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Old 11-10-2019, 11:52 AM   #1
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Boondocking... Off the Grid Security

Boondocking to many trailer owners is an RV Park. Security among close company avoids risk. Introduce yourself to your neighbors.

Security 101: Sensational news about 'victims' are so rare that it makes the news. Often it is an unsecured bicycle taken during the evening. Your campsite at a RV Site is walked through during the day and articles removed in the evening. Pick up your site each evening. Even folding chairs, coolers, folding tables and nice compact grill can walk away... in the dark.

Boondocking Off the Grid... has different standards. We have spent our adult lives camped, only where the grass grows and the wind blows... and possibly some cross traffic on obscure roads, wild beasts and rustling of tree branches.

Daylight:
- Set your trailer away from the road to avoid dust is always a good idea.
- Set your trailer in an area where a vehicle passing can SEE YOUR TRAILER. (Thieves do not know your vehicle, making the trailer visible is security.)
- Secure your trailer's hitch with a reasonably durable ace locking mechanism.
- Secure your towing hitch assembly in your vehicle.
- Curtains open or closed... makes no difference.
- Lock your door. Dead bolt is optional, as a thief will break out a window, anyways.

Nighttime:
- Lock your front door.
- Keep a LED flashlight(s) handy for any outside activity not expected.
- If a light sleeper and you hear traffic, headlights... expect them to slow down as they could live in the area and noticed a trailer parked in the public land area.
- If it makes you feel secure, a Louisville Slugger 32 inch baseball bat is safe.
- If you are a serious outdoorsman, a firearm is a last resort.
- Off the Grid campers often have one or more dogs. They hear and smell what you cannot. With any 'unusual' sounds outside... let the hound(s) do some barking. Even a bear does not want to experience a dog, even if they may be perfectly harmless. The dog, that is.
- Once I have footwear and flashlight... sans pants, my Louisville Slugger or Firearm, let the dog(s) loose if you call out for a response and none is returned.
- Chances are it was nothing, your pulse will return to normal and everyone will feel secure.

One example: We were trailer camped off the highway on a dirt road in Nevada. In the middle of the morning... sounds outside and earlier headlights noticed. After putting on shoes, sans pants... firearm secured, I went into a combat mode with the dogs left inside the trailer. I moved the flashlight to get a bearing of what I was looking for... and there were a group of burros wondering what I was doing there.

The ONLY time I needed to practice what I preach.

If you are afraid of remote campsites... avoid them. Fearing the unknown is not your friend. Worse is not being prepared to explore a situation before one panics and paranoia sets.

After you have camped in remote areas, often, you do lose the insecure feeling of being vulnerable. Confidence comes with experience.

The first few OTG camping is easier with a second trailer for company. The best alternative. Otherwise... get comfortable with yourself, your environment and enjoy the isolation. This is an opportunity to really explore places on your own.

Wearing a 'Ross Perot for President' button... will put fear into most anyone, anywhere at any time.
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Old 11-10-2019, 01:43 PM   #2
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Wireless Motion Sensor Light CT-M316

Nancy finds the 'good stuff' at Costco. Some temporary items offered are tempting and very useful. This Motion Sensor Light is battery operated and outstanding. The package at Costco come complete, with two units and batteries included. Nancy said these cost about $20. I could find Capstone LED Motion Sensor Light CT-M316 on a Google search with different LED counts and a wide spectrum of prices.

At night a one or two LED will seem very bright, so be flexible as all kinds can be found.

There are many options to be found on the Internet. This particular item has 16 LED's that have bright white lights. Enough to secure an area easily for anything that moves past the sensor within... 25 feet and 120 degrees light and sensing.

It can be adjusted for 20, 60 or 90 seconds and it resets, unless 'whatever' is still moving through your campsite.

The bracket can be secured to a tree using a strap, or two screws that can be removed. Although, if you forget to remove the sensor(s) this step can be avoided... A homemade stake that can be reused is also possible.

