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Old 06-20-2013, 07:26 PM   #253
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If you like Boondocking , Join Boondockers Welcome. It is great ! Our last trip to Nashville by the way of Charlotte N. C. we stayed at 4 locations that we chose before we left home. All were quiet and peacefull. We saved a bunch of money that we could use else where. Check it out. www.Boondockerswelcome.com. Look for Easy money (that's us)
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Old 06-26-2013, 06:55 PM   #254
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Being in Northern Ontario Canada we are blessed with beautiful Provincial Parks which I gather are similar to State Parks. Usually electricity at site available at some sites, showers, potable water and dump stations. The sites are usually large, treed and at least semi-private. I have an Ontario disability card so electric sites are less than $11 per night. We tend to use them mid-week or in the fall once school is back in so they are often almost empty. Two weeks ago we had a non-electric site right on the river. Never saw another person after check in. We have done Wally World while en route and will do more since moving from a 5 wheel to a m/h with a generator. We spent a month once outside Orlando in what a lot of you seem to dislike with pools, activities, no space, high prices and a lot of neighbours but it beat the heck out of Ontario in February. We camp so we can take our dog and eat our own food (mostly) without bed bugs. We have met many wonderful folks and seem a lot of two beautiful countries. Hopefully with a lot more to be seen.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:37 AM   #255
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Old 10-06-2013, 09:47 AM   #256
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Yes boondocking is great. Tried it out a couple of months back for the first tiime. I just spent this weekend installing a 200 watt solar system for off the grid camping. Full hook ups and doondocking both have their places and we will continue to use both but, preference is boondocking as I don't enjoy camping in a parking lot.

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Old 11-25-2013, 11:51 AM   #257
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Six years ago we were planning on our trip to Alaska. Some blue-haired old lady from a fancy retirement community SW of Tucson asked me "Say sonny, you wife tells me you are headed to Alaska, how are you planning to do this?" Well, quite pleased with myself, I answered "in our travel trailer." "well you folks are a couple of sissy campers! when I went up there it was gravel and dirt..." I almost made the mistake of asking if she went before or after the big war, but since I am still alive, I obviously did not. Had I known about "Lucky Lake" I would have been tempted if it were named after her.

So that was my Epiphany, we are not bold travelers, but rather "sissy campers"

Just read through much of the 19 pages on this thread. Love to find out how many folks primarily boondock. We have been full-timing for six years and have only gone to RV parks when nothing else is available (or as it was 105 in South Dakota as we traveled across). We have had new rig for six months and the only RV park yet was spent four days dry-camping at Birder's RV Park since we wished to be near Bosque del Apache NWR for "The Festival of the Cranes" - can 14,000 Sandhill Cranes be wrong?

Wanted something smaller a few years ago and Elaine wanted something larger. We went from a 28' TT that could get in almost anywhere to a 34' 5th wheel that is somewhat more limited. There are some great places in Arizona and Yucatan we could easily get into with TT that would require my sitting on the roof with a chain saw to do now. We drove into archaeological site at Calukmal last year to see if we could take 5th wheel in (60 km of gravel and dirt to within 30 km of Guatemala) but decided it was not advisible. The nicest place we have stayed was an 'RV Park" called Laguna Azul on Lago Bacalar which has only dry camping but with Toucans, Collared Aracaris etc all about. Some friends saw a Jaguar about 2 km from where we were "camped"

Am curious that there is no thread at irv2 forums for camping in Mexico/ Belize/ Guatemala which we have done the last four years. Border areas are quite dangerous but Yucatan and Belize are probably as safe as most places in US. We have friends who have taken their rig down through Mexico to Yucatan for 15 years and they figure that there are at most 10 US style Gringos RV'ing with about 5 times as many Canadians and French, Germans and Swiss. There are a few RV parks near Palenque and Chichen Itza but most of the archaeological sites will let you boondock in their parking areas for nothing to a very nominal amount (Izmal was about $5 or so and there was security).

We are set for autonomous solar: 1400 W, 4.0 PSW inverter and 9.7 kW-hours of lithium iron phosphate batteries. We can run ac for 3.5 hours if required. However, we are basically "Goldilockers" and go where it is neither to hot nor to cold (aka the 75 F degree club), go north or up in elevation when hot and reverse once it is cold. OK, we are obviously the "sissy campers" that the blue-haired old lady described us as being. Non use of generator (we do have a backup 1.0 kW gas honda) means we can wake up to a couple of adolescent Bull Mooose "fighting 25 meters from our rig at the great "dispersed camping" at Vedauwoo. They went at it for 45 minutes.
I think this is the mind set that a lot of the posters have expressed.

