boondocking sites and tips

Best Boondocking Sites & Tips to Keep in Mind

Boondocking, also known as dry camping, is a popular and adventurous way to experience the great outdoors and to see and stay near some of this country’s amazing natural wonders. It also provides the opportunity to take the road less traveled, whether you’re in a camper van or luxury RV.

However, RV boondocking for beginners can be intimidating for those who have never gone off-grid before. Boondocking involves camping in remote and undeveloped areas without access to water, electricity, or other amenities typically available at campgrounds.

Boondocking can be a thrilling and rewarding experience, but it does require some preparation and planning. If you are interested in trying boondocking for the first time, here are some tips to help you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

Also Read: Planning to run RV AC on Solar? Here are some things to keep in mind…

RV Boondocking Tips:

  1. Research your destination: Before heading out to a remote location, it’s essential to do some research on the area. Check out the weather forecast, local regulations, and any potential hazards. You can also read up on other camper’s experiences on blogs or social media groups.
  2. Plan ahead: It’s crucial to have a solid plan in place before you go boondocking. Decide on your route, the length of your stay, and what you’ll need to bring. Make sure to have plenty of water and food with you and consider bringing a portable solar panel to charge your electronics.
  3. Choose the right vehicle: Boondocking requires a vehicle that can handle rough terrain and is equipped with the necessary camping gear. If you don’t have one, consider renting or borrowing one from a friend or family member.
  4. Practice leave-no-trace principles: When camping in remote areas, it’s essential to leave the site in the same condition you found it. This means packing out all trash, avoiding building campfires, and avoiding disturbing the natural environment.
  5. Be prepared for emergencies: Boondocking can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to be prepared for emergencies. Bring a first-aid kit, a satellite phone, and a GPS device to help navigate in case of getting lost.
  6. Respect wildlife: Remember, you are a visitor in the animals’ homes. It is crucial to respect their habitat and avoid disturbing them. Keep a safe distance and never approach or feed them.
  7. Enjoy the experience: Boondocking travel can be an incredible experience, providing you with a unique opportunity to connect with nature. Take the time to appreciate the beauty around you and embrace the solitude.

Wondering where to go for your first boondocking excursion?  A test run is usually a good idea, but once you’re ready for the real thing, there are several boondocking apps, such as Campendium, iOverlander, and FreeRoam, that can help you find free and low-cost camping options.  Experienced boondockers have their favorite destinations. Here are ten most frequently visited RV boondocking sites that are recommended:

Best RV Boondocking Sites To Remember:

1. Mojave National Preserve, California

Mojave National Preserve, California

Mojave National Preserve, California

On our list of the best 10 RV Boondocking Sites, Mojave National Preserve comes in at number one. With over 1.6 million acres of desert wilderness, this park offers plenty of opportunities for boondocking travel, stargazing, and exploring.

Also Check Out: RVing in rain? Check RV Essentials For Boondocking

2. BLM Land in Arizona

BLM Land in Arizona

BLM Land in Arizona

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) manages millions of acres of public land in Arizona, offering endless possibilities for boondocking in stunning natural settings.

3. Organ Mountains

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico

Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico

Desert Peaks National Monument, New Mexico – This relatively new national monument boasts dramatic desert landscapes and excellent opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.

4. Olympic National Forest, Washington

Olympic National Forest, Washington

Olympic National Forest, Washington

With over 600,000 acres of wilderness, this forest offers plenty of opportunities for boondocking, hiking, and fishing.

5. Death Valley National Park, California

Death Valley National Park, California

This park offers some of the most extreme desert landscapes in the United States, as well as incredible stargazing opportunities.

6. Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah

This sprawling national monument offers a range of landscapes, from desert to canyons to mountains, and is a popular destination for hikers and adventurers.

7. Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

Great Basin National Park, Nevada

This park offers a unique high-desert landscape, as well as opportunities for stargazing, hiking, and exploring limestone caverns.

8. White River National Forest, Colorado

White River National Forest, Colorado

White River National Forest, Colorado

With over 2 million acres of wilderness, this forest offers plenty of opportunities for boondocking, hiking, and fishing in the Rockies.

9. Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota

Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota

Black Hills National Forest, South Dakota

This boondocking spot offers a mix of dense forests, rolling hills, and granite peaks, as well as plenty of opportunities for hiking and wildlife viewing.

