Getting away from it all: Boondocking tips

June 13, 2014 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to our E-mail Digest or RSS Feed. We will then send you the stories that are posted each day in an e-mail digest. We use a service called Feedburner for delivery of these emails. You will receive an e-mail from Feedburner after you subscribe and you must click on that email to activate your subscription. Thanks for visiting and enjoy all the information! RV.Net Blog AdminBy Bob Difley Do you always choose a campground because of the availability of hook-ups? If so, you may be missing some of the pleasures of camping and the RV lifestyle experience; enjoyment of nature in the wild, wide open spaces, primitive areas, leaving the crowds behind, quiet, solitude, and no neighbors that are so close that you can hear them sneeze. In dispersed camping areas with undesignated campsites or on open BLM or Forest Service land, you can get as close to or as far away from the action as you like. In Quartzite, for example, you will find clusters of campers around a single group fire pit as well as loners stretched out across the isolated reaches of the desert floor. I am not denigrating hook-up campgrounds. I frequently use destination campgrounds because of the amenities that are not available in government or primitive campgrounds, such as swimming pools, hot tubs, organized activities, laundry rooms, and a Wifi connection. But if you choose a campground because you feel that you cannot exist without hook-ups, the following tips and suggestions... Read more

VIDEO: RV Boondocking & Water

April 16, 2014 by · Comments Off 

Here’s another episode of “The Loloho Show,” our ongoing chat series that broadcasts to our YouTube Channel ( In this episode, we talk about boondocking and water management. Anyone who RV camps eventually does some boondocking. And why not? Camping without hookups is arguably the most rewarding aspect of RV ownership. Sure, we all enjoy taking a long hot shower in a full hookup campground. But some of our fondest camping memories have been made off the beaten path. In the video we mention several products that have helped us stretch out our water supply. These include: RV WATER FILTER ( The 2-pack is by far the best deal. JERRYCAN FOR WATER ( DRY SHAMPOO ( OXYGENICS SHOWER HEAD ( BRITTA BELLA WATER PITCHER ( THE NEXT EXIT – INTERSTATE HIGHWAY EXIT DIRECTORY ( And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more fun free videos.  Read More →

Heat Your RV with Propane WITHOUT Using Electricity

January 6, 2014 by · Comments Off 

As winter rolls in, we’re always on the lookout for better ways to keep our RV warm. The Camco Olympian Wave Heater ( merits special attention. This is a propane powered radiant heater that’s designed for use inside an RV. Olympian Wave heaters can be wall mounted, or left standing and used as portable space heaters. 3000 BTUs of safe propane powered heat. These heaters are available in 3000 BTU, 6000 BTU, and 8000 BTU variants. This heat output will heat anywhere from 130 to 290 square feet of interior space. Olympian Wave heaters are powered by propane and use no electricity. With an Olympian Wave heater there’s no battery drain whatsoever. (This is a nice contrast to our Airstream heat furnace which drains battery with every use.) Thus, they are ideal for boondocking and dry camping. 3000 BTUs is good. 6000? Twice as good! (Click the pic for more info.) Olympian Wave heaters are silent. There is no fan or blower noise. Due to the double platinum heating element, there is no significant production of carbon monoxide or other harmful waste gases. These heaters radiate heat directly to people and RV interiors without heating the air first, so warmth is felt immediately. Radiant heat is often compared to solar heat, since it’s the same type of heat generated by the sun. The Mac Daddy! 8000 BTUs of warmth. (Click the pic for more info.) They can be used as a primary or secondary heat source. In other words, you could have a second heat... Read more

The gray water dumping question answered

December 28, 2013 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley This is a previously published post on, but I thought that it was informative and appropriate enough to publish again at the beginning of  snowbird season when many of you will be boondocking in Southern California and Arizona. The question nearly always comes up among boondockers on whether it is legal to dump gray water (from the RV shower and sinks) onto the ground, into a freshly dug hole, or onto a thirsty bush while boondocking in the desert. I contacted the BLM with a request to point out the applicable regulations and to clarify some gray (no pun intended) areas. I received the following reply: “Dear Mr. Difley, we have received your request and in order to properly answer your questions are consulting with our field offices to determine if there are any areas that have special restrictions/conditions in place. We will respond to your request once we can compile the responses. Thank you for your interest in BLM public lands. Carrie Templin Public Affairs Specialist Bureau of Land Management” A couple weeks later I received the following reply. I have hightlighted certain sections that I thought interesting or pertinent in bold type. “Dear Mr. Difley, Thank you for your recent questions regarding recreational vehicles (RV) and dispersed camping on BLM lands in Arizona. The answers to your questions are more complicated than originally thought. Although the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) found at 8365.1-1 (3) generally excludes “wash water”... Read more

