VIDEO: Dry Camping

Posted In: Dry Camping, RV Lifestyle, Video

When we first started traveling in our Airstream, I sometimes referred to no hookup camping as boondocking. After all, boondocking is no hookup camping – right? It depends on who you ask.

Confused? Allow me to shed some light on this subject, or at least to confuse you a little more.

The term boondocking refers to RV camping that’s in essence untethered. It’s also almost always FREE. So when people talk about boondocking, they usually mean parking somewhere for free.

Yes, it’s still possible to boondock in many places throughout the United States.

So what about so called Walmart camping? Is this boondocking? Yes, overnight parking at Walmart is a form of boondocking. In fact, the sticklers will insist on calling this overnight parking instead of camping.

You must be self-reliant when you park in this fashion. Your only water and electricity are those that you carry (and in the case of the electrons, generate) with your RV.

So what about dry camping? As the phrase implies, dry camping means camping without water and sewer connections.

But what if you have electricity? Is this still dry camping? Yes, I suppose so. I can only think of a few occasions where we camped with electricity but no water connections. The most scenic was Banfffff in Canada, but we’ve also had this arrangement in a few driveways.

Tumwater Campground in Washington state is an example of no hookup camping. There are no electrical or water hookups in the campground, so you must be totally self-reliant when camping there.

On the other hand, the campground is well maintained, and charges $16 a night. Is it boondocking if you are paying? It depends on who you ask. Some people (the cheapskates! ;-)) insist that the term boondocking is reserved for free camping. So for these people, I suppose we’d dub the Tumwater experience “no hookup camping.”

Are you now thoroughly confused? Join the club.

Ultimately, I don’t think any of these phrases really matter, so long as you know what they reference. Whether you call it Walmart “camping” or “overnight parking,” we all know what it means. It means you’ll be blowing all of your spare change in Walmart.


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