Boondocking is one of the most adventurous and flexible ways to RV camp. Also known as dry or wild camping, this term refers to parking your RV on public lands without water, sewer or electric hookups. While you don’t have the conveniences of an RV park, you do have the ability to find solitude, space and scenic views, particularly when camping on BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land or in national forests. The best part? It’s totally free! It’s a great way to spend some time in your RV this summer, but it is important to keep in mind how to beat the heat as summer temperatures rise. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you stay cool on your next summer boondocking adventure.
Look for shade
First and foremost, when you’re searching for a place to set up shop, try to find a spot that has ample shade. Keeping your RV in the shade will naturally keep your RV cooler and more comfortable for summer boondocking. For even more sun protection, camp with an RV that has an awning. Protecting your windows from direct sunlight can help mitigate the issue of warm sun rays shining through your RV windows and trapping heat inside. Some RVers even opt to add an awning sun screen shade kit that anchors to the ground with tent stakes to further reduce exposure to sunlight. This strategy also conveniently creates a nice outdoor living space as well!
Consider solar panels or a generator
Equipping your RV with solar panels is a great way to power your rig while boondocking. If you’re shopping for an RV, look for one that has solar prep. Of course, if you have solar panels, parking in the shade isn’t the best way to go about boondocking. Instead, be strategic about where you park, working to point the shades towards the sun and keep the windows pointed away from the harshest afternoon sunlight. Another approach to power while boondocking is to purchase an additional generator. Most new RVs have built-in generators, but if you want to boondock for long periods of time and tend to need extra power, an external one may be a wise addition. Extending your battery banks is another option.The best way to know which is right for you is to know how much power you typically use on a camping trip and how long you plan on staying.
Keep cool and conserve power
When you’re camping in the summertime, you need to be able to stay cool and still always conserve how much power you’re using regardless of whether or not you’ve added extra power. One way to do so is to pack battery powered fans to keep air circulating inside the RV. You can also run the ceiling fans in your RV as they require fairly little power – just remember to shut them off when you aren’t inside as fans circulate air and cool people, but don’t lower temperatures in rooms. You can also use nature to your advantage by opening the windows in the early morning and late evening to allow cooler air to circulate through your rig. Another strategy is to make sure you do all of your cooking outside so you don’t heat up the interior of your RV. An RV equipped with an outside kitchen is a huge perk for boondocking.
In addition to conserving power, you’ll want to conserve water as well. Once your grey or black water tanks are full or your fresh water tank is empty, you’ll have to end your trip. Taking showers, flushing, washing dishes and washing hands all uses up your water supply bit by bit. Be aware of how much you are using, and use less when possible. Take shorter showers, turn off water while you brush your teeth and scrub your hands. You should bring jugs of water or bottled water along to drink instead of using your fresh water tank.
It’s also highly important for everyone staying in your RV to keep hydrated when camping in the summer heat – both people and pets alike. The bottled water is again crucial here. You can conserve water in other ways, but don’t skimp on how much water you are drinking. Keeping yourself cool internally will help you deal with the summer heat better. Bring along some electrolyte mixes or sports drinks to replenish electrolytes you lose with sweat. Try to avoid dehydrating drinks like coffee and tea.
Let someone know where you are going
Finally, it’s important no matter what season you are boondocking to let someone know where you’re headed. Boondocking is a safe way to camp, but if anything were to go wrong, there aren’t plenty of people around to help like there are at campgrounds and RV parks. Letting a family friend know where you’re headed to spend your time boondocking can give you and the people you care about peace of mind.
Tips for Summer Boondocking in Your RV
Armed with these tips, you’ll have a boondocking experience that’s both comfortable and fun! If you’re looking for an RV that suits your boondocking needs, search new and used RVs on RVUSA.com. For more RVing tips and tricks, visit our blog.