7 Tips to Renovate Your RV for Boondocking

7 Tips to Renovate Your Rv for Boondocking

7 Tips to Renovate Your RV for Boondocking

Boondocking is more challenging than regular camping, but it’s not impossible. With a few upgrades, preparing your RV for an enjoyable off-grid stay is easy.

Generally, water and water management are ultimately the constraining resources when dry camping. Therefore, we shall focus our discussion on these two.

Water Supply

The three different aspects to keep in mind regarding the RV water tanks are:

  •         Freshwater
  •         Gray water
  •         Blackwater

Fresh Water

Having a large supply of freshwater is crucial when boondocking. To extend your dry camping stay, you must be creative with the freshwater tanks.

There’re plenty of options to increase the capacity of your freshwater in an RV.

For example, if your RV allows, you could install an extra fresh tank on your RV’s underbelly. But remember, tanks mounted outside are likely to freeze during winter.

You could also add a secondary freshwater tank to your truck bed and use it to transport water to your boondocking location.

And if you prefer not to relocate or move your RV, you could just replenish your water. The big water jugs, gallon containers, and collapsible water bladders will help.

Gray Water

Disposing of gray water is probably the biggest water management challenge when boondocking and if you’re like most boondockers, chances are the gray tank is always the limiting factor to your stay.

Regulations for the dumping of gray water vary by state. Some will allow you to dump your gray water into raw land, while others don’t.

My philosophy, however, is you should never disrupt nature if you can help it. I’m usually disappointed to see much internet advice saying, “dump gray water on grass,” or “let it drip slowly like a leak,” and other errant advice.

I believe in LNT principles and would suggest you try to avoid dumping any waste into the ground.

Consider getting a portable tank. Empty laundry detergent bottles from the laundromat work for me. They hold my gray water and allow me to transfer the gray waste water to a separate tank for disposal while my rig stays stationary.

Black Tank

The black tank is one of the most difficult RV tanks to deal with when boondocking because there’s no option of dumping waste into the ground.

Fortunately, you could use some handy tricks to dump your blank tank.

One of my favorite methods is removing the blank tank altogether. The benefit of this is that it creates extra space for freshwater and gray-holding water tank.

When you remove the black tank, you need to replumb your RV system with a cassette or composting toilet. I’m a big fan of composting toilets with urine diversion.

The second option is doing a septic tank if you plan to stay in one location for a long. Before it gets full, you can call your septic tank service, and they suck it for you. For a fee, of course!

You could also get auxiliary tanks, which you can fill from the blank tank, and then empty and clean at a sanitation station.

I also know a friend who leases a Porta Potty on their boondocking trips. Representatives from the Porta Potty company then flush out weekly for a monthly fee. It’s not the greatest form of disposal, but an option I’ve seen done.

Most RV parks and truck spots also have dump stations and hookups for waste management. If you’re boondocking in a new location and are unsure whether there’re dump locations around, you could use sanidumps.com. It’s painful to look through the ads, but it provides a comprehensive list of all RV dump stations.

Water Management

The trick to RV tank disposal boils down to proper water management. RV water efficiency is key.

Of course, water management may also depend on your limits. For example, we’ve no problem showering 2/3 times a week while off-grid. Not everyone is okay with doing that, and it’s understandable. But more showers mean more work hauling water and more water for disposal.

Dishes are the other thing you must control to some extent. While some RVers consider it an extravagance, having a dishwasher for boondocking is essential. Our dishwasher is water efficient and saves a ton of water while boondocking. It also makes boondocking more homely.

A trash grabber wand is crucial and will help you thoroughly clean up your immediate area.

Power Supply

Along with RV water tanks and water supply, the power is the other big item to address for boondocking.

The ideal power requirement depends on what amenities you need and how much you want to cut back on some extras.

I wouldn’t put a figure on your power requirements. It took us three seasons to find our sweet spot- 600ah of lithium batteries and 800w of solar.

My advice is to take your time and evaluate your needs before spending $$$$ on a huge power system. You might just be fine with two small batteries and a generator, or you may want more.

