Many people might tell you there are specific RV’s you need to travel off-grid. I’m here to tell you, it doesn’t matter. You can set up your RV with lots of solar and batteries, or not! Additionally, you can travel around in a big rig, or something much smaller. You got this!!
Our First Year
While packing up a 2200 square foot home and making the decision to live and travel full time in our RV, we did a lot of research. Now, this was almost 6 years ago, and the full-time RV community has grown quite a bit since then. While learning, we asked questions on social media platforms. We were met with a lot of negativity. Our rig was too high-end. We were too inexperienced. Wait … what? I had posted questions to get some advice and maybe some links to do some research from.
We left our driveway with no solar panels, 6 golf cart batteries, and 2 generators to run parallel (if we needed to run a big load). It worked for us!! We spent our first year living off-grid about 50% of the time. We got a taste of the most beautiful places and we wanted more. Still, we were met with negativity. However, we realized at that moment just how stubborn we are, and how we wanted to show all those big-rig owners that it absolutely can be done.
For the first year, we made it work beautifully. Yes, it takes a little more thought, and yes, we agreed, we had a lot to learn, but we did just that! We worked with our system, learning how it reacted and knew we wanted to upgrade so we could truly live without thinking about it.
Our Second Year
First we saved money. Then we upgraded. Then we made a goal.
GOAL: We will travel 365 days and live off grid 100% of the time, spending less than $100 all year.
In 2018 we did just that! We traveled from the south to the west to the north to the east. All unplugged! We ended our 365 days spending $48. You can read our blog on exactly how we did it here: Boondocking ~ How We Spent $48 on Camping Fees For the Whole Year. We also shared a travel map of each stop we made. You can see that here as well: Our 2018 Travel Map – In fact, we have all our travel maps up for you to check out. As the years went on, we’ve added more details such as pictures and cell data readings. Yes, we are off-grid living, but we are not unconnected. We both work remotely part-time, and we enjoy being connected to our daughters.
Starting Our Fifth Year of Travel
We have now been traveling for over 4 years in our same, big rig, RV. And, we have met some of the most amazing people in our travels, and helped teach a lot of people that it’s ok to try living off-grid. We’ve shared countless blogs and tips about our experiences. Furthermore, we hope we have inspired you through some of our blogs about boondocking.
- It doesn’t have to be primitive or uncomfortable
- You can save a lot of money
- Boondocking can take you to unreachable places
- It can offer unique experiences
- If you’re a remote worker, you can absolutely still work
- It’s not dangerous or scary
- CHECK OUT our blog about finding resources here: Finding Resources While Boondocking
Here are a few blogs about boondocking we think you’ll love!
- 10 Myths About Boondocking – Debunked! Yes, We Do Take Showers!
- Free Camping in Idaho ~ 5 Epic Boondocking Areas!
- RV Appliance Power Consumption (FREE PDF Download here!)
- Top 18 Phone Apps For RV Travel
- Boondocking – Our Top 10 Tips on Free Camping
- Our Top 7 Free Camping Spots and Boondocking Tips
- 5 Epic Free Camping Spots
- Free Camping in South Carolina
We have some favorite gear we use for boondocking. And we’d love to hear what your favorite gear is! However, it’s not necessary to have this stuff to boondock, but it surely makes it more comfortable.
- Water Storage Bladder – This allows us to go get water and bring it back to the RV if we are staying a little longer and need to refill. We have the 60-gallon size. We’ve used this same bladder for over 3 years and love it. It folds up smaller than a coffee table book and stores away nicely.
- Luci Lights – One of the best inventions ever! We have 4 of them. Solar lights we use instead of our awning light to see outside at night. AND if you need them to, they will charge your phone. We actually use 12v chargers in our RV, which work great for charging our phones.
- We tend to try to chase 70* weather. But sometimes nights can get a little chilly. So we use this Buddy Heater to take the chill out before we go to bed.
- 12v Box Fan – This helps when the mid-day gets a little hot. Though we try to follow 70*, sometimes with the sun beating in it can get a little too hot inside. We love this fan!! It really does keep the air cooler and using 12v doesn’t drain your batteries as fast.
Don’t get discouraged, and keep trying if your first experience is not the best. I promise it gets easier! In addition, consider us your friend! We are happy to help answer questions and get you through some of the obstacles. Hopefully, this article has given you some confidence to try boondocking for the first time. Dispersed camping is a fun, free, and adventurous way to tour the country. Mastering boondocking will allow you to prolong your travels for years and you’ll most definitely meet some awesome people along the way.
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