RV Rental San Diego

Burning Man RV Rental Survival

The Ultimate RV Burning Man Survival Guide!

Burning Man is an annual event that takes place in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada. The event attracts tens of thousands of participants from all over the world who come together to create a temporary community centered around self-expression, art, and radical self-reliance. With the harsh desert environment, RVs (recreational vehicles) are a popular accommodation choice for those attending Burning Man. Adventure KT RV Rentals provides RV rental services that can help make your Burning Man experience comfortable and convenient.

Burning Man RV Survival two guys camping
Burning Man RV Survival two guys camping

Bringing an RV Rental to Burning Man

Bringing your own RV to Burning Man can be a long drive (from Reno, Las Vegas, San Diego, or San Fransisco) and a costly endeavor in fuel. In addition to purchasing a ticket ($500) and vehicle pass ($150), there can also be a camp fee if you are part of a bigger camp that helps provide services. Typically when I have gone I was not part of a camp, you can part anywhere that is not designated for a camp or already taken by another burner. Renting an RV from Adventure KT RV Rentals can help to alleviate some of these costs. Renting an RV from us can also save you the hassle of dealing with the maintenance and upkeep of your own RV after the event is over. We have a variety of RV sizes and types available for rent, and all of our rentals come equipped with amenities such as air conditioning, heating, and a shower. (Note: Not all of our rental fleet is available to attend burning man, as we have some consignment owners who do not want their RVs attending the event, but we have many owners that are okay with it.

RV Guidelines and Regulations at Burning Man

When bringing an RV to Burning Man, there are several rules and regulations that must be followed. The greatest concern for the Burning Man event is the leaking of liquids onto the playa. The BLM and environmentalists from burningman.org take this matter very seriously. The Burning Man organization RV Guidelines must be followed. Here is a short list of rules and tips directly from the Burning Man Organization:

RV Water Leak at Burning Man (Yes, I know door is on wrong side)
RV Water Leak at Burning Man (Yes, I know door is on wrong side)

Before Driving the RV to Burning Man

Whether you have your own or are renting an RV, it is essential that you perform prechecks on the vehicle. Check underneath your RV for leakage from your potable, gray, and black water tanks, and check for oil leaks.

Do this before you leave your RV rental site and before you leave for the playa:

  • Fill your water – check for freshwater leaks
  • Run your sink – (one minute) check for gray water leaks
  • Flush your toilet – (a few times) and check for black water leaks
  • Check your caps – potable, grey, and black water caps go missing and sometimes RVs are even rented without them. Caps are easily replaceable at RV or Walmart Stores
  • Check for vehicle fluid leaks – If you can, crawl under and inspect the underside of your RV, particularly around the engine compartment and drivetrain to look for wet spots where fluids might be leaking.

As a citizen of Black Rock City, you are responsible for preventing and remediating leaks — not the RV rental company or your camp manager.

Parking your RV Rental at Burning Man

Once you get through the gates and you are officially in Black Rock City you’ll need to find a location to park and set up camp. Although you can park almost anywhere there are a few things you should be aware of. First of all, there will be designated or marked-off areas where other registered camps have been assigned, you can not park there. Secondly, consider the direction of your RV before you park. The sun is always slightly in the south and also goes from east to west, so think about how much sun you want to beam down on your door and where your awning will be during the hottest part of the day. Typically the sun in the morning is cooler than the sun in the afternoon. Therefore, park facing north to maximize your use of the awning during the hotter afternoon heat. Your RV entry door would be facing east and would get sun during the morning hours.

RV on the Playa

Leaking is commonly caused by being overfilled or, worse, a crack in the tank. If you have a leak, here’s what to do:

  • Stop using it – First of all, stop. Until you fix it, no more showers, toilets, or baths.
  • Contain it – Use a bucket to collect the leaking fluids. If the spill is over one gallon, the maximum amount of contaminated playa is five gallons. If you’ve got a spill, mark off the spill area with cones and get help from Rangers or ESD. Have tarps or something to contain a spill. You should always have tarps at burning man, they are very versatile in how you can use them.
  • Dig It Up – If all the contaminated playa can fit in a five-gallon bucket, use a shovel to dig up the contaminated playa and dispose of off playa. If the spill affects a playa surface larger than five gallons, call a Ranger or ESD. Leave No Trace.
  • Fix it – If your spill is due to a crack or some other malfunction, you may have to stop using your RV tanks entirely. If it’s overfilled, get your tank emptied or pumped by United Site Services.

