The camper van term “boondocking” is commonly used by motorhome enthusiasts to talk about camping at sites without conveniences such as water, electricity and sewer hookups. When boondocking, the reliance for power comes from batteries or solar panels.
…Or as UrbanDictionary refers to it: “Those people who are staying overnight in parking lots are boondocking. You can also boondock by lakes or anywhere you can park overnight.”
UrbanDictionary uses the term in a sentence: “Every time I go to Wally World in the summer the parking lot is filled with people boondocking.
But boondocking is so much more than class B motorhomes and RV’s hanging out in the parking lot of a Walmart. Boondocking is camping or RV’ing without hookups (water, electric, sewer). “Dispersed camping”, “dry camping”, “wild camping”, “off the cord” and “off the grid” are all nicknames for boondocking.
Boondocking is the epitome of using your class B motorhome or RV for adventure! Imagine driving off into the wild and camping! With today’s non-stop smartphone and dependence on technology, boondocking is a fantastic way to literally “unplug” and get in touch with nature and your fellow companions.
Government agencies (BLM, National Forest, etc.) give boondocking the official name of “dispersed camping.” Boondocking is a great way to enjoy areas you might not otherwise be able to see when staying at your typical campsite or RV resort. It’s also a great way to save a good chunk of change, especially if you plan on getting a lot of use out of your recreational vehicle.
You may have some questions about boondocking. Is it safe? Is it legal? Where do you go? Is it sanitary? Hopefully, we can answer some of these questions and you can start boondocking like the best of ‘em!
Is it Legal? Where do you go?
As long as you stay in designated “dispersed camping” areas, go on ahead! Free public lands like National Forests and the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) have absolutely no problem with you staking your claim. Not sure where to find a spot for boondocking? Use the app or some of the websites below and you will be amazed at how easy it is to find a perfectly legal place to camp or motorhome.
- US Public Lands for iPhone/iPad & Android
- Oh, Ranger! ParkFinder™
How Safe is Boondocking?
Since most crime occurs in cities rather than out in the wilderness, boondocking is typically pretty safe. First of all, you must remember: YOU’RE ON WHEELS! If you get a bad feeling about a place, it’s usually pretty easy to leave. A loud fog horn, bear spray and heavy flashlight are good things to have on hand just in case.
Is it Sanitary? How do I get water?
Many people think no hookups means tons of gray water. While gray water can fill up before you know it, if you are using bio-degradable/all natural bath and cleaning products you should be just fine. Obviously, you should never open up your tank and dump all of your gray water at once since this is against the law! However, if you check your levels each day and use a watering can to sprinkle grey water around to keep the dust down then you should be good to go!
With summer coming to an end, fall is a great time to get out and explore before winter keeps you indoors. If you’ve just recently purchased an RV or motorhome, do your research and start getting affordable and exciting use out of your vehicle!
If you are looking for a class B motorhome, conversion van or RV, Classic Vans in the San Francisco Bay area has the ultimate selection of new and used vans as well as other travel vehicles. Browse our inventory or call (866) 320-8777 to get into a motorhome or conversion van of your dreams today!
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