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Old 02-26-2004, 04:41 PM   #1
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OK, need some help here. Boondocking. Say I wanted to stay dry camping for a week or so -- how do you do that?

Here is where I'm coming from. Our bus conversion has 100 gallons fresh water - 200 gallons combined black/grey water tanks (100 gallons each). Coach is all=electric - diesel generator with 180 gallons fuel available. I don't see I have a problem in any weather - any place. We've been to week-long rally's that had no utilities supplied to RV's and we do just fine.

but..

I have an Airstream TT with far less water and holding capacity. True, I can sleep in the truck (two bunk beds) with engine running (200 gallons of fuel available) and use heater or air conditioning. But how about the limited water and holding tanks? Very hot weather or cold weather?

So my question is: How do you spend a week dry camping in a smaller RV?

don
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Old 02-26-2004, 04:41 PM   #2
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OK, need some help here. Boondocking. Say I wanted to stay dry camping for a week or so -- how do you do that?

Here is where I'm coming from. Our bus conversion has 100 gallons fresh water - 200 gallons combined black/grey water tanks (100 gallons each). Coach is all=electric - diesel generator with 180 gallons fuel available. I don't see I have a problem in any weather - any place. We've been to week-long rally's that had no utilities supplied to RV's and we do just fine.

but..

I have an Airstream TT with far less water and holding capacity. True, I can sleep in the truck (two bunk beds) with engine running (200 gallons of fuel available) and use heater or air conditioning. But how about the limited water and holding tanks? Very hot weather or cold weather?

So my question is: How do you spend a week dry camping in a smaller RV?

don
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Old 02-26-2004, 08:44 PM   #3
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Hi Don:

I'm really not trying to be a ******** here, but the answer to your question is obvious.

If you need all of the, "stuff", take the bus!

If you don't need all the stuff, take the 'stream and don't use so much stuff!

You may be old and experienced enough to remember the days when we REALLY camped. You know, those days when a Coleman stove and lantern provided you with basic needs and a campfire was a luxury. If you've really paid your dues, you might even remember frying eggs on the bottom while the tops were attempting to freeze! And no, I'm not a codger at 53.

Do we conserve big time? Sure. Do we have a problem with that? Nah.

We have a 5th wheel with 50 gal fresh capacity, one 80W solar panel and 2 group 27 batteries with a 700W inverter. We can do a week with H20 to spare and still watch TV an average of 3.5 hours/day with adequate sun. No sun? We don't watch TV. Not a huge loss. We don't have a generator, nor do we want one, and I hope that we never have to camp remotely close to someone who has to run one for more than 2-3 hours/day, in the middle of the day, even the super quiet Honda's. I have to tell you...There is little more annoying than being out in the middle of an incredible desert setting, with abundant stars and enormous available peace and quiet, than having someone run a generator at night, even 1/4 mile away.

'Nuff said.

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Old 02-27-2004, 08:03 AM   #4
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Don, as said before a little conservation can go a long way BUT then. We do a lot of extended dry camping and tend to stay in one spot for some time. We didn't want to need to pack up and take the rig to a dump so we went about building a custom setup so that we could easily haul out the dirty stuff and bring back fresh when it was convenient for us. My system is not cheap but is designed to fill my needs now and in the future when we go fulltime. go to:

http://www.jggrafx.com/thomsstuff

look at the tank stuff, the parts are labeled, I have added another piece or two recently and will add a pic of that stuff later, its another discharge end like the pump end for the gravity discharge line.
We wanted the system to be as simple and foolproof (emphasis on fool)as we could make it and meet most of the conditions we might encounter

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Old 02-27-2004, 01:04 PM   #5
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Well, I got my Lance. And I got my ATV's. And I got my genset attached to my ATV trailer. We have just got to go camping! Anywhere we can ride!
But first we have to "get back" into boondocking or dry camping. We started out that way many many moons ago. It will be easy to relearn. A new adventure!
Looking forward to the downsize and different camping.
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Old 02-27-2004, 04:35 PM   #6
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Thanks!! Great reply's to my basic question. Good ideas for me, and that is just what I was after.

Camping? Yep - done a lot. 2 week canoe trips in the Boundry Waters of Canada where you carry in everything you need for the two weeks (and carry out what you don't!!). Portage from lake to lake. Hiked mountains in New Mexico --- camped (hike in/out) in the snow in NJ and NY. etc.

I think camping is one thing I've done a lot, but now I feel black and white TV is ruffin' it!! My wife thinks TV set would make a great wheel chock!

