Boondocking Archive

Boondocking Related Articles

During the last few snowbird winters, we have found ourselves exploring the US SouthWest region. We’ve discovered there are many beautiful and free or very cheap places to dry camp (AKA Boondock). We love the awesome scenery, wide open spaces and have each year embraced boondocking more and more.

Here is an archive of all my boondocking related articles with many containing video clips. Some are howtos, tips and tricks and reviews. Others are detailing the many gorgeous camp spots we have enjoyed.




  • Boondocking Mod Installing a DC to DC Converter

    A few weeks ago I installed a new Winegard ConnecT Wifi Extender in our Cougar fifth wheel. Unfortunately, it didn’t come with a 12-volt power supply for off-grid camping only a plug-in wall adapter for a 120AC outlet. I was a little…

  • Love Your RV! Ten Favorite Campsites of 2016

    Love Your RV! Ten Favorite Campsites of 2016

    Each year I like to look back and pick out my favorite campsites visited. Some are full hookup RV resorts; some are state or national parks and others are dispersed boondocking with maybe a fire ring. One thing they all have in common is beautiful…

  • See Level II 709-4PH Installation Feature Photo

    Upgrading My RV Tank Level Monitoring System

    The See Level II Tank Monitor Well, I finally bit the bullet and laid out some hard earned cash on a new RV tank level monitor called the SeeLevel II from a company called Garnet Instruments. The hefty price tag of $280 bucks Canadian (less in USD)…

  • Boondocking Power and Solar System Feature Photo

    Detailed Look at Our DIY RV Boondocking Power System

    We love to travel the Southwest US during the winter. Camping out on BLM land, exploring wildlife refuges and State/National parks. This means camping off the grid without electrical hookups. Some sort of boondocking power system is essential if we…

  • Portable Solar Panel Mod Feature Photo

    Building a Portable Solar Panel for My RV Boondocking

    Introduction Recently a solar panel manufacturer called Lensun sent me out a 100-watt flexible solar panel for a Love Your RV! product review. One of the reasons I agreed to review the panel was a plan in the back of my mind to utilize it as a…

  • Lensun Flexible Solar Panel Review Feature Photo

    Lensun Semi-Flexible 100 Watt Solar Panel Review

    I’ve always been curious about those super thin flexible solar panels. So I was thrilled when a company called Lensun Solar asked if they could send me one for review. It couldn’t have come at a better time for me. I’ve been kicking around…

  • Casino Camping Feature Photo

    Casino Camping as an RV Overnight Option

    With the recent additions of extra batteries and solar panels, we are now able to dry camp very effectively. This makes utilizing casino RV parking areas for overnight stops quite convenient. Rather than hand over an RV Park 30-40 bucks for a full…

  • Find Boondocking in the Southwest Feature Photo

    How to Find RV Boondocking Campsites in the US Southwest

    One of the most common questions I get online is “How do you find those gorgeous southwest desert boondocking locations you visit?” I wish there was a simple answer but the fact of the matter is it takes a fair bit of research. There isn’t one…

  • Dumont Dunes Camping Feature Photo

    Camping at the Dumont Dunes south of Death Valley NP

    A couple years ago we visited Death Valley National Park. A highlight for me was hiking and photographing its amazing Mesquite Sand Dunes. Well upon leaving Death Valley NP that year south on California Highway 127 I spotted another set of towering…

  • Champion Generator 5 year review feature photo

    Champion Generator Review after 5 Years of Use

    Why We Needed a Generator Five years ago almost to the date we sold our house in Victoria BC and headed out on a planned 1 year RV trip all around the US and Canada. We had plans to visit numerous state and national parks so realized we would need…

  • Virgin River Canyon BLM Campground Feature Photo

    Super Scenic Camping in the Virgin River Gorge

    I’ve driven Interstate 15 through the Virgin River Gorge a half dozen times now and marveled at the rugged scenery. Each time I made a mental note of a pretty looking camping area perched in the middle of the a canyon overlooking the river valley…

