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Old 06-02-2016, 02:34 PM   #1
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Off-grid lot multi RV pad improvement ideas?

I have two adjacent 2-acre lots in Northern Arizona in the Bridge Canyon Estates area near Seligman, AZ. The dirt road in front of my lots is rutted, but am thinking about maybe using the Jeep Wrangler to drag a scraper or something to level and fill. Any ideas?

Also, according to 'those in the know' the only thing Yavapai County wants in order to live on these lots is an approved septic system; other wise the typical 3 weeks per year camping restriction applies. Most folks up there haul their own water, use solar or gen for electricity and portable LP tanks.

I'd like to improve the lots for a couple of RV's to use at a time. I'm thinking about leveling and graveling pads in close proximity to one another with perhaps tall RVport roofs with solar panels cooled by underlying hot water heater panels and some kind of rain capture system. Temperatures at about 4500' feet elevation are 80-90's in summer and 30-40's in winter.

I'm looking for ideas. Questions I have are is a small approved septic system workable with modern RV waste treatment chemicals? Would it make sense to build a shelter for batteries and hot water storage and route power and maybe hot water somehow to RV pads?

Here's a short YouTube video of the property.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:32 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by cdufault View Post
I have two adjacent 2-acre lots in Northern Arizona in the Bridge Canyon Estates area near Seligman, AZ. The dirt road in front of my lots is rutted, but am thinking about maybe using the Jeep Wrangler to drag a scraper or something to level and fill. Any ideas?
Hire a contractor.

Quote:
Also, according to 'those in the know' the only thing Yavapai County wants in order to live on these lots is an approved septic system; other wise the typical 3 weeks per year camping restriction applies. Most folks up there haul their own water, use solar or gen for electricity and portable LP tanks.

I'd like to improve the lots for a couple of RV's to use at a time. I'm thinking about leveling and graveling pads in close proximity to one another with perhaps tall RVport roofs with solar panels cooled by underlying hot water heater panels and some kind of rain capture system. Temperatures at about 4500' feet elevation are 80-90's in summer and 30-40's in winter.
Cool ideas. Rain capture is typically not suitable for drinking and requires filtration for other purpose. In general at today's prices, solar electric panels and an electric water heater pencil out cheaper than a solar thermal heating system for hot water.

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I'm looking for ideas. Questions I have are is a small approved septic system workable with modern RV waste treatment chemicals?
It's unusual for there to be a problem. California has laws limiting the use of some RV chemicals due to concerns in this area but afaik are the only state that sees a problem.

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Would it make sense to build a shelter for batteries and hot water storage and route power and maybe hot water somehow to RV pads?
Few if any RVs have a hot water port. Why not use the propane water heater heater (or electric) in the RV? For longer stays you could get a propane bulk tank but for a few weeks it wouldn't be necessary.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:58 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by cdufault View Post
I have two adjacent 2-acre lots in Northern Arizona in the Bridge Canyon Estates area near Seligman, AZ. The dirt road in front of my lots is rutted, but am thinking about maybe using the Jeep Wrangler to drag a scraper or something to level and fill. Any ideas?
Do you own the road? If not, don't waste your money repairing it.
Quote:
Also, according to 'those in the know' the only thing Yavapai County wants in order to live on these lots is an approved septic system; other wise the typical 3 weeks per year camping restriction applies.
In order to install a septic system, you need to perform a percolation test of the soil to make sure the adsorption field downstream of the septic tank will function as it should. If the soil fails the percolation test, there are other means of disposing of the treated water, including sprinkler systems— provided the sprinklers do not spray water toward inhabited areas or areas used to grow crops for human consumption. The State or County agency responsible for approving septic systems can give you more information on what you can do and what is needed to do it.
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I'd like to improve the lots for a couple of RV's to use at a time. I'm thinking about leveling and graveling pads in close proximity to one another with perhaps tall RVport roofs with solar panels cooled by underlying hot water heater panels and some kind of rain capture system.
The plumbing will be easiest to lay out if the sites are back-to-back so the street sides of the RVs face each other and they both have sewer hookups running to the same point.

You don't need solar water heating, and you don't need to cool the solar panels. That would be a wasted expense.

A cistern to capture rainwater is an excellent idea— IF the average annual rainfall is enough to make it worthwhile and you have a large-enough collection area (roof) and storage area (cistern). For every 100 square feet of collection area, one inch of rainfall will net you about 60 gallons of water. So figure your average rainfall, and the amount of water you need, and that will determine how much roof area you have to use to collect the water and how big a cistern you need. But water from a cistern has to be treated before it can be considered potable, so plan for that as well. Also, the cistern should be covered and preferably underground to minimize evaporation and water contamination.
Quote:
Questions I have are is a small approved septic system workable with modern RV waste treatment chemicals?
Don't use chemicals in the RV waste tanks if they're feeding into a septic system. You want all waste treatment to happen in the septic tank, not the holding tanks.
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Would it make sense to build a shelter for batteries and hot water storage and route power and maybe hot water somehow to RV pads?
You will need a shelter for batteries to collect your solar electric power to run the pump that will feed water from your cistern through a treatment system and to the RVs. You will also need a pumphouse for your water pump, which can be in the same shelter but preferably in a different compartment, so you don't have water and electric in the same place in case of a water leak.
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