Reed and Elaine Cundiff
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Old 11-25-2013, 02:37 PM   #258
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Reed, that sounds incredible, to have your camper in Q.Roo. I have frequented the area, but have never considered taking the RV. I'm still in the workforce. I have driven to a lot of the places you mentioned as well as to Holbox. Got to beware of the "Topes" for sure, when driving across the jungle. I would like to visit Merida some day.
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Old 11-25-2013, 03:32 PM   #259
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We were near Merida three winters ago but the only RV park around was locked. We have learned a lot more since then about "camping" in Mexico and will be in Guatemala (flying down) for 4 weeks of immersion Spanish and 4 weeks of travel. After this we should be able to handle "dispersed camping" more easily. We now know (as noted above) that dry camping is possible at the archaeological sites nearby (we did spend two nights at dock at Celestun to see the 20,000 Flamingos about a hour north of there). This is suggested in "Church's RV'ing Guide" (Terry Church, it is not a guide to colonial cathedrals) and most people that go down to Yucatan have stopped there as do all birders.

We spent two months each year for three years on beach at Xpu Ha near Tulum. Elaine loves to snorkel (photographed 56 species of fish/ray/shark/squid/turtle/octopus) and the coral heads started 25 meters from beach and the Meso-American Great Barrier Reef was 400 meters off beach. We swam there most days and the 100' snorkeler's catamaran from Playa del Carmen ($120 for half a day) would come down to the same place. We have a blow up sailing kayak and had a lot of fun with it. A friend who is 76 has been coming down with his wife for 15 years and he is still a competitive kayaker and he smoked me. We had a crew of international level white water kayakers come through in 4 modified Springs on their way to Chile. They may make it in 2014. We have been following their blog and they are currently in Peru (in late October).

We visited Palenque, Uxmal, Chichen Itza (never again - to crowded but did see Bat Falcon there), Coba, Muyil (many times for birding), Calukmal (the best we think), Balakmu, Bonampak, and several others north of Tulum which are superb. Several have great cenotes that few visit. We did drive to Tikal from where we stayed in Belize - and want to return to Belize for a number of reasons but want to see Caracol. Tikal lived up to its press. We took a guided trip to the top of one of the temples before dawn to watch the sun come between two of the other temples. The Orange-breasted Falcon is extremely rare but there is a nesting pair about 150 meters from the pyramid (there is even a large sign noting this near the top of the pyramid/temple. We only had to drive about 75 miles in Guatemala and about 30 of that was rather pot-holed.

Did not got to that island you visited north of Cancun. We did go to Isla Mujeres - forget that, it is another Cancun. We did go to Cozumel with our friend and guide for a day. He said that he just wanted to take us out there and show us the place (along with his super model looking girlfriend naturalist). We did offer to pay for the ferryboat and the rental (rent a wreck). It was great and saw five the seven endemic birds (one, the Cozumel Thrasher, is probably extinct - not having been seen since before the great Hurricane of 2002.

Elaine wanted to visit Cancun to see what it was like. She couldn't leave fast enough. There is a fairly nice government run archaeological museum there on the grounds of a small archaeological site.

Attached (I hope) is photo of a bat crossing near Calukmal.

Reed and Elaine Cundiff
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Old 11-26-2013, 08:58 AM   #260
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Reed - I am fascinated by your travels. We just spent 3.5 years cruising Pacific Mexico in our sailboat during the winter seasons, and we totally fell in love with Mexico, especially the colonial cities and archaeological sites (which we reached by bus/hotel).

We are giving up cruising and returning to RVing full-time because we love boondocking and living in an RV much more than we do boating. We boondock 100% of the time when we are in our fifth wheel.

I would LOVE to take our rig to Mexico, but had ruled it out because we found the roads there to be so full of tall speed bumps. We have a 36' fifth wheel, and I shudder to think of driving some of those roads, especially around Chiapas and also in the areas near the butterfly sanctuaries outside Morelia.

Also, our pickup requires ultra low sulphur diesel fuel. I know that fuel is available in Baja but my understanding is that on the mainland it won't be until 2015 or so that Pemex changes over to ultra low sulphur diesel.

Do you have any insights or comments about either the roads and topes or the fuel??

