Long term Boondocking
Just trying to get ideas on how ppl do extended boondocking, as it has its share of challenges and I am new to most of this.
I was recently granted access to an incredible waterfront lot to park my trailer on, only problem is theres no water fill up and no dumping station. I live in Canada and would imagine there must be places to fill up and dump before and after your stay off the grid. Any info on how ppl go about this sort of thing and how long you can typically do this for would be great, just collecting ideas.
I basically thought the best way would be hopefully gain access to a provincial parks filling station and fill water tank before heading to the spot, then at the end of the stay head back to the provincial park to dump. Is this the best or only way to go about things? thanks for the :help:
Sounds like you will be pulling the tt in and out of this spot. Not acting as a seasonal. What do you define as long term?
We have done what you have described many times.
How long can you go on a set of tanks really depends on you needs and habits.
My DW and I came from a background of backpacking and mountaineering, so water conservation is no big deal for us. Our FW tank is about 40 gallons. With just our immediate family, we can go 5 days before running out of FW. We take tea cup showers, no excessive running of water. Example, wet your hands under a slow stream of water, turn off, soap up, rinse under slow stream. Dishes, toothbrushing, and so forth all done the same way. We will use dish pans to wash dishes, and the water goes down the toilet (watch out for silverware that was missed) this help keep the grey tank from filling up to quickly.
Lots of options to add more fw water. Emptying the tanks while on the site is alot more difficult, especially the black tank.
Power is a big deal to? Do you have a solution to keep charged up?
When we boondock (which is most of the time) we have a good idea of how long we plan to stay in that spot. We have a generator, so we have no issues with charging our batteries. The limiting factor is water and grey/black.
Stacy and I know that we can easily go 5-nights with the water we carry on our Seneca (as long as we are in conserve mode) and if we are staying longer, we use a supplemental water tank we use to go and get water to refill our Seneca. Your usage and number of campers will obviously have different results with a different tank size on your trailer - that will be a learning process for you.
The Black / Grey tank is our biggest challenge. If we don't get more water, we usually can go the 5 days and end up with a full grey tank. We can go at least 13 days before our Black Tank is getting full.
One of the features of the outdoor shower, is that the water is not going into the grey tank. It's a simple solution to reducing the grey water intake in your storage tank, but sometimes not enjoyable / feasible when the weather is in 30's F.
At the worst case... you might have to pull the trailer back into town and find a dump station to empty the Grey/Black and refill the fresh water for the next few days of your adventure.
If you are next to a lake / river / stream... do not even consider dumping your grey water locally on the ground. (as some do where the conditions are permitted)
thanks for the replies, We found a campground down the street from this site to fill up and empty our tanks. We are hoping they will let us dump our garbage and recycling there too as I am treating this site as completely bare bones with no place to leave garbage. What do you do with your garbage usually?
As for power we are thinking of getting a small generator as well. I don't see us staying longer than a week. The outside shower idea is great to save the grey tank. Just wondering do any of you use a water jerry can to top up your fresh water tank? That might help a bit when things get low.
Trash - pack it in, pack it out.
Fresh water can be done with plastic jugs, Walmart has a couple of styles, most are around 7 gallons each. Sometimes it’s a pain dumping them into fresh water inlet. Others have larger tanks that are like a plastic bag and use a pump, I don’t have that so I can’t speak for them.
7 days is pretty simple to tackle, but it does take practice, dish cleaning as mentioned uses a bunch of water if you’re not careful.
Even with a small generator it is best advised to get additional batteries in your battery bank...
What we like to do in OFF-GRID camping is have enough battery power to run all the things we want to have running from 6PM to 11PM and of course all of the small drain that are always on 24/7.... We have a couple of Power Inverters 600W and 1500Watt Pure Sine Wave for the 120VAC items) to run from the batteries... This does not support the Air Conditioner or high wattage Microwave but will run everything else... We carry a small 600WATT Manual microwave to do small microwave heating for us... Usually to warm up the coffee hehe...
The game plan is not ever run below the 50% charge point for the battery bank as this will start doing damage to your batteries...
Then during Breakfast each morning we will run our generator when allowed to charge our 50% battery charge state up to the 90% charge state which will usually take around three hours of generator run time... With the 90% charge state we can do all of this all over again for the next day/night run off the batteries and not harm the batteries... We usually can do this routine for 10-12 days before we have to do a full 100% charge state on the batteries... Most of the time this fits in with our camping routine and we can do the 100% charge state at home. This usually take us 12-14 hours to complete. That would be a long run for our 2KW Honda doing it at the camp site haha...
The generator can be used anytime when allowed for small things you might need to do...
Of course others have their own way of camping off-grid but this has worked good for us over the years... We light up our camping spot and watch TV at night to keep caught up on the news and check in with the kids on social media when we have internet/Cell Phone connections...
The golden rule is to NEVER EVER mess with your Truck Start battery as this is you only way to get back home haha...
Being avid tent Campers we have been doing tis since the 60s...
I boondock for up to 5 months in one location. I have a 45 gallon blueboy (waste water tank) to haul away the nasty stuff. I use a macerator pump to transfer it from the RV to the back of my truck once dumped I move the blue boy to the back of the truck and fill a fresh water bladder which I take back to the trailer and use an old FW pump to transfer it to the trailer holding tank. I usually combine that with a shopping trip to limit my time in town.
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