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Old 04-24-2017, 11:48 PM   #1
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Energy efficiency and water conservation

I'm a brand new RVer. Bought a 1996 23ft Four Winds with 52,000 miles two weeks ago and have driven it once ... to the RV-outfit place to be retrofitted and outfitted and checked out before my girl friend and I (two "girls", 58 and 69) take off in our new moving home in a round trip from Idaho to Baltimore for three weeks of sailing, hiking, biking, kayaking, and dog showing, dog racing, and dog trials.
We are truly NEWBIES!
First question, as I outfit my new RV for the trip: Is a crockpot energy-efficient in a motorhome? Seems like it wouldn't be because it's on for hours, but I saw a bunch of RV cookbooks that used a crockpot.
Second question: Overall, is the oven, burners, microwave or crockpot more overall energy efficient to cook something? Is this a dumb question? All opinions and advice welcome.
Third question: We have a little bathtub. We eat pretty organically. We drink lots of tea. Does anyone have good water conservation hints for washing veggies, washing dishes, brushing teeth, bathing? We've been advised to take along storebought drinking water and use our fresh water for the other stuff.
Last question: Is there a better forum for these questions? Is there a moderated forum that answers really green newbie questions?
Oh. One more question. We recycle everything. Is there a central recycle website that will tell us where local recycle centers are as we pass through? We'll be driving through in 2- or 3-day trips, in-between multi-day ports of call, where we'll stay with friends and family.

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Old 04-25-2017, 01:05 AM   #2
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RVng is NOT complicated....don't make it so

Yes it is smaller then house/apt and is on wheels but it still is just a small house.

Use it like you do a home.....cook using crockpot, stove top, oven, microwave (oven --get and use pizza stone to even out the heat ---we used a 12" non glazed terra cotta title----stow it when moving so it doesn;t bounce/slide around)

We use our fresh water tank exclusively for everything.....washing, cooking, bathing, DRINKING etc. Unless you are pumping stream water or untreated well water it is good to drink cause it is just like the water at home

Basics ---LESS is MORE.

AS for recycling
Could be a bit of a hassle...........stowing, transporting, locating recycle centers.
Some CGs are involved...some aren't

When we FTd we would go to the Local City Center and inquire about various features/activities etc.
Also libraries, 'tourist info', Chamber of Commerce and local bar (LOTS of info by just have conversations with patrons---they were interested in RVng/our travels etc )

Good luck......
You will learn lots by trail/error (we all did at some point), ask neighbors at CGs, ask here.

Happy travels

2007 Dodge 3500 w/Tractor Motor & NUWA 5vr
FT traveling 2007 - 2014
Still DEBT Free
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:31 AM   #3
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You'll do just fine living in a RV as you do in your home. There shouldn't be any drastic changes to be made..... IF you have hookups (electric/water/sewer) or a combination of them.

However, are you always planning to have hookups? If not, that's whey your conserving needs to be done.

For instance, if you don't have electric naturally you will not be using your appliances except for the stove and oven. You might want to bring a grill for some outdoor cooking.

If you won't have a water or sewer hookup then conserving water and tank space is a must. You mentioned you have a tub.... do you also have a shower? A tub will use a lot of water and will also fill your grey water tank. Use the shower. Wet down, turn off the water. Soap up. Turn on water and rinse quickly. Same for washing hands or teeth brushing - water on and off. Don't leave the water run.

Dishes don't have to be done after every meal if you're conserving water. Do them once a day or even every two days. Wipe with a damp, used napkin or paper towel and there won't be any smells, etc. A vegetable pot or frypan can be re-used... just wipe it out with a damp paper towel. Use sturdy paper plates, if you'd like. Bring extra silverware so you don't have to wash them constantly. You don't need a lot of water for dish washing. If your grey tank is getting full then dump the dishwater in the toilet which always can use more water for good flushing out when you dump.

We use the water from the tank for everything, including drinking.