  • Return to Whitney Pockets Feature Photo

    Return to Whitney Pockets in Southern Nevada

    Two years ago we had the pleasure to camp in an off the beaten path location called Whitney Pockets. Situated 31 miles from Mesquite, Nevada on the Gold Butte Backcountry Byway, it’s a bit of a trek to get there pulling a fifth wheel. A paved but…

  • 7 RV Water Saving Tips Feature photo

    7 Water Saving Tips for RV Dry Camping

    Our 2011 Keystone Cougar fifth wheel came with a large 60-gallon fresh water tank. One of the reasons I picked the Cougar was the large tank capacities, I knew we would be doing a load of dry camping. Even with the large fresh water tank we still…

  • Camping in the Kofa NWR feature photo

    Camping in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge Arizona

    What to do after Quartzsite? After an annual January visit to Quartzsite Arizona to meet up with RVing friends and take in the RV show and swap meets, we were a little burnt out. We needed to get off on our own and decompress a bit. Usually, we take…

  • 1000 watt Inverter Installation Feature Photo

    1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter *Updated*

    Soon after receiving our new Cougar fifth wheel I purchased a 1000W Pure Sine Wave Inverter to be able to run our 21″ iMac computer and 32″ LCD TV while off the grid. I wanted a pure sine wave inverter to give our sensitive electronic…

  • Day in the life an RV boondocker feature photo

    Random Day in the Life of an RV Boondocker

    A while back one of my subscribers to the Love Your RV! YouTube channel asked if I could record a “Day in the Life” style video. They were interested to see how a routine day of RV boondocking might look like. I’ve picked a random day while we…

  • 20 More Upgrades Feature Photo

    20 More RV Upgrades to Our Fifth Wheel Trailer

    Improvements to our Home on Wheels Last spring I detailed 20 RV upgrades I had done to our 2011 Keystone Cougar fifth wheel trailer to make our RVing life a little more enjoyable. Well, I have been a busy boy since then and I’m back again with…

  • Boondocking at Ogilby Road BLM Camping Feature Photo

    Boondocking at the Ogilby Road BLM near Yuma AZ

    The last few years we have been coming to the free Ogilby Road BLM 14-day dry camping spot just west of the Arizona/California border about 14 miles west of Yuma, AZ. It’s a flat section of arid desert off of Ogilby RD (SR34) a few miles north…

  • Inteli-Power PD9260CV power converter install feature photo

    Installing an INTELIPOWER Converter for Better Battery Charging

    What is Wrong with the OEM Converter? I’ve always suspected that the manufacturer installed power converter in our Keystone Cougar fifth wheel did a poor job when it came to charging our batteries. They never seemed to pack the punch I felt they…

  • Ten Coolest Campsite of 2015 Feature Photo

    10 Coolest RV Campsites Visited In 2015

    Another Awesome Year of RVing Ever since we set off as full-time RVers almost 5 years ago it’s been a goal of ours to immerse ourselves in nature’s beauty. My wife and I both love to hike and photograph scenic landscapes and wildlife or…

  • RV Solar Upgrades Feature Photo

    Bogart SC2030 CC and Trimetric TM2030-RV Installation

    RV Solar Upgrades So, if you have been following my blog for the last while you will know that I have upgraded the RV battery bank from two six volt golf cart batteries to four. And just last week I added two more Renogy 100 watt panels to the roof…

  • Renogy 400 Watt Solar Upgrade Feature Photo

    Upgrading our Renogy RV Solar System to 400 Watts

    Our First RV Solar Experience About a year ago I popped my RV solar cherry and installed a simple little 200 watt RV solar kit from a company called Renogy. We didn’t have too much dough to spend on solar, but I believe I got a good bang for the…

  • Hooking up the roof top RV solar panels

    RV Solar Power System Detailed Install Advice and Tips

    Last spring we had the great pleasure to meet with some fine folks from Wyoming, Eddie, his wife Aileen and daughter Laura. We spent about a week or so boondocked with them including the spectacular Valley of the Gods BLM area of Southern Utah. They…

