Look through these and any other RV Boondocking tips you can find. Some of them will work for you, as is. Some will require a little massaging to fit your ways of doing things. Eventually, you will be inspired to invent some of your own techniques and you can teach the rest of us.
#5 - Convert from incandescent to fluorescent or LED lighting so you can read the rest of your RV tips and conserve power!
#6 - Be sure to isolate large appliance ac circuits from your inverter. The draw from this equipment would empty the largest RV battery bank quickly. Far faster than your solar array can recharge.
#7 - You can save money on your inverter if you can operate on modified sine wave. However, many electronic devices, especially computers, require pure sine wave. Investigate what you need before you invest in your inverter. Pure sine wave inverters are widely available, they just cost significantly more.
#8 - You can often conserve power by using multiple small inverters. Large inverters ( ie, 2000 watt) often draw as much as 2 more amps to power small loads than a small, relatively inexpensive "pocket" inverter. Small TVs and such will run well on a pocket inverter, saving power, while the main inverter can be used to power the microwave, hair dryer etc.
#9 - Inverters also will protect delicate electronics from power surges. Many people run their computers and such on the inverter, even when plugged into shore power, for that reason.
#10 - Inverters draw a small amount of power, even when there are no loads. Always switch them off when not in use.
#11 - Many appliances and all instant on TVs draw a small amount of power even when off but plugged in. Save some more power! Un-plug all unused appliances.
#12 - Charge all small battery powered items ( cell phones, laptop batteries etc.) when driving around your dispersed camping area. Save your house battery power.
#13 - RV furnances are famous for the rapidity with which they deplete your battery bank. Acquire and utilize a catalytic heater. Be sure to observe all safety precautions.
#14 - Fantastic fans are fantastic! They work with very low power draws and move an amazing amount of air cooling your rv boondocking rig.
#15 - From Reader Vince - Read your article about installing solar panels on your RV. You mentioned pulling wire without a fish.I use a friend of mine called Beauregard(a mouse). What I do is take a piece of plstic sandwich bag, put a crumpled piece of paper in the plastic about the size of the conduit that I plan to pull wire through.(tight enough that it will barely seal)then tie a string (kite string works great)on the plastic (looks like a mouse when it is done). Then go to the opposite end of the conduit and put my shop vac with a home made adapter(cardbord, whatever)draw the mouse with the string (tail)through the conduit tie the string to rope or directly to the wire and gently pull.
#16 - When dry camping use 6 gallon jugs, large water tanks (50 gal+- ), or water bladders to transport fresh water re-supply to camp.
#17 - Use your grey water tank to properly flush the black water tank:
#18 - While waiting for hot water to reach the faucet, catch the cold water in a pitcher or basin. This water can be used for watering pets, cooking or flushing the toilet. Any water you catch and can use elsewhere reduces the water you have to haul to camp.
#19 - Really intense boondockers will shower with a plastic dish pan on the floor of the shower stall. The water they collect is reused to flush the toilet.
#20 - Utilize Wet wipes for minor boondocking cleaning chores of counters, hands, faces etc. to conserve water.
#21 - Use paper plates and plastic utensils to reduce dish washing.
#22 - If your toilet cannot be flushed without activating the water valve, install a water cutoff valve in the supply line. This will allow the use of the alternative water recycling methods or even the use of lake / creek water to flush with.
#23 - Most RVers travel with their fresh water tanks pretty low to save weight and conserve fuel figuring they can fill up when they get to the campground. If you are going to boondock, keep your fresh water full and your grey and black tanks empty. You usually won't find a hose bib out in your BLM or NFS boondocking camp!
#24 - Regularly sanitize your fresh water tank to minimize the chances of catching a bug from your own water system when boondocking.
#25 - Take "Navy" and "GI" showers on alternate days to conserve water. An RV Boondocking tip we learned in the service that can acutally be used in the civilian world!
#26 - Use the restrooms as much as possible in restraunts, service stations, etc. along the way when on the road.
#27 - Turn the water heater off until 10 or 15 minutes before you need hot water. No sense in burning propane 24/7 when you only need hot water a few minutes a day.
#28 - Shower together! Or at least one after the other to reduce water heater run time. May even spice up your marriage!Even RV Boondocking tips to save propane can be fun!
#29 - Solar ovens work well! Save propane and electricity and help keep your RV cooler in hot weather cooking outside with a solar oven!
#30 - Turn the furnace off and cuddle with your loving significant other and save propane! ..........................OK, you're right, I am a smart alec!
