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Old 03-05-2013, 06:32 PM   #15
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Ray, thank you very much for the info that you are posting. We have read through your Blog and most of your posts that you have made on this forum. Your blog Love Your RV! | RV Travel Blog , Product Reviews and more... and
Wheelingit's Wheeling It | Living the Fulltime RV Dream with 12 Paws, 40 Feet and the Open Road we read them quite often to gain tips of....well anything really (locations to camp, items to have, routes, etc.)

We are not full-timers yet. But our time is coming for sure and the information that you and WI provide is really invaluable to all of those (hope we can speak on some of your behalf's) of us whom are either full timing or out for a 2 - 3 week holiday for that matter. Cheers to all of you (Wheelingit this means you too)!!!

However Ray, as a fellow Canadians ourselves, can you fill in some blanks about long term travel in the US? What scenario do you guys have and what are do you have to do for this type of adventure (obviously we are not after all sorts of personal info, just the basics)? What do you have to do prior to leaving Canada for the US? As far as mail goes, I'm sure you are direct deposit for bills etc., but what about tax filing, and other types of mail that don't get handled by DD? What is the maximum stay in the US? We hear lots of things and sometime the stories conflict, but we would rather hear from those that know and / or, who are actually going through it.

It's Blogs like both of yours that really prompt us to get out and see North America (basically). Thanx a bunch and we look forward to any future posts that you both will have.

Happy travels,
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Old 03-05-2013, 10:22 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlyFox View Post
Ray, thank you very much for the info that you are posting. We have read through your Blog and most of your posts that you have made on this forum. Your blog Love Your RV! | RV Travel Blog , Product Reviews and more... and
Wheelingit's Wheeling It | Living the Fulltime RV Dream with 12 Paws, 40 Feet and the Open Road we read them quite often to gain tips of....well anything really (locations to camp, items to have, routes, etc.)

We are not full-timers yet. But our time is coming for sure and the information that you and WI provide is really invaluable to all of those (hope we can speak on some of your behalf's) of us whom are either full timing or out for a 2 - 3 week holiday for that matter. Cheers to all of you (Wheelingit this means you too)!!!

However Ray, as a fellow Canadians ourselves, can you fill in some blanks about long term travel in the US? What scenario do you guys have and what are do you have to do for this type of adventure (obviously we are not after all sorts of personal info, just the basics)? What do you have to do prior to leaving Canada for the US? As far as mail goes, I'm sure you are direct deposit for bills etc., but what about tax filing, and other types of mail that don't get handled by DD? What is the maximum stay in the US? We hear lots of things and sometime the stories conflict, but we would rather hear from those that know and / or, who are actually going through it.

It's Blogs like both of yours that really prompt us to get out and see North America (basically). Thanx a bunch and we look forward to any future posts that you both will have.

Happy travels,
Thanks! We started our adventures by selling our house and getting rid of a lot of our stuff. We took a year and traveled. Now we have transformed to Snowbirds.

In BC if your in the province for 5 years you can apply for a 2 year travel period out of province and still keep your BC Medical coverage. We did that and purchased extra travel insurance from BCAA.

We also searched for and found insurance to cover us for personal liability, plus we have the normal truck insurance and trailer insurance.

Our mail goes to relatives places and we claim my wife's parents place as our residence. Taxes are done online along with everything else.

I have an electronics repair/tech business I run part time when in BC and my wife has her own business doing software development, writing and photography. We keep our small businesses active but only earn money when in Canada.

When in the States we live very frugally. Campground Membership and lots of free dry camping keeps the camping expenses down, this year we stay in an area longer to save fuel and cook our own meals, etc.

You can stay in the US for 6 months on the standard tourist entry visa and if you need to stay longer can apply for an extention. We did that during our year long trip and stayed in the US for 9 1/2 months. The filing fee was $290 for the paper work. We filed while in the US and they granted us the extension.

Basically we make it work and love it.

Ray
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:16 PM   #17
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Ray, thanx for your response. We are from BC as well (live in the Kootenays). Do you know what the rules are for re-entry into the US after your 6 month or 9.5 month visas? Kind of assuming that it would be the amount of time allotted per year to be in the US.
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Old 03-06-2013, 11:27 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SlyFox View Post
Ray, thanx for your response. We are from BC as well (live in the Kootenays). Do you know what the rules are for re-entry into the US after your 6 month or 9.5 month visas? Kind of assuming that it would be the amount of time allotted per year to be in the US.
It's in the end up to the border guard. I've heard of people coming out and going back in within a short time and others that were denied entry.

A good forum for info is Canucks Abroad

Another thing to know is:
If your in the US longer than 183 days in a calendar year you have to file a 8840 form to the IRS.

