Some people have a misconception that boondocking is “free.” It is not. It can be inexpensive, but not free.

For example, I have reported here before that our nightly camping cost is $4.67, averaged out over a year. This includes not only all money paid for a campsite, but also includes expenses involved with dry camping that we would not have in a full hookup campground. For example, gas for our generator, and the cost of going to a laundromat, since we would use our onboard washer and dryer if we were in a park.

We spent two weeks at Quartzsite in January, 2008. During that time we paid $40 to park in the LTVA area for fourteen days. (Yes, there are free fourteen day areas, but we chose the LTVA because we had friends parked there, and because there are free water and dump stations, which we would have had to pay for in the free areas.) Gas for our generator came to $45. We did laundry, which cost about $18. If you factor the cost of gasoline in the van to run to town for generator gas and the laundromat, let’s call it another $5. That comes to $108, or $7.71 a day. That’s still pretty inexpensive, but not free.

I have not included the cost of setting our bus conversion up for dry camping, including the cost of our battery bank, solar panels and charge controllers, and generator.

I’m not sure how I could amortize that over the number of days we have spent dry camping over the years. We included the generator and our first inverter when we built our bus conversion several years ago, and installed our three AGM house batteries long before we added our original solar setup. So it was an investment over time.

Not every RV is set up the same. Many do not have the dry camping equipment that we do, nor do you necessarily need solar panels, an inverter, a huge battery bank, or even a generator to spend time off the grid.

You can either adapt your RV to the boondocking lifestyle, or adapt your boondocking style to your RV’s equipment. Not everyone is a night owl like me. Most will not need to work several hours a day on a computer, or run a laser printer, so it is entirely possible to get along just fine without using the amount of power we consume. On the other hand, if you do like to watch several hours of television daily, brew coffee, surf the internet, cook with your microwave oven, and other activities that use a lot of power, you can do that just fine if your RV is set up properly.

In Quartzsite, we saw people boondocking in everything from bus conversions and diesel pusher motorhomes, to pickup truck campers, fifth wheel trailers, and even Class B vans. The one thing we all had in common was that we were all enjoying the desert sunshine every day, those beautiful Arizona sunsets in the evening, and the stars twinkling in the desert sky overhead at night. No matter what you came there in, it’s better than shoveling snow in Michigan or Wisconsin in January!

No, boondocking is not free. But I still think experiences like that make it a heck of a bargain.

