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Old 01-05-2016, 07:48 AM   #15
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We are on beach about 20 km north of Tulum, Yucatan, Mexico. There are spots for about 10 rigs. There is sewer hookup, not great electricity, and not great water. We choose to use bottled water and our solar (but did charge batteries twice when it rained all day). Happy to have sewer hookup.

There are three couples set up in palapas (covering for rig) and seven others traveling. We had on German couple take off for Chile (plan to take two years) and another takes off tomorrow for Chile (taking 15 years to travel around world in Mercedes based expedition level vehicle), one guy from Colorado has been down to Panama and back, a Swiss couple travels down to Costa Rica and a couple from BC have done this once. a South African couple just left for states but have been down to Nicaragua.

So about a third of the folks that go through here are "Overlanders", those that travel through a lot of countries. We have been to Belize and Guatemala but that is as far as we would ever go with a 34' 5th wheel - and we are 75. Their rigs are set for these travels and they need to carry spares and tool - and drive vehicles that can be worked on anywhere. The German had originally thought to get a new Mercedes truck ($200K or more) but the Mercedes folks talked him into getting a 20 year old truck since these do not have the complex electronics in engine et al that could go bad and would not be repairable.

The Overlanders have to figure on boondocking/dry camping almost every stop since RV parks do not exist.

Reed and Elaine
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:06 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Phil G. View Post
It's very simple:

HOWEVER, there is one confusing place that we camp at in California. It is a "private campground" that we go to where the spots are so far apart among hills and trees that you feel like you're "RV boondock camping out in the wilderness" .... but the spots have "water and electric hookups" kindof hidden by stumps or in clumps of grass so that you hardly know that they're there and available. This is ultra-rare type of RV camping ... the fishing is good too ... a few feet from some of the camping spots and you can leave your boat right on the shore the entire time a few feet from your RV.
You're killing us. Where is that hidden gem?
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Old 01-05-2016, 11:29 AM   #17
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From top to bottom in term of hookups, I see:
Motorcoach resort - a place for late model class A owners to gather away from the rest of us and not have to worry about people that drink wine from a box.
RV park - any place with pre-determined sites for RVs to park. Generally implies electric and water hookups at each site, which makes it a step up from a campground that may or may not have water/electric at each site. The line is blurry.
Campground - any place set aside for camping with multiple camping sites. May or may not have electricity or water at each or in general.
Dry camping - camping without a water hookup at your site. When boondocking, you're dry camping, but it can also apply to camping at a state park where you have an electrical hookup. The same issues of water conservation apply regardless.
Off-grid - camping without an electrical hookup at your site. When boondocking, you're off-grid, but it can also apply to camping in a primitive campground or Walmart parking lot. Either way, you're using batteries, solar, and/or generators to get by, unless you've gone truly old school and cooking/heating with just wood or other fuel. Off-grid also implies dry camping, as I've never seen a place with water hookups for RVs but no electricity.
Boondocking - camping out in the boonies away from established RV parks and campgrounds. Walmart camping (Waldocking) isn't boondocking, even though both are off-grid dry-camping outside of established campgrounds. The grid-tied electric lights in parking lot are the first deal killer.

Boondocking is the "in" thing right now, and if you don't do it exclusively, you're not cool, and won't be allow to sit at the good lunch table.
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Old 01-05-2016, 07:19 PM   #18
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You're killing us. Where is that hidden gem?
It wouldn't help others to know ... there's probably very little water in the lake right now and for quite some time (since it's in California).
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Old 01-08-2016, 03:18 PM   #19
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Boondocks is an interesting word, it comes from a Filipino word meaning mountain. Boondocking is a very American expression. As a Canuck I hadn't heard or read it until on these forums. Boonies yes, boondocking, no.To me,it means camping out in the desert without any amenities .The Aussies have another expression "free camp".
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Old 01-09-2016, 07:43 AM   #20
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Boondocks is (or was) a popular military term for being in the back country as infantry during the Vietnam war. The 1965 song "Down in the Boondocks" by Billy Joe Royal was particularly popular back then.
Reed and Elaine
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Old 01-09-2016, 08:49 AM   #21
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If the site has a number or is listed on a map, it isn't boondocking! An often used fire ring made of nearby rocks is acceptable!

