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Old 05-01-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
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Dry Camp or RV Park?

Hello all,

I just purchased a Coachmen Prism. For my first trip, I'm planning on going to the Moab, UT area for some kayaking, biking and hiking. I've not been camping in an RV before. The dry camping areas look beautiful, but not sure if I should start out with that or with an RV park with hookups. Any suggestions? I will be going for 4 nights. Thanks you!
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:05 PM   #2
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I would suggest the acid test! You can always soften up if you don't like roughing it...
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:09 PM   #3
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It's your call but I would lean toward spending a few days in it while hooked up before venturing into boondocking. Seems to me that if you discover something is not working the way you think it should, it will be easier to figure it out somewhere you have hookups.

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Old 05-01-2014, 02:16 PM   #4
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Hey kjh101,
Just got back from that area, spent 3 nights in Moab, stayed at a Park 2 nights (not my idea) 48.00 per night, dry camped one night just off the slick rock trail 12.00 We didn't take my unit so I was not in control. Even though the individual who's rv we took opened up the floor for discussion on where we stayed (11 day trip) he usually did what he wanted any way, or restated questions until he got the answer he was looking for. For me I stay in the wild as often as I can, I just like it better, yeah there is no pool, no laundry, and no store but I just dig it. I usuallly look for a dump station for water/services every three or four days and enjoy the country. Of course you have to be careful with your resources power, water, etc. but once you get it down it's actually quite easy. If you haven't get yourself a small portable gen then figure out how far your battery power goes and be attentive to it, you'll have the time of your live. Also if you haven't ridden the Bar M trails give them a go, lots of fun! Enjoy
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:19 PM   #5
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I like that "acid test".
You want to be very frugal with your fresh water usage, grey water and battery usage, boondocking is the way to go.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:32 PM   #6
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Dry camping adds some complexity and considerations. But not overwhelming. That said, if first time with the RV maybe spend the first couple days at a CG getting used to the rig, then move to a dry camping area.
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Old 05-01-2014, 02:37 PM   #7
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The only hookup I would use is the electric. Run the water off the pump and use the dump station.

If there are leaks the pump will constantly cycle and let you know. It is normal to occasionally run for a short cycle but not to continuously cycle unless something is leaking. You can shut the pump off if it's something like a toilet valve, check valve, or sink drip. That lets you turn on as needed to keep going. I assume any big leaks will be found before you leave.

On the waste tank side you are better off letting the tanks fill to learn how fast they do and if your gauges are working. When you get a load then dump and everything runs out better. Can even top off the tanks if they are not full when you are ready to dump just to get a good flush out.

One bit of advice I was given early on and have followed was to leave the valves closed in camp. Leaving them open and letting everything flush constantly lets solids build up as the liquids run out and down faster so they do not get carried along. One of the constant discussion points is how to manage the waste tanks. Follow the valve advice and do an occasional flush by adding water with a hose or bucket and you will not collect the horror stories. ;-)

If you have water and sewer at the site then you can dump and refill without moving. That makes inconvenient timing easier to deal with. ;-)

I'd start using the batteries to see how long you can go with just the batteries so you know what shape they are in. Having the electric lets you plug in when the batteries run down. I'd also use the genset to run the microwave or air conditioning and let it run for a half hour or so if you need AC power. This is checkout run so you need to check things out. ;-)
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Old 05-01-2014, 10:31 PM   #8
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Get solar. It makes non-tethered camping great.
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:47 AM   #9
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Thank you all for the great suggestions! Based on your replies, I think I may do a night or two in a park to make sure everything works and then head out to dry camp for a couple of days. I'll let you know how it goes. :-)
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Old 05-02-2014, 09:52 AM   #10
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Spending a few nights in the private park will also give you a chance to scope out the BLM campgrounds and see which one you'd like to try. When we were in Moab last year the BLM campgrounds near town were like musical chairs...crazy crowded and not easy to get a site. We travelled out to Horsethief BLM and it was much quieter and relaxed. That's where we would stay if we go back.
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Old 05-02-2014, 10:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WheelingIt View Post
Spending a few nights in the private park will also give you a chance to scope out the BLM campgrounds and see which one you'd like to try. When we were in Moab last year the BLM campgrounds near town were like musical chairs...crazy crowded and not easy to get a site. We travelled out to Horsethief BLM and it was much quieter and relaxed. That's where we would stay if we go back.
Hey guys,
Just wanted too say I really enjoy your blog. I spent over 2hrs last night reading about your favorite Boondocking sites. I will use this in the future 😜
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:11 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by UncleBilly View Post
Hey guys,
Just wanted too say I really enjoy your blog. I spent over 2hrs last night reading about your favorite Boondocking sites. I will use this in the future 😜

Glad you liked it. Have fun on your trip. Moab has so much to see and do!
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Old 05-03-2014, 06:20 PM   #13
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Have you considered spending a night or two unplugged in your driveway to "test" the waters - so to speak. Then if things go off the rail you are close to many resources including an in-house washroom.

Vacation time is too valuable to spend learning about and testing systems.
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Old 05-04-2014, 07:37 PM   #14
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We were out there 2 years ago and stayed at Dead Horse Point. It was very quiet and the view of the stars at night was incredible! Looking forward to going back out for a longer stay. Just make sure you have your water tank full before getting there.
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