I was looking at 'out of the box' ideas you folks that do dry camp could offer.

And I agree: generator running when all is quiet is a real PITA - not done by me, I assure you.

Thanks again for your time and trouble!!

don
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Old 02-28-2004, 10:06 PM   #7
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Perhaps because we're out there for different reasons than some, we have no pretensions of being Daniel Boone or Boonettes. We rarely "RV" in the sense of just "being" out there. Most often our TT is a portable hotel room where we can rest, relax and have a good time between ATV rides. This includes movies, popcorn and cold pop. Riding is dirty work so showers all around are a daily necessity.

I gave the problem a lot of thought and it seems to me that no matter how many gallons or watts you have, sooner or later you're gonna run out. So, my solution was to carry a decent sized amount of everything, but make it a point to be able to get more of anything... easily. For example: The truck bed has a 55 gallon fresh water tank with a 10' long intake hose that will gravity fill, and I carry a water thief adapter for no-thread faucets. I use an old 12 volt RV FW pump to pump through a hose into the TT storage tank. If the truck can get within 100' of a potable water source, I've got a refill. It is much more convenient to run back to the nearest faucet with just the truck than to break camp and haul everything just to fill the TT. Plus we have 95 gallons (40 in the TT and 55 in the truck) available before we have to go hunting.

Ditto the electric. I carry two Honda EU2000s which will recharge my batts as long as I can supply gasoline. By the way, you'd never hear these Hondas even 500' away, much less 1/4 mile. Even so, I only need to run them 3-4 hours around dinner time. If I need AC, obviously I have to run them all day, but the AC is louder than the generators so it's a toss up.

A couple of 2.5 gallon gas cans makes collecting more gasoline just a matter of getting to the last gas station. That may be a ways, but by the time I need gasoline, we're probably out of some food item or other and looking for a road trip anyway.

Propane is not a problem for us. Even with a bit of furnace use at nite, one bottle will often last most of the summer.

In 30+ years of camping, I've never filled a black water tank, even after 2 weeks of boondocking. Grey water disposal is probably the single biggest problem for us. I have a "blue tank" on wheels for "no dump" areas. (Environmentally sensitive folks should close their eyes now) When camping on sand dunes or remote areas away from lakes or streams, I will drain my grey water into the ground at a very slow rate. It takes several hours to drain a grey tank if you only crack the valve a tiny amount, but it doesn't run all over the place that way. I use an adapter cap to a cut down piece of garden hose.

Yes, I know we are raping the environment by riding ATVs and draining grey water, but at least we're having a good time doing it. :-)
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Old 02-29-2004, 05:26 AM   #8
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PullToy,I remember when we all let our gray water flow out on the ground. When I was in high school a bunch of us guys went camping for a week at the lake in a campground and we would go to the lake with a bar of soap and take a bath. Just think we did that and all the lakes and streams were so nice. Now we can't do any of that and most water is contaminated,go figure.
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Old 03-09-2004, 05:03 AM   #9
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I realized I just posted in another thread, and it seems to fit here as well... I'll double post my reply, so it'll be available should someone decide to search.. Oh well sue me!!

Oh, and BTW.. I do what Pulltoy does... Dribble-grey.

--------

Wife and I dry camp several times a year about 10 miles down a secluded, 4wd access only beach.



Talk about SECLUSION!!!

Anyway, our hybrid camper has a 40 gallon freshwater tank. We've figured out our "budget" for water to be 5 gallons of water, per person, per day. This will allow for: coffee in the morning, light dish washing (we do paper plates and stuff as often as possible, but eventually you'll have to wash a pot or pan), hand washing, teeth brushing, and a "navy" shower at the end of the day.

We do the math based upon who will be with us, and how long we plan to stay. We have a few extra containers we bring along when the "budget" is larger than our 40 gallon capacity.

TIP... If you're looking for a container (many stores sell 5 or 6 gallon jugs designed for water), make certain the cap/funnel/spout will work with your fresh water fill location.

We got all the way down there and had 6 gallons we couldn't use until we transferred it from 1 jug to another before we could pour it into our tank.
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Old 04-10-2004, 02:59 AM   #10
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR> Lessons on Boondocking <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>
This could turn out to be a great thread. I am assuming that every RVer has boondocked at least one time, right? We boondocked 30 years ago but are now accustomed to having the TV, microwave ... you know all the comforts of home. With the motorhome, we could go to the woods or the baseball field and be right at home because of the generator (and just for a few days).

Now since we have the travel trailer ... its a different story even though we have a generator we could dig out if we had to.