Practice makes perfect. If you step out of your trailer, or tent, instant light. It can temporarily blind you if you are not avoiding direct line of sight. Set them up so 'blind the wandering source', not yourself. Just from... experience, sort of.

Simple solutions can give a solo OTG Camper additional security information before stepping out of the trailer.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:05 PM   #3
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DuraFlap... Mud-Rock-Sand-Water Mud Flaps

Since purchasing a new Airstream, I learned from the last 13 years of towing an Airstream there are many improvements to the Trailer itself... and the Tow Vehicle.

If you travel a lot of unpaved roads, these are a must. If you do not... these should be on a short list before you regret the stainless steel front guards of your Airstream getting mutilated by thousands of impacts of rock and grit.

I spent plenty of time checking and comparing... what I thought would be an easy cure to my 2016 F350 NOT coming with Mud Flaps as Standard Equipment. Those that say 'Ford' and made to fit my truck were not adequate, nor inexpensive. So I went... well, turned my pockets inside out and found DuraFlap.

Sticker Shock... was one, but then... the stainless steel trailer fender guards are REAL expensive to replace on your Airstream!

They, DuraFlap have a set of mud flaps for specific trucks by year and model.

I searched 2016 Ford F350 and they make them very specific, front and rear flaps. I was tripped up ordering Non-Flair trim, as I did not realize what I had was a 'flair'. But I made these back mud flaps work, although may have been easier had I knew the difference. So, do your homework.

The first flap took an hour and half to figure it out. Twenty minutes for the other side. The fronts I needed to make my own bracket from my 'junk box of hardware', bent them, drilled a small hole into an inside fender support... and Bingo... a great secure flap.

If you price the stainless steel fender guards on your Airstream... you WILL want to put mud flaps onto your Pickup. I optioned, with the higher 3/4t on and 1 ton Ford (F250/350) for the rear flaps with the two inch extension and for a bit more digging into my pocket, a cowboy on a bronco stainless steel cutout. YaaaHooo, I say.

They look smart. They will save gravel impacts onto the trailer. The flaps have a 5 year guarantee... for what, I do not know. Someone stealing them could be more of an issue, if you know what I mean. Mine cost about $300.

If you took the time to follow this Thread... I thank you. Unsolicited 'advice' is scarce when you are looking for it. If you have some tidbits to offer to others... do step forward.

If you found a brand that worked for you... step forward.

By the way... Made in Oregon. Heavy duty weighing 20 pounds in the carton... for shipping.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:48 PM   #4
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I have been boon docking for some six years now. The only security issue I have ever had was having a generator stolen when I stayed in a campground. (I went for five years never locking up a generator while boon docking.).

My take is that there is more crime in RV Parks than there is out in the wilds. I also have two dogs that have never met anyone that they didn't want to lick to death....
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Old 11-10-2019, 04:27 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice Ray, it is appreciated.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:06 PM   #6
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Ray, good post. The noises that get our hearts racing are usually nothing, but preparedness makes them seem less scary. And I agree, a barking dog is about a good as it gets, especially one with a moderately deep bark.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:37 PM   #7
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AVOID Hunting Seasons... plan ahead

I finished reading an active thread about Boondocking Security. Opinions vary considerably. I did not follow the City/State individuals were posting from, as this may contribute whom is comfortable with any form of protection.

Much of the discussion is like someone who is not using a raft, canoe or boat carrying a life jacket in the Mohave Desert. Obviously... not needed.

My experiences are in remote Western Rocky Mountain State OTG camping. Once living away from a City, individuals are a bit more independent and observant living in smaller communities and assume more security measures. It is a fact of human nature is flexible in and away from society norms.

I find myself sometimes using a turn signal on a remote road in the mountains. My example of being a conformist.

Protection other than your ability to communicate like a politician is not very handy in some remote situations. Experience OTG Boondocking would resolve some of those options that are very effective in campgrounds and RV Parks.

We travel with a spare tire. Fire Extinguisher. Maps. More provisions than necessary, but in the event of need... we are prepared. We were fortunate to have been given a Medical Pack from Unifreck, Jan and Ed on this Forum, which has been put to good use. Some carry a generator AND fuel. Tools... even if none have been needed... until today.

