RV sales in 2021 have shattered all previous records. Experts predict that Americans will buy 543,000 new RVs before the new year — not to mention the resale of used RVs and travel trailers.

For the sake of convenience, most travelers stick to campgrounds with water and electric hookups. The more adventurous ones try their hand at boondocking or dry camping.

What is dry camping, exactly? It’s camping “off the grid” away from traditional campgrounds and campsites. RV dry camping can be a thrilling experience, but it also comes with a unique set of challenges.

Keep reading for our best dry camping tips to see if this travel style is right for you.

Choose Your Location Carefully

Is dry camping legal? Technically, it is — as long as you have permission from the land’s owner or manager. You can’t simply roll up to a beautiful meadow and park there for a week.

In most instances, you’ll need to get permission from the national park or state park service. If the land is privately owned, you’ll need to contact the owner to discuss your plans. Don’t skip this step or you could end up in serious legal trouble!

It also goes without saying that you should follow proper boondocking etiquette no matter where you camp. This means leaving no waste or environmental damage behind when you pick up and drive off to your next destination.

Use Technology to Your Advantage

One of your goals is probably to take a break from technology, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be resourceful with it.  

For example, you can find good dry camping locations on the US Forest Service website or the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) website. You can also use an app like Campedium or Harvest Hosts to connect with private landowners who offer space for dry camping.

Plan for Water & Electricity Use

Ideally, you have a vehicle like a Renegade van that’s designed for long periods off the grid. But no matter what you’re driving, before you set out make sure your water tanks are full and your waste tank is empty. This will help to extend your camping trip as long as possible before you need to return to civilization.

As far as power, your options include solar panels, onboard generators, or alternative power sources. If you choose to use a generator, look for a quiet model that won’t annoy neighbors or scare off wildlife.

Pro tip: Be sure to do a “test run” in your backyard, at a nearby rest stop, or in a Walmart parking lot before you head out into the wilderness. This will give you a better understanding of your vehicle’s (and your personal) limitations.

Is Dry Camping Right for You?

As more people choose to travel or even live off the grid, dry camping is rising in popularity. Still, it takes careful planning and research to ensure your dry camping adventure is safe, legal, and enjoyable.

If you haven’t tried RV dry camping yet, why not give it a go? You just might fall in love with the freedom!

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