Friday, December 8, 2023


No power? No hookups? You’d better be prepared!

No power? No hookups? Be prepared! We are anticipating a few days dry camping without any hookups in 97-degree heat. Yes, there really is campground crowding on the weekends in Minnesota with no hookup sites available within 100 miles. I am getting everything ready and realized that I should be prepared for a power outage at any time.

Here’s what I’m doing to be prepared:

  • Recharge important batteries. Make sure anything that runs on batteries such as medical equipment, in our case my husband’s CPAP machine, is fully charged.
  • Charge up flashlights and other rechargeable battery-operated items. We have a car starter with 12v battery and USB ports if needed. We have needed it in the past except for starting a car, but it’s still good to charge it at least once a month anyway in case of an emergency.
  • Check battery stock. When boondocking in Quartzsite in the winter, we use a Big Buddy propane heater. When it is cold and we are miles from a store, I do not want to find out I need more D batteries!
  • Let the sun charge any solar equipment. We have a small phone charger with a light that is good for any emergency charging needs.
  • Fill your water tank. Just in case there isn’t any water at the campground or it hasn’t been available when we arrive, we always keep some in the tank. When we go dry camping/boondocking we fill it fully.
  • Dump gray water and black water and flush. It’s better to do it now than to have full tanks and nowhere to dump!
  • Unplug anything parasiticUnplug anything that can drain power, even a tiny bit pulls from the battery reserves. I always unplug our printer, clock, cell and WiFi boosters, and TVs.
  • Test generator. You want to make sure your generator will start. Turn it on and run it so you know it’ll work when you need it.
  • Turn off electric water heater if so supplied. They draw a lot of power and usually can be run with propane too.
  • Freeze gallons of drinking water. We have a residential refrigerator that our solar panels and batteries can usually handle, but it is HOT and the fridge is running a lot. We poured a little out so there was expansion room and will put it in the fridge to help keep it cool.
  • Check gas/diesel/propane levels. Onboard RV generators are designed to not deplete RV fuel supply and will stop if too low. If you need heat or to run the fridge on propane, you’ll want to make sure there is enough in the tank.

Dry camping can be just as enjoyable as camping with hookups, particularly when the spaces are wider and the neighbors fewer and far between. And when there is no electric site within a hundred miles….


Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon
Nanci Dixon has been a full-time RVer living “The Dream” for the last six years and an avid RVer for decades more! She works and travels across the country in a 40’ motorhome with her husband. Having been a professional food photographer for many years, she enjoys snapping photos of food, landscapes and an occasional person. They winter in Arizona and love boondocking in the desert. They also enjoy work camping in a regional park. Most of all, she loves to travel.



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Montgomery Bonner (@guest_130391)
2 years ago

Good advice, but you should also make sure all fuel tanks are full or as close upon arrival. Propane too!. We save old 1 gallon milk jugs and fill them with water for toilet, so we don’t deplete our tank. Don’t use anything electric you don’t need too. Heating water in AM once a day is usually enough, then if electric, it will allow solar cells to recharge batteries and they will be fresh all evening. If maintenance type batteries, make sure you check level of electrolyte in cells PRIOR to departing, so they charge to maximum going down the road. Have fun.

Jonathan Schloo (@guest_130253)
2 years ago

Pro tip: your tow vehicle is a great generator, but without the traditional hassles of a heavy smelly loud gas generator.

Dan (@guest_130304)
2 years ago

Hmm. I thought this was a comment section and you turned into an advertisement section. What else ya got? Make money in the campground selling miracle salve?

Donna (@guest_130634)
2 years ago
Reply to  Dan

I have this generator, Dan, and would not have any other type. No need to carry gas, and no heavy lifting. If memory serves the CarGenerator weighs about 22 lbs; easy enough even for a solo woman nomad. I am in a converted Ford Transit and I get nauseated by the smell of gas, so this suits me fine. I purchased the quick connect option to make life even easier on the road. The generator can serve as shore power, charging my solar batteries as necessary, or heat water for my cup of tea directly. I’m personally delighted with it, and wonder why it is not more commonly discussed on RV sites that I belong to. Maybe someone can do an independent review/comparison sometime.

RV Staff
2 years ago
Reply to  Donna

Thank you for your useful comment, Donna. Here is an informative article that electricity expert Mike Sokol wrote about the CarGenerator awhile ago. Have a great day! 😀 —Diane

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