10. Joshua Tree National Park, California

Joshua Tree National Park, California
Joshua Tree National Park, California

Our list of RV boondocking sites in California concludes with Joshua Tree National Park. This park offers unique desert landscapes, world-class rock climbing, and plenty of opportunities for stargazing.

5 Tips Before Heading Out On A Boondocking Adventure

5 Quick Tips Before Heading Out On A Boondocking Adventure

If you’ve been RVing for a long,  you’ve probably heard the phrase “boondocking” thrown about a few times. Camping in a remote location that hasn’t been formally authorized for camping is sometimes referred to as boondocking. Enthusiastic travelers with a passion for adventure, occasionally need to travel off the grid.

There are so many stunning national parks and unknown areas around the country that if you own an RV and don’t attempt boondocking at least once in your life, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Get out there and explore the back roads; you’ll thank us later! Here are some pointers for you boondocking adventure to get you started…

Quick Tips for Boondocking Adventure:

Before you leave, make sure your RV and tow vehicle are in good working order.

This is really crucial. The entire concept of boondocking is to travel out to a completely barren spot with very few, if any, people present. The last thing you need is to be stranded in the middle of nowhere with a dead battery or a flat tire with no spare. This may appear to be a little step, but it might save you a great deal of trouble in the long run.

Assess the weather

How many times have you departed for a vacation with the sun blazing and not a cloud in the sky, only to be met by a heavy rain a few hours later? Know what the weather will be like so you can pack appropriately.

Investigate your destination

Do your homework before embarking on a boondocking adventure. Driving around until you discover the “ideal” place is definitely not a good idea. You’re probably not going to find what you’re searching for and will wind up staying at a campsite you’ve been to before. Then, consult with your RV mates and other folks you know who like camping.

There are several internet sites for learning about the greatest boondocking places around the country. Make it a point to learn from the errors of others.

Have plenty of food and drink on hand

If it hasn’t been clear by now, we want to make sure you plan ahead of time before taking a boondocking adventure with your RV! Stock up on water and, preferably, non-perishable food to bring with you. If you intend to spend a lengthy amount of time in the wilderness, you must ensure that your food does not spoil.

Before embarking on this expedition, you might want to consider crafting a few items to carry with you.   Don’t forget to bring wet wipes with you. Do not burn your limited water supply on routine cleaning tasks.

Also Read: Best Boondocking Sites to Keep in Mind

Carry a generator with you

Because there will be no power hookups while boondocking, it is critical to invest in a sufficient generator to ensure you have electricity in your RV. A 3000 watt generator will cost you between $250 and $500, depending on the brand, whether it is new or used, and so on. This is where the RVAC Solution Soft Starter shines. Some Ac units will require a higher wattage generator just to start up, let alone running your air conditioner and other electronics at the same time.

Due to the limited source of power, normal functionality of your electronics and appliances is often compromised. The AC system is one of the most power taxing devices on the entire RV. However RVAC Solutions soft starters are designed to reduce the startup power demand of RV Air Conditioning Units by up to 75%, which greatly reduces the sacrifices those without a soft starter will have to make. After all your supposed to be enjoying your adventure not sweating miserably wishing your were home!

Planning to run rv ac on solar

Planning to run RV AC on Solar? Here are some things to keep in mind…

With summer quickly approaching, now is the time to start making plans for your next RV camping trip. Thinking of installing solar panels on RV? Are solar panels expensive? Planning to run RV AC on solar? There is a lot to think about when shopping for solar panels for your RV, including RV solar systems, inverters, and knowing which solar system is best for your RV.

Advantages of using Solar Power for RV

Energy independence is the primary motivation for installing solar panels on RVs. Owners of recreational vehicles are restricted from boondocking in any location they please due to their dependence on shore power and full-service RV parks.

However, with RV solar panels installed, either permanently or with a portable solar kit, campers can boondock or stay in the desert for as long as they like.

Oftentimes, campsites on public lands, state-owned land, and National Parks do not have hookups, so becoming energy independent has obvious aesthetic benefits.

Moreover, RV solar panels are much smaller than those used for homes; this means they produce less power, but they are also much cheaper. There is a wide range of possible costs due to the fact that installing panels often necessitates upgrading or installing additional components.

Installing solar panels on an RV is a more cost-effective long-term investment where systems can cost between $25,000 and $40,000. This is especially true if you plan to spend significant time away from home.

