Are you an eco-friendly traveler? You may want to consider using an RV. There are a lot of ways that using an RV can be sustainable.
Many campers scoff at the idea that RVing would even be in the same category as camping or that it would be eco-friendly. While it may be infinitely more comfortable than sleeping in a tent, there is a middle ground. It is possible to go off grid camping in an RV for a greater sense of adventure.
Off-Grid RVing Can Be a Sustainable Way to Travel
This off grid, or dry camping, is affectionately called boondocking. It’s when you truly get off of the beaten path and forego staying in RV camps that offer things like water, electricity and even WIFI. This is clearly a great way to reduce your carbon footprint. This is getting off grid and parking where you find a spot. Usually these spots are in wild areas with spectacular natural scenery and not a soul around.
You get a lot more out of a trip when you boondock and even save a considerable amount of money by avoiding campground fees. However, it does pay off to plan ahead. To know what you are getting into, we put together this guide to get you started.
Upgrade your battery
If your RV is more than a few years old, then chances are that it has an older battery. Though you may not think about the battery much because it provides the energy that you need, when you are boondocking it can become an issue. Also, using an old battery isn’t as good for the environment, since they tend to be less efficient. Therefore, newer batteries tend to be eco-friendlier.
Upgrading your older battery to a new lithium battery will provide you with electricity for almost twice as long. Not only that, but these batteries are also smaller and lighter so you get the added bonus of lightening your load and freeing up some space.
If you get yourself a solar kit then you can recharge the battery and stay on your site for much longer before you need to move on. You’ll also be able to run more complex appliances like an RV tankless water heater so you also don’t have to worry about running out of hot water.
Conserve, conserve, conserve
You’re going to have a much better time if you are able to reduce how much energy and water you need so you can stay longer and not run out before you are ready to head home. This means setting yourself up with energy sipping appliances and using as little water as possible.
Using LED lights is a good start as they use far less energy than regular bulbs. And if you need to light up an outdoor space around your camper, then using solar powered lights is a great way to not use any of your battery power for lighting your pitch.
Take navy showers if your tank is not that big unless you are able to pump water from a lake or river for domestic use like washing up.
Cooking over a fire is a good way to as long as campfires are allowed where you set up your pitch. If they aren’t then a good alternative is using an instant pot to cook in., they use little electricity and since it’s one pot cooking there is less to clean up so you don’t waste water on the washing.
If you can harvest some water from a stream to use at your pitch then this will go a long way to conserving your water in your tank. However, avoid washing up in the stream itself to not contaminate the water. If you plan to drink from a stream, make sure that you test it for contaminants first and always use a filter.
How to find the spots
Though it may seem that boondocking means going to a beautiful setting and then parking your RV there, that isn’t quite the case. If it were that easy, then you could simply arrive at someplace like Mount Rushmore and camp out right in front of it.
You have to make sure that you are not boondocking on any land that is private, for a start and that it isn’t in a natural reserve that explicitly forbids camping.
Look for areas within unowned land that is managed by the US government. There is a lot of land that is not owned by either private entities or even by the Federal government so there is nothing stopping you from camping there, in most cases. The land is managed by the Bureau of Land Management so that it isn’t totally wild. There will be some rules on things like lighting campfires and how long you can stay, but if you check with that agency you can find a suitable place to stay. And it is usually very beautiful and wild.
Another alternative that takes a little more initiative and research is finding private land where you can stay. Some people have more land than they know what to do with and have no problem with an RV staying there for a few days provided that you can take care of yourself without them needing to help you and that you leave the spot cleaner than how you found it. Vineyards, farms and other large estates may be willing to let you stay when they are not in operation. Find a place where you would like to go and call around.
When you are off grid and away from it all, you have to be very mindful about accidents and injuries. Something routine could prove deadly if you aren’t able to get help in time.
Make sure that all of your phones and other devices are always fully charged and have a backup battery pack so you never have a dead cell phone. And a first aid kit is extremely important. Besides that, you should also have a tool kit to do any repairs that might need to happen in case you are stuck.
You should have a set of wrenches and other items in case you have to do some repairs on the motor. And a saw is good to have in case you encounter a fallen tree or branches that might be blocking your exit.
Always have a plan B in case of an emergency so you know what to do in case.
Enjoy Your Sustainable RV Trip with Boondocking
There are a lot of great ways to enjoy traveling sustainably. You should try to go boondocking, because this is a great way to lower your carbon footprint while using your RV.
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