When we first went boondocking, we had no idea what we were doing. We were extremely intimidated that we didn’t have all of the essentials for boondocking that most boondockers had. We thought boondocking must haves would be a long list of expensive items.
We’re talking solar panels, a huge battery bank, water bags, and everything else we’ve seen to keep you comfortable while off-grid. However, after our first trip out, we realized there are only a few boondocking must haves to ensure your trip is a success.
If you are also finding yourself intimidated to get out there and try boondocking, have no fear! Below are the simple boondocking must haves you’ll need. Also, we recommend to have you first boondocking experience somewhere with wide open spaces (the southwest is perfect for this) and only plan to stay a few nights. After all, your first trip is just to start building your confidience with boondocking!
Now, let’s get into it!
Boondocking Must Haves for Power
When it comes to powering your RV off-grid, you will need some sort of power source. That means solar panels, a battery bank, or a generator. Before our first trip we purchased a 3500 Predator generator since we only had one lead-acid battery in our rig.
We had the generator on pretty much anytime we were in the rig. However, we turned it off at night and when we left. We barely noticed it inside and we made sure to park far enough away from our neighbors so they couldn’t hear it either.
For your first boondocking trip, we recommend following suit with purchasing a generator for your first time out. It’s truly one of the most important essentials for boondocking. Why make the large investment for solar and batteries when you’re not even sure you’re going to like boondocking?
- 212cc air-cooled OHV gas engine
- 11 hour run-time @ 25% capacity
I thought having a generator would be complicated but it literally came with a 30 amp adapter and we just used our regular dogbone and power cord for the RV to plugin.
- Handles make unplugging easier
- 30 AMP (TT 30P) male to 50 AMP (14 to 50R) female
Our RV did not come with a factory installed inverter. An inverter converts DC power to AC power from the battery. So if you also don’t have an inverter, that means when the generator is off, you won’t have any power to your outlets.
To get around this you can either have a portable battery that you can use to power your coffee, charge your laptops, or anything else that requires an outlet. Another option is to install an inverter to your battery.
Portable Power Station
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In addition to your generator, you will need a few other boondocking must haves that are essentials for making you trip less stressful.
You will want to lock your generator to your RV. While we’ve never had a problem with left while boondocking, we also don’t want to give any opportunities for our generator to grow legs.
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This is definitely a must have item to refill the fuel for your generator.
- Thumb button control for precise pouring
- 7/8-inch funnel spout fills even the smallest equipment
- For best performance, follow the manufacturer's recommendations in your vehicle owner’s manual.
- Helps prevent build up that can cause rust and corrosion
- Keeps fuel fresh for up to 24 months during storage
- Eliminates need to drain fuel prior to storage
Boondocking Must Haves for Water
Your RV will have a freshwater tank, so be sure to fill that up with water before heading out. However, if you run out of water while you are still out there, you are going to need a few items to make refilling your freshwater a breeze.
Portable Water Bag
We highly recommend this bag. We love it because it holds 60 gallons of water when it’s full and is extremely compact when it’s empty, making it easy to store.
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Portable Water Jugs
We normally drink out of our filtered faucet but we realized we could be more conservative with the tank water if we weren’t drinking it. So make sure to get some drinking water jugs to ensure your tank water lasts longer.
- Rigid, 7-gallon rectangular water container with molded contour grip
- Space-saving design for easy storing and stacking when empty
Portable Water Jugs
You’ll want to pick up some paper plates to minimize the dishes you will be doing. We didn’t use them for every meal but even rotating meals helped not use so much water on dishes.
- 114 piece set includes 16 9" compartments plates, 16 7" side plates, 16 12oz Cups, 16 forks, 16 knives, 32 dinner...
- Disposable and compostable
Boondocking Must Haves for Your Waste Water Tanks
Once you start boondocking, you will learn how long your tanks can last for. We have a 50-gallon black tank and two 50-gallon grey tanks, so we can last over 14 days by being really conservative with water. Our shower grey tank is the weakest link because that one fills up the fastest.
Portable Waste Tote
If you need to empty any of your tanks, you’ll need something called a blue boy. I’m sure you’ve seen them around but it’s simply a portable waste tank with wheels that you can fill up from your RV sewer outlet and then take somewhere else to dump. It’s made our list of boondocking must haves for those of you who want to say out longer.
- Ready-to-use kit includes everything needed to transport waste from your RV or trailer to a dump station when you’re...
- Large, heavy-duty, no-flat wheels with bearings make transporting the tow tank smooth and effortless. Removable steel...
Large Shower Wipes
We would also recommend picking up some body wipes/towels to freshen up between showers. These are made for actually cleansing your body and do a lot better than regular baby wipes. There are many brands on the market today because it’s truly one of the big essentials for boondocking.
- Naturally Formulated - They’re all-natural bathing wipes. We infuse these travel wipes with natural ingredients like...
- Easy-to-Use - Experience easy peasy cleaning with Venture Wipes. Our wet wipes are packed in single-use pouches for your...
Additional Boondocking Must Haves
As you can tell, you don’t need much to get started on your very own boondocking trip when it comes to water, power, and sewer. There are a few other essentials that we would like to recommend though, just to make sure you’re comfortable and safe out there.
High Quality Flashlight
It is dark when you’re off-grid, so one of our simple boondocking must haves is a flashlight. A high-quality flashlight will help you see your surroundings at night.
- SUPER-BRIGHT: 900-lumen (max) Cree LED sweeps bright light over the length of about two football fields (660 ft / 200 m)...
- LONG-LASTING: Up to 6 hours (Medium-beam mode) of powerful, non-diminishing brightness from the included premium...
You should have at least a basic first aid kit on hand. Better yet, read our blog about How To Create The Best RV Emergency Kit To Handle Any Disastrous Situation.
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- All-purpose, compact first aid kit includes essential first aid and wound care supplies like cleansing wipes, gauze...
Entertainment While Boondocking
Jason loves to play board games so we always have a few with us. They allowed us to kill the rumble of the generator for a while and relax. No electricity needed. Here are a few of our favorite games.
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- 2010 Mensa Favorite Brainy Games Winner
- Join a team of fearless adventurers on a do-or-die mission to capture four sacred treasures from the ruins of this...
That’s it! These boondocking must haves are all you need to get out there! Once you start to build your boondocking confidence, you can begin to stay out longer and begin investing in the higher-priced items. They’ll be worth it if you plan to boondock more often! Lastly, be sure to check out 40 RV Boondocking Tips To Make Your Off-Grid Camping Better.
Last update on 2021-04-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API