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Old 01-21-2018, 07:11 AM   #1
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Power/water usage boondocking

Am a bit of a newbie to RVing having only had a 2 week stint of it last summer in California, but loved it so much am coming back to the States (from the UK) for more this June and plan on visiting Arizona, southern Utah and western New Mexico over a 2 week period.

However this time round we want to add some boondocking to the experience and are trying to figure out how long we could last out in the sticks, so if some of you RV experts could help guide us that would be brilliant!

We would be 2 adults in a 22-24íRV from Roadbear rentals. This has a 50g fresh water tank, 28g grey water tank and 22g black water tank, which I think would be ok for up to around a week if we skimp on showers/washing up and bring lots of drinking water. Does this sound about right?

However my biggest concern is how long the energy would last?
We would need the lights for a few hours in the evenings, maybe the stove/oven for 30 minutes to cook(though could eat cold food either if needed) and a pot of coffee in the morning. Of course the fridge would be running too and the A/C I suppose during the day.

We would be driving for around 3 hours each day with just overnight stays along the way until the 5th night where we plan to go to a hook-up Rv Park for a few nights.

Would we survive these 5 days considering there would be a good amount of driving along the way which should recharge the battery somewhat? Or would it be advisable to hook-up on say day 3 as well?

Any advice would be greatly appreciated and would help in planning our route!



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Old 01-21-2018, 07:16 AM   #2
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Do you have a generator on your rv . to veg on your equipment

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Old 01-21-2018, 07:18 AM   #3
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A.c. will only work if you are plugged in

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Old 01-21-2018, 07:26 AM   #4
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I checked out the rental company you mention and it does state that the motorhome will have on board generator.

We had a Class C for several years and did a lot of boon docking. If you watch your water and power usage you should be fine. Driving will recharge the batteries and you'll probably be running the AC more then you suspect so the the batteries should stay up.

We boon docked for extended stays and didn't have a problem after we learned some useful tricks. Do some research on IRV2 and I'm sure you'll get good tips with this thread.
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:30 AM   #5
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It sounds like you have a pretty good handle on the usage of water, but unless you have a generator, forget about using the AC. If the rig you are renting has all LED lights, and you don't use a lot of electricity for entertainment etc. You should be fine.
Propane usage will vary depending on how much cooking you do. Get a drip one or 2 cup coffee maker and boil water on the stove.
Or maybe make a large pot of bracing hot tea, don't all Brit's drink tea?
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Old 01-21-2018, 07:31 AM   #6
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If you want to boondock and run AC, you will need the generator running. While its running, it will also charge the batteries.

If not driving every day, you will need to run the generator for a few hours to charge the batteries every day anyway

The thing you need to watch is the RV gas gauge, if the generator runs on it, or propane, if it uses that. In either situation, look for 1/2 to 3/4 of a gallon an hour.

If you use gas for the generator, it will run out at 1/4 tank so you can still drive to get more. The propane will empty the tank, stopping hot water, stove, fridge and generator. You will need to see which setup the rental has.

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Old 01-21-2018, 08:58 AM   #7
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Typical generator usage pattern is to run for a couple hours in the morning while prepping breakfast and to charge the batteries. Then again in the evening when prepping dinner and to charge batteries. Check voltage an hour or two before going to bed and see if another run to charge batteries is needed.

We use bottled water for drinking. Sponge bath every day and a quick navy shower a couple three times a week.

Limit what goes into the toilet to only what must go there. If its yellow let it mellow to save on flushes.

We easily go a week to ten days. Can go two weeks if need be. Then we drop into a FHU campground for a day or two to dump/fill tanks, do laundry, and long showers.

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Old 01-21-2018, 09:02 AM   #8
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Since you will not stay in any one place for more than 4-5 days you'll be able to dump your tanks and refill water along your route. The generator will recharge your batteries and run the A/C.

In June you'll be more comfortable if you stay above 5,000' elevation. It will be getting hot or very hot in some parts of those states.

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Old 01-21-2018, 09:41 AM   #9
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Running the generator on a rental can add up. Wouldn't hurt to figure what tge cost would be so at the end of your trip you don't get generator cost shock. They'll use the hour meter on the gen.
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Old 01-21-2018, 12:34 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone for all the information which is extremely helpful and has put my mind at ease no end.

As I understand it now driving will charge the battery and so will the onboard generator, and using the AC will run on the generator which will in turn charge the battery! Eureka I think I’ve got it! Sounds so simple but I had been trying to figure this out for the last 2 months and after one day on IRV2 I have the answer....wowzers!

From what I can gather from the rental company the generator is fuelled with propane, so I will check where I can refill this before returning the vehicle to avoid the additional cost at the end.

As mentioned yes it is imperative to fuel several cups of tea per day for us lot to survive at any cost!!

Can you get propane at petrol stations or are there specific propane stations?
The propane tank is built into the vehicle as far as I understand.

Anyway once again thanks.

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Old 01-21-2018, 01:03 PM   #11
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Some boondocking in a 2 week trip implies a couple of nights here and there. We have a C with about your tankage and do 3 days between dumps and water fills. Always on tank water, never on city. That is with no special water saving methods and one shower each in the 3 nights of dry camping. BTW, that is the easy way to check what you can do, just run off tank water when regular camping and see what happens. You can watch the fresh to estimate how much you are filling the waste tanks. Dump and fill as required. One or two sessions like that will clue you in for more than an overnight. You can certainly do an overnight.

If you want A/C you will be running the generator. Otherwise the run in the morning and again in the evening lets you run other appliances as needed. That includes the A/C to get the unit cooled off for dinner. If you have a dual fuel water heater switch on the electric while the generator is running. Saves propane.

Propane should last the two weeks for the water heater, stove and refrigerator. The only thing that really eats propane is if you get into some really cold weather with the furnace running full time or have a propane generator.

Hope that helps.
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:17 PM   #12
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Looks like most the info youíll need has been posted.
Iíll just add...Welcome Back!! We love having our neighbors come over to visit!!
Les & Pam
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:06 PM   #13
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It was mentioned earlier but you should check with the rental company to see if there is an hourly charge for generator use.
Generators have a meter that measures the hourly usage and they may charge for the number of hours used.
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Old 01-21-2018, 06:21 PM   #14
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Propane fill stations are not that common. Some larger fuel stations may have propane fill but you'll have to check depending on where you are at. Some campgrounds have propane but usually charge a premium. You should be able to do an internet search for the areas you are at and find an acceptable solution.

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