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Old 06-06-2019, 03:11 PM   #1
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Solitary Boondocking

In about 9 years I will retire and I plan to get out of California as I hate the politics here, and never come back. I was planning on being by myself for the first couple years (some family to join after in their own rigs). I was planning on getting a nice Front living space (used) 5th wheel. I LOVE the high desert of Nevada, and the plains of ND/SD/MT and love Idaho, NM, AZ. Basically I am doing a big circle starting in Nevada and just keep running this circle until I can no longer do it. Staying in each spot for a couple months or a few weeks then driving to the next area I would like to stop at and explore.

Anyhow, so I plan on going by myself with a cat and a dog, and I plan on boondocking (as much as you can in an RV with a TX/computer/internet). Have any of you here done the whole solitary thing in the middle of nowhere? Did you get lonely? I am not a people person so I can do things on my own and not really feel lonely, but I have never just left society, only going back for supplies, before. I would like experiences boondocking as a solitary person with pets or without. Fun? Dangerous?


I forgot to mention that I will be between 50-54 (depending on how long until I retire) I plan to retire at 54 but I might be able to at 50. So I will be on the older side of life, and hopefully can do most things by myself. I am mechanically inclined and a good handyman.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:17 PM   #2
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Everyone is different. I love solitary boondocking and feel at peace in the wilds of Arizona. I love the high desert with it's stark landscapes. I read in a tablet so I can haul hundreds of books. If you don't want to be totally solitary then find a place with others not too far away. I like to catch a Tribal Powwow or a rodeo once in a while. Go for it.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:03 PM   #3
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The biggest challenge to your plan will be finding a decent cell signal out in the boonies. I have a Weboost that helps in rural Arizona, but much of the isolated parts of the country have no service. Then you have to go to satellite internet. So it is doable, but you won’t get great speeds.

Most boondocking sites are on federal lands - BLM, National Forests, etc. Most will require that you move 25 miles or more every 14 days.

You can make anything work if you are willing to work hard to find it.
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Old 06-06-2019, 10:13 PM   #4
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Not really the same but kind of... I lived 11 years solo on a 42' sailboat.... sailed from Venezuela and Maine and back .. loved the isolation as well as the people I met in port.

Do it until you don't want to anymore.

I met a guy in a bar in Yost Van Dyke that was looking to buy a sail boat and I just happen to have one so I sold it to him, packed my stuf and moved back to Aridzona..... Next.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:21 AM   #5
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The biggest challenge to your plan will be finding a decent cell signal out in the boonies. I have a Weboost that helps in rural Arizona, but much of the isolated parts of the country have no service. Then you have to go to satellite internet. So it is doable, but you wont get great speeds.

Most boondocking sites are on federal lands - BLM, National Forests, etc. Most will require that you move 25 miles or more every 14 days.

You can make anything work if you are willing to work hard to find it.
I am hoping by the time I retire 5g will be the way to go. It's 100% coverage and all I would need is a wifi type box to get the signal and distribute it to my tv, computer ect ect. I have literally been going through this forum and others the past 10 or so years. I get this little bug in my head that gets me all excited about 10 years ago so I have been researching everything the past 10 years.. It literally means this much to me that I do this once retiring. It's bordering on a scary obsession lol.. I know I will never have the same wonder when I used to do this with my grandpa in his airstream, but dang, if it even reaches 50% of my excitement back then I will have the time of my life.

One big problem though that I have. I have never owned a dually and I have never drove with a trailer attached.. The trailers I was thinking about getting are about 36-38ft too. HOPEFULLY I can get them prior to retiring by a few months and do a few weekend type trips so that I can get some practice in there. I drove my grandpa's when I was 16 but it was a travel trailer and I was just backing up for the most part with him spotting.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:34 AM   #6
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Not really the same but kind of... I lived 11 years solo on a 42' sailboat.... sailed from Venezuela and Maine and back .. loved the isolation as well as the people I met in port.

Do it until you don't want to anymore.

I met a guy in a bar in Yost Van Dyke that was looking to buy a sail boat and I just happen to have one so I sold it to him, packed my stuf and moved back to Aridzona..... Next.
I have actually thought about boating as well, or house boating, but the cost seemed to be more than boondocking for the way I was looking to live (would need big boat). Sounds real exciting though!
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Kahoona View Post
Everyone is different. I love solitary boondocking and feel at peace in the wilds of Arizona. I love the high desert with it's stark landscapes. I read in a tablet so I can haul hundreds of books. If you don't want to be totally solitary then find a place with others not too far away. I like to catch a Tribal Powwow or a rodeo once in a while. Go for it.
OMG you and me both. I lived in Carson City for a couple years and LOVED it. It was gorgeous! It would snow in the winter and was not too hot in the summer. The snow would stick but not last a long time because there was no shade. Very nice in regards to books! Isn't technology great? I am the same way.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:43 AM   #8
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I have actually thought about boating as well, or house boating, but the cost seemed to be more than boondocking for the way I was looking to live (would need big boat). Sounds real exciting though!

B.O.A.T.


Break Out Another Thou$and. IOW, a hole in the water you try to fill with money.


RVing is a slighter cheaper version; how much (if any) cheaper depends your choice of RV type.
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Old 06-07-2019, 10:48 AM   #9
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Dont wait. Get a small trailer now and go out on weekends. See how you like it. Get experience driving with the trailer. when you are ready to retire and go full time you can always upgrade to a bigger rig and truck, or even a Class C with a tow vehicle.
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Old 06-07-2019, 03:23 PM   #10
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If you can settle on something smaller than 34’ you'll be open to many more places to boondock. That large rig will not fit into some of the best places.

You may think you need a larger RV than you truly do. Remember that you can always go somewhere where the weather is nice. You should rarely be trapped inside if you plan it right. The more stuff you carry, the more hassles you'll have.

You might want to consider a toyhauler. The garage area provides a lot of flexibility and having the rear ramp become a raised patio adds about 80 sq ft of walking around space.
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:52 AM   #11
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We boondock unless we are staying with our sons and then it is mootchdocking. We still do not have to plug since solar is sufficient.

We are normally out of cell phone coverage which can be a blessing. Last year we were staying at National Forest Campground and dispersed camping. We had told younger son where we were planning to go. He and family showed up and gave us a real talking to: "we haven't heard from you in two weeks. The whole family has been worried about you!"

I am glad that they were worried about our well being but being out of cell phone coverage means no checking news, Facebook etc. We spend that time hiking, reading, and talking to each other. And then again, it is their turn to worry. Kids traveled in Asia, South America, and EUrope - and we seldom heard from them. They would try to let us know they were OK but they were not where their cell phones worked.

You will find a large number of solo boondockers. Every one we have met has been delightful.

Reed and Elaine
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Old 06-08-2019, 11:47 PM   #12
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Reed: Good post!

We've been in similar circumstances where the kids were worried because they couldn't reach us. We always left them with a tentative schedule so they knew about where we were. Although they didn't come & find us we really got a talking to..... UNTIL we reminded them of all the times we didn't know where they were!

Yes, being without connections is pure heaven!
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Old 06-09-2019, 11:06 AM   #13
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Reed: Good post!

Yes, being without connections is pure heaven!
I agree!
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Old 06-09-2019, 02:22 PM   #14
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Solitary Boondocking

I have a Garmin InReach. It gives you ability to text message via Satellite in case of emergencies. I have the most basic data plan so mainly use if I had an emergency either hiking or in my RV when out of cell coverage.

If Im in areas with no cell coverage for an extended time, Ill use it to periodically text my kids to let them know Im ok.

The unit also provides navigation for hiking.
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