The Cruise America RV Community

There are a host of reasons why vacationing in a motorhome is nothing less than stupendous, but one of the greatest things about it is the versatility and spontaneity that the RV lifestyle offers. As an example, when you’re traveling in a recreation vehicle from Cruise America, you have the option of staying wherever you so desire (so long as it’s legal)! There is no rule that mandates you stay in a designated RV park. In fact, some of the most beautiful places to camp are anything but “designated.” Now that’s not to say that RV parks are less enjoyable; it is simply a matter of taste.

There are those who enjoy the convenience of being in an RV park along with several other travelers. They prefer the amenities that some parks offer, such as water and power hookups, showers, restrooms, playgrounds for the kiddos, convenience markets and even cable television hookups. Another perk for staying in a park is that you can visit with other travelers and swap stories and experiences. But there is another way to camp, and some folks like it even more than staying in a park; it’s called boondocking.

Boondock camping, otherwise referred to as “wild” or “dry” camping, allows you the freedom to camp in the beautiful public lands of our country without neighbors impeding on your seclusion. The solitude of staying where there are no other humans within miles lends a sense of adventure. What’s even greater is the fact that each of our class C motorhomes is completely self-sufficient, making it possible for you to live comfortably without staying in an established RV park. There are a few adaptations to make when camping like this, but they are minor, and well worth it.

Here are a few suggestions and tips drawn from the experience of other boondockers:

Power

Because of the fact that you won’t be hooked up to an endless power supply, you will depend on the onboard batteries for electricity. Obviously, you won’t last on battery power alone, which is why each of our class C motorhome units is equipped with a generator to recharge the power supply as needed. That generator, however, consumes fuel, so being prudent and aware of your power usage is important.

Note: The Truck Camper units available in some of our locations are not equipped with generators.

If you own your RV, and if you’re a long-term boondocker, there may be a few modifications to make to your motorhome to enhance the power conservation and electrical output. These are things like upgrading the battery bank and incorporating solar power and inverters, which allow you to charge the batteries quietly, without fumes from fuel, and all while running your household appliances.

There are a number of ways to conserve power while camping in the wild. Here are a few of them:

Turn off any lights that aren’t in use—that includes the exterior lights of the RV
Coffee makers use a substantial amount of power. Consider making your coffee by pouring boiling water over the coffee grounds through a filter.
Keeping the volume lower on your television or stereo helps, as the louder they are, the more power they consume.
Run your laptop computer off its own battery. They can be charged while you’re driving, using a power inverter. Because you’re doing this while traveling, there is no drain on your power supply.
LED lights are great for conserving power, as they use very little electricity compared to other types of bulbs. Not all of your bulbs must be switched out, but changing out the ones that you use the most would be beneficial if you’re camping long term. If you want the kind of light that the incandescent bulbs cast, get LED lights that are in the Kelvin range of 2,700 to 3,200.

Water

While water is abundant in many regions, you won’t find a faucet in the middle of nowhere with which to fill your tanks. You still must be conservative to keep them from running dry. Here are a few suggestions for helping you go easy on the water you have stored in your RV:

One of the biggest culprits of high water usage is the shower. With a little practice, you can perfect the art of the “two-gallon shower.” In order to make every drop of water count while cleansing yourself, start with your hair and work your way down. Turn off the water while lathering up or shaving, then rinse quickly. It’s amazing how quick and thorough you can be when you’re making an effort to do so, and how long you can make your fresh water last with some conservation efforts.

Another big culprit in the water-usage department is the kitchen sink. If you can set a large bowl or pot of clean water beside the sink for washing, and then rinsing with just a small trickle of water, it will help you conserve water.

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