In the long run, you will save money on camping fees once you have paid off the initial cost of your solar power system. That means less fuel use and savings from not having to run the generator as often.

The environmental sustainability of RV solar panels is one of the more obvious benefits. Solar energy doesn’t produce pollution or global warming because it doesn’t burn fossil fuels.

Using solar power is also an excellent way to reduce pollution and save money in the long run. All that RV travel can be balanced out by doing this.

Some campgrounds prohibit the use of generators after a certain time due to the noise they produce. You can have less noise and more peace and quiet at the campsite by installing a solar power system.

Running RV AC on Solar Power

When estimating your budget for RV solar panel kit, it’s important to think about things like how you’ll get backup power, what your energy needs are, and whether you want a kit or permanent panels.

An inverter, batteries, and solar panels are all that’s needed to run RV AC on solar. Because solar panels produce DC (direct current power), while air conditioners use AC (alternating current power), an inverter is required to convert the energy from the solar panels to the type of power used by the air conditioner.

Thereafter, you can choose between installing an on-grid or off-grid solar power system to run your air conditioner. Alternatively, you may put in a solar-powered AC unit.

Also Read: Best Boondocking Sites & Tips to Keep in Mind

5 Best RV Solar Panels

The increasing popularity of solar camping has resulted in a greater variety of solar-powered accessories for recreational vehicles. The best solar equipment can collect a charge even on cloudy days, so you practically never have to worry about running out of power when using the sun as your charging device. Have a look at the items below if you plan on going completely off the grid on your next camping trip but don’t want to be in the dark.

  1. Renogy 200 Watts 12 Volts Monocrystalline RV Solar Panel Kit
  2. Newpowa 220W Monocrystalline 10BB Cell Solar Panel
  3. ACOPOWER 200 Watts 12/24 Volts Monocrystalline Panel Solar RV Kits with 30A MPPT LCD Charge Controller/Mounting Brackets/Y Connectors/Solar Cables/Cable Entry housing (2x100W Kit)
  4. SUNPOWER Portable Solar Panels, Flexible Panel / Monocrystalline Cells / Lightweight/ MC4 Connectors Camping, boats, RV + more (100W)
  5. Nature Power 50215 215 Watt 12 Volt Cables and Mounting Brackets Solar Panel, Black

How many Solar Panels do I need to run my RV?

The first step is to evaluate the energy demands of your RV. If you want to power your RV’s appliances (like the AC unit, fridge, microwave, phones, TV, etc.) with solar energy, you’ll need to calculate the total wattage (or watt hours) of those appliances. Basically, you’ll need to figure out how many watts each appliance in your RV consumes.

Read more: Estimating Appliance and Electronic Energy Use

Factors to consider for Solar Panels For Camper:

A safe and reliable solar RV installation requires six different components. You should probably go with the higher wattage panels since you have limited space, and your air conditioners need a lot. The wattage of these panels ranges from 100-600 watts. They are available in flat panels that can be mounted on the roof of your RV or placed on stands on the ground. The roof can be covered with flexible panels that simply stick there.

  1. Solar Charge Controller: Here is where the magic of your solar power charger takes place. It controls how much energy is transferred from your solar panels to your storage batteries. After a battery has been fully charged, the voltage should be lowered to a trickle charge to prevent the battery from being overcharged. When it comes to using solar energy to run an air conditioner, MPPT solar panels are your best bet due to their high charging efficiency.
  2. Battery Bank: The power generated by the solar panel is stored in batteries so that your RV may still
    be used even when there is no sunlight. The most viable alternative is lithium-ion batteries.
  3. 4,000-Watt Inverter: Simply put, an inverter works in the opposite direction of a converter. It inverts the direct current (DC) power from your batteries into alternating current (AC). Since your air conditioners and other appliances will be using a lot of power all at once, a 4,000-watt unit would be ideal.
  4. Solar Power Meter: Having this sort of equipment in place will allow you to check the efficiency of your panels at all times. The voltage, wattage, and amperage values you observe can be utilized to predict future problems.
  5. Battery Meter/Multi Meter: It is vital that you check the input and output of your batteries. Batteries can lose their charge capacity, leak, or have other problems after many years of use. It’s a great preventative maintenance practice to check them on a regular basis.
  6. A/C Soft Starter: With the help of soft starts, air conditioners can start up using much less energy. When using RV solar power, turning on the air conditioner can be a challenge, but a soft starter makes it easier to run RV AC on solar. A soft starter can provide the initial power surge needed to turn on the RV air conditioner. It reduces the power demand by up to 75%. The air conditioner in your RV can usually be powered by the RV’s solar system. It has no luck getting it going. RV Air Conditioning Soft Starters serve this purpose. Having a lot more success keeping cool while boondocking or on limited power is possible by installing a soft starter for each air conditioner in your RV. You can use solar power or a campground hookup to power your air conditioner with the help of these simple-to-install, small RV AC Soft Start Kits.

