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Old 12-14-2019, 09:29 PM   #1
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what stops me from Boondocking

i have the right trailer ( 2019 25ft.). i have the right tow vehicle ( 2019 RAM 3500). i have a lot of the right equipment...generator, lawn chairs, lights, tools, axe, propane fire pit, etc. you can say that there are very few places that i'm not equipped to go. yet, in almost a year of owning my airstream, i haven't boondocked yet. meaning i haven't taken advantage of all those beautiful spots you've seen in countless youtube videos....in national parks, BLM land, etc. ....and i live in the southwest no less!....and i want to go out there and boondock!

so, what stops me?

i seem to have one major fear. that's the fear of not knowing if a site is going to be available at all. that i'd spend a lot of time driving out to one spot, only having to turn back....and possibly not being able to turn around...or not having a plan B available either.

i guess i'm a planner and to my surprise, not very willing to go out there and take much of a chance.....not willing to find the adventure in it all. believe me, i'm pretty disappointed in myself in discovering i had that fault in me at all. i always thought i could be a go with the flow type of guy.

i've seen the videos out there showing how to plan trips, how to check out these spots in google earth ....but, i guess i've never seen how someone actually deals with not finding a spot at all. regardless of research.

so, at the risk of sounding too much like a whiner, i figured if i'd throw this out there to the community. maybe there are some of you out there that's gone through the same thing...maybe you can tell me how to get over it?
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:46 PM   #2
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Head to Quartzsite in Jan..plenty of folks boondocking and plenty of room...plus you will meet lots of nice rv'ers.
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Old 12-14-2019, 09:51 PM   #3
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Have a plan B. Have daylight left to execute plan B. Have a reasonable idea if plan A and B are likely vs unlikely. Then maybe also have a plan C.
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:09 PM   #4
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There is always a spot to boondock. May not be exactly what you want but you can always find something
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Old 12-14-2019, 10:29 PM   #5
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There are plenty of small seldom used camp spots with no amenities and often no other campers. If you can find these locations, it might be a start to honing your boondocking comfort. Campendium is a site that lists many of these locations.
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Old 12-15-2019, 05:27 AM   #6
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DW stops us from boondocking!
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Old 12-15-2019, 05:42 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminaut View Post
i seem to have one major fear. that's the fear of not knowing

Dream and reality don't always mesh. Meh. Go with what works for you. There's plenty of quality RV experiences that aren't boondocking. Do what makes you happy.
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Old 12-15-2019, 05:56 AM   #8
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Maybe start with federal sites that offer no amenities, dry camping there rather than heading miles down a dirt road.

There are plenty of those around the country and, as they are established campgrounds, you know there is always a way in and out.

I agree that you can always find somewhere to park for the night.

Plenty of info in the boondocking sub forum here on scouting out sites that are more remote, and avoiding troubles.

Maggie
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Maybe start with federal sites that offer no amenities, dry camping there rather than heading miles down a dirt road.

There are plenty of those around the country and, as they are established campgrounds, you know there is always a way in and out.

Maggie
I agree. It’s almost the same as being out in the middle of nowhere. No hookups at all. Some even take reservations, so you know you’ve got a spot. It will be an easier transition from there to the lone site off of a dirt road.
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Old 12-15-2019, 06:44 AM   #10
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Hi

Don't go "shopping" on a Friday night or at a major holiday ( 4th of July ....). Mid week there's not going to be as much congestion ... Aim for someplace with lots of sites as plan A, B and plan C ....

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Old 12-15-2019, 07:38 AM   #11
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Don't feel bad. Everybody progresses (or not) at their own pace.
I'm not ready to boondock yet either.

I'm still new at the game, with only 5k miles and 12 states under the Bambi Sport tires, since traded off for the 23fb, which we have yet to camp in.
The RVPARKY app was invaluable in finding campgrounds along our route, but we made it a point to stop every day around 4 or 5 pm. Parks fill up fast after that, and we were sometimes the very last campers to pull in before the place was filled.