#31 - This RV Boondocking tip is put here in the General RV Boondocking tip category because it has more to do with etiquette than electricity. Treat your dry camping neighbors with respect, never run your generator before six or seven in the morning or too late at night (10pm max). The sound of a generator droning on endlessly is a severe agitation for many people trying to find some serenity out in far country
#32 - Orient your RV to maximize cooling or heating depending on your need. Maximize the sun through the windows for heat or make the shade of the awnings most effective for cooling. Orient for cross ventilation of breezes as well.
#33 - Check the weather report.......................go where the weather is 70 degrees! Think of all the heating propane and air conditioning electricity you'll save! ................... Well what did you expect? You already knew I was a smart alec!
#34 - Keep the bumper stickers on your rig to a minimum. You may be proud of your NRA membership, but when you are inside Disneyland, the thieves working the parking lot see that membership sticker as a statement that the liklihood of high value property being inside is very good.
#35 - Keep your 4wd in 2wd until you need it! 4wd only gets you stuck 50' further in. Get stuck in 2wd? Kick in the 4by, back out and go home!
#36 - Don't just turn off the "Blue" road and take off blind down a narrow two wheel track! Finding out 2 miles in that there is nowwhere to camp and nowhere to turn your 30' fifth wheel around becomes kind of an ugly situation late in the afternoon! Ask a local first or stay in an accessible campground for a night or two while you scout the area in your tow vehicle or toad.
#37 - Take your trash to town. Do not leave it, burned in a campfire. Properly dispose of it in an appropriate dumpster.Seek permision of a company or store which you patronized or use a public dumpster. Do not impose the cost of your trash on private companies. That reflects poorly on all RVers.
#38 - One of the best Rv Boondocking tips I can pass on is slow down, enjoy the trip, and have fun!
#39 - For the absolute best list of RVer journals and blogs on the net, go to Hitch Itch and you'll find another source of the best RV Boondocking tips information out there, told to you by all the folks that are doing it !
#40 - A little warning .............. Use just one ground guide!
A little "thing" happened on our recent trip to the Australian Shepherd Nationals in West Bend, Wisconsin that bears inclusionin RV Boondocking tips!
It reminded me of something I have run into before, and not just the tree neither!
I was having to turn the rig around, 180 degrees, in a poorly setup RV park to back into our site. (I gave in to "pressures" to stay near the fair grounds and not boondock).
They'd set up a cul de sac sort of arrangement ........not real well thought out. The area was just too darn small for a truck and fiver to swing around in, so I was forced to jockey back and forth a few times to get all the way around.
Other RVers, already there, had a bunch of guests, and people were scrambling to move cars out of the way!
In amongst all that commotion two or three RVers, attempting to be helpful, (a good thing) were trying to ground guide me, vying with each other to shout out directons and gain my attention. So, with all the distracton, I didn't see or hear my "legal" ground guide (my Wife!) trying to get me to not run into that tree!
So, the RV Boondocking tip (warning) is this, pick a single ground guide, and just one, to guide you into a site or through any tight spots requiring a ground guide. Take your time, focus on and trust your guide, and push all the other distractions out of your mind!
This is one time where too many cooks spoil the RV! Gratefully our damage was just a little ding on the corner of the bumper, it could be significant though so be careful. Just one guide!
I suppose, that in real tight situations, more than one guide could be used to watch all "corners". But even then, I think I would have the extra guides "send" their instructions to your one, controlling, guide so you don't get banged up by the distraction of multiple folks trying to "help".
#41 - Along the way on that trip I noticed several RV's on the "hooks" of a tow truck. I remember wondering if they had set up "towing insurance". Nothing worse than breaking down on the back side of beyond. The towing bill for a good sized RV can break your wallet. Heidi and I have only needed towing one time in the last few years (knock on wood). We were glad we had ERS through Good Sam that cold, rainy, night! Just like they said, there were no additional fees or charges. They got there quick and their driver took great care of us. No regrets. Check it out. Check out what your insurance pays. I'm thinkin' you won't regret ERS either.***update winter of '06.***We had the Truck towed. Same excellant service. Turned out not one thing wrong with the truck, just a bad key chip! But the driver got to us in less than an hour, in bad weather, and made it all easy.
If you have any Rv Boondocking tips you would like to share, please send them along by "RV Telegraph" (The Readers Tips page on the Nav bar).
Ben Jensen Books
An Action Mystery, Contemporary Western Series
Jeb Taylor Books
A Western Series