Tips on drycamping for newbs - Page 3 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-10-2011, 05:06 AM   #29
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On the washing issue, unless the plates and pans are really greasy, no need for soap at all. Just scrub with sand or dirt and rinse, can be done in a stream.
I don't cook much meat, so this works well.
And I bet the baby will have so much fun everyone will sleep well!
Marjie
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Old 05-10-2011, 06:23 AM   #30
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Great info everyone, Thanks!
Anne glad you brought up the black water, I was wondering about that,
since I think its only a 9gal tank.
Roger great idea with the solar lights.
Francesca thanks for the dispersion solutions.

So what other tips y'all got?
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:15 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by marjie s. View Post
On the washing issue, unless the plates and pans are really greasy, no need for soap at all. Just scrub with sand or dirt and rinse, can be done in a stream.
I don't cook much meat, so this works well.
And I bet the baby will have so much fun everyone will sleep well!
Marjie

Don't get caught doing this. The fines can be pretty high.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:14 AM   #32
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For gray water on our UHaul, we have an outlet with a hose fitting under the side of the trailer (no tank). We hook up a plastic jug (3 or 5 gallons) with a cut off garden hose and run the gray water directly into the jug. Then, I dispose of the gray water at the sanitary facilities (bathroom, shower room, etc.). I have to dump it twice over a 3 day weekend.

For dry camping, you may want to investigate a multipurpose battery/jump start/charger unit. These are available from Harbor Freight (Chicago Tools?) and can power 12v lights and other light devices if you won't want to run down your battery for some things. They are good for charging phones, running laptops, running radios, etc. You can get these in different sizes for different current loads.

Take plenty of garbage bags, too! We always have the small kitchen bags and the larger black bags for hauling away our trash. They also come in handy for covering lawn chairs or other outside stuff to avoid dew and rain. You can also make quick rain ponchos out of the big black bags.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:25 AM   #33
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For gray water on our UHaul, we have an outlet with a hose fitting under the side of the trailer (no tank). We hook up a plastic jug (3 or 5 gallons) with a cut off garden hose and run the gray water directly into the jug. Then, I dispose of the gray water at the sanitary facilities (bathroom, shower room, etc.). I have to dump it twice over a 3 day weekend.

For dry camping, you may want to investigate a multipurpose battery/jump start/charger unit. These are available from Harbor Freight (Chicago Tools?) and can power 12v lights and other light devices if you won't want to run down your battery for some things. They are good for charging phones, running laptops, running radios, etc. You can get these in different sizes for different current loads.

Take plenty of garbage bags, too! We always have the small kitchen bags and the larger black bags for hauling away our trash. They also come in handy for covering lawn chairs or other outside stuff to avoid dew and rain. You can also make quick rain ponchos out of the big black bags.

I agree that you need to dispose of your garbage properly. Also it's generally a good idea to reduce the amount of garbage produced while out. One of the ways is to repackage food items that comes in boxes. Also package food with just enough for one meal at a time and cook only what will be eaten.
It's another one of those reduce when possible things. We use large zip lock type bags for garbage. It usually takes a least 2 days to fill one and that's using disposable plates and flat ware.
When we're in a place that we have to carry out our garbage we do everything we can to reduce the amount.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:24 PM   #34
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Don't get caught doing this. The fines can be pretty high.
Byron,

Why is this illegal? I would just be rubbing dirt on my plate and rinsing.
Marjie
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:30 PM   #35
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Byron,

Why is this illegal? I would just be rubbing dirt on my plate and rinsing.
Marjie
Grease and food residues being placed in surface water is called "polluting"

The rule is disposing of any waste material, food, soap, human waste, etc. is to be done at least 100 ft. from any surface water. Some places it's extended to 300'.
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Old 05-10-2011, 01:39 PM   #36
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For real food particles are considered BLACK water, that's why all of us desert rats have to have REAL septic systems now.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:13 PM   #37
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Great info Byron! Thank you! Do know if the furnace uses up the propane fast? I've been told where we are going camping it can get close to freezing at night due to the elevation(5280ft) and will need heat for our daughter....
Hi Baj,

Take warm sleeping bags for your family. Use the propane heater before you go to bed just to warm the cabin. Then turn it on first thing in the AM to warm up the cabin before everyone gets up. The sleeping bags will keep you warm even on very cold nights. In the winter months, I sleep in my flannel PJs.

