1st trip in the books
We did it! Our first overnight trip with Elizabeth was a success. We spent 2 nights dry camping at Lake Mead. We put a lot of airforums and you tube advice to the test.
Setup went smoothly as we had gone over our checklist quite a few times. The site was fairly level to begin with so that helped.
There were no hookups so we just plugged into a Honda EU2000i generator. That supplied enough power to run everything. We still need to check to see if it can run the A/C but it was very quiet and reliable.
The weather was perfect so we didn’t have to use the furnace but we tried it out and it started right up. I have to admit having a hot shower at the ready was a nice change to tent camping.
We spent 2 full days cooking, cleaning and relaxing and still had room in our tanks but I think 3 days of dry camping would be the limit.
We were a little nervous about emptying the waste tank but again we referred to all the advice and had no problems.
Much thanks to everyone for all the advice. We’ll post more as we experience more and hopefully can contribute to the community.
Congrats! Great, isn't it? Enjoy and good luck!
So much fun, Steve. We’ trying to plan next years trips. Any favorite spots we should know about?
It is fun! I always say the worst day camping beats the best day in the office by miles! [emoji3]
I see from your profile we're not in the same areas of the country. For good spots I'd recommend 3 sources:
1) a local unit of the WBCCI - whether or not you join, folks there should be able to help you with recommendations (joining is good too, at least we've found it great with our local unit)
2) search these forums
3) download the AllStays full app - at $10 it's more expensive than most apps but worth every penny IMO. You can look at your location and find a myriad of camping opportunities in a comfortable radius, then click on them for details about the Campground, pictures, reviews, etc.
Great news, thanks for the post, and welcome to the forum!
As SSM just mentioned, searching here is a good way to get info.. The new search box above with the blue border is powered by Google to search only this site. When the results come up in a new Google window, you can edit the search terms to refine the search.
For instance here are “Arizona AZ campgrounds” —
As you will note, these results bring up lots of disparate posts in a variety of forums here. By adding more search terms in the Google window, you can refine the search for things like “river” and so forth.
Happy Trails . . .
Good for you, and congratulations. :)
The best way to learn how to boondock successfully, in my experience, is to just do it.
Let the fun begin!
It isn't clear from your post when or how long you ran the generator. Without needing the air conditioner the only thing in your rig that may need 110 volt power is the television and of course the converter to charge up your battery. The furnace, water heater and fridge only need 12 volt power from the house battery to run their circuit boards. The lights and water pump only need 12 volt too. With the 16' you only have one house battery so it may not last over night if you need to use the furnace on a really cold night 100% of the time. Otherwise you can run your generator (or charge your house battery from your TV alternator with booster cables) for an hour in the morning and an hour or so in the evening to get your battery charged up. (BTW, you don't need to charge the battery to 100% each day as the last 10 - 20 % takes a lot more generator time per amp hour restored.)
Congrats on your first outing! Sounds like you were well prepared.
You are at a good jumping off point for the Grand Circle Tour. You could do it all at once or parts of it. To this day we look back at that trip as one of our best Airstream adventures. Also, check out Great Basin NP in NE Nevada. Ive wanted to go there for years but haven't been able to do it.
My first Airstream trip, I did everything wrong.
I didn't do a test run to see if everything worked.
I didn't even take a map, although I kind of knew where I was going. My only tow was from the dealer to the storage lot.
I was apprehensive of pulling out, for fear of putting a dent in the new AS even though I'd driven MH's for years. It had been a while and maybe I forgot how.
In spite of all the unknown, I had a great time, found one little nit pick which the dealer will address in December, and the trip exceeded my expectations. Just go.
I'm bookmarking places from the "pictures" thread, and can't wait to roll out again.
Things I learned:
It's a lot easier to get gas with an Airstream in tow than in a MH with a trailer in tow.
I need to organize storage better.
Great Basin is first on the list for spring next year. We’re trying to decide on a place to go for Christmas that will have airstream friendly weather. Might just go to San Diego.
If you like to boondock I would also suggest freecampsites.com which has a lot more boondocking spots than Allstays.
As for the furnace warnings we all get... frankly this forum had me terrified and it has not turned out to be the case. Maybe because our 16s are so small compared to the Airstreams other people have experienced. One night I was next door to another newbie in a 25 foot SOB and she ran through two 30 pound propane tanks in one night so it certainly can happen. But it's not happening to me in the six weeks-ish since I'm moved into my 16 full time and I'm keeping my Airstream at 68 because of my elderly bunny, so it's not like I'm in here under 5 blankets hoarding all my propane.
Running the furnace overnight (and all the other background stuff) uses about 20% of my battery. My 20 pound propane tank lasts more than a week. Despite my own experience, after everything I had read, I was in a Cabela's parking lot when it first got below freezing and I was STILL afraid this was the night I'm going to run out of battery or propane and be rushing the bunny to a hotel in the middle of the night. Didn't happen. That was actually almost a week ago and I'm still on the same 20 pound propane tank.
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