Project Trek RV by river

Expert Advice

Boondock Basics: The Only Gear Guide You’ll Ever Need

Nate and Christian from Project Trek share their expert tips on boondocking including what you'll need and how to plan.

Boondocking is an absolutely amazing way to get out into nature and reconnect with the Earth. That said, you do need some gear in order to boondock comfortably. In this guide, we will show you our favorite boondocking items currently on the market and help you figure out which pieces are most important for you.

Questions to Ask Yourself First

Before you decide what you need to buy in order to boondock comfortably, you’ll want to take a few things into consideration. The questions below are some of the things you’ll need to ask yourself in order to get a clear picture of what you need to create your ideal boondocking setup.

“How long do we plan to stay out?”

If you only plan to boondock for a day or two, your RV is likely already equipped to do the job. That said, if you plan to stay out longer than that, you will at the very least want to consider adding to your existing battery bank and finding a way to charge those batteries.

“How much electricity will we use?”

Will you be running Starlink constantly? Do you plan to use appliances with a high-power draw (such as a microwave, air conditioner, or air fryer)? The amount of power you use will determine how much battery capacity you need. It might also affect how many solar panels you buy.

“Will we need the AC electric system?”

Most RVs do not come equipped with an inverter. This means you likely won’t be able to use the AC electric system if you’re not plugged into power, meaning no outlets or electric appliances. Is this okay, or will you need an inverter?

“Will we park in places with sunlight to charge batteries via solar panels?”

If you plan to install solar panels, you’ll want to think about where you plan to spend the majority of your time. If you’ll be in the shade a lot of the time, solar may not be the best investment right now.

“How big are our water tanks?”

Water tanks come in a variety of sizes. It’s important that you learn how big your tanks are and test your limits to see exactly how long you can go without filling the fresh tank or dumping wastewater. Knowing this will help you decide whether you need a water bladder or portable wastewater tank.

“What is my budget?”

While it would be nice to have thousands of dollars to put into boondocking gear, this isn’t always possible. Think about how much you have to spend and then figure out which items are most important. Then do your best to fit the most important gear into your budget. If something doesn’t make the cut, you can always add it later!

Gear to Consider

Now that you have an idea of what your limitations are and which boondocking items matter most to you, it’s time to do some shopping. Below are the pieces of boondocking gear that we think make an RV more capable of staying out in the wilderness away from campground hookups.


A generator is usually the easiest (and cheapest) way to charge up your batteries. A simple 2000-watt generator should get the job done in most cases. Look for an inverter generator for something on the quieter side.

LiFePO4 Batteries

Traditional flooded batteries require maintenance, take a long time to charge, and can only be drained to 50% without causing damage. Switching your current batteries out for LiFePO4 batteries solves all these problems, and depending on how many you install, they can actually reduce the weight your RV is carrying!

Solar Panels

Solar panels are a great way to keep your batteries topped up without a noisy generator and are definitely a great boondocking upgrade. That said, they do need sunlight to function, and installing them can feel overwhelming. If you can’t yet make the commitment to install solar panels, there are convenient, foldable panel options that are a great alternative.


An inverter is only necessary if you need AC power. In this case, we highly recommend an inverter charger that you can wire right into your system. If you can’t splurge for an inverter charger, there are many other options. Just make sure you buy a pure sine wave inverter (rather than a modified sine wave) and make sure it will power what you need it to power.

Portable Waste Tank

Worried you’ll fill your waste tanks before you’re ready to leave your boondocking spot? A portable waste tank allows you to transport your wastewater without breaking camp. We recommend buying one that is at least as large as your largest wastewater tank.

Macerator Pump

If you plan to carry the waste tote in the back of your truck, you will need a way to pump your wastewater into it. A macerator pump will do the job well!

Water Bladder

Think you might run out of fresh water? You can put a water bladder in the back of your truck, fill it with clean water, and then add it to your RV tank. That said, it’s also possible to fill 5-gallon jugs and use those to fill your freshwater tank.

Composting Toilet

If you plan to be a serious boondocker and want to save as much water as possible (plus “gain” your black tank for gray water storage), a composting toilet might be the thing for you.

Where to Buy

All of the items listed above can be found on Amazon, and in our opinion, this is the easiest way to grab what you need before you go boondocking.

That said, if you’d rather not buy online, it’s also possible to find many of these items at brick-and-mortar stores. Decent-quality portable generators can be found at Harbor Freight for instance, and portable waste tanks, water bladders, and composting toilets are things you’d likely find at a RV camping supply store such as Camping World.

Project Trek Family

Project Trek

Nate and Christian, the husband-wife team behind Project Trek are a full-time traveling, vegan family who love to hike and backpack with their two kids Ella and Andersen. 

After suffering from the financial collapse of a failed business, Christian and Nate decided to take matters into their own hands. They began the process of pursuing financial freedom by paying off over 270K of debt!  After their successful debt-free journey they realized they never wanted to be bound by the burden of financial stress and they each deeply desired to travel while spending more time with their children. 

After a weekend trip to Asheville, NC  in a borrowed Minnie Winne, Christian and Nate felt the pull of the road. That sweet siren call was answered in April of 2017 when they launched their journey as a fulltime rv family. 

In an effort to bring hope to other families that felt trapped in their lives, they launched their Youtube channel, Project Trek. Christian & Nate both work from home as video content creators. They love creating video content for their Youtube channel where they share their unique lifestyle with the world, plus all the mishaps along the way. Their videos cover everything from; how to boondock in the best locations to exploring new places to visit in your RV. They produce high-quality videos that are published onto various social channels where they educate their audience about trip planning, rv living, destination highlights, and products that align with the needs of their community.

Every day presents new adventures which you can follow along with through videos on YouTube!