I use my propane stove top to heat up water in the morning for oatmeal and I also make coffee. This warms up the cabin, so I really don't need the heater working for more than a few minutes each day.

It is important to keep your trailer battery charged because even though your refrigerator may be on propane, you still need a minimum amount of electrical power for the fridge.

We purchased a LED lantern at CostCo for less than $15.00. I use the Lantern at night to save my batteries. It lights up the small trailer cabin really well. I also own several headlamps. You can find fairly inexpensive ones at Home Depot. I use my headlamp at night to hookup/unhitch the trailer, etc. I use it when I walk the dogs after dark. I use it in bed to read.

I have a propane hot water heater. I fire it up at night when I am getting ready to make dinner. I keep it on all night so that I will have hot water to clean my hands and wash the dishes, and take a shower. I turn the hot water heater off just as I am leaving the trailer for the day. This helps to save propane.

I have found that my 15 LB exchange Propane tank will last up to 7 days.

Either this forum or one of the Casita forums had a thread or two on how to make a portable holding "tank" for grey water. Fresh water conservation is a big problem for me. I try my best, but end up having to refill my fresh water tank every few days. I recommend that you look for a nearby gas station which has a dumping station for your grey/black water tank, as well as a fresh water filling area. If you need to get more water before weekend's end, you will find that driving to that station will also serve to recharge your trailer battery.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:40 PM   #38
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Byron, you have a right to be upset. I'm 69 y. o. and have enjoyed the outdoors all my life. I have found that most people, be they hikers, equestrians, ATV riders or Mtn. bikers that actually get out into the wilderness and leave their campers behind for days at a time are usually the best environmentalists and have a true love and respect of what I like to call Gods Great Cathedral.

John
All the equestrians I have encountered leave the horse poop on the trail where ever it drops sometimes in or next to a stream. There are bags that can catch it to be disposed of properly, you may have seen them used in the city. The horses hooves dig up or leave deep imprints in the trail especially when the ground is wet. I have experienced these things along the trail and when they ride in the woods behind my house. The ATV riders and mountain bike riders rip up the tiny fragile root systems that prevent trail erosion. I have nothing against riding horses or mountain bikes or ATV's but I think they do more damage in a fragile wilderness area than dumping a few gallons of grey water. I agree that grey water should not be dumped in the wilderness, but it is a stretch to call equestrians, ATV riders and mountain bikers "the best environmentalists".
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:53 PM   #39
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Hi Baj,

Take warm sleeping bags for your family. Use the propane heater before you go to bed just to warm the cabin. Then turn it on first thing in the AM to warm up the cabin before everyone gets up. The sleeping bags will keep you warm even on very cold nights. In the winter months, I sleep in my flannel PJs.

I use my propane stove top to heat up water in the morning for oatmeal and I also make coffee. This warms up the cabin, so I really don't need the heater working for more than a few minutes each day.

It is important to keep your trailer battery charged because even though your refrigerator may be on propane, you still need a minimum amount of electrical power for the fridge.

We purchased a LED lantern at CostCo for less than $15.00. I use the Lantern at night to save my batteries. It lights up the small trailer cabin really well. I also own several headlamps. You can find fairly inexpensive ones at Home Depot. I use my headlamp at night to hookup/unhitch the trailer, etc. I use it when I walk the dogs after dark. I use it in bed to read.

I have a propane hot water heater. I fire it up at night when I am getting ready to make dinner. I keep it on all night so that I will have hot water to clean my hands and wash the dishes, and take a shower. I turn the hot water heater off just as I am leaving the trailer for the day. This helps to save propane.

