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.
- 212cc air-cooled OHV gas engine
- 11 hour run-time @ 25% capacity
- Digital LCD Screen with low oil, overload and output light indicators
- Integrated smooth-rolling casters for portability
- Electronic overload protection
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 (14-50R) female
- Handles are molded and made of heavy-duty polyvinyl plastic
- 180 degree turn from male end to female end reduces stress
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.
- 168Wh lead acid battery portable power station can power up to 5 devices at once (14Ah @12V)
- Continuous 80W, 160W surge modified-sine wave inverter, 2.1A USB ports, 120W 12V ports
- Charge phones, tablets, cameras, tablets, and other small devices
- Recharges from AC, 12V or solar panels (sold separately)
- Designed and engineered by power station experts with a US-based customer service center
So a few other things you’ll need that are related to the generator are:
- This listing is for one (1) 20 ft (6.2m) long Master Lock Python cable, one Python locking head, two keys, and one velcro strap to hold excess cable for compact storage. FYI, we cannot control key numbers for listings that are fulfilled by Amazon, therefore this lock won't be keyed alike if you order multiples
- ADJUSTABLE - It's the world's first adjustable locking cable that's always the right length for your application. These cable locks feature a one of a kind patented locking mechanism that holds the cable securely at any position from 1' (30cm) to 30' (9.1m) for infinite locking positions. Custom lengths up to 30 ft are available
- TOUGH CABLE - 3/8 in diameter (10mm) cut resistant cables are made with braided steel for strength and flexibility. The cable is covered with a protective vinyl coating to protect against scratches. Thieves will think twice before trying to tinker with your valuables if secured with these Master Lock Python cables
- INFINITE APPLICATIONS - Ideal for locking down multiple items at once; such as job site equipment, motorcycles, lawn furniture, ladders, boats, skis, generators, pickup truck cargo, spare tire locks, and much more! Cable end threads through places other cables cannot
- TIEDOWN CONVENIENCE - cinches tight for improved security and no "flapping" within pickup bed or on trailer. Weather Tough aluminum alloy lock, cylinder shutter and vinyl coated cable. The Limited Lifetime Warranty provides peace of mind from a brand you can trust
- Thumb button control for precise pouring
- 7/8-inch funnel spout fills even the smallest equipment
- Attached dust cover keeps your spout clean
- Integrated 20 mesh stainless steel screen
- CARB and EPA compliant
- Conventional motor oil (5W-30, 5 quart); Formulated to reduce likelihood of Low Speed Pre-Ignition
- Helps reduce friction for improved fuel economy and protection against engine wear
- High resistance to viscosity and thermal breakdown
- Helps to fight volatility burn-off to minimize engine deposits and exhaust emissions
- API SN Plus and ILSAC GF-5 approved; always follow vehicle manual recommendations
- Keeps fuel fresh for up to 24 months during storage
- Eliminates need to drain fuel prior to storage
- Ensures quick, easy starts after storage
- Effective in all gasoline, including ethanol blends
- For all gasoline engines, including 2-cycle
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.
- "THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD FOR THE RV OWNER" Sick and tired of stretching hoses while you're out boondocking? Don't go dry camping without bringing an AQUATANK-2. It will change the way you enjoy your RV experience! Keep in mind, these tanks are made and warrantied for a static environment so if you're going to use it some other way, please make sure to secure it tightly and keep it away from sharp objects.
- "DECEPTIVELY TOUGH!" Our AQUATANK-2 systems have state-of-the-art material that is thinner and lighter than any rubber bladder but much stronger than you would imagine. Test the sample provided and see exactly what we mean; just try to poke it, stretch it, or rip it and you'll see what we mean. It's Tough Stuff!
- "NO WEIRD TASTE" BPA's are not good... they can interfere with your natural hormone functions and they make your water taste just plain weird. Say no to Bisphenol A and Phthalates and invest in the safest, toughest, and lightest bladder on the market! The AQUATANK-2's inner lining is 100% Food-Grade TPU (Polyurethane) and the Outer Shell is Durable Nylon.
- "PEACE OF MIND WATER STORAGE" With all of the events happening in the world right now, having a large amount of drinkable water storage is incredibly important. When you're in need of water, the inlet and outlet tubes make filling and using the water super easy!
- "BANG FOR BUCK IS 5 STARS +" Your friends will be green with envy when they see you filling your new AQUATANK-2 while they're still filling old 5 gallon buckets! Grab a simple water pump to go with your tank and the process is even quicker and easier.
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.
- 114 piece set includes 16 9" compartments plates, 16 7" side plates, 16 12oz Cups, 16 forks, 16 knives, 32 dinner napkins, and 2 green 84"x54" tablecloths
- Disposable and compostable
- Made from corn starch and plant fiber
- Green table cloths add a touch of color for any occasion
- Box kit it all comes in allows for quick packing up and stores easily
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.
