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Old 06-08-2020, 12:41 PM   #1
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Newbie boondock question

We have never really boondocked. Weve stayed at a few Harvest Host locations and enjoyed that. I really want to try a real boondock adventure. We are headed to the west coast in July/August (from Texas). I had been planning on staying a few days at an RV Park in Sedona. But Im thinking might it be time to try a short boondock in the Sedona area. It looks like there is a popular boondock location off Forest 525 Rd. Some thoughts/questions:

1. We have a 40 class A motorhome. Reading up on various websites, it seems some have not had any problems with the road - just take it very slow. I think the further back you go, the rougher the road. I would plan on disconnecting our tow vehicle first, drive it in to make sure the road is ok for our MH. If not, Ill move on to an RV Park. Anyone been back in this area in a 40 class a?
2. We are totally self- contained with a diesel generator. Water supply would not be a problem for a few days. We have a 100 gal diesel tank - so I wouldnt have a problem running the generator 24 hrs/day if needed - including running the A/Cs 24 hours for 2 - 3 days. I just hope I dont bother other campers when running our generator. Of course, this will be in July...so I figure anyone else nearby would be running their A/C and thus their generator?
3. Ive read that this boondock area can get very busy during spring/fall. Supposedly July/Aug are slower months. So Im hoping the camp areas will be a little more open, less Jeep tours, etc. if not, I might as well stay at the RV Park. Any thoughts on how busy this area might be in July?

Or am I just crazy for thinking about doing this in July? Thanks for your ideas/thoughts in advance. Dave
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Old 06-08-2020, 12:47 PM   #2
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1) You should be fine, I don't believe we we've been down that particular road but the roads in that are are generally well enough established. We scouted that area a few months ago in our Jeep before deciding to head up to Flagstaff, instead (for reasons unrelated to the roads). You have the right idea of testing it out with your toad first.

2) Keep in mind that running your generator 24/7 means more wear and tear, oil and filter changes, and just general maintenance. On an Onan diesel I believe the interval is every 250 hours, so you should be fine but be sure to stay on top of that. Being a built-in Onan, it should be fairly quiet but don't park next to other campers. Not everyone will be running their generators - some can run AC off solar, others will be making do with Maxxair fans, ventilation, and wet rags. Common courtesy would be to give others their space, especially if you intend to run your genset.

3) I doubt you'll run into too many people out there. Sedona is nice but will be hot, accross from Sunset Crater just north of Flagstaff might be a better intro to boondocking for you and is fairy close. Whatever you do, have fun.
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Old 06-08-2020, 02:39 PM   #3
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Thank you for the info and quick response.
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Old 06-08-2020, 02:40 PM   #4
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Sedona's weather is a bit odd. It is quite high - about 4300-4400 feet - so it might well be reasonably cool once the sun goes down. We generally avoid Sedona during the middle of the summer but you might be lucky with the weather patterns.

Sedona sells special parking passes and if you expect to stop on the side of the road while in the city to look at some of the beautiful rock formations you should expect to have to buy one. Otherwise you might end up with a fairly pricey ticket.

I don't know where you will be heading after that but we sometimes take the back roads east of I-15 from just north of Oak Creek Canyon down toward Payson and that drive is both beautiful and has some very nice boondocking locations. Also, if you do head that way, AZ 260, which goes from Payson to Heber-Overgaard, is full of NF campgrounds and great boondocking locations and the area is high enough - about 7600 feet near Woods Canyon Lake - that it is often still pleasant during the summer heat.
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:02 PM   #5
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Our plans after Sedona is heading to the beaches near San Diego. Thanks for the parking pass tip.
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Old 06-08-2020, 08:06 PM   #6
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My thought is you get some much higher elevation / cooler options going just a few miles north. Sedona is at 4,500 feet, where Flagstaff just 30 miles farther north is at 6,900 and just north of there you find places that are even higher.
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Old 06-08-2020, 11:48 PM   #7
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We've stayed along the road (also called Loy Butte Rd.) with our 40' MH & Jeep. We didn't have to drive far before finding a great spot. Note that if you see someone with solar and you will be running your generator a lot, it's common etiquette not to park close to them.

If looking for a place with hookups we love Dead Horse Ranch State Park in nearby Cottonwood. It's an easy drive into busy Sedona.

https://www.campendium.com/the-main-drag-525

Here's a YouTube to give you an idea of the nice spacing you'd have .... there are a couple more:

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Old 06-09-2020, 07:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Dhilbe View Post
Our plans after Sedona is heading to the beaches near San Diego. Thanks for the parking pass tip.
There are also some small parking areas along the main road into Sedona from the south that do not require use of the parking pass. That is mainly for those who wish to stop alongside the road to get out and look at the scenery.

As for your trip to San Diego, you have several choices - I-40, I-10 or I-8. We drive to San Diego a couple of times every year and always try to take I-8 as it is in better shape and far less busy and you don't have to go through Los Angeles or its suburbs. You also get to drive past Dateland and stop for their great date shakes, but that is just a bonus ... My wife loves them and we generally stop every time we go through that area.
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Old 06-09-2020, 07:53 AM   #9
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In July Sedona will be hot with the likely monsoon storms each afternoon. 525 is a rough (washboard) gravel road. Even in the jeep I had to drive very slow to avoid rattling teeth. 525 (between Sedona and Cottonwood) will be even hotter than Sedona by a few degrees. Personally, we'd do the RV park, but that's just us.


AJMike must have meant I-17, not I-15. Flagstaff will be about 10-15 degrees cooler than Sedona. Rancho Sedona is a very nice campground but hard to get reservations.
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Old 06-10-2020, 07:26 AM   #10
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AJMike must have meant I-17, not I-15. Flagstaff will be about 10-15 degrees cooler than Sedona. Rancho Sedona is a very nice campground but hard to get reservations.
Yes. Sorry. I guess I mis-keyed. I-17. I-15 is in Western California.

Rancho Sedona is indeed quite a nice RV park, and within walking distance to the Tlaquepaque Arts shopping area, but it is a bit pricey.
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Old 06-10-2020, 12:38 PM   #11
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My #1 rule. Make sure you go out there with EVERYTHING you want in order to have a great time. Write a list! Check it twice! Once I went out and forgot my flippin generator. I was servicing it and left the dang thing in my garage (before I had solar). At night time I like to watch TV and stay up very late playing on my computer too. I did not have a good time, and actually came back two days early because I was bored out of my mind at night. I am a night owl, and bringing my telescope didn't even help my boredom. Normally when I boondock I will stay up until 2 or 3 am and then sleep until 10 or 11 am. I NEED something to do at that time, and I hate to read, and I had my desktop computer instead of laptop so that was no good. So from then on I wrote a checklist.. .A LONG checklist I put on the inside wall of my 5th wheel. Since then I have solar as well. That was my first purchase when I got back.

I was by myself. No pets.
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Old 06-10-2020, 04:45 PM   #12
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Thanks again for all the info.
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Old 06-11-2020, 04:38 PM   #13
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I have begun my summer of boondocking in Flagstaff. Sedona is wayyyy too hot. Plenty of spots for you near Flag. Take a look at a-1 mountain, FS road 222 and many more. It is so nice, you wont need ac. It was 35 on Tuesday. I personally camp off of Woody mt rd, but you need to find your own spot.
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Old 06-15-2020, 03:14 PM   #14
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I also say go to Flagstaff. Much nicer weather there and only a few miles away. There are several places to camp up in the woods there. Stoneman lake, lake Mary, the cinders, Kelly canyon, munds park, black Bart's RV park,
and just about anywhere in the woods up there.
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