I have found that my 15 LB exchange Propane tank will last up to 7 days.

Either this forum or one of the Casita forums had a thread or two on how to make a portable holding "tank" for grey water. Fresh water conservation is a big problem for me. I try my best, but end up having to refill my fresh water tank every few days. I recommend that you look for a nearby gas station which has a dumping station for your grey/black water tank, as well as a fresh water filling area. If you need to get more water before weekend's end, you will find that driving to that station will also serve to recharge your trailer battery.

Turning off the furnace at night is ok is milder temperatures. There's a couple problems with doing this. One, if it's really cold you end up with frozen plumbing inside the trailer. Two, depending on how cold you can expect it to get you'll need several different sleeping bags rated for different temperatures. Where we were in Big Bend with the temperatures dropping to 5 degrees everything inside the trailer would have been frozen if we didn't have the furnace on.
We bags rated for around 50 degrees and set the thermostat for that. If temperature stays above the furnace doesn't come on, if it gets colder it comes on.
I have a hard time understanding why people want turn off the furnace at night. Do you turn off the furnace at home at night?
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:17 PM   #40
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More great great info here...love all the little tips and things you all have found work well and save battery life and propane. Thank you all again!
How long would I need to run(not driving, but just sitting idling) my TV to charge my deep cell battery up a bit?.. or will that even do anything, maybe you actually have to be driving with the rmps up...?
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:28 PM   #41
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I have a hard time understanding why people want turn off the furnace at night. Do you turn off the furnace at home at night?
My furnace does not have a thermostat but a numbered dial; no electrical connection, no fan. I can turn the dial from low to high and anywhere in between. I usually turn in when the sun goes down and get up with the sun. In the fall the temperature is often not cold enough to leave the furnace on early in the evening without making it uncomfortably warm for sleeping. I travel with 2 sleeping bags. If I think it will get cold (ie. around the freezing mark) I'll use the -7 degree bag and leave it unzipped a bit. If it gets cold and I wake up I zip up the bag more. In the morning, when I wake up, I lean down and turn on the furnace and roll back for another half hour until it warms up a bit. I carry minimal water and it's in an insulated container. I put an anti freeze agent in the port-a-potti. By the way, I also turn the heat down at home at night in the winter and turn it up in the morning. Not everyone can camp as bare bones as I do but I see my Trillium as more of a hard, deluxe tent than a small house.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:47 PM   #42
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Hi Baj,
Fresh water conservation is a big problem for me. I try my best, but end up having to refill my fresh water tank every few days. I recommend that you look for a nearby gas station which has a dumping station for your grey/black water tank, as well as a fresh water filling area. If you need to get more water before weekend's end, you will find that driving to that station will also serve to recharge your trailer battery.
Hello again, Baj

I'm glad Jane brought water conservation up.
This is always a major point for me, especially since I do so little camping in developed areas.
Most of the places where I camp for any length of time are chosen in large part for their proximity to fresh water, which can with a minimum of care be used for all purposes except drinking and cooking. The water I bring from home or another known potable water source is reserved for those purposes. It's really surprising how little water one actually directly consumes! Since I can easily carry the 15 gallons or so of drinking water that I need for a week and can't know the history of surface waters, my rule is that all such water is unfit to drink. But as a general rule, it's fine for other uses. Running water is preferred for clarity (NOT an indicator of drinkability!) You might have to let lake water stand in a bucket for a while to settle sediments before using.
Air drying of dishes is best, since most bacteriae/protozoae can't survive long without moisture. One's concerns about such hazards can be further allayed by washing, rinsing, and finally sanitizing by dipping dishes into a weak bleach solution (1tsp./gal. of water) and, again,air drying. The bleach will do its work and be gone once the dishes dry. One should take care not to use more bleach than that (health code) concentration- more will leave a nasty residue, and without any added benefit. The bleach also readily expends its strength and evaporates in the rinse bucket, and can be responsibly disposed of by the greywater disposal methods mentioned above.

Francesca
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