Currently Wandering » Outdoor Family, Adventure Travel, Simple Living - Family of 5 Traveling the United States in an Airstream.

Airstream Boondocking with the Pros

Airstream Boondocking with the ProsOne of the reasons we chose an Airstream over a typical RV or 5th Wheel was because of the amazing Airstream community we found on Instagram. We noticed how they talked to each other, encouraged each other, and when they were in the same location they got together!

We watched a few Airstreamers converge on Arizona and the mild winter weather and knew we would be in a for a meet-up or two. We have been watching the Malimish Airstream crew for months now, and have been both inspired and encouraged by their adventures. They have been traveling for years, and have become boondocking experts. Also present, and equally experienced, was Leigh and Bryan from Aluminarium. After leaving our friend’s house in Tuscon, we headed north 30 minutes to meet the two Airstreamers at the Snyder Hill BLM land.Boondocking is the term used by travel folks to describe dry camping – camping with no water, electric, or sewer hookups. Although we have overnighted a time or two in a parking log, we have next to no boondocking experience. They assured us that they’d look out for us, and gave us the coordinates to the boondocking spot they had found just west of Tuscon.

We had a great time, and learned quite a bit about how to make it work. Our fresh water and grey water (sink water) tanks can last for a few days without too much grief, but the battery capacity of our Airstream only allows for one or two nights, depending how cold it is.  After our first night, we borrowed some solar panels from Dan (Malimish) and from Bryan (Alumanarium), and charged our batteries. It was afternoon before we got started, but we got enough charge to make it through the second night as well.

In addition to learning the first steps of extended boondocking, we really enjoyed socializing with fellow travelers. We talked technology, solar panels, projects in the works, and boondocking skills. Our kids loved playing with the wonderful Malimish kids, and we all really had a great time.  After waking up to no power and a cloudy day we said goodbye and headed north, a bit sad to be leaving so soon.

Malimish Airstream

These guys are rockstars. Seriously. I think they have close to 7000 followers on Instagram and have been traveling on and off with their kids since 2007. They are one of the families that first convinced us that we could really do this. We’ve loved stalking watching them as they travel and it was great to finally meet them! They are super nice, generous, and totally welcoming of us newbies. Get to know them on Instagram or check out their travel maps on their blog.

Malimish Family


Meet Brian, Leigh, and Curtis (the sweetest dog ever!) of These guys are amazing. They started out in an older Airstream and then upgraded to a nice, new one and have been traveling ever since. Both work during the day so we saw and socialized with them at night. Leigh does a great job of posting fun stories and people they meet on the blog, and they’ll occasionally post to Instagram. We are excited about their super secret awesome project which will hopefully debut this year! If you check out their blog posts they have a running campground total for the year. So far this year? They’ve paid $0. Pros? I think so.Aluminarium

We’ve heard at least 3 others coming in to join the larger group, as well as a few that just stop in to say hi. We feel like we left the party before it really got started, but Disneyland calls, so off we go!  We are definitely looking forward to future meetups with these wonderful folks.

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  • danielle - I have been stalking Malimish for a while and they are probably the reason I asked my husband if there was anyway his job could become mobile 🙂 He did not think so. A girl can dream though! We are at the least planning on doing this when he retires and for now I am planning lost of trips!ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Nice! I think Malimish is the reason a lot of people go mobile. 🙂 At least you are getting out in the meantime!ReplyCancel

  • Mali Mish Airstream - We loved meeting up with you guys too!! Hope to cross paths with you soon. Have fun at Disney 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Heather Christianson Braley - Yeah for Disney! Starting to pack today. ReplyCancel

  • Saguaro National Park, Arizona » Currently Wandering - […] We Stayed: Boondocked at Synder Hill outside Tuscon, […]ReplyCancel

  • OutriderOverland - How do you get a mobile job….. me and my daughter have been fulltiming in our 75 31′ for a few years ….i do odd jobs to get $ for gas to get to our next destination…I would love something more secure…….liverivitedReplyCancel

    • Jess - OutriderOverland-
      Hey! Thanks for stopping by. Most of the full-timers we know are some sort of technical geeks. Some choose their job because its flexible. Others (like us) find that flexibility is natural. Sam has a master’s degree in Computer Science and is really good at what he does (proud wife!). This helps allow him to provide awesome work for his clients while still maintaining his flexibility with both his time and location.ReplyCancel

  • Karlee - We are currently making plans to purchase our airstream and become fulltimers. My husand has been travel for work for the last 9 years. We have finally found away to be together and allow our 3 kids to to see our beautiful country. We have so much to learn but the more I read blogs like yours and Malimish the more excited I get! Hope to see you out on the road one of the these days:)ReplyCancel

  • Jim Arnold - Ok, newbie here!! When you want to boondock, do just fill up freshwater tank and use water from that tank? For power do you use the battery? I know it sound silly to ask but then I play golf also. Any info is appreciated.ReplyCancel

    • Jess - Hey Jim! lol! Yes. Before heading out to boondock we make sure our water tanks are full and then just make sure your pump is turned on. Power has to come from the battery, and the length depends on how much power you use/what kind of batteries you have. We have both solar & a generator to recharge. Many places you can also find fresh water nearby so we have water jugs to bring in extra water when we run out!ReplyCancel

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