Boondocked for a whole week!

Discussion in 'Boondocking' started by MaeKay, Jul 24, 2019.

  1. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    We spent Monday through Saturday boondocking and our two 6V batteries and our 26 gallon water tank lasted us the entire week! We were even able to do spit baths (including bathing the kids feet, hands, and faces) each night.

    We didn’t have cell reception so we weren’t wasting our batteries but I use mine for my camera. I took a lot of photos and videos so I did need to recharge. And I guess other than the LED lights and the USB fans we didn’t use much battery.

    We brought Gatorade and water bottles in ice in a cooler. That helped the fridge keep up since we weren’t sticking lukewarm water bottles in the fridge. And it helped our water tank last since we drank all the Gatorade and eventually the clean ice water.

    It was really awesome to learn the extent of our trailer! We CAN boondock for a week just fine!

    Oh, and thanks to the dark windows, my early risers slept until 9 am each morning!
     
  2. O'ville

    O'ville Active Member

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    That's awesome. We are new to camping in a pup this year. Wife is terrified that we have a long weekend coming up with no hook ups at our site. I on the other hand, am looking forward to getting of the grid for a few days. Any other tips? I'm bringing a second cooler and propane tank. I have a Ryobi fan that powers off the same 18v battery my tools do. I will charge a couple batteries and run that fan at night.
     
  3. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    Are you aware that when running on battery power/12 V you can't plug things into the 110V power outlets? My husband and I made that mistake our first pup trip. We installed this USB outlet to power our phones from the two 6V batteries we have. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00ZOG6TBE/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    It came in handy to use these small USB fans from Walmart. https://www.walmart.com/ip/Cool-Works-VC-4USB-4-USB-Fan-with-5V-Adaptor-Assorted-Colors/55331502
    Pretty sure I paid $6 in the store. They worked great!

    I think the biggest help is that we installed LED light bulbs instead of the incadescent. They use 1/10th the battery.

    Good luck with your trip! Let me know how it goes!
     
  4. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations!

    Now that you know how long you can last, you can find ways to extend it if needed.

    I have usb ports also. And a couple small lithium jump starters - one I save for emergency jumpstarting, the other is used to charge cell phones, etc.
     
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  5. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    We do have two battery packs that will charge an iphone 8+ about twice each. We always charge those if need be. We also purchased a 6 gallon water jug to fill up in town 20 minutes away if we needed to. When we emptied the fresh tank (to not tow water home) I think we had about 2 gallons left. Water I think was our most limiting factor. The battery had barely dipped into 2/3 full. I know that you don't ever want it fully empty but I can't remember if the battery monitor reflects the total or the "safe to use" amount of the battery. I should just use my multimeter but I've gotten lazy now that we have the monitor.

    Oh, we also obeyed the "if its yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down." I think that helped conserve water, too, because my kids will hold the flusher down for several seconds trying to get the toilet paper to flush. If there's not enough water in the bowl it stays dry and sticks to the side. No one complained of the smell. (I would flush it every so often so it's not like we were hard core. I just let them know they were allowed to not flush, which is the opposite of the home rules.
     
  6. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    You don't want to drop the battery below 50% for the most part.

    Sounds like you've got the basics down pat. There's nothing you can't do now. :)
     
  7. roybraddy

    roybraddy Well-Known Member

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    I love waking up in the mornings to my fresh ground and brewed bean coffee Off-Road Creekside watching the fish jump...

    It don't come any better than that for us haha...

    My truck is my plan B salvation for AUX power when needed... It has all of the USB chargers, medium wattage Power Converter, etc... Comes in handy many times over... Houses my 2KW Honda generator that goes where we go haha...

    We still love to do alitle tent camping - Having the truck setup really shines supporting tent camping trips...

    Roy Ken
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  8. kitphantom

    kitphantom Well-Known Member

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    Did you have solar panels or generator? We did a couple of trips in the popup without a solar panel, but it's so much easier now that we have one. I still check the level quite a bit. If nothing else, it alerts us if something is going on. [Earlier this year, it turned out the relay or fuse attached to the frame between battery and inside was loose, so we weren't getting much voltage inside.] We have a plug in meter - the battery level seems more accurate on the idiot light gauges than the rest of the levels, but they're so squirrel-ly that we try not to depend on the gauges. We can keep visual tabs on fresh and black water tanks, and after some trips, have a good handle on that by how much washing up we're doing and how much fresh water we've used.
    Our limiting factor is actually the waste tanks on our TT, not the fresh water. We have a 30 gallon gray tank, and 10 gallon black tank, with a 20 gallon fresh tank (+ 6 gallons in the hot water tank). That 20 gallons is more like 17-18 in practice, due to where the pump intake hose is. We always have a least a couple jugs of water from home, and it's easy to top off the fresh tank with our rattle siphon. Pretty much all of the campgrounds we use have water at spigots to refill the jugs; by the time we need to refill the tank, we have had a chance to judge the quality of the water. We use a countertop Brita dispenser for drinking water, to extend the fresh water tank use for other things, which we refill from campground water.
    When we had a 10-night stay at my MIL's a couple of years ago, we started the routine of only poo-ed paper going into the toilet; the rest of the paper and wipes go into the trash. That really helps with the black water tank and we do use a minimum of water on longer stays. (Our goal is to have a full black tank to empty, so we adjust water use depending on our length of stay.) We'll be dry camping (we stay in established campgrounds) for 9 nights at the end of the summer. We know we'll be using the campground (vault) toilets during the day.
     