Leave a Reply


  1. Pingback: balinese massage

  2. Pingback: Small Closet Organization Ideas

  3. Pingback: crime scene photography

  4. Pingback: best priced tickets

  5. Pingback: Legal jobs Chicago

  6. Pingback: Learn More

  7. Pingback: abis projector reviews

  8. Pingback: slip and fall lawyer

  9. Pingback: wills and probate solicitors

  10. Pingback: hosting

  11. Pingback: beach wear

  12. Pingback: Brooklyn Recording Studio

  13. Pingback: sprzatanie hal warszawa

  14. Pingback: Enagic Demonstration

  15. Pingback: virtual pa

  16. Pingback: website

  17. Pingback: Mortgage Broker London

  18. Pingback: data recovery services

  19. Pingback: toronto recovery services

  20. Pingback: get tickets

  21. Pingback:

  22. Pingback: safe baby infant cars seats

  23. Pingback: water damage mold

  24. Pingback: who is clickbank

  25. Pingback: lida zayiflama

  26. Pingback:

  27. Pingback: Cheap Car Insurance MA

  28. Pingback: målare

  29. Pingback: french classes

  30. Pingback: learn french new york

  31. Pingback:

  32. Pingback: tattoo tampa

  33. Pingback: sex toys for couples

  34. Pingback: vitamins

  35. Pingback: projektowanie ogrodów

  36. Pingback: iphone four cases

  37. Pingback: redbox finder

  38. Pingback: weight loss

  39. Pingback: adult autism

  40. Pingback: find out more here

  41. Pingback: paydayloan

  42. Pingback: dinamiki istoselida

  43. Pingback: statiki istoselida

  44. Pingback: Joe Khorasani

  45. Pingback: lipozin diet pills

  46. Pingback: Fort Worth Contractors

  47. Pingback: olympia washington taxi

  48. Pingback: number one book system

  49. Pingback: computer repair kc

  50. Pingback: cliquez ici

  51. Pingback: pole dance lima

  52. Pingback: best online uk slots

  53. Pingback: inspirational quotes and sayings

  54. Pingback: cheap seo on fiverr

  55. Pingback: Voodoo

  56. Pingback: Nike Free

  57. Pingback: homes for sale in Hermosa beach

  58. Pingback: homes for sale in Hermosa beach

  59. Pingback: spammy online marketing

  60. Pingback: Tok5'1

  61. Pingback: the tao of badass

  62. Pingback: approved car finance

  63. Pingback: jansport wheeled backpacks

  64. Pingback:

  65. Pingback: water damage recovery

  66. Pingback: Credit Blog

  67. Pingback: Stop Sweating

  68. Pingback: what is serotonin

  69. Pingback: supplements

  70. Pingback: trucos para adelgazar

  71. Pingback: letter to god

  72. Pingback: paving designs

  73. Pingback: Supplements for Bodybuilders

  74. Pingback: Web Design Custom Website Design

  75. Pingback: temporary medical insurance

  76. Pingback: blogging

  77. Pingback: ebay global

  78. Pingback: gun accessories

  79. Pingback:

  80. Pingback:

  81. Pingback:

  82. Pingback: click here

  83. Pingback: attorney joseph c. peiffer

  84. Pingback: Standard Terms and Conditions

  85. Pingback: buy nopal

  86. Pingback: joseph c. peiffer

  87. Pingback: setting up your own online business

  88. Pingback: click here

  89. Pingback: home gym repair

  90. Pingback: gw-505156

  91. Pingback: rsa training

  92. Pingback: phlebotomy training classes

  93. Pingback: Turnkey Adult Website

  94. Pingback: sales videos

  95. Pingback: LawCrossing

  96. Pingback: basic checklist

  97. Pingback: web hosting kansas city

  98. Pingback: Sol Salzer

  99. Pingback: Japan Koi

  100. Pingback: Marina Del Rey smoke glass

  101. Pingback: Marina Del Rey car wrap

  102. Pingback: common core math

  103. Pingback: network marketing

  104. Pingback: Profit Agent

  105. Pingback: krill oil youtube

  106. Pingback: Florist Example

  107. Pingback: krill oil for anxiety

  108. Pingback: Bus Driver Template

  109. Pingback: Matt

  110. Pingback: business reputation management

  111. Pingback: money online

  112. Pingback: Profit Agent Bonus

  113. Pingback: payday loans online

  114. Pingback: SAT Prep Courses

  115. Pingback: Hier bekommen Sie mehr Informationen

  116. Pingback: starbucks gift card

  117. Pingback: backlinks

  118. Pingback: replica watches

  119. Pingback: Trevor Rios

  120. Pingback: Zeek Rewards Pyramid Scheme

  121. Pingback: cordless drills

