Make Boondocking Easy with These Water Savings Tips

Boondocking just got easier with these boondocking water savings tips! 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 adjusting 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 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 dog’s 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

boondocking water savings tips, wash dishes once a day, you me and the rv

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.

Boondocking Water Savings Tips on Pinterest

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14 easy tips to save water on your next camping trip. Saving water is important while boondocking. The next time you take you RV dry camping these tips will keep you out longer.

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

Boondocking water savings tips, foil dinners, you me and the rv

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

boondocking water savings tips, turn off water, you me and the rv

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 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 fewer oils. Yes, it really is true!

More AWESOME RVing Tips!

10. Aerate

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 usage.

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.

Boondocking Water Savings Tips

We hope these tips help you to boondock longer without running out of the 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!

Author: Stacy Farley, You, Me & the RV, All Rights Reserved 2019


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    Christine Savale

    Keep ’em coming…experience is the BEEST teacher & there’s lots of us students out here ready & willing 2 learn! Thank U!!!

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    Rose Lehman

    We haven’t started RVing yet. We are still doing our research and getting our house ready to sell, but we have already purchased a shutoff shower head and are doing navy showers and some of the other tips. We figured it would give us practice and cut down on our water bill now. We can hardly wait to get out there while we are still healthy and strong enough to enjoy it. Thank you for all your tips. We try to sit down each night and watch a couple YouTube videos. There is so much information out there and we’re so glad for that. Thanks again.

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    Jim Lytle

    Good list. Used Navy showers on FOBs during deployments because of water restrictions. So I got used to it. I capture my cold water getting ready for a shower. I then throw it in the microwave for 3-4 minutes while I shower. I then make my coffee with a French press or key rig, set aside a cup to cool for brushing my teeth and shave with the remainder. Use the soapy water to flush with a little added Calgon (see geo method tank treatment).

    A wet wipe bath helps keep you clean an extra day or two if you need to save more water.

    You can also use dry spray in shampoo to keep the greasy feeling at bay in between. Or so my wife and daughter say. I rarely have enough hair to worry about that though.

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    Since purchasing my first RV, 15 years ago, I have only taken Navy showers in them. With Dad being a career Marine (retired as a Sgt. Maj.) we were taught to save water in this manner. I can, highly, recommend an Oxygenics ( shower head and this shut-off valve. I’ve been using Oxygenics for 15 years and- if what you get does not have it’s own shut-off, the one that I use completely shuts the water off (I’ve gotten several that left the water dripping pretty fast which wastes water). On Amazon, type in the search Aquafaucet S-002 Shower Head Shut off Valve. I have long hair and the Oxygenics removes soap quickly.

    To save water for washing dishes, spray first with white vinegar (for heavy pot cleaning, let soak) and wipe. It removes the food particles, grease & bacteria to include Salmonella & E. coli. Once dry, vinegar does not have a scent, nor do you taste any when using the dishes again. If you do not feel comfortable with that, you can use the vinegar first and just a little bit of water with soap. Either way you save on a lot of water.

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    Brad Headley

    Thanks for the water saving tips. I took quite a few navy showers while stationed aboard the USS Austin in the early 70’s, but some of the others are new to me. I’ll share them with my good wife.

    Watch your videos all the time!

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    Jeff & Deb Hargis

    All useful info, we have used many of the tips , but you have some new ones. We have not been saving the water that you wait to get hot, we do carry extra water, drinking water because I don’t trust RV Park water. Sometimes our dog won’t even drink it. Thank you for the work you guys do to help the RV community.

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