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Old 01-29-2020, 05:34 PM   #1
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Boondocking vs Camping without Hookups

I read this forum because I like to hear suggestions regarding using the RV without full hookups.

I have only camped with hookups 4 times but most of the time I am not really boon docking. I am camping at a large astronomy event where RV have to be self sufficient and we are surrounded by a lot of tent camping astronomers. The other times we are often in a no hookup campsite where we still are paying a nominal fee for using the site. We have only truly boondocks a few times.

I am a bit cautious about driving my truck pulling my trailer down a road towards a potential boon docking site. I would only do this if I had specific information in advance that there will be a good site and there is plenty of room to turn around.

It seems to be a hassle to drop your trailer at the side of the road to scope out a road to a potential boon docking site.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:02 PM   #2
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Here are some suggestions:

Google Search Maps for the area you are considering and then look at the satellite view and zoom in. (We don't boondock but we do this for ever campsite reservation we make).

Get a 4 wheeler ATV type vehicle or a dirt bike motorcycle. Leave the camper and tow vehicle at the entrance of your projected site and go for a drive using the ATV or motorcycle. Scope it out.

Search the internet and see if anyone has any kind of information on the specific location you are considering.

Purchase a drone with a great range and a good camera and fly it over the area you considering before heading down and end up in a spot where you can't turn around.

Return to locations you've been to previously and set up camp. Now drive further in with your vehicle and scope out new areas for your next journey which will be even further off the beaten path. In time, you'll be so far "out there" no one will ever find you!

Travel with someone who has been to a location before, but you've never been to. Follow them.

There may be more ways, but these are the ideas that come to my mind right off the top. Good luck and Happy Camping.
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Old 01-29-2020, 06:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by astrocamper View Post
I have only camped with hookups 4 times but most of the time I am not really boon docking.
I apologize for my ignorance, but I do not follow? How do you distinguish where you are camping with no hookups as NOT boondocking?
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:01 PM   #4
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Dropping the TT is a pain, but it is the gold standard. I do not believe that gogglemaps is going to show the ditches and other problems that will keep you from turning around. Or the unexpected road blockage I ran into last year from a load of dirt dropped on the road followed by ditches on each side of the road. The resolution on the sat view is just not good enough to give you more than a general idea of the area.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:05 PM   #5
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I apologize for my ignorance, but I do not follow? How do you distinguish where you are camping with no hookups as NOT boondocking?

I'm pretty sure the term "boondocks" means a remote location, in the wild, isolated or very thinly populated location.

Dry camping simply means using an RV with no hook-ups.

You can 'dry camp' anywhere, even in the midst of a college campus. But, according to the definition, that's not boondocking. If you are boondocking you are almost always dry-camping with no hook-up.

Camping-off-the-grid might not be boondocking either. You can camp off the grid just by simply unplugging all utility services in your own driveway.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:17 PM   #6
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I mostly boonedock.
I always know where I'm going before I get there though. Google Earth, Google maps, freecampsites.net, campendium, and many other resources make it possible.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchmenSpor View Post
I'm pretty sure the term "boondocks" means a remote location, in the wild, isolated or very thinly populated location.

Dry camping simply means using an RV with no hook-ups.

You can 'dry camp' anywhere, even in the midst of a college campus. But, according to the definition, that's not boondocking. If you are boondocking you are almost always dry-camping with no hook-up.

Camping-off-the-grid might not be boondocking either. You can camp off the grid just by simply unplugging all utility services in your own driveway.
Got it. If OP had said....

"I have only camped with hookups 4 times but most of the time I am dry camping...."

I prolly would not have got confused. But as it was I have learned something new.

But please tell me if I camp off the grid; I am also dry camping? If not, what is difference between those two?

