In today’s blog post, we will answer the following question: How long can an RV stay off the grid? We will explain what staying off-grid in an RV means, how to ensure a best-possible experience and what are the pros and cons of wild camping.
How long can an RV stay off the grid?
How long an RV can stay off the grid will depend on the RV size & amenities, as well as the number of people travelling in the RV. Generally, we can estimate two weeks of boondocking (or dry camping) with a modern RV.
Staying off the grid means not using any hookups, so you must prepare your vehicles and make sure you have enough power, water, food and other camping equipment for all people on board.
To successfully stay off the grid as long as possible, you still need to have a minimum of preparation. Here are our suggestions:
- Check the level of the freshwater, greywater and black water tanks, to be able to stand without a dump station for a few days.
- Beforehand, get an idea of where it is possible to spend the night by looking at the interactive maps or reading useful articles online.
- Get a feel for the energy you are using so you don’t run out. We recommend 200 watts of solar panels as well as a currency converter of 1500 watts in pure current.
- Use LEDs, as these lights require very little energy to operate.
- As far as water is concerned, you will be able to be self-sufficient in 3-4 days if you are careful with the use. So take quick showers and wash the dishes completely once a day if possible. For more autonomy, you can always add additional tanks.
- Always keep canned foods, dry foods like rice, nuts, and frozen vegetables. This way if the fresh food is finished we will always have something to cook for a few days.
- It’s always better to know ahead of time which roads you will be taking because if you’re riding off the beaten track, it’s better to know what is around the next bend. Informing the locals (the inhabitants of the place) can also enlighten you on the best places to camp independently.
And sometimes, a night at a campsite can be a good home base for combing an area before setting off on an adventure.
- We can do without electricity, but no water! When you go camping on your own, make sure you have the necessary amount of water that you expect to need. You can bring a few extra bottles of water just in case, use wipes to clean yourself up, and eat from paper plates to avoid washing dishes.
You can also install an outdoor shower where you will collect water to flush the toilet afterwards … In short, a little forethought will make your life more pleasant … and save your water.
- Just because you feel free from all obstacles, doesn’t mean you can trespass on your neighbour’s peace of mind. If you are camping near other stand-alone campers, be careful not to listen to your music until the wee hours of the morning or run your generator at full capacity.
And when you exit, leave the location as you found it. Now is not the time to dump grey (or worse, black!) Water and leave your trash lying around. In short, it is a matter of common sense.
The advantages of staying off-grid in an RV
First of all, you will have a feeling of freedom rarely equalled. Indeed, your RV is your home, so you can stop where and when you want. In addition, as you can sleep in your vehicle, you can let yourself be carried away by the desires or discoveries of the day. Is there a place that you particularly like? So look for a spot to settle in for the night, no need to go to the next city to find accommodation.
Another advantage of the RV for wild camping is the comfort! Indeed, if you go hiking with a backpack, you will have to carry your things and you will be limited in terms of items you can take. By being in a campervan, you will not be carrying your things and you will also be able to have with you everything you need to make your campsite comfortable. You have all the equipment at your fingertips, a guarantee of comfort while living a unique adventure!
Finally, the last advantage of wild camping in an RV is that you spend less! Your vehicle is also your bed, so you don’t have to pay for overnight accommodation! In addition, since you have your kitchen utensils with you, you cook a lot more and thus limit spending outdoors. We also offer you a list of the best recipes to make when travelling in an RV!
Things to consider if staying off-grid in an RV
Although you can sleep wherever you want, you still remain dependent on a vehicle. So, unlike wild camping with a tent, for example, you won’t have quite an access to all the spots you want. You can always provide a tent in your RV if you want to go on a hike.
In addition, you still need to be vigilant about where you park. Indeed, wild camping is not allowed everywhere and the fines can be high. Always remember to check beforehand that you are not on private land or even in a nature reserve. If so, better move to another location!
To find out where to sleep, you can look on the Park4night app. It is a community site and application for all people who are in an RV or van. We explain to you HERE how the site works. You can also find places to camp with road surfer spots.
In any case, wherever you are, always make sure to respect the place where you sleep. Indeed, do not leave your waste when leaving in the morning and do not disturb the local flora and fauna. We don’t have fun collecting plants or making too much noise, remember that you are a visitor first and foremost.
Simply explained, staying off-grid in an RV it’s about caravanning in total autonomy. Some people do it out of necessity; for example on a long trip, they will make overnight stops (called a “transit stop”) at Walmart or rest areas because the purpose of their trip is the destination. Others, on the other hand, do it out of a taste for adventure; they then settle where they stop, as they wish.
In fact, more and more caravanners are turning to boondock for the experience. whether it is for freedom, for necessity on a long journey, for a taste for adventure by choosing places that offer more privacy or to save money.
How long do you believe your RV could last off the grid? Let us know if you have any comments or questions on the content!
FAQ on How long can an RV stay off the grid?
What does Boondocking mean?
Simply explained, boondocking it’s about caravanning in total autonomy. Some people do it out of necessity; for example on a long trip, they will make overnight stops (called a “transit stop”) at Walmart or rest areas because the purpose of their trip is the destination. Others, on the other hand, do it out of a taste for adventure; they then settle where they stop, as they wish.
Is staying off-grid safe?
Staying off-grid in an RV is safe if you follow basic rules and take some safety precautions. Anyway, try not to cut off all forms of communication with the outside world; let your loved ones know where you plan to camp so that help can be directed to you if something goes wrong.
What is the best RV for Boondocking?
The best RV for boondocking is Class B RVs and camper vans, as they are smaller vehicles and better to manoeuvre off-road.
How long can you Boondock in an RV?
You can boondock in an RV as long as you still have water, food and until you have to dump your RV tanks.
- What Your Camper or RV Needs For Living Off-Grid | The Drive
- Off-Grid Travel Trailers Guide – Living Vehicle
- The Ultimate Guide to Boondocking – Togo RV