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Old 12-31-2015, 10:57 AM   #1
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RV Park / Boondocking / Off the Grid... confusion of terms

I have found that these three terms have different meanings to individual trailer owners. Someone at a lower level RV Park might think they are Boondocking. Someone Boondocking at an established campground south of Yellowstone Park might think they are Off the Grid. ... and so on.

Maybe this is something that many might want to express their opinion. There is no right or wrong. I have camped sleeping in the back of my 1967 Bronco collecting fossils in the Badlands of western Nebraska. I have tent camped at those same spots. In 2006 I camped in our new 23 foot Airstream. Our comfort level improved... but this was still: Off the Grid camping.

This would promote a lively discussion to try to define the three most common TERMS used and misused types of "Trailer / RV Camping". YOUR opinion(s) are what make a Forum member want to participate. If you do not participate you will find one member with 15 posts and those with thousands giving the impression that they know more than anyone else. Not true, they just post more often and over time wanting to share their experiences and knowledge. You are just less likely to get into a discussion. I am the current lowest posted member on this Forum. Make me work at making this Forum one that we all can participate and promote smart Trailer camping, no matter how.

(1) RV Park
(2) Boondocking
(3) Off the Grid

How would YOU describe each of these?
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:17 AM   #2
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Rv park.....town
Boondocking......boonies (wilderness)
Off grid......self contained
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:23 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by ancient11 View Post
Rv park.....town
Boondocking......boonies (wilderness)
Off grid......self contained
RV Park = Services

Boondocking and Off the Grid - no services and maybe all by yourself (also called dry camping).
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Old 12-31-2015, 11:36 AM   #4
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RV Park: at least one of water, power, or sewer connection at the camp site
Boondock: parking where there are none of the above. This could be in the middle of a national forest or at a Wallmart.
Off the Grid: a permenant or semi permanent dwelling in a locatin where ther are no services connected. Typically self contained.
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Old 12-31-2015, 07:31 PM   #5
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Dry camping: Camping with no services (water, toilets etc). Can be in a primitive campground with the BLM, FS, etc, but could also be boondocking.

A campground has an established area for camping, operated by some agency or private party. It may or may not have any services.

RV park is a campground with services, usually a minimum of electricity and water.

Like a PP, I also distinguish off the grid as being more a traditional housing arrangement. For example, I know people who literally live at the end of the road in far northern Minnesota who live and even operate a business totally off the grid using solar and generators.
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Old 01-01-2016, 01:26 PM   #6
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Off the Grid and Dry Camping are much alike...

RV Park: Locations and atmosphere vary, but they all have similar amenities.
(1) Electricity. (THE most obvious amenity.)
(2) A dump station or sewer connection at the camp site.
(3) Water AT or scattered among camp sites.
(4) Shower and restrooms with cold and hot water.
(5) Improved individual camp site, usually with picnic table, fire pit.
(6) Pay daily, weekly and even Full Timing rates for longer stays
(7) Private Ownership or Government (Federal, State, Local)

Examples of the "atmosphere" variability
(1)- The RV Park at Boulder City, Nevada has all of the above.
(2)- The RV Park near the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is wooded.
(3)- The RV Park west of Tucson, AZ qualifies, and designed well.
(4)- Lake Meade Recreation Area, Boulder City, Nevada (barely)
(I leave the names out as many may not care.)

Boondocking: Most are National Forest Service campsites
(1) Water pump of spring water or, rarely local town water source.
(2) Dry "out house" concrete, metal or wood restroom
(3) Improved individual camp site, often with picnic table, fire pit
(4) NEVER electricity, sewer, water hookups.
(5) More developed sites charge a daily fee, up to 28+/- day maximum
(6) Less developed site may have no fee at all, 28+/- day maximum

Off the Grid: Most are Hunter's Camps and always "Dry Camps"
(1) Usually off an improved gravel or State Highway access to site.
(2) Usually used as a seasonal campsite for hunters
(3) Off season hunter's campsite with dirt or two rut access
(4) No water. No restrooms. May have a fire pit from previous campers.
(5) National Forest Service, BLM or State land ownership is typical

If you had been a tent camper and now living in luxury within a trailer... Off the Grid is the ultimate goal of your finding that site for OtG.

As you progress from RV to Boondocking to Off the Grid (aka Dry Camping), it becomes more and more... remote camping, with nothing other than what you brought with you, as my definition of OtG.

The most often confused is the, sometimes dramatic change, are Boondocking and Off the Grid Dry Camping. That confusion would be quickly clarified when with an OtG Dry Camper!

I lived as a youngster in a Cabin outside Olney, Montana when my father worked for the Forest Service in the 1950's. No power. No water other than the river. A poorly built cabin covered with tar paper. This was closer to tent camping than Off the Grid! When power was strung to the "cabin" we had a light bulb hanging from the ceiling and ONE outlet. A cellar was our refrigerator and the bear wanted it for their Fast Food restaurant. Can anyone top that one?
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:40 PM   #7
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When I was in the infantry (173rd Airborne LRRP platoon) 1966-67. We did not carry ponchos as they were to noisy and bulky. Very glad that was long ago and far away.

Reed
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reed Cundiff View Post
When I was in the infantry (173rd Airborne LRRP platoon) 1966-67. We did not carry ponchos as they were to noisy and bulky. Very glad that was long ago and far away.

Reed
Yea, discovered poncho liners with the 101st in RVN, and have been using them ever since!
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Old 01-01-2016, 02:49 PM   #9
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Reed and vermilye... yep... the poncho rolled up really nice. Made a good tent.
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Old 01-01-2016, 09:15 PM   #10
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There was a lot of exchange between 173rd and 101st. Folks would do a tour in one unit, go back to US and then go back for a tour in the other.

Ponchos were noisy and death traps for recon. So we just got wet. I never got issued a poncho liner and am still pissed at that. They were great for forward base areas.
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Old 01-03-2016, 06:03 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reed Cundiff View Post
When I was in the infantry (173rd Airborne LRRP platoon) 1966-67. We did not carry ponchos as they were to noisy and bulky. Very glad that was long ago and far away.

Reed
9th & 2nd Infantry from '83 to 93'. (Grenada, Panama, Kuwait, Iraq)
They fixed the ponchos
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:44 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ancient11 View Post
Rv park.....town
Boondocking......boonies (wilderness)
Off grid......self contained
These definitions match my definitions. I would add:

RV Park: Usually with full hookups but with at least electric/water

Boondocking: Once heard someone say "If you can't see the Milky Way you are not boondocking" - I like that definition.

Dry camping: Without any hookups but often in a campground or some sort of "organized" location.

Off grid: Means to me that you are not using any of the services typically supplied by civilization (water, power, TV, etc.).
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Old 01-04-2016, 11:58 AM   #13
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RV Park = Services

Boondocking and Off the Grid - no services and maybe all by yourself (also called dry camping).
Exactly
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Old 01-04-2016, 03:27 PM   #14
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It's very simple:

- An RV park is an area with designated spots to camp with in an RV. An RV park can be private or public and spots within it can have RV hookups or not have RV hookups.

- RV drycamping is camping without RV hookups, anywhere.

- RV boondocking is camping out in the wilderness.

- One can RV drycamp but not be out in the wilderness.

- One cannot (usually) RV boondock camp with hookups.

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.
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