RV Boondocking and Dry Camping FAQ
Between the RV groups, and all the great people who have asked us questions is person, we decided to put together this list of Frequently asked RV full time and boon docking questions and answers. Man, that’s a mouth full. Anyways, we’ll be adding to this list often, so make sure to check back here and there to see what’s been added, or make suggestions.
Have a question that didn’t make the list? Feel free to ask in the comments, or post the question over on our Facebook page, in our Road Work Play Facebook Group, or our Social Boondocking and Camping Facebook page.
- Where do you find fresh water when traveling full time in your RV?
- How Do You Find Places to Park your RV?
- What Do You Do With Trash?
- How Do You Have Power for Charging Laptops and Phones?
- How Do You Receive Mail When on the Road?
Where do you find fresh water when traveling full time in your RV?
There are a surprising number of places that fill let you fill your RV fresh water tank, or at least give you water enough to get you through to your next stop. The list of places we have personally filled up include:
- Many gas stations have a water hookup. The location of the hookup will vary. Truck friendly fuel centers and truck stops often have hook-ups at the truck fuel pumps, some have them next to the air fill and vacuum areas, even some regular gas stations have a random faucet at a curb, or on the side of their building. Whenever we have needed to ask, the clerk was more than willing to let us fill our tanks. Make sure any water you use is potable water.
- Lots of local parks have hookups to water their gardens. If you ask, they will often let you fill your tank up off their potable water hose.
- Rest areas in some states have fresh water fills (and dump stations, too!). A quick Google of the state you’re in and “rest area RV dump” should point you in the right direction.
- RV Parks! Even if you’re not staying there, they’ll be more than happy to take a few bucks for a dump and fill. Call first – Often, they will tell you they have fresh water fill on the phone, then when you arrive tell you the water is non potable. When this is the case, press the fact that you need water, and called ahead to make sure you could fill. They always work it out so you can fill. Often they will direct you to an open RV site to fill from the potable water hookup. It will run you $5-$10 at most locations for a dump and water fill. Often, just a water fill will be free.
Some locations will try to charge you $30. Laugh at them. Laugh hard. Then call somewhere else.
If you only need a few gallons…
- Walmart, and some Home Depot and Publix stores, have a water filling machine. It’s usually around $0.30 per gallon. We carry two 6 gallon water jugs, using a Dolphin Water Pump, which we can fill in a pinch. It is nice to have 2 when you drink a lot of water. We keep one in the van for filling water bottles on the go, and one for emergency drinking water in our travel trailer.
- Some Walmarts, and hardware stores – like Ace Hardware – will let you fill from the hose in their garden center. Simply ask and see what happens.
- You can even try checking directly with the chamber of commerce in your area. For example, if you are lucky enough to be in Zephyr Hills Florida, there are multiple Zephyr Hills drinking water fill ups. Most hold 1 gallon and 5 gallon jugs. There are a few in front of the chamber of commerce. The cost is 25 cents a gallon on the honor system.
How Do You Find Places to Park?
One of the most challenging things to handle on the road is finding a place to park a rig for the night. While some localities will not care if you park in any random parking lot for a few Z’s, others will threaten to ticket you and tow your vehicle if you’re in one spot for too long. In and near large cities tend to be the most challenging, but usually it can still be done.
- Some of the apps available for free or low cost are great. We have a few listed on our Essential Full Time RV Apps post, like Walmart ONP, that really help with finding a place to park. This list is also updated as we find great new tools.
- When in a pinch, you can always ask locals. If you see a van dweller or RVer that looks like they are a full-timing local, striking up a conversation with them can sometimes lead to finding a wealth of great information.
What Do You Do With Trash?
We eat a lot of fresh foods, making our trash fairly minimal. Our main garbage bags are Wal-mart bags, which can be tossed in any public trash can.
How Do You Have Power for Charging Laptops and Phones?
We looked at the available options, and it all came down to two options. We could purchase a generator, but we didn’t want the noise, vibrations, and extra fuel costs involve with having a generator running all day and into the night. Because of this, we went with an RV solar set-up, and running as many possible devices as we could off of 12V power. So far, it is working great!
How Do You Receive Mail When on the Road?
There are two ways we use to receive mail on the road.
- Mail Forwarding: Several mail forwarding services available, each with their own perks and downfalls. After large amounts of research, we went with St. Brendan’s Isle in Florida. Their service offers the ability to have mail scanned, which is great when we need a document quickly, and the address can also be used for becoming a Florida resident.
- General Delivery: When you know someone will be shipping USPS, and you need an item fast, General Delivery is a handy way to receive your item. Not all Post Offices support General Delivery but, when the closest doesn’t, another nearby one usually will. You simply need to call the Post Office and check, and then start sending away.
Who Should You Choose for Full Time RV Insurance?
Alan had Progressive Insurance for years before we started full time RVing. When we started off, we set up with their full timer RV package, and started our travels. Our first hiccup was an issue with our roof, which was handled pretty quickly. But, then our second issue came up and Progressive’s Roadside Assistance left us stranded on the side of the road for 3 days. Knowing we didn’t want this to happen again, we decided to change insurance companies. Since even one of the Progressive reps stated ‘all they do is RVs’, Good Sam’s Insurance with their full-time RV insurance, and their Good Sam Roadside Assistance package seemed like an obvious choice.