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Boondocking for HDT with 40' plus RV


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Sorry, I can't help with location BUT, if you do unhitch, be sure to have a VERY secure way of keeping someone else from hitching up and driving away with your trailer! Elkhart, IN is the trailer THEFT capital of America. Down near the border, if someone can hook up to your trailer, they could be in Mexico in short order.

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Surely they won't steal them with the slides out, right??  I used to put one of those pin locks on mine until I realized that the damn thing wouldn't fit in the travel lane with all the slides hanging out.  I guess they could force the door open, clear all my crap from the slide paths, retract the slides...but hmmm...


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15 hours ago, jkoenig24 said:

Sorry, I can't help with location BUT, if you do unhitch, be sure to have a VERY secure way of keeping someone else from hitching up and driving away with your trailer! Elkhart, IN is the trailer THEFT capital of America. Down near the border, if someone can hook up to your trailer, they could be in Mexico in short order.


7 hours ago, RandyA said:

Ask Dirt........ His rig was stolen with the slides out.  I think the awning was out too.


9 hours ago, Lance A Lott said:

I don't remember where I saw it but I read a story where a couple would put out there slides on a steep grade for extra wind resistance.

If they want " your" trailer they will take it. The idea is to make someone else's look easier.

Folks...........please have more faith in your fellow humans........

Perhaps a little faith can be instilled by a actual test performed to PROVE that even in sketchy locations MOST of the times mobile equipment is SOMEWHAT safe from THEFT...........sorta.........


So many moons ago.........I had a gig........"Flying-on-demand" for a few "Select-clients" and for the most part these folks had needs of ......"Spur-of-the-Moment" ........."Discrete-Transportation-Services".......24/7/365 and it seemed that these folks knew when I was in the shower or attending a wedding of funeral to page me.....(before Cell Phones).


One of the quirks of this ......."Service" was that these "clients" did not want ANY rental car records pertaining to any of the flights taken so "Alternative-Ground-Transportation" was to be provided for these "services"...........so......for the more "popular-destinations" I "acquired" a ever-growing "fleet" of Gently-Pre-Owned-airport-beater-cars to provide "Alternative-Ground-Transportation".....

So........I had been on a "Long-Flight-of-a-Month-or-so" ......South of the Border and so my "Associate-Birdman-Jerry" was taking care of "Services" in the U S while I was away.........

I finally the escape North and land in Van Nuys and "Jerry" picks me up in a "New-To Me-Beater-Limmo" that appeared at one time to be some model of Toyota........Jerry being a ex-cop from the delightful location of Flat Rock MI knew a lot about previously-stolen-torched-low-mile-cars and being a ex-cop he knew "sources" for these kind of "vehicles" and of course being a ex-cop he also knew how to purchase a license these types of "vehicles"..........in my NAME........ (sorta like $130,000 paid to Stormy by a "good friend" and .......and....oh well).

So as I throw my flight-case and over-nite-kit into the "New-To Me-Beater-Limmo" I notice a few........"FEATURES".......that most Toyota did NOT have.........such as.....Boat Cushions for seat padding........Bed-Liner-Undercoating where upholstery used to be......and......pull-chain-switches where automotive switches used to be and ........John-Deere-Tractor-Lever where the shifter used to be.........

Jerry smiled and said........."you won't believe how little......YOU......paid for this LOW-MILE-CHERRY.....and Hector even put in new seat for free....(original belts melted in the fire).

Each pull-chain-switch had a "Hector-Ornament" hanging from the end of the chain such as a skull-and-cross-bones for the emergency flasher and a shouting-head for the horn and a lighting bolt for the light switch and a smiley-sun for the Hi-Low dimmer........VERY Hector-Like........

I smile at "Jerry" and ask......."Does Hector's parole officer know about this .......this......this....."rig".

"Jerry" grins and mumbles........"Uh.....NO"

I smile back and says........."That figures".

So a few weeks go by and we use the ......"Van NuysToyota" a few times and once you get the hang of the pull-chain-switches it aint too bad and being under 30,000 miles it ran like a new Toyota.......

So....... early one morning the pager goes off and "We" (Jerry and I) need to depart Van Nuys to Reno Jerry picks a airplane flys to Driggs ID, I pick up Jerry in Driggs and Fly to Renton Wa I pickup  another aircraft and we fly both aircraft to Yuma and then fly one back to Van Nuys for dinner........oh ya.....right

So Jerry picks me up in the "Van NuysToyota" and we speed to the airport and unload a half-ton of boxes out of the Toyota and kick the tires and light the fires and we streak of into the dark early morning smog .........

So with too many aircraft to move to too many places in too little time it's a sure bet that something would go wrong but........all was well UNTIL........we just hit the runway at Yuma when a very bad sand storm blew in as only Yuma can have........so we overnighted in Yuma and early the next morning flew back to Van Nuys and............AND.......AND........there was the "TOYOTA" with all the doors wide OPEN.....Trunk OPEN.........AND.....AND........Engine still idling as only a TOYOTA can IDLE for a full day.........Gulp.

