There’s a lot of recreational activities that you can do outside and there’s a lot of exciting places you can go for a weekend getaway. However, motel bills and food expenses are not always cheap.
That’s why a lot of people are opting to buy a travel trailer or RV instead of booking a hotel. It costs less and you can cook your own food. For travel trailers, you can store it away once you’re done with your travel.
However, as more people travel with RVs and Travel Trailers, different ways to travel using it also happened. As more and more places can be travelled by an RV and Travel trailers emerge more people would also want to camp there.
Campers, especially beginners will opt for those campsites that already have a lot of amenities and limitless utilities you can hook up to. Campsites that have all the activities you want to do also comes with a fee and you’ll fully rely on their hookups.
Other campers prefer that they want to be closer to nature and away from civilization as far as possible, however, not all campsites can give that. There’s a way to do that a that’s called DRY CAMPING.
What is Dry Camping?
Dry camping is when you camp using your RV to a site without any hookups for utilities. This means that there will be no electricity, water or sewer connections. However, this is less comfortable than campsites with hookups you will be able to camp without spending a lot of money.
There are camping sites or Corps of Engineering lands all over the US that will allow you to park or stay for free for a short period of time. Although other campers don’t prefer this due to limitations but a lot of campers dry camp due to cost and locations.
Boondocking Vs Dry Camping
As we said earlier, dry camping is camping using your RV to areas without hookups. Boondocking is camping far from civilization.
However, not all boondocking are dry camping. Boondocking can be considered as a type of dry camping. It more on the location where you are camping, not the act itself.
Why people do Dry Camping?
Most of the campers like to camp that is off the grid and would love to be closer to nature. They want the freedom that comes with this type of camping as they can camp to all locations which you can’t do if you’re looking for hookups.
Some do it as an act of defiance to the government as they refuse to pay government fees and taxes. Thus, they are willing to do those uncomfortable sacrifices.
Aside from that, many dry camping locations are completely free. Who wouldn’t love that?
Where would you Dry Camp?
As we mentioned earlier you can dry camp on several Corps of Engineer lands that are all over the US. Most of them are free or will not cost a lot depending on where you will dry camp.
There are other places that you could dry camps such as Wal-mart parking lots, truck stops, Interstate rest areas, and certain National Park Service facilities. Of course, when you chose a business establishment like Wal-mart or truck stops you need to ask permission first or at least try to purchase from them.
As a matter of fact, there’s already a lot of people that call themselves “nomads” who choose to live inside a trailer, RV or a Van and travel from places to places. Another thing that encourages campers to be a nomad is that the idea of camping for free which is mostly what happens when you dry camp.
Roles of Generators
When you do dry camping of couse you won’t have any access to hookups. Your utilities will come from your batteries and water tanks.
If you love dry camping, it’s best to invest ontop generators as this will be a great help for your camping. Although, it may come off as an expensive item to get for your RV, trust us you will really need a great generator if you want to dry camp.
If in case you don’t have a generator yet, ask your fellow campers and check online to know which generators are great and are sure to not fail you on your dry camping.
Tips for dry camping
Dry camping is a bit harder than regular RV camping, as it needs certain planning and you need to prepare your RV for it.
Your water and electricity will be limited, so you need to know how to properly maximize your battery and tank capacity.
Test your tanks and batteries before Dry Camping
Before you to head off to camp, run your batteries and check if there’s a problem with it. Try filling up the tank and see its capacities. Try it in your own backyard. Letting it run for a period of time will let you know it’s capacities and limitations.
Fill up what needs to be filled up
This refers to your water, gas, fuel, and propane. Make sure that your water tanks are all filled up. Your RV and the towing vehicle should have a full tank of gas before heading out to camp. Gas for your vehicle, fuel for your generator and propane for your heater.
Choose to Camp Nearby a Civilization or Dump Station
There will be things that are out of your control and there will instances that even with extreme planning you’ll run out propane, electricity, water or worse you’ll fill up your black and gray water tanks right away. We all know its great to dry camp on remote locations but if you’re not a pro on it yet we suggest to go to places that are near civilization or a dump station. With that, if all else fail you’ll be able to get help right away.
Understand AC/DC Power
AC and DC are types of current flow in a circuit. We have Direct Current(DC) and Alternating Current(AC).DC is the current that only flows in one direction while AC, on the other hand, changes direction periodically. Knowing these types of current will help you to get a deeper understanding of how to successfully manage and maximize your battery and generator.
Since you’re traveling without hookups you need to know how to maximize your water as well. When you have hookups you don’t usually pay attention to your water consumptions and your water is limitless. However, when dry camping your water supply comes solely from your tank. That’s why you need to use it well.
Make the most out of your surroundings
One of the ways to effectively conserve your electricity is to spend most of your time outside your RV. That’s the main point of dray camping, it’s to be closer to nature as much as possible. Go for a swim, cook your breakfast outside your RV, pullout your awning and have coffee outside, do paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, set up a campfire, or check out the nearby town. There’s so much you can do outside your RV and it’s economical too.
Empty your Black and Grey tanks before you leave
It’s unlikely that you’ll leave your home without emptying your tanks. However, if it’s still not full most campers may overlook it. It’s a common rookie mistake, but always remember that it’s easier to maximize your tanks if it’s empty. It won’t be full in the middle of your camping. So, always remember to empty your tanks before you start your travel.
Know your limits
The most important part of dry camping is to know your limits. Before you go out to do dry camping, know the limits of your RV. You must know what your RV is capable of. You should be the one who knows the most about your RV than other people. By knowing your RV capabilities you’ll also know it’s limitations especially when it comes to utilities.
Dry Camping is just like your regular camping but closer to nature and with limited utilities. Most campers find it fun and they enjoy the freedom it gives as you can go to a lot of places without thinking if the place that they’re going to have hookups or not.
If you follow all those tips and know more about your RV or travel trailer then it will be easy for you to prepare for your new way of camping. Always remember that when it comes to dry camping preparation and familiarity is the key.
Maybe you’ll enjoy dry camping and will do it regularly. Of course, it will get some time to get used to it but once you’re a pro, maximizing your utilities will be a breeze. A lot of dry campers are creative too, try and get as much advice from them as possible.
With all these being said, once everything is followed and familiarized you’re ready for dry camping! So see you on the next trip!