Final Suggestion

Installing solar system is a must whether you plan on living full-time in your RV or going off the grid.

A variety of factors, including your energy needs, your geographic location, and the efficiency of the panels themselves, will decide the precise quantity of panels that will be necessary.

A solar system for an RV needs to be compact, lightweight, and robust, so you should give some thought to your energy needs and the available space before making a final decision.

When is the Best Time to Purchase an RV?

Thinking about taking the plunge and enjoying RV life?  An RV is a significant investment, but with a little research and good timing you can find the most RV for your money.  Here’s how:

When to Buy an RV

When the mercury dips and snow flies, most people aren’t thinking about RV travel.  RV sales centers are quiet and sales staff are willing to make you a great deal on a new or used RV.  With new models rolling out, many dealers are looking to clear out space, making winter months a good time to buy.  Sales usually start happening around Martin Luther King Jr. Day in January and Presidents Day in February. And since many people sell their pre-owned RVs after the summer/fall travel season is complete, Craigslist should have good inventory as well. Whether you’re shopping for new or used, there are deals to be had, even on a budget.

It’s important to figure out exactly what features are non-negotiable and which you can live without. Start shopping around in the fall so you can get the lay of the land, see who has what, and pinpoint the models you’re most interested in purchasing.

Where to Buy an RV

If you’re looking to buy a new RV and are interested in lots of bells and whistles, an RV dealer is generally your best bet. You can pick and choose exactly the features you want and customize your RV to your taste, particularly if budget is not an issue.  Deals can be found at RV shows, particularly on the last day of the show when sales people are super motivated to sell so they don’t have to transport featured vehicles back to their showrooms.  Make an offer.  You might be surprised.

If you decide to buy from a private third party via Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, just be sure you know exactly what you are getting. Spend a few hours in and around the RV making sure everything works and noting what isn’t working properly or needs repair. If you can, ask to take the RV for a test drive and spend an overnight. Then start your negotiations.

Wait to Upgrade

Don’t worry about adding all of the fancy features and add-ons before you drive away.  Take the time to figure out exactly what upgrades you need.  Most upgrades can be added after purchase, and some you can save money on by installing yourself.

If you plan to travel to some warm, humid destinations and intend to run air conditioning, RVAC Solutions makes a small, light, Advanced Soft Starter (RVMS-100S-9A and RVMS-100S-16A) that’s easy to install without professional help and can be installed in less than an hour.

A soft starter is a small electrical device that reduces the required start-up current. It can be used to start your AC unit or other appliances. While an AC unit has a running current of 10-15 amps depending on its number of BTUs, it can take 70+ amps to get a unit started, putting a considerable strain on the compressor. A soft starter allows the AC unit to get started and then feeds additional current to the compressor gradually until it reaches full speed.

Plan Your Next Adventure

Then get out there and explore! Traveling in an RV gives you optimal access to some of the best hiking, national parks, and beautiful sites in the U.S.

Hard Start vs Soft Start What's The Difference

Hard Start vs Soft Start: What’s The Difference??

Big appliances need large amounts of power to get up and running. Think about a commercial HVAC system for a large office or apartment building. They can require as much as ten times more power to get started than the typical running current. This power demand and surge stress the motor and the appliance itself and create a lot of heat that can damage various components, shortening its life. One way to protect the machine is by utilizing a hard starter or a soft starter – two different add-on kits with the same goal of getting your equipment up and running without damaging it and preserving the appliance’s life.

What’s a Hard Starter?

As the name suggests, a hard start kit is used to remedy the “hard” starting problem of your air conditioner or other appliance. The air conditioner may start and shut off, make a clicking sound, trip a breaker, or make the lights flicker because the AC drains too much power for the startup.