With a little practice you can save on campground fees by boondocking

November 16, 2013 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley Most RVers who have gotten past the newbie stage have camped overnight at least once or twice without hookups, for instance in a Walmart parking lot, at a rest stop along an interstate highway, at an RV rally, or in a forest service campground. Discovering how to camp where there are no hookups is not difficult, since all modern rigs were designed to be self-contained and self-reliant and most RVers once they get a little familiar with their rig have tried it. But the real trick to successful camping without the restrictions imposed by hook-ups–what RVers call  boondocking–is knowing how to get that third, fourth, or fifth day – or even a week or more – out of a boondocking campsite. And not just surviving, but becoming completely comfortable and confident doing it. The trick is in managing your resources–water, electricity, and waste. If you familiarize yourself with these resources you will be able to judge how many days you can camp without running out (or filling up) and needing to take care of your onboard systems. For instance, monitor your electrical usage with a multi-meter and how fast you deplete it from your batteries. Watch your drinking water tank level and how much you waste (and the resultant waste water filling up your gray water tank). Also check your black, or sewer, tan and how fast you fill it. Then practice ways to conserve. Getting as many days in the boonies as you can squeeze in between having to pack up camp and... Read more

It’s the little things that make boondocking comfortable

September 13, 2013 by Bob Difley · Comments Off 

By Bob Difley In answer to the question in one of my boondocking classes why only a small percentage of RVers boondock, one woman responded that she  could  not give up her electric blanket. A gruff oldtimer said he was a growling bear if he didn’t get his cup of coffee when he woke up. How perceptions can differ from one person to another on what is necessary to boondock. The electric blanket was something I didn’t even own. And wouldn’t throwing another blanket on the bed solve that deterrent? And substitute a Melita drip type coffee maker or French press for the plug-in coffee pot and you have your coffee. In reality, it is most likely not a technical item that is required to enjoy boondocking, but a perceived convenience item–the electric blanket–designed to keep one warm but required continuous 120-volt electrical current over an eight-hour period, something that a non-energy-requiring extra blanket or quilt would accomplish just as well. Or requiring 110-volt electricity to heat your coffee water when a propane gas stove–which nearly all RVs have built in–works just as well if not better. So when you begin setting up your rig for boondocking, it may be just as important to consider exactly what will make you comfortable and enhance your boondocking experience rather than just filling up your cart with boondocking “must have” items at the local RV parts store. Spend just as much time on  how to achieve personal warmth, comfort, cleanliness,... Read more

Is this the BEST RV SHOWER?

July 31, 2013 by · Comments Off 

RV camping is all about water management. At the same time, we all love hot showers with good water pressure. That’s why we own an Oxygenics showerhead ( It delivers the best RV shower we’ve found. Life without fresh water quickly becomes intolerable. If you are camping at a campground with water and sewer hookups, then your needs are met. But if you are boondocking or dry camping – camping without any water hookup, which my wife and I do often – you are reliant on a limited fixed supply. It’s critical that you use water wisely. Click the pic for more info. No matter what kind of RV you own, you probably have a fresh water tank. That tank contains a limited supply of water that you use for drinking, cooking, washing, showering, and flushing. Our freshwater tank holds 54 gallons of water. Until a person goes RV camping, they have no idea how much water they use on a daily basis. In the United States, the average water usage per person (amongst non-camping persons) is 80-100 gallons per day. Think about that for a moment. Let me repeat: we have a 54 gallon fresh water tank in our Airstream. The average daily usage for two people is 160-200 gallons. If we used water in the same way non-camping people do, our freshwater tank would be dry by noon every day! We’d constantly be running out of water, and life would be a pain in the buttocks area. But we don’t, and it isn’t. Here’s why. Over the years, we’ve... Read more

