Boondocking, dry-camping, camping off-the-grid. It goes by several names, but they all refer to the ability of an RV (and passengers) to be completely self-contained, and not require any kind of hookups for water, sewer, or power. It's the ultimate freedom in RVing. And ... it's a great test of your rig's autonomy. Just about every RV can handle some amount of off-grid camping, but some rigs are better at it than others.

Since we've had Parky -- a Limited Edition National Park Foundation Travato -- on loan, we haven't thought much about boondocking. We also haven't thought about NOT boondocking. We've just been using the van! But our recent trip to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park gave us the opportunity to test out his capabilities.

How does Parky match up against a three-day weekend?

Watch the video to find out!

So, the good news is that we made it through the three-day weekend easily, and could have gone on for probably another day. The results in the video speak for themselves, but there are a few conclusions and caveats we should point out.

  1. Your mileage may vary: While boondocking is a great test of an RV's capabilities to function off the grid, it's also a test for the RVers themselves. Over time, you'll improve on your resource use. Eventually, you'll reach your own equilibrium between conservation and comfort. Your habits might enable you to stay afield even longer than we did!
  2. Power is a non-issue: Out of all the resources we were monitoring, power was never one that worried us. The Pure3 energy system pretty much takes that out of the equation. We might run out of fresh water. We might run out of waste tank space. But it's highly unlikely we'll ever run out of power.
  3. Know your rig: If you know just a little bit about your rig, and you're willing to adapt your behavior to work with it, you may be able to extend your dry camping capability. As an example: Of all the limits on our dry-camping, the one we would hit first would be black tank space. Now in a Travato K, the bathroom sink drains to the black tank. This was one of the factors that led us to fill this tank first. If we paid just a little bit better attention, we could have moved some hand-washing and tooth-brushing to the galley sink, and extended our black tank use even further.

So, there you have it. We're pretty confident that with just a bit of thought, just about anyone could have a blast in a National Park Foundation Travato without hookups all throughout a three day weekend.

See you on the road!


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