A hard starter is a good, affordable option when you need an extra boost of electrical current to get an appliance running even though you have a good power source. A hard start kit is a capacitor that collects and stores electricity ahead of time and provides an extra energy boost to your appliance as it’s turned on.

A hard starter kit can be plugged into the run capacitor in just a few minutes. It can quickly spike the inrush of current to reduce the system’s startup time and the amount of electricity needed to run.

Read More: Gil-Bar in the News: “Modernized HVAC Systems Have Key Role in New York City”

What’s a Soft Starter?

A soft starter allows an AC unit or other appliance to get started and gradually feeds additional current to the compressor until it reaches full speed.

While an AC unit has a running current of 10-15 amps, depending on its number of BTUs, it can take 70+ amps to get a unit started, putting a considerable strain on the compressor. Soft starters control the voltage flowing through a motor’s circuit, reducing the inrush of current by up to 70% and preventing wear and tear on the engine by allowing it to startup safely and gradually.

Soft starters are a good solution when you’re traveling in an RV and need to run an AC unit, but you don’t have access to a power hookup and are using a generator. Without a power hook-up, your portable generator or inverter system likely won’t have enough amperage to get an AC unit up and running. And a hard starter will not work with a small generator, so it’s useless in an RV powered by a generator.

Hard Start vs Soft Start: How are They Different?

Both a hard and soft starter use a start capacitor and a start relay, but a hard starter’s goal is to make the inrush of current as large as possible, while a soft starter lowers the inrush of current as much as possible.

A hard start does not vary the input voltage but rather it unloads the full voltage of the capacitor to achieve more inrush current and to start the motor.

Whereas, a soft start vary the input voltage on the run winding to achieve the in-rush current.

A soft starter is a more complex device with electronics that use algorithms to sense and record numerous events in the startup of your motor.

In short, a hard starter provides a quick boost of power, while a soft starter reduces the initial torque of the motor and gradually feed it power so that it doesn’t put too much unnecessary stress on the motor or appliance. This gradual approach creates less wear on the AC unit, extends its useable life, and prevents overheating or other electrical damage.

It’s two different approaches—quick and powerful versus slow and steady.

Which One is Right for You?

Choosing a hard starter or soft starter is really about the application. What’s your power source, and what kind of equipment do you need to get started?

A hard starter is ideal in a commercial or residential environment where the power source is constant, and the equipment requires a massive inrush of current to get started. Soft starters are generally used in a low power supply environment, such as an RV or camper, where the startup demand isn’t off the charts.

RVAC Solutions Advanced Soft Starter

If you’re in the market for a soft starter for your RV, 5th wheel, or camper, RVAC Solutions makes a small, light, Advanced Soft Starter (RVMS-100S-9A and RVMS-100S-16A) that’s easy to install on your own. It weighs only a couple of pounds and easily fits inside the AC unit’s housing. Each AC unit you intend to run will require its own Advanced Soft Starter.

Easy Camping Meals To Consider For Your RV Trip

Easy Camping Meals To Consider For Your RV Trip

Camping meals have you stumped? No matter the size of the RV, kitchen counter space is always limited, but that doesn’t mean the quality or variety of your meals has to suffer.

With a little recipe research, smart shopping, and planning ahead, you can create tasty entrees that will have your family asking for seconds.

Simple prep (or the ability to prep ahead of time) and easy clean-up are important criteria for any go-to RV meal.  Be sure to clean as you go so your counters aren’t overloaded with dirty dishes and kitchen tools.

A crock pot or Instant Pot can turnout one-pot meals that cook while you’re out adventuring and they won’t heat up your RV.

Here are some of the delicious and simple RV camping meals listed below.

Top 5 Easy Camping Meals For Your RV Trip:

1. Breakfast Burritos (makes 4 servings)

breakfast burritos-rv camping meals


  • 4 large flour tortillas
  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • 6 large eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups cooked hash browns or skillet potatoes
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of your choice
  • Optional:  ketchup or salsa for dipping


  1. In a large skillet, brown the chorizo until done. Place cooked chorizo on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up any excess grease.
  2. Return the skillet to the stove and scramble the eggs. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Tear off 4 large squares of aluminum foil and place them on a counter or flat surface.
  4. Heat tortillas and place one on each piece of foil.
  5. Top with cheese, chorizo, eggs, and hash browns.
  6. Roll the burrito up tightly and enclose it in aluminum foil.
  7. Store in the refrigerator or cooler until ready to use. Can be frozen until ready to use as well.
  8. When ready to serve: Reheat burrito, wrapped in foil, on the campfire, grill, or in the oven. Heat until contents are heated thru. Serve with a side of salsa or ketchup for dipping.

