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Old 04-11-2016, 09:44 PM   #1
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Outdoors RV Owners Club
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Posts: 101
First Time Boondocking was first time RV'ing


I am brand new to RV'ing. I have an Outdoors Glacier Peak F26RKS. It is decked out with 400+ watts of solar panels and 450+ AH of batteries. It was purchased so that I could get off the beaten path and stay there for up to 14 days at a time.

Well I decided I was going to head into the hills for its first shake down, ones relatively close to home just to be safe. In essence my first time taking an RV out I was going to be boondocking. That thought somewhat frightened me while simultaneously being very thrilling as well.

Sadly my adventure began with me promptly getting lost. The map I had was not up to date and I lost cell coverage, which I really should of foreseen! Also the GPS in the truck was not very useful as it didn't even have the forest service road I was on. The road was somewhat narrow and very curvy. To get the rig around some of the corners I would have to ensure I put the front of my trucks outside tire as close to the outer edge as possible. To say there were a few tense moments was an understatement! The road was a little bumpy but I didn't think it was to terrible. Well as it was nearing 5 PM I saw this awesome spot of the side of the road. My first thought was "phew a place to park if all else fails!". My second thought was "hmmm...I don't know exactly where I am at so I should unhitch here and then take the truck up ahead and scout things out, worst case I can hitch up and head back down".

Well being new to RV's and 5th wheels it took me longer to get parked and leveled then I would like to admit. The crux of the issue was the site was not super level so I had to move it in multiple times to find the sweet spot. Once I was done I looked around and realized I had a pretty awesome view, with the site aligned east to west with no trees casting shade onto the solar panels. I somehow stumbled into a great spot!! It had a fire pit, with a stack of dried wood even.

So there I setup for the next several days, I tested every aspect of the camper that I could. Found a few things that will need to be taken in for repair, rear stabilizers didn't work via remotes, but overall it was an awesome trip. I love the shower in this rig and the water heater works really quickly, and the max fans did a great job of keeping it cool. I learned that RV's can get quite cold at night, the temperature dropped to the mid 30's while I was there. I am happy to report that the solar works great and plows almost 100 AH into the batteries in normal day. One big downside of the trip is that I burnt the cookies in the oven when I was testing that it worked. It worked a bit too well and cooked much faster then my stove at home.

About the spot. I saw turkeys, deer, and lots of elk sign. I somehow manged to pull in 13 tv stations and could even get cell reception so I could send out by the hill by the camp site. If you had one of those fancy boosters you would be able to get internet from here. The sight is plenty long, could easily accommodate something up to 40 feet, yet I don't know if you would get something that big up that road. If anyone is interested in a nice sight with no neighbors and is relatively close to a town here are the coordinates(outside of Idaho City, ID): N43 47.699' W115 47.813'

I am on the prowl for more great spots in Idaho, Oregon, or Montana, if you know of any please feel free to share.

All in all I am happy to report I completed my first RV trip!
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Old 04-11-2016, 09:59 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Atlanta Ga
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Good for you. Yes, the phones lose their signal and the GPS can trick you while out in the sticks or even in the city. It is a panic moment when you realize you have no idea of whats up ahead. When I get caught in something bad I keep checking for places to turn around and only go so far. I also have a bicycle so at times I've used it to ride ahead to see how tight it is.

Enjoy your travels.
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:09 PM   #3
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Looks like you found a great place! Welcome to IRV2 and enjoy your trips!
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Old 04-11-2016, 10:20 PM   #4
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Good maps compass. Use Google maps in satellite mode most times it will have better road coverage than older topo maps. We always print some out before we leave. Also BLM maps Forest Service maps and maybe some state maps. Glad it was a good first trip!
Getting ready to hit the road, But still getting answers. So thanks for the help! 2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R Ford F53. Roadmaster Eagle 8000. 2001 Ford F150 7700 4x4. Still shopping for toad brakes. FMCA F286179
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Old 04-12-2016, 04:37 PM   #5
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You really had great luck in finding such a great place. We have a 34' fifth wheel so we always scout a back country spot with our 4 x 4 pickup. The fact that you can get in does not mean you can get out.

Absolutely agree with rjxj on his points:
Make sure there are turn around points (as written above)
Ride my mountain bike in a few miles. Have done this a number of times in US (to include Alaska), Canada and Mexico. It is a lot easier than unhitching. I think the longest I ever rode is was about 3 miles to Lago Bacalar in Yucatan and this turned out to be our favorite spot of all time, Laguna Azul. We had a 28' TT then but we are certain our 5th wheel would not get in.
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Old 04-13-2016, 02:49 PM   #6
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I like the idea of scouting ahead. I will have to put that into my future plans.

I am thinking I should get a mountain bike or a small 125cc motorcycle and use it for scouting. But will do a few more trips before committing the $$ to something like that.
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Old 04-13-2016, 05:43 PM   #7
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A lot of folks have small to large motorcycles on their rigs. A small 125 cc dirt bike sounds like a grand idea if you plan to go far in.
Reed and Elaine
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:07 AM   #8
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Looks like a great trip. I would encourage you to look at the Outdoors RV owner's forum on this site. Lots of Idaho folks there.
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