I have read posts of individuals that I later met in person. Several were totally different people when met in person. Be aware if you do not know the person posting... what sounds confident and experienced... is not the case. Much like a 'fish out of water' kind of situation.

Nancy and I are comfortable in remote places. They are the safest places for those who... know how to depend on themselves and their spouse. A dog or two is our Front Guard for what is up ahead, or near.

Common Sense on this Forum and in General is a scarce commodity. Those who are critical of a firearm... I would not want to have around. When the **** hits the Fan... they come knocking on YOUR Door asking for tools, help and needing something they never expected to need or use... like a shovel.

Ignore these people who do not explain WHY they do or don't. Much like those living in a large City and love... Grizzly nature films and want to go out and... photograph them in their natural habitat. Baiting an area for Bear, or Mountain Lions... These people are out there.

Hunting Season, bow or rifle, should be avoided if possible in those areas. If you do find yourself in an area for Hunting... wear COLORFUL clothing. OK? Not camouflage. Wildlife see in shades of gray. Hunters can see a Hawaiian shirt a mile away...

OK... I had limited myself to once a week posts, but made a great attempt and failed. Myself... "It is better to have done something and failed, than done nothing and succeeded". A quote from someone smarter than myself.

Boondocking OTG is not for everyone. Tools and protection are necessary. ...and by the way... we carry TWO Shovels. Both have no rust.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:59 PM   #8
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What I personally find very interesting in these conversations is the dialog around preparation.

I was an offshore sailor for years and spent a lot of time and money making sure we had all the tools and gear so if the worst happened we could deal with it. It never did but we were trained and ready. Over the years I met a lot of folks who depended on someone showing up to help them, after all I have an EPIRB they have to come. Lots of stories where one was set off and they never found the people.

Same thing applies to off the grid camping, if you’re prepared for the possibilities odds are you can deal with what happens. Whether critters or people doesn’t matter you’re prepared and have thought about what to do and who has what responsibility; going for help, getting a light, locking the doors, getting bear spray or a weapon etc.

It’s a mindset - Be Prepared and you’ll be surprised at how few things really surprise you.
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:10 PM   #9
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Real Boondockers... are far and few

JonDNC... interesting. We seem to be towing a similar trailer and a similar F350. Thank you for participating.

Very... very few Airstream owners Boondock Off the Grid. The SOB's with ATV's out number Airstreams by 50 to 1, more...or less. Airstreams are considered the 'delicate trailer' by the other brands. Also, the owners of Airstreams are not given high regard to their skills when off the road, nor off road abilities.

Well... a small number, who actually took the time to make a post on this Thread, as well as those who completed several 'Adventures' since 2016 on this Forum did do the Airstream impossible.

Airstream has no difficulty going anywhere... other than clearance checks of the bumper and plumbing. Adding 3 inch lift to our 27 foot International and 16 inch Michelins were the 'icing on the cake'. Airstream CAN manage to go anywhere... if you, as JonDNC posted, have the will and the preparation.

I have battled against the naysayers that you must be a... fool... to take your Airstream off into the ruts, rock and grit of OTG Boondocking, and they may be partially correct. You are the Fool if you have not tried.

From fear, or plain nonsense that traveling over unpaved roads will ruin an Airstream. I went from 23 feet... no problem. Then to 25 feet no problem. Then to a Tenting Summer... no problem and back to a new 2019 27 foot International. Its maiden voyage was to the same locations in Central New Mexico... gravel and rutted dirt roads within the Gila National Forest/Apache National Forest area. Wonderful exploring as Ice Man of Arizona may comment with remote hunter's campsites AND 2,000 year old Pit Houses scattered in what we find as Wilderness.

It is embarrassing to me, that some members of this Forum degrade the nameplate on their Airstream. It is the OWNER that is incapable, not their Airstream. Be it a 1956 or a 2020.