TIPS:  Try to place the potatoes/hash browns in the center of the burritos. It helps to soak in any liquid from the sausage and keep it away from the tortilla. Add DON’T add salsa until just before serving or your burritos will get soggy. If you don’t plan to eat your burritos within 24 hours, store them wrapped in a ziploc bag and freeze.

 2. Foil Packed Chicken Fajitas (makes 4 servings)

Foil Packed Chicken Fajitas easy camping meals


  • 1 ½ cups instant white rice (uncooked)
  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 1 Tbsp Taco seasoning
  • 4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts, whole or cut in strips
  • 1 green pepper cut into strips
  • 1 red pepper cut into strips
  • ½ of a red or white onion (optional) cut into rings
  • ½ cup Salsa of your choice
  • ½ cup Mexican cheese blend


  1. Preheat oven to 400-degrees F.
  2. Combine rice, hot water, and taco seasoning.
  3. Fold up all sides of 4 large sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil to form a 1” rim and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  4. Spread rice mixture evenly onto foil and top with remaining ingredients (chicken, peppers, salsa, cheese). Fold up all sides to form packets. Place packets on rimmed backing sheet.
  5. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Cool, then cut slits into the foil to release the steam before carefully opening packets. Top with sour cream.

TIPS:  Packets can be prepared in advance. Simply assemble and refrigerate until ready to bake.  If you don’t have heavy duty foil, use a double layer of regular aluminum foil.

3. Lazy Instant Pot Lasagna (makes 6 servings)

instant pot lasgna quick rv camping meals


  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups uncooked pasta, like penne
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese or cottage cheese
  • 2 cups shredded whole milk mozzarella cheese
  • 24 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 lb. ground beef or ground sausage
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced

**Optional:  1 can diced tomatoes (makes casserole chunkier)


  1. Set your pressure cooker to sauté.
  2. Add your olive oil, ground beef or sausage, and diced onions. Cook until the outsides are no longer pink. Drain grease and return the pot to your pressure cooker.
  3. Turn the machine off (an important step so burn notification isn’t triggered because it is too hot). Add spices and stir with meat/onions.
  4. Spread out ground meat evenly across the bottom of your pot. This creates a barrier for the noodles so they don’t stick to the bottom.
  5. Add spaghetti sauce on top of the meat, pour your 2 c. water into your spaghetti sauce jar and shake to get the remaining sauce out, and pour that into your pot on top of your sauce.
  6. Then pour your uncooked noodles in as the next layer. Do NOT stir! Gently push down noodles so they are submerged in the liquid.
  7. Put the lid on and set to pressure, high, for 5 minutes.
  8. Do a quick release.
  9. Stir in 1.5 c. mozzarella cheese and allow to melt. You can either stir in ricotta now or just put a dollop on top of each serving 

4. Pulled BBQ Sandwiches (makes 8 servings)

Pulled BBQ Sandwiches easy delicous camping meals for rv trips


  • 1 large onion
  • 6 lbs. boneless Pork Shoulder Chuck Roast (or use 2 smaller roasts)
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup store-bought BBQ sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 large garlic cloves, pressed


  1. Chop 1 large onion and place it into the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Combine 1 Tbsp salt, 1 tsp pepper, and 1 tsp paprika and generously sprinkle the pork roast. Massage the roast to rub the seasoning into the meat. Place meat over the onions.
  3. For the marinade, combine: 1 cup chicken broth, 1 cup BBQ sauce, 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce, 2 Tbsp brown sugar, and 3 pressed garlic cloves. Stir to combine. Pour the marinade over the pork in the crockpot.
  4. Cover and set on low for 8 hours. Remove the meat to a large bowl and remove any fat. Shred with forks. Pour any drippings from the crockpot over the meat to taste then brush the meat with warm barbecue sauce to serve.
  5. Serve on a soft hamburger or slider bun and top with homemade or store-bought coleslaw
  6. Leftovers freeze well for another meal

5. Snickerdoodle Mug Cake

snickerdoodle mug cake quick camping food for rv trip

Campfire s’mores are always a favorite, but if you’re looking for something different that isn’t going to heat up the whole RV, try this Snickerdoodle Mug Cake that’s baked in the microwave and ready to eat in minutes.