A 2500 Watt Power Inverter! (& Less Extreme Options)

July 26, 2013 by · Comments Off 

We’ve been discussing our favorite RV camping gear. Over the years, our DC to AC power inverters have proven to be incredibly useful. We typically use them in our truck, but they are also handy inside the RV. For the uninitiated, a power inverter converts 12V DC current (from a “cigarette lighter” style outlet) into household 120V AC current. This allows us to power all sorts of electrical devices from our truck and RV batteries. We do so in our truck when we are traveling down the road, and sometimes inside our RV when we are stopped for the night. We own two inverters – a modest 150W model and a more powerful 400W model. If I was shopping today for my first inverter, I’d go straight for at least a Bestek 300W or a Cobra 400W. Here’s why. This Bestek 300W power inverter is a #1 bestseller. (Click the pic for more info.) We use our 400W model the most. We originally bought it many years ago to power a portable air pump (inflating an air mattress when tent camping) and it worked like a champ. But there are other benefits to the higher power output of the 400W – for example, it charges our iPhones much, much faster than the 150W version. For this reason, our 150W unit is used sparingly. We typically keep the 400W in our truck and anytime we need to charge devices, we flip the “ON” switch and plug up. We use our power inverter as we're driving down the highway - the 400W charges our tech devices quickly. The 150W does the trick too, just a little... Read more


July 24, 2013 by · Comments Off 

Every RV camper needs a good flashlight. In fact, as anyone who’s ever stumbled around a campsite in the dark can tell you, every RV camper needs several good flashlights. We sometimes boondock in rural areas that are pitch black at night. So we carry a bunch of flashlights in different styles and sizes, ranging from tiny handheld units to strap-on headlamps to the best and baddest of them all: our Stanley FatMax waterproof rechargeable LED spotlight (try saying that three times fast). The FATMAX is more than a mere flashlight – it’s a MONSTER LED SPOTLIGHT. It’s the perfect answer to that timeless after midnight question: “Hey, what’s going on out there?” Even if you have an old fashioned halogen spotlight, you should consider this new LED design. Overall, LED is better – a lot better. I replaced a dying old halogen unit with this LED model and have been very pleased with the change. The new LED lighting technology really offers some major benefits compared to older designs. With HALF the size & weight of the old style, the LED spotlight burns cool - with a 10-hour battery life! (Click the pic for more info.) This Stanley FatMax LED is 50% smaller than the typical spotlight – that makes it great for carrying in the RV, or in your tow vehicle. It’s small enough to fit in a backpack. My old spotlight was much more bulky. The Stanley LED spotlight is lighter in weight than the old halogen designs. It weighs a mere 1.8 pounds, less... Read more


April 16, 2013 by Barry & Monique Zander · Comments Off 

By Barry Zander, Edited by Monique Zander, the Never-Bored RVers Dear Lug_Nut, We cringed during yesterday’s posting, wondering how we get ourselves into these no-going-back & no-going–forward situations.  We had a few, but, honestly, none that I can remember as harrowing as your knuckle-whitener.  Good writing, Lug! Since “Comments” aren’t active these days, a victim of spammers (who sent me over 400 messages at one time), I’ll relate a few of our experiences in this blog.  I wrote this same type column about a year ago, but Monique urged me not to run it.  I must have erased it, because it has disappeared from my files. First incident happened about the fifth day of our RVing experience, so naturally I was still nervous.  We approached a long, narrow bridge pulling our 22-foot Starcraft Antigua travel trailer.  As we moved on forward, I realized there was a truck with a wide load heading toward us !!! at a high rate of speed !!! and weaving a bit.  I truly white-knuckled it, hanging onto the steering wheel for dear life. We must have made it across, because we’re still RVing.  I may have blacked out as we almost scraped past. Not long afterward, we pulled into a shopping center … only it wasn’t the entrance to the center’s parking lot.  It was the entrance to a small Starbuck’s – no way to back up or turn around, only the narrow drive-thru driveway.  We didn’t order a Frappuccino:  we were just happy with our escape. Still new to the... Read more

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