SaleBestseller No. 1
DuroMax XP13000EH Dual Fuel Portable Generator 13000 Watt Gas or Propane Powered Electric Start-Home Back Up, Blue/Gray
  • POWERFUL DUROMAX ENGINE: The XP13000EH is powered by a 500cc OHV Duromax Engine. Engine Speed-3600 RPM. Wheel Diameter-10-Inches .With Gasoline : Peak Wattage - 13,000., Running Wattage - 10,500., Running Amperage at 120V - 87.5., Running Amperage at 240V - 43.75., Runtime at 25% Load - 17., Runtime at 50% Load - 8With Propane : Peak Wattage - 12,350., Running Wattage - 9,975., Running Amperage at 120V - 83.13., Running Amperage at 240V - 41.56., Runtime at 25% Load - 13., Runtime at 50% Load - 6Please read the detailed safety instructions in the manual before operating.
  • DUAL FUEL TECHNOLOGY: The ability to run on Propane or Gasoline allows the Freedom and Flexibility of Fuel Choice.
  • PLENTY OF POWER: With 13,000 starting watts and 10,500 watts, this unit can handle heavy loads from lights, refrigerators, home conditioners and high amperage power tools.
  • MAXIMUM POWER: The power panel includes a wide selection of outlets for maximum compatibility in your applications including: 1 120/240V 50A heavy duty outlet, 1 120/240V 30A twist lock outlet, 1 120V 30A twist lock outlet, and 2 120V 20A household outlets.
  • POWERING EVERYONE ANYWHERE: Like all DuroMax generators, the XP13000EH is EPA and CARB approved for use in all 50 states.
Bestseller No. 2
WEN DF1100T 11,000-Watt 120V/240V Dual Fuel Portable Generator with Wheel Kit and Electric Start - CARB Compliant, Black
  • Switch between gasoline (11,000 surge watts, 8,300 running watt) and propane (9,500 surge, 7,500 running) with the simple turn of the selection dial
  • Voltage easily goes from 120V to 240V, perfect for transfer switches and emergency backup
  • Electric start powers the 457cc 4-stroke OHV engine with the turn of a key
  • 6.6-gallon tank provides up to 8.5 hours of half load run time
  • Includes four 120V GFCI outlets (5-20R), a 120V 30A twist lock outlet (L5-30R), a 120V/240V 50A outlet (NEMA 14-50R), a 12V DC cigarette-lighter-style plug, a bottle of oil, a 47-inch LPG connection hose, and a two-year warranty

