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On or Off the Grid

I’ve been working on the itinerary for my trip home with Wild Thing and although I eventually plan to camp in out-of-the-way places, during this “shake down” trip I am planning to stay in campgrounds with full services hook ups.  I want to focus my energy on learning to operate this rig before I take it out “boondocking” ( free camping out in the boonies!).

Modern campgrounds offer a wide range of amenities. Many can provide some combination of basic services at each campsite such as a connection to water supply,  an electrical connection (shore power), and a waste water (sewer) connection for your camper. Other common amenities include a onsite laundry, pool, and shower facilities. Some higher end “RV Resorts” offer services you might see at a 5 star hotel like saunas, spa services, and a gym! Check out this list of 10 of the most Luxurious RV Resorts from General RV.

My trailer will be self contained so I will be able to enjoy “dry camping” (camping without connections to external services) for about 2 weeks.  Wild Thing will have a 28 gallon fresh water tank to supply water for drinking, cooking and showering, a 28 gallon grey water holding tank for storing used sink and shower water, and a 30 gallon black water tank for waste water. With these tanks, I should be able to be quite comfortable for a couple of weeks before I need to replenish the fresh water, dispose of the dirty water, and fill up on propane.

The trailer will be powered by two 20# propane tanks, dual 6 volt batteries and an integrated 160 watt solar panel.  The solar panel will be wired directly to the batteries, so as long as I have some sun, I should be able to keep the batteries charged without connecting to shore power.  The stove top, oven, and heater all operate on propane. The refrigerator/freezer is capable of  running on either propane, battery, or electricity. The hot water heater uses either propane or electricity. The lights, fans, and all the switches will run off the battery. The trailer will also have a 1500 watt power inverter  wired to all my 120 volt plugs so the two 6 volt batteries will be able to supply power to my 120 volt plugs! The only appliances in the trailer that require a direct connection to electrical shore power and therefore can’t be used when dry camping are the air conditioner and and the microwave. They are both nice to have but not essential for most of the trips I have planned.

Once I have gained a bit of experience and have tested out all the systems in Wild Thing, I will try my hand at dry camping this winter in the Southwest.  State and National Parks, as well as public lands like those managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) often have few, if any, hook-up services, but they are also the ones that offer the kind of locations I’m hoping to explore.  It’s great to have options!

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