How Long Can You Boondock in a Class B RV?


Boondocking is a great way to camp in your RV without the expense of paying for a campground. But without hookups, there will be a limit of how long you can go without needing to refill and dump your tanks. So how long can you boondock in a Class B RV?

It is possible to boondock up to two weeks in a Class B RV. However, the more people are camping, the faster the resources will get used up, and the faster the gray and black water tanks will get filled up.

But that’s just a quick answer.

And there are some things you can do to extend your time boondocking and minimize energy and water use. So in this article, we’ll explore all the tips and tricks for boondocking in a Class B RV.

Let’s jump into it.

Is Boondocking a good idea in a Class B RV?

It is a good idea to boondock in a Class B RV. Boondocking involves going to remote destinations, and the smaller size of a Class B makes it easier to maneuver than larger RVs.  For resources, boondocking in a Class B is ideal for 1-2 people as more people will use the resources faster.

But it also depends on your definition of a good idea.

A Class B RV has a lot of limitations that other RVs won’t have. It’s especially not great for more than 3 people or a growing family. This is because, over time, you are going to need more space.

Pros of boondocking in a Class B RV

  1. The least expensive driveable RV – Prices for a new Class B start at $40,000. By comparison, a new Class C will be closer to $80,000 and a new Class A will be over $100,000, making Class B RVs perfect for RV’ers on a budget. But amazingly, there are some Class Bs over $100,000!
  2. Can drive to more remote places that Class C and Class A RVs can’t get to – Because of their small size (around 18 feet long) and wheelbase, while most will not be 4-wheel drive, it can still go on roads that you wouldn’t want to drive larger RVs on
  3. Perfect for just 1 person – Because of their small space and that living areas have to double as sleeping areas, Class B RVs are perfect for solo campers.
  4. Better fuel economy than other RVs – A Class B motorhome will typically get 18-20 mpg. Compare that to the 6 or 8 mpg that most Class C and Class A RVs get and it’s easy to appreciate how much lower your gasoline costs will be.

Not to say couples can’t boondock in a van.

They definitely can, but space and resources get used up that much faster. However, a van will give you the most flexibility out there. If you like small spaces and close quarters, then van life is for you. Class B is also great if you just want a small weekend Boondock on a budget. The van is the best for mileage, and because of the size, you’ll get a few unique functions.

To make the most out of the space in a Class B, everything inside will have two functions! So your sleeping area can turn into a common area. Instead of a bed, it’s a couch or dining table.

Overall, it depends on how many people are traveling, comfort levels, and what space you want. If you are okay with small spaces and need to take camp with you, then the Class B is perfect. If you need more space and to settle down for a bit, you’ll want something bigger.

Cons of boondocking in a Class C RV

  1. You can’t tow a vehicle – Most people prefer to park their RV at their campsite and get around in another vehicle. If you have a Class B RV, then your camp goes with you as it can’t tow another vehicle. That means packing up your camp every time you drive somewhere which is a pain.
  2. Not good for 3 or more people – If you’re planning to Boondock, then you’re probably going to want to stay out for more extended periods of time. A Class B RV isn’t suited well for this idea, especially if you have a big family. Vans, which is essentially what a Class B RV is, are meant for a single person.
  3. The smaller size means smaller tanks – You’ll typically have tanks between 16-40 gallons for holding freshwater, gray water, and black water. By comparison, a 5th Wheels and Class A RVs will have tank sizes ranging from 40-65+. Class C RVs typically have tanks ranging between 35-60 gallons. It goes without saying, but the smaller the tanks, the less time you can stay out.
  4. Combined toilet and shower – Typically they call this a wet bath, as you won’t normally have an actual shower that is separate. So yes, as you spray water on you, you will literally be standing right next to the toilet.

But if you’re out in the middle of nowhere, how long can you go with black water in your tanks?

I have a recent article on leaving black water in your RV. Of course, any boondocking relies on being able to keep water in your black and gray water tanks. But there is a limit. Done wrong, it can create a huge problem!

Just click that link to read it on my site.

How long should you boondock in a Class B RV if you don’t have a shower?

If your Class B RV does not have a shower, limit boondocking excursions to 7-10 days, and plan to use the kitchen sink for sponge baths every few days.

You may be used to showering every day, seven days a week.

But when you Boondock, it’s just not as necessary, especially if it’s just you. Even if it’s not just you, everyone else will be in the same boat, so it will be a shared experience.

A washcloth with a little soap and water from your sink will work just fine for a week or so before you may feel the need to return home for a full shower.

But how do you shower without a shower?

Bear in mind, most Class B RVs do come with some type of shower. Often they are combined with the toilet, but they will still allow you to rinse off; just not with a lot of room to spare.

There are a few ways to do this.

Firstly you can do what most boondockers without showers do. This requires you to use 1 to 2-gallon jugs of warm water and take a shower outside. Some hardcore boondockers will step into a plastic bin and save the water for flushing later.