  122. Pingback: sell my mobile

  123. Pingback: weight loss

  124. Pingback: Binary Options

  125. Pingback: Binary Options Signals

  126. Pingback: profitagent

  127. Pingback: option binaire

  128. Pingback: drylock

  129. Pingback: options binaires

  130. Pingback: Wedding Photographers Cambridge

  131. Pingback: basement repair costs

  132. Pingback: hardwood floor prices

  133. Pingback: Sample Hospital Volunteer Resume

  134. Pingback: Do It Yourself Photobook

  135. Pingback: wedding loans for bad credit

  136. Pingback: ppi

  137. Pingback: Personal Trainer Resume Example

  138. Pingback: payday loan

  139. Pingback: review on centerstage chicago of bistro bordeaux

  140. Pingback: get twitter followers

  141. Pingback: Terrence Valdez

  142. Pingback: Austin Benson

  143. Pingback: hot daily deals

  144. Pingback: over the toilet cabinet

  145. Pingback: davenport churches

  146. Pingback: over toilet cabinet

  147. Pingback: Overtons Coupon Code

  148. Pingback: Utah Gutter

  149. Pingback: Escorts of london

  150. Pingback: managed vps

  151. Pingback: making money online

  152. Pingback: significato tatuaggi lettere e scritte

  153. Pingback: somanabolic muscle maximizer

  154. Pingback: News

  155. Pingback: logos quiz

  156. Pingback: best sources of omega 7

  157. Pingback: krill oil fish oil

  158. Pingback: psychiatrist

  159. Pingback: secured loans

  160. Pingback: risarcimento danni

  161. Pingback: unlock iphone 4 methods

  162. Pingback: unlock iphone 4 ios

  163. Pingback: unlock iphone 4 disadvantages

  164. Pingback: smslan

  165. Pingback: sms lan 500

  166. Pingback: unlock iphone 4 gevey

  167. Pingback: sms lan betalningsanmärkning

  168. Pingback: sms lan utan kreditupplysning

  169. Pingback: telefonlan

  170. Pingback: sms lan 2000

  171. Pingback: lan utan fast inkomst

  172. Pingback: lan utan uc

  173. Pingback: ?????? ???????

  174. Pingback: ?????

  175. Pingback: katalog stron

  176. Pingback: lana billigt

  177. Pingback: lana med betalningsanmarkning

  178. Pingback: Alonzo Lewis

  179. Pingback: Ellen Vargas

  180. Pingback: truck tires

  181. Pingback: limousine service in toronto

  182. Pingback: beyonce songs

  183. Pingback: Hiring Solutions

  184. Pingback: home improvement ideas

  185. Pingback: Vet CPD

  186. Pingback: auctions

  187. Pingback: pardons canada

  188. Pingback: powerwashing Cardiff

  189. Pingback: twelve month loans

  190. Pingback: Vet CPD

  191. Pingback: anointing oil

  192. Pingback: Reviews, Gadgets, and News!

  193. Pingback: Jobs Waterstones

  194. Pingback: homes for sale in west Hollywood

  195. Pingback: wedding reception invitations

  196. Pingback: kindle keyboard

  197. Pingback: biznes

  198. Pingback: luxury homes in bel air

  199. Pingback: luxury homes in miracle mile

  200. Pingback: earn money fast

  201. Pingback: luxury homes in Beverly hills post office

  202. Pingback: agence evenementielle paris

  203. Pingback: Ad firms

  204. Pingback: music

  205. Pingback: Legal Recruiting NYC

  206. Pingback: eGo-T

  207. Pingback: purchasing a new home

  208. Pingback: keep up with what is what magazines

  209. Pingback: home business tips

  210. Pingback: Google

  211. Pingback: handel

  212. Pingback: buy zynga chips

  213. Pingback: social media agency Denver

  214. Pingback: prolactin and fertility

  215. Pingback: Fresher Jobs

  216. Pingback: How do you get on google maps

  217. Pingback: Nashua Insurance

  218. Pingback: catering

  219. Pingback: full tuition scholarships for working adults

  220. Pingback: kratom

  221. Pingback: Mid-life Transitions

  222. Pingback: Sell house now

  223. Pingback: dentista em itaborai

  224. Pingback: my sources

  225. Pingback: watch tv series online

  226. Pingback: watch tv online

  227. Pingback: 500 free zeekler penny auction bids

  228. Pingback: 500 free zeekler penny auction bids

  229. Pingback: PPI claim form

  230. Pingback: office furniture

  231. Pingback: review the truth about six pack abs

  232. Pingback: Uses of LED Lights

  233. Pingback: look at this site

  234. Pingback: reunite siblings

