks about ½ way through! (Next time we will have at least a 2 week supply of socks and undies on hand)!
Boondocking Tip #5 – Black Tank Conservation
Now this gets a little edgy and it’s not exactly glamping, but we did it and it works to conserve on that black tank space! If you’re a dude, this is easier but you can always go find a tree in the woods. And if you’re not a dude like me, well, I always had things with squatting in the woods where I swear I would ALWAYS end up peeing on my shoe. So, what’s a girl to do to help conserve this black tank space?
Enter the red solo cup!
Now if you’ve ever needed to give a urine sample, for any reason, changes are you’ve peed in a cup. Same concept. But then take the cup outside and dump it in the woods! (Side note, our kids thought we were kidding when we told them about this, but then they saw the red solo cup sitting in the bathroom!)
Another black tank tip is to use TP to line the toilet bowl BEFORE #2 to limit the amount of water needed to flush things down.
Boondocking Tip #6 – Body wipes
Our good friends Chris and Aaron from Irene Iron Travels gifted us this bag of wipes and it really helps! These are alcohol-free so they don’t dry out your skin and you can use them frequently. They’re also fairly large! Using these wipes means not having to shower every day unless you get really dirty or sweaty. Also, wiping off feet before getting into bed helps keep sheets clean.
So, after 9 days with no hookups whatsoever – will we do it again? YES! We had so much fun being able to be off the grid and it was even more fun because we circled the wagons so to speak with our friends and shared this experience with them too.
I have been so apprehensive about boondocking in the past thinking it would be too much like “camping” but with all the comforts of home it actually wasn’t that bad and the challenge of making things last was actually pretty fun.
Let us know in the comments, what are your best tips or your questions about boondocking. The RV community is the best and we can all help each other by having a discussion in the comments section!
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