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Old 02-19-2012, 08:13 PM   #1
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Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

Hi guys,

We are just back from two unbelievable weeks renting a campervan in New Zealand. Amazing place! Go if you love pristine places and can find some spare frequent flier miles . Never been somewhere as diverse and consistently great as the South Island.

That said, our van frustrated us for a number of reasons, mainly that it didn't have adequate power capacity to boondock for more than a night at a time ... this in a place where free camping opps are unbelievable.

We also had issues with running out of water after the second night ... And just realized tonight that the water tank in our Escape, due to be delivered to us next weekend, may not be much larger. The campervan had 19 gallons ... The Escape looks like it has 20, with a 26 gallon grey water tank (why so much larger, I wonder?).

We'll be okay with power in our Escape, but water has us a bit concerned. So we're curious ... When you all boondock, how long are you getting from your water tank? And are you rinsing off/showering at all, or just doing dishes, brushing teeth, washing face, etc ...?

Thanks,

~e
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Old 02-19-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

You've got 20 gal. fresh and six gal. in the hot water tank.

We've not had an issue with having enough fresh water, but we are frugal with it. And, I keep a 5 gal. portable container outside. A shower is a brief affair, usually outside, consisting of wetting the hair, shampoo ( water off ) and rinse.

I usually have to empty the black tank before fresh water becomes an issue.

And, I drink beer, to save water.

baglo
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:14 PM   #3
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

We find our fresh water usually lasts about four days when boondocking and like Glenn find that our black water tank is full before we have filled our grey tank; though we have an older model with a 8 gallon tank. I bring along a fresh water tank on wheels and use it to refill the fresh water if needed; I got it from Army and Navy but here is a link to the same one at Walmart.

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Reliance-P...ainer/10098756

Barry
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Old 02-19-2012, 09:23 PM   #4
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

We regularly go for 4 days with no problems with water. We do take up to two gallons of filtered water for drinking and coffee.

Sponge baths are all we ever do for that short of a period. We are camping and not too concerned with a bit of odour. Campfire smell usually covers that.

We never have an issue with grey or black tanks either. Most of the dishes are done outside, and the water dumped on the trees. We usually have an outhouse to use too, so the bathroom in the trailer mostly gets used for the evening trip if you don't feel like using a tree outside.

Even the times we have not had the use of an outhouse, 4 days is usually no issue with any of the tanks. A heck of a lot beyond that would likely stretch their capacities though.
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Old 02-20-2012, 12:10 AM   #5
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

You can boondock indefinitely as long as you have a container to refill your water tank when it needs it. We use this container not only to refill our water tank, but we fill it up, place it on the picnic table and use it as our water source. We empty our grey water into a flexible bucket, and then empty it into an appropriate place. At times we use a separate tank to empty our black water tank into. Recently we have just stopped using the toilet for anything but #1 to avoid the mess. A pee bottle even avoids this! We come from a background of hiking and climbing, so having a minimalist approach is easy for us, and is what attracted us to the Escape to start with. With our solar panels, we don't even think about power.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:40 AM   #6
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

E,

After Mary and I bought the Winnebago Rialta (Eurovan front end with about the equivalent of a 17B attached to it), the first trip out we filled the grey water tank and emptied the fresh water the first night out. That was when we realized that we had to think about and use water quite differently than at home with a well that is always there for us. We have two 5 gallon tanks that we bought at Canadian Tire and use them to keep our fresh water tank filled. Whenever we leave the campsite in the truck, we take a tank with us and fill it on our way back to the campsite. Somewhere on a thread, I showed how I adapted a hose to make filling the Escape's tank easy.

I take some of my peroxide homebrewing sanitizer (OneStep) along with us whenever we travel. When the 5 gallons tanks are empty, I put a little in the 5 gallon tanks and slosh it around to help keep them from growing mold inside. Being peroxide based, the OneStep doesn't need to be rinsed as it turns into oxygen and water and doesn't leave any taste like bleach does if it is not rinsed really well.

Eric

PS - E, I still have that Thetford SmartTote LX Portable for sale to help give much longer boon docking times for grey and black water tanks.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:23 AM   #7
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

Love the idea of the sanitizer - thanks! Our refill container for water has a screw on spout which fits perfectly into the water tank opening. This is critical. I can't recall the brand, but it is rectangular. I have seen them at Cabellas. The more common round ones without the spout would not work unless you rigged something up.
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Old 02-20-2012, 09:40 PM   #8
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

So -- with discretion, those of you adding to the fresh water stash are (with discretion!) disposing of your grey water in an appropriate place, so that you don't overflow the grey water tank? (That's a problem we actually had in NZ on our second night, due careless peeps who'd had the camper prior, and I am not interested in a command performance).

The "black water" tank is what the Kiwis call the "Poo Pot," yes? (I might prefer the Kiwi moniker!).

And 6 gallons in the hot water tank -- ah, that explains the 26 gallon greywater tank size. Thanks for clarifying, Glenn. Does that mean that 6 gals is IT as far as your hot water goes, or does the hot water tank siphon off water from the freshwater tank as needed? If we planned a shower, would that be a situation where we might fill up via a portable water container?

Eric, I actually thought Dan had gotten back to you about that tank, I'll check in with him and we'll get at ya tomorrow.

Btw, does anyone recall any threads on here about "what to expect on pickup?" I'm searching tonight but not coming up with anything ... our pickup looks like it'll be Sunday in Windsor, Ontario, probably in an exotic WalMart car park.

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Old 02-20-2012, 10:06 PM   #9
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

Hey, this is camping, remember? We don't even fill our 12 Gal fresh water tank. We use two one gallon jugs for drinking and cooking and shower at campgrounds that have them. You use 10 gallons a day?

First: don't shower everyday. Your skin will not be as dry.

Second: You have to learn how to take Navy showers. Get wet, Soap up, rinse off with the water only running for the first and third step.

Anything more than this, you need a Class A.
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Old 02-20-2012, 10:37 PM   #10
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Re: Water capacity ... How long can you boondock in a 17b?

We shower ( if you can call it that ) using the outside shower so the water ends up on the ground. We use one of the "all-weather" mats from the Rav4 to stand on and to keep dirt from splashing up.

We do dishes outside ( weather permitting ) and toss the water on a nearby thirsty plant.

The hot-water tank fills from the fresh-water.

See Donna's comments ( above ).

And, see the video under documents & helpful stuff header on this forum for an idea of how the systems work.

baglo
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