Saturday, June 18, 2011

RV Boondocking... How Hard Can it Be?

My answer... Not Very.

Along with "How do you find and get to your camps?" I get asked a lot about the "Necessities"...

Water, Power and the big Nasty... Dumping!

Honestly? I don't see what the big deal is. The rigs are all built, with ALL the facilities you need. The only real difference twixt your house on wheels, and an old, sticks and bricks anchor... is... Capacity.

... and again... just bein' honest here... Folks that live in houses... tend to be pretty careless. Flip a switch, run the faucet... flush the pot...and never give it a thought...Just write the check at the end of the month.

And... at the end of the month, most express lil' surprise... when their water bill tops out over 12 or 15,000 gallons!

I'll tell ya'll what... when you're dumpin' that fresh water into your rig at five gallons a jug... hauled out from your last trip down the mountain (I fill my jugs in Nat. Forest Campgrounds & Pic Nic Grounds a lot)... you quickly learn to not leave that faucet runnin' when you're brushin' your teeth... or washing your hands even!

The two of us? we use less then 25 gallons a day... between the TWO of us combined... a lot closer to 5 or 8 gallons a piece. That's dishes, cooking, flushing, and a Navy shower!

Uh... folks... Thats LESS... then 500 gallons a month! What's that... something like 3% of what's about the average American household usage?... so... all those tree huggin', ratty haired, "environmentalist" buzzards accusing me of operating a "Wasteful RV" can go have surgery... To correct their Cranial Intestinal Inversion!

Now, early on, ya have to think about it. Wasteful habits take a while to erase... but... after a bit? The good habits you build just become automatic.

Same thing when it comes to power. I've got a generator... but I only have to use it... when the weather is, too bad... for too long... The rest of the time... The Solar panels on my rooftop (of which I only have 40% of the planned layout) provide ALL my electrical power! ... and folks... I spend a LOT of time punchin' this keyboard!

What I Don't Do... is leave lights burning in places I'm not... I keep the furnace a lil' lower and use sweaters and lap blankets, and an extra blanket on the bed in the cool weather... I use a "Pocket Inverter" when all I'm doing is running the laptop... unless I'm feeling lazy and don't want to move cords around... and then just punch the button on the big 2000 watt inverter and say to hell with it! :) ... so see... you don't even have to get all fanatical about it!

Now... that big Nasty... Dumping... Everybody seems to focus on... Dumping, when you're boondocking...

It's not a whole lot different then when you're down in a Nat. Forest or BLM campground... except you're farther from the dump stations... so... you have to exercise a lil' forethought... now look... If ... I ... can do it... YOU... can do it...

Go into camp with your tanks empty. On your "Day Trips"... think about it 'fore ya'll head back to camp... Use the facilities along the road... before you go back... take that lil' bit of Load, off your Black Tank. :)

Guys... quit bein' so dang Dainty! You're out in ten jillion acres of Far Country... and you got born, equipped with a special tool to make waterin' the bushes a pretty simple chore! Why use a pint of water to wash away another pint of your own? ... and then have to haul both pints back on down off the mountain?

Quit bein' so squeamish! Take yourself a short stroll... find a thirsty bush... and Go back to Nature! :)

And for finding Dump Stations? Sheesh! They're everywhere... State rest areas, Nat. Forest/BLM/Corps. of Engineer campgrounds.

Many small towns, like Mackay, Idaho have dump stations in roadside parks... use the sanidumps or rvdumps websites to find one... Just learn to pay attention to both the locations as well as.. your need to empty a tank... you'll quickly develop a good rhythm and do just fine.

Our Black tank often carries us more then two weeks... the grey tank? ...uh... like I've said before... when you're out in the emptiness of Far Country... Think "Tent Camper"... :) How do THEY deal with their Wash Water?

But... bottom line? I live real comfortable, and I don't have to think about it much, or work anywhere near as hard... a lot less... then all the hassles and heartburn involved in working for, and supporting the Sticks and Bricks Prison I left behind!

and you know what?... there are benefits to adopting the RV Boondocking way of Living...

You can't get these views, down in town... and they change every few minutes...

... and looking up as you work in the evening...

*The current evening View from my RV Boondocking "Workstation*

Just a little time to learn the ropes...  and you'll be RV Boondocking with the best of 'em!

Livin' High on the Mountain

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


Sue and Doug said...

good for you..thanks for the lesson!..we all need take a few of those ideas and 'roll with them'!!..enjoy the view..looks spectacular!

Dave Dods off to Mexico said...

One of my favorite things in life is watering the bushes.

Gaelyn said...

People who live in "sticks and bricks" could learn A Lot about conservation from RVers. And you even have a bathroom with a view!

KarenInTheWoods said...

Someone once lectured me on all the petroleum I waste with a motorhome.

Well, their 2 cars mileage equals my mileage. Their house takes a lot more petroleum and power to heat, light and cool. Their large 4 bedroom house is made with petroleum for making the shingles, siding, flooring and paints and varnishes and stains. Lots of petroleum went into making and transporting all their furniture, draperies, mattresses and carpeting. And they keep changing things every few years in their house in the theme of *redecorating* which is also filling our landfills! Our motorhome has not changed an iota of furnishings in the last 16 years since it was built.

Hmmmmmm gave her thoughts to think of?

Karen and Steve
(Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

ain't for city gals said...

One of my favorite things is taking a "shower" in the middle of nowhere with wildflowers all around me. I heat up 3 gallons of water (in milk jugs) with the sun and totally enjoy myself. I always feel so much cleaner afterwards than if I had taken a shower at home with 30 gallons. And yes, sometimes I let my husband rinse me times!

Anonymous said...

Happy Fathers Day... by the way, one can always take 25 - 50 gal of fresh water in collapsible containers into their boondock area and truth to tell gray water can help water many plants and douse many campfires. As you stated, what do people think tent campers do with their "extra" used water? 50+ years ago I stayed with grandparents at a cottage without running water. We "caught" rainwater in barrels off the roof, used it for washing and then "returned" it to where the Lord intended. We got too much government and too much PC today.
ernie in mich

Tom Warfield said...

I agree with all you said. I just wish I had larger tanks and space on the roof for a decent solar "farm". I was at a FS campground years ago and was encouraged to water the trees. Until I get the "right" rig I'll just have to continue to pay for commercial RV parks except for short weekends off the grid.

By the way, I think that your water usage figure may be a slightly bit short. Unless you wash your clothes in the creek there will be additional use at the laundry mat. Or, perhaps you took that into consideration. We personally use 4-5 machine loads about ever two weeks.

Brian said...

Yes Sir Tom you found a hole in my addition oops! :)... we do about seven loads... about every third week...

We those machines are full! :)

So... add maybe 3 gallons a day... per each of us... so that makes our daily consumption 8-11 gallons each... still beats the "American Average" by something like A Whole lot of gallons! :)