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Old 02-19-2015, 02:08 PM   #31
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We camp regularly in our 19 in USFS and NP campgrounds. If I bring an extra 6G. jug of water, we're good for 5 nights. With the dual 6V batteries, power isn't the problem -- it's waste water capacity that is the limiting factor. In campgrounds with water available and bathrooms, we can get maybe one more night. By then the fresh food's running low, too.

We were "pre-trained" for this, coming from a background of tent camping and multi-day river raft trip camping. Life in the 19 is luxurious by comparison. We're careful with the lights (all LED), and don't bring electro-toys. Water usage management almost becomes a game - how much can be done with how little water?

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Old 02-19-2015, 03:03 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mary F View Post
"The word “bundok” (boondock) comes from Tagalog, the language of the Philippine Islands, and means “mountain". Definitions include, “rural country; the backwoods” and, “place remote from civilization". General usage of the term boondocking in the RV world is often used inaccurately to describe the function of camping without hook-ups, not where you do it.

"Dry camping, a more accurate term, would include camping in primitive campgrounds (like the forest service), Walmart parking lots, RV rallies, truck stops, highway rest stops - or anywhere that electrical, water, and sewage hookups are not available. Boondocking defines where you dry camp - in the boonies, open desert, backwoods, and away from civilization. Simply put, all boondocking is dry camping, but all dry camping is not boondocking." - Bob Difley, Boondocking 101, accessed 2/19/2015 via truckcampermagazine.com

Thank you everyone for chiming in on the definition of "dry camping". When I started this thread, I was thinking that dry camping and boon docking were variations of the same thing. I guess what I had in mind was wilderness camping without hook ups and discussions about how to stretch on board resources and waste management. In this regard, boat cruising and RV camping are very similar and to me being able to stay 'out there' even for just a few more days represents just a little bit more freedom.

Sometimes I really enjoy anchoring up in a harbor with other people or sharing a campsite with other campers. Talk about fun! .... finding out about others lives, what mods to their trailer to make life easier, where others have been and what they have seen!!!! But other times I appreciate being off by myself with mother nature. My personal record was 32 days without seeing another human being (other than my ex and 80 lb. Labrador who was quite sure she was all human). One day in this period another boat was transiting the horizon .... it was very far away but it gave me confidence that the world hadn't ended without being told.

It felt good to find out that my onboard resources could stretch that far. I intend to write about some of the things I learned and very much look forward to learning about your experiences.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:02 PM   #33
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Being in a sail boat automatically makes one dry camping, does it not
When sailing yes, but a lot of boats spend a lot of time in marinas, with people living on them just like a landlocked RV in a campground. Like serviced campgrounds, serviced marinas can provide water and power (and I assume some sort of sewage provision).

This can map well to the travel trailer situation: dry camping for a few days (or weeks?) at a time while exploring the wilderness, with pit stops in civilization (any serviced campground, possibly still far from anything urban) to dump waste, refill water, charge batteries, etc... just like a boat stopping in at a port.

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But here on land your limits are fresh water and waste. Solar is prevalent both on trailers and boats so power is not an issue.
That's an optimistic viewpoint. As various discussions in this forum have shown, solar is not sufficient for many people, particularly those in hot areas.

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
I assume also that boats have the capability to make fresh water from salt water and the ability to eliminate their waste products, as I've heard horror stories of the huge cruise ships leaving a trail of trash for miles as they steam the ocean.
Desalination uses a lot of power, and is not trivial to operate. Someone with more marine experience can correct me if I am mistaken, but my guess is that few private boats make their own fresh water, and dumping waste of any kind is illegal just about anywhere you want to be in a boat.

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Originally Posted by cpaharley2008 View Post
That said, there is a common bond between sailing and camping, that is living in small spaces and making the best use of that small space while enjoying the surroundings. A lot of our ideas and products for modifications come from the marine world.
I agree. The boaters seem to have more money, so marine sources are particularly good for premium products.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:19 PM   #34
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You would be winterized if dry camping, to many anyway. There are folks who do that. They take bottled water and maybe a Brita filter or similar, a tub for washing dishes and a porta-potty of some type. So it is not just not being hooked up but not having use of the water lines and possibly having only a small amount of water.
Having water in the trailer's system doesn't necessarily mean using more water, but it is easy to waste water when a pump effortlessly delivers it. A dishwashing tub or the sink use the same amount of water, and it can be stored equally well in a portable jug or the trailer's tank.