Most State, federal, and county/regional parks have loops of dry camp sites. They have numbers, metal fire rings, maybe a picnic table, and some type of toilet nearby.

RV parks... I don't go there so can't answer that!!!

Was at the snow covered S Rim of Grand Canyon yesterday and they have signs that say...

No overnight parking or camping!

I guess it is so you don't confuse the definition of terms!

I did 300 miles of backpacking on the AT. That is a whole nother world!


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Old 01-09-2016, 08:55 AM   #22
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And then there is backpacking....
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Old 01-09-2016, 11:47 AM   #23
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And then .... there is this at over 21,000 feet:

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Old 01-10-2016, 02:15 PM   #24
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Rv park.....town
Boondocking......boonies (wilderness)
Off grid......self contained

I agree with the above. But I also think of Off Grid to also mean without any type of "technology" NO satellite tv, phone, computer... just you and the land.. and your RV. Boon docking = parking somewhere other than an established campground or RV park. (don't people call it boon docking in a Wal Mart parking lot?)
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Old 01-10-2016, 02:36 PM   #25
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I agree with the above. But I also think of Off Grid to also mean without any type of "technology" NO satellite tv, phone, computer... just you and the land.. and your RV. Boon docking = parking somewhere other than an established campground or RV park. (don't people call it boon docking in a Wal Mart parking lot?)
Off-grid is a term borrowed from houses that aren't hooked up to the electric grid, hence "off-grid". Rustic cabins fall in this category, but more frequently the term is used to describe a modern home that has alternative means of getting electricity, be it solar, wind, or generator.

If you're not going to allow any "technology", you can't have the RV in the first place, and need to arrive at your campsite via foot or horseback. I'd call that "going Amish." Don't bring that wood-fueled usb charger either.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:00 AM   #26
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Rv park.....town
Boondocking......boonies (wilderness)
Off grid......self contained

I agree with the above. But I also think of Off Grid to also mean without any type of "technology" NO satellite tv, phone, computer... just you and the land.. and your RV. Boon docking = parking somewhere other than an established campground or RV park. (don't people call it boon docking in a Wal Mart parking lot?)
Hmmmm .... I call overnight RV'ing in a Walmart parking lot type environment "dry camping" .... because no electricity, fresh water, or sewer is provided .... but not boondock dry camping.

Regarding technology when drycamping out in the middle of nowhere ("the boondocks"), I guess I don't know what to call that kind of camping if "boondock camping" is somehow ruled out as a definition depending upon degree of technology used or enjoyed. Personally, I consider it an extremely interesting and fun challenge to see how comfortable you can be within and around a vehicular conveyence way out there as far as possible from civilization with no other support other than what you have brought along.

IMHO there's nothing more rewarding than, say: Taking hot showers, sitting around a wood or a propane evening fire and roasting stuff, watching a full length movie, looking at a pristine sky - perhaps even under an electric blanket in a lounge chair, curling up with a book with propane furnace heat or air conditioning, listening to the right kind of music, perusing the day's hiking or fishing or birdwatching photos in the evening and maybe transmitting these photos to others via long range access to cell towers, looking over the days collected rocks and minerals, surfing the NET, etc..

I say that "boondock camping" is defined by how far out there away from civilization you're doing any kind of camping you want - including all-the-comforts-of-home camping. FWIW, I doubt that Earthroamer owners would appreciate not being described as boondock camping when they're way out there basking in their rig's well engineered self-contained luxury completely of the grid ... for days on end if they wish.

I can't see why folks out in the middle of nowhere carrying their provisions in a vehicle are any different than folks out in the middle of nowhere carrying their provisions in a backpack .... other than just a difference in amount of physical exertion to get there and degree of luxury once they're there. Both styles can be challenging to properly plan, prepare for, and execute.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:27 AM   #27
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Great points, Ray, but what about places like BLM sites north of Yuma? Some have restrooms and water, but they are wayyy off the grid. I don't know if there is a real distinction between OTG and boondocking.
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