  235. Pingback: Wedding planning san diego

  236. Pingback: 30 year fixed jumbo rates

  237. Pingback: Click Here

  238. Pingback: online broker details

  239. Pingback: Location Vacances Ile Maurice

  240. Pingback: homes for sale in studio city

  241. Pingback: bikes

  242. Pingback: zquiet

  243. Pingback: Buy a condo in la

  244. Pingback: doheny estates

  245. Pingback: Beverly Hills Homes

  246. Pingback: dubai massage

  247. Pingback: precle

  248. Pingback: China Direct

  249. Pingback: sell my photography

  250. Pingback: Vitamin

  251. Pingback: vitamin

  252. Pingback: Vintage Plus Size Clothing

  253. Pingback: Sitexploration video tutorials

  254. Pingback: Xbox Repair

  255. Pingback: bisnis jual pulsa isi ulang

  256. Pingback: copier repair

  257. Pingback: Mobile Monopoly 2.0

  258. Pingback: gadzety reklamowe

  259. Pingback: source for information

  260. Pingback: grosir pulsa

  261. Pingback: website details

  262. Pingback: benidorm bars

  263. Pingback:

  264. Pingback: quick weight loss

  265. Pingback: Promotion

  266. Pingback: Empower Network Review

  267. Pingback: great headphones

  268. Pingback: private investigator singapore

  269. Pingback: a replacement

  270. Pingback: health e-books

  271. Pingback: wedding photographer edinburgh

  272. Pingback: visit these guys

  273. Pingback: avis remunere

  274. Pingback: talks about it

  275. Pingback: unlock iphone

  276. Pingback: jual pakaian dalam wanita

  277. Pingback: Internet Advertising

  278. Pingback: here

  279. Pingback: click here for more

  280. Pingback: for more info click here

  281. Pingback: Read This

  282. Pingback: Mauritius Villa Rental

  283. Pingback: he said

  284. Pingback: custom challenge coins

  285. Pingback: translations

  286. Pingback: plain green loans

  287. Pingback: Diablo 3 gold

  288. Pingback: Location Saisonniere Ile Maurice

  289. Pingback: picamilon

  290. Pingback: flower delivery singapore

  291. Pingback: cortinas niteroi

  292. Pingback: Coupon Code

  293. Pingback: Coffee Blog

  294. Pingback: Bloomington Exterminator

  295. Pingback: official blog

  296. Pingback: Dolichos beans

  297. Pingback: LEEDS restaurants reviews

  298. Pingback: home loan

  299. Pingback: wood window

  300. Pingback: dog bandana

  301. Pingback: hgh spray

  302. Pingback: Jewelry

  303. Pingback: Maui Weddings

  304. Pingback: Stenton Leigh Group

  305. Pingback: Self Catering Accommodation in Mauritius

  306. Pingback: TheFashionatic Blog

  307. Pingback: trading forex option

  308. Pingback: cash loans

  309. Pingback: how to flip cars for profits

  310. Pingback: trackback backlinks

  311. Pingback: how to lose belly fat fast

  312. Pingback: orthodontist assistant salary

  313. Pingback: what a woman wants

  314. Pingback: yes approve

  315. Pingback: iron transfer paper

  316. Pingback: auto repair houston

  317. Pingback: LocalBiz VORTEX

  318. Pingback: website templates

  319. Pingback: cheap insurance

  320. Pingback: dg eyewear

  321. Pingback: home made energy

  322. Pingback: health spa in Santa Monica

  323. Pingback: Child Care Billings MT

  324. Pingback: fat loss 4 idiots

  325. Pingback: truth about abs

  326. Pingback: Configurar

  327. Pingback: osteo arthritis

  328. Pingback: How Can I Get Money

  329. Pingback: Natural dog shampoo

  330. Pingback: buffet casamento rj

  331. Pingback: E Cigarette

  332. Pingback: Personal Trainer Swindon

  333. Pingback: car seat

  334. Pingback: stock seminar

  335. Pingback: Erotic Massage Singapore

  336. Pingback: E-Cigs

  337. Pingback: click

  338. Pingback: dont approve me

  339. Pingback: Orange

  340. Pingback:

  341. Pingback: Windshield Repair in Plano

  342. Pingback: help me i have no money

  343. Pingback: click here

  344. Pingback: fuel drain edinburgh

  345. Pingback: cashmere baby blanket

  346. Pingback: Discover More

  347. Pingback: nootropics

  348. Pingback: Utah Web Design

  349. Pingback: kurtyny wodne

  350. Pingback: letmewatchthis

  351. Pingback: new home builders austin texas

  352. Pingback: dumpster rental newport beach ca