SaleBestseller No. 1
Feeke Solar-Charger-Power-Bank - 36800mAh Portable Charger,QC3.0 Fast Charger Dual USB Port Built-in Led Flashlight and Compass for All Cell Phone and Electronic Devices(Orange)
  • Power bank has 36800mAh large cell capacity. The use of industry-leading high-density lithium polymer cells makes it more compact and has a larger capacity. A high-quality, high-density battery can support thousands of charge cycles.
  • Solar power bank has two 5V3.1A high-speed fast charging USB output interfaces, which is 50% faster than the old 5V2A output interface. Able to fully charge your mobile device more efficiently. The built-in intelligent IC chip can automatically identify the charging product and convert it into the corresponding current and voltage. It is compatible with 99% of electronic products and equipment on the market.
  • The Solar chatger power bank is made of environmentally friendly silicone, high-strength ABS and PC materials, with a protective cover attached to the outside of the charging/discharging port, which is waterproof, dust-proof, and drop-proof, very durable. It can still work normally in various harsh environments. It also comes with a carabiner that you can attach to your backpack while hiking and charge this power bank with solar energy.
  • Power bank is equipped with two super bright LED headlight flashlights. Long pressing the power button for 3-4 seconds,flashlight turn on, long pressing again, flashlight turn off. This is a very useful extra function whether you are experiencing a power outage or outdoors. In addition, the power bank also has a built-in high-precision compass, which has been precisely corrected before , so that you will no longer get lost in outdoor activities.
  • Solar charger is mainly charged via USB, but can also be charged via the built-in solar panel. However, since the charging speed is affected by the sunlight intensity and the conversion rate of the panel, it takes a long time to fully charge. Solar charging is for emergency use only. It is an additional feature and not the main input. Therefore, it is recommended that you use an adapter with a power above 5V2A to charge the solar charger for daily use.
SaleBestseller No. 2
Solar Power Bank,Solar Charger,42800mAh Power Bank,Portable Charger,External Battery Pack 5V3.1A Qc 3.0 Fast Charging Built-in Super Bright Flashlight(Black)
  • Power bank has a large battery capacity of 42800mAh, and uses high-density batteries to load a larger capacity without changing the volume and weight. The super battery life allows you to get rid of the anxiety and worries about the depletion of the device power anytime and anywhere.
  • Solar power bank uses strong professional ABS material, Chemical resistant, heat-resistant, and has super surface hardness, high elasticity and toughness. IP67 waterproof,drop-proof and dust-proof, so you no longer worry about damage caused by water/drop, it can work in extreme environments. With more than 1600+ charging life cycles, it is very reliable and durable.
  • Power bank is equipped with a super bright LED flashlight with a long range, It can work continuously for up to 100 hours.
  • Solar power bank is compatible with all USB devices such as smartphones and tablets. The product has 2 USB output ports, if the device is compatible, it can support the QC3.0 fast charge protocol.
  • Friendly reminder:When the solar panel is being cared for, it will generate current to charge the battery, and the indicator light will flash.Solar charging is affected by the instability of sunshine intensity and duration. The battery capacity of the product is very large, so the charging will be very slow and should be used as an emergency function. For daily charging, please use a charger with a power above 5V2A to charge the device.

Other Boondocking Renovations


A good compressor is hardly discussed, yet it’s way up in must-haves for RV boondocking.

See, real boondocking involves plenty of off-road travel. Outside the major cities, there’re swaths of the area to boondock off beaten paths, many with fire roads.

The rutted-out paths can be hard on the RV and the occupants. One of the best things you can do to soften the ride and avoid bouncing and shaking apart the trailer is airing down the tires. Airing down the RV tires also keeps the tires from punctures and point lads.

The air down should be conservative to 70% of the pressure you normally use on gravel or concrete surfaces.

To air down, one has to air up, which is a reason to have a good compressor. You should clamp it on the battery post so it has sufficient performance to air up the RV tires reasonably.