  • RV Battery Bank upgrade feature photo

    Upgrading My RV Battery Bank and 12 Volt System

    A Little of My Rigs Battery History When we bought our 30 foot Keystone Cougar fifth wheel new it came with one preinstalled deep cycle battery rated at 85 ampere hours. Having camped for many years in a campervan with a similar sized coach battery,…

  • RV Open Road Magazine article

    Cover Photo and Article in the RV Open Road Magazine

    A little bit of banging my own drum here but I’m pretty excited to see our beloved Cougar Trailer gracing the cover of the RV Open Road Magazine!! I knew my review article on the Waste Master RV Sewer System was to be in it, but what a thrill…

  • 8 Simple RV Solar Tips feature photo

    8 Simple Effective Tips for an RV Boondocking Solar Power System

    Guest post by Eddie from Mobile Homestead Solar Services One of the biggest and most liberating changes in the 7 years that my wife, daughter, and I have been full-timing is to go solar in our RV. This was not without hesitation, followed by many…

  • Renogy Firefly Review Part 3 Feature Photo

    Renogy Firefly Review Part 3 – Real World Tests

    Introduction So far in my extensive review of new Firefly portable power box from Renogy I first (Part One) gave you my initial impressions of the build quality and functionality. Then (Part Two) let you have a look with me inside to examine the guts…

  • Testing My RV Batteries Feature Photo

    Maintaining and Testing my RV Batteries

    Our RV Batteries All the batteries in our rig are of the lead-acid (wet cell) variety. There are other types commonly used in RV nowadays such as Gel Cell, AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) and even Lithium Ion. This article will only deal with my lead acid…

  • Inside the Renogy Firefly Feature Photo

    Renogy Firefly Review Part Two – The Guts

    Curious to See What’s Inside? Prior to becoming a full-time RVer I spent over 25 years as an electronics repair technician. Because of this background I just had to see what is inside the Renogy Firefly. Warning! I took the Firefly apart as part of…

  • Six Amazing Southwest Campsites Feature Image

    6 Amazingly Scenic US Southwest Desert Campsites

    Introduction We were treated to many beautiful camp spots during this last snowbird season down in the desert. But, six of them really stand out for me in several ways. First they all were new to us having never visited the these spots in our past…

  • Renogy Firefly Review Part One Feature Photo

    Renogy Firefly Review Part One – The Unboxing

    Introduction I recently received a 200 watt Renogy solar kit for the fifth wheel as a Christmas gift. As I usually do for our RV upgrades I wrote up a blog post and made a video detailing the install and my impressions of the product. Well, I guess…

  • Trona Pinnacles Boondocking Feature Photo

    Camping at the Trona Pinnacles in California

    One Last Stop in the Desert It was mid-April and we had time for one more boondock stop in the desert before heading for the coast and back up to BC. While exploring the incredible Alabama Hills BLM area last year I learned of another very bizarre…

  • 580 watts of RV solar feature image

    My Friends Awesome 580 Watt RV Solar Power System

    Introduction I recently had the great pleasure to meet up and do some boondocking with some RVing friends from Wyoming. Eddie, his wife Aileen and daughter Laura are full-time RVers living in their 40-foot fifth wheel. This winter they decided to…

  • Boondocking in the Valley of the Gods feature photo

    Boondocking Fun in the Valley of the Gods Utah

    Deciding on a Southern Utah Destination We were looking for a new place to explore when passing through southern Utah this spring. While camped out at the Bisti Badlands with some RVing pals from Wyoming they suggested checking out the Valley of the…

  • Dump story feature photo

    Catastrophe and Panic on the Way to the RV Sewer Dump

    Here is a humorous story one of my RVing friends emailed me detailing a very eventful trip to the sewer dump station. We all have stories of RVing woes and missteps and I’m happy he has given me the go ahead to share his for us to learn from.…

  • Big Bend Ranch SP Feature Photo

    RVing Big Bend Ranch State Park in Texas

    Off the Beaten Path in Texas Big Bend Ranch State Park is located a little further west of its more well-known and visited cousin Big Bend National Park. During our spring 2012 visit to Big Bend NP we had day tripped over to this state park. We were…

