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Old 06-28-2015, 08:50 AM   #15
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Hi Alan,

I'm a fulltimer that spends nearly all of my time boondocking in the west (and mostly southwest). I agree with nearly all that has been said. I would add that this style of camping (boondocking) is certainly not for some folks and that's ok (either they don't feel safe, don't feel competent to deal with mechanical problems, and/or just don't like being alone).

The biggest problems I have with a big DP are low hanging branches, very sharp corners on narrow roads, and drainage arroyos. I always keep in mind how much effort is required to un-stick a 35,000 lb RV - if a spot looks questionable, I don't risk it.
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:20 AM   #16
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Hi Alan,I always keep in mind how much effort is required to un-stick a 35,000 lb RV - if a spot looks questionable, I don't risk it.
Yeah, don't try something like this...

https://youtu.be/I8tD5VwvvbE
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:40 AM   #17
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there had to be lots of alcohol involved in this one. no one in their right mind would drive into that deep water.


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Yeah, don't try something like this...

https://youtu.be/I8tD5VwvvbE
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Old 06-28-2015, 09:53 AM   #18
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Recommend you boon-dock at Imperial Lake BLM area, North of Yuma AZ, It is a definite step-up from Quartzite. Imperial Dam LTVA - BLM Arizona Recommend the Coyote Ridge section there. Spent two great Winters there in my 45' RV. Less RVs than Quartzite at peak in January and most persons there spend most of the Winter there. You can easily drive to Quartzite to see the goodies there in January and return the same day. At nearby Christian Center you can get your mail for free.

No theft there that I am aware of. The nearby safe border town of Los Algodones Los Algodones, Baja California, Community Directorycaters to the snowbirds. There are many Dentists there to safely take care of your teeth, including dental implants. You can get eyeglasses at a much reduced rate over US prices, same items. Many refill their medications there, 90 day personal supply. Just need a passport and walk over the border. My wife and I have felt very safe there.

In Yuma AZ you can get a solar system installed to reduce your generator run time. Recommend Starlight Solar Home Very happy with my 940W install, 3 years ago.

Good Luck!
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:19 AM   #19
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We have spent the last two winters boon docking at the Imperial Dam LTVA, 20 miles North of Yuma. There are hundreds of campers, and many with the same type of rig as you. The Parking areas are very flat and hard packed.but there are small areas where washes have made it soft, but on the whole, easy to find somewhere safe and dry (over 3000 acres). The volunteers will assist you in finding the perfect spot for your rig. Also if you like water, the LTVA has Senators Wash Reservoir and Squaw Lake Campground. The later has access directly to the Colorado River, if you have a canoe or kayak.
Imperial Dam, and Quartsite has water stations and septic dump areas. You are a little closer to stores (small) at Quartsite, but for large stores, it's off to Yuma (1 hour south). We prefer Imperial Dam over Quartsite because of the water and only 20 miles to Yuma.
You can buy a 7 month pass for $180, which is valid at 7 different BLM campgrounds, including Quartsite and the others are in the Yuma area. Very good value.
If you would like to check by blog, listed under my signature it details our winters at Imperial Dam
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:25 AM   #20
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Recommend you boon-dock at Imperial Lake BLM area, North of Yuma AZ, It is a definite step-up from Quartzite. Imperial Dam LTVA - BLM Arizona Recommend the Coyote Ridge section there. Spent two great Winters there in my 45' RV. Less RVs than Quartzite at peak in January and most persons there spend most of the Winter there. You can easily drive to Quartzite to see the goodies there in January and return the same day. At nearby Christian Center you can get your mail for free.

No theft there that I am aware of. The nearby safe border town of Los Algodones Los Algodones, Baja California, Community Directorycaters to the snowbirds. There are many Dentists there to safely take care of your teeth, including dental implants. You can get eyeglasses at a much reduced rate over US prices, same items. Many refill their medications there, 90 day personal supply. Just need a passport and walk over the border. My wife and I have felt very safe there.

In Yuma AZ you can get a solar system installed to reduce your generator run time. Recommend Starlight Solar Home Very happy with my 940W install, 3 years ago.

Good Luck!
Just saw your reply above mine and we are almost identical, lol. Do you stay at Imperial Dam? We are volunteers there, maybe be saw you down there! Can also recommend Starlight Solar, as that is where we had our solar installed
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Old 06-28-2015, 10:52 AM   #21
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The "RV Fail" did look like a classic case of "Hold my beer Bubba' and watch this!"
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Old 06-28-2015, 12:45 PM   #22
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Absolutely agree with concerns of JFNM. We have a 12,500# fifth wheel (full-up weight with 3500# carrying). Our 4x4 diesel dualie will get us through most things but always check out consistency of sand/dirt before traversing.

Elaine backed 5th wheel under trees at Stewart CG (Cave Creek) in Chirachuas. I guess I did not do as good a job of guiding. The solar panels cleared out a few low lying branches and twigs. Our favorite spot in Yucatan is Laguna Azul on Lago Bacalar. Will require machete, axe and/or bow saw if we manage to return. The same is true of Calukmal Archaeological Site. It is 60 km off the main highway (Mexico 186 between Chetumal and Escarcega) and has a very nice parking lot at the site that welcomes RV'ers.
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Old 06-28-2015, 02:16 PM   #23
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Lots of good suggestions here. I would also recommend you visit Wheelingit blog. They boondock in a 40' MH.