Eight years with the 23 foot Safari, with the small factory Solar opened up the Wilderness to myself, Nancy and our two Blue Heelers. Comfortable exploring with the 23 foot, went to a 25 foot and now a 27 foot. Probably the longest Airstream for our purposes, but a 3 inch lift kit on a 30 foot would probably handle the same roads as our 3 inch lifted 27 foot International.

It is not the trailer. It is the owner that cannot, even if they were not interested... is not a reason to criticize those who take their Airstream where few would travel. When we set camp you can watch the Ranchers and Horse Packers slow down and probably think the impossible is now possible. It always had been. The owner needed to prepare themselves and trailer with tools, shovel, provisions, fresh water conservation and a list of inexpensive items.

I cannot comprehend those on previous Adventures I led that they showered every day and needed to dump their grey and black tanks frequently. This is... Boondocking OTG. Anyone can pay for a RV Campsite. Anyone.

Few are mentally prepared for a challenge. Oh... they claim I just do not want to... That is OK with me, but it is not necessary to criticize those who require items that City Slickers and Social Travelers do not need... other than cork screws and wine tasting as their purpose.

Sure... sitting around and socializing for hours is entertaining, for some. Maybe most. But my heart is with those who dare to explore and risk getting a sun burn, sore feet and smell to high heaven.

I do not criticize those who prefer RV Parks, showers and electric outlets. But do not believe that those who Airstream Boondock OTG suffer from anything. It is a true NON group experience to be on your own, using your instincts and maybe, just maybe have the hair on your forearm raise a bit... when the Huckelberry brush shakes in western Montana near Flathead Lake.

I only ask that these people try to understand that there are many places an Airstream can travel and arrive safe from injury and damage. It takes lots of skill and courage. Jen comes to mind in the 2016 Wyoming Adventure. Jan and Ed and others who actually survived ten days in Wyoming's BEST. Ice Man in New Mexico. Thalweg... and Connie. Others I can picture in my mind, but the names are fleeting but the memories are not forgotten.
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Old 11-11-2019, 10:18 AM   #10
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As usual your posts are evocative and stirring. I’ve always enjoyed them Sir, and they are inspiring. May I live to make my own memories in the same vein..
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Old 11-11-2019, 11:02 AM   #11
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Hi

Even *in* a campground the "locals" may decide your trailer is "the place to be". We had a herd of bison bed down for the night around us this summer. A bit later in the year, it was a herd of deer. Always best to do a quick glance outside before tossing open the door for the dogs

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Old 11-11-2019, 11:09 AM   #12
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Light, camera, large dog and pump shotgun. I have spent most of my life in law enforcement, 27 years with the FBI. I have had specific death threats against me and this is my remedy. Bad guys like to operate in low light. They hate a well lit home, small or large. I would suggest an LED for over the door that is motion sensitive. Video for law enforcement. The sound of an agree dog is wonderful. Personally, I have a Japanese Akita. Bigger the growl, the better. Pump shotgun. Everybody knows that sound of racking a round in the chamber.
Also, call local law enforcement and ask if they could patrol your area at night. Tell them you have a fresh pot of coffee ready for the on duty officer, when you are not sleeping.
Good luck.
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Old 11-11-2019, 01:36 PM   #13
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Your AS is extremely durable. Look at the places Wally's caravans went. Even without the lift you can get to an incredible number of places - just take it slow, scout the two track BEFORE you drive down it, have an ax & bow saw for low branches and a few extra boards and a shovel for the impossible rut. Ray has explained it all in other threads he's posted. If you printed them out and built your own notebook you would have about the best Handbook there is.
On the other hand, we camp to get away from the crowds; IF you realized how easy and fun it really is, we'd suddenly have crowds where we now have peace and tranquility! :-)
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Old 11-11-2019, 03:29 PM   #14
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Boondocking OTG- Dogs and even... Felines

Our excuse to be away from RV Parks, Resorts and Recreation Areas are very basic.

In the morning, usually at Sunrise, our two Blue Heelers want to go out of the trailer, catch any scent in the air, do their marking and lay out front, guarding our door. This gives us great satisfaction.