I have been incorrectly assuming that whenever I am unplugged I am boondocking. Didn't matter if I was on top of Stone Mountain, at the Winnebago Dealership, or in my driveway? When in my driveway; which I do all the time, I never considered that as dry camping or off the grid, just boondocking because I am docked; but as if I am without power as in the boonies?
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by astrocamper View Post

I am a bit cautious about driving my truck pulling my trailer down a road towards a potential boon docking site. I would only do this if I had specific information in advance that there will be a good site and there is plenty of room to turn around.

Good to be cautions. Here is an example of a place I gohttps://freecampsites.net/#!18546&query=sitedetails

Good information provided by others.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:34 PM   #9
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Just googled Boondocking.

Boondocking is a term used by RVers to describe RVing without being connected to water, electric, or sewer. Because you're not connected to any services it's also called dry camping. Other terms you might see that all refer to boondocking are free camping and wild camping.Oct 29, 2018

Is that definition wrong?
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
Just googled Boondocking.

Boondocking is a term used by RVers to describe RVing without being connected to water, electric, or sewer. Because you're not connected to any services it's also called dry camping. Other terms you might see that all refer to boondocking are free camping and wild camping.Oct 29, 2018

Is that definition wrong?
Yes.

Boondocking = Out in the BOONDOCKS, without hookups.

Dry camping = Camping without hookups.

Have fun.

Read it. Learn it. Live it.
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Old 01-29-2020, 07:44 PM   #11
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To me, "boondocking" means "dry camping" with the additional factor of being off in the boonies.

"The boonies" are remote, wild, unimproved, deserted locations. ("Boondock" is from a Tagalog word - Philippines - meaning "mountains", so saying someone was from the bundoks meant they were from out-of-civilization.)
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:37 PM   #12
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We have always used the phrase “dry camping” to mean staying in a non-remote area without hookups. Think National Forest campground. Boondocking means doing the same but staying in a remote area, not a campground, and not a parking lot. However the logistics of dealing with power, water, and waste are pretty much the same. Boondocking just adds the issue of making sure your proposed location is driveable. We use Campendium, AllStays Camp&RV, Google Earth, and personal recommendations to find good boondocking sites. And yes, they exist even for our 40’ motorhome.
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Old 01-29-2020, 09:55 PM   #13
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Thanks for your comments. I was just kind of curious about what people consider boon docking. Growing up I thought boondocks meant a long way off the main drag away from civilization.

I don't like high density camping because we enjoy astronomy. Other non-astronomer campers may generate local light pollution by having campfires or running lights outside their RVs. Low density also means a quieter campsite with many intrusions from neighbors.

When we camp at astronomy events we don't mind the density because the event has rules about no outside lighting and quiet hours going to mid morning to allow people to sleep in after staying up very late.

I have only owned my Arctic Fox 22G two years. The 10 years before that we camped with a 5x8 cargo trailer that served as a bedroom after unloading the gear. I could turn the little trailer around in just about any situation if there wasn't too many trees. With the larger expensive trailer I want to avoid situations that could leave us trapped.

We have been using solar for the last 12 years and are very good at understanding how to manage limited power and water resources to stay out a long time.
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:24 PM   #14
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Google Earth and/or Google Maps is a great tool for finding "boondocking" or "dispersed" sites, whatever you purists want to call them!! Find the area you are planning on visiting (in the sat view on maps), when you find a road you are looking for or an interesting looking road or trail (!!), zoom in and follow. Look for rv's, fire pits, open areas along creeks or lakes, anything to get a reference to past usage. Not perfect, no real view of the road or track itself, but you'll see a lot!! Google Earth will also give you the altitude of the cursor on the map (right bottom), which can help with determining how the road climbs or drops, and any side paths you find interesting. Also date of sat pics to help.

One thing the sat views don't show is the sides of the road or track and condition to tell if you can pass another vehicle or rv going in or out!!! I know that from hard experience!!! Yes, dropping the trailer is the best in an totally unknown area, but not totally necessary if you do some research before you get there!!!

Just finding reviews or reports on areas can tell you if you can or want to access such. You find an area, just ask here or on rvnet and you will usually get responses, unless nobody has ever been there before!!!!!
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