Here is the link

Cheers Ray
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:47 PM   #19
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Love the pics of Gooseneck State Park, especially the one with your camp chairs and that amazing view. Sounds like you're having a wonderful time!

We've got some boondocking hints on our website too...

Boondocking - A "How To" Guide for Boondocking in an RV - Roads Less Traveled

Washing your RV - How to keep your RV clean while Boondocking - Roads Less Traveled
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Old 03-07-2013, 08:56 PM   #20
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Love the pics of Gooseneck State Park, especially the one with your camp chairs and that amazing view. Sounds like you're having a wonderful time!

We've got some boondocking hints on our website too...

Boondocking - A "How To" Guide for Boondocking in an RV - Roads Less Traveled

Washing your RV - How to keep your RV clean while Boondocking - Roads Less Traveled

Great articles, thanks for the links!

Ray
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Old 05-16-2013, 06:37 PM   #21
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Well said I agree! Really looking forward to it myself!
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlyFox View Post
Ray, thank you very much for the info that you are posting. We have read through your Blog and most of your posts that you have made on this forum. Your blog Love Your RV! | RV Travel Blog , Product Reviews and more... and
Wheelingit's Wheeling It | Living the Fulltime RV Dream with 12 Paws, 40 Feet and the Open Road we read them quite often to gain tips of....well anything really (locations to camp, items to have, routes, etc.)

We are not full-timers yet. But our time is coming for sure and the information that you and WI provide is really invaluable to all of those (hope we can speak on some of your behalf's) of us whom are either full timing or out for a 2 - 3 week holiday for that matter. Cheers to all of you (Wheelingit this means you too)!!!

However Ray, as a fellow Canadians ourselves, can you fill in some blanks about long term travel in the US? What scenario do you guys have and what are do you have to do for this type of adventure (obviously we are not after all sorts of personal info, just the basics)? What do you have to do prior to leaving Canada for the US? As far as mail goes, I'm sure you are direct deposit for bills etc., but what about tax filing, and other types of mail that don't get handled by DD? What is the maximum stay in the US? We hear lots of things and sometime the stories conflict, but we would rather hear from those that know and / or, who are actually going through it.

It's Blogs like both of yours that really prompt us to get out and see North America (basically). Thanx a bunch and we look forward to any future posts that you both will have.

Happy travels,
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Old 05-16-2013, 08:29 PM   #22
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I love your writing! Just told my wife, "we need to try some boondocking" the only thing I think I would have to disagree with is the firearm thing. I am not really a gun person, but think that if I was out there amongst myself, I would feel a lot safer if I knew I has a gun if needed. Especially if I had my wife or kids with me. Too many crazies out there! But power to you! I love your Moxie!
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:03 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by raytronx View Post
As seen on my blog http://LoveYourRV.com

These last few months traveling the US South West we have really embraced dry camping without hookups or also called Boondocking. We thoroughly enjoy boondocking. Usually there are little or no camping fees, beautiful scenery, peace and quiet and as large as you want camping area. Nowadays getting out and camping in a remote looking area doesn’t mean not being in touch. Many great boondocking locations have good cell and internet data coverage.
I’m not a hard-core dry camper by any means. Some folks I see are out there, stay for months at a time and have advanced setups for it. I’m more the 5-7 day type of dry camper then back to a full hook-up campground for a while before venturing out again. So from my point of view here are my boondocking basics.
Water

The more water you can carry the better. I’m glad when we were shopping for a trailer we went for one with a fairly large 60 gallon fresh water tank. We also have 3 drinking water containers totaling 8.5 gallons. When dry camping the longer you can conserve water the longer you can stay out there. It’s a compromise between convenience and conservation. For our tank to last for 5-7 days we can usually both take 2 quick showers and the rest of the days sponge baths. Dishes I do once per day and try using as little water as possible. We us our own toilet and just try to limit the water there also. There are many tricks to increasing your water saving and at the articles end I will post some links if you want to explore it more.

Craggy Wash BLM camping near Lake Havasu
Food

Pick foods that have a longer shelf life and meals that don’t require a microwave. I have enough generator power to use the microwave but it is a bit of a pain to set up and run them just for that. Pasta , Chilli and Casserole type dishes are great. After the sun goes down and it gets cooler its nice to have a yummy casserole in the oven heating the rig, also the leftovers can stretch to the second and third days.

View from free campsite at Goosenecks State Park
Waste

We never have to worry about over filling our black and grey tanks as the capacity exceeds our fresh water by a fair margin. I do add a little Borax detergent and Calgon Water Softener to the black and kitchen tanks when dry camping. Because I’m using less water the concentration of waste is greater so the Borax and Calgon helps with odor control and keeps the waste from sticking too bad to the tank walls.
As far as garbage goes I collected it first in kitchen bags and then transfer those to a large heavy black bag. This bag I keep in a wooden storage box in the truck bed where critters can’t get at it and it won’t smell up the rig. Then I dump it at the next full hook-up campground, city waste dump or a fuel stop. If I’m using the fuel stop dumpster I always buy my fuel and then ask to use their dumpster. After paying $100 dollars for diesel I find most say sure.