Someday, soon I hope, we'll be traveling west instead of east and we can try out some spots I found while motorcycling through New Mexico and Arizona. That'll probably be our baptism into the world of boondocking.
Meanwhile, enjoy the heck out of your airstream in any way that you're comfortable with.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:54 AM   #12
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i guess i'm a planner and to my surprise, not very willing to go out there and take much of a chance.....not willing to find the adventure in it all. believe me, i'm pretty disappointed in myself in discovering i had that fault in me at all. i always thought i could be a go with the flow type of guy.

It is a progression on a continuum, I agree.

Most of us like certainty in our early travel days...a planned route, a certain place to spend the night, with what we feel we want and need in amenities.

If you are looking at a campground with no amenities, you can always call the ranger office or whatever number is listed for that campground, to ask if the campground is full...which sometimes happens, especially if they are deep in a forest and/or free.

Free wheeling it, figuring you will find something where you can park for the night, is a leap of faith.

But, self contained and with everything you need with you, it can be a great adventure.

Sometimes you find something beautiful and special, many times you don’t, but not being tied to reservations and a rigid plan is a great thing.

For some, not for everyone.

And, it’s okay.

Maggie
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:13 AM   #13
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Of all OTG Boondockers... I understand your fear

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aluminaut View Post
i have the right trailer ( 2019 25ft.). i have the right tow vehicle ( 2019 RAM 3500). i have a lot of the right equipment...generator, lawn chairs, lights, tools, axe, propane fire pit, etc. you can say that there are very few places that i'm not equipped to go. yet, in almost a year of owning my airstream, i haven't boondocked yet. meaning i haven't taken advantage of all those beautiful spots you've seen in countless youtube videos....in national parks, BLM land, etc. ....and i live in the southwest no less!....and i want to go out there and boondock!

so, what stops me?

i seem to have one major fear. that's the fear of not knowing if a site is going to be available at all. that i'd spend a lot of time driving out to one spot, only having to turn back....and possibly not being able to turn around...or not having a plan B available either.

i guess i'm a planner and to my surprise, not very willing to go out there and take much of a chance.....not willing to find the adventure in it all. believe me, i'm pretty disappointed in myself in discovering i had that fault in me at all. i always thought i could be a go with the flow type of guy.

i've seen the videos out there showing how to plan trips, how to check out these spots in google earth ....but, i guess i've never seen how someone actually deals with not finding a spot at all. regardless of research.

so, at the risk of sounding too much like a whiner, i figured if i'd throw this out there to the community. maybe there are some of you out there that's gone through the same thing...maybe you can tell me how to get over it?
*******
Fear is a response to the unknown. These are 100% natural feelings of discomfort doing something you have no experience. Much like the first time behind the steering wheel of a car, learning to drive. Exactly the same.

My first Solo flying a Helicopter... I was unsure I was actually flying it... and after several hours under my rotors... I was 100% comfortable.

Fear of flying. Fear of being alone. These are normal reactions to what you find as unfamiliar. You are 100% reacting the way you should.

You should find someone that does what you fear. This is not a natural instinct to go off into the unknown. Take short trips for experience. NO Plans. Confidence is your way to calm this fear of the unknown through repetition.

Not all have the personality to do this on their own. That is why there are paid Tour Guides. There is more comfort in group participation.

One member I know has posted on this Thread. Be careful whom you receive advice.

PM me. You can meet my wife and I in Boulder City. We will talk about what you would like to do, when and where. I assume you are married. Your wife and mine can talk about preparing for an OTG Boondocking trip... and we will do it. Seriously.

I promise that what you may have heard about myself on the Forum... is 100% true. But, it is for your own good that I will help you get over these fears. I can do it.

Nevada, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, SW Montana... kind of places.

You will not only be 99% fearless, you may even want to go on a real adventure, not a Glamping experience at a RV campsite or Walmart as some suggest. Although few have the nerve to try Walmart or a Costco parking area due to the fear of being chased off.

My wife and I purchased two $99 round trip British Airway tickets on a promotion to Europe. We packed our back packs, no plans, no reservations and spend two weeks making it up as we went. Eurail train passes to hotels. It was not easy... but did we did everything without planning ahead. This was the introduction to Denver of BA offering non stop flights to London special. We loved every moment! Had a couple of days to prepare and we were OFF on another adventure.

