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Old 10-25-2006, 03:04 PM   #21
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Yes, we all own wonderful Airstreams with lots of great creature comforts, but why do we travel? To see the great outdoors or the highways. We love Boondocking our Safari every chance we get. We are lucky to have a wonderful state park not 60 miles from our driveway. In the woods, under the pines on the Housatonic River. Quite, campfires at night, flyfishing, river running and some really nice folks. You don't get that at some paved RV Resort. As everyone has mentioned, there are some really great ways to conserve and have a wonderful time out in the great outdoors. We have goetten to the point where we can camp for five days with no problems. As mentioned so many times, conservation is the key. So, you can have your concrete drives, plastic palm trees and CNN live, give me the great outdoors!
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Old 10-25-2006, 11:02 PM   #22
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Hi, I like a lot of your ideas; some are a little extreme for us. Although we do conserve on water by short showers, paper plates, conservative utinsel washing, and bottled water for coffee and cooking. [No princess showers] Actually, so far, boondocking for us is spending the night at a rest stop or one nighters at a state park or at a campsight with only overflow spaces without hookups. I'm with Minnie's Mate, I want full hook ups to fully enjoy my stay.
Now tell Bob the truth; Do you like being away from everything, out in nature? Or are you just trying to camp as cheap [inexpensive] as possible at the cost of real comfort?

Bob
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:14 AM   #23
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Robertsunrus mentioned something I have wondered about on my travels along the interstate. I see signs at rest stops that say there is nighttime security. Does that mean the security is there to make it safe to dry camp overnight or does it mean they are there to run you off if you do? Also, there are dump stations at most rest stops, are they there for you to use after you have dry camped for the night or what is the reason they are there? Is it because state parks don't generally have hook-ups?
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:23 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
I'm with Minnie's Mate, I want full hook ups to fully enjoy my stay.
Got to have A/C in the south!!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by ROBERTSUNRUS
Now tell Bob the truth; Do you like being away from everything, out in nature? Or are you just trying to camp as cheap [inexpensive] as possible at the cost of real comfort?

Bob
I don't think it is to save money. I realize in many parts of the country there are BLM and fed lands where you can boondock that are absolutely breath taking and worth foregoing a few of life's simple luxuries for a night or two, but unfortunately, we don't seem to have them in the southeast. All such places seem to be in state parks that at least have electricity and water with a dump station and bath houses. We invested in a four-wheeled blue tank for such occassions so we can use our own shower every morning.

Call us softies, city slickers, or even yuppies if you will, but we like to relax on our camping trips and that includes comfortable surroundings to do it in. I spend time with my boys and leave Princess Diva to quiet time to herself as much as I can, but when it's time to whip up a frozen adult beverage and relax under the awning or inside under the A/C, I want access to all of those comforts I paid so much to have...off of soap box now.
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Old 10-26-2006, 07:46 AM   #25
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Airstreams for many places

I don’t think we pursue “boondocking” as much as we pursue place.
We won’t go looking for a chance to have limited utilities but we will look for a place that might be ours to enjoy quietly and without distraction. The comforts of the Airstream are always there, sometimes they have to be used sparingly in order to make place the priority.
Unfortunately, place is very often hard to find. Even harder for those who live in populated areas with a high demand on areas of escape. Our state parks are beautiful and have utilities but the concession sometimes is in the sharing and looking out that wonderful Airstream window and seeing white corrugated siding or fiberglass in the adjacent camp site. This we all do because the park is there, it is attractive & safe, and we are part of its community of users.
I would encourage Airstream owners to look for a place. It might be property owned by good friends or relatives. Find a place you can be alone with the family or friends. Look back to where this all started and continues today; those who safaried into the boondocks. I think they use that as a name for Airstreams because it defines the history and for some the purpose.
And we all know that owning a Safari is a good thing.

PS Pass me that 3000 watt generator please.
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Old 10-26-2006, 09:09 AM   #26
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Like others here, we camp for location. If I have a choice between two equally desirable locations - one boondocking, one Full H/U, I'll take the hook-ups every time. I'm not fond of the blue tote.
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:37 AM   #27
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I think the full range of preferences between "off the grid for weeks at a time in the boondocks" and "50 amp hookup with sat tv and surround sound" was one of the first things I noticed about the forums when I started lurking, pre-purchase. I think this diversity, wrapped in the mutually shared Airstream celebration, is one of the things that keeps this virtual community vibrant.

