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Old 01-18-2015, 05:33 PM   #1
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First Dry Camping Experience

We did our first dry camping this week at the Tampa RV Supershow with the NKK group. The DW and I have been RV'ing for about 2 1/2 years. The first year in a fifth wheel and the rest in a motorhome. We have been in a lot of campgrounds with no sewer hookups, but never where we had to use our onboard water. Plus we had only 30 amp power where we are accustomed to 50 amp power.

I came prepared with a full tank of fresh water (70 gallons) and empty black (50 gallons) and gray (66 gallons). I also brought 3 1/2 cases of bottled water plus 2 - 2 1/2 gallon jugs of water. This would be our drinking and coffee making water being I wanted to save the tank water for the sewer and showers. I also brought 3 - 2 1/2 gallon jugs of water to use for anything that we needed to. This was not for drinking, but washing dishes and using it for flushing the toilet. I could also pour it in the fresh water tank if I needed to. The DW also used this water to wash dishes. She also had two pans that fit in the sinks to catch the water from going into the gray tank. This water was poured into a 2 1/2 gallon bucket to use for flushing the toilet. I had another 2 1/2 gallon bucket to catch the cold water at the shower. This was also used to flush the toilet.

We survived this experience a lot better than I thought. When we left the fairgrounds this morning we had over a third of a tank of fresh water left. Plus both of the black and gray was only at the 1/3 full level. I also still had 2 full cases of bottled water left.

We have done some camping with only 30 amp power so we was prepared for this and survived with no issues.

This entire experience has opened up a lot of future dry camping trips for us.

But regardless of the final outcome we are really enjoying have full hookups with 50 amp power. I just took probably the longest shower I have ever taken in our motorhome.

We are looking forward to doing the same thing with the NKK group next year.

Raymond, Dee Dee and Sophie (Yorkie)
2013 Tiffin Allegro 31SA
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Old 01-18-2015, 05:56 PM   #2
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"We survived this experience......" LOL. You poor things! Sometimes you just have to tough it out in life!

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Old 01-18-2015, 06:04 PM   #3
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My wife ( and sometime I) go to dog shows where dry camping is normal. We have gone for 1 week but have to be ultra conservative.

Sounds like you took the same approach we do.

We also do boon docking quite a bit, no power or water. Once you realize you can do without this it will open up a whole new world.
Jim J
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Old 01-18-2015, 06:51 PM   #4
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Well with RVing there's always a first time and yours sounded like it went off ok....
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Old 01-19-2015, 10:18 AM   #5
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After 6 years of RVing, we had our first Walmart experience this past fall in two different Walmarts. The only issue was furnace problems (low heat and excessive battery) that were probably self induced. We are looking forward to doing it again as well as a lot more dry camping.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:23 AM   #6
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We boondock'd late last year for the first time and loved it..

We went to a motorcycle rally and had a spot in a vacant lot with three friends doing the same.. two of them have DP and the other a TT...

Our rig performed flawlessly in the generator and battery department... I even invested in a "genturi" for the occasion.. best investment I made.. My friend's TT had a generator and I was told his CO alarm went off more than a couple times during the weekend (he had to run his thru the night due to a CPAP machine)... Mine had gone off once before while I was exercising the generator and I DID NOT want that happening to us.. it was September in northern WI, which is a bit of a crap shoot when it comes to weather.. unfortunately, it was a bad weekend of cold and rain.. we ran the generator in the morning and at night for a bit.. and the batteries carried us (and the furnace) thru the night..

We're typically weekend warriors.. we normally do long weekends at State Parks and have electricity only (never considered it boondocking).. I've had the experience of living off my 80 gallon water tank without many issues.. mind you, its only the GF and me.. we don't typically have to conserve when it comes to water.. obviously, we don't take long hot showers... I would suspect if we stretched things to a "Wed/Thur/Fri/Sat/Sun" weekend, we may have to alter our normal habits..

I often read the threads of people going "off-grid" in beautiful parks out west.. I've seen the pictures of peoples RV, and NOTHING for miles around.. I look forward to the day when I can go out west and experience that type of true boondocking...
Eric & Denise
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Old 01-19-2015, 12:40 PM   #7
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Ruebenray, I know what you feel like the first time you dry camp. You really think you have to be overly frugal with water, waste and electricty. Our first experience was for 4 days and we did fine just like you did, even though we prepared for the worst, we could have easily lasted another 4 days. I guess they keep building these things better and better, and when I look back to how we used to camp, I get kind of embarrased when I tell people we are going "camping". Even when we dry camped we watched TV every night, use the generator sparingly to make coffee, use the microwave and charge up the batteries ect. But like you we still love pulling into that spot with full hookups and 50amp service.
Mike & Charlotte
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Orange County, California
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Old 01-19-2015, 03:31 PM   #8
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^^^^^ the DW calls it Glamping.
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Old 01-19-2015, 06:31 PM   #9
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When boondocking, our personal hygiene kind of takes second place to flushing the commode!! I take what my grandmother referred to as a "whore's bath" a sponge bath for a couple of days, longer than that, I will get in the shower, water be damned!! Glamping, I don't know. Is that where you are pretty sure you don't smell?
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:51 AM   #10
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Normally I would spend one out of 3 weeks on an electric only site in the winter (every 3 weeks) this winter I need a new engine so changing sites is not an option, (next winter remains to be seen, I'm about half way to a new engine) ... Not that hard to do and your waste tanks are bigger than mine.
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Old 01-20-2015, 05:57 AM   #11
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Oak creek, you must have went to the Tomahawk rally where they make the geezer glides. Gets a tad cold that time of year. We dry camp almost every weekend at race tracks with our family of 5. If its just a weekend we don't even pay attention to how much water we use and its never a problem. We will run low about the fourth day but I could easily stretch it to a week if I applied some of the tips the op recommended like saving the cold water when you first run the shower and using dish washing water to flush with. Both great ideas that I had not thought of but will surely drive my wife crazy. We never worry about batteries as we pretty much run the gen 24/7 but could cut way back on that as long as we don't need a/c. Even when its not all that warm we usually run the ac due to the amount of dust at the race tracks. If we kept the door open everything would be covered in one day of racing.
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Old 01-20-2015, 07:46 AM   #12
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Hard to realize that in that time you used more than we do in real dry camping. we could go 7 + days out in the desert, with what ou used, but we have been doing it for 6 + years.good luck......
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Old 01-20-2015, 08:16 AM   #13
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Another two or three times out and you will be ready for a week boondocking in Quartzsite with no hookups and desert living. We usually smell a bit but it is from the camp Fire smoke. We also have a hard time not gaining weight from the wives showing off their cooking prowess and the snacks around the camp Fire. One little trick is using hospital bath wipes in place of one days showering as they clean and have an atti bacterial to aid in the smell LOL department.

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Old 01-20-2015, 09:39 AM   #14
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Add solar panel system to reduce/eliminate generator usage. Even better experience when boondocking.

Vince and Susan
2011 Tiffin Phaeton 40QTH (Cummins ISC/Freightliner)
Flat towing a modified 2005 Jeep (Rubicon Wrangler)
Previously a 2002 Fleetwood Pace Arrow 37A and a 1995 Safari Trek 2830.
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