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Old 02-23-2019, 08:08 PM   #1
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Dispersed Camping for Newbs???

Hello everyone, im trying to mine information from more knowledgeable people on here on the practicality of dispersed camping, mainly, the safety side of taking your trailer on dirt roads.
So we are soon to be owners of a new '18 Sport 22fb, and being based in Las Vegas we are looking forward to many great trips not too far from home, from Utah to SoCal to NorCal and who knows what else. But one thing we are not really looking forward to is RV parks. From what we understand, these places offer very little privacy and don't really give you a feel for the outdoors, not to mention the cost.
Sooo, dispersed camping is a term we have recently learned. From what I understand this is where you can go to a National Park and camp on the side of the road, usually, but mostly you have to go thru dirt roads and get out there, which is great, but is it safe for our trailers???
Any tips on how to do it properly or any safety issues we need to keep in mind?
Thanks to all
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:08 AM   #2
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There are a lot of threads in the boondocking subforum you have started this thread in, which you might peruse to add to your knowledgebase.

Personally, I don’t head off down dirt roads by myself, but there are a lot of established national forest campgrounds which may give you the rustic experience you desire without the blaze-your-own-trail requirement.

A good campground app, like AllStays, will show you these, also what amenities are provided...usually pit toilets and water, sometimes more than that.

Get out there and try a few, you will undoubtedly find ones you like.

Maggie
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Old 02-24-2019, 05:26 AM   #3
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The following thread is long, but a very good introduction to one person's approach to boondocking as he made his way across the country IMO:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...go-166490.html

TravlinMan's next thread FYI:

http://www.airforums.com/forums/f42/...-a-173979.html

Good luck,

Peter
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:03 AM   #4
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I don’t think you can boondock in a National Park. National Forest, and BLM land yes. As was mentioned above the National Forest areas have campgrounds, and places where you can boondock. We have done both, and so far prefer the NF CGs.
I’m fine with using a pit toilet. (If only my wife uses the AS toilet we can stay out longer.)
We like shade and privacy. I’ve even called ranger stations for some of the NF CGs to get their take on the CGs. Generally if a CG is large enough it will have a host. A CG host helps insure things are cleaner and quieter. With regards to someone’s music or generator. Many of the NF CGs are on lakes. (We haul a 2 person kayak.)
The CGs charge, but are usually $8-$12 a night. Where just pulling in to a boondock site (usually no facilities of any kind) will be no charge.
Congrats on the new trailer!
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:16 AM   #5
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Some of the National Parks and Forests require camping in designated areas only, others not within a certain # of feet from the road.

If there are restrictions, they are posted, in my experience.

I tend to equate boondocking with dry camping (no hookups, such as in designated sites, or even WalMart), tho for purists boondocking is miles down a dirt road, surrounded by nothing but nature.

I tend to like the designated sites in the National Parks and Forests, of which there are a great plenty out west where the OP lives.

Maggie
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:49 AM   #6
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Also, to familiarize yourself with National Forest Service maps and dispersed camping, there are a number of great products that the gov't. publishes on the Forest Service's map web page:
https://www.fs.fed.us/visit/maps

Once you get to this page, look for Motor Vehicle Use Maps (MVUM). You can pick up a paper copy at your local FS office, find and save the .pdf files of the maps, or get an app called Avenza and download an interactive version. These maps show what uses are allowed on all of the forest service roads, including a table and key for dispersed camping and the distance you must camp from the road and lakes or rivers.

For the fun of it, here's a direct link to the North Kaibob Ranger District to the east of you in AZ. https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...eprd597127.pdf

Happy camping!
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Old 02-24-2019, 10:55 AM   #7
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RV's require electricity. Get one inverter powerful enough to run everything, or two small ones which you can run in parallel. It's cheaper to buy them now as opposed to replacing dead batteries after you go boondocking and them buying them. Get a 50 foot 30 amp cable to separate them a little further from your rig.
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:50 AM   #8
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The Forest Service office and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) offices in the area you are wanting to camp are great resources where you can get maps and good information from the staff regarding dispersed camping.

Dennis
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Old 02-24-2019, 07:18 PM   #9
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Dispersed Camping for Newbs???

Quote:
Originally Posted by coasttocoast View Post
RV's require electricity. Get one inverter powerful enough to run everything, or two small ones which you can run in parallel. It's cheaper to buy them now as opposed to replacing dead batteries after you go boondocking and them buying them. Get a 50 foot 30 amp cable to separate them a little further from your rig.


Sounds like you may be talking about generators, not inverters. Inverters need to be close to the batteries and their function is to convert the 12v DC battery power to 120v AC power.


For disbursed camping you may want one or two solar panels to make sure you always have adequate battery power. I recommend buying one or two panels, 40-60 feet of solar wire and a Victron solar controller. You can get a 200 watt solar setup for about $400.

I agree with Maggie. Get the AllStays app. Another option is the Ultimate Campground app for public campgrounds.

Dan
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Old 02-24-2019, 08:53 PM   #10
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Great advice in the earlier posts. Public CGs and dispersed camping (boondocking) is my preference. Ive found local FS and BLM office staff very helpful regarding dispersed camping opportunities and road conditions.

My 370w of solar on the roof gives me nearly unlimited time off grid (I can live w/o the microwave and AC most of the time). Congrats and have fun livin the dream!
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Old 02-24-2019, 09:25 PM   #11
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The Escapees Boondockers' BOF members enjoy dispersed camping - one group in the east and one in the west. I usually spend some time with the group in Quartzsite.

For more info see https://www.escapees.com/education/e...e/boondocking/
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:15 PM   #12
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Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated. I will definitely check on fs cg's, also my trailer comes with two 6v agm batteries and a solar setup with two 100w solar panels, living in the desert i think should be enough power, what do u all think?
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Old 02-24-2019, 11:49 PM   #13
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Swrider

I would say you are in great shape power wise with two golf cart batteries and 200 watts of solar. We camped for one week with just two gc batteries and zero solar (due to all the shade) when we camped at Cadeís Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains NP last summer.

Dan
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Old 02-25-2019, 06:41 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swrider View Post
Thanks for all the advice, much appreciated. I will definitely check on fs cg's, also my trailer comes with two 6v agm batteries and a solar setup with two 100w solar panels, living in the desert i think should be enough power, what do u all think?
Agreed, as long as you donít need AC.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:01 AM   #15
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Your batteries and 200w solar setup should serve you well. If the weather gets too hot I head to higher elevations (8000+) or move to a state cg with 30 or 50 amp service. Enjoy!
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Old 02-25-2019, 10:41 AM   #16
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My reference to an inverter is to an inverter generator such as a Yamaha or a Honda. I have 300 watts of solar as well. The solar will keep the batteries charged during peak sun hours and also run the fridge, freezer, lights, fantastic fan, and water pump. After the sun goes down, the batteries will keep things going for a while, but not overnight. And what about the AC? In my travels, I have found that even 2000 miles north of Atlanta in Newfoundland, I used the AC for a while. I understand that some of you may be able to conserve and get by, but I like comfort and being prepared. You can see me on Instagram @coasttocoastphotoatl and coming soon at www.coasttocoastphoto.com.
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Old 03-03-2019, 11:14 AM   #17
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Almost nowhere can you camp on the side of the road in National Parks.

Freecampsites. net is pretty good for boondocking and cheap forestry and similar places and allstays is also pretty useful for slightly more upmarket possibilities such as Walmart and Cabellas as well as regular campgrounds

Ioverlander.com is also a great resource that covers the whole world, although since most of the contributions are from intrepid overland travellers, you might have to read between the lines before committing your shiny machine to a gravel road
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Old 03-03-2019, 01:45 PM   #18
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My Advice

I live in Utah and you have the best boondock camping at your feet. I can recommend Govt Wash in the Lake Mead park. Free. And overlooks the lake. Great hiking. We also go to Cottonwood cove outside of Searchlight. You pay for a sight but it is quiet and flat. Utah has dispersed camping in all areas. In my area it is a 14 day limit. Free.

My 1992 Land Yacht 26 ft requires I pay attention to how much clearance I have as to avoid bottoming out. Keep a notebook in your auto to make notes on favorite spots and how level it is. Also note which side your door will look out.

Have fun
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Old 03-03-2019, 08:21 PM   #19
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As others have pointed out, most national parks do NOT allowed dispersed camping. There however are MANY places that do allow dispersed camping. Most BLM lands, many national forests, grasslands, monuments, etc. allow dispersed camping. Often on some state lands in the west. There are various websites that can help guide you such as https://www.campendium.com/free-camping
Do some research to see if others have camped in trailers or RV's in that area or along that particular road. Check out the BLM or National local offices when you arrive at that area and ask questions. I always stop at local visitor centers for up to date travel information, and of course ask your fellow travelers while on the road. Use Google Maps or Google Earth to help as well. Good Luck on your journeys.
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Old 03-04-2019, 11:19 AM   #20
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boon docking

You Tube has many good ideas for boon docking. One fellow drags an "A" liner camper all over and prefers the privacy of the out of doors. You can find him under "Slim Potato head", Informative and entertaining. best of luck!
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