  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup milk, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted and cooled
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract


  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and cinnamon until completely combined with no streaks of any ingredients remaining. Blend in milk, butter, and vanilla until the batter is smooth. Into a 14-ounce (or larger) microwave-safe mug with straight sides, scoop a big spoonful of batter, then sprinkle with a spoonful of cinnamon sugar. Alternate layers, ending with cinnamon sugar.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 to 1 ½ minutes, or until cake is done to your liking. Allow cooling for a couple of minutes before serving.

Campfire cooking is great, but not always practical.  Most RV-ers use their ovens and cooktops quite a bit.  On those really hot and humid days, running an appliance AND A/C can be easier said than done because of the start-up power demands, particularly if you’re off-grid.  But with a soft starter, you can cook and cool at the same time.

What’s a Soft Starter?

A soft starter also allows you to run one or two AC units using your onboard inverter system. Without a soft starter, you may be unable to run any other appliances while the AC is running.  RVAC Solutions makes a small, light, Advanced Soft Starter (RVMS-100S-9A and RVMS-100S-16A) that’s easy to install without professional help. Weighing just a couple of pounds and smaller than a paperback book, it fits within the AC unit’s housing and can be installed in less than an hour. Each AC unit you intend to run will require its own Advanced Soft Starter. The RVAC Solutions Advanced Soft Starters allows you to enjoy the benefits of air conditioning while still having your other appliances running regardless of your power source. Order yours today!

Ready to Explore the U.S. on Wheels? Here are some ‘Can’t Miss’ RV Destinations

With over 13,000 campgrounds across the country to choose from, the options are endless. If you’re looking for a breath-taking hike, want to see the stars, get in some mountain biking, or hit the beach, here are some of the best campgrounds to pull up to and stay a while.

For Stargazers:

Dark sky parks are your best bet for catching a nighttime celestial show.

  • Chisos Basin Campground, Big Bend National Park, Texas. Surrounded by rocky cliffs at an elevation of 5,400 feet above sea level, the Chisos Basin Campground is the highest point in Big Bend National Park and boasts some superior hiking trails. With the least light pollution of any park in the country, Big Bend offers a stunning view of the night sky.
  • Many Glacier Campground, Glacier National Park, Montana. Along the Canadian border and featuring 700 miles of hiking trails, night skies here are amazing.
  • Trail’s End Campground, Superior National Forest, Minnesota. For those looking to catch a glimpse of the northern lights (best seen between September and March), Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the world’s largest dark sky sanctuary, is a good bet. Kayakers and canoers won’t be disappointed either.

For Mountain Bikers:

  • Lake George RV Park, Adirondack Region, Lake George, New York. From large parks and off-season ski resorts to individual trails, there are many places to go mountain biking at Lake George for beginners and experienced riders. While you’re there, don’t miss Lake George’s most famous cliff-jumping spot, Calve’s Pen, which is only accessible by boat.
  • Mackinaw City, Mackinac Island KOA, Michigan’s Wilderness State Park. Use this KOA as a base camp for easy access to over 26 miles of trails that offer different terrain types and many area attractions. You’re less than 2 miles from a Lake Michigan beach. Gorgeous night skies here as well.
  • Peak One Campground, White River National Forest, Frisco, Colorado. For those who don’t mind dry camping, biking enthusiasts will find more than 50 miles of scenic routes along the Summit County Recreation Pathway System. Climb 1500 feet to the top of Vail Pass. There are enough scenic paths to keep you busy for weeks.

For Hikers:

  • Bullards Beach State Park, Oregon Coast Trail, Bandon, Oregon. The stunning Oregon Coast Trail offers 362 miles of hiking with incredible Pacific Ocean views.
  • Yellowstone Trail RV Park, Pinedale, Wyoming. Located on the path to Yellowstone National Park, the Wind River Range, and Grand Teton National Park with access to the Continental Divide Trail and dozens of others. Lots of lakes and lots to do nearby this clean, well-maintained campground. 
  • Silver Falls State Park, Salem, Oregon. The Trail of Ten Falls’ 7.2-mile route takes hikers not past one but four waterfalls, including a walk behind the famous 177-foot South Falls. Enjoy the shade and serenity under a canopy of old-growth Douglas firs.
  • Harpers Ferry/Civil War Battlefields KOA, West Virginia. Harpers Ferry is the mid-way point of the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail. This makes for an excellent sample for hikers who want a taste of what the AT is like. This KOA has all the amenities you could want to relax after a day on the trails.