  • Bisti Badlands Feature Photo

    Alien Eggs and Hoodoos at the Bisti Badlands BLM

    Bisti Badlands Wilderness One place that my wife Anne has wanted to go visit for years is the Bisti Badlands up in northwestern New Mexico. But, being that the Bisti Badlands Wilderness is located up at around 6000 feet it is too cold during much of…

  • Mr Heater Low Pressure Install Feature Photo

    Mr. Heater Big Buddy Hooked to My RV LP Gas

    Introduction Our Mr. Heater Big Buddy propane heater has been an awesome addition to the rig. We use it a ton, especially when camping off the grid without electrical.  The Big Buddy heater uses no electricity and is much more efficient at heating…

  • City of Rocks State Park Feature Photo

    Camping at City of Rocks State Park

    This Place Rocks! The City of Rocks is a little gem of a state park located about a half hours drive north of Interstate 10 and Deming, New Mexico. Access is very easy on paved highways. Like other New Mexico state parks we’ve stayed in the…

  • Dry Camping Fun at Whitewater Draw Arizona

    Introduction My wife Anne loves to photograph wildlife. In fact she recently traveled all the way to Africa pursuing the passion. So, she was really excited when I told her about a spot in southern Arizona where during the winter thousands of…

  • Keeping the RV Cool Without AC feature photo

    Tips for Keeping the RV Cool Without AC

    Introduction We do a bunch of boondocking on BLM and Forestry lands and dry camping in National, State and County parks. Because of this we often find ourselves without electrical hookups and no way to run our rooftop air conditioner to cool the RV…

  • RV Boondocking Tips and Tricks Feature Photo

    Boondocking Tips and Tricks for Newbie RVers

    Introduction Over the last 4 years of full time RVing we have really embraced dry camping AKA “boondocking”. We love to get out into the more remote dispersed camping areas where we can enjoy amazing scenery, nature, photography, and hiking.…

  • Our 12 Most Scenic Camping Spots of 2014 feature photo

    Our Most Scenic Camping Spots of 2014

    Introduction My wife Anne is an avid landscape photographer so finding ourselves scenic camping spots is an integral part of our RV lifestyle. The best photography light happens in the so-called golden hour around sunrise and sunset. Setting up camp…

  • Solar install Feature Photo

    Installing a Renogy 200W Solar Kit in the RV

    Introduction Well Love Your RV! is finally getting some solar! This Christmas, Santa (my lovely wife) sent me a special package from Amazon containing a brand new Renogy 200W Solar Kit. Woot! This is a starter kit and will get our feet wet in the…

  • Salton Sea Camping Feature Photo

    Salton Sea Camping at Salt Creek

    We just spent 9 terrific days boondocking in the Salton Sea State Recreation Area. Here is a brief description, video clips and images from our stay at the Salt Creek Camping area. Salton Sea State Recreation Area About 5 miles south on HWY 111 from…

  • Twist On Sewer Valve Feature Photo

    Twist On Waste Valve for the RV

    Valterra Twist-On Waste Valve I’ve seen these twist on waste gates attached to some other RV’s sewer outputs and always thought they would be a good idea for my Keystone Cougar fifth wheel. My rig has three waste tanks (Black, Galley, and…

  • Fantastic vent fan install feature photo

    Installing the Fantastic Vent Fan into our RV

    Introduction Well, I was able to strike another one off the old RV wish list the other day with the arrival of a new Fan-Tastic Vent Fan. I’ve wanted one of these babies for a while now after hearing how good they are for keeping the rig cool…

  • Get Yourself a Flag Feature Photo

    Fun RV Tip Get Yourself a Flag!

    Last winter we explored the American South West and spent a good deal of time boondocking (dry camping without hookups) out in the desert. One cool thing I noticed was how many folks had a flag pole on the rig and were flying all kinds of various…

  • StarLights Brilliant Light LED RV Fixture

    Upgrading a 12 Volt RV Lamp Fixture Recently I updated our Keystone Cougar Fifth Wheels lighting systems to new LED bulbs. While installing the new bulbs, one of my fixtures was damaged. Due to the heat produced by the 12-volt incandescent bulb the…

  • Vent Pillow

    Use Vent Cushions to Help Regulate Temperature in the RV

    RV Vent Insulator Cushions Tip Cushions designed to fit in the square vent openings on the RV roof can be made or purchased on Amazon. When it is too hot or cold outside the vents are a major source of temperature exchange, by blocking them you can…

  • Wilson Sleek 4G Cell Booster Feature Photo

    Boosting RV Internet with the Wilson Sleek 4G

    Why We Need to Boost the Cell Signal For a few years now we have traveled in our RV using a Verizon MiFi Hotspot as our primary source of internet connectivity. It works through the cellular data networks just like a smartphone but without the phone…

  • Top 10 Campsites 2014 Feature Photo

    Top 10 Campsites from 2013/14 Snowbird Season

    Introduction Another fun-filled snowbirding season is winding down and we now head for our summer haunts on Vancouver Island, BC. I thought it would be a good time to look back at the places we visited and pick out my Top 10 Campsites from 2013/14…

  • Alabama Hills Feature Photo

    Boondocking at Alabama Hills BLM

    Introduction I’ve driven Highway 395 through the little town of Lone Pine, California several times and was totally unaware of the Alabama Hills and the unique landscape hiding just to the west of town. It wasn’t until I read about it on a few…

  • Whiteny Pockets BLM Feature Photo

    Free Camping at the Whitney Pockets BLM Nevada

    Introduction Last spring when we were visiting the Valley of Fire State Park a friend who is local to the area asked if we would like to take a drive up to a spot in the hills called Whitney Pockets. He said there are some outcroppings of colored…

  • LED lamps for the RV Feature Photo

    Install and Review of StarLights LED lamps for the RV

    Introduction I’ve been looking to swap out our fifth wheels OEM incandescent light bulbs to the more energy efficient LED lamps for a while now. As luck would have I got an email from a high-quality LED lamp manufacturer asking if I would like to…

  • Poverty Flats Feature Photo

    Poverty Flats AKA Snowbird Mesa Free Camping

    Poverty Flats AKA Snowbird Mesa in Southern Nevada Last year while visiting the Valley of Fire State Park in southern Nevada I saw a neat looking boondocking location just a few miles south of the town of Overton along Highway 169 called Poverty…

  • RV Boondocking in Arizona Feature Photo

    RV Boondocking in Arizona eBook Review

    Introduction I’ve always enjoyed boondocking even back in my camper van RVing days when it was just camping to me. Back then I explored the many back roads of Vancouver Island camping on what is called in Canada “Crown land” or at primitive…

  • RV Park vs Dry Camping Feature Photo

    How Much Money Do We Save By Dry Camping?

    Dry Camping (A.K.A.) Boondocking VS. Full Hookup RV Park We have been out exploring the desert of Southern California and Arizona this winter and for the last month of January done it without hooking up at an RV Park once. So a solid month spent dry…

  • Quartzsite 2014 Feature Photo

    Quartzsite 2014 for Big Tent RV Show

    Rolling into Quartzsite 2014 We rolled into Quartzsite (The Grand Gathering) a few days before the start of the Big Tent RV show. This is when Quartzsite reaches its peak in quantity of RVs camped out in the surrounding desert. All around Quartzsite…

  • Salton Sea Corvina Beach Feature Photo

    Salton Sea Camping on Corvina Beach

    The Salton Sea Calls Us After boondocking in Anza-Borrego for a week we headed to a favorite casino called the Red Earth Casino. We like it because it has everything a boondocker needs after a stint out in the desert. They provide free sani-dumps,…

  • Conserving Fresh Water During Dry Camping Tip

    Use the Dish water for toilet flushing When we are out dry camping the thing that limits us the most is fresh water. Our fresh tank holds 60 gallons and our waste tanks add up to 120 gallons. A way to make the fresh water tank last a bit longer is to…

  • More Borrego Feature Photo

    More RV Boondocking in Anza-Borrego State Park

    New Year Visit to Anza-Borrego State Park This winter we once again found ourselves back in a new favorite boondocking location near Borrego Springs, California.  Again, we would to ring in the New Year in this special place. Clark Dry Lake…

  • Mr Heater Big Buddy Feature Image

    RV Install and Review of the Mr. Heater Big Buddy MH18B

    Big Buddy Indoor Safe Propane Radiant Heater While snowbirding in the US South West last winter we got the chance to do a substantial amount of dry camping out in the desert. I quickly discovered how much juice it took to run the big onboard RV…

  • Water Thief Tip

    Water Bandit RV Tip In some cases when RVing and wanting to acquire fresh water, you may run into a source where your standard filling hose connection won’t work. Maybe the threads are worn, the wrong size or there are none. I ran into this…

  • Use Portable Propane Heater while Dry Camping

    Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy By using an indoor-safe portable propane  heater when dry camping in cool temperatures you can save a lot of power in your RV batteries. When running the big RV furnace substantial power is used to drive the furnace…

  • RV Waste Tank Valve Tip

    RV Waste Tank Valve Tip I’ve just finished replacing the black waste tank valve on my Keystone Cougar 276RLS fifth wheel and have a little tip for you. The main reason my black tank valve needed to be replaced was due to a crack forming near…

  • RV AC opened up

    Installing Hard Start Capacitor into my RV Air Conditioner

    Why do I want a Hard Start Capacitor? When dry camping there are times I would like to run the roof-top air conditioner to cool the camper down. I have a pair of Champion 2000w inverter type generators that I can parallel together for 4000…

  • Champion Generator

    Champion 2000 Watt Inverter Generator Review

    Review of my Champion Generator I purchased 2 of these Champion 2000 Watt inverter generators plus the parallel cable so I would be able to run my 13500 BTU RV Air Conditioner and use one at a time if I just needed to charge up the batteries or use…

  • RV Casino Parking

    RV Casino Camping

    Why Casinos? Along with our Thousand Trails Zone Pass, Boondocking and Walmart Parking lots we have recently added Casinos to our low-cost camping options.  I had heard of overnighting at the casinos before but never gave it much thought as we are…

  • solar lamp

    Boondocking Solar Light tip

    In order to save our batteries, we use solar lights which you find in lawn and garden centers. We have a couple of pots of petunias outside with a solar light and we bring them in at night and put one in each room. The flowers make our camper smell…

  • Joshua Tree Blooms

    Exploring Whitney Pocket along the Gold Butte Back Country Byway

    While in the Valley of Fire State Park area our new friend Don suggested a trip to see an interesting place called Whitney Pocket. Our trip led us off Interstate 15 near the town of Mesquite, NV and on to the Gold Butte Back Country Byway. Once we…

  • 6 Volt Trojan battery

    Trojan 6 Volt Batteries RV Install

    I added to the standard 12v deep cycle battery that came with the RV with 2 of the T-105 Trojan Six Volt golf cart type batteries. This update more than tripled my amp hour capacity from 85 ah to 310 ah and gave me a very robust dual battery bank…

  • RV Boondocking Photo

    Love Your RV – Boondocking Basics

    Introduction These last few months traveling the US South West we have really embraced dry camping without hookups or also called Boondocking. We thoroughly enjoy boondocking. Usually there are little or no camping fees, beautiful scenery, peace and…

  • Algodones Dunes

    Dry camping at Glamis Dunes

    We have a week to kill until our next scheduled RV Resort stint at the Thousand Trails in Las Vegas so decided to check out an area of the Imperial Dunes Recreation Area called Glamis Dunes. We had boondocked fairly close to the dunes when getting…

  • Anza Borrego Boondocking

    Boon-docking near Borrego Springs, California

    Our first week of the New Year 2013 was spent boon-docking near Borrego Springs, California. View Borrego Springs boon-docking spot in a larger map We had spent a few days there a couple of weeks earlier and decided then, we must return for a longer…

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