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State Park Camping

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State Park Camping

Unread postby mikhen on Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:22 am

Never camped without full hookups. I'd like to try it but the DW is a bit nervous about it. Most of the parks around here have water and electric hookups. I'm looking for info such as..

-how long would 30 gallons of fresh water last, assuming we would limit it to necessary use

-how many dishwashings, toilet flushings, showers, etc would it take to fill the black and grey( I guess I mean in days)

-in case we would go without power, and have only 1 battery, how long would that last

-propane consumption running fridge and hot water on gas

Hope this makes sense, just trying to get a guideline. I even thought about not using the hookups on an upcoming trip just to try it.
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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby PrivatePilot on Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:40 am

This can very greatly depending on alot of circumstances. I know some people say that they can go for 5 or more days on their water and holding tanks only, can stretch batteries out 3 or 4 days - of course, this can vary allot depending on battery capacities, quantities, and overall setup, as well as use of campground showers (instead of the RV shower), etc.

Although we rarely camp anywhere without at least electricity hookups (that'll change this summer, I'm sure) I do know that 3 days should be reasonable by most standards assuming everyone is carefull to with their consumption, especially water usage.

I rent my trailer out when I'm not using it and the hardest part to get through to people is that they need to conserve water since it's not an unlimited supply, nor unlimited sewer. Most people do OK once you stress the fact that lugging jugs of water to their campsite isn't fun, and I charge $40 to come out and empty the holding tanks if they can't make them last at least three days.

Last summer we rented our trailer out to a guy who spent 4 days at a country music jamboree and he did exceptionally well - he actually had just used the last of the 25 gallons of water the morning we picked up the trailer (and they did use the shower at least once each), although the battery was an issue...since the TT we had at the time only had a single battery, that wasn't surprising. He had a generator and simply ran it a few times for the duration of his stay to charge things up.

I figure that an experience RV'er with a very keen eye to capacities and limits could probably stretch that to 5 days, battery not withstanding.
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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby skipnchar on Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:09 am

mikhen wrote:Never camped without full hookups. I'd like to try it but the DW is a bit nervous about it. Most of the parks around here have water and electric hookups. I'm looking for info such as..

-how long would 30 gallons of fresh water last, assuming we would limit it to necessary use Each family would, of course, be a little different. When we're dry camping we shower every second day and sponge bath in the alternate days. Wash all of our dishes once a day rather than after each meal and wash hands etc. without reservations. We NEVER skimp on flushing water. Our tank will last us for four days under these circumstances and we almost always carry a couple of 6 gallon H2O jugs for reserve in case we'd run out at an inconvenient time. Our fresh water capacity is 36 gallons also.

-how many dishwashings, toilet flushings, showers, etc would it take to fill the black and grey( I guess I mean in days) Our black tank is also 30 gallons and it will last us a week under most circumstances. When dry camping we always run out of fresh before filling any of our waste tanks so beyond that is really mute. Our trailer has two gray tanks with 30 gallons dedicated to bathroom sink and shower and another 30 gallons dedicated to the galley only.

-in case we would go without power, and have only 1 battery, how long would that last A single twelve volt battery in good condition would likely be able to sustain your minimal needs for several days as long as there is no furnace use involved. Your furnace will be the largest draw on the battery. The control board on the fridge and water heater take very little, water pump while substantial draw gets little use (as a percentage of run time) so is not much of a factor. Lights CAN be a big factor but judicious use can mitigate them. Have only a single light on in a room and always turn them out when not in actual use. Outdoor lighting is out completely for us and we're not fond of it anyway as we prefer moonlight or campfire for outdoor lighting. Our entertainment center is also 12 volt operated and we DO tend to watch TV or listen to Music a lot. With a single battery we used to limit ourselves to a couple of hours a day on these items but even THEY take less power than one would assume. Most of us who do a LOT of dry camping or boondocking usually add some features to help with these items. Simply adding a second 12 volt battery would be something that is relatively low cost with big benefits. A small inverter (something like 400 watts) can be purchased for around $50.00 to allow use of small appliances, watching 120 volt TV etc. One thing of which you should be aware is that ANY battery should not be discharged below about 50%. Doing so often will drastically shorten battery life span. I'd suggest purchase of a good battery voltage checker so you KNOW the state of your battery. The built in monitor in most RVs is as close to worthless for the task as anything you could find. Something like this is inexpensive and invaluable http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/Product/Pr-p_Product.CATENTRY_ID:2011207/c-10101/Nty-1/p-2011207/Ntx-mode+matchallpartial/N-10101/tf-Browse/s-10101/Ntk-AllTextSearchGroup?Ntt=battery+tester