Hikes with both Heelers, working dogs they are, require no leashes and they operate like Cowboys running a herd of cattle across the Great Plains. Often, one twenty or more feet to the left, and the other on the right. Forward guards. No, they do not get lost... once they are downwind... they can find you.

In rough areas that a dog cannot jump or climb or walk around, I can carry one dog at a time up to the next level. Repeat for the other. It does not happen often, but they will let you know and sit there until YOU pick him up, release to get the other and they wander ahead, as usual.

When their EARS stand up and their noses sense something... interesting... we become alert. Especially if you see large boulders rolled over exposing ANTS or former ant colonies beneath boulders. Bear Country for sure. Both Nancy and I are in tune with these Man's Best Friend. Anyone with a 'working dog' should be an OTG Boondocker.

Fresh over turned boulders... hope you have a noisy side arm in the event YOU become the hunted. At least working dogs will chase a Bear far enough and then return. Don't believe me... well, some day you just might understand. No harm done to man, dog or beast. All give each other MORE distance.

When dogs are hiking with us, they can walk up the the edge of a vertical outcrop with a 100 foot drop... look around... and walk away. Humans... begin to panic. Don't sweat the 'small details'. A dog has a better idea of what they can and cannot do than... yourself. You imagine tripping and falling over the cliff. A dog... they like the view and give it no more consideration.

Always carry the best pair of tweezers you can. Small quills of cacti and other prickly Rocky Mountain areas also support... cholla... which have 'magnificent' quills. Without the pair of tweezers, your finger tips will provide a soft spot of stubborn, second hand quills to reside until... you do find tweezers.

Goat heads... Arizona, New Mexico... Nevada... you will regret not carrying tweezers. They can be the worst things encountered for YOU and dog. Even a Grizzly Bear is tame compared to these stickers.

Porcupine in wet High Country, or near lakes are best avoided... by your dogs who want to get a good whiff... and end up with a snout of quills. You need a wide pliers with a flat surface, with some texture to adhere to electric wire... but in this case... one, two or more quills. At the beginning... the MORE the better. One person holds the dog down... and the other pulling quills. The dog will not feel any pain with them attached... until you begin to pull. Have a small container of water to rinse the quills OFF the pliers... to grab another batch. Some dogs will resist at first... and then just relax as you keep tugging. Do not quit. You will have a hard time getting ahold of your dog for a SECOND round. Some dogs, we had one, that after 90% of the quills were removed... did not want any more of that! Found a country vet who gave him a shot and finished. Often the Forest Service have people out in the area that will do it for free. But... get the quills out quickly... and after they are removed... the dog goes back to normal and has already forgotten the experience.

Porcupine quills. Even if you have two or three people holding the dog down on a picnic table... the better. One holding the head, while another is pulling quills. Trust me from experience, a crowd will gather for the entertainment, blood is temporarily thrown onto the help and bystanders, alike. After it is done... wipe with water and the dog wanders off with no... hard feelings.

Always carry a small drinking pan for your dog to drink from. After a trip or two... they will actually come to you and nudge your leg... that they are thirsty. You will be surprised how much water they need to quench their thirst.

We always have a water bowl outside the trailer. If they know you are leaving for a hike... they will NOT DRINK. Let them fill up before you leave camp.

Often they will not be hungry enough to finish their bowl. When you return... they will make the best of it.

You know your dog best. Small dogs may be of some concern, but they also tend to be noisy if something is near. Coyotes are always a problem in some areas. The pack will try to draw a full sized dog into their area and the other Coyotes are in wait. To discourage Coyotes from getting too close, I will fire a 22 caliber rifle towards their direction... and they will disperse. Maybe up until you leave.

Oh... Felines.

They can take of themselves.
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Old 11-12-2019, 09:57 AM   #15
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Majority have no idea what Boondocking use to mean...

There is a thread concerning 'Boondocking Security'.

Firearms while trailer camping in the Wilderness? Are you that stupid? Probably yes. Common sense is not evenly distributed today, or in the past, either. You had better have something for DEFENSE. Security... is not the same as defense.