How I would love to spend a winter in the Yucatan with our fiver...
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Old 11-26-2013, 11:33 AM   #261
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We spend our summer months in northeastern OR near the villages of Joseph and Halfway. We stay on USFS land in dispersed camp area....free. We use the Hell's Canyon Recreation area dump stations and potable water to recharge and re-fresh. In the six months of being in the area we were in developed CG's only 10 times (one night each time). This hold for going up US 12 into Idaho and Montana then back down US 93 or 91 into Idaho and Nevada then back to eastern AZ where we have a winter house....My consulting work took us out into the wilds for some 25 years and 10 RV's later we are still at it but retired.....can not stand towns larger than say Moab UT
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Old 11-26-2013, 12:55 PM   #262
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Toussaint, have you ever stopped at Three Rivers Resort on Hwy 12? Our takeout point for the Selway River was a few miles up river from there, above the falls. It looked like a decent RV park but the general store is a throwback in time. The NF parks along the river looked great. You can drive a few miles to just beyond Selway Falls. There are no roads beyond that, only hiking trails. This was in 2012 about a month before we bought our 1st 5th wheel. I would love to go back there with the 5th wheel but it is a long long ways from Texas.
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Old 11-27-2013, 09:13 AM   #263
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Groovy - Elaine loves to sail; however, all we have is a small inflatable sailing kayak but we had it out on good days in Yucatan: sons and families and our daughter and boy friend came down to visit the last two years and loved sailing about but had to worry about the coral heads. Have a friend from the 173rd Airborne (1966-67) who has lived aboard his 45' cat in Bahamas and down to Yucatan for five or six years so I envy your times on a boat..

The road down from north of Laredo is good toll roads and decent otherwise all the way to Yucatan. Then the speed bumps occur all the way across beginning at Escarcega. Just keep at 50 to 55 mph (speed limit anyway) and be aware.

We had a 2006 GMC 4x4 which we totaled about 70 miles east of Puebla in a 70 car pile-up in heavy fog at 8500' (Mexico Mike in his blog and in conversation told us never go over that pass beyond mid-morning - but that was after the fact. So we purchased a 2006 Chevie 4 x 4 diesel dualie so that we can continue to handle the 500 ppm sulfur diesel on future trips. Mexico is planning to go to 15 ppm sulfur diesel in future, but they have been saying that for 5 or so years. Places like Mexico City need relief from pollution (2015 as you note but do not hold your breath). The 500 ppm diesel is excellent and costs about $2.75/gallon.

The roads down the west coast are supposed to be excellent but expensive (stick to toll roads for comfort, no auto damage and safety until far south of the border).

The East coast roads can be really dangerous for the first several hundred miles until past Tampico. We know three couples who have been held up at submachine point or shot at. We know of no one who has had any problems going Laredo, Monterrey, Saltillo, Mahual (great stopover at a nice motel complete/RV park six or eight hours from border), Arco around Mexico City (divided four lane toll road that is great), Puebla (a mess at times but through in 30 to 40 minutes), Orizaba, Villahermosa (the only other mess on the road down)

We have a 34' fifth wheel (Open Range 337RLS) which we love. This is same model as crunched in wreck. Elaine was still recovering from anaesthesia (eight broken arms in lower right arm with bones sticking outa couple of inches and three broken ribs) in hospital in Orizaba, and she basically said "Reed, need to start thinking about replacement rig!' "yes dear." Had friends of friends in Orizaba and they spent hours with us every day for the two weeks we were in hospital and then in a nearby hotel for observation. The hospital, staff, and doctors were superb. We looked at other rigs to include a Montana I really liked; however, the interior island blocked getting to refrigerator when slides were in and Elaine said "we liked the old one - and we have seen nothing better."

As noted in previous post, we won't be going back to Mexico till next year since insurance and the associated voiding of our temporary import license is taking quite a while - and we assumed a year to do this..

If you want, we can contact you on e-mail for further discussion/questions/and not clog up this blog.
Reed and Elaine Cundiff
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Old 11-28-2013, 12:35 AM   #264
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Reed - Those are some amazing stories and that's a lot of information to digest. I think you answered all my questions, so unless I think of some more I'll just ponder what you've written here and mull it all over. Driving there will require us to buy a new vehicle, and I'm not sure we want to do that, so we're a ways away from actually going.

We never experienced anything remotely scary in Mexico -- neither a 70 car pile-up nor being threatened in any way by anyone (well, there was that time Mother Nature terrified us as we crossed the Sea of Cortez in very violent seas…) -- but we also paid $3.80 a gallon for diesel at the marinas (call it a "boat tax" LOL)… Going by land will require different preparation and will be a very different experience, I'm sure!

Thanks so much for sharing all that info and my best to Elaine. I hope she has fully recovered by now… -Emily
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Old 01-04-2014, 07:14 PM   #265
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Wild Camping/Boondocking

Wife and I just came back from 9 months traveling all over Western Europe and some Eastern as well. We did 30,000Km. and stayed in formal campgrounds exactly 6 nights. Had some of the most beautiful campsites you could dream of and didn't spend any more than living at home in Albuquerque. Bought a big class C and resold it for very little less.

We have boondocked across the US as well with a VW Eurovan and Vanagan but are now in a bigger class A so I'm sure we wont find as many locations but you guys are an inspiration.
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