When you attempt to boondock, you don’t have to change your lifestyle but will have to do some things differently on a daily basis. Boondocking is easily accomplished by simply being conservative.
[Author note… I’ve been questioned many times by individuals at seminars who think by my using and suggesting such things as paper plates and squeeze-bottle condiments, I am not doing my share of taking care of the planet. To them I say that my lifestyle is far more “green” than 99% of individuals living in a house. Yes, there are some trade offs to make it work but we believe those to be acceptable. If you consider any of the following suggestions to be unacceptable, then don’t use it. Do something else. For example, maybe you should go develop your own website. (The Author apologizes for his political bluntness.)]
Here are a few of the many tricks RVers use…
- Carry a few gallon jugs of drinking water with you. Use these for cooking, filling the coffee pot, refilling drinking bottles, etc. This leaves more fresh water in the tank for washing, flushing, etc.
- As you empty them, carry the empty jugs in your car. Refill them with potable water at every opportunity. Four of the gallon “milk” jugs will fit nicely in one of those plastic milk crates.
- If you use lots of ice, put an extra bag in the freezer when starting the trip. Replenish when possible.
- You can also start with extra ice in a cooler but it needs to be used first (before that in your fridge). A block of ice will last longer than cubes.
- Use condiments in a squeeze bottle to save washing extra utensils.
- Wash dishes using two plastic tubs—for dishwater and rinse water. Set them in your sink. Don’t dump the dishwater down the sink into the gray tank. Pour it down the toilet.
- You can save the rinse water and use it as dishwater after the next meal.
- After all, this rinse water has only a minor amount of soap in it from rinsing the dishes. Think about it… If it was “dirty” water, maybe you didn’t do a very good job washing the dishes!
- You can heat it by pouring some of it into a pot (you just used for cooking) and heating this on the store.
- You can heat it by heating more clean water on the stove or in the microwave.
- Turn off your water pump to prevent the toilet from flushing while dumping dishwater.
- Use paper plates, disposable cups, and plastic utensils to eliminate some dishwashing.
- Plan one-dish meals (casseroles, stews, etc.) to eliminate washing extra pots and pans.
- Cook in disposable pans where possible.
- Grill outside to eliminate washing of pots and pans.
- Use plastic bags with seals as mixing bowls—squeeze the ingredients to mix well and pour directly from the bag.
- Prepare multiple meals simultaneously to utilize preparation utensils and clean up once.
- Wipe excess food from pots and pans with used paper table-napkins to eliminate pre-rinse before washing.
- Never run water continuously for any reason—brushing teeth, washing hands, etc.
- Pour each person a half-cup water from the water jugs for brushing teeth and cleaning their toothbrush and don’t run any water at all.
- Use a pan to catch the water while waiting for the hot water to come through any faucet—especially the shower. This is clean water! Use it for washing dishes, making coffee, or cooking (pasta, etc.).
- Take a classic “Navy” shower. Get wet quickly (5 seconds) and shut off the water. Soap and wash as long as you want since there’s no water running. Rinse quickly. If you want to stand under a long, leisurely shower, rent a motel room or get a campground.
- If the next person showers immediately, you won’t have to pre-heat the water again.
- Make sure the diverter for the hand-held shower will completely stop the water flow.
- Skip an occasional shower.
- For a quick warm washcloth, barely wet the washcloth with cold water, put it on a paper plate, and microwave for about 10 seconds.
- Wash-off with a stronger paper towel—wet and microwave it for warmth.
- You can carry and use baby-wipes for occasional clean-up.
- RV gatherings may offer services including water trucks and the ever-popular “honey wagon” (sewage-pumper truck). You can take on fresh water plus get your tanks pumped out—for a fee. Paying this may be more realistic than moving the coach. Check all tank valves after they unhook. You don’t want these left open by mistake!
Tips and More Tips
What is offered above is just a few of the hundreds of things you can do to help you boondock. I have said in other articles that by boondocking, you have thousands of places to potentially stay that are simply not available if you insist on hooking up. Try it.