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Motor Home Boondocking for Beginners

Motor Home Boondocking for Beginners

What’s the fun in driving your motor home to a crowded campground on the edge of a city (exactly the kind of place we’d all like to escape!), plugging in and listening to your neighbors watch TV all night? We could have just stayed home for that.

If you have an RV, you really have to go out there and get away from it all. The great advantage of having one is that you can get far from civilization, but still have all the comforts of home. Instead of kids yelling outside, you can have the music of nature. Sounds like a good deal to me!

That’s why boondocking has become so popular among motor home owners. Boondocking means going out and camping in complete wilderness! You can drive your RV right out into the woods, mountains, or deserts (whichever you prefer) and stay there where your nearest neighbor is miles away. You can do this at most national parks, and there are also campgrounds and recreation areas designed specifically for this activity, where you can stay for as little as $ 3 a night or pay a small annual fee.

Is it leagal is always the first question that you might ask. The answer is yes or no, depending on where you decide to park your motor home. If you park where it’s not okay, well, that’s called “trespassing” I’m afraid and quite illegal.

Before you go on your trip, you should check to make sure that it’s okay to boondock where you’re headed. To give you an idea, there are yearly guides put out that you can pick up at bookstores and camping supply stores. You can also find up-to-date listings of areas online.

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has designated wild areas all over the country where boondocking is permitted. This includes most national parks. There is one restriction, however, that you can only stay for up to 2 weeks. After that time, you just have to move, and exactly how far is far enough is open to debate.

There are lots of places for boondocking in the desert southwest. This is an area with lots of wild, natural places for the most part untouched by tourists. Most of the best locations are in Arizona and southern California.

Recently, some places have been set aside as boondocking campgrounds. Usually they have a small fee, something like a couple of dollars a night, or you can get a 6-month permit and stay there anytime. They still have the 2 week rule, but you can always “move” somewhere else and more or less stay in the same area. The 6 month permits cost as much as $ 150 in some places, but it’s still cheaper than camping for that long, or paying rent.

There are now communities that meet at certain times of the year. These turn into big motor home festivals, with boondockers and RV drivers from all over the country getting together when it’s too cold to camp up north or back east.

At some of these communities, they have activities, grocery stores and other businesses that open during the busy season. A few of these places include Quartzite, Arizona and Slab City, California, which is a ghost town when the boondockers aren’t there.

But, wait a minute… I thought this was your chance to get away from it all? Well, that’s true too. The best thing about boondocking is that you can set up anywhere and just let life crawl by. Nowhere to be, nothing to do, and no neighbors to listen to.

Boondocking is flourishing in the unsettled parts of the country. It allows you to take your motor home and get away from the bustle of the city. At Bankston Motor Homes, you can select the motor home you want and get away.
Motor Home Boondocking Safety Tips

Motor Home Boondocking Safety Tips

Boondocking is a wonderful way to enjoy your motor home. You pull up where you want to, far away from civilization and other hassles, set up your lawn chair, and just relax by a mountain stream. You’ve got everything you need – gas for cooking, a generator to power your motor home, plenty of drinking water… life is good.

But just because you’re out of the grasp of civilization doesn’t mean there aren’t rules to follow! Out in the wilds, you’ve only got yourself to rely on, so some steps have to be taken to keep yourself safe.

Get Familiar With The Area

Before you head out on your boondocking adventure, you might want to check out the area first. This means more than just looking at maps; make sure that the roads are okay for your rig, it’s legal for you to park there, and there aren’t any other surprises that might be waiting for you. Everybody wants to just get out there and explore, but turning down a rough road that gets too small for your rig, and having to turn a giant trailer around where there’s no shoulder on the road is a lesson in trip planning that you don’t want to go through. Talk to locals and check things out before you head out.

