We just went out on our first boondocking trip, so obviously we’re not experts, but it took us forever to get out there because we were intimidated that we didn’t have solar, didn’t have a massive battery bank, had no idea how we’d get more water, and everything like that. It actually gave us the same feeling we had before we started full time RVing of basically just being uneasy about the unknown. We were actually forced out by our friends Kyle and Olivia from Drivin and Vibin so it made us pick up a few additional products and then say “well let’s see how this goes!”
So without further ado, these are simply just the bare necessities to get out there and get your feet wet boondocking.
Let’s talk about power
We went out with the one battery that came with our RV off the dealership’s lot. Obviously, the more batteries the better but you could go out with one like us.
We bought a generator, because one measly battery isn’t going to do diddly squat for powering your RV. We had the generator on pretty much anytime we were in the rig but we turned it off at night and when we left.
We bought the 3500 from Harbor Freight because we heard it was pretty quiet and we’d have to agree with that. We barely noticed it inside and we made sure to park far enough away from our neighbors so they couldn’t hear it either. We even turned it on and took a long walk around the RV to see if our neighbors could hear it. We don’t think anyone could because they were way out of the radius that we walked.
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.
We do not have an inverter which converts DC power to AC power from the battery, so if the generator was off, we couldn’t use any of our outlets. Not like it would’ve done any good because again, one battery isn’t going to do much.
The way we did get around that is we have a portable battery that we’ve had for years so we just brought this inside and used it to charge our cell phones or laptop if we forgot to do so while the generator was on. Oh we also used it at night to power our air purifier because we are both addicted to sleeping with white noise. This is not the one we have since it is not made anymore but it is a similar product.
So a few other things you’ll need that are related to the generator are:
Moving onto water
We have about a 100 gallon freshwater tank that we went ahead and filled up before we went out boondocking. Although, we couldn’t make it the full 14 days without needing to add more water.
We purchased a 60 gallon portable water bag that has your typical water hose size tube so you can go get water somewhere else and bring it back. We love this thing because it holds 60 gallons of water when it’s full and it’s so compact when it’s empty and easy to store. You could go get those 5 or 10 gallon water jugs but we love this since our freshwater tank is so large.
Other things you’ll need related to water are drinking 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. We just got those 2.5 gallon ones and that’s what all three of us drank.
As much as I hate recommending this since we’re trying to reduce our paper and plastic use, you’ll probably want to pick up some paper plates to minimize the dishes you’re doing. We didn’t use them for every meal but even rotating meals helped not use so much water on dishes. We found these compostable plates on Amazon that we will be buying when our current plates run out.
Let’s talk about those black and grey tanks!
This is something I was really worried about but it ended being a non-issue. We have one 50 gallon black tank and two 50 gallon grey tanks. We were close but we did not have to dump while out boondocking! It’s actually our shower grey tank that is the weakest link because that one fills up the fastest and the tank we were most worried about.
So, if you do 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. Since we were out boondocking with friends, one of them said if we needed it we could use theirs but thankfully we didn’t! It is something we want to pick up before we head out on our own though.
So speaking of grey tanks, we would also recommend picking up some body wipes/towels to freshen up between showers. The ones we picked up at the store before heading out were awful but we were told to get Epic wipes online for next time. They are bigger wipes and supposed to do a lot better job then the tiny ones we got.
Okay, so that covers, water, power, and sewer. Let’s move onto some miscellaneous stuff we found really useful.
A really good flashlight! It is DARK when you’re boondocking and I’m not gonna lie, I’m slightly scared of the dark and got this image in my head of something rushing me. So I was really thankful that we picked up these super strong flashlights before we got out there. The beam is adjustable so I always had this bad boy on long distance and was scanning far out in front of me. So besides that it’s just good to have for light at night and seeing in the pitch dark.
You should also have at least a basic first aid kit. We were out with Carmen one morning and she likes to play chase so we were running around the car and the RV (because those were the only two things to hide behind in the desert) and I was running full speed and tripped over a rock and ate it, hard. So having the little first aid kit we do have was good to make sure we got some antibacterial cream on all my cuts and some bandaids.
Electricity free entertainment
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 my favorites and Jason’s.
Alright, so that’s really it! Those are really the bare, bare necessities you need to get out there!
We did 14 days because we had our friends out there and that gave us the confidence to stay longer but seriously, just get out there for two nights, three nights to see how you like it and see what YOU need.
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below and let us know if you’ve ever been boondocking before or if you’re now ready to try it out!
Last update on 2020-05-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API