Airstream + Hipcamp: How to Find Perfect Boondocking Locations

Airstream Interstate 19X Class B Motorhome parked in a field with kayaks sitting next to it

For Airstreamers who want to explore beyond the confines of traditional campgrounds, boondocking is a great way to find solace, avoid crowds, and experience the wonders of nature. But finding great locations to dry camp can be daunting if you've never taken the plunge. We teamed up with our friends at Hipcamp on a guide for finding the perfect off-grid boondocking spots so you can rest assured that your adventure will go off without a hitch.

Picture yourself in the perfect camping spot. Does it have rows and rows of RVs lined up like houses in a subdivision, or does it feature just you, your travel trailer, and a wide-open spot under the stars?

RVing can offer the freedom of the open road and the serenity of nature, but sometimes, you need to be willing to get off the beaten path to find that. Boondocking is perfect for this—though we all know the UNbeaten path can be a little rough and rugged, making it a challenge to find off-grid-yet-accessible boondocking sites.

Luckily, Airstreams like the Trade Wind and Basecamp are designed to make travel trailer boondocking more convenient and comfortable. And when it comes to our motorized offering, vans like the Interstate 24X and the Interstate 19X make it easier than ever to head off the pavement and find awesome off-grid camping spots. And with a partner like Hipcamp, finding great boondocking sites is easy. Airstream and Hipcamp are a perfect pairing for planning your off-grid adventures—here’s what you need to know.


Boondocking Basics

What is Boondocking?

In the world of RVs and travel trailers, boondocking is camping without traditional power, water, and sewer hookups. You might also hear it called dry camping, dispersed camping, primitive camping, or wild camping.

Airstream Interstate 19x lakeside

Interestingly enough, boondocking can range from overnight stays in the parking lot of a busy big-box store to total seclusion on vast BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands. For most new boondockers and many experienced ones, the perfect experience is likely somewhere in between, with a beautiful, no-frills spot not too far off the grid. 

Learning how to boondock with a travel trailer involves a mixture of preparation and practice. Reading Airstream boondocking tips and watching videos from experienced boondockers can help you understand what to expect. Plus, you’ll also learn by experience. The more you go, the more you’ll grow.

Why Boondock with an Airstream?

The Airstream Trade Wind and Basecamp models come with a range of features that make it easier to skip the campground. With units ranging from 16 to 25 feet in length, these trailers are nimble, with durable tires and three inches of additional ground clearance that help you tackle tough terrain on your way out to find a dreamy campsite.

And to enjoy boondocking far from traditional hookups, you’ll likely want your rig to be equipped with some additional boondocking-ready features. Those may include a good solar system, large battery banks, and powerful inverters that help provide power, while composting toilets and water filtration systems can also make off-grid camping simpler. These boondocking-friendly features—and more—are available as standard amenities or optional upgrades on Trade Wind and Basecamp models.

Airstream Trade Wind(TM) Travel Trailer 30


What Makes Boondocking a Challenge?

Even with the right rig and the right amenities, finding camping locations is still often difficult. Dispersed camping can mean going in blind without knowing what conditions to expect. Will you find a level spot big enough for your trailer? Can your rig reach it? Will other people be there? Information is usually limited, so you won’t always know.

That’s where Hipcamp comes in. Hipcamp allows you to discover and book beautiful private campsites, many of which offer desirable boondocking conditions and features. Some sites are completely off-grid and others offer basic amenities, but either way, you’ll have the information you need before you set out. It’s a nice medium between dispersed camping in the wild and staying in a busy RV park.

Using Hipcamp to Find and Reserve Boondocking Sites

While boondocking in parking lots and on public lands can be a gamble, with Hipcamp, you know what to expect. Hosts provide details about their camping options so you can use the search features and filters to quickly narrow down to only spots that meet your wants and needs. Browse each listing to find photos, real reviews, and charming details about the land and the people who own it.

Choosing the Perfect Hipcamp Location

After inputting basic details about your desired location and dates of travel, Hipcamp allows you to narrow results using several filter options, including:

  • Your camping style (tent, RV, travel trailer, or glamping/lodging)
  • RV trailer length (very important for accessibility)
  • Amenities (Aside from dry camping, some Hipcamps offer electric, water, and/or sewer hookups, toilets, hot showers—or even hot tubs or fresh eggs.)
  • Site preferences (options include pull-through, leveling, walk-up, wheelchair-accessible sites, and more)
  • Price range (Budget-friendly boondocking sites can be found for as little as $10 a night)
  • Community favorites (such as Star Hosts, family-friendly sites, and more)
  • Booking options (including pet-friendly sites and spots available for instant bookings)
  • Terrain and land features (Do you want to stay on a farm, by a lake, or in a forest? Hipcamp lets you pick.)
  • Activities (explore onsite recreation, from kayaking to horseback riding)

Hipcamp listings also typically offer unique details about the landscape, wildlife, and regional history. Plus, Hipcamp Hosts often share insider information about the surrounding area, so you can find the best hiking trails and food joints nearby. If you are curious about something that isn’t listed, don’t be afraid to send a message.


Maneuvering and Setting Up Camp

Once you have some top contenders, review the listings to find further details. Some locations have designated campsites, while others are in wide-open fields or woodlands. The listing will note whether the site is 2WD accessible or if you’ll need 4WD. You’ll also learn about the type of surface available (such as grass, gravel, or concrete) and how level the camping areas are.

Be sure to read the Hipcamp Hosts’ rules, including whether pets, generators, and campfires are allowed. You’ll also get a sense of whether you’re likely to be the only camper onsite or sharing the space.

Conserving Resources

While boondocking, water and waste are especially important considerations. Some Airstream models provide large holding tanks and water purification systems that make it easier to camp without water and sewer hookups. Plus, our water conservation tips can help you go even longer without a water refill. And if your Hipcamp happens to offer potable water spigots, even better.

No matter where you boondock, it’s important to be responsible with your waste. Plan ahead for your length of stay, and always follow Leave No Trace principles with your waste and trash.

Let’s Hit the Road

Boondocking doesn’t have to be more challenging than other forms of RVing. Pair a perfectly equipped Airstream trailer with a perfectly equipped campsite from Hipcamp to experience the freedom and serenity offered to those who aren't afraid to venture off the beaten path. This is how you reach that dreamy campsite under the stars, with much less stress.

Top Hipcamp Picks for Airstream Boondocking Adventures

Reems Creek Retreat, North Carolina

Reems Creek Retreat 1

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Standiford Goat and Equine Ranch, Colorado

Standiford Goat and Equine Ranch

Learn More

Private Acreage on the Pacific, California

Private Acreage on the Pacific 1

Learn More

Coyote Breaks Farm, Texas

Coyote Breaks Farm 1

Learn More

Brown Barn Farms, New York

Brown Barn Farms

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Gallatin River Getaway, Montana

Gallatin River Getaway 1

See Gallatin River Getaway

Want to find more great boondocking spots far from the crowds? Explore Hipcamp and discover your next favorite camping spot.

See More Boondocking Options from Hipcamp