If you visit any country Farm, Ranch, or Cabin in the forest... these individuals will have an arsenal to choose from. Not a can of Bear Spray or Hornet Spray or a walking stick to swing around.

Maybe a Keep Out sign to deter thieves?

I can pick out those who have never spent any time Boondocking OTG by their posts. Even the terminology has had to change. I add Off the Grid as the majority today means something totally different.

The vast majority of Airstream and RV owners... haven't a clue what it is like to actually be out numbered by Bear and Elk and Chipmunks.

They would mess their underwear camped where some of us set up camp and hear something howling in the distance. I met some on some individuals on several Adventures out west. First Timers were a bit, lets say, out of their element. That is expected. It is a learning experience, indeed.

Should I go on? Probably not... Boondocking is not a life style, but a choice. Be Prepared for the Worst... but expect the Best.

What a bunch of hypocrites explaining to some How to Survive in the Wilderness and wouldn't I have fun taking some of them along on a short trip.... but then again... why waste my time.
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Old 11-12-2019, 12:26 PM   #16
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MARKING your Boondocking OTG Campsite

No... pink flamingos.
No... colored ribbons on a tree branch
No... stack of rocks indicating the turn
No... sign with your 'handle' on the turn off
No... OK, you are now wondering, what????

Do as your dogs do... marking. Coyotes do it. Bear... wow, when they mark you find the 'scat'. Stud wild horses leave 'mounds' to mark their territory.

... alright. Men... do you job and be consistent. Mark the trees fifty feet from the campsite, often and if often is not on the menu... drink more fresh water.

Yes. You will know you are Boondocking OTG when you Mark your Campsite.

The first group of examples ARE GREAT ways to 'mark' for company to know where you are camped.

We had a 'Trailer Trash Party' given to us with our first 2006 Airstream. One gift was a carton with TWO pink flamingos with rods to stick into the ground. Our first trip we stuck a Flamingo about twenty feet off the gravel road... and a pickup stopped... and took it.

The second Flamingo... I magic marker printed 'Please do not Take'. It disappeared as well.

I went back to the first grouping of turnoffs.

Out friends did find the turnoff. I was either wandering around or... of course... marking my Territory.

You should as well. This may sound unreasonable today... but Civil Society put up fences... Myself, Boondocking OTG.. well, now you know. ...and your dog. They will go right over to the tree and... mark it with their own twenty SCENTS.

Much like Cow Pattie... "When Cow Pattie is in Town, You had better watch your step." A Rancher's tale... but appropriate.
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Old 11-12-2019, 01:11 PM   #17
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Portable Solar Panel versus Honda Generator

If others do not participate on this Thread... Just fine with me. I can look at my typos and poor grammar as an example of improving my... what was left of my social skills.

I can toss out unsolicited advice by the basket full.

Ah... yes. I was convinced I needed a generator after being a Newbie, reading wonderful reviews on this FORUM. I bought a quiet and very dependable Honda, on sale, but still in the $800 plus range.

For SECURITY I wrote my name on the Generator in magic marker. That is the Security part of this post.

After owning the generator, I fired it up to charge our 25 foot International. It idled and idled. I had 110 volt and must have been getting a charge to my Interstate Batteries... which could be another story. Very little happens to bring the batteries up to a full charge.

The generator was probably not a great idea for OTG Boondocking. No TV where we go. Radio was 12 volt, and even then... nothing until AFTER sunset. AM... no FM radio reception in the trailer, at all. Another story.

I consider the generator a 25% waste of money. Reason for 25% waste, is that I recovered 75% of my cost upon a sale. Was like new as I take good care of things I NEVER use.

Bought a Costco 110/120 watt solar panel, delivered to our front door, with a control to attach to the batteries. Wired it up and the smartest $110 or so investment made owning an Airstream. I could have added a second portable solar panel and added it to our battery connection... but did not need it. This single full sized solar panel kicked as many electrons into the batteries, as needed, keeping us Happy Boondockers, and etc. and etc..

