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RVing Without Hookups

Being aware of how to RV without hookups is important to maximizing your freedom and self-sufficiency. When you feel confident enough to RV without hookups, you are granted access to a wider variety of camping locations. Whether you’re looking to take on a boondocking adventure or are simply curious about how dry camping works, being knowledgeable about RVing without hookups is a useful skill that every RV enthusiast should be aware of.


When it comes to water, conservation is the name of the game. The more water you conserve, the longer you will be able to last without hookups. Having a good-sized water tank is extremely useful if you are planning on doing a lot of dry camping. Come prepared if you know you’ll be RVing without hookups. This means filling your fresh water tank to capacity, and perhaps bringing along some extra jugs of water just in case. Limit the amount of water you use by opting for sponge baths, investing in a low-flow aerator and shower head, and washing your dishes in a bin before rinsing them off all at once. Collect the water you use for bathing and dishes and use it later for flushing the toilet. If you are frugal with what you choose to use your water for, you should have no problems RVing without a water hookup. If you’re hoping to dry camp for an extended period of time, invest in a water distiller and have access to clean water anytime you are near a river, stream, or lake.


It shouldn’t need to be said, but we’ll say it anyways: never dump your black water in an area that is not designated as a waste dump site. Dumping black water in the woods or in a field can contaminate water sources and put plants and animals at risk. When you are RVing without hookups, try to use public restrooms whenever possible to help slow the fill of your black water tank. Blue boy portable tanks can be utilized to help relieve your tank when the black water is at risk of reaching capacity. Because you are limiting your water usage when dry camping, the contents of your tank is more concentrated and likely to produce a noticeably foul odor. Prepare for this by using a deodorizer or detergent like Borax to help keep the smell at bay until you can find a proper dump site.

As for trash, your best option is going to be collecting your bags in an animal-proof container until you can get rid of it at the city waste dump or at your next fuel stop (ask permission before using dumpsters at gas stations, but if you purchase fuel from them it is unlikely that they will refuse). Make an effort to reduce the smell of your trash and it will be less of an issue to deal with during your dry camping endeavor.


If you are an avid dry camper, it might be cost efficient to invest in solar panels to produce your electricity. For those without solar power, gas powered generators are another viable way to supplement your power and recharge your battery bank. Just be respectful of nearby campers and don’t run your generator continuously or during sleeping hours. Propane can also be used as an alternative power source for some hot water heaters, fridges, etc. If this is the route you are going to go, make sure to bring enough fuel to last you your stay. Stay conscious of the amount of power you are using and try to conserve it by unplugging unused devices, using florescent lights rather than incandescent lights, and using more energy-efficient appliances. Of course, if you really want to rough it, you could just forgo the electricity all together and take on mother nature as we were all intended to. Simply stock up on candles, lighters, and lanterns and forget about those pricey solar panels and noisy generators.


When you’re RVing without hookups, you need to be selective about the kinds of foods you choose to bring along. Try to pick foods that have a longer shelf life, like canned goods and packaged foods. Skip products that are quickly perishable or foods that need to be microwaved. Instead, try to prepare meals that can be cooked over a campfire, like hobo dinners or flame-roasted veggies. Rice and pastas are a great choice for long-lasting food that doesn’t need to be refrigerated.

While RVing without hookups has its own unique challenges, it also has its own unique rewards. The idea of forgoing the basics of luxury might seem unappealing until you’ve experienced the freedom of living off of what nature provides for you. RVing without hookups doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice comfort. In fact, RVing without hookups more accurately means that you are gaining a new level of self-sufficiency and freedom to travel wherever you please.

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