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What Do We Need To Know About Boondocking And Full Timing In Our RV?

by Rick
(Nashville, TN, USA)

I just purchased my first RV, a 1993 Allegro Bay OshKosh Diesel Pusher. We travel across the country almost constantly in our business and the reason why we bought an RV is because we were really hoping that traveling by RV, purchasing groceries & eating home-made food would be less expensive than traveling the way we had been: in a car, purchasing restaurant food and paying for hotel rooms.

My wife & I just returned from our first trip in our new RV, an 1133 mile trip. After this trip, some questions and serious concerns have come to mind.

Since the microwave oven, overhead interior lights, TV & the overhead air-conditioners wouldn't work without the generator running; we ran the propane generator so we could use these things when we needed to. We spent an outrageous amount of $$$ on diesel & propane fuel on this trip. We were both fighting back tears when we got in off the road and tallied up the fuel receipts. Should we have to use the propane-powered generator to run these things while we are driving the motor home down the road?

Another issue we had was finding propane. We were nearly out of propane and spent half of 1 day driving around trying to find propane. We finally found an RV park, which sold us propane at $3.58 per gallon.

Also, are there any discount diesel cards that may be used to get a discount on diesel fuel &/or propane at certain fuel stations?

And another issue is: We plan to use our RV for touring with our business mostly; we'll be boondocking and will rarely find ourselves camping in RV campgrounds. Where can we fill up our water and empty the grey & black water tanks while boondocking out on the road?

Finally, how would I find a reputable mechanic for my oil changes & any repairs that might be needed?

ANSWER: Greetings Rick thanks for submitting your question on our Ask An RV Question Page.

Congratulations on your new RV. You have a lot of great questions and I do not have all of the answers to them, but I am going to give you some great resources to get you your answers and help make your RVing experience much more enjoyable.

The first thing I suggest you do is get your hands on two highly rated books written by Bill Moeller.

The first one is The Complete Book of Boondock RVing: Camping Off the Beaten Path. This book is a "must have" for any RVer that is planning to do a lot of Boondocking. In this book you will learn

how to; Increase your independence by learning how to camp "off the grid", Save money by finding cheap or free campsites anywhere--even in large cities, Ensure your comfort, convenience, and safety when camping in the boonies, Learn how to conserve and manage electricity, water, and waste, and to establish reliable communications and much, much more.

The second book is the Complete Guide to Full-Time RVing: Life on the Open Road. In this book you will learn how to cut costs while RVing, Learn how to economically setup a traveling office. Important maintenance tips on how to keep your Motorhome in tip top shape, How to properly utilize the storage in your RV and a lot more great information.

As far as your question on filling up with fresh water, you may find that you have to occasionally stay at a campground or two to Fill up your tank with potable water during your trips, but do not despair there are Discount Camping Clubs that you can join for a very reasonable annual cost that will give you up to a 50% discount on camping fees. Usually after two days of camping you have already made up what it cost to join the Discount Camping Club.

When you are camping at a campground, you can dump your holding tanks, fill up with fresh water and not have to run the generator for electricity (and yes if you want to run your Microwave, Roof A/C units etc. going down the road, you will have to run your generator). For more information on the Discount Camping Clubs, please read the answer I gave to the question below.

We Just Bought A Motorhome And We Need A List Of Discount Camping Clubs

Below are some websites, I suggest that you visit to get more information on boondocking and fulltiming in an RV. All the links below open in a new window, so please turn off your pop-up blocker.

Goin RV Boondocking, Frugal RV Travel, RV Dump Locations For RVers, RV Lifestyle Experts, Flying J RV RealValue Club Fuel Discount Card and Locate Propane Fuel Stations Near You.

I hope that all of the information above has been helpful to you.

Do you have any suggestions or comments on this topic? You can add them to this page by clicking on the "Click Here To Post Comments" link located near the bottom of this page.

Happy RVing

RVing Al

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