Overall the jug technique works reasonably well.

You’ll get your body and hair wet first before shampooing your hair and putting soap on your body. With what water is leftover, you’ll rinse off. This is similar to a navy shower, just without the shower.

The second thing you can do is get a gym membership to a 24/7 gym. Most gyms have showers included, and you can get a nice workout in before showering.

Plus, you don’t have to be so picky about how much water you use with this option.

How many days can you Boondock in a Class B RV?

As with most RVs, a Class B RV can boondock for about two weeks before needing to refill or dump anything. But, it also depends on how many people are in the vehicle, and how often water and power are being used.

Boondocking in Class B RVs can seem a little intimidating at first because you won’t have a lot of space for larger tanks.

That being said, large tanks are not the key to success when it comes to boondocking. Large tanks can help, but if you have a strong skill set for conserving water and space, you’ll get by just fine.

While you can last up to two weeks boondocking in a Class B RV, most people tend only to make short trips unless they are the only one camping.

Class B RVs are a better choice for short trips because you can’t set up camp for an extended time. If you need anything because your van doesn’t have much space, you’ll need to pack up and drive your entire set up back into town.

This can be an issue because it leaves room for someone else to take your spot, and it can cause frustration by focusing on more than just the trip. Now you’ll have to worry about going back and forth instead of just enjoying nature.

Overall, if you still want to Boondock in a Class B, weekend trips are more ideal than multi-week excursions. This is even truer if you are running the air conditioner in your RV.

I have a recent article about how long you can run your AC in an RV.

Because you’ll have less space in a Class B, your generator (if yours has one) will last longer, affecting how long you’ll stay out in nature. Just click the link to read about the article on my site.

What is the most reliable Class B RV for boondocking?

The Winnebago Revel by Mercedes-Benz is an incredibly reliable Class B RV and features a large TV, LED lights, a closet and wet bath, a dinette table, a 200-watt solar panel, and a 2,000-watt power inverter.

This little guy even has room for plenty of storage. Talk about getting it all in one: small and flexible ride with space and versatile inside for comfort on the go.

However, with great features comes a hefty price tag, as this Winnebago starts at almost $200,000. (source)

Our second runner up would be the RAM ProMaster 3500 chassis, a.k.a the Roadtrek Zion. This features a king-size sleeper, TV, dining area, storage, and wet room. What makes this guy stand out, though, is the underhood generator that is included on top of the 300-watt solar panels.

At the end of the day, it comes down to price, wants, and needs.

Make a list and figure out what you can cross off as not 100% needed. This will help you understand what you genuinely need to Boondock and what vehicle would be best for you.

What is the best RV for Boondocking?

A travel trailer or Class C RV will be best for boondocking. This is due to being smaller than Class A RVs or 5th Wheels, allowing them to reach more remote destinations. But the larger interior and tanks will allow for longer camping trips than in Class B RVs.

But ultimately, it comes down to your personal preference.

Some people will tell you Class A is the best RV for Boondocking, while others will say a travel trailer is best for boondocking. While it’s ultimately up to is you, your needs, and your comfort level. I can suggest what would be the best overall RV, though.

You might get a few people telling you that Boondocking in a Class A is the only way to go, but not everyone needs the space or size of a Class A. This is when the Class C comes in handy. It gives you everything you need and wants from a Class A without the size and massive weight behind it.

This goes for travel trailers too.

These can be extremely useful for getting to your site and being able to stay camped out even if you need to make a small trip into town again—no more worries about losing your spot.

Class B can be too small for some people, and Class A can be too big to get to some remote locations. So settle for the middle area and figure out what changes you can make to make both your rig and your trip perfect.

Here are a few things to think about when looking into the perfect RV for you:

  • Will it do well in the area you want to Boondock in?
  • Is it comfy?
  • Does it have enough space?
  • Are the tanks big enough?
  • Do I need a shower?
  • Will my generator fit?
  • How many people will be coming with me regularly?

I’m sure you have your own list to check off as well, so these are just a few things to think about.

Bed comfort is another consideration if you’re going to be away from home for weeks at a time.

I have a recent article that talks about whether or not the beds in RV are comfortable. This is important as a bed can make or break your trip. After a long drive, no one wants to sleep in an uncomfortable bed.

Just click the link to read about it on my site.

Did I cover everything you wanted to know about Boondocking in a Class B RV?

Boondocking can be extremely stress-relieving if you plan it right and don’t worry about the small things.

A lot of people tend to stress about boondocking in general. However, if you don’t have enough water, simply pack up and head back into town. When it comes down to it, all you have to do is plan right.

Any RV can work for boondocking; just some take more skill than others. Class B RVs can be a great alternative to Class A RVs due to their size.

Stay safe and enjoy your adventures.

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Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell travels on and off with his 3 daughters in a Newmar Baystar Class A Motorhome. He writes extensively on both RVs, campgrounds, parenting on the road tips, remote learning & schooling, and much more!

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