Like Tin Sista, my wife and I arrived here after years of backpacking. We're slowly modifying our Globetrotter to be happy for longer periods in the outback as a base camp. After all our tent years, the basic comforts of our AS still amaze me. Get up (out of a bed!) in the morning and:

1. You can stand up
2. Turn on the *heater*
3. Make coffee on the *stove*
4. Get milk out of the *reefer*

As you know, the list goes on and on. I find it just amazing. And, with no hookup, out where the woodbine twineth, quite luxurious!

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Old 10-26-2006, 10:38 AM   #28
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A few questions for those who use generators....since we have considered getting one for those extreme times when there is no sun for the solar panels. Maybe I am just more cautious than I need to be, BUT.....how do you haul fuel? Our tow vehicle is a Yukon XL (like a Suburban), and I just don't feel comfortable hauling a can of gas around in the back along with my kids and my dog! Is it possible to convert these Honda generators to propane, maybe? Or, do you strap down the gas container inside your Airstream?
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Old 10-26-2006, 10:51 AM   #29
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Yes, you can convert them to propane. Several on this forum have. I don't have the link handy, but you can do a search for the topic using the search feature in the blue bar above and you should be able to find some examples and links to companies that carry them or at least can convert them for you.
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Old 10-26-2006, 11:00 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by audiobox
Like Tin Sista, my wife and I arrived here after years of backpacking. We're slowly modifying our Globetrotter to be happy for longer periods in the outback as a base camp. After all our tent years, the basic comforts of our AS still amaze me. Get up (out of a bed!) in the morning and:

1. You can stand up
2. Turn on the *heater*
3. Make coffee on the *stove*
4. Get milk out of the *reefer*

As you know, the list goes on and on. I find it just amazing. And, with no hookup, out where the woodbine twineth, quite luxurious!

Craig
Craig and Tin Sista,

My husband and I fit into your category, as well! We backpacked and tent camped for years, until my husband just couldn't deal with sleeping on the ground any more. We bought the Airstream....but, we never actually used "full hook-ups" until we went on an AirstreamForums-organized rally .

We still eat and cook outside often....even hauling along a Coleman gas grill (affectionately called the "Roadkill Grill") that can be hooked up to our propane tanks. If restrooms are present and clean in the campgrounds where we go, we use those. The thing we REALLY have jumped into that we didn't do while tenting is setting up the ole DirecTV dish to watch things like the Tour de France one year at Lassen Volcanic National Park (every tenter in the campground somehow knew we were watching it and came by routinely to ask how Lance did that day!).

It is truly amazing to me when I can get out of my Airstream bed and turn on a heater on those cold mornings....
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Old 10-26-2006, 05:52 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by warbler5
A few questions for those who use generators[..] Is it possible to convert these Honda generators to propane, maybe?
These folks provide propane conversions for yamaha generators: http://www.yamaha-propane-natural-gas-generators.com/

I have this one.

Cheers,
-jd.
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:53 PM   #32
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Thanks, jd.....I like this factory installation better than a retrofit!

I checked out some of the old threads on this subject of generators, and I guess most folks aren't concerned about carrying around gasoline-filled containers....I am just not one of them!
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Old 11-15-2006, 11:12 AM   #33
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I was puzzled at first what in the world "boondocking" was. Now I realize that I have been doing it for years.

We are antique dealers and do a lot of out of state outdoors shows and sleep in our 14' box truck. We bring a porta potty, bed, sleeping bags, and coleman stove. We use the Wal-mart water in gallons for everything from hair washing to "bird baths" using buckets. We also like the handi wipes for quick hand washes.

So, I should be good at this!
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Old 11-15-2006, 05:22 PM   #34
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Yes! I love this thread! Like the "list" thread, it's a gold-mine for newbies who have no idea...We've also morphed over the years from backpack tent-camping, to drive in tent-camping with kids, to tent-camping with futons, to not camping at all--to Airstream life! Hooray! And our kids can join us with their backpacks and tents and all will be cozy, with as much comfort as we decide we need.
Thanks for the hot tips. I feel like such a forum leech! Can't wait to be experienced enough to give back a little.
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Old 11-15-2006, 06:28 PM   #35
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forgot to ask: What kinds of biodegradable soaps/shampoos/dishsoap do you use when you employ the "gopher hole" gray-water disposal technique? Not worried about the gophers--I'm a Macabee gal--but don't want to harm the lovely environment we're visiting...
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:25 PM   #36
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I just spent 7 full days boondocking on a game preserve. I brought 7.5 gallons of freshwater rather than filling my main tank (all systems winterized already) and utilized a 25 watt solar panel for 4 hours per day. I ran a Yamaha 3000iSEB generator for 2 hours per day in order to keep the one 115 amp hr battery charged. Since the temps were mid 30's to low 40's at night, I ran the furnace and a 2000 BTU Coleman catalytic heater during the night to keep the inside temp around 60 degrees. I slept in my heavy sleeping bag and was comfortable each night.

