Friday, June 17, 2011

Getting High in a Bitterroot RV Boondocking Camp in the Montana Rockies!

I don't know if a week goes by that I don't get an email asking how I find good RV Boondocking camps. Every once in a while, I run through it again. I've written 'bout it in my RV Boondocking Tips section and The Book ... at one buck 75, I think that might be worth your time. ;)

Then, as we were preparin' to make this last move, yesterday, it hit me. "Brian I said", I call my self Brian... well, at least when I'm not kickin' me and using bad words and dirty names for some fool mistake...

anyhoo, "Brian" I says; "Ya'll just got that spankin' new video camera. Whyn't you just SHOW 'em how you go 'bout it?"

"Geeze!" I replied to my self... "Ya'll shore is a smarter Cowboy then your looks give ya credit for boy!" :)

So... here is the RV Video Show of Moving camp. We moved from a paved, pay to play, National Forest Campground, that we've shared with other folks; To the Solitude of a shining, high above the Valley of the Bitterroot, genuine, unadulterated, double rectified, motorcycle equipped, RV Boondocking, Long Camp, site!

Just like Cowboy's... the good camps are out there, you just can't see 'em from the road!

Still learnin' the video deal... My accompanyin' music runs out a lil' too soon... but it's kinda nice while it lasts!... least I like it :) see what ya think...



There's a few "Rules" you'll want to keep in mind;

1. Never just start pullin' a big rig up a narrow forest road... you don't want to have to have to back your rig down the road in this video if you find no where to turn around... Do You? Always scout the possible roads on foot, in your tow rig, or in your toad. Play it safe. That's why we use "Organized" National Forest/BLM or other camps, first, in unfamiliar areas... and then, pull out to the camps we've found on our scouting trips.

2. Take it easy. There's no hurry... Take your time pulling up those narrow roads. You'll get there! I was in first gear most of that lil' haul. Bust an axle 'cause you come zippin' around a corner and couldn't stop in time to avoid that big rock that fell down, and you drug a trailer axle over it... and it ain't MY fault! :)

3. Watch your tire position on those narrow roads and tight turns. You don't have to watch so close going down paved roads... but, if you hang an 8' wide rig... off an 8' wide road... and find a big ol' rock... or worse... a deep, deep ravine... you'll be wishin' you'd paid better attention! :)

4. Never pull out into a meadow, without stopping and walking it first. Make sure the ground is clear of big, axle busting rocks, and that the ground itself is firm and dry enough to allow you to pull in... and back out again, without doing damage.

5. Keep a clean camp. There's nothing worse then pulling into an area that people used before you... that's cluttered with beer cans, broken bottles, a fire pit full of plastic bottles and other assorted bits of junk and camper detritus... Not to mention... though they are your neighbors up here... having a 900 lb. Grizzly grace ya'll with an up close and personal experience... 'cause your camp put out such a stink to attract him... is not going to improve your Boondocking memories.

6. Chock your wheels, and pad your jacks... It's a good idea to distribute the weight of your jacks... so they don't sink into the ground... which kind of says you pulled out onto Too Wet ground anyway :) but even on dry ground they can sink in... or if it rains hard while you are in camp...

7. Which brings up; If it does rain... IF... it rains hard and the ground goes soft on you while you're boondocked... The right thing to do... is stay put. Wait a couple extra days if necessary, to let the ground firm back up, before you move... and don't go runnin' in and out tearin' things up in the interim... like some recent neighbors of mine... Be Responsible... Take the time to come and go PROPERLY... and leave nothing but
some transient, shallow, and temporary tracks...

8. Pull into camp with your waste tanks empty and your water full.

9. Use only places that you'll not do damage... Don't pull too far off the road... and for the most part, try to use sites that have been "Traditionally" used in the past... Increasing population puts increasing pressure on everything. We need to do the best we can to minimize our impact.

10. People are always asking where we dump... and the answer is; all over the place. Many Wyoming rest areas have dumps. A LOT of  National Forest Campgrounds have dump stations. Most, if not all, National Parks do. I use sani-dumps website to locate Dumpstations... and... I use the individual National Forest websites as well (every one we  travel thorugh is bookmarked on my laptop), to locate nearby Dumpstations
in the forest. Basically, we just keep our eyes open and dump almost whenever we have the chance.

Truthfully, especially if we've been moving (and the "Stuff" is well sloshed around! :) ... I'll dump if I only have a quarter black tank full. I've never had an issue... but I know some recommend you only dump if you're at least 3/4 or so... I want to hit the bush with that tank empty... the grey water... ummmm..... Think "Tent Camper"... and use your imagination! :)

Well... that's a quick run through of how I go about it... Make your preparations... Remember the 7P's I've mentioned before. P-roper P-rior P-reparation P-revents P-athetically (cleaned up for general audiences!) P-oor P-erformance!

Make your scout... Take your time... and find the best camps you've ever lived in.

Montana Boondocking on the Bitterroot
Brian

Return to the main site of goin' RV Boondocking or Visit my Sister website Motorcycle Touring on Freedom Road

15 comments:

Jeff and Lori said...

