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Old 08-28-2016, 03:41 PM   #15
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We Boondock as Minimalists in our Airstream

Great posts and after I am retro fitting much of the interior hardware of our 2014 International... my next project is to work on the Solar needs.

Our 2006 23 foot Safari served our needs in the west with the Jackson Center's 80 watt Solar package that came with the trailer. We are usually above 3,000 feet in elevation to 9,500 feet so Air Conditioning never is an issue.

We camp the Mohave Desert and SW USA in the Winter months, and again AC is never an issue.

Our power needs are minimal as we are minimalists when it comes to exploring the High Country for Rocks, Minerals and occasionally gold panning to earn $1 an hour breaking our backs. Metal detecting has discovered more copper, silver and gold than gold panning in the western USA!

Our needs:

-At night I MUST have an AM station for news and weather.
-Our fresh water is for cooking and drinking.
-A Mr. Heater Portable Big Buddy Propane Heater will substitute for a quick warmup on a cold morning, without AS's furnace running.
-Our LED lights are even used in areas being used.
-Larger refrigerator is a grocery inside our trailer!
-Queen size bed is absolutely wonderful.
-Tools in the event this home on wheels needs more upkeep...

We do not take daily showers when Boondocked out in nowhere. Water heated from the river will substitute for Dog Water, dish washing and water to bathe outdoors. Few on the Forum can claim this minimalist camping, but those who do, already understand.

Parked at an RV Park is a last choice. We are just as comfortable in a vacant lot as a RV Park with crowds, traffic and closeness to the extremes of humanity at one location.

Our Airstream is an upgrade to our Tent Camping and we do not necessarily require all of the nice embellishments within... we still adhere to smart wilderness camping behavior. It is just our way exploring within our home in tow.
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Old 08-28-2016, 04:06 PM   #16
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Agreed 100%, folks with this requirement should probably not spend time and money on either solar power or expensive batteries.


Quote:
Originally Posted by NY24 View Post
I WANT to be able to run my AC and / or microwave whenever I choose to. Generator is a must if I'm not plugged into shore power.
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Old 08-29-2016, 07:10 AM   #17
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So far in all my 39 years of camping electricity has been available at the campsite.
Boondocking must primarily be an "out west" or national park thing.
The batteries without solar or a generator keep a charge long enough to have lunch in the trailer while traveling.
I guess I am spoiled by a/c and microwave...
We have done very minimal boondocking, but only in mild enough weather to not need a/c.
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Old 08-29-2016, 11:53 AM   #18
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Three years ago I put 400 watts of solar panels on the roof. I don't own a generator. A couple times in very shady campsites my batteries nearly drained, but that took at least 4 days. The solution was to move to a sunny spot for the afternoon. We make no particular effort to conserve electricity. The trailer has an inverter to charge cell phones, watch TV (movies mainly) etc.

I've contemplated getting a generator, but I'm having a difficult time rationalizing it. We mostly camp at state parks and forest service campgrounds where hookups of any kind are nonexistent. However, this is not boondocking. We almost never camp at places with hookups (ie private RV parks).

I think, in my case, the reason for a generator would be to use the microwave or extend our camping into the rainy winter months where solar is handicapped. If I felt I needed to run the AC I'd either go to where I can plug in or simply get to a cooler location. Of course, not living in the south or east coast helps.
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Old 08-29-2016, 12:13 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
So far in all my 39 years of camping electricity has been available at the campsite.
Boondocking must primarily be an "out west" or national park thing.
The batteries without solar or a generator keep a charge long enough to have lunch in the trailer while traveling.
I guess I am spoiled by a/c and microwave...
We have done very minimal boondocking, but only in mild enough weather to not need a/c.
******

Somehow people outside the Rocky Mountains see a blank spot on the map once leaving Kansas. ... and you are 100% correct.

Sea Level to 2500 feet elevation, I can understand the need for considering electricity as necessary. It is.

I had no microwave or AC tent camping in the Badlands of Nebraska for thirty years. Survived and very comfortable, even in July.

With a trailer... at elevation, ask those on the 2016 Wyoming Adventure this August if AC was even a thought... not with FROST on the aluminum skin and most mornings below 50 degrees by morning. M.hony is correct... it is an Out West thing.

A majority of Airstream Owners do require electrical hookups for their style of camping. Nothing wrong with that, at all. There is nothing bad about NOT needing hookups or electrical power when parked outside our home in Castle Rock. Flatlanders will think they have entered the ICE Age here. It is only the hours before sunrise... you will shed the woolies at sunrise.

I do not need a humidifier here with 3% to 20% humidity. We ADD moisture to our homes. Our trailer in the Rockies may be in the 3% to 15% daily and it is a hot dry or cool dry outside air when camping. If you do not drink 48 ounces or more of water... get use to leg cramps. Sweating in the Rockies... is not permitted.

It IS different out West where the maps ARE blank white, except for some highways to get in and to get out. Maybe some spots on the map with obscure names of Eastern towns misplaced on a highway.

Rain and snow? The sun will dry things up sooner and you can ski the slopes at 12,000 feet wearing very little.

Today... Pikes Peak is covered with Snow. Maybe those coming to Colorado in September might want to check if the first snows are being moved up a month or more this year. Global Warming maybe in your neck of the woods... but here... my snow shovels are ready and the ATV with plow is awaiting a deep snowy October.

P.S. When tent camped at the Coleman Quartz Mine in Arkansas... back when our wagon rolled into camp, we ran an extension cord from power, into the tent, to the electric coffee pot on the camp site table. When ready to greet sunrise, we connected the plugs and had hot coffee waiting for us! That was a luxury moment for us.
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Old 08-29-2016, 12:50 PM   #20
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It is all a matter of perspective and where your camping experience comes from.

Mhoney, In 40ish years of camping we've never plugged into anything. But we can appreciate it and will enjoy it when it's ready in ours. Coming from tent camping makes dry camping an easier switch.

We think we'd like to have solar and a generator in the future if conditions necessitate one over another.
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Old 08-29-2016, 02:11 PM   #21
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I tent camped for years before I bought the first trailer, too.
It has all come a long way.
I remember when the bathroom at the campground was just a glorified outhouse with a hole in the ground for sewage.
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Old 08-30-2016, 09:38 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m.hony View Post
I tent camped for years before I bought the first trailer, too.
It has all come a long way.
I remember when the bathroom at the campground was just a glorified outhouse with a hole in the ground for sewage.
******
I remember Olney and Somers, Montana, as a kid, having an outhouse as standard home convenience.

I remember visiting grandparents in the Netherlands where the homes had water and plumbing only in the kitchen, no central furnace, only a coal burning stove in the kitchen... yet an outhouse attached to the living quarters. They had wash basins to freshen up when not on the 'main floor'. My brother and I peed out of the second story window to avoid the... out/in house option or 'pan'.

When revisiting the old homestead, the Napoleon aged home was modernized, the out house and attached out structures were turned into a magnificent home. Vintage on the exterior but beautiful inside. During WW2 the Germans, Russians and Americans spent some winter quarters in the home.

My mother liked one American Howitzer artillery master sergeant during the Battle of the Bulge with General Patton and thus began our American Boondocking adventures.

Solar Power... none. But there was a 'coin operated' meter where you would insert a Netherland 10 cent coin, smaller than a US cent for power... when you needed it. Last time I was there as a youth in the mid 1960's... still no Solar, but the meter system was finally attached to the exterior.

... and here we discuss Solar and a Generator as if everyone needs it to survive full timing or camped in our Airstreams.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:27 PM   #23
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Am with the guys who want some AC or microwave. What we value and need the generator for is an hour or so of evening television.
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Old 08-31-2016, 02:55 PM   #24
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Ray, I actually have both. I have two panels on my 2017 Serenity 28 Intl and two Genconnex Honda eu2000i generators. It wasn't a low cost option, but tons of flexibility when off the grid. I love the panels, but my wife also likes the microwave and we both like the a/c!
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Old 08-31-2016, 03:49 PM   #25
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"... Few on the Forum can claim this minimalist camping, ..." ----

--- Camping in an Airstream,... ANY form of "camping' with a trailer.... is not minimalist camping.

As a young-adult Scouting Trek-Ranger, I spent months on end with nothing but a string of burros and a troop of tenderfeet-boys I had to keep alive and educate in real minimalist camping. This included trapping and gathering our meals from the local flora and fauna. The only things we took along was salt, sugar, coffee, powdered-milk, and all-purpose flour (actually did cheat a little and used Bisquick often...and dried beans/salted-pork for the occasional emergency/lean-days....after-all, the burros needed something to carry!) It was wonderful. I love those memories.
Fires were always started with flint/steel and cooking was done on open fires or in reflector-ovens.

As a young-married, I loved the rather frugal tent-camping my young wife and I did in Lincoln Nat'l Forest, Taos area and Big Bend.
Now, as a retired pilot and instructor, I have an Airstream for the comforts in my old-age, and that means when I boondock, ...particularly in W. Texas, N.M., and AZ...;...I've got a frugal and green camping-style.... but with the comforts found with a portable generator while I tell my grandkids about the rough-and-tough days with no airconditioning.
These young whipper-snappers don't have a clue what "minimalist" is.
(Defn: "whipper-snapper" came from the old mule-skinner days, a description of the new-comers/sodbusters who hadn't a clue what a whip was really for.)

Can you tell I'm now a low-land generator guy, but who occasionally enjoys the silence of the wind in the Rockies?

I'm really enjoying the many stories, problems, and solutions here in these forums. Thanks for the camaraderie.
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Old 08-31-2016, 04:12 PM   #26
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Quote:
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"... Few on the Forum can claim this minimalist camping, ..." ----

--- Camping in an Airstream,... ANY form of "camping' with a trailer.... is not minimalist camping.

Reminds me of an Epic Rap battle I heard recently:

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Old 08-31-2016, 04:21 PM   #27
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I admit I have never camped like minimalist/survival backpack man, but I have done the tent camping out of the car with all amenities and the Tiffin Allegro Bus thing.


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Old 08-31-2016, 04:31 PM   #28
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