- Ready-to-use kit includes everything needed to transport waste from your RV or trailer to a dump station when you're parked too far away for an rv sewer hose Kit includes accessories to clean, maintain and store the tote tank when not in use
- Large, heavy-duty, no-flat wheels with bearings make transporting the tow tank smooth and effortless. Removable steel tow adapter allows you to easily roll the tote tank as you would with a suitcase or luggage. You can also transport it by towing it slowly behind a golf cart or truck
- Gate valves make emptying the tote tank easier, and the smooth interior is easy to clean via the integrated tank rinser
- The integrated ladder hook can sturdily clamp on to RV or camper ladder when not in use and the body of the tote tank features grooves to securely strap it in place
- Constructed of extremely durable blow molded, UV stabilized HDPE that won't leak or deteriorate in the sun with a two year . Includes 3' RhinoEXTREME sewer hose with bayonet and lug fittings, 15" water hose rinse adapter, clear elbow with 4 in 1 adapter, clear double bayonet elbow, 3 storage caps, 2 caps with lanyards for rinse connections, steel tow adapter and TST orange drop-ins
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.
- Massive, disposable no-rinse cleansing body wipes when you can't shower
- Huge yet portable (50 x 80 cm unfolded)
- Cleans sweat while reducing odor easily and effectively
- Naturally safe and gentle on your body
- Respectful of our earth: made from bamboo, 100% biodegradable
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.
- SUPER-BRIGHT: 900-lumen (max) Cree LED sweeps bright light over the length of about two football fields (660 ft / 200 m) and reaches nearly 1000 ft. Fully zoomable from wide to narrow beam. Features 5 adaptable settings: High / Medium / Low / Strobe / SOS.
- LONG-LASTING: Up to 6 hours (Medium-beam mode) of powerful, non-diminishing brightness from the included premium rechargeable 3350mAh battery. LEDs boast an extended 50000-hour lifespan. Recharge in just 6 hours with a 1A adapter (not included) and the included Micro USB cable.
- TOUGH & RELIABLE: IP65-rated water resistant and designed for use in heavy rain. Its durable aluminum body and shock-resistance endure rough handling.
- SMART DESIGN: A pocket-friendly compact chassis with an anti-slip finish holds fast in your hand or stands on-end as an emergency lamp.
- WHAT YOU GET: Anker Bolder LC90 Flashlight, 18650 3350mAh rechargeable battery, Micro USB cable, wrist strap, welcome guide, and our worry-free 18-month warranty and friendly customer service.
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.
- 140-piece Johnson & Johnson All-Purpose Portable Emergency First Aid Kit is ideal for use at home, in cars, outdoors, in dorm rooms, and while camping, cooking and on-the-go to help care for minor cuts, scrapes, burns, itches, pain, skin rashes and insect bites
- All-purpose, compact first aid kit includes essential first aid supplies like cleansing wipes, gauze pads, assorted bandages, rolled gauze, antibiotic cream, itch stopping cream, acetaminophen caplets, an instant cold pack, and much more
- Includes a variety of Band-Aid Brand Adhesive Bandages in assorted sizes for minor wounds, as well as Band-Aid Brand First Aid Products gauze pads, non-stick pads and rolled gauze for larger minor wounds
- Includes full size 0.5 oz Neosporin + Pain Relief topical cream to help prevent infection while relieving pain and full size 1.0 oz Extra Strength Benadryl Itch-Stopping topical cream to help soothe itching
- Travel first aid kit also contains Tylenol Extra Strength acetaminophen caplets and a Bengay Non-Medicated Instant Cold Pack to help ease minor aches and pains, as well as two pairs of gloves and a helpful first aid guide
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.
- Hologram ensures Authenticity.
- Exploding kittens is a card game for people who are into kittens and explosions and laser beams and sometimes goats.
- Family-friendly, party game for 2-5 players (up to 9 players with 2 decks)
- This is the most-backed project in Kickstarter history and all cards feature illustrations by the oatmeal.
- Includes 56 cards (2.5 x 3.5 inches), box, and instructions.
- Great family game: do you remember playing this classic Hasbro board game from your childhood? With instant setup and easy play, this exclusive edition is great fun to play when the family is together
- Life is full of adventures: this edition of the game of life game includes 115 cards offering exciting choices As players move through the twists and turns of life
- Choose an interesting career: players can choose from 31 Career cards featuring unusual or quirky careers such as ice cream flavor Maker or a secret Agent
- Choose an awesome vacation: take a ski trip, a safari, or go snorkeling in a coral Reef Choose an awesome vacation from adventurous to relaxing
- Play spin to win: who's bound for instant wealth and fortune? Play spin to win and find out! At the end, players pay debts, add up the wealth, and whoever has the most money at the end of the game wins
- 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 perilous paradise
- 2 to 4 players
- Strategic thinking, problem solving and cooperation required
- Ages 10 and up
- For 2-5 players
- 2013 Spiele des Jahres game of the year
- Takes about 20-30 minutes to play
- 60 Hanabi cards, 8 blue clock tokens, 4 black fuse tokens
Alright, so that’s really it! Those are really the bare, bare necessities you need to get out there! We will have all of these items linked in the description of this video as well. We didn’t want this to turn into a whole list of things that would overwhelm you or you might not use, I mean you know you get yourself food and stuff. We really just wanted to keep this simple, and light so you have the confidence to pick up these few items and test it out! We did 14 days because we had our friends out there and that gave us 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. We’re so excited to keep boondocking and hope this video gave you the bare essentials and little bit of confidence to get out there! 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!
Watch our video!
Last update on 2019-07-22 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API