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Old 05-26-2014, 06:22 AM   #1
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First semi-dry camping trip coming up

Been camping for near 40 years, and aside from when I was a kid in our pickup camper to go snowmobiling in the winter, I am planning my first semi-dry camping trip.

I use the camper as a vacation spot and exclusively go to parks with full hookup. Well in June, I will be going to the Wheel Horse Collectors Show in PA and staying for 2 nights with just electric. So here's my plan and I look for suggestions from those who do this a lot.

I am going to fill the water (90 odd gallons) which will give MORE than enough. Keep a close eye on my watch when my 16 year old daughter takes her shower. Now worry about the black tank too much except to add one of those treatment bottles.

I will either plan a full hookup trip the next weekend, or use a local rest area which has a dump station.

Suggestions on an old timer with this first experience?
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Old 05-26-2014, 06:41 AM   #2
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Electrical only is the only way I've ever camped. But, if you've been camping for 40 years, any advice I can give you would be gratuitous. Camping with electrical only is just like full hook-up camping, since your trailer is a self contained unit. The only suggestion I might make is to make sure your fresh water tank is thoroughly sanitized and rinsed 3-5 times before you fill with fresh water.

Sounds like you have a great trip planned! Enjoy!
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Old 05-26-2014, 07:06 AM   #3
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Agreed, never camped with full hookups, only electric. Onboard tanks and water pump work well, just remember you only have 90 gallons of water. We make 20 gallons work for us for a weekend, however keep in mind the limitation. So if you let the water run for it to get warm from the water heater, that is good water (and part of your 90 gallons) going down the drain.
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Old 05-26-2014, 11:11 AM   #4
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I never stay any place that has hookups.. I find 30 gallons lasts me 5-7 days.. Navy showers are a must.
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Old 05-27-2014, 11:08 AM   #5
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If I could choose just one hook-up to have, it would be electric. You couldn't use all 90 gallons of water in two nights even if you tried. We just spent 4 nights boon docking with a 54 gallon tank. It is rare that we camp anywhere with hook-ups, or in camp grounds in general. Opened the valve and drained water out for a good part of the drive home. Probably 10-15 gallons left when we broke camp.
Keep an eye on your grey tank levels and enjoy your trip. With that much water and electrical hook-ups, you have nothing to worry about.
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Old 05-27-2014, 12:26 PM   #6
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With your tank sizes, you are probably good on water, but just remind everyone to turn off the water as they wash their hands. Turn on the water to get the hands wet, turn it off to soap up, turn it back on to rinse them off. Don’t just turn on a faucet and pour water down the drain as you do dishes, and so forth. We have a 28 gallon FW tank and only used about a 1/3 of it for a three day weekend. It is really easy to do if you just remember how much water you have or do not have.
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Old 05-27-2014, 02:34 PM   #7
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You are correct that your black water tank should have well more than enough capacity for a couple nights, mine easily lasts 5 nights with a family of 5. Grey water though fills quite fast especially if the family is used to full hookups.

In additional to navy showers and close eye on how much water is used for washing hands/dishes/etc I carry one of the dump fittings that reduces the dump valve to accommodate a garden hose. I also keep a 2' section of hose that I thread on that fitting and a bucket. This way if my grey fills to fasts I can drain a bit into the bucket and then dump the bucket down the toilet. It proves very helpful to both extend the grey tanks usefulness and helps fill the black tank so it can more effectively dump once I reach a dump station.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nylyon View Post
snip.....I am going to fill the water (90 odd gallons) which will give MORE than enough.....snip
If you can, check to see if there is a means to fill your fresh water tank at, or close to where you will be camping...., that 90 gallons of water will add close to 750lbs to your FW.

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Old 05-27-2014, 09:05 PM   #9
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I have 2 gray water tanks, one for the kitchen and one for the bath. Not worried about the kitchen one, its my teen aged daughter and the bath that concerns me the most.

I suppose with 2 tanks I *could* cap the drain, then open both gray water valves to equalize both if need be.

I thought about the extra weight. I usually put about ¼ to ½ full of water before a trip, just in case. I am taking 2 less people and 1 less dog and a lot less cargo, so the weight should cancel each other out.

Last question, I have always emptied and flushed the tanks before leaving the CG. How nasty will it be if I leave the black tank with what ever is in there for like 2 weeks which is our next Lake George camping trip?
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:58 PM   #10
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I suppose with 2 tanks I *could* cap the drain, then open both gray water valves to equalize both if need be.
That all depends.........on my Eagle, the galley tank is under the sink and at a higher level than the shower tank. Equalizing will over fill the shower tank and drain the galley tank. The higher galley tank, however, does a great job of back flushing the black tank at the dump station.
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