Beach Boondocking is one of my favorite places to camp. The feeling of opening your door and stepping outside onto the sand and an unobstructed view of the ocean is priceless. It's what I day-dreamed about when I was stuck behind a desk in a cubicle. Just don't blame us for the sand inside of your RV.
I’ve been driving on the beach for years at home on Long Island. I'm an avid surf caster and beach volleyball junkie. In season, I would be on the beach a minimum of 4 days a week. Beaches on the South Shore of Long Island are known for extremely soft deep sand. In order to drive you have onto the beaches you have to have 4 wheel drive and air your tires below 20 PSI. While truck campers and on some class C's would be out, you never saw towables. Class A's are very rare, I think I only ever saw one Class A 4x4 that looked like Wanda. So when we read about a bunch of beaches that are more RV friendly with hard packed sand and that allow boondocking, we knew we needed to stay there.
Here are some tips to safely boondock on a beach.
1. Survey the beach before fully committing
We typically stop before the sand at the entrance and unhook our tow vehicle. After we unhook, we survey the area and take an assessment of the beach conditions and a possible campsite options. Taking your tow vehicle out on the sand first to test it is a good idea. Here are some things to consider before trekking your RV on to the sand.
Choosing a campsite- Obviously your objective is to open your doors and get that beach front view. Waking up to the sound of the waves crashing is extremely satisfying, but you also want to be safe and stress free.
2. Check the Weather, Tides, Moon Phase
This is extremely important. You need to know weather before you get there and while you are there. Beach weather can change extremely fast. Be cautious of the wind, wind gust and wind directions. Wind can be hazardous to you and your rig. Sand can be carried and blown into your RV. Be wary of sand getting into slides, stairs or A/C units. Remember you have a lot moving parts and a lot of places for sand to get into. Also note the direction of the wind. If the wind is blowing with the waves, it can push the water up the beach further creating a higher high tide.
Know the weather conditions for overnight. A lot of things can change overnight, the last thing you want to do it wake up and find your site is underwater. We experienced this Bolivar Flats in Texas. We stayed above the seaweed and all week the water didn't even come close to us, we had a consistent 70 feet between us and high tide. But our last morning we woke up and the wind shifted and the wind was pushing the water right towards our stairs.
3. Be prepared with the proper equipment
You want to be prepared for the worst case scenario and have the confidence that you'll be able to get yourself out of a sticky situation. Have these tools handy just in case. Better to be prepared than sorry later.
4. Put your furniture away and awning tucked in overnight.
As I mentioned, weather can change very quickly and wind can pick up speed in a hurry. Last thing you need is to be searching for your beach chair the next morning. Your awning can also catch wind like a big sail. Don't take the risk of damaging your awning or RV, make sure it's put it away at night.
By Kevin Quiambao