Boondocking Basics

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Will a Larger Trailer Limit Our Boondocking Choices?

Will a Larger Trailer Limit Our Boondocking Choices?


Yes, technically speaking, a larger and longer trailer will definitely limit your ability to find boondocking sites just because of the longer length and taller height. However, because there is still so much boondocking available in the United States, you will not have any problems finding new places to camp. It’s really more a question of how much seclusion you want, and how much work you want to do to get into those sites.

larger trailer for boondocking
Maneuvering a larger trailer into position at a BLM area in Wyoming

Will a Larger Trailer Limit Our Boondocking Choices?

You’ll still find plenty of boondocking all across the United States despite having a larger trailer. However, smaller trailers do enjoy greater choices in finding secluded campsites.

If you’re thinking of getting a larger trailer, like 30 feet in length or more, you’ll start to experience some problems with boondocking…

  • It will be difficult to turn around at the end of a dirt road. You’ll want to first get out of the truck and walk the road before letting yourself get too far down.
  • It will be difficult to make sharp turns along narrow, winding roads. We’ve found many dirt roads with large tree trunks or boulders jutting out, and you’ll very easily scrape your trailer with them.
  • If you choose to boondock closer to the main road just because those sites are wider and easier to get into, guess what? You’ll find a lot more competition for those sites. Meanwhile, the more secluded sites further along the dirt road have more availability.
  • Larger trailers require more energy to keep cool or warm. You’ll run the generator longer to keep the air conditioner running, and you’ll burn more propane to keep it warm. Fifth wheel trailers have a tall ceiling which means it takes a lot longer to warm up the living space in the winter.
  • A larger trailer often requires buying a bigger truck. Remember, the more space you have in the trailer, the more stuff you will acquire. This translates into more weight, and thus requires a bigger truck.

But even with the above difficulties and challenges, there are still so many places to boondock in the United States, that there really is no such thing as a trailer that’s too large.

Read our other article, “Is Boondocking in a Fifth Wheel Feasible?

Seclusion vs. Work

It really comes down to how much seclusion you want while boondocking versus how much you are willing to work to get into those sites. Consider the following…

  • One of the reasons you are boondocking is to get away from cities and from other people. Thus, you want to find a secluded campsite.
  • However, you don’t want to work too hard trying to find a secluded campsite, nor do you want to struggle getting your trailer back in there and out.
  • Boondocking sites that are close to the main road, and easy to get into, have a lot more competition with other campers.

Smaller Trailers – will help you get into more secluded areas, more easily. You’ll find a greater abundance of open sites if you can tow your trailer further down the dirt road.

Larger trailers – will force you to stay closer to the main road, where sites are easier to get in and out of. However, you will find greater competition for these sites.

Read our other article, “Trailer vs. Motorhome, Which is Better for Boondocking?

Work vs. Fun

Larger trailers always seems to translate into more work…

  • Larger trailers means you will be carry more stuff, which translates into more weight, requiring a larger truck.
  • More stuff means more work keeping things organized.
  • Larger trailers means more components that will break and need to be fixed.
  • Larger trailer means more cleaning, both outside and inside.

A larger trailer certainly does open up more luxuries, but don’t lose sight on why you chose to become a boondocker… to get away from it all and just unwind.

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