Tips for Dry Camping Longer with a 'Boondocking Reset'

Boondock longer, no extra gear required.

Jon & Nadia Bajuelo Jon & Nadia Bajuelo  |  03.26.2019

You’ve come to love the off-grid camping experience because you can go deeper into the wild and connect with nature. Or, maybe you’ve found a beautiful, forested campground, but it has zero hookups. Pretty soon you might find yourself wishing you could boondock longer.

There are certainly great boondocking options built into some Winnebagos — hello Pure 3 Boldt and Travato! But if your rig isn’t equipped with lithium power, you can still have plenty of boondocking fun. The next time you’re out boondocking, try extending your dry camping stay with a “Boondocking Reset.”

What is a Boondocking Reset?

Power consumption, water consumption, and tank capacity impact the length of your boondocking stay the most. You can control some of these things, but it can wear on you even if you want to stay out longer.

For example, you can take shorter showers, but after a few days, you might wish you had sewer hookups. You could also go without using certain kitchen gadgets that need to be plugged in, like an electric kettle. Or, you could avoid using your 110-120-volt TV. You can definitely run your generator, but depending on where you are you may not wish to – or you may have certain restrictions on when you can.

For the most part, you’ll probably be planning somewhere between two days to a week, depending on your rig, for an average boondock stay.

That’s where a boondocking reset comes in. It is a chance to refill your fresh tank, empty your grey and black tanks, refill propane, and shower a little longer.

boondocking reset

Where Can I Go for a Reset?

Most of the time, we reset at a developed campground. We generally like to find a nearby state park, where we can settle down, enjoy electric hook-ups, and go about emptying and refilling tanks and propane. We usually stay for one or two nights.

A private RV campground works well too, if you’re looking for a day or two with sewer hook-ups.

If there isn’t a campground nearby, you can do a quicker “reset” at a truck stop, like a Flying J. In this manner, you can grab a hot, long shower along with propane. Often, you’ll be able to dump your tanks and refill fresh water too.

If not, it’ll just take two stops to reset. If you’re selected truck stop doesn’t have a dump, look for an RV dump station using your Campendium or Park Advisor app.

A Few Tips Before You Boondock

If you’re a beginner, be sure to know how much power your appliances draw. Also, be aware if your fridge is a DC/AC and propane fridge, or a 120-volt residential fridge (AC only).

Keep track of how quickly you go through your water and fill your tanks on a previous trip to better estimate how long you have before you need to ‘reset.’ It is also smart to take an extra jug of water with you, so you can pour it into your fresh tank in case you cut it too close or your estimate is a little off.

Track the weather before you go. Remember that if it’s cold and you run your furnace, the furnace will draw power from your batteries, even if it’s a propane furnace.

extend boondocking

That’s it! It’s that easy! Boondocking doesn’t have to be complicated or last for consecutive days on end. It’s really easy to enjoy if you extend stays with a little reset in between boondocking sites.

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  1. Seth Bergen Posted on 05.01.2019

    I have heard about a service offered by a company where you pay $50 a year for the privilege of a list that tells you about farms in places where you can stay overnight for a minimal or no fee at all please advise the website for this service thank you

    1. Brooke Baum Posted on 05.02.2019

      Hey Seth, I believe you are speaking of Harvest Hosts! This is one of my personal favorites! Here is an article I wrote about my experience a few years ago:

      Thanks! Brooke, GoLife Editor