  9. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    No, we didn’t have solar at all. We did charge our phones on the days we took a drive. I think we have a 26 gallon fresh and a 25 gal each gray and black water tank. The Mirror Lake area is renowned for having no water so I knew that going into it. We’ve been staying at free dispersed camping spots mostly this summer so water is usually scarce.
     
  10. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the succesful week boondocking. Sadly due to medical issues, some of us can't be without power that long... In those cases, generators and solar are our friends.
     
  11. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    With my clipper, I have a 40 gallon fresh water tank and 20 gallon grey and black tanks. The kitchen sink goes to the grey. The toilet and bathroom sink go to the grey. Works out perfectly - I fill the black and grey equally. So, when I run out of fresh, I also need to dump. I can go 10 days without major conservation.

    The FnR has a 20 gallon fresh but due to the fill line, it doesn't hold quite that much. The toilet is a cassette. I can go 3 days without conservation. I have several 2.5 gallon water containers and a 6 gallon grey tote. With those, I can extend my water as long as there is a toilet nearby to dump into.

    For battery, my clipper has a group 31 Optima AGM blue top battery. I won't even put a dent into it after 10 days. So far the FnR battery has held up fine also.
     
  12. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    Yes, I think it’s awesome that you can use a generator or solar to camp with CPAPs, etc! We don’t have those particular special needs but we are all about inclusiveness in our family.
     
  13. dbhost

    dbhost Well-Known Member

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    I never gave it much thought. The longest / heaviest use boondocking i have done with my 5 gallon toilet so far has been 3 days, and it was only about half full when I dumped. That's with 2 people. Now the issue there is that we were close by to other facilities, and used the restrooms there if / when we needed to, but didn't make a point of it.

    Which leads me to a dumb question. How big is the black tank on that casette toilet? And how many people are using it?
     
  14. Toedtoes

    Toedtoes Well-Known Member

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    I actually haven't hit my cassette toilet limit up to four days of camping. It's my grey that fills up quicker in the FnR.

    I'm not sure mine's size, but it appears they come in sizes from about 2.5 gallons to 5 gallons.
     
  15. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    Not a dumb question at all. Mine is a travel trailer with a 20-25 gallon black tank, hence being able to go for so long with 4 family members.
     
  16. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Pictures please, there are some places that are on the top of my list to visit in Utah when I retire.

    I'm not sure on ours. I'm thinking less than five gallons, but we've never had an issue with it not holding enough.
     
  17. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    I don’t have many pictures that don’t have my kids in them. One picture shows one of the lakes on Fehr lake trail. The other shows a prospective dispersed campsite. Wild flowers everywhere there! Mirror Lake Highway wasn’t as picturesque as I expected because 60%+ of the trees are dead from spruce beetles.

    Logan Canyon on the other hand was breath taking.
     

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  18. BillyMc

    BillyMc Well-Known Member

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    Awe they're at that fun stage where they get amazed by natural things. Our grandsons still do, but the DQT can't take her face out of a screen long enough to notice anymore. Beetles are terrible, Dad lost a lot of money having to sell timber when the market was flooded due to pine beetle infestation in the area.

    We're going dry camping this fall. The boys and I went last year, but DW hasn't been yet. The boys and I didn't come close to using up resources so the four of us should be fine. Going to take the inverter generator just in case DW needs a little 110 current for something. Don't want to risk turning off on camping without hookups her first time out.
     
  19. MaeKay

    MaeKay Active Member

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    I suspect my kids will last a little longer in loving nature than most. We cut out screens (TV, tablets, computer) in April and they’re more creative than ever. Since I have smart phone addiction (I don’t like sitting still so I’m always researching something) I’m going to be mindful of how I introduce them to phones when they’re older.
     
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  20. Arlyn Aronson

    Arlyn Aronson Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to all for posting and the pictures. We think phones and all screens, should be put away for camping trips.
     

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