If you’re familiar with the RVing community, you’ve no doubt heard of boondocking or even done it yourself. If you’re unfamiliar, it is basically dry camping in your RV with no hookups — no water, electricity, or sewer. Depending on the RV, this can be done for a night or even weeks on end.
Our RV has four large batteries and a large water tank, so the longest we’ve ever boondocked is a week. We also have a generator onboard, so when our batteries get low or we need to run a high demand appliance, such as the microwave or the blender, we can turn on the generator and supply enough power to the RV to run pretty much everything.
We were recently in southern Utah where there is an abundance of BLM land. This is public land that people can camp at for free. We found a few great spots just outside some of the best national parks in the world. While free and close proximity to the parks is great, there are no hookups, so we had to be very conscious of our resources.
This takes on a whole new meaning when kids are involved. They tend to like to leave lights on, charge their tablets and ask for the air conditioner when it gets hot. They’re so used to power and water being available on demand in basically an unlimited supply, so it takes a bit of explaining why we have to be sure to turn off the lights or to only turn the faucet on when they are rinsing their hands.
After a few days of boondocking, our kids really started to understand how to conserve our resources and really did a great job at it. This led to the conversation about how we’re not only saving our power or water for us to use later, but we’re also doing a good thing for our planet. The kids quickly made that connection which I was very proud of.
Another good thing about boondocking is that usually it means cell service isn’t so great. You’re probably asking, “why in the heck is that a good thing?” Well, the reason we like it is it forces us to put down our phones, keep our computers in the bag and really focus on our kids and our family.
This has meant we’ve played baseball in a field, read books by LED lantern, and actually got to bed early. It’s always a great bonding experience and much different than the usual Facebook checking, email responding, and texting that happens in when we’re in cell range.
For more information on boondocking and 5 tips on how to make it a success, check out http://www.crazyfamilyadventure.com/5-tips-for-a-few-nights-of-boondocking.