Have a great trip!
Full-timed for 16 Years . . . Back in S&B Again
Traveled 8 yr in a 2004 Newmar Dutch Star 40' Diesel
& 8 yr in a 33' Travel Supreme 5th wheel
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Old 04-25-2017, 02:04 AM   #4
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What kind of dog are you showing? Used to show Alaskan Malamutes in Confirmation and Miniature Poodle in Obedience.
2004 Monaco La Palma 36DBD, W22, 8.1, 7.1 MPG
2000 LEXUS RX300 FWD 22MPG 4020 LBS

Don't know where I'm going, spose I'll get there anyway.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:41 AM   #5
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You mentioned crock pot - do you have an inverter?

Lots of comments re: setting crock pot in the sink and cooking w/ inverter when travelling - when you get there dinners ready!
We haven't done that but plan to start - good idea
Don & Marge
'13 Newmar Ventana 3433 - '14 CR-V TOAD
'03 Winnebago Adventurer 31Y - SOLD
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:05 AM   #6
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Answer to one of your questions is YES, this is a good site for getting info, particularly for newbies. You will almost never get any kind of put-down responses. We all started and learned as we go. WELCOME!

The others have covered the suggestions as to what to look for; if you stay in full hook up (FHU) parks, a lot of the concerns become minor. If you are roughing it, things are a little more difficult, but the Boondocking forum here will give you lots of help.

You are going to make a bunch of mistakes, we all do and have, but just keep going.

Thanks for joining us.

Tom & Jan
Tom & Jan ---- Westwing43
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:42 PM   #7
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We use our crock pot often. Yes we set in the sink while traveling. We bought a small one. It runs off an inverter in the trailer. A couple chicken thighs. Potatoes carrots a little seasonings and enjoy. I hold the lid on with bungee cord.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:41 AM   #8
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Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation

Arch, who asked what breed of dog: My ID is "rushinzoi". I show and course/straight race Borzoi ... still popularly known as Russian Wolfhounds. I have put obedience/rally titles on all my Borzoi as well; and compete in agility, but never accomplished an agility title. Obedience with a poodle is way too easy <vbg>.
I am a Sierra Club backpacker/climber from decades ago who wandered west to Idaho in 1984 because two-thirds of Idaho is wild and scenic rivers and the largest roadless area in the lower 48. In 2008, a co-worker (and neighbor) and I took a hike into the Idaho Rocky Mountains, and became fast hiking friends. We live two miles apart, but basically on the same street, which is literally one block from the foothills of the Pioneer Mountains. We started hiking every weekend in the Idaho Sawtooths, White Clouds, Boulders and Smokys, all less than 15 miles away. In 2012, I talked my friend Leslie into a hike up Mt. Sneffels in Ridgway, Colorado, and she joined me on a weekend reunion with old Sierra Club backpacking buddies.
In 2014, she joined me on hikes with old friends throughout Colorado and New Mexico ... and a 9-day Borzoi National Specialty dog show and dog trials in Albuquerque. We now have an agreement ... Leslie helps me at dog shows and dog trials and we hike around the area when we're not busy with the dog event.
This year, the Borzoi National Specialty is in Baltimore, and I thought it would be easier to travel cross-country in a "home" instead of "moving" into a motel room every night, so that's how we came to be RVers-to-be. Leslie's boyfriend is an experienced RVer, but she hasn't spent much time with him on the road so she doesn't know much more than I do when it comes to LP and water tanks, etc. So this trip is going to be history!

Crockpot inverter? Never heard of it. I'll check it out on the Internet. I DID figure out, all on my own, that putting the crockpot into the sink would be a good idea.

