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Old 10-25-2006, 01:00 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by CaddyGrn
So much depends on where you are... and how far from fresh water and disposals... so, let's assume you are in the middle of nowhere. No water, no dump station, no Starbucks, no Wal Mart....

Water. We use the squirt bottle routine. It also works well for the toilet. Put a squirt of dish soap into a empty bottle, fill with water and it will rinse the bowl nicely. Used this in our boat when fresh water was a real premium.

One can also recycle water. Use your gray water (you can "strain" it through a cloth if fussy...) to use for flushing the black tank... squirt bottle or just a jug to pour in...

We usually wash hands, dishes, etc. outside and don't throw the water away immediately until we know we won't need it for something else. If you can toss the gray water outside it will really help the black tank or gray water tank from filling too soon.

Carry extra. We usually carry several flats of bottled drinking water. Also can carry extra water in a large blue tank.

Wash your hair, etc. in a bucket. If you fill the bucket with warm water you can stick your hair in, wet and wash your hair... rinse with the water in the bucket! You will even have a little left if you rinse back over the bucket to use to flush with!

Propane. All of our appliances are "original" so they run on propane only. No electricity needed. Propane stovetop, propane heater (no fan), propane hot water, propane refrigerator. No fans in any appliances. Unless we are heating everything in the cold weather, our propane will last way longer than our water or need to find a dump station.

Lighting. In the summertime, it stays light outside for a long time. We found we don't need much use for our batteries. Watch the campfire, visit, read during the daylight hours, do dishes make beds, etc. before nightfall and you will use less battery energy. We always bring a good old Coleman lantern and flashlights. We also have those wind up flashlights (Costco) so if all else fails our batteries can be recharged with a few cranks of the handle! I also have a nice little yacht lamp (West Marine) that burns a liquid parafin and will burn for a looooooooong time on the smallest amount of fuel. It provides enough light to actually see what you are doing, but not enough to read by, etc. Don't use your battery power unless you absolutely have to!

Well, these are a few of the things we do when Boondocking and wanting to stay as long as we can... our biggest need is usually the black water tank. We use other available bathrooms (pit toilets, etc.) when available and "save" ours for the middle of the night uses. When the blackwater needs to be emptied, then it is time to find a dump.

Have fun! Keep on camping!

Mrs. NorCal Bambi (traveling in S Tardis)
UH! Where have I been. You have just discribed how I tent camped before and a little after a family. When I saw this thread I thought "Oh, good, I can pick up some good pointers."

Neil and Lynn Holman
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Kirk Creek, Big Sur, Ca. coast.

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Old 10-25-2006, 08:45 AM   #16
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Thumbs up Great thread!

All great ideas and posts above!

Nice idea for a thread, I'm definitely using the squirt bottle next time, thanks Flyfisher/Brad!

Good point Neil about tenting, those of us who paid our dues tenting probably do things we don't even think about boondocking in the luxury Airstream experience!

*A little planning hint: choose your boondocking place with your limits in mind--its all about fun right?
**We don't boondock when its super hot/humid, we go off season to hot places like the Smokies etc. Fewer crowds, happier rangers, cleaner facilities.
**I like to make sure there's water nearby, gotta have water...I mean like lakes or rivers to splash around in/cool off in. I know that's not possible everywhere, but we live in Michigan and we're lucky (I'll keep telling myself that in December and March...)
**Use less stuff, I use paper plates when we boondock. I try to make meals less of an ordeal I'd rather be playing than cleaning up.

Steph in MI Air# 6996-
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Old 10-25-2006, 09:19 AM   #17
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Propane lamps

Several times I have given serrious thought to adding a couple indoor propane lamps to my Trade Wind for boondocking, but I really cant figure out where to place them so that they would give good light and not do any damage. Anybody have lamps? How well do they work?

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Old 10-25-2006, 11:58 AM   #18
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I know I'm probably in the minority here, but the whole purpose in buying an Airstream was comfort and, dare I say, luxury camping! Seriously, I would have stuck to my Eddie Bauer tent and queensized platform air mattress if I didn't want all of the comforts of home!

I'm not critizing mind you; there may be times when we have to boondock in Wal-mart's parking lot, but it's not something I'm going to search out. On the east coast where I live, there just isn't enough federal lands where you can dry camp. All of the good places have state parks in them and if they don't have at least water and electricity with a dump station I guess I'll only stay the night because we would have the gray tank full in one morning's worth of showers.

And I can tell you, Princess Diva isn't going to go boondocking without a fight!
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Old 10-25-2006, 12:26 PM   #19
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We love boondocking. Out here in the West there are vast tracts of land (bigger than some states) where you can go. We've only been to Campgrounds twice.

We have a summer Honda 3000 for the A/C and a winter Honda 1000 for the batteries.

Of course you can run most appliances on gas.

The winter generator keeps batteries charged so you don't have to scrimp on heat or light.

Water. We cut our water usage by paper plates and BBQ's. No water used for cleanup there. VERY short showers really just a Navy bath keeps you smelling fresh and saves water.
I'd rather be boon docking in the desert.

