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Old 08-22-2010, 09:23 PM   #1
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Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

As we continue to talk over whether or not to get an Escape we've had some more questions come up, and we thought we'd shoot them at all of you to get your input.

I think the major reason we don't already HAVE a camper is because we are, admittedly, lovers of quiet and solitude, and when we travel to campgrounds in the summer we're a little surprised at the proximity of campsites, the number of people, the sound of the generators, etc etc. We live in Michigan, which has some great state parks actually -- but the prime campgrounds are absolutely jam packed in the summer months. And while it's obviously a really great situation for many people, lots of fun, it's not something we'd be in to. We avoid them like the plague and instead find ourselves staying at the remote yurts/cabins in the state park system.

The fear that the fully booked and fully Direct TVed campground is the reality of trailer camping has held us back, and it's something we're wondering about yet again. So -- our first question is to those with a similar mindset: do you have trouble finding places to camp that are NOT packed with people/closely configured/etc? How easy is it to find more rustic sites ... and what's the scene there when you do? Can you REALLY Escape?

Second: let's assume that if they exist, these quieter sites are "dry." What should we be thinking about in terms of Escape options, equipment needs, and overall experience? Things like ... how long will the fridge work? Would we regret not having a bathroom if we did the 15a? We are absolute newbies, and while I'm learning a ton by reading old posts, I'd be curious if any of you have recommendations or warnings based on our specific situation.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions,

Elizabeth
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:43 PM   #2
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

Elizabeth,

Mary and I live in a quiet rural place (we have 27 acres) with essentially no neighbors at least none we can see. So when we take off in the Escape we are surrounded by many more people than when we are home. One thing we tend to do is do is make our long trips in the early spring and late fall - when school is in session. That helps avoid crowds. Also, state and national forest campground often have some very quiet, away from the crowds "rustic" campgrounds. That said, when we go to a National Parks we assume that we will be surrounded by lots of people, and we usually are. But, in the spring and fall, the people there tend to be reasonably quiet and we often meet interesting people in the process.

Dry camping - the refrig will run a VERY long time on propane. The furnace and hot water heater use it faster but you can still get many days in even in very cold weather before needing a fill. Be obsoletely sure to get dual 6 volt batteries and LED lights in every socket. Then your battery will last several days. We have a Honda 2000i generator (costs a lot, but is amazingly easy on gas and equally amazingly quiet) in case we run out of battery power and can then use it to recharge if we have to. In reality we rarely use it. Many other folks go with solar panels for recharging and have some good luck with that. You will want one or more 5 gallon plastic camping water jugs to refill your fresh water tank. Grey water tanks can be emptied with several trips to the outhouse with a bucket.

Eric

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Old 08-22-2010, 10:00 PM   #3
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

Like Eric I live in Wisconsin and have access to a vast array of parks and forests. I agree with Eric's conclusions and would like to add that the more isolated a camp areas is and those providing the least services are generally the quietest. We also have found that, for the most part, the above type places that cater to young families are much quieter.

Can we get away from everyone, no that does not seem possible. Can we get away from crowds, lines, parties and all services like electricity? Yes, that is doable. But even those special get aways will have the occasional hiccup and something out of the ordinary will happen.

What I have found the Escape gives me is: 1)six days of packed food eliminating trips to the store 2)up to 14 days of electric following Eric's recommendations but not using solar or a generator 3)seven days of gray and black water retention before dumping 4)five days of water before a five gallon refill 5)no more days of coolers, wet food stuffs and ice runs 6)peace of mind that rain, cold and darkness are not going to affect my camping experience.

Now I cannot give Escape credit for all this, there are many ways to achieve this. My Escape makes this a comfortable and easy experience. It also puts those special out of the way places in easier grasp.
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:34 PM   #4
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

That just about sums it up.

baglo
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:51 PM   #5
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

Team Escape ... thanks for your amazingly fast responses so far!

How important does the bathroom become if you plan to do a fair amount of dry camping? We are considering the "A" floor plans and the external shower option, though if we're camping in shoulder seasons (which would be our intent when we could) I don't know how useful that'd be.

Per the porta-potty ... how useful/difficult to deal with is it? Where do you put it to go? Do you sit on it, on the floor?

~e
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Old 08-22-2010, 11:10 PM   #6
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

How important is the bathroom? How old are you? The older you are, the more important it is.

Is the porta-potti a substitute? I never want to see one again, never mind empty one. Left the only one I ever owned at the cabin when it sold.

I had an empty one-kilo coffee can in the tent trailer for overnight and would rather put up with that than a porta-potti.

I have admiration for the bladder control of all of those with 'A' trailer.

And, if you're ever stuck in traffic, you know that you always have someplace to go.

baglo



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Old 08-22-2010, 11:46 PM   #7
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

Bagio:

Dare I inquire as to why you've been scarred for life by a Porta Pot?

Seriously ... what's the deal with emptying it? And the actual using, less than ideal, eh?

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Old 08-23-2010, 12:06 AM   #8
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

OK. I was trying to avoid this.

Maybe I had one that had a lousy design. Maybe they've improved.

The thing holds what? Maybe three gallons? At 18 lbs. per gallon, depending whether you've been eating 'organic' food, sans lead, or lead infused food, that works out to a 60 lb. cube about two feet by two feet.

You connect the sewer hose to it and then while keeping the hose in the drain with your foot, you wrestle the porta-potti onto your lap, so you can elevate it and tip it, and with your free hand you open the flush lever so that air can enter the compartment, allowing the effluent to escape ( note: ESCAPE ). It's about then that your foot loses control of the sewer hose, which flips up, shooting nasty bits in your face, like it didn't have an arc of 270 degrees that it could have aimed at.

Need I say more?

baglo
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Old 08-23-2010, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo
Need I say more?
baglo
Yes, you can say..."nothing is quite as luxurious as having your own bathroom traveling with you. Middle of the night bathroom runs are easy, and there's no little critters trying to leap between your toes in the shower!" Plus, you have a shower in those more remote areas
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Old 08-23-2010, 07:53 AM   #10
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Re: Getting away from it all -- is it possible in today's campgrounds?/Dry camping

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaglo
OK. I was trying to avoid this.

Maybe I had one that had a lousy design. Maybe they've improved.

The thing holds what? Maybe three gallons? At 18 lbs. per gallon, depending whether you've been eating 'organic' food, sans lead, or lead infused food, that works out to a 60 lb. cube about two feet by two feet.
baglo
Glenn what were you eating...lead? Should be less than 10lbs per gallon. Water is a tad over 8 lbs.

Personally I prefer gates and valves over tote and carry and am grateful my trailer has a real flushie.
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