Sans hair dryer and electric razor.

When charging a yellow diode. When fully charged a green diode. Two wires + and a -. I am not the brightest when it comes to, well electricity comes to mind, but you can also add several pages of other useless bits of knowledge being tossed around on this Forum. Like tire pressures, tow vehicles, hitches, plugged black tanks and that kind of novice, newbie concerns that are probably important at the moment... but the advice usually is passed off as nonsense, ending the conversation.

This current trailer has two solar panels mounted on top of the trailer and a Costco 110/120 watt solar panel, as well. For the cost of a generator, even a noisy great running brand... these work as long as the Sun radiates the planet with UV and other nasty particles.

Do you need a hair dryer and electric razor requiring 110 volts.

First... get a generator for a thousand dollars to dry your hair and shave.

Second... quit following this Thread. You will only get upset and lose your temper. Boondocking OTG... Not Boondocking at the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show with water and power connections at each campsite. Not the same.

Solar panels that are reliable are inexpensive. Add a twenty five foot extension cord wiring from the panel to the charge controller and you can catch sunlight and be parked in the shade. Unlike those mounted on the... Airstream.

OK. I am going back into the yard, cut more fronds off my Pineapple Palms. Those of you shoveling S...N...O...W off your driveway... you have me figured out. Sunny and into the 70's for an extended Fall Season... and when it gets above 110 degrees in the Summer... we are camping the High Country.

... without the Honda, of course.
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:22 PM   #18
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Hi

If you are going to use a GPS to relay your location back to those joining up later .... get at least two opinions on what that location is. Even some pretty well regarded GPS devices have "gotcha's" in the firmware. Driving across the middle of nowhere and having the track jump 2 miles is a pretty good indication, sometimes the jump is not as noticeable.

Cell phone based GPS outside cell coverage area .... hmmmm ..... maybe not ideal. They sometimes use cell data to help out the GPS process.

If "those joining up" are part of the backup plan (medical or whatever), you might not be in the mood to do a couple fixes at that point. Might be better to do it ahead of time and write it down in your notes.

Are GPS coordinates ideal? Certainly not. Getting somewhere odd often means making turn / road choices on the ground. Pick the wrong one and you can't get there. If air support is what's coming, they are about the only choice.

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Old 11-12-2019, 03:43 PM   #19
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2014 25' International
2006 23' Safari SE
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Consensus... on Chainsaws? Back off, saw dust is coming

Chainsaws to axes to hand saws... a wide open topic for experts and novices to consider. I have several 2,000 year Hopewell Indian of the Midwest STONE AXES that with a stout handle can knock a tree down in no time at all!

More toes are missing from... a long handled axe. Check it out if you do not believe it. Although I just made it up and it is... consensus working.

Consensus: Majority Opinion, General Agreement

Consensus gets me into trouble, which I actually welcome. If I thought like the majority, I would be doing a 9 to 5, five days a week jpb, wishing I was out... well, running a chain saw. We day dreamers have much in common.

Many call that a Career. I call it lost youth... kind of insanity.

The sense of Adventure, with a good dose of Common Sense. Common Sense being the better of the choices.

Experience can be misleading. A 'logger' in northwest Montana running a chainsaw five days a week and loading logging trucks... is one example. Often... not concerned about losing weight, but cannot eat enough to maintain any weight.

Myself, cutting blow down to toss onto the side of a just barely one lane wide gravel Forest Service Road in New Mexico considered 'all season road'. When logging was common in the late 1890's in the Gila National Forest the roads were excellent and the new growth was fantastic.

Now the trees are protected... so they can burn and blackened memorials to stupidity.

The rest of you, no doubt, fall between a Newbie mixing two cycle fuel and wanting to remove a fifty foot pine, blow down onto the road, so you can pass or a Consensus Maker with their no service cell phone and a pocket knife.

I have worn out a couple Stihl chainsaws. I have worn out more chains that one can count, as today it is easier to replace a worn chain with a new chain.

