Dry camping is the practice of going off the grid without any hookups to camp in your RV. Picture this – no electrical hookups, piped-in water, or bathhouses. Some campers call it wild camping, others call it boondocking.
Most campers choose this style of camping because it allows them to go deeper into the landscapes away from civilization. It can be a necessity or a choice. Sounds good, doesn’t it?
DRY CAMPING VS. CAMPING IN AN RV PARK
These two styles of camping are each appealing in their own ways. An RV park refers to parking a recreational vehicle in a designated space – for a fee. Most parks offer amenities like showers, Wi-Fi, sewer, laundry facilities, cable, etc.
You can think of an RV park as a place where you can roll in for a day and spend quality time with other people. If you want to camp in a popular destination, you may have to reserve the space before arrival.
On the other hand, dry camping refers to camping in a space with no amenities. There are no electrical hookups, sewer, or water. You’re usually farther out in nature, but you could also be dry camping in a Walmart parking lot.
WHERE TO FIND DRY CAMPING SPOTS
You can set up a camp on public lands or private spaces for free. Some natural forests offer camping options without hookups. If you’re not sure whether the location is suitable for dry campers, there are plenty of apps to help you find spots.
If you’re not used to RVing without hookups, dry camping can be an overwhelming experience. But with a few planning and considerations, you can become a pro in no time.
HOW TO DRY CAMP SUCCESSFULLY
Dry camping is not only a safe and fun experience but also helps you cut down on camping costs. Before you head off-road somewhere in the woods, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Power or electricity is arguably the trickiest thing to manage while dry camping. You can charge your house batteries through a few different methods. If you want to dry camp for a night, you should ensure there’s enough power before you move to the next destination. Some RVs are equipped with an on-board generator to help you hook up your batteries.
If you plan on doing lots of dry camping, you should invest in a solar power kit. You can also switch to LED lights – they last longer and consume less power. In addition to that, you can unplug devices that are not in use like stereos and TVs. This will save you lots of money in the long-run.
Dry camping can be difficult if you don’t have immediate access to fresh water. First, you should determine your RV’s freshwater tank capacity so you can have an idea of what you’re working with. Then, you need to go into your campsite with the fresh water full, and do everything you can to conserve it.
Another important consideration is the length of your camping stay. And depending on the length of time you plan to camp, you should estimate how much water you’ll use for showers, cooking, washing, etc.
Thankfully, there are a few basic tips to help you conserve water. You should keep the showers short and rinse dishes in trickle water. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the fresh water tank meter. It helps you know how much water you’ve used and the time you have before refilling the tank.
Be mindful of how much fuel and propane you’ll be using for cooking and heating during your stay. Although these are efficient energy sources, you need to plan ahead.
Manage trash and waste
Every time you go dispersed camping, you should find a proper way to dispose of waste. While many gas stations and grocery stores allow customers to dispose of their garbage, you should ask for permission. Some dry camping locations will also have waste receptacles you can use.
Before you start your dry camping trip, you should figure out how to deal with waste and water. You may want to check the waste regularly to ensure it’s not getting full. Some stations are free, but you may want to carry some cash.
You should never attempt to camp away from civilization without emergency supplies. They include a fire starter, durable tactical flashlight, first-aid kit, and an emergency radio.
WHEN YOU MIGHT WANT TO DRY CAMP
Let’s face it: dry camping comes with a learning curve. Before you take off for dry camping, you should know your limitations. You should practice living off of your batteries and tanks without hookups. You could even try spending a few days in your driveway. Once you’re comfortable with shorter trips, you can go to the wilderness. To ensure the best experience, you should camp dry during the drier season. Of course, the more you practice, the more you get used to it.
If you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking for a new adventure, dry camping is a sure bet. It’s fun, and you get the experience to travel to more places.