You Know You’re an RV Boondocker When….

Since the Boondocking Bug bit us in January 2017, we’ve grown to love the lifestyle more and more. There’s nothing like it; setting up our RV in the middle of the Arizona desert amongst the prickly giants or in front of the red dirt canyons and mountains as the backdrop.

When people who are unfamiliar with boondocking ask questions about the lifestyle, we’re excited to tell them all about it. The looks on their faces are priceless.

You know you’re an RV boondocker when…

You think a 3-minute shower is too long

We call them Sea Showers. We don’t call them Navy Showers because, well, we weren’t in the Navy and Sea is so much shorter to type and say than Coast Guard. But anyway…

We step in the shower (naked of course!), turn on the water, get wet, shut off the shower, lather hair, turn the shower again, rinse quickly, shut the shower off, lather up your pits and other body parts than end in ‘-its’, turn on the shower, dance around like there’s fire under our feet and voila! Our three minutes are up! We don’t really time ourselves but I’m willing to bet, we’re down to the 3-minute wire. We really don’t mind though because we’re just grateful we actually got to enjoy a shower!

Pssssst! I think we should rename them Boondocker Shower!

TIP: We bought one of these for our shower:

Shut-Off Brass Ball Valve 1/2” Standard Connections with Polished Chrome Finish

You can make 10 gallons of water last 3 days

We can! Other than drinking water, we’ve learned to conserve water while we’re boondocking! We also fetch our water using a water bladder so we don’t have to disturb our peace and relocate to fill our tank!

Your laundry consists of mostly underwear and socks

Personally, I own three dozen pairs socks and equal pair of skivvies! To many, that may be overkill but then again, they’re not boondocking either. I like certain places to be clean and dry. No need to further elaborate.

You wipe your dishes clean before you wash them

Think that’s a joke? Actually, I learned that from my mother who made us wipe our dishes off before putting them in the dishwasher way back in 1970something. And, its come full circle to now. Even when we are tethered to full hookups, we still are in the habit of wiping our plates off because it keeps our drains clear and our tanks smelling much nicer.

You let dirty dishes pile up in your sink for two days before washing them

And you know what? We don’t even feel bad about it! Why? Because we’re alone out there and nobody’s coming to our house let alone, to judge us. But when we do, we wash and rinse them in these collapsible dish pans so we can monitor our water usage. Our rinse water becomes the next batch of wash water.

You have 10 bottles of scented body sprays

Okay, maybe not ten but we have several. We always tell each other to ‘stop and smell the roses’. Well, Dan takes that literal. He loves it. I love it. But the bears and the coyotes? Yeah, not so much but they’re not who we’re sleeping with at the end of day. These make him smell ‘better’.

You stock your fridge with lots of fresh ingredients

This is the honest to God truth! The day before we travel to our boondocking spot, we hit up the farmer’s markets and grocery produce departments. We load up with everything to fill our pie holes…well, ‘cept for pie. because bears are attracted to pie and we don’t want bears visiting us.

We do try to keep things simple out there. We love these Rubbermaid FreshWorks Produce Saver Food Storage Containers.

You’ve not watched TV in months

For all we know, our own government formed a Coup while we’ve been out there. Its not that we don’t care about….well, I lied again.  Yeah, we DON’T care what’s happening on the screen; blue, green or silver.

You sit outside and actually enjoy the quiet

It drives the city people nuts but for us, we’d like to seal those moments in envelopes and boxes and store it. We don’t turn on the radio or listen to Pandora. It’s all about enjoying our five o’clock somewhere and listening to Mother Nature’s orchestra!

You’re not scared of the dark

I admit that I used to be. For anyone to ‘come git us’, they’re going to have to drive a long long way to search for us…if they can find us. But just in case, we have lots of flashlights and lanterns!

We have one of these Litom Solar Lights Outdoor, Wireless 24 LED Motion Sensor Solar Light

You absolutely do not leave your shoes outside…ever!

Little creepy crawly critters love smelly shoes for some reason. They like to take naps in them too. And if we wake them up with our stinky feet, it’s going to hurt…a lot…and we’re going to have to pack everything up and head to the hospital.