Great video Brian!! Makes me want to take the high road looking for a camp. Just one question though. What do you do if about halfway up you meet another rig like yours coming down the mountain?

Brian said...

Kick her into 4 low... and start pushin'! :)

uh.... mostly hope I don't! :) have only run into that one time... and happened to be in one of those slightly wider spots where one of us could pull over so the other could squeeze by...

Mostly, the places we've found there's nobody around... and... I think "Others" tend to move earlier...

... so... by the time we get there, they're already thru...

but.... that's a story still in the making... maybe the next video will show the "Uh Oh!" :)

Trent and Teresa said...

That was a GREAT idea !!

It felt like being there..... we loved it...

More, more, more ...

Hope you have an excellent day, and thanks for your tips and ideas of RV Boondocking....

Sincerely, Trent and Teresa

Brian said...

Trent and Teresa; Awesome! and kinda keeping the "Lily Pad" in the "Family" so to speak... Sweet! :)

RV Adventures said...

I just ordered your RV Boondocking Tips e-book and look forward to reading it soon.

I also enjoyed your video, great job .. i'm excited about getting to do some boon docking this winter. Now if i can just get my husband as excited. I know once we do it and he gets comfortable with it he will want to boon dock all the time. He loves being out away from people. He is just unsure about now having shore power.

I'm having to do baby steps with him .. First was getting him to live full - time on the road :))

Dave Dods off to Mexico said...

Still learnin' the video? Looked great to me. I especially enjoyed the early part where you passed all the campers at the bottom of the hill. I am also glad that Dod is smaller than most full-size cars at 16' long and 7' wide.

Brian said...

RV adventures: We've been full time now in the rig now for more then a year... after an ordeal getting out from under the "House"... and many years of just "wide" circles.

We've only been plugged in, over the past 8 months or so for a few weeks that we stayed at my Sisters in Phoenix...

The rest of the time we live on the batteries... and I'm on the computer a LOT! stands to reason I guess, since my "Online" work is a large and growing part of our income... The only time I need to run the generator; which has been more then I like this year! :) is when the sky is clouded up... and then, with the good 100 amp charger in my big inverter... it charges up pretty quickly...

Once you get in the rhythm (only takes a short while) it's not even a worry... and the solitude up in these "Far out and Long Camps" is Awesome!

Gaelyn said...

Great job on the video and very advice. Glad you didn't meet anybody coming down that mountain road. Your new yard is awesome, as the dogs show. Hope you can handle staying here in one place for at least a little while before your feet start itchin'.

Question: I'm starting to look at a new, at least to me, truck to tow my new, 2004, 36' w/3slides Keystone Challenger. Always been a Ford gal, but like the Cummings. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

Great Job Brian!!!!! I loved the Video!!!

What a great spot!!

You need your own personal ROAD CLOSED sign to leave down at the bottom of the mountain!!!! HaHa

Love your BLOG!!

Mark from Ohio

Brian said...

... and official looking "Road Closed" sign... hmmmm.... What a really good... and reallllly Evil Idea! :) Muuhahahahahahaha! :)

Joe said...

LOLOLO
Kick her in 4 low and start pushin?
Perfect! :)

RV Adventures said...

We've lived 4 years full - time on the road now. First was from Job to Job and now that hubby is retired it's campground to campground, or volunteer project. After 4 years i'm ready to do some serious boon docking adventures. We have the generator and have spent a night here and there in between. Last spring we spent 3 nights at Padre Island without hookups but we didnt' have the needed battery setup for all our needs. (hubby likes his bedtime tv news)

I am researching now all that we need to get setup and looking forward to a winter in AZ to learn a new way for adventures.

Brian said...

Gaelyn; In answer to your truck question. A 36' triple slide is a very nice but heavy outfit.

It's my opinion that those fivers put any pickup towing them at the very upper end of it's capacity... some folks feel beyond.

Either the Ford or the Dodge is gonna pull it... I wouldn't even hitch a Duramax up...

That said... was it me... I think I'd look REAL HARD at a used MDT truck. You can get those for virtually the same price as the pickup... They occupy pretty much the same footprint as a pickup but with a tighter wheel cut can actually turn tighter. The aren't as big as they seem, and the driver view in them, on the road is actually improved over a pickup...

and... with the heavier "Everything" you'll see a much improved handling of the weight and truck durability... not to mention a much more relaxed time driving them.

The fuel economy is going to be pretty much the same, if not better... all in all... a better package.

Now... if an MDT just flat turns you off... my second choice would be a 4500 Dodge dually/chassis cab...but... I think you'd have an easier time finding a nice used MDT... and... have a better Tow Rig... :)

john said...

brian ,did you get hit by all the hail out that way ,,hope all is well ,,crazy weather wow

Gaelyn said...

Thanks for the suggestions Brian. I'm just starting to do research. I'd love to drive a Big truck that handled well. My current is an '88 F250 7.3ltr that's served well for 7 years and now with the bigger Keystone it's time to replace her.