Journey with Confidence RV GPS App RV Trip Planner RV LIFE Campground Reviews RV Maintenance Take a Speed Test Free 7 Day Trial ×
RV Trip Planning Discussions

Go Back   iRV2 Forums > RV LIFE STYLES FORUMS > RV'ing On A Budget
Click Here to Login
Join iRV2 Today

Mission Statement: Supporting thoughtful exchange of knowledge, values and experience among RV enthusiasts.
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2021, 01:46 PM   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 569
Budget Boondocking

I could have put this in boondocking but decided to put it here because the budget is the main reason for the post.

So far Iíve booked KOA campgrounds for four nights and then boondock for three and then repeat the four and three night schedule. My definition for boondocking is to be without power and water and Iíll be staying at rest stops and truck stops so itís not like Iím out in the middle of nowhere. Iím doing this so I can keep moving and save money.

My question is when I have shore power can I freeze several one gallon jugs of water and then put them in the refrigerator and use it like an ice chest when I donít have shore power. Has anyone tried this? Is this practical or am I way off base?

Any and all tips and suggestions is appreciated.
HenryH001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 RV Forum Today - It's Totally Free! RV Community - Are you about to start a new improvement on your RV or need some help with some maintenance? Do you need advice on what products to buy? Or maybe you can give others some advice? No matter where you fit in you'll find that iRV2 is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with other RV owners, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create an RV blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 12-02-2021, 01:55 PM   #2
Senior Member
dizcom's Avatar

Freightliner Owners Club
Holiday Rambler Owners Club
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 1,423
It seems unlikely, but it depends on your refrigerator, how often you open it, what you plan to keep in it, and how cold it needs to be kept. A refrigerator isn't designed to work like a cooler. The insulation is different and the door opens to the side, which will exchange air faster than a top opening cooler. Have you thought about just getting a well-insulated cooler? Seems like you could do what you're trying without involving the refrigerator and frozen water, but you'll need to experiment some. Some of the newer coolers are fantastic for a couple of days, but it just depends on what you want to keep in it and for how long and how cool it needs to be kept.

Try just putting a gallon of frozen water in your refrigerator and turn it off. My guess would be that the water would be completely thawed overnight.
2021 Holiday Rambler Armada 44LE
2021 Jeep Wrangler High Altitude toad w/Ready Brute Elite II
dizcom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 02:38 PM   #3
Senior Member
Join Date: Jan 2021
Posts: 169
The fridge won't run forever on one tank but it will run a long time, just let it go to LP when you unplug.
2004 Winnebago Adventurer - W22
2013 Hyundai Elantra coupe - toad
2010 Ford Ranger - toad
K Charles is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 11:38 PM   #4
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2021
Posts: 569
Originally Posted by K Charles View Post
The fridge won't run forever on one tank but it will run a long time, just let it go to LP when you unplug.
Thanks. I think Iíll do just that. Currently Iím in chilly weather and I think my idea might last longer than in the summer.
HenryH001 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2021, 11:58 PM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 314
When my 8 cuft dometic died I used 2 one gallon frozen jugs of water I got at a convenience store to keep the temp down in the fridge. It lasted almost 3 days with minimal openings. It didn't really keep meat and such at a safe temp but it keep my medication cold and bottled and canned beverages at a tolerable temp to drink.

I wouldn't count on that method.

But I've run that fridge in the summer for 4 days straight on LP and barely used any.

I do have a $200 igloo rotomolded cooler that has gone 7 days in the heat and keep safe temps. That I'd trust, but the gas consumption for these fridges is tiny so just put it on auto more if you can
2021 Flagstaff 21DS behind a 2015 Silverado 2500HD
Renogy bits: 3000W Inverter/Charger, 400Ah LiFePo4, 40A DC-to-DC. Rich Solar bits: 400W of panels, 40A MPPT. Misc bits: LevelMatePro+, SolidRemote based wireless controlled LED storage lighting
TravelSolo is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2021, 01:01 AM   #6
Senior Member
RealNiceTent's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2021
Location: Northern Nevada
Posts: 304
My 8 cu ft Dometic has been on since probably June mostly on propane. I loaded on a total of 19 gallons of propane all season and have over 3/4 tank of propane now. That is all the propane we have used for cooking, hot water, the fridge and a fair amount of time on the furnace. We are over 7000 ft in the Eastern Sierra spring to early fall, and we froze in Oregon in October, here at home I keep it set at 45 so nothing freezes and we've been in the low 30's at night for a month. The fridge uses practically nothing, the burner is an overgrown pilot light.
Dave & Kandi & Indica the Chorkie pup "Big Blue"
2001 Holiday Rambler Admiral 30D w/ 2nd slide
2000 P32 7.4 4L80E wide track J71 18/21K
RealNiceTent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2021, 04:22 AM   #7
Senior Member
markandkim's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 309
Would save that much with a monthly rental in some places.
Navy Retired
2020 Ram 2500 Big Horn 6.7 Diesel
2022 Grand Design Reflection 315RLTS
markandkim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-25-2022, 11:58 AM   #8
Join Date: Apr 2021
Location: Hanover, VA
Posts: 50
I'm a bit puzzled over the combination of "KOA" and "budget". We're budget-minded (savvy?) and we were shocked to find what KOA charges.

Many NPS-campgrounds offer hookups at half the cost of KOA. State Parks cost a little more than NPS, but tend to be nicer.
Black-Bear is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2022, 08:45 PM   #9
Join Date: Mar 2022
Posts: 72
You're not boondocking, you are just camping. Campers are made to be unhooked. Yes, the fridge will run a month on a 20lb tank of propane, less when combined with stove and stuff. You prob have two tanks anyway, and since you are not technically boondocking just refill the propane at the next stop when one goes empty.
Learn to use water as a camper, not as a California house dweller, make the water last.
In the last 25 years I stayed in one campground one night, and that was not primarily for reasons related to camping. I logged many nights camping.
Boondocking is all about how long your provisions/gas/water can last, mostly water is the killer.
Bobertgoes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2022, 09:24 PM   #10
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 2,014
Water doesn't retain a lot of heat or cold . Buy freezer packs and you'll do much better
shootist is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-12-2022, 10:12 PM   #11
Junior Member
Join Date: May 2022
Posts: 21
The last comment prompted some thoughts that I always find interesting. A btu, that we measure the output of A/c's and heaters with, is the amount of heat required to raise one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit. But the fascinating part is that to make a phase change in the water takes a lot more heat. To change a pound of 32 degree ice into a pound of 32 degree water you need to add 143 btu. So a pound of 32 degree ice will cool off 4.5 pounds of your favorite beverage (a six pack) roughly 30 degrees, just in the melting process. But once the ice is melted into water it will only cool off that same six pack about two tenths of a degree for every degree that the water warms up. Pretty cool.
MTranch is offline   Reply With Quote

boondock, boondocking

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Boondocking vs. 'Boondocking' MonkeyClaw Boondocking 149 07-01-2021 04:17 AM
Budget vs Less Budget Trailer and Depreciation EliNomad RV'ing On A Budget 6 11-05-2020 01:51 PM
Budget camping vs budget motels, which is cheaper? Beachcomer RV'ing On A Budget 58 01-16-2017 10:22 PM
Boondocking/ budget camping from Laffeyett, La to Corpus Christie Sparksvonrou Camping Locations, Plans & Trip Reports 7 12-25-2016 12:02 AM
Boondocking guide. Boondocking Atlas. Rickndebw Boondocking 11 10-26-2016 04:38 PM

» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:18 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.