You know your stars and constellations

The closest most know about the stars and constellations is reading their zodiacs. However, we boondockers, know what they are and where to find them. We even can tell by where they are which way is north.

This book was one of our favorites we recently blogged about. 

You don’t want anyone to know where you are

Well, isn’t that whole principle of boondocking? To not be found? To find serenity and escape life’s traffic jams? Why on earth would we tell anyone? So they can come visit and disturb our peace? Oh, heck no!!

We can have a campfire anytime we want

And guess what? We don’t have to worry about carting around bug-infested firewood or walking a mile to collect firewood because we have our 19″ diameter 58,000 BTU Outland Firebowl 823 Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Fire Pit. We also  don’t have to worry about burning down the joint with sparks. Its no different than our little gas grill.

You stock a crap ton of Walmart bags

Seriously, everyone else loathes them but we love them. As a thrifty boondocker, I use these as our little trash bags because they are smaller are easy to make disappear at truck stop, shopping malls and yes, Walmart outdoor trash cans! So, we ARE recycling too!

You learn to hand-wash your clothes

There’s no greater joy (for us at least) than discovering we can stay out a couple more days than planned because we’ve done well with conserving our water. But we ran out of clean underwear and socks. We just wash them our collapsible bucket outside and hang them all over the truck. No HOA’s out there to tell us we can’t!

You cringe when a vehicle nears your RV to park

Anytime we hear an engine approaching, we start gawking. We either raise our heads during our nap in our zero gravity chair and standing with that ‘move along’ glare. Sometimes, we’ll stand with our hands on our hips giving them the holding-your-ground-stink-eye hoping they get the hint that your spot is taken.

You’ve stepped outside to go pee (guys)

I can’t bring myself to do this because, well…I’m made a little different than a guy but we’ve boondocked  with several guys who do this. But it’s not only out of convenience saving themselves a walk back to their RV bathroom but to also not to fill up that good old black tank!

You constantly check your charges

Dan checks our battery level every morning, last thing in the evening and check your solar input several times a day like clockwork. I hear that little panel door open and close a few dozen times a day (exaggeration). OH! Those poor panel door hinges get quite the workout. I don’t say a word other than, ‘Honey, can I plug this in?’

Check out our new Solar, Battery & Energy Management online store!

So, there you have it! If you can relate to or have done several times, then you’re deemed a boondocker who enjoys being out there enjoying the freedom of being disconnected from utilities and society.


Don’t forget to read our other…






Note: This blog contains affiliate links.


8 Replies to “You Know You’re an RV Boondocker When….”

  1. I would love to do this til I was sick of it. Just move from place to place. Wouldn’t need a big RV, pop up or small camper would do just fine. Taken many bucket baths in my life. But being alone is a drawback. Not enough squirrels for all the nuts out there.

    1. Di, oh man, we’re sorry your experience wasn’t so pleasant. RV life isn’t for everyone. It’s a lifestyle that must be prepared for and accept all that goes with it. We agree, it could be lonely but there are ways to join groups to alleviate loneliness (ie. Escapees, RV Manufacturer Owners’s Clubs, etc.) -Dan & Lisa

    1. Frank and EJ, thanks for reading our Boondocker blog. Its funny how boondockers find ways to do the right thing but in a funny way. Safe travels and enjoy the open outdoors! -Dan & Lisa

  2. My wife and I are new to boondocking I worry about the battery. I do have a generator but my travel trailer has a solar connection how big of a panel do I need

    1. Hi Michael, thank you for reading our blog. We really need more specifics of your setup in order to calculate what you need in panels. What type/size of RV do you want to power? What will you be powering? How big is your battery bank? Inverter(s)? -Dan

  3. I bet you will find with on off, 1 minut is enough for a shower. Count off a minute. It is a long time.
    Some say they use 8 gallons a day for a couple, both showering. We use 14 gallons. I splurge on dishes. Measure it sometime. How manydays from a tank?

    1. Steve, Thanks for following! We can make our 90 gallon water tank last about 10-14 days. Of course, that’s not showering everyday and we save our dishwashing to once daily. We monitor every drop. -Dan

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *