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Old 04-21-2013, 09:06 PM   #1
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How Long Can One Boondock?

I am new to Airstreaming, how long can you go with out being hooked up to electric and sewer before system failure?

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Old 04-21-2013, 09:21 PM   #2
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It depends!

Electric is not a problem. I can go about a week before I recharge my batteries if I am only operating LED lights, the water pump and a cooling fan some of the time. I carry a 1000w genny for recharging the batteries.

I have a porta potty, so I can just dump it in a toilet when it is time.

If I am truly boondocking, like in the boonies, I just drain my gray water onto the ground.

I will need water though. I carry a spare 40 gal water tank in my truck for refilling the Airstream water tank.


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Old 04-21-2013, 11:10 PM   #3
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If there is no water source available and dumping the grey on the ground is not an option, the two of us with a dog can last ~7 days, but we normally keep it to 5.

If we have access to potable water. Either via a campground or in-town spigot or a fill station at a store. We can go about 10-12 days before the black tank is at capacity. If we really needed to stretch that, we can do two weeks.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:42 AM   #4
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As you can see it " DEPENDS" a lot on your lifestyle while on the road. Water is critical so it will be dependent on how much you can carry or have access to. Storage tank capacity will depend on what trailer you have. Larger trailers have around 35gal or so. Some smaller one somewhat less. Some combine black & grey water so that's a bit more limiting. If you have a generator that will extend your need to re-charge your batteries as will having 2 batteries as opposed to 1. Then again there are solar options and other battery options also. The list goes on and on and on. So there is no real answer. Go ahead and try it for a few days. Most any trailer can handle a couple of days easily. Monitor your on board system capacities and usage and go from there.

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Old 04-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #5
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If you have a water supply ... until you run out of holding tank capacity and comfort using nature's head ... solar / gen electric supplementation and food are then the consideration.
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Old 04-25-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
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Welcome, post a picture of your trailer.

It would be helpful to know which trailer you have and the year, the capacities of the various tanks and the power consumption vary by year and model. It is not a system failure, the systems will have reached their maximum capacity or used all available power as designed.
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Old 04-25-2013, 12:16 PM   #7

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Zanadude Nebula , WNY
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Thumbs up Welcome Aboard....

We all hope we don't have a "system" failure...lost the water pump on the first day of the first trip in the Classic...Mcgyver'd it.

We have gone 13 daze under extreme conservation protocol, (water available)
Genset charging batteries,(2Lifeline grp27) every 2-4. We carry approx 15 liters of bottled water on most dock'n trips.

W/O h2o 6-8

AF #1

"Sticks & stones can break your bones...and hail will dent your Airstream"

So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 04-25-2013, 02:02 PM   #8
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Don't use the air or furnace. They use alot of power. Find a cataletic heater and open windows. You can go longer with a solar system on the roof to keep the battery charged.
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Old 04-25-2013, 04:54 PM   #9
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Fresh water capacity is the TT limiting factor.

But I would also rank high humidity a genuine concern as well, as TT interiors will be subjected to growing mold/mildew problems in three-season Southern US temps.

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Old 04-25-2013, 05:20 PM   #10
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As others have said, water is what limits your stay. We can go 3-4 days on our 40 gallon tank even if we shower carefully every day.
We carry jerry cans and fill up where ever we can. We also carry a small 110 pump. A few of are favorite sites are by water and we pump stream water into the water tank or the jerry cans using our Honda generator for power. Of course the water is not drinkable without treatment.
Most forest service campgrounds have a water source.
We often camp where temps go down to the freezing level and run the furnace at night keeping the trailer about 55. We sleep in light weight sleeping bags. The fan is an energy hog. We recharge with a 250 watt solar panel and with the generator on cloudy days. If we upgraded to LED lighting we would use less battery power.
Colorado has had a drought for the last several years and campgrounds that used to ban grey water discharge now allow it to be used to water the trees and plants.
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Old 04-25-2013, 05:58 PM   #11
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Indefinitely under the right conditions. I lived in a pickup camper off grid for over a year. I had a 125 gallon LP tank, water was pumped from a ground pump into the tank. There was an out house adjacent to the camper and my battery was recharged by solar power.

With most Airstreams I suspect your tops is going to be about 10 days totally self contained. In reality 3-5 days is more realistic.


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