I took spit baths each day and sprayed down with Scent Killer to neutralize body odor. The first 6 days I didn't have a problem living with myself but on the 7th day, temps got up to 75 and I really broke a sweat. Extra spraying was necessary. I've never gone this long without taking a real shower or bath so it was quite an experience. I'll not go into details concerning body waste but let's just say that you won't step into any of it as you walk in the woods.

When doing dishes, all gray water went into a plastic hospital pan placed in the sink. Gray water was placed on the ground away from the trailers.

Obviously, these are drastic actions taken in wooded surroundings and do not normally reflect my boondocking in other public areas. If the trailer had not been winterized then the black tank would have shown less than a quarter tank.
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:40 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidz71
I just spent 7 full days boondocking on a game preserve. I brought 7.5 gallons of freshwater rather than filling my main tank (all systems winterized already) and utilized a 25 watt solar panel for 4 hours per day. I ran a Yamaha 3000iSEB generator for 2 hours per day in order to keep the one 115 amp hr battery charged. Since the temps were mid 30's to low 40's at night, I ran the furnace and a 2000 BTU Coleman catalytic heater during the night to keep the inside temp around 60 degrees. I slept in my heavy sleeping bag and was comfortable each night.

I took spit baths each day and sprayed down with Scent Killer to neutralize body odor. The first 6 days I didn't have a problem living with myself but on the 7th day, temps got up to 75 and I really broke a sweat. Extra spraying was necessary. I've never gone this long without taking a real shower or bath so it was quite an experience. I'll not go into details concerning body waste but let's just say that you won't step into any of it as you walk in the woods.

When doing dishes, all gray water went into a plastic hospital pan placed in the sink. Gray water was placed on the ground away from the trailers.

Obviously, these are drastic actions taken in wooded surroundings and do not normally reflect my boondocking in other public areas. If the trailer had not been winterized then the black tank would have shown less than a quarter tank.
I appreciate the lack of detail.
This does show how little water you can get by with, but I don't plan on ever trying your method out. I like my shower. 7 days?? Eeeuuwww...
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:47 PM   #38
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I've enjoyed reading this thread. Do I notice a pattern? It seems that many of us who have done backpacking or tent camping have a natural bent towards boondocking. Having been a backpacker and tent camper for years, I'm right there with you. Don't get me wrong, if I'm in a campground anyway and full hook-ups are an option, I'm there. But if I'm able to find a beautiful spot in nature, legally accessable, away from the hustle, nothing would stop me from using my Airstream as a grand aluminum tent. Even my older trailer is like the Ritz-Carlton after carrying everything on my back for a week of living.

I haven't had the opportunity to boondock yet and still have a few to-do's before boondocking with full amenities. But amenities or not I'm looking for the perfect chance. It boils down to location, location, location. Boondocking or not, I do use the biodegradable products. Right now I'm into Mrs. Meyer's (http://www.mrsmeyers.com/) and EO (http://www.eoproducts.com/). But I also use Dr. Bonner's, a throwback from my backpacking days. Its a great all-in-one clean anything soap, a little goes a long way, but my hair tangles when I use it for shampoo. Baby wipes for "bathing" are a great option when water conservation gets serious. I have a backpacker's water filter/purifier in the TW in case potable water becomes an issue.

I want to ask something about waste. When backpacking, we just find a tree when nature calls and dig a cat hole for the solids. And as long as we are using biodegradable soaps, bathing and dishwashing is done where ever you are, graywater goes to ground. Pretty much like david71 just described. But graywater and such seems to be a touchy problem depending on state. Can someone explain why this becomes a big issue when RV'ing but not with backpacking? Given one doesn't just dump their high volume tanks where they please, of course.
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Old 11-15-2006, 07:52 PM   #39
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But graywater and such seems to be a touchy problem depending on state. Can someone explain why this becomes a big issue when RV'ing but not with backpacking? Given one doesn't just dump their high volume tanks where they please, of course
I can only guess that part of the reason may be that RV's tend to be in closer proximety to each other, more concentrated. That however, doesn't explain why you shouldn't be able to dump grey water in the boonies. I've had the same question.
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:01 AM   #40
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Thanks for those product sites, Sugarfoot!
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