We have learned a lot since the first time we unplugged from the pedestal and tried our hand at boondocking. We were so nervous about running out of water or just doing it wrong! Today we are going to share some of the water-saving tips that we have learned along the way. Maybe they will help you unplug a little more often and for a little longer.
1. Navy Showers
I am sure you have heard about this is a water-saving technique. But for those of you who have not heard of this type of shower, I will explain it to you. The steps are simple: Hop into the shower, rinse with water, turn the water off, lather up, rinse again. Done! Most RV showers have a button to turn off the water, which prevents you from having to adjust the water temperature every time you turn it off and on. If your shower does not have this button, you can quickly and easily replace the showerhead. Phil has many years of experience with Navy showers. I, on the other hand, never took a Navy shower once while in the Navy. Nope, not even while stationed on the USS Acadia!
2. Collect Shower Water
You will be surprised at the amount of water that is wasted just waiting for your shower to heat up. If you collect this water, you can use it elsewhere throughout the day. We use dishpans to collect the cold water and then boil it on the stove for washing dishes. Other RVers collect the shower water to flushing their toilets. You could also use it for your dogs drinking water. The uses are endless.
3. Meal Prep
The three biggest water sucks are showers, cooking, and dishes. If you prepare several meals before boondocking, then you can make your water last much longer. Place the prepared meals in the fridge or freezer, and you are all set for boondocking.
5. Wash Once
If possible, only wash your dirty dishes once a day. I know it goes against everything your Mom taught you, but it is ok if you are boondocking. Make sure you wipe them down thoroughly with a paper towel before putting them in the sink to use the least amount of water possible while when it is time to wash them.
4. Gallons of Water
If we are doing a lot of boondocking, we keep 4-6 gallon jugs of water on hand. We refill the jugs when we have water hookups and use the water to brew our coffee or tea. You can also refill them at water filling stations, which are available in many cities.
6. Aluminum Foil Dinners
Cooking in foil is an easy way to reduce cleanup. Take your chicken, veggies, seasoning, and place them in foil and toss them on the grill. When dinner is ready, it is perfectly portioned, and you won’t need to wash pots or pans. There are a ton of foil recipes to choose from on Pinterest!
7. One-pot dinners
Cook meals that only require one pot to make. It reduces your washing without leaving you hungry!
8. Turn off the water
Turning off the water sounds simple, but how often is your bathroom water running without it actually in use? When you brush your teeth only turn on the water to rinse your mouth and to wet your toothbrush. When you wash your hands, think about Navy showers. Only have the water on while rinsing your hands, not while lathering.
9. Don’t wash your hair
Ok, so I don’t actually mean for you to walk around with dirty hair all the time. But washing your hair will take more water during your shower, especially if you have long hair. Consider changing to every other day or every third day for hair washing. I know what you are thinking: but my hair will turn into a grease pit!! I said the same thing! But your scalp creates oils to replace what shampoos strip out of your hair. When you wash less, your scalp will produce less oils. Yes, it really is true!
Adding aerators to your kitchen and bathroom faucets will reduce your water usage without you even thinking about it. You will still feel the same water pressure but with less water.
11. Use Wash Basins
We use one tub for washing and another for rinsing our dishes. Using containers will save water and space in your grey tank. After you have finished washing the dishes, you can reuse the rinse water to flush the toilet or put out a campfire. Depending on your location, you may be able to dump your dishwater outside. If not, you can also pour it into the black tank instead of the grey. Most of us will fill the grey tank much faster than black.
12. Don’t flush
Not flushing may sound scary, but let me explain. Turn off your water pump and use water collected from the shower or dirty dishwater to flush your toilet.
13. Don’t Shower
What you say?? I am not allowed to shower when I boondock? Some people save water by using bath cloths like large wipes to bath instead of the shower. Just hit the high points and go on about your day. I must confess we have not tried this method, but I have been told by a very reliable source that it is the way to go.
14. Disposable plates
Using disposable plates and utensils will save your water and grey tank by eliminating the need to wash dishes. Not everyone likes paper plates or plastic forks because it does cost more and creates more trash. So you will have to figure out if this works for you and your lifestyle.
We hope these tips help you to boondock longer without running out of water! Let us know your best water saving tip in the comments! We would love to hear what you think about boondocking and how long you can stay out there!
Check out some other things we have learned since we hit the road over a year ago with our friends from Adventurous Way
Author: Stacy Farley, You, Me & the RV, All Rights Reserved 2019