Free BLM camping at Quartzsite, AZ
Power

Our power is provided by a generator charging up the batteries. We don’t have solar yet but most serious dry campers do have it. So far we aren’t dry camping quite enough year round to warrant the cost. We have a set of nice quiet running Champion generators and 3 deep cycle batteries. The batteries are split into 2 separate banks. One bank has 2 six volt T-105 Trojan brand golf cart batteries. These are our main dry camping batteries that we use. They have a total capacity of 225 Amp hours. The second bank consists of one heavy-duty 12 volt deep cycle 85 AH battery that I keep charged up in reserve.
It’s great to have this reserve battery. Some nights when it’s really cold the furnace will run more often and wear down the main bank. If we are leaving the next morning rather than run the generator to recharge I can just flip my battery switch over to the fresh reserve and have plenty of power for bringing the slide in and using the power loading jacks.
How much we have to run the generator depends on how power-hungry we want to be and night-time temps. We both use computers, mine is a laptop and Anne’s is an IMac desktop, plus various other gadgets get recharged. We haven’t invested in the low power LED lighting yet so try to use just one or two lights at night. Usually a couple of hours run time each morning and evening does the job, but if it is really cold at night and furnace fan will be drawing more power then it takes a little more time to get a good recharge in the morning. Also if we feel like watching a TV or a movie it can add to the time.
For those times when the generator is not running and producing AC power I have installed a 1000 watt inverter. It provides plenty of power for our computers, device charging and small appliances.

Free camping on private land near Yuma.AZ
Fuel

When boondocking we use LP gas for our refrigerator, stove, hot water and furnace. Also gasoline is used to power the generator. LP gas consumption varies depending on the night-time temps as the furnace is a big user of it. Generally though a 30 pound cylinder lasts a week and we have two on board so could easily go two weeks without a refill. The Champion generator averages a gallon of gas a day, so a five gallon jug and the gallon in each generator’s tank gives us a weeks worth.

Goosenecks State Park,UT dry camping spot
Picking a spot

For finding a good spot to boondock I generally go by the advice of others that have been there first hand. I research in forums, blogs and camp directories. Being that our truck is not 4 wheel drive and we are towing a mid size trailer I need to know the area really well before venturing down some gravel road. Last thing you want to do is be stuck in the boonies or damage your rig. I usually pick spots that are not too far from a paved highway and are not hilly and prone to the ground getting muddy. Satellite images can really be helpful also by giving you a bird's eye view of the terrain, I always scan these no matter where I’m heading.
When setting up at that perfect spot a few things to keep in mind.

[*]Sun. What is the path of the sun? We have large windows at the slide side and back so how I orientated the trailer has a major effect on the inside temps. If it’s cold weather I want the heat from the windows and if hot I want them on the shady side.[*]Wind. If the wind in an area blows mostly from one direction you may want to have the trailer blocking it for you so it’s more enjoyable to sit outside.[*]Rain. Are you setting up in a dry wash area that may turn into a river if a storm hits. Does the soil have decent drainage.[*]The campers nearby. How are they powering themselves? If you see everyone is using solar don’t camp real close and fire up your generator. move a good distance away.


Free Boondocking near Borrego Springs,CA
Safety

This is always a big concern for folks that have never boondocked. It seems like a scary thing to be out all alone and isolated in the wilderness but if you were to logically look at statistics many more things you do every day are far more dangerous. Driving down any interstate, taking a shower, walking down stairs, etc. are all more dangerous. Best thing to do is trust you common sense about things and if it feels strange in an area just move on. Usually when I arrive in an area I try to say hi to my closest neighbors and have a little friendly chit-chat. Once you’ve spoken with people the fear of the unknown is dispelled and you may have a new friend. On thing about boondocking is you will meet a much more interesting collection of campers than in the average RV resort.
When leaving the trailer I put a beware of dog sign in the window, a lock on the hitch pin and ask a neighbor if possible to keep and eye out. We don’t have guns and prefer not to but just think, the would-be bad guys don’t know that.
Always tell someone were your going. We email family our destinations and the approximate time we will be out. you may also want to look into a satellite finder device.


Anza-Borrego State park area
Boondocking Links

Here is a some sites I’ve found useful for learning about boondocking and where to go.
The Good Luck Duck: Boondocking Resources

Wheelingit.Wordpress.com Boondocking section

Oldman2 -Nice info with lots of pictures

Coverage Ipad/Iphone app – tells me where I can expect cell and data availability
Allstays – great campground locator site with info on disperse camping as well.