RV Engine Oil Leak at Burning Man

Engine oil leaks are common, especially in older vehicles, and they are bad for the playa. Check under your vehicle; if your engine oil is leaking on the playa, use a drip pan, tarp, rug, plywood, or anything that can be secured to the ground so it catches the oil.

RV Generators at Burning Man

  • One of the greatest assets of an RV is its generator, especially if you own a newer model with the generator located behind the driver’s seat, which tends to be one of the quietest types available. Among generators with low sound emissions, the Onan brand is a top-of-the-line choice.
  • Run your generator for 1 hour per day, preferably in the afternoon to recharge your coach batteries for the night.
  • Bring a battery jump box (in case you have to jumpstart your RV at the end of burning man)
  • Drivable RVs will automatically turn off the generator when the fuel tank of the vehicle is at 1/4 tank or lower. Be sure to get as full of a tank as possible when getting to burning man. Often logistics may not make this easy. So a 1/2 tank should be sufficient or you can bring spare gas cans.
  • Remember, lines going into and out of the burning man event can take a long time and waste a lot of gas. Be sure to have enough gas. Nice to have at least two spare 5-gallon gas canisters full.

RV Water on Burning Man Playa

When traveling in an RV, it’s important to remember that your water supply is limited, so it’s crucial to be mindful of your water usage. Your water consumption will depend on the number of people sharing the RV with you.

Avoid leaving the water running while washing dishes or yourself, as this can quickly fill up your gray water tank. Most RVs have a larger freshwater tank than a gray water tank, so it’s important to be frugal with water usage.

Magical Water Well at Burning Man (doesn’t exist)

Regarding toilets, consider alternating with porta-potties to help conserve water. When using your RV toilet, make sure to only use one-ply RV toilet paper to prevent any potential problems. (Also, make sure all the ladies know not to put wipes or feminine products down an RV toilet, it clogs it 100% of the time and is expensive to repair) Personally, I use the Burning Man-supplied port-o-potties as much as possible and reserve the toilet in the RV for the middle in night wake-up calls. Manage your resources and talk with your group about it and get everyone to agree to the plan of how to use the water resources and what to do. Post signs if you have to as reminders.

It’s important to note that there is no dumping station on site, and dumping gray or black water on the playa is strictly prohibited by the BLM, and can result in a citation. RV servicing is available for a fee of $50 for trailers up to 24′ in length, and $60 for RVs that are 25′-35′ in length and have one gray and one black tank. Additional tanks cost $30.

Please keep in mind that there is no location for scheduling RV servicing appointments. In the past, attempts to have a sign-up booth at Playa Info proved to be inefficient and a waste of time for many. However, feel free to stop by Playa Info between 11 am and 1 pm for more information on RV servicing.

RV Awnings

Awnings are fantastic as a source of shade during burning man. However, the number one damaged item on RV rentals returning from burning man is awning damage due to high winds. Use the awning only when you can be there to supervise it and NEVER LEAVE AWNING OUT AT NIGHT, as playa winds can get bad during the even hours.

Funny Wind vs Awning Gif (and most awnings won’t take 25 mph gusts)
Funny Wind vs Awning Gif (and most awnings won’t take 25 mph gusts)

The Burning Conclusion

Burning Man is a unique and exciting event that draws thousands of participants from around the world. With the harsh desert environment, RVs are a popular accommodation choice for those attending. Adventure KT offers Burning Man event RV rentals that can help make your burn comfortable and convenient. However, when bringing an RV to Burning Man, it is important to follow the rules and regulations set out by the event organizers, particularly when it comes to leaks and spills. With some preparation and careful attention to detail, an RV rental can be a great way to enjoy all that Burning Man has to offer while staying safe and comfortable in the desert environment.

More Burning Man RV Tips coming soon……