Jerry walked over to the TOYOTA and turned and smiled and said......."Good thing I filled the gas tank and don't you just love buying a car from Hector........only a PRO-CAR-THIEF can sell YOU a car that NO ONE will STEAL........."

We thew our junk in the TOYOTA and pulled a couple of "chains" and drove off........

So you see folks we need to have more positive thought about or fellow ......humans.......and buy our "rigs" from........"Hector" (once he gets paroled.....again).


Drive on............(Don't pull the wrong......chain....)  

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The "vibe" of my rig isn't full on "Hector" but more like "looks ok going by at 60 mph..." -  also known as "nothin in there worth getting shot for..." 

Learning from other boondockers - the general consensces seems to be the farther you are boondocked from large towns and / or cities, the less troubles...

I use the satellite view in Google Maps to look over the lay of the land to scout "500,000 star" camp spots. 

I have kinda learned my rig's capabilities around it's ground clearance. 


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To get back to your original question, we have a 42' 5th wheel and are 64.5' combined length with our HDT. We have been boondocking in CA, AZ, NM, & UT since the beginning of January and love it. We have only been in a campground twice in the past 4 months. There aren't any apps that specifically tell you BLM land can accommodate larger rigs, but usually when I read reviews, you see people make statements about what size rig they were in and a lot of times they share pictures and that helps a lot. If a larger Class A got in there, I feel pretty confident we'll be fine. I also of course use google earth sat view and google street view where I can.  The biggest issue you want to watch for is getting in somewhere that might be muddy or soft. 

I've gotten a lot more comfortable getting off the beaten path, especially after a particular location north of Phoenix, but I knew a friend was there with there 40ft+ Diesel Pusher so I had no doubt we could make it. One advantage we do have is my wife drives her Mini Cooper along and she can scout ahead. The mini of course isn't a great off road vehicle, but it gives us a good way to scout ahead. 

BTW, I don't worry too much about theft of my RV on BLM land. For one, if you are really far back off the beaten path, the only other people you run into are other campers. Someone looking to steal a rig isn't going to go bouncing down dirt roads just hoping to find a 5th wheel they can hook up to to steal. As I mentioned above we have a car and motorcycles, so  our truck is usually there anyways too. They may just think I'm there unless they have spent time scouting me out and seen me leave. I usually pay attention to my surroundings too and watch for this stuff. In many popular BLM areas, you will be around other campers anyways and can make friends with them. 

I feel more secure out on BLM land then I do in many other busy places. 

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20 hours ago, Daveh56 said:


Just wondering if there is a list of BLM lands that can accomadate 60' combined length RV's? Or if 40' RV is "Okay" after unhitching the HDT.

To answer the OP's question...I know of no such list.  Now, there are BLM campgrounds where you could find length restrictions, but if you're talking about open BLM lands such as those around Arizona and California, there are no length restrictions. 

I wouldn't worry too much about theft.  Can it happen?  Sure.  But keeping the truck hooked up to the fifth wheel is no guarantee that someone won't steal it, either.   What's to keep someone from breaking into the cab of your truck, hotwiring it, and driving away with both the truck and fifth wheel? 

We spend 99% of our time during the winter boondocking on BLM land around Arizona and California, mostly at the LTVA's.  We've never felt that it was unsafe, nor were we ever worried about someone stealing our rig.  We HAVE had a truck camper stolen -- and it was in a supposedly secure storage yard!

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BLM lands typically don't have length restrictions.  There aren't designated campsites. You just park wherever you want.  However, there are a few actual BLM campgrounds with designated sites. You just have to get the name of the campground and do some research.

We've boondocked or dry-camped in public campgrounds 95% of our 16 years and really, never had a hard time finding spots either with our 33' 5Th wheel/big diesel truck or our 40' motorhome towing the Jeep.  Quite often we stayed in the same place with either.

As far as theft..... never had anything stolen in the boonies... not even a lawn chair, fire wood or a grill.  Of course you wouldn't leave a generator or bikes out when you leave.  I'd say, from stories I've heard around the campfires, that boondocking is safer than campgrounds..... and a lot more enjoyable.

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While staying in the boonies we had our RV damaged.  The culprit was a bovine bull.  That's the only problem we have had.  Often I park the truck across the front to make it a little more difficult to steal the RV.  The electric slides on our Teton are incredibly slow so they will need a lot of time and patience.   I guess I should be more concerned about the truck but we haven't a problem.

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20 hours ago, Twotoes said:

I never worry about my length or theft. I always worry that I will get stuck in soft sand or dirt. 

And that's certainly a concern.  I've seen large motorhomes sunk to their rear axles in Tyson Wash in Quartzsite!  However, most of the BLM land we've stayed on around Q, Yuma, and Blythe, is hard-packed gravel...just don't camp in the washes!

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