For Beach Lovers:

  • Leo Carrillo State Park Campground, Malibu, California. Enjoy the sound of crashing waves in this 135-site campground in a canyon behind South Beach. 1.5 miles of beach, tidal pools, and coastal caves and arches are a short walk. Nearby hiking trails offer panoramic views. 
  • South Beach Campground, Forks, Washington. Inside Olympic National Park, South Beach is one of the best and beachiest RV campgrounds around. You can park your RV on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, enjoy the sound of crashing surf, and spend the day exploring the park.
  • Cape Hatteras KOA Resort, Rodanthe, North Carolina. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on one side and Pamlico Sound on the other, you’re at the water’s edge. Lounge on the beach, catch some waves and enjoy some of the best surfing on the east coast. 

Ready to Head Off-Grid with Your RV? Here’s What You Need to Know

Are you inspired to try boondocking (RV slang for not having a power or water connection, also known as “dry camping.”)? Maybe watching Nomadland made you curious; you’re trying to save money, or you want a chance to visit some out-of-the-way sites without the crowds and congestion of traditional RV parks. Whatever the reason, we know two things to be true: going off-grid takes a bit of planning and preparation, and practice makes perfect.

Planning & Preparation:

Three significant things you’ll need to plan for are no power hook up, no fresh water, and no sewage hook up. Surviving without these requires some additional equipment.

  • Consider buying a generator, either gas or solar-powered, so you can charge your RV batteries and power various appliances.
  • Solar panels are a great add-on. They can be installed on our RV roof and connected to a battery, generator, and inverter.
  • Camp Stove or Portable Grill – smaller and larger options usually run off propane.
  • Portable Water Storage – a backup water supply is essential since most people run through their RV tanks faster than anticipated. Extra tanks can be stored out of the way and used when needed, and then refilled as necessary.
  • Portable sewage tank – enables you to clean out your RV, remove the tank, and drive it to a dump station.
  • Portable heater – even in the summer, mornings in the mountains can start pretty cool. Running a heater can wear down your RV battery. A portable heater allows you to heat just the space(s) you need while conserving your RV’s battery/gas.
  • A water filter assures that harmful chemicals and bacteria are removed from your water, whatever its source.
  • A well-thought-out medical kit/pharmacy in a bag. One of the downsides of off-grid travel/living is the distance to a hospital or medical care.
  • Tool/Repair Kit – things have a way of breaking or coming loose on an RV, but most things can be fixed with a few tools and some common sense. Include things like tape, caulk, and sealant.

Not essential, but nice to have equipment includes:

  • Signal booster for cell phone – not every place you camp will offer good cell phone service. If you want the convenience of the internet and good cell coverage, consider adding a cell phone signal booster.
  • Crockpot or Instant Pot – making a meal in one pot is efficient and saves space.
  • Plus, the meal options are endless with just a few pantry ingredients. Campfire cooking is fun and flavorful, but one-pot meals sure are convenient when you’ve been hiking all day.
  • Outdoor Rug – keeps your space clean, helps you track less dirt into your RV, and most can be cleaned with a hose.
  • Advanced Soft Starter for RV Air Conditioners – even off-grid, sometimes the heat and humidity can be too much to handle. RV AC units require a substantial amount of power to get running. A soft starter allows you to power up your AC units even when you’re running on an inverter or generator without a power hookup. Check out these best-sellers from RVAC Solutions.

Learn from Others:

One of the best resources for off-grid RVing is others who have or are doing it. There are a ton of RV community forums as well as videos, blogs, vlogs, and other resources out there. Connect with others for more tips on making the most of your boondocking experience. iRV2 Forums is a great place to start.

Practice Makes Perfect:

Once you’ve done your research and your planning and preparation are complete, it’s time to put your skills to the test. Schedule a long weekend away without hooking up. This can be in a traditional campground or even your driveway; just don’t hook up. Live off your tanks and batteries to get a good sense of what it will be like and how long you can go before you need to refill your water tanks and recharge your batteries.