I was on a sailboat once that had a foot pump at the sink. The owner said that he could easily have an electric pump, but with the foot pump no one ever left the water running unless they actually wanted it. I think I could live with a foot pump for the sink, although it would not be so great for a shower! Marine supplier have foot pumps if anyone is interested (e.g. Whale Marine)
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:58 PM   #35
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When I purchased my trailer it was my intent to spend as much time boondocking / dry camping (which I use interchangeably) as possible, so I configured my Escape 21 to enable this as well as I could. So it was equipped with: a solar panel (95W at the time), a "whole house" 1500W inverter and switch, LED lights, and two 6V batteries. A few weeks after I picked up the trailer I had an additional 100W solar panel added.

On my initial trip home to Florida in April-May 2014 I went for about a month without external power, and could have done so indefinitely as long as the climate wasn't too hot. I only needed to dump my holding tanks occasionally and refill my water tank. However, on a trip last October-November I discovered that having the sun lower in the sky makes charging the batteries a challenge, and I would have run into a problem going without external power for more than a few days.
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Old 02-20-2015, 04:52 PM   #36
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Your continent-trotting lifestyle sounds like a lot of fun and will be the envy of many.

I do a lot of solo dry camping in my Alaskan truck camper. Usually I stay out 4 or 5 nights. Freezing weather is common so I have drained the pressurized side of the water system and don't use the electric water pump. I do use the 27 gallon water tank and draw water from the drain valve into a 6-gallon water jug as needed. I use about 3 gallons a day. There is no gray water tank so the dish water goes into the bushes.

The camper has one size 24 battery. The furnace uses a lot of electricity so I use it sparingly. I have a warm bedroll and don't use the furnace during the night but do use it sometimes in the morning to take the chill off. My double-mantle Coleman lantern puts out a surprising amount of heat and is usually enough. I have replaced the bulbs in the three lights I use most with LEDs. The only other draw is my satellite radio receiver, which pulls about 4 watts. I can stay out about a week before the battery needs charged.

The refrigerator is a 3 cu. ft. Norcold and the single 5 gallon propane bottle lasts 2 weeks.

There are some bears around so the garbage is double sacked in plastic bags each evening and put into the cab of the truck. The Porta Potti is reserved for serious business and can go a week before it needs dumping.

I have some friends with a 24-foot travel trailer who dry camp a lot more than I do. They often stay out 2 months at a time. They camp in remote areas and dig a hole for their latrine and hang a solar heated shower bag in a nearby tree. The trailer is usually winterized so their water is in jugs. They have added a catalytic heater that doesn't use electricity and a 40 watt solar panel. They usually go into town in their TV once a week for shopping, laundry and water. I'm more inclined to pull into a campground with hook-ups every week for a night or two and then go back out to a different place in the boonies after supplies are replenished.

I'm not yet sure how I will go about dry camping in the new Escape. When Helen goes with me we will mostly be in campgrounds with only an occasional night or two out in the boondocks. But when I am out wandering around by myself I'm sure there will only be an occasional night or two in a campground. I've ordered the extra insulation and the winterizing valve and hope to be able to use the water system in cool weather. But if that turns out to be impractical I can use water jugs and a Porta Potti as I do now.

Eric
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:42 PM   #37
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Welcome Ditchrider, the the Escape side of life. You do not mention your tow vevilce for your 21 model? The Escpe 21' comes with a shower/toilet wet bath combo, fed by the on board water system. with optional solar panels and dual six volts your heater should be able to keep you warm and the solar recharged the next day. Extra insulation on the tanks and below and thermal windows are also available.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:11 PM   #38
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The primary tow vehicle will be a 2009 Ram 1500 with the 4.7 V8. I wish now that I had the 5.7 engine but the 4.7 will have to do for a few years until the piggy bank recovers from buying the Escape. When I roam around in the Alaskan I take a small dual-sport motorcycle with me on a trailer and enjoy exploring the roads in the area on the bike after I pick a place to camp. When I take the Escape the motorcycle will be carried in the back of the truck.

I ordered the 6-volt batteries and solar panel. I live at 8,000' in the Colorado mountains near the Wyoming line. When I take trips to the desert during the cold months I'll probably be looking at cold temps for at least the last day of my return trip, so figure I'd better winterize the water system before I start back. I'll use the water system on those trips if I am confident I can easily winterize the system while on the road and away from the air compressor in my garage. Eric
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:26 PM   #39
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Check your vehicles weight carrying capacity on door jamb, the tongue weight of the 21' will be around 500# so with the motorcycle in the bed you will have xxx weight. My 2009 Ram with the hemi engine had around 1300# capacity which also includes passengers, so with a cap and people I was approaching that with the Escape hooked up.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:26 PM   #40
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I have the regular cab so have a 1500# capacity. I'll be close to that but not over. Eric
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