Keep It Clean

At any campsite across the country, there are covered dumpsters and signs all over warning you of the laws you have to follow. Out in the wilds, you won’t see any of that, but that doesn’t mean you can leave a mess. In fact, it’s even more dangerous to have a messy campsite out where there’s no ranger to come and save your neck when an old black bear comes snooping around your cooler. Keep your campsite clean when boondocking, just like you would anywhere else. It’s a nice thing to do for the site, but it’s also a safety issue.

Stay Binoculars-Distance From The Critters

This sounds like a no-brainer, but it’s something to consider. Bears aren’t cuddly, raccoons aren’t cute, foxes don’t want to be petted, and even deer can get nasty if you get too close. When you’re boondocking, you will be way out in the wilderness sometimes where animals don’t have as much fear of humans, so you should make sure you have a healthy fear of them.

Be Self-Sufficient

This is what’s called “dry camping.” It basically means camping without any services whatsoever. You have to plan and plan again. It is really essential that you have enough of everything you need. You don’t want to run out of water somewhere in the desert, and you don’t want to lose your electricity. Make sure you’ve got a good generator, a good gas range, and plenty of water with you wherever you go.

Eat Prepared Foods

It is best when boondocking to use prepared foods and disposable plates and silverware. This may seem wasteful, but for you it saves things like the water you need to wash dishes. Your resources will be limited, so it is better not to use them up cooking and cleaning. It is always good to be conservation minded, or else your boondocking trip might end up costing MORE than if you stayed at a pay campground.

Relax And Have A Good Time

Okay, not a safety tip really, but just a bit of advice. Drive slowly wherever you’re going and see everything there is to see. Don’t plan much to do but sit around and smell the good, clean air. Let life pass you by for a while. Now, that’s boondocking!

Boondocking is an adventure like camping or taking a trip. All of these require advanced planning to stop anything from going wrong with you or your motor home . A visit to Bankston Motor Homes can jump start your adventure.
Class C Motorhomes And Cooking While Boondocking

Class C Motorhomes And Cooking While Boondocking

Meals can be fun and easy when boondocking in Class C motorhomes. All you need to do is be prepared. You may have been camping in Class C motorhomes at RV parks or campgrounds, where meals were simple. The challenge of cooking meals when boondocking is not one to be intimated, so read the tips on cooking in Class C motorhomes below and enjoy the boondocking experience.

Suggested Class C motorhomes meals when boondocking

You will need to be resourceful and conservative when cooking in Class C motorhomes while boondocking. One pot meals and using the grill are two types of meals that work well when cooking and boondocking in Class C motorhomes. Grilling saves on cleaning and one pot meals can combine lots of different items for succotash type substance.

Foil is a great tool for cooking in Class C motorhomes

Cooking with foil is a great way to cook when boondocking in Class C motorhomes because the clean up is easy. Foil can be placed on the grill or directly on a campfire or coals. Favorites for meals with Class C motorhomes are meat, potatoes, and cheese wrapped in foil. Use spray oil (non-hydrogenated) to help prevent sticking. Add vegetables for a more balanced meal. Some people even pre-cook the meats prior to leaving to camp.

Plan meals ahead and save time

There are little to no emergency grocery stores available when boondocking, so by being prepared you can save stress by not forgetting anything. Pack foods that last awhile, such as cookies, canned goods, peanuts, fruit, energy bars, or protein bars. Look online or in RV cookbooks to prepare menus. You want to pack lightly and keep it simple. Prepare as much as you can before you leave town.

Limit cookware

If you will be using a camping grill, then pack extra fuel cylinders. These are not easy to pick up on the road. Also, pack biodegradable recycled paper plates, cups, and utensils. This will help you conserve water because they can be tossed.

You will want to pack the pots and pans that you will need, but do not pack extra. It is also smart to pack a can opener, especially if you have packed canned good in your RV. Use a big plastic bin for storage and for washing.

Remember to pack in and pack out everything that you take when boondocking. Have fun planning your menus and enjoy the trip!

Julie Jacobs enjoys to travel and write about Class C Motorhomes. Read more RV articles at