My question is ... for those of you that boondock for months at a time ....

How did you come to the decision that you were willing to make all those sacrfices? I mean living with so little water that you have to haul it in and having to find a place to dump your black water? And having to buy gasoline to run that generator? Or do you have enough solar panels that you don't need a generator? Is it financial and is it worth it? Is it something that you do because you don't like neighbors? Or do you truly like the solitude?
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Old 04-10-2004, 05:23 AM   #11
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We haved been visiting Jolyn Enterprises in Florida this winter and taking advantage of their hospitality to get some work completed on our bus conversion. They sell inverters, solar panels, RV battery systems, etc. (www.jolynenterprises.com), and have 500 acres without electric or water.

While here we have not had any hookups since October 31st, save for a couple of days when we went to a rally. They have a big water wagon that we fill our fresh water tanks from when needed, and we go out about once a month to a local RV park to dump our holding tanks.

We run our generator about 2-3 hours a day, and have two AM Solar panels on the roof with the HPV-22 power boost charge controller. We have lived just like we do in an RV park or anywhere else. This is a typical morning - I fired up the computer and internet dish, which will be on until I go to bed bout midnight. My wife just made coffee. We'll watch TV this evening.

We are building new kitchn cabinets for the bus, so we'll use power saws today, and tonight we'll take nice showers. We have published two issues of our Gypsy Journal RV newspaper while here, and will have another ready for the printer in a week or so.

As you can see, we live normally, we just don't have a power cord or water hose hooked up. Living without hookups DOES NOT mean you have to sacrifice in any way, if your RV is properly equipped.

Has it been worth it? Well, let's see. We use about 1 1/2 gallons of gas a day for our generator. We dump once a month (love those huge holding tanks in our bus!), which costs $5. Right now gas locally is $1.83 a gallon. So figure about $83 a month for generator fuel, $5 to dump, that $88 a month. Pretty cheap for Florida.
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Old 12-22-2006, 10:21 PM   #12
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Don't let your batteries get all the way down. Charge them ocassionally and learn to use less power. You can always add water with a 5 gallon jug and a funnel, but when the holding tank is full you will have to empty. I find using a catalytic heater during the cooler times is better than forced as it saves the batteries. Don't run the TV all day on the inverter and run fewer lights at night than you would in a park.
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Old 12-23-2006, 05:37 AM   #13
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Don in E Texas:
OK, need some help here. Boondocking. Say I wanted to stay dry camping for a week or so -- how do you do that?

Here is where I'm coming from. Our bus conversion has 100 gallons fresh water - 200 gallons combined black/grey water tanks (100 gallons each). Coach is all=electric - diesel generator with 180 gallons fuel available. I don't see I have a problem in any weather - any place. We've been to week-long rally's that had no utilities supplied to RV's and we do just fine.

but..

I have an Airstream TT with far less water and holding capacity. True, I can sleep in the truck (two bunk beds) with engine running (200 gallons of fuel available) and use heater or air conditioning. But how about the limited water and holding tanks? Very hot weather or cold weather?

So my question is: How do you spend a week dry camping in a smaller RV?

don </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
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Old 01-15-2007, 11:04 AM   #14
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Don - (We met last June with David, Mark and others). With your 'stream solar is out for on top, I don't have them either. So, what I did (may work for you) Honda EU2000i, works good for morning coffee, after that fry pan for pancakes, eggs whatever. In the mean time, I had pulled out the old Magnatek converter and put in a PD 9160 charger for the batteries. Changed the batteries from 1 12 volt to 4 - 6 volt golf. Did the same hook up as on Jack Mayer(sp) site series-parallel. In the afternoon fire it up again for evening meal and dessert . Changed many of the hi usage lights out for fluorescent, kitchen, dining, living, one in bath, and outside.

NOTE: Cec could not hear the Honda from the window above it. She had to ask if it was running so that she could use power.

Added an Anderson style plug (small hi-lo) plug between the trailer and truck (parallel the Bargman pos and neg) to allow high amperage (#4 welding cable) for quick charge from the truck as opposed to the #10 in the cords.

With the small running time, and easy use, we went from 3 days (one batt) to 10 days (stopped camping, end of test).

Water - Normally carry 40? gallons. gray / black I don't know. Bladder tank to bring in water and large blue boy to take away. appropriate pumps.

Conserve - Dish water to flush toilet, added a hot water bypass back to the fresh tank for that time to get hot water to the sink. Turn on bypass for 30 seconds and "instant" hot at the rear kitchen sink.

Hope this helps - Bill
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