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Ultimate Boondocking Guide: Conserving water and power when boondocking

Boondocking, Nevada, Poverty Flats, Rusty

Here is my Ultimate Boondocking Guide to conserving water and power when boondocking. In it, I share my top tips for conserving water and power while you are boondocking, dry camping, or off-grid camping! Embarking on an RV adventure offers the freedom to explore the great outdoors and disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Boondocking, or camping off-grid, allows you to immerse yourself in nature truly. It provides a more enjoyable and authentic experience compared to traditional campgrounds. However, conserving water and power when boondocking is essential for ensuring a comfortable stay and minimizing environmental impact.

You may also want to check out these handy RV How-to and Maintenance Articles

In this guide, I gathered ten practical tips to help you master conserving water and power when boondocking in your RV. Following these recommendations, you’ll not only embrace a more eco-friendly lifestyle but also ensure that you have sufficient resources for the duration of your trip. So, let’s dive in and discover how you can become a more responsible and resourceful RV traveler while enjoying the beauty of the great outdoors.

Switch to LED lighting

No ultimate boondocking guide would be complete with a recommendation to replace all your old bulbs with energy-efficient LED lights. Not only do they use less energy, but they also last longer, helping you save on power and reduce waste. Once you’ve made the switch, you’ll immediately notice the difference in your RV’s energy consumption.

Install solar panels

As you embrace the power of nature, consider harnessing the sun’s energy by installing solar panels on your RV. Solar power is a renewable and eco-friendly way to ensure a consistent power source for your off-grid adventures. With solar panels in place, conserving water and power when off-grid camping becomes easier and more sustainable.

Install a tankless water heater

Invest in a tankless water heater to optimize your RV’s energy usage further. These innovative devices heat water on demand, saving both energy and water. Plus, you’ll never run out of hot water, making your off-grid experience even more comfortable. It’s a win-win situation! I personally have the Girard GC2 tankless water heater and love it. It uses very little propane, helps me save water, and gives me endless hot water! I highly recommend it!

Take shorter showers or sponge/wet wipe baths

Showers use a ton of water! There are very efficient shower heads, but even the best use 1-2 gallons per minute. It adds up fast. Try a Navy shower. Wet your body and turn the water off. Lather and rinse as fast as you can.

Wet wipes are also very popular among experienced off-grid campers.

Keep an eye on water usage

Being mindful of your water usage is essential when boondocking. Take shorter showers. Using a low-flow showerhead and turning off the faucet when not in use can significantly reduce water consumption. Remember, every drop counts! Here’s a tip: I cannot say enough good things about this Oxygenics low-flow shower head. It is absolutely amazing. Ten years ago, I put one in my class A RV, and I love it. I love it so much that I replaced all the showerheads in my house with it. Try this one if you are tired of showerheads that barely get you wet. It is a total game-changer! Check it out on Amazon and support the site here: Oxygenics BodySpa RV Handheld Shower

Capture, reuse, and responsibly dispose of gray water to extend off-grid stays

An excellent way to extend your water supply and prolong your off-grid stays is by managing your gray water effectively. Gray water is the wastewater from your sinks and showers. By capturing and reusing it, you can significantly reduce freshwater consumption. You can capture sink water in a plastic basin and easily repurpose this water for tasks like flushing the toilet. This method also helps redistribute some gray water to the black tank, extending the time before your tanks fill up.

In some locations, it may be permissible to dispose of gray water outside your RV, which can be a convenient way to manage your grey water while boondocking and further extend your off-grid stays. However, YOU MUST check local regulations and guidelines before doing so, as rules vary depending on the area you are camped. If allowed, ensure you responsibly dispose of gray water to minimize its environmental impact. Use biodegradable and environmentally friendly soaps and detergents, and avoid disposing of gray water near bodies of water or in areas with fragile ecosystems.

It’s important to note that black tank contents, which consist of sewage and wastewater from your toilet, should never be disposed of anywhere other than designated RV dump stations. Proper disposal of black tank contents is crucial for maintaining hygiene and preventing contamination of the environment.

Regularly inspect your RV for water leaks

Regular maintenance and inspection of your RV for water leaks are crucial for conserving water and power when boondocking. Water leaks can cause significant damage to your RV’s structure and lead to mold and mildew problems. By promptly addressing leaks, you can prevent costly repairs and ensure that your RV remains in top shape for your off-grid adventures.

Use appliances efficiently

Appliance efficiency plays a key role in conserving water and power when boondocking. Choose energy-efficient appliances and use them wisely. For example, cook using a propane stove instead of an electric one and use a pressure cooker to reduce cooking times. Opt for a water-saving washing machine when doing laundry, and air dry your clothes whenever possible.

Install thermal covers on windows

Thermal covers on your RV’s windows can help regulate indoor temperatures, reducing your need for heating or air conditioning. These covers provide insulation, keeping your RV cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, ultimately conserving power and making your off-grid experience more comfortable.

Unplug electronics when not in use

Electronic devices and chargers continue to consume power even when turned off. To save electricity, unplug chargers, small appliances, and other gadgets when you’re not using them. Being proactive about your energy consumption will make a meaningful impact on your RV’s overall efficiency.

Practice energy-saving habits

Lastly, cultivate mindful energy-saving habits. Turn off lights when leaving a room, and avoid using multiple appliances simultaneously. Making small adjustments to your daily routine can significantly reduce your RV’s energy consumption and contribute to a more sustainable way of life.


Implementing these ten practical tips in the Ultimate Guide for conserving water and power when boondocking, dry camping, or off-grid camping, whatever flavor you like in your RV will minimize your environmental impact and create a more enjoyable off-grid camping experience. Embracing eco-friendly practices allows you to extend your time in nature while having adequate resources, ensuring you can fully appreciate the beauty of your surroundings. These measures will make your RV life more sustainable and demonstrate your commitment to preserving our planet for future generations.

As you embark on your next adventure, remember that conserving water and power when boondocking is about resource management and fostering a deeper connection with the environment. By being more mindful of your consumption habits and consciously reducing your footprint, you’ll become a more responsible and resourceful RV traveler. So, gear up, hit the road, and confidently embark on your next eco-friendly journey, knowing you’re well-prepared to make the most of your time in the great outdoors. Here’s to many unforgettable off-grid memories and happy boondocking experiences!

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