You WILL be leading OTG Boondockers some day with some experience. Once I am through with you, Thalweg in Wyoming can show you his methods.

Do not back out of this offer. I do not do this as we do not know one another. When we get finished, write your experiences on the Forum. Good, bad or indifferent. I do not embarrass and can take criticism without... fear.

We are planning to go to Quartzite, AZ the last two weeks of January onto the BLM area. We may change our minds at the last minute, but as of 7:26AM today... we are going.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:30 AM   #14
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Aluminaut,

I agree with your reluctance. We are also planners. Unless the grandkids are with us, the campgrounds we go to have few or no amenities but accept reservations, and we have set up our trailer for “boon docking”. With a 28-foot AS, however, we are a bit reluctant to head off into the wilderness and our time is more limited, so we do not want to expend time to find the intended camping area full.

We are preparing for the time when we are both retired (my wife retired this fall) and have time to do proper boon docking. We do this by spending some time on each of our planned camping trips to investigate near-by boon docking areas with just our truck. We live and camp mostly in Colorado. We have been keeping notes on the sites we find so that we can come back and properly visit them when I retire. Maybe this approach would help you develop a comfort zone.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:46 AM   #15
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What keeps me from boon docking is the total lack of security.
Either having things stolen while I'm gone, or dealing with raving lunatics while I'm there. Needing to have a shootout, and me with a butterknife.
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Old 12-15-2019, 08:54 AM   #16
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An Offer you Cannot Refuse... or can

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mollysdad View Post
What keeps me from boon docking is the total lack of security.
Either having things stolen while I'm gone, or dealing with raving lunatics while I'm there. Needing to have a shootout, and me with a butterknife.
******

You have described most Members first impressions, who met me in the Forest.

Maybe we can go as a group with Aluminaut. You will be hiking as a Pirate with a knife between your teeth and a parrot giving you advice. Sounds like an... "Offer you Cannot Refuse".
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:12 AM   #17
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We are planners too, with the same reluctance as you, not wanting to get somewhere and having to turn around. That said, we have boondocked with reservations in many state and Federal Parks. We actually prefer campsites without electricity and water. Seems there are less "homesteaders" there. The few campsites we have gone to with amenities, have large communities of people who actually live there, and go to work, and the bus picks up their kids for the school in the community. They look at us, in our AS, as the rich folks.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
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What keeps me from boon docking is the total lack of security.
Either having things stolen while I'm gone, or dealing with raving lunatics while I'm there. Needing to have a shootout, and me with a butterknife.

It just rarely happens, is the truth, and we’ve discussed this in great detail elsewhere on these forums.

Reasonable precautions, pay attention to your internal antennae...if they are whirring, leave.

It has never happened to me or mine, and me traveling solo just with the dog nearly 6 years now.

What keeps me from going many miles down a dirt road by myself is fear that something could happen to me, no one would find us for who knows how long, and Lily would be without care.

But, off by myself I do routinely, don’t worry about my safety and have never experienced an incident...when my always-packing husband was alive, or since.

Maggie
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:19 AM   #19
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We were a little reluctant to boondock at first. We didn't know the rules, we didn't know what to expect.

Recently we had our chance to stop in Quartzite the boondocking capital of the world! We looked up the locations with hosts or visitor stations and ask questions. We were only staying one night as we were just passing through. They told us it was $40 for a permit and I kind of balked at that. For one night?

"Oh, you just need one night? Go down the road 5 miles to Dome mountain. You can stay for free for two weeks!", he said. Wow!

I ask how many campsites are there? He looked at me surprised and said, "About 10,000".

We rolled in and we were hooked. Gorgeous scenery and plenty of room for all.

Our only regret was that we had to move on the next day. We went to town the next day and fell in love with Quartzite. We are planning to come back one day for an extended stay.

As someone else here said, Quartzite would be a great place to start learning about boondocking.
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Old 12-15-2019, 09:38 AM   #20
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I couldn’t have said it better. We are all set up for boondocking, love Forest Service campgrounds with no services and love being as remote as possible. But have yet to take the next step and head out on a boondocking trip. Maybe when we retire in June and can arrive somewhere before 10 pm.
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