We'll have four 2-3 day 1,000mile+ "drive" segments on our trip, where we'll go from Idaho to Missouri, then Missouri to Baltimore, then Baltimore to Michigan, and Michigan back to Idaho. We may stay in a CG with hookups a few nights for the hookup experience; but mostly we'll look for quick convenient overnight spots to get off the road and crash, without hookups. That's why I asked about energy efficiency and water conservation.
Question: Are Walmarts generally safe and convenient, or noisy, bright and unsafe? If you just want to get off the road, eat and get a good night's sleep, where do you look for a safe place to do it? We can't stay overnight in most rest areas, can we? Can we overnight at Pilot/Flying J truck stops? I have a Good Sam/Pilot/Flying J RV member card.
Yes, we have a tub and a shower, but we'll do the sponge bath thing to save water.
Pizza stone is a great idea for future more gourmet endeavors in the oven; but, for this trip, I think a Crockpot and microwave will do most of our cooking.
Dumping dishwater into the toilet might be a good idea for better blackwater rinse. Do you worry about greasy water in the blackwater tank?
I'll end this for now ... I need a YAWNing Smiley.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:56 AM   #9
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Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation

Woops. My trip make not make much sense if I don't tell you that, in-between the 2-3 day road drives, we'll be staying with friends for several days at a time, with real beds and real showers and real meals!
Our first port-of-call will be in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, with my family for several days, kayaking Osage River and hiking Missouri State Parks.
In Baltimore, we're staying with friends in the Mt. Vernon District, in the 11,000sf Victorian Graham-Hughes House. We'll be driving to field trials in Littletown, Pennsylvania; and the dog show and formal events at the Hunt Valley Marriott.
When we leave Baltimore, we'll drive to Traverse City, Michigan, for 4-5 days with old Sierra Club friends for some canoeing, biking and maybe sailing.
Then we'll head for home, with a possible stop in Mackinac Island and Mount Rushmore, etc.
This should explain why we can spend most of our road nights in places without hookups.
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:13 AM   #10
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Practice camping in your driveway if you have time.

On water conservancy: use small plastic tubs that fit in your sinks to catch the wash water. Pour the dirty water into your toilet because the toilets black water tank takes much longer to fill than the sinks grey water tank does.

2016 Fleetwood Flair 26e gas Crossover
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Old 04-26-2017, 06:50 AM   #11
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The inverter they are referring to is built into the MH in most cases. It simply makes ac power from dc. Your rig may not have one. Our first one did not, second one does. My guess is in a 23', yours does not. They run off the batteries but it you are driving the alternator will keep them charged. If you have a generator, many people run theirs while driving down the road. Then the crock pot will work great.

Water wise we cook and drink the tap water when connected to city (campground) water but usually use gallon jugs instead of the tank if not. You can sanitize the fresh water tank by adding 1/4 cup bleach for every 15 gallons of capacity.

Recycle wise, we have been in CGs that are very good about it, ones that don't do it at all, and ones in between like recycling everything but glass. I feel kind of self conscious throwing them away but you can't take everything with you. I stomp flat aluminum cans to not fill the containers so fast.
Mark & Nancy
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Shep dog, R.I.P. Kenzie dog Toad 2015 Jeep Wrangler Willys Wheeler
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:37 AM   #12
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If you do try the crockpot route for cooking - whether on the road or while connected to 120 VAC in a CG - one great idea I've seen that will save tons of wash water is to use a plastic liner for the crock pot.

I don't even know what these are called or where folks got them but have been to pot lucks where crock-potters had a plastic liner.
Makes clean up super easy - when empty (or you've moved left overs to containers) remove the liner and toss - may only need a wipe or quick rinse vs a full wash & rinse
Don & Marge
'13 Newmar Ventana 3433 - '14 CR-V TOAD
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Old 04-26-2017, 10:49 AM   #13
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Sold in almost every grocery store around you could even go into Walmart and buy one they're just known as Crock-Pot liners. They do work well. Depending upon what I am going to use or cook in my crock pot they do work well
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:13 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by RushinZoi View Post
I'm a brand new RVer. Bought a 1996 23ft Four Winds with 52,000 miles two weeks ago and have driven it once ... to the RV-outfit place to be retrofitted and outfitted and checked out before my girl friend and I (two "girls", 58 and 69) take off in our new moving home in a round trip from Idaho to Baltimore for three weeks of sailing, hiking, biking, kayaking, and dog showing, dog racing, and dog trials.
We are truly NEWBIES!
You are driving a 1996 motorhome and you are worried about how energy efficient a crock pot is?

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