Boondocking Tips: What Is the Cost of Boondocking?

Boondocking Tips Before You Boondock Series
What Is the Cost of Boondocking?

Laura & Sasha's Excellent Adventure!

Laura & Sasha’s Excellent Adventure

Boondocking Tips Before You Boondock
This is Laura & Sasha of Laura-n-Sasha’s Excellent Adventure coming to you from Clark County Shooting Complex, a campground in North Las Vegas, NV. We are using the campground as a place to do chores until we leave to boondock in amazing places.

Sasha has a boondocking spreadsheet that he started on December 18, 2013. As it is the fourth anniversary of that spreadsheet, we thought it might be nice to go over our Boondocking Tips Before You Boondock.

From December 18, 2013 to now, we’ve boondocked 393 days. That is with four summers (May through September 30th) of being connected in an RV spot. Every spring, fall, and winter of 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 we were boondocked for part of the time.

Laura & Sasha, Truck & Camper, April 2005


The short answer is “It Depends.” There are a number of factors. First, if you have a solar array system, (which cost us $9,600 but we got a tax credit of $3,200 that year), would you recoup those costs? While we do not have exact figures for years 2010, 2011, 2012, or most of 2013 of boondocking, we do have from December 18, 2013 to now. We boondocked for 393 days. If you multiply 393 days with $30 per average campground fee, you come up with $11,790. Then yes, our system paid for itself.

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Second, storage of fresh water, grey water and black water. The capacities of the rig you choose will impact your long-term boondocking options. Smaller rigs with smaller storage means more trips. Larger rigs with large storage means longer boondocking periods.

Smaller may mean going to town more often and therefore spending more in the short term, and ultimately paying more in the long term.

Larger rigs and set-ups means more upfront costs that decrease gradually in the long term.

San Rafael Swell

Iconic Boondocking Spot

There is always the trade-off. A larger rig may not get into some of the cool places a smaller rig can go. Plus, your diesel/gas mileage will be more expensive than a small rig. Looking back, in 2007 and 2008, when we had the truck camper, our diesel costs were between $1,100 to $1,300 a year. But we also had another vehicle. In 2016, we spent under $2,000 for diesel with the fifth-wheel toyhauler. We went across country too that year.

Cost factors in regards to the buying of a rig, solar, storage, and mindset planning. If you want to boondock extensively, you decide you want to move with the sun, continually being in temperate climes, then a larger rig might be your best bet. Your upfront cost will be higher but will gradually decrease over time. By employing some different methods in these blog posts, you may be able to extend your boondocking experience in either a small or large rig.

Financial Freedom

Someone is very happy!


All rig choices are a compromise between capacities and capabilities.

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Please check back each day for the next part of the series. Signing up to our eNewsletter will get you all the posts in one PDF, plus a worksheet to use for your first adventure! 

3 thoughts on “Boondocking Tips: What Is the Cost of Boondocking?

  1. Pingback: Boondocking Tips: Personal Hygiene – Laura-n-Sasha

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