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Old 04-22-2012, 09:59 PM   #1
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Penokee , Kansas
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Wife's first dry dock.. camping

Hello all my AS friends,.

Took a little doing but talked my dear wife into camping in a remote area without AC 120,, or water.. ( like we were all going to die)

When I came up with the concept,, the questions of "what about lights?,, water? ,,, heat?...

We both had to work all day Sat,,, and did not pull out of our yard till 8pm,, for just a overnighter planed at a area fishing hole about 3 miles from our farm.. Its a sweet location with nice cotton wood trees,, and very few people other than a few fishermen with the day light hours..

Got a normal sized RV battery,, and in good shape but did not know how well it might work with the furnace running at night some.. That and I tried out a little 400 watt dc/ac power inverter to run a 19" flat screen TV along with the DVD player. ( no TV stations within reach,, even with a 60 foot tower)

Well at bed time we still had 12.8 volts showing after a movie and lights on and 2 showers so all looked well.. At night I am a light sleeper and am due for a new blower motor in the furnace so I knew every time it cycled 4 times.. I felt that was a lot for the mid 30s we had but in the morning I found I had left a roof vent open 1/3 ...

At breakfast,, the wife grabbed the 120v toaster,, and had to remind her that was not going to fly.. Hard not to body slam her for even plugging it in but was nice about it. To be nice I toasted the bread for her over the burner on the stove using a hot dog fork.

Since it was cloudy,, cold with a stiff 40 mph wind we fired up another DVD movie and watched it after breakfast to allow the clouds to pass and warm up a notch.. At 11am,, I still showed 12.5 volts,, and the sun started to poke out.. By noon with 60% sun our solar panel had the battery back to 13.8 volts...

So the only weak system I found was mostly due to the lack of a gray water tank with our 72 Overlander,, as I back filled the black water tank with all the tub and sink water.. We were about full by the time we left to come home late afternoon..

I should add that some of our family meet us at the lake for dinner so had 4 kids,, 4 other adults make use of our bathroom.. And a emergency bath for our youngest grand kid Tate due too a major diaper blow out.. So all in all it went well.

Cant say reason why,, but to just get away for 12 to 18 yours just seems to add a whole new dimension to life.. Even with the duty of packing, unpacking and flushing out the holding tanks ,, I just feel more rested than if I just sat at home..

Sodbust
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Old 04-22-2012, 10:11 PM   #2
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Fremont , California
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Great story and my hat is off.

No way I'm dry camping unless the night time temp is 50F or above. Good for you making toast the really old fashioned way!
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Old 04-22-2012, 11:17 PM   #3
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I'm a motorcycle camper so my wife and I have gone on several 3 week cross country trips with a pop up tent pull behind camper. We stayed in campgrounds to have access to toilets and showers. We also had a couple motorhomes. The pop up was most fun.
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Old 04-23-2012, 12:07 AM   #4
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When we first got our AS we did RV parks with hookups. they we OK but too many big rigs parked really close on cement pads. For the most part now we love the state parks, national forest service parks, ect. Most have water available and grey water disposal. We have now equipted with a way to get water into our fresh water tank. A way to dispose of grey water. Hook ups are nice, but using the trailer as it should be used is much better.
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:24 AM   #5
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Sounds like it was fun!


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Old 04-23-2012, 07:10 AM   #6
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Good Times. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:46 AM   #7
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Thanks for this story. We're going to try dry camping next month...I can't wait. (I did it as a kid with my parents, but haven't since I've been camping as an adult.)
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Old 04-23-2012, 08:49 AM   #8
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Good for you and your wife. I bet she's thinking better of the adventure now than before you went. So next time you can make it a weekend a little farther away; with fewer visitors and "emergencies" your tankage will go farther. And if you do all the cooking and cleaning, the DW will like it even more!

Last fall I spent three nights at Kanopolis State Park. Though folks here have been somewhat slamming KS state parks, I found it delightful ... right on a largish lake, so it was very pretty, and it was late enough in the year that there was hardly anyone there. Though I think all they had was electric hookup, this saved me from quite a bit of propane use. Also, there was a "campground host" to keep an eye on things while I was fishing, tending to farm land, etc. It did seem a little pricey, but the facilities were good and clean, etc. All in all, a good experience.

And just across the lake was a Federal campground with similar amenities and perhaps a better boat ramp. One of the two sites (I think it was Kanopolis) had an extensive horse camping site, with nice horse facilities and LOTS of folks who had towed in RVs and horses for trail riding, etc.

So, congratulations, but do check out some of the KS State Parks ... I was pretty pleased with my admittedly limited experience.
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