When I conduct my dispersed camping seminars I am typically asked what is the best RV for dry camping. While some types of RVs are more friendly for this type of RVing than others, the question really should be, “What should I look for in a RV if I want to use it for dry camping?”
Ready to set up a dry camp? The following are a series of features to look for or modify in a RV:
1. Fresh water capacity
We need water to drink, cook, and bathe. When you run out of freshwater in the sticks it’s typically time to break camp to get some more.
Therefore, large capacity freshwater tanks are critical. I would consider anything less than 60 gallons too small for a RVing couple.
Note: Some manufacturers include the water heater capacity in the total freshwater capacity listing, so make sure you’re getting the true freshwater tank capacity.
2. Gray tank capacity
The next capacity to be concerned about is the gray water holding tank. While there are ways to minimize wastewater and legal ways to dispose of it, a large capacity gray tank is ideal, handy, and an important feature to consider when choosing a RV for dry camping. You may also want to consider RV gray water recycling systems.
3. Room for batteries
Conserving battery power is vital when dry camping. While you can survive with just one battery, you will enjoy the road less traveled more comfortably with a larger battery bank. I recommend a minimum of two quality deep-cycle batteries. Therefore, make sure the RV you are looking at has a rack designed to hold two batteries.
4. Generator storage
Those new to dry camping will want a place to carry a generator. While solar power is definitely part of the dry camping experience, beginners will want to carry a generator until they learn to determine their consumption of power.
Some RVs have options for built-in generators, many do not. Remember, you don’t want to operate or store a generator in a compartment that is not airtight from the living space of the RV.
That leaves you with storing the generator in the bed of your pickup truck (for owner’s of towables), on the bumper of the RV or on the tongue of your RV if you have a travel trailer.
5. Ground clearance
I left this for last as many remote locations are accessible by most any vehicle. However, the more ground clearance you have, the more options you have in selecting a location. Quite often, good ground clearance gets you to the more isolated, scenic spots.
On a final note, I am sure many of you are asking what about the black tank? Running out of freshwater or filling your gray tank to capacity will happen long before your black tank needs dumping.