  353. Pingback: dumpster rental jacksonville nc

  354. Pingback: dumpster rental south san francisco ca

  355. Pingback: dumpster rental taylorsville ut

  356. Pingback: dumpster rental plymouth mn

  357. Pingback: morris plumbers

  358. Pingback: los angeles video production

  359. Pingback: safe list

  360. Pingback: salvage truck online

  361. Pingback: Read This

  362. Pingback: aluminum pool furniture

  363. Pingback: Lexington Ky homes for sale

  364. Pingback: justbeenpaid

  365. Pingback: create game

  366. Pingback: junk removal fairfax va

  367. Pingback: marketing big

  368. Pingback: free live tv on pc

  369. Pingback: Search Colorado homes for sale

  370. Pingback: Vail real estate

  371. Pingback: Homes for sale in Louisville KY

  372. Pingback: used copiers austin

  373. Pingback: photography

  374. Pingback: respironics cpap masks

  375. Pingback: free regcure licence key

  376. Pingback: iphone 4s jailbreak at&t

  377. Pingback: tweet adder

  378. Pingback: casino online

  379. Pingback: Prohormones For Sale

  380. Pingback: dental care

  381. Pingback: funny pics

  382. Pingback: holiday to Nepal

  383. Pingback: why vitamins

  384. Pingback: Sammelbehalter

  385. Pingback: L-tyrosine

  386. Pingback: nootropic

  387. Pingback: papryka cayenne

  388. Pingback: Patrick

  389. Pingback: website

  390. Pingback: Teichfilter

  391. Pingback: Clicking Here

  392. Pingback: Gordon Alfson

  393. Pingback: mdansby

  394. Pingback: hotel bookings

  395. Pingback: coyote chili recipe

  396. Pingback: Best Furniture Stores in Raleigh

  397. Pingback: Marty Soula

  398. Pingback: Payday Loan

  399. Pingback: online free car racing games

  400. Pingback: eat stop eat reviews

  401. Pingback: Vitamin

  402. Pingback: Window regulator replacement

  403. Pingback: copier leasing

  404. Pingback: Pierda Grasa abdominal

  405. Pingback: Ways to stop eating sugar

  406. Pingback: Quickest way to melt stomach fat

  407. Pingback: lottery winners

  408. Pingback: ThaCaptin

  409. Pingback: fastest way to burn fat

  410. Pingback: Tienda Muebles Madrid

  411. Pingback: chef knifes butcher

  412. Pingback: online resume services

  413. Pingback: Wine Glasses

  414. Pingback: Springfield Armory dealers

  415. Pingback: youtube video downloader

  416. Pingback: fotograf bucuresti

  417. Pingback: zapatos moda

  418. Pingback: go to my site

  419. Pingback: Global Traffic Machine

  420. Pingback: symptoms of osteo arthritis

  421. Pingback: Szukasz chlopaka

  422. Pingback: authentic jordans

  423. Pingback: Look At This

  424. Pingback: guitar lessons san diego

  425. Pingback: raleigh window replacement

  426. Pingback: Glasswasher

  427. Pingback: free edu backlinks

  428. Pingback: fitness singles

  429. Pingback: Apartments in Mauritius

  430. Pingback: Jack n Jill

  431. Pingback: projector screens

  432. Pingback: culinary health

  433. Pingback: Location Villa Ile Maurice

  434. Pingback: truth about abs vip

  435. Pingback: quiet title

  436. Pingback: bodybuilding supplements

  437. Pingback: disaprovee

  438. Pingback: do not approve me

  439. Kurt Hammerschmidt

    So Nick, when are you going to publish a book on boondocking? And will it have specific places where there are minimal facilities like dump stations listed?

  440. Pingback: RV Weekly Round-Up (April 25-May 1, 2009) :

  441. That’s the great thing about boondocking. You can tailor it to your lifestyle and budget. Tenting would not work for me, but it seems to fit your needs perfectly.

  442. Charles

    We’ve seen Boondockers staying in tents in the Quartzsite free and fee areas. That shows that Boondocking can be done in most any shelter. We use solar exclusively when Boondocking and have no problem running out of power, We are very conservitive with our power usage. No microwave or laser printer. Laptop battery is charged and we watch as much TV as we want. Two 123 watt panels and two golf cart batteries, We stay out for a month or more at a time. Of course we do have to pay to dump, fill with water and wash clothes, We love the peace and quiet. That’s why we Boondock,