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Boondocking 101: The Essential Gear You Need to Get Started

Kyle Arnold-profile-image
Kyle Arnold
May 26, 2023

Gear up for boondocking: Batteries, monitor, generator, inverter, water tanks, waste solutions, LED lights. Join Harvest Hosts for unique stays!

Boondocking 101: The Essential Gear You Need to Get Started

Boondocking is a fantastic way to experience the great outdoors, providing more privacy and stunning scenery. However, without the convenience of electricity and water hookups, you need to be prepared to maximize your enjoyment of this camping style.

7 Boondocking Essentials

To help you get the most out of your next boondocking adventure, we’ve compiled a list of six boondocking essentials to help you get started.


Having a larger battery bank means that you can power your rig for longer periods of time between charges. This allows you to enjoy creature comforts such as running your refrigerator, keeping your electronics charged, running Starlink, and more.

Battery Monitor

A battery monitor helps you keep track of your power usage, giving you an idea of how much juice you’re using and when you’re running low. This can help you avoid accidentally discharging your batteries too low. If you do push your batteries to their limits, you could do some real damage to your batteries long-term abilities. A battery monitor can help ensure you don’t end up stuck without power in the middle of nowhere.


Boondocking means relying on external power sources, such as generators, solar panels, or DC to DC chargers. Solar panels are ideal for mild, sunny weather, while generators are better for rainy days or high-draw appliances like air conditioners.  A quiet generator is the perfect way to top off your batteries and help you not annoy everyone around you. If you want to moochdock or just do some stealth camping, a quiet generator might be your best friend.


Many of the appliances in your RV, like the water pump and lights run on 12V DC power. However, household appliances like blenders, Instant Pots, and laptops run on 120V AC power. If you want to use these appliances while boondocking, you’ll need an inverter. Consider getting an inverter/converter combination to help with both solutions in one device.

Freshwater Tanks and Low-Flow Faucets

You’ll need a way to store freshwater inside of your RV. This can be in large reservoirs or a bunch of one gallon containers. Either way, you’ll want to consider the weight, location of the water, plumbing lines, and more.  Freshwater tanks have limited capacity, so it’s important to conserve water as much as possible. Low-flow faucets can help save water and extend your time off grid. Add low-flow faucets for shower heads and water faucets to extend your boondocking time.

Portable Wastewater Tank or Composting Toilet

Running out of space in your waste tanks is a common problem when boondocking. A portable wastewater tank eliminates the need to prematurely break down camp and leave because you ran out of space.  You can also consider a composting toilet. This has many advantages for people who love the boondocking lifestyle—including not needing a black tank.

LED Lights

Replace every incandescent bulb with LED bulbs. These bulbs are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs, meaning that you can save a considerable amount of energy by making this simple switch.

Two Tips For Your First Trip

In addition to the essentials listed above, there are a couple of things to be mindful of when boondocking. Trash is something you’ll need to have a plan for and this isn’t always easy. Between defending it from the animals and protecting your nose from the scent, having a plan for this is important. A simple sealed tote in your RV basement works well—just remember to dispose of it consistently. The other tip is to follow all guidelines in regards to fires and trash. Every summer there are wildfires started by people not knowing the rules. Get in touch with local laws and abide by them. Check out this course to learn more about boondocking.

Now Get Out There and Get Started

Your RV was made for boondocking. It can be the most fun and rewarding way to experience the beauty of the outdoors. It does require a little extra preparation and effort on the front end, but the memories you’ll make are worth it. With a Harvest Hosts All-Access Membership, you’ll get exclusive opportunities for boondocking at 8,000+ locations. These overnights include golf courses, wineries, farms, and plenty of other attractions.  So get started on your boondocking journey today with Harvest Hosts!

About Harvest Hosts
Harvest Hosts is a unique RV camping membership that offers self-contained RVers unlimited overnight stays at over 5,657 small businesses across North America with no camping fees. Boondock at farms, wineries, breweries, attractions, and other one-of-a-kind destinations throughout North America, and you’ll get peace of mind knowing that a safe place to stay is always nearby!
Kyle Arnold-profile-image
Kyle Arnold
I'm a freelance adventure travel copywriter. My wife, 2 dogs and I have been on many adventures together in either a big, blue bus or our camper van. While touring the country, we take advantage of checking out new towns, hikes and waterways. We are often found hiking, paddling or drinking coffee and love meeting new people.