-propane consumption running fridge and hot water on gas Once again, this is somewhat dependent on conservation practices. Fridge LP use is minimal as a single 30 lb. tank will run the fridge for more than a month. It'll flatten the battery long before the gas is used. We start our water heater in the morning for showers then turn it off afterward. The water will remain hot for evening dishes and bed time chores with no problem. Dish washing is a BIG user of water however and good conservation is necessary there also. Getting all of the soap rinsed off is important but that doesn't necessarily mean leaving the water run. We catch all rinse water in a rubber dishpan and re-use it along with a small stream of fresh water. We use Dishpans in both the wash sink and the rinse sink. When we had no galley tank on previous RVs we often would empty dish water into the black tank since the gray always got full the quickest.

Hope this makes sense, just trying to get a guideline. I even thought about not using the hookups on an upcoming trip just to try it.


Hope this is somewhat helpful to you. Dry camping has always kind of fascinated me and we LOVE the feeling of being self sufficient. On our 68 day trip through the Northeast US last fall we dry camped for 60 of those days.
Good luck / Skip
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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby mikhen on Wed Mar 19, 2008 11:19 am

Great information. Thanx alot.
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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby Lampooner on Thu Mar 20, 2008 8:15 am

I do not think it was mentioned, but they do make portable tanks of varying sizes. These are typically 15-30 gallons in size. They have wheels, the larger sizes even come with a trailer hitch connection gizmo so you can tow them to dump station. You basically connect them to RV and dump into them. Then take to dump station and dump contents. Repeat as needed. They are meant for use in a camp ground. The towable ones are meant for slow speeds, a fast walk.
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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby mountainman on Thu Mar 20, 2008 10:43 am

Skip:
Nice job explaining "Camping in State Parks". That type of camping defines our camping style also. We use both State camp sites and USFS campsites. Here in Colorado many of the state campsites have electric and dump facilities which really makes it nice. Water is also available even though you have to unhitch and drive to the source or fill containers and replenish your tank. Some of our USFS sites have electric and water available but they are limited. We have dual 6 volt batteries, Honda 2000i, and carry a 30 amp battery charger so we can camp where ever. Dumping is the only limiting factor as we also carry additional water if we know we are going into an area where that is critical.
It is a great camping experience and we consider ourselves very fortunate to reside in an area where those type of resources are closely available.
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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby cougarlover on Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:24 pm

I am also looking at spending a few days without hookups this year and dont want to purchase a generator. Sounds like it is very doable. We have 2 12v batteries. We have a pretty large family with 3 little ones and 2 teenagers plus myself dh and sometimes my mom. Water usage is going to my hard part. My dh wants to know if it is possible to charge the batteries with out truck. Someone told him to make sure to unhook from the truck when we get to our destination because he will have a dead battery. If this is the case then can it be charged by running the truck if we get into a bind
?


Thanks and sorry to highjack your post :D

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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby skipnchar on Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:29 pm

Charging from the tow vehicle is certainly a possibility but just be advised that a 300 HP battery charger isn't the most efficient in the world :) I don't know what you're towing with but if it's a mid 90s or newer Ford product it already has battery isolation built in so no danger of running down the truck battery. Most other manufacturers use a fuse instead of relay so unplugging would be a good idea. You could probably expect to bring batteries back to a reasonable level by letting the truck run for an hour or two a day if you need to charge while camping. Good luck / Skip
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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby cougarlover on Thu Mar 20, 2008 1:38 pm

We are towing with a 2001 GMC Yukon. That is music to my ears. There are so many places I want to see but thought that I needed a generator to boondock. Good to know with a little conservation we can visit these places. We wont be doing more then a weekend so this is very doable.

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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby Retired Phone Man on Sun Mar 23, 2008 1:00 am

Only been at this RV stuff for a year. Prior to that it was tents with no facilities so had to bring every thing with you, but mostly 2 to 3 days only. Last year we stayed at 2 State Parks for 6 days each. Both had electric hookups so that was great. The 1st had restrooms with showers and water about 70 ft from campsite. I carry 2 50ft hoses and only had to top off once. We used the dump station when we left. The second had restrooms but no showers and only 1 water source. Used a 7 gal tote to top off tank a few times since we showered in the TT. Took the TT to the dump once when we were there to dump grey tank, and again when we left. About 11 years ago we took a 3 week trip out west in a mini-van. Air mattress in back and ice chest. Used the campground facilities and it was a nice trip. Midway thru we stayed 1 night in a hotel in Tuba City, Az and that was a nice break. Just