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Old 10-25-2006, 01:50 PM   #20
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Well, a lot has to do with the concept for the Princess. And I will admit, I don't like the thought of too much roughing it either. In a pinch yes, as a means to an end, no.
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Old 10-25-2006, 03:04 PM   #21
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Yes, we all own wonderful Airstreams with lots of great creature comforts, but why do we travel? To see the great outdoors or the highways. We love Boondocking our Safari every chance we get. We are lucky to have a wonderful state park not 60 miles from our driveway. In the woods, under the pines on the Housatonic River. Quite, campfires at night, flyfishing, river running and some really nice folks. You don't get that at some paved RV Resort. As everyone has mentioned, there are some really great ways to conserve and have a wonderful time out in the great outdoors. We have goetten to the point where we can camp for five days with no problems. As mentioned so many times, conservation is the key. So, you can have your concrete drives, plastic palm trees and CNN live, give me the great outdoors!
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:02 PM   #22
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Hi, I like a lot of your ideas; some are a little extreme for us. Although we do conserve on water by short showers, paper plates, conservative utinsel washing, and bottled water for coffee and cooking. [No princess showers] Actually, so far, boondocking for us is spending the night at a rest stop or one nighters at a state park or at a campsight with only overflow spaces without hookups. I'm with Minnie's Mate, I want full hook ups to fully enjoy my stay.
Now tell Bob the truth; Do you like being away from everything, out in nature? Or are you just trying to camp as cheap [inexpensive] as possible at the cost of real comfort?

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Old 10-26-2006, 07:14 AM   #23
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Robertsunrus mentioned something I have wondered about on my travels along the interstate. I see signs at rest stops that say there is nighttime security. Does that mean the security is there to make it safe to dry camp overnight or does it mean they are there to run you off if you do? Also, there are dump stations at most rest stops, are they there for you to use after you have dry camped for the night or what is the reason they are there? Is it because state parks don't generally have hook-ups?
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:23 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
I'm with Minnie's Mate, I want full hook ups to fully enjoy my stay.
Got to have A/C in the south!!!
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Now tell Bob the truth; Do you like being away from everything, out in nature? Or are you just trying to camp as cheap [inexpensive] as possible at the cost of real comfort?

I don't think it is to save money. I realize in many parts of the country there are BLM and fed lands where you can boondock that are absolutely breath taking and worth foregoing a few of life's simple luxuries for a night or two, but unfortunately, we don't seem to have them in the southeast. All such places seem to be in state parks that at least have electricity and water with a dump station and bath houses. We invested in a four-wheeled blue tank for such occassions so we can use our own shower every morning.

Call us softies, city slickers, or even yuppies if you will, but we like to relax on our camping trips and that includes comfortable surroundings to do it in. I spend time with my boys and leave Princess Diva to quiet time to herself as much as I can, but when it's time to whip up a frozen adult beverage and relax under the awning or inside under the A/C, I want access to all of those comforts I paid so much to of soap box now.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:46 AM   #25
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Airstreams for many places

I don’t think we pursue “boondocking” as much as we pursue place.
We won’t go looking for a chance to have limited utilities but we will look for a place that might be ours to enjoy quietly and without distraction. The comforts of the Airstream are always there, sometimes they have to be used sparingly in order to make place the priority.
Unfortunately, place is very often hard to find. Even harder for those who live in populated areas with a high demand on areas of escape. Our state parks are beautiful and have utilities but the concession sometimes is in the sharing and looking out that wonderful Airstream window and seeing white corrugated siding or fiberglass in the adjacent camp site. This we all do because the park is there, it is attractive & safe, and we are part of its community of users.
I would encourage Airstream owners to look for a place. It might be property owned by good friends or relatives. Find a place you can be alone with the family or friends. Look back to where this all started and continues today; those who safaried into the boondocks. I think they use that as a name for Airstreams because it defines the history and for some the purpose.
And we all know that owning a Safari is a good thing.

PS Pass me that 3000 watt generator please.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:09 AM   #26
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Like others here, we camp for location. If I have a choice between two equally desirable locations - one boondocking, one Full H/U, I'll take the hook-ups every time. I'm not fond of the blue tote.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:37 AM   #27
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I think the full range of preferences between "off the grid for weeks at a time in the boondocks" and "50 amp hookup with sat tv and surround sound" was one of the first things I noticed about the forums when I started lurking, pre-purchase. I think this diversity, wrapped in the mutually shared Airstream celebration, is one of the things that keeps this virtual community vibrant.

Like Tin Sista, my wife and I arrived here after years of backpacking. We're slowly modifying our Globetrotter to be happy for longer periods in the outback as a base camp. After all our tent years, the basic comforts of our AS still amaze me. Get up (out of a bed!) in the morning and:

1. You can stand up
2. Turn on the *heater*
3. Make coffee on the *stove*
4. Get milk out of the *reefer*

As you know, the list goes on and on. I find it just amazing. And, with no hookup, out where the woodbine twineth, quite luxurious!

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Old 10-26-2006, 10:38 AM   #28
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A few questions for those who use generators....since we have considered getting one for those extreme times when there is no sun for the solar panels. Maybe I am just more cautious than I need to be, do you haul fuel? Our tow vehicle is a Yukon XL (like a Suburban), and I just don't feel comfortable hauling a can of gas around in the back along with my kids and my dog! Is it possible to convert these Honda generators to propane, maybe? Or, do you strap down the gas container inside your Airstream?

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