SaleBestseller No. 1
AstroAI Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor Air Pump for Car Tires - Car Accessories, 12V DC Auto Tire Pump with Digital Pressure Gauge, 100PSI with Emergency LED Light for Car, Bicycle, Balloons
  • FAST INFLATION & ADVANCED ACCURACY: High-quality materials were sourced for this tire inflator as it can pump up your car's tires with 35 L/Min, it can inflate the 195/55/R15 car tire from 0 to 35psi under 5 minutes. Professionally calibrated to always return a reading within 1.5% of the pressure of your tire. Please NOTE that after 10-15 minutes of continuous use, let the air compressor rest and cool for an equal amount of time at a minimum before continuing use.
  • PROGRAMMABLE INFLATION: Use the "M" button to set your desired pressure unit, and then press the "+" and "-" buttons to set the desired pressure. The air compressor will automatically shut off when it reaches the pre-set pressure (Please make sure the pressure you set is higher than the current pressure of your tire).
  • PRODUCT HIGHLIGHTS: One-click to change pressure units among PSI, kPa, BAR and KG/CM; Large white backlight LCD screen makes it easy to read even in the dark; Equipped with integrated LED flashlight with independent switch control for emergency use; 12V 120W 10ft (3.05 meters) long heavy-duty car cigarette lighter cord makes it convenient to use;NOT 110V AC plug. It needs a 10A or 15A converter to use in a wall plug.
  • WIDE RANGE OF APPLICATIONS: 3 Nozzles and Extra Fuse Included. Inflates any Schrader valve on cars, SUVs, motorcycles, and bicycles; the included accessories quickly inflate balls, air pillows, cushions, balloons and mattresses. NOTE: This pump is NOT intended for use with high pressure or large volume applications like pools and Inflatable canoe
  • BUY WITH CONFIDENCE: Christmas decorations and gifts for men women. Easily stow the compressor away in your car or garage and it will be ready to use at a moment’s notice. Package includes 1* digital air compressor, 1* Replacement Fuse, 2x Air Nozzle Cones, 1* Needle Valve Adapter 1* Presta to Schrader Adapter, 1* Extension Hose Coupling, 1* User Manual; If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us.
SaleBestseller No. 2
VacLife Tire Inflator Portable Air Compressor - Air Pump for Car Tires (up to 50 PSI), 12V DC Tire Pump for Bikes (up to 150 PSI) w/LED Light, Digital Pressure Gauge, Model: ATJ-1166, Yellow (VL701)
  • [FAST INFLATING & EASY OPERATION] This auto tire air compressor can inflate your standard car tires in seconds. Plug it into the 12V power outlet in your car and attach the stem to the tire valve. One simple press on the car air compressor and it will do all the work for you. A great solution for emergency on the way.
  • [AUTO SHUT OFF] Simplicity meets functionality. VacLife car air pump provides you with rest-assured using experience based on the auto-shut off function. Preset the desired pressure level and start inflating job. The car air compressor will shut off automatically at the desired level. There is no need to worry about over inflating, VacLife smart inflator for tires got your back.
  • [LED LIGHTING FOR NIGHT TIME] To be a proper solution for night time inflating job, the electric air pump comes with a LED-lighting feature to support your inflating needs in low-light environment. Coupled with the 11.9ft power cord, both of the front and the rear tires will be fully taken care of with less efforts as it eliminates the unnecessary hassles of unplugging the appliance every time you switch from one tire to the other.
  • [MULTIPURPOSE NOZZLES] VacLife tire pump is equipped with 3 additional nozzles besides the original one. A wider applying range to cover various needs for inflatables such as vehicle tires and sports or entertainment equipment including compact or midsize Sedan, SUV, ATV, bike, motorcycles, air mattress, inflatable boats, balls.
  • [NOTES] Please be aware that this tire inflator is not applicable for any large vehicles with TIRE PRESSURE > 50 PSI and TIRE WIDTH > 245 MM such as truck, vans and off-road vehicles. If a converter is needed, it's recommended to use converter in accordance with 120 W, 10 A specification for safety.If the air pump has been running for 10 minutes, you need to let the machine rest for 10 minutes before using it.

Heat and Fire Source

Propane is usually the go-to fuel source for most RVers, but eliminating it would be a good idea if you’re determined to stay off-grid.

There’re plenty of other dry camping-friendly fire sources, such as wood. However, eliminating propane may not be feasible if you plan to grill or cook with gas.

Coleman Propane 16 Oz Camping Cylinder (12 Pk.)
  • 12 Propane Cylinders
  • 16 oz per Cylinder
  • This product is hazardous/flammable and not returnable
  • Pre-filled propane cylinders with quality steel construction, a stable base and reliable valves provide safe and easy-to-use operation. Cylinders are a universal size and fit all standard portable propane appliances, tabletop grills and propane torches.
Flame King YSN201b 20 Pound Steel Propane Tank Cylinder with Type 1 Overflow Protection Device Valve, for Grills and BBQs, White
  • High grade Steel welded propane cylinder
  • Premium OPD valve assembly
  • X-ray and hydrostatic tested
  • Powder coated for long lasting exterior protection
  • NOTE: The propane tank is empty and ready to be filled with gas


This comes from a practical angle.

An RV experience is the best way to determine what upgrades you need for boondocking. Remember, your boondocking needs are highly personal and may evolve.

I suggest you schedule a mock off-grid camp session and see if you can manage.

Start your trial dry-camping in friendly grounds such as campgrounds without amenities. Hang around, and this will inform you about which areas you should pay attention to and get clarity about things you don’t need.

Finally, you must remain flexible and adapt!

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