The 'safety equipment' of a professional and an amateur should be the same, but often... not. Even then an amateur can handle a chainsaw with little risk. The more time using a chainsaw, the better, but some may get a bit relaxed and loose a big toe in the process. I still have all my toes and fingers.

Why Stihl? Years ago I was watching a nature film of Tasmania lumber jacks giving them a workout. Great advertising for Stihl, it was.

The length of the chain is determined by the diameter of the timber to cut. I do not recall the length of my Stihl or chain length... but when I see it sitting there, I can point and say... "that is it".

Diameter and width are not the same when talking timber. For amateurs and people like myself... a smaller chainsaw is easier to handle. Stihl has a great Buyer's Guide to educate yourself.

The Forest Service Roads have had less service and some have become ATV Only travel. These I towed a 23 and 25 foot Airstream. Today, I have to disconnect and drive in to get a sense of what is left of the road. Three foot deep ruts and often 4x4 pickup's are advised to back up.

I have never been told not to cut dead wood off a road. I have never been arrested for cutting dead blow down timber. Probably because I do not need a campfire to roast chestnuts and marsh mellows. This is the 'consensus' of OTG campers... which is far from the truth. Most campfires you find are Hunter's Camps and at 27 degrees they huddle around a fire to stay warm... most likely drinking beer or hot chocolate for others.

I also have not been arrested for pulling large fallen boulders onto a road. Are they also protected today? Some are full of gold... so may even be tossed into the back of the pickup. Kind of Alaska, thing.

Amateurs do the chestnuts and marsh mellow. Great at a controlled camp. A terrible idea in the thick forest with your sparks blowing into the dry pine needles above you and on the ground.

Chainsaws laying there at idle have never injured anyone. Put an 'idiot' on one end... and you will read about it in a newspaper. There is no permit for a competent person or... an idiot. They are treated equal at the Stihl equipment shop.

Say what you want about chainsaws... in the Mohave Desert you are, well an idiot. Not necessary.

In the High Country of the Rocky Mountains... you may be eating your shoes after needing the Forest Service to come by with a Chainsaw to cut your way out of a big problem... or a small diameter problem that is sixty feet long and a ton of lumber. You choose.

I sold my chainsaw to my neighbor in Colorado. His wish that I sell him the chain saw since moving to the Desert. I did. Wish him well. He has lots of scrub oak to work with. He had a complete set of toes and fingers at the time.

If I get a few Royal Flushes on my nickel video poker play in town... I am considering getting the Stihl, extra chains, carrying case and a gallon or two of mixed fuel. And... if not... I just might as well. Just for spite. If I run into the 'Chainsaws are dangerous' naysayers... I will fire it up. Let it idle waiting for it to attack me.

If you are injured with a chainsaw... probably no safety goggles or ear muffs.

Going professional? Shin guards, steel toed shoes and maybe a cup for those young guys who may still be learning. A chainsaw is no worse than an electric drill...

Some of this is to get your attention... I was an OSHA inspector at one time. Idiots are out there and YOU need to be careful... as you will be the victim, not them.
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:53 PM   #20
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I haven't been on the forum for a while, but just popped in to see what has been transpiring. I see that Ray has been feeling especially eloquent of late.

Of this boondocking security topic, I function much the same as Ray. One thing I commonly do is hide a wildlife camera somewhere around the trailer. On numerous occasions I've acquired photos of people checking out my trailer. I've never had anyone with mischievous intentions. I attribute it to the fact that a vintage Airstream in the middle of nowhere attracts some attention. People are like raccoons, they're attracted by shiny objects.

I try to choose campsites that aren't visible from roads if possible. If I can see another camper, the site is too crowded. The biggest security problems I've encountered are from moose checking out their coiffure on the reflection of my trailer. They rubbed snot all over and dislodged some marker lights.

It is not uncommon to find firearms at my campsites. They are primarily used for protection against any old tree stumps that have malicious intents, or old beer cans that a previous occupant of the site could not bother themselves to pick up themselves. Now, before any of our northern friends get excited, the firearms never come out if there are any other people in the vicinity.
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