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Old 04-21-2020, 08:40 AM   #21
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We would like to do more boondocking than we do but my wife always worries we will get rousted in the middle of the night for camping in a place we shouldn't. My attitude is "oh well" but that doesn't fly with her. Lots of nice state campgrounds here in new england however.
I have never hit this scenario, though I do only boondock where allowed. A few overnight stops in towns or on rural roads may not be fully legal, but I always park in a spot with a thought to the respect of others.
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Old 04-21-2020, 10:08 AM   #22
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Our camper has 170 watts of solar on the roof and for those rare times we have a 100 watt portable panel when needed. We have no problems going ten days without dumping or filling our fresh water, taking sponge baths and using gallon containers for cooking water.

We avoid hookups as much as possible, and found our experiences boondocking (?) much better than sites with hookups. We find beer lights, tv's, stereos, drunks, and loud vehicles are much, much, much more common at full-hookup sites. We also don't like being in cramped, perfectly parallel sites, 20 feet from the next camper, or being parked next to the street light.

We get enough of the above because, when we're not traveling, our camper is in a campground with 110 other campers hooked up to electricity, sewer, and water. We like this campground, vs the anal-retentive campgrounds, since the only rule is, "Don't piss John off!" John being the owner of the campground. Seriously, that is the only rule and is quoted by everyone who has a site. There is no store, hot tub, swimming pool, game area, etc. so that limits the well-off riff-raff who want to behave like animals before they go back to their blue-collar jobs on Monday. The year-round sites (90 of the 110) are mostly occupied by low-middle class, retired people, like us. It seems every year someone violates John's only rule and is evicted.

We have a 40 x 140' site and John allows one 8 x 16' storage trailer parked next to the road. Plus a vendor brings and stacks a 1/2 cord of wood for $50. Our site faces the woods, so is as good as it gets in a commercial campground. We can landscape our lot anyway we wish including decks and covered patio's. Oh yeah, we only pay $1,000 a year. The anal-retentive commercial campground down the road starts at $2,700 a year. Since we live in a condo we would have to find camper storage running anywhere from $30 to 75 a month. The site to our west is a daily rental, to our east the owners work 100 miles away, and both are rarely used during the week, when we are there. On weekends we avoid the campground ( our condo is .8 mile away).

When on the road, needing a place for the night, we stay at:
Cracker Barrel or Cabella's (sorry, NOT WalMart)
County fairground parking lots
City ballpark parking lots (always ask the local police)
We no longer see a need for Passport America
When camping we enjoy:
National parks and monuments (i.e. Chiricahua National Monument)
State parks (if not too expensive) Minnesota has taken away senior pricing during the week
County parks
National or state forests
BLM, etc.
This winter we stayed at a commercial park in Tucson ($40/night) for two nights and three nights in Phoenix ($110 total), but enjoyed the hot tubs and our friends who live in those towns. Since we don't consider this camping, couldn't wait to get back to the rural parks.

Everyone is different though, and what works for us may not for others.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 04-21-2020, 01:01 PM   #23
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I third the recommendation for Dead Horse Ranch State Park. There are cool historical spots nearby to visit, the town of Jerome nearby, and it's not too far from Sedona. Plus really good BBQ very near the park.

Oh yeah; just don't try to tow through Jerome, even though it's a state highway. The town is built on a mountain of copper, and it is switchback up and through town, then switchback out of town. It is a must see, though, if you're in the area.
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Old 04-21-2020, 02:33 PM   #24
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Oh yeah; just don't try to tow through Jerome, even though it's a state highway. The town is built on a mountain of copper, and it is switchback up and through town, then switchback out of town. It is a must see, though, if you're in the area.
This past winter we took the scenic route (89A) from Prescott Valley into Jerome on the way to Cottonwood. It's a beautiful drive! Only had one turn in Jerome that was tight and one tire barely rubbed the curb. That's where our 5.0, fifth wheel shines. Otherwise take it slow through Jerome.

Although we really enjoy Dead Horse, next winter we'll be looking for a BLM site in the area. There are many though. One is about a mile out of Cottonwood.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 04-21-2020, 04:35 PM   #25
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........ Only had one turn in Jerome that was tight and one tire barely rubbed the curb. That's where our 5.0, fifth wheel shines. ....Perry

I wonder, was that in socially distanced traffic??
And you're right: the 5th wheel really can make the difference.
When at Dead Horse Ranch SP, we spent several days exploring, one day being Jerome. We saw a couple of fairly small bumper pull trailers (a little bigger than our 17), that were stuck in traffic due to the tight turns, parked vehicles, and uncooperative other drivers.
We changed our later westbound exit route to circle around through Prescott Valley and then north to Ash Fork. It added about 30 miles, but we found a brand new Costco to get some good cheap gas, and a good farmers market on the highway as well.
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Old 04-21-2020, 04:43 PM   #26
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Old 04-21-2020, 06:25 PM   #27
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I wonder, was that in socially distanced traffic??
And you're right: the 5th wheel really can make the difference.
I learned a long time ago, just hold your ground and you'll be just fine. Start accommodating other cars and you'll hit something and be responsible.