I would also advise going to a campground with hookups and just not hook up. You can then see what it is like to camp without hookups as far as battery capacity, how much water you use, how your holding tanks fill. And you always have the hookups there if you need them. You can hook up electric in the am for a couple of hours to recharge your batteries like what would happen if you ran your generator. This of course means boondocking at a time and place where you do not have to use your air conditioner(s). You can't have peace and solitude of boondocking if you or someone else is running the generator all day. Just my opinion.

Enjoy and happy trails.

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Old 06-28-2015, 09:49 PM   #24
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Lots of good suggestions here. I would also recommend you visit Wheelingit blog. They boondock in a 40' MH.

I would also advise going to a campground with hookups and just not hook up. You can then see what it is like to camp without hookups as far as battery capacity, how much water you use, how your holding tanks fill. And you always have the hookups there if you need them. You can hook up electric in the am for a couple of hours to recharge your batteries like what would happen if you ran your generator. This of course means boondocking at a time and place where you do not have to use your air conditioner(s). You can't have peace and solitude of boondocking if you or someone else is running the generator all day. Just my opinion.

Enjoy and happy trails.

ronspradley

That is exactly what I was thinking of doing!! I was just telling my wife that I have no idea how much battery power I have or how long it will last. Same with water. We don't use the water onboard for drinking, only showers, dishes and laundry when needed. Drinking water we have in gallon jugs. Awesome idea! Thanks!

I love all the suggestions and information everyone has left for me and all who read this. When I have time this week I am going to investigate some these links further. I have read a little about Quartzite and I'm not sure that is a place for us to spend much time. We are not into big crowds but we also can see the benefit of visiting with people about it so we may try to find a place reasonably close by and drive the towed there to check it out. Let me know if that is a stupid idea.


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Old 06-29-2015, 07:48 AM   #25
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Something like this device might also make the wife feel a little better about being in a remote area. It can send regular messages showing your location to whoever you set up, it can send them on demand if you wish, and it has emergency messages if you have a real life emergency, Not out of beer type emergency but real life threatning emergency. They also have sat phones if you want to take it to the next level. We used to use these on sailboats and it really does give peace of mind when out of radio and cell tower range.

Why SPOT
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Old 06-29-2015, 07:48 AM   #26
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Alan, thousands of RV'er enjoy boondocking on BLM and National Forest land. some part time, some fulltime. there are boondocking opportunitites all over the country, not just the SW desert. Although out west we have lots more open spaces to enjoy.
You do have to be somewhat careful of where you drive these big rigs, they don't do well in loose sand or wet grass or mud. in many cases you're following a road & path used by others previously and its obvious. using your towed vehicle to explore ahead is a good idea.
There are rattlesnakes out in the SW desert and certain times of the year they are active. At my winter ranch in southern NM I see a few rattlers each year. During the winter months they go into their dens and aren't active. I see them mostly in fall & spring, just after I arrive and just before I leave. Most of us avoid the SW desert in summer when they're most active. The rattlers want to avoid you as much as you want to avoid them. when hiking out in the bush just use some common sense and unless you step right on one, they give you a warning rattle before its too late. There are also lots of coyotes in the SW desert that sometimes get hungry enough to take your pet cat or small dog.
If quiet & serenity is your goal, I wouldn't go anywhere near Quartzsite around the 3rd week in Jan, when the annual RV rally & show takes place. With 400,000 other RV'ers sharing the desert around Q those weeks, its anything but quiet & serene. Any other time of the year, you'll have it all to yourself and its a great boondocking spot.
As for the batteries, running a generator works great if you don't mind the noise & fumes. Once you know that boondocking will remain a big part of your travels, then investing in a solar sys is the best solution.
Personal security just takes some common sense & basic precautions. If an area doesn't feel right or look right, move on. I do carry firearms but never needed to use them for protection yet. I travel alone and look for quiet secluded places off the beaten path.

Jim2, I am sure there are opportunities to boondock all over. We have done a very small amount in our previous motor home and discovered it fared very well on batteries but then again it was not the beast we have now and it was newer. I got such a sense of adventure when we did that but the wife got nothing but anxiety as she is our worrier in the family and the reason why I am trying to research this BLM thing. If I can alleviate her concerns and worries and try it she may go for it. I assured her we would stay in a campground during our trip. We might try camping several miles from quartzite and driving in for a day to check it out but we don't do well camping in cities. Too much going on and not what I am trying to accomplish. I never expected so many great responses and information from this post. Thanks for your input.


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Old 06-29-2015, 07:55 AM   #27
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Yeah, don't try something like this...

https://youtu.be/I8tD5VwvvbE

BrentB, you can rest assured I would never try this! LOL! My wife saw this and said there was no way she was going if we have to cross water. I spent five minutes explaining that this was an idiot and we don't ever have to cross water. 😂 I hope this guy got out with minimal damage!


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Old 06-29-2015, 02:11 PM   #28
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Elaine is the bold one in our family. We would never have gone to Alaska, Baja, and Yucatan/Belize/Guatemala with our 5th wheel had it been up to me. They were the best trips we have ever taken.
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