Saturday, November 27, 2021


Top 9 boondocking gift suggestions

The Ultimate Boondocking Gift Guide

There are literally thousands of RV gift guides online, but few, if any, have gift suggestions for those that enjoy camping in the boondocks.

Be forewarned that those that regularly camp in the boondocks have likely already procured the basic dry camping items like a stovetop toaster, water bandit, LED ceiling lights, generator, etc. Therefore, to find a boondocking gift they will really appreciate and use, expect to “GO BIG” (i.e., expensive), as they have already obtained the less-expensive items. You might consider this the “Neiman Marcus” Christmas Catalog for the discerning boondocker on your gift list.

Here are 9 boondocking gift suggestions:

  • Lithium Batteries – The boondocker on your gift list will jump for joy and shout hallelujah when they open this present. Lithium batteries last longer, charge faster, have larger reserves of useable power and weigh less than conventional lead acid batteries, along with a host of other reasons that appeal to boondockers. You can learn more about the advantages of lithium batteries here. Battle Born is a popular brand of lithium batteries among boondocking RVers.
Lithium Battery Boondocking Gift
Amazon Photo
  • Inverter Charger System – Regardless of what type of house batteries the boondocker on your gift list has, they will appreciate a quality charger to keep the batteries charged, along with a seamless transfer method that will invert the 12 volts from the house batteries into 120 volts AC current to run household items like the microwave, TV and more. A good inverter charger will produce a pure sine wave, contain a 4-stage battery charger, can be configured to different battery types (lead acid, lithium, etc.) and be 90% efficient or more. Here is a model from Xantrex that is popular among RVers and receives great reviews. [Here’s a link to the product on Amazon.]

Solar for free power from the sun

  • Solar – Free power from the sun is a gift any boondocker will appreciate. There are a multitude of options when shopping for RV solar systems. Portable, flexible, rigid, monocrystalline, polycrystalline, etc. All are considerations when shopping for solar panels, along with a host of charge controllers to go with them. If your boondocking gift recipient has been thinking about solar, you might take the easy way out by giving them a portable “plug and play” system like this to get started. Or consider a gift certificate to a company that specializes in solar. Renogy is one of the leading suppliers of RV solar equipment.
  • Fuel Cell – Converting a fuel source into electricity without the noise or fumes of a generator sounds like science fiction to most, but a Watt Fuel Cell does just that. With a fuel cell, your boondocking gift recipient will have a dependable power source anywhere they travel without the need of a generator or being dependent on the sun shining on solar panels.
  • SoftStartRV™ – Staying cool is often one of the shortcomings of boondocking. A SoftStartRV will allow your boondocking gift recipient to start their RV air conditioning using much less power. Once this product is installed, RV air conditioners can operate on a small portable generator or via an inverter powered by a robust battery bank for short periods of time. Click here to receive a special discount and 90 Days Risk Free Trial on SoftStartRV.

How about a drone?

  • Drone – You might wonder why in the world a boondocker would appreciate receiving a drone as a gift. Before a boondocker heads down an unpaved road in search of a boondocking site in their RV they need to know what lies ahead in terms of road conditions and if the desired campsite they were hoping to camp in is available. A drone will allow them to view road conditions and see what other RVs are camped in the area without having to first drive the road in their tow vehicle, dinghy, motorcycle, or bicycle. Mavic is one of the better brands of drone out there, easy to use and folds up compact, making them ideal for RV travel. (Mavic drones on Amazon.)
  • Composting Toilet – There are two main things that limit how long someone can dry camp in the boonies before it is time to raise the jacks and break camp. Number one is the freshwater tank is empty; number two (pun intended) the black tank is full. With a composting toilet, dumping the black tank becomes a thing of the past. And since no water is required to flush, boondockers can camp longer before needing to refill their freshwater tank. Here is a model preferred by many boondockers.

    Boondocking Gift - Composting Toilet
    Amazon Photo

Water safety

  • Water Purification System – On the subject of water, if your boondocking gift recipient often camps near a body of water, they will be ecstatic to receive a gift that will convert water from nature into drinkable potable water. Here is a product that will allow the user to pump water from a creek through a filter and purifier into a water container (RV freshwater tank) of their choosing. This can greatly extend the length of their stay in the boondocks, negating the need to move the RV to a potable water faucet or hauling water to the RV.

In case of emergency

  • SPOT X – Do you worry about your boondocking gift recipient camping in the middle of nowhere where cell phones don’t work? Then a SPOT X might be more of a gift for you than the recipient as it allows two-way communication via satellite (including 911) from virtually anywhere with a clear view of the sky. As a bonus, include a certificate telling them you will be their online information source when needed. Example, you can relay weather information to them when extreme weather threatens their camping area or breaking news stories, though many head to the boondocks to escape the news.

    Spot X - Makes a great boondocing gift
    Author Photo

Finally, if money is no object, the crème de la crème of boondocking gifts is a combination of the above featuring an extensive bank of lithium batteries, an upgraded inverter charger, a large array of solar panels, charge controller, a SoftStartRV, and maybe throw in a fuel cell, too, for good measure. Such a setup, while very expensive, would allow the boondocking gift recipient the luxury of operating their air conditioner during the hottest portion of the day without the need to start the generator. Heck they can probably operate their ice maker, too. But that might be a little extravagant!

Hope you and your family have a joyous Holiday Season and maybe I will meet your boondocking friend trying out their gift in the boondocks in the New Year.

Dave will be speaking at the FMCA Convention in Tucson, AZ, March 25th and 26th. He would love to meet readers that will be attending. Feel free to introduce yourself after one of his seminars.



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5 days ago

Dave, will you adopt me? All I want for Christmas is the set up you described above. Thanks Daddy. You’re the best Dad!

5 days ago
Reply to  Bruce

At my age, my children should be giving their old man the primo gift!

The Lazy Q
6 days ago

I just bought myself a drone for purposes like this but also to use while target shooting, boy will this save me some walking to check my targets. I told my wife what she just bought me for Christmas…

Gregory Illes
6 days ago

Dave, is that fuel cell actually available? Looks like vapor-ware for now…

4 days ago
Reply to  Gregory Illes


The website has a tab for “How to Buy a Watt Imperium” which lead me to believe the product was currently available. I reached out to them after receiving your comment and they responded with “We are still in product development for our 1.5kW lpg unit, commercially available in mid-2022.” Once they are available I will reach out to them for a unit to review. Stay tuned!

6 days ago

Hi Dave. Which one of the Mavic drones are you recommending? There’s numerous ones! I’ve been considering a drone, but not sure where to start. Some require a license to fly, or registration with FAA. Any recommendations?

The Lazy Q
6 days ago
Reply to  Ran

I just got the mini 2; doesn’t need registered but you need to take the trust test and keep the certification on you when flying. DJI website has everything you need for links to faa training for drones. There is also an app called B4UFLY that you will need to ensure it is safe to fly at your location. The test was easy after going through the material.

6 days ago
Reply to  Ran


I haven’t pulled the trigger and purchased one myself yet. Hoping Santa leaves one under the tree this Christmas. I have been with friends that have Mavic and have been impressed with the features, also see many positive reviews from other RVers