On March 10th there certainly was no social distancing going on yet. Jerome was full of people. A couple of days later we went to Jerome for the day with Terry's sister and two of her friends. We had to wait nearly an hour to get a table at Haunted Hamburgers in Jerome. When we left Dead Horse and it was still full. We got to Page to stay at Glen Canyon Dam and social distancing had just started. The campground was half empty. The second day there Glen Canyon Visitors Center was closed, we were there the day before.

When we got to Zion the campground was perhaps 1/3 full. Seven days later there were four other sites occupied in the South Campground, so for seven days we essentially had Zion to ourselves. It was eerie! Our last morning we were packing to leave when the ranger showed up and told us the campground was closing at 11 am and the gates would be locked.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:42 AM   #28
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I need to know where I am staying. Here in southern Ontario, there is no crown land to boondock on. We would have to drive at least 6 hours north. On top of that any destination would be 4x4 only with mud holes, not trailer friendly.

When choosing a spot, I prefer campgrounds for facilities, activities, security and I know exactly where I'm going to be.
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Old 04-22-2020, 09:39 AM   #29
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For those that have not been to Jerome and have not eaten at the Haunted Hamburger, here is the view from our table. The Ghostly Hamburger wasn't bad, although the onion rings were only so so.

By the way, the best onion rings I've ever had were at what looked like a dump in Blanding, UT - The Patio Drive In.
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Old 04-22-2020, 09:46 AM   #30
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For those that have not been to Jerome and have not eaten at the Haunted Hamburger, here is the view from our table. The Ghostly Hamburger wasn't bad, although the onion rings were only so so.

By the way, the best onion rings I've ever had were at what looked like a dump in Blanding, UT - The Patio Drive In.
Looks like we might have sat at the same table!

We felt the ambiance was much better than the food.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 04-22-2020, 09:58 AM   #31
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As a kid and teen we always camped and that meant BC Provincial Parks. $2 per night, no reservations, (you didn't need them) pit toilets and a water spigot somewhere near. In my late 20's I made a camper for my Toyota truck and decided to venture south into Washington and was blown away by the fact that the state parks had hookups ...................
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Barry you must be much younger than we are or BC has always meant "bring cash."
In ON provincial parks in the early sixties our family camped for $1 a night. Now it was far from glamping in those days. All five of us plus the dog slept in a 9x9 tent with centre pole! The 5.0TA for just the two of us is like a mansion.

We end up doing mostly electric hook ups but having the solar is handy for overnight stops at Walmart or Cracker Barrel. Or at our son's cottage in Northwest ON where there's no power.
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Old 04-22-2020, 10:09 AM   #32
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Oh, Jerome... you reminded me of that drive-through. Couldn't stop, no place to park. Towing that packed narrow street through town...those turns... it scared me silly.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:07 PM   #33
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I have dined at the Haunted Hamburger last year and the year before. Good food, good drinks, great town Jerome is.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:34 PM   #34
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I have dined at the Haunted Hamburger last year and the year before. Good food, good drinks, great town Jerome is.

Are you allowed to post information and opinions about this restaurant?
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:57 PM   #35
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Yee-ha-ouch!
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Old 04-22-2020, 02:17 PM   #36
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Barry you must be much younger than we are or BC has always meant "bring cash."
In ON provincial parks in the early sixties our family camped for $1 a night. Now it was far from glamping in those days. All five of us plus the dog slept in a 9x9 tent with centre pole! The 5.0TA for just the two of us is like a mansion.

We end up doing mostly electric hook ups but having the solar is handy for overnight stops at Walmart or Cracker Barrel. Or at our son's cottage in Northwest ON where there's no power.
Adrian, I'm talking late sixties, when it went to $5 we were appalled, and then they took away the free firewood.

Now I hardly use the Provincial parks, you are right, bring cash as some are $40-45 a night with practically no services but I must admit some really nice areas. Forestry sites work just fine now.
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Old 04-22-2020, 11:47 PM   #37
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North of Flag

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We have family in Cottonwood so travel that way quite a bit. We need a recommendation for a nice place to stop. Would you mind sharing name of the campground near Flag?

THX!
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Got my answer, it was Bonito.
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Old 04-23-2020, 09:14 AM   #38
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Got my answer, it was Bonito.
THX!
I should have realized this - I stayed there in 2018, although I don't think I ever discovered the name of the campground - Called it Sunset Crater Campground in my blog.
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:10 AM   #39
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My first choice is always by the water. When I had bought my first tiny Aframe and was not yet retired I committed to camping once a month. Sometimes I went to a small private local place about 10 miles away on the river--it's a put in and take out spot for rafting/kayaking--saved time, gas, and supported a local business, plus I could paddle around in the slack spots without needing a shuttle. Heavenly!
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Old 04-23-2020, 10:51 AM   #40
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My first choice is always by the water. When I had bought my first tiny Aframe and was not yet retired I committed to camping once a month. Sometimes I went to a small private local place about 10 miles away on the river--it's a put in and take out spot for rafting/kayaking--saved time, gas, and supported a local business, plus I could paddle around in the slack spots without needing a shuttle. Heavenly!

That sounds sooooooo good right now.
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