Conclusion

There you have it, my RV Boondocking Basics. It's what works for me at this stage of my RV dry camping experience. In the future I hope to install solar, more battery power and increase my fresh water capacity. What are your boondocking tricks and tips? Places you have found?
Very informative we r very new to rv-ing and I was curious about dry camping
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:07 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by raytronx View Post

Thanks! We started our adventures by selling our house and getting rid of a lot of our stuff. We took a year and traveled. Now we have transformed to Snowbirds.

In BC if your in the province for 5 years you can apply for a 2 year travel period out of province and still keep your BC Medical coverage. We did that and purchased extra travel insurance from BCAA.

We also searched for and found insurance to cover us for personal liability, plus we have the normal truck insurance and trailer insurance.

Our mail goes to relatives places and we claim my wife's parents place as our residence. Taxes are done online along with everything else.

I have an electronics repair/tech business I run part time when in BC and my wife has her own business doing software development, writing and photography. We keep our small businesses active but only earn money when in Canada.

When in the States we live very frugally. Campground Membership and lots of free dry camping keeps the camping expenses down, this year we stay in an area longer to save fuel and cook our own meals, etc.

You can stay in the US for 6 months on the standard tourist entry visa and if you need to stay longer can apply for an extention. We did that during our year long trip and stayed in the US for 9 1/2 months. The filing fee was $290 for the paper work. We filed while in the US and they granted us the extension.

Basically we make it work and love it.

Ray
Ray love your post, very informative.

Ray you mentioned that you live "very frugally" when in the states and I realize "very frugally" is a relative term. However, could you please give me an idea how much you actually spend each month (the average) excluding vehicle and RV payments, insurance, maintenance, etc..which obviously would vary with the type of RV rigs and how they were purchased. I am just looking to get an idea exactly how frugal someone can actually be while living your lifestyle. I'm retiring this year and planning on heading west for 8 months next year. I am looking to get a realistic idea of the expenses associate with the travels and what I should expect. Your experience in this area appears to be evident and I think others are out here wondering the same thing.

Thanks again Ray for a great article.
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Old 06-19-2013, 10:53 PM   #25
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Ray love your post, very informative.

Ray you mentioned that you live "very frugally" when in the states and I realize "very frugally" is a relative term. However, could you please give me an idea how much you actually spend each month (the average) excluding vehicle and RV payments, insurance, maintenance, etc..which obviously would vary with the type of RV rigs and how they were purchased. I am just looking to get an idea exactly how frugal someone can actually be while living your lifestyle. I'm retiring this year and planning on heading west for 8 months next year. I am looking to get a realistic idea of the expenses associate with the travels and what I should expect. Your experience in this area appears to be evident and I think others are out here wondering the same thing.

Thanks again Ray for a great article.
Your welcome, We averaged about $1000 a month. Biggest expense is fuel for the Truck, LP gas and Generator. Maybe a third of that. The Truck fuel varies wildly as the month we come south and head north is a couple thousand miles trip, and the months spent in the South West very little Truck fuel is needed some months.

Camping was about 200-250 a month. The rest is food, WiFi, consumables, entertainment etc.

Can't wait to head back this fall as we paying more than twice that on average here in Canada.

Cheers Ray
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Old 06-20-2013, 11:50 AM   #26
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Nice article!!! Thank you!

You gotta get solar! Of course check out: HandyBob's Blog Making off grid RV electrical systems work

Giving up your generator will vastly improve your life, and it shouldn't cost an arm and a leg if you follow Bob's advice and not most RV solar dealers! We Boondock exclusively and a 135W panel keeps our batts charged up and has done so for three years w/o ever having to use a batt charger. Out batts are 7 year old interstates which just refuse to die now that they are fully charged as HandyBob suggests!

We use a portable Big Buddy heater rather than the horrible Suburban beast that comes with most rigs. It'll save so much electric and gas!!!
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Old 06-20-2013, 12:13 PM   #27
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Nice article!!! Thank you!

You gotta get solar! Of course check out: HandyBob's Blog Making off grid RV electrical systems work

Giving up your generator will vastly improve your life, and it shouldn't cost an arm and a leg if you follow Bob's advice and not most RV solar dealers! We Boondock exclusively and a 135W panel keeps our batts charged up and has done so for three years w/o ever having to use a batt charger. Out batts are 7 year old interstates which just refuse to die now that they are fully charged as HandyBob suggests!

We use a portable Big Buddy heater rather than the horrible Suburban beast that comes with most rigs. It'll save so much electric and gas!!!
I hear ya Bob.

Unfortunately my wife has a phobia about propane, and would never go for the Big Buddy or similar so I'm stuck with the big furnace, she also loves heat at night. Going to look into some solar when we head down south this fall. Would be nice to run the generator a little less.

Thanks Ray
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