Boondocking Vs. Dry Camping: These Are the Differences

Boondocking Vs Dry Camping
Boondocking Vs Dry Camping: These are the Differences –

Boondocking is generally another word used to describe dry camping with a slight difference. Both types of camping help explore the beauty of nature. For those who are fond of traveling and adventurous activities, proper knowledge about different types of camping, like dry, wet, or boondocking, is very important. So, boondocking vs. dry camping: what are the differences between the two?

Generally speaking, boondocking means camping far away from civilization or out in the boondocks. In contrast, dry camping doesn’t refer to any specific location or how far away from civilization. In other words, dry camping is just camping without being plugged into utilities.

Keep reading if you’re an amateur traveler and want to learn how to camp outside the campgrounds effectively. You might also enjoy reading: Is Off The Grid Living Actually Dangerous? Here’s What You Should Know

What is the Difference Between Boondocking and Dry Camping? 

Boondocking and Dry camping are slightly different from each other. Boondocking is camping outside the campgrounds without any hookups like electricity, water, toilets, and so on. However, dry camping is also camping without hookups, but it’s on campgrounds. Boondocking is a dispersed stay where one doesn’t have any facility

Generally, federal agencies also refer to boondocking as dispersed camping. When people refer to boondocking, other terms you hear include dry camping and off-grid camping.

Boondocking means camping in a secluded area with no other people and far away from town or amenities. Boondockers are typically considered to favor privacy, self-sufficiency, and the joy of natural settings.

Another difference between both these camps is their cost. Usually, dry camping proves less costly than boondocking. As campgrounds have limited facilities, one may adjust on a low budget. However, boondocking is expensive as one will have to arrange all the essential equipment and facilities for himself or herself. 

See also: Best Careers For Successfully Living off The Grid

What is Dry Boondocking?

Dry camping (AKA boondocking) involves camping in a van, an RV, or a motorhome with no hookups (no water or electricity) outside of a traditional campground. Dry campers set up camp on public lands and private places (with the owner’s permission), usually for free.

Dry boondocking or dry camping is similar to boondocking. Only the difference is their place. Boondocking is totally off the grid and without any facility on a non-campground. However, dry camping or dry boondocking is camping without any hookups on campgrounds.

This is the only difference between these two types of camping. For an amateur traveler, these are essential things to learn as these will prevent him or her from many troubles. 

How to Make Setup For Boondocking? 

If you know how to boondock effectively, you’ll not face any problems during such an activity. Different class motorhomes have different facilities, so you’ll have to move one accordingly.

If you are interested in off-the-grid living, I wrote a whole article about the best places to live off-grid in Oregon happily.

Here is a description of A-class motorhome Boondocking and that with B class. 

Boondocking With A-Class Motorhome

A class motorhome has the following facilities for boondocking. 

Water Tank Capacity

Three kinds of water tanks are used in RVs. The first one is a 75-gallon freshwater tank in an A-class motorhome. The next one is a grey water tank. This tank has a maximum 60-gallon capacity to store the water for washing or bathing. The third tank is the black one. This tank is intended for toilets.

A class motorhome features a 40-gallon black tank for storing the water. Such an RV will be an ideal choice for boondocking. 

Power Source

An A-Class RV will have a minimum 4000-watt generator with 220A batteries to store the electricity for future use.

Also, modern motorhomes have solar panel facilities for a comfortable stay during adventurous activities. Also, an inverter will be there to convert AC into DC and vice versa

Longevity of the Resources

With the above-mentioned resources, one can camp comfortably for ten to twelve days without rushing for these resources.

On a sunny day, solar panels will keep the batteries charged to be used in the dark. So one can enjoy nature to its fullest. You might also enjoy reading: Is Off-Grid Living Really Worth It? Yes, and Here’s Why

Boondocking With B-Class Motorhome 

A B-Class motorhome, as the name describes, has less capability to store different resources. Here are different facilities that one can have with a B-Class motorhome. 

Water Tank Capacity

A B-Class motorhome has a maximum freshwater storage capacity of up to 30 gallons. The gray tank in such an RV can store water up to 26 gallons.

The black tank can store just 5 gallons of water. This is far less than an A-class motorhome. 

Power Source 

Such a motorhome will feature a generator with 280A electricity generating capacity that is very low than an A-class motorhome.

Also, the batteries will store up to 400A, low-power batteries. However, a good solar panel will help to keep these batteries charged forever. 

Longevity of Resources

With a B-class motorhome, one can camp without any movement for 4 to 5 days maximum.

Though electricity will not be a problem, the water tanks of such an RV are a problem. So, it’s a maximum approximation with a B-Class motorhome. 

See also: Homestead Vs. Off-Grid: Here are the Differences

Best Places to Boondock

Some places are considered more suitable for boondocking than others. Here are some of the best places to boondock. 

1- Public Lands 

One of the safest and most suitable places for boondocking in public places in the wilderness. At such lands, dispersed camping will be safe and effective.

You’ll not face much trouble while camping on public land, unlike a wild place. Check out Campendium to discover camping sites near you. 

2- On Farmlands

Another best place for boondocking is farmland. On farmlands, many facilities will be there for campers. So, consider such a place for camping, if possible. 

Here are some ideas.

3- Street Camping

In certain regions, street camping is also allowed. If you’re residing in such a region, you can boondock in the street too.

Such type of boondocking will offer you more facilities that will make your camping quite easy. In some streets, certain parking areas are also designed for RVs. 

How to Find The Best Dry Camping Places?

  • The United States Forest Service shares a ton of information on free and paid dry camping locations. National forests and parks are ideal for boondockers since you can almost pull over anywhere within the boundaries and camp.
  • The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Website also offers maps of available public lands in the United States.
  • US Public Lands App (IOS or Android) supplies map overlays of numerous public land borders and who owns that land. Keep in mind that some locations are off-limits for dry campers, and with this app, you will discover where you can camp or not.  
  • You can find information on the Campendium website and app about overnight dry camping spots outside of public lands throughout the country.
  • You can find and chat about RV parks, campgrounds, and RV resorts on Camping Road Trip.

Is Dry Camping Safe?

Boondocking is generally safe. However, for new campers, safety may be an issue, but that’s not a problem for seasoned campers. If you’re a new camper, you may judge whether a place is safe or not.

If you feel that a place doesn’t seem safe for your boondocking, leave it and move towards another one. 

Final Thoughts 

Boondocking is not a tough task to perform for those who know how to handle it. So, a proper understanding of this type of camping is necessary.

When you know all about the requirements and preventive measurements for boondocking, you can manage it effectively.


Hello friends, I am Altiné. I am SO excited you are here! I am the person behind Off The Grid Planet. Off The Grid Planet is about off-grid living, homesteading, and self-sufficiency: learning self-reliance, sustainable homes, gardening, survival, preparedness, and renewable energy and inspire you to live a simple life. I do my best to bring you the most correct, up-to-date, and comprehensive information on these topics.

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