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Old 02-24-2014, 04:22 PM   #11
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I would second Jim's comment about having ETI install your solar panel, as opposed to having it done on the road somewhere. Unless you're really up on solar knowledge, I would opine that you'd be taking some unnecessary chances with unknown vendors, at who knows what cost(s).
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Old 02-24-2014, 04:31 PM   #12
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This is the first I've heard about Passport America. Are there a fair number of campgrounds that honor the passport?
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Old 02-24-2014, 05:41 PM   #13
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This is the first I've heard about Passport America. Are there a fair number of campgrounds that honor the passport?
Here is the site Passport America The original 50% Discount Camping Club - Passport America Discount Camping Club they have the campgrounds listed by state with all the information as to when and how long they honour the membership.
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Old 02-24-2014, 06:20 PM   #14
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Some free locations to stay (such as Walmart and truck stops) have a side benefit of reducing the rate of waste tank filling: you can't dump the trailer tanks there, but you can use their facilities instead.

I have been surprised by the number of free dump sites run by both municipalities and businesses. The municipal sites can be at visitor welcome centres (Edmonton is an example, at Gateway Park), at municipal campgrounds, or at utility locations such as water and sanitation yards (I've used Fort Saskatchwan AB, and Dryden ON, for instance). Many of of these locations also have free or cheap fresh water fill stations. Businesses are generally those which serve customers with RVs, such as RV dealerships, or (a local example) Canadian Tire (a hardware and outdoor goods chain).
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:37 PM   #15
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Thanks for the replies so far. I was thinking about longer stays and shorter legs in between, such as stay a week or two in one location, drive 200 miles, stay a week or two, drive 200 miles, etc. I'd like to indulge my hobby of landscape photography on this trip. From what you've told me so far, I guess I should be looking at state parks and BLM land in rural areas.

Regarding the solar panel-- I may need more solar /battery capacity than ETI provides, hence my thoughts about looking at a third-party supplier. If possible I want to run a microwave a few minutes a day (yes, I'm a bachelor), I want to do Photoshop work at night, and since the Escape 21's fridge is a 3-way, I might try to run it on 12V via solar panel(s) and batteries instead of propane.

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Old 02-24-2014, 08:38 PM   #16
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Cabelas, Bass Pro, C/W also may have dump facilities as well as allow over night. I also like to stay at CrackerBarrel, come in late, eat dinner, use their facilities, sleep, have breakfast at 6am, use their facilities and be on the road by 7 am.
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Old 02-24-2014, 08:57 PM   #17
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Here's a follow up to Brian's reply regarding dump sites. I've used this link to locate nearby dump sites when needed. They list both free and small fee locations - www.sanidumps.com
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Lewis View Post
Thanks for the replies so far. I was thinking about longer stays and shorter legs in between, such as stay a week or two in one location, drive 200 miles, stay a week or two, drive 200 miles, etc. I'd like to indulge my hobby of landscape photography on this trip. From what you've told me so far, I guess I should be looking at state parks and BLM land in rural areas.

Regarding the solar panel-- I may need more solar /battery capacity than ETI provides, hence my thoughts about looking at a third-party supplier. If possible I want to run a microwave a few minutes a day (yes, I'm a bachelor), I want to do Photoshop work at night, and since the Escape 21's fridge is a 3-way, I might try to run it on 12V via solar panel(s) and batteries instead of propane.

Mike Lewis
You want to operate the refer off propane while sitting still and possibly while towing, except when in gas stations. The 12v option should only be used while towing and make sure you have your tow vehicle properly set up with the correct charge wire, the alternator and the solar should keep the battery bank charged while towing. The computer is 12v and most televisions are 12v so with close to 100 a/h available you will not run out of juice. Use the propane stove to heat your food, the microwave is best left when hooked to 120v.
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Old 02-24-2014, 09:20 PM   #19
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When traveling the two biggest expenses are going to be fuel. Both for your tug and your body. Figure out how to slow both of those down and you'll be money ahead! If you pay for a site, use EVERYTHING you're paying for. Don't run on propane if the site has electricity... you've paid for the electricity. Use it, use propane when you need too. Are you a traveler (site) or working toward a destination? That determines what you pay. Remember, you may never pass this way again... enjoy the moment.
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Old 02-24-2014, 10:10 PM   #20
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Donna-

My only firm destination on this initial trip is to eventually get back home to Florida. I'm trying to set things up here so I can be gone for several weeks if I wish. I don't intend to hurry, and I don't plan to do a lot of driving in a short period of time if possible. That way I hope to keep the fuel cost under control. I have to eat wherever I am, so hopefully that cost won't increase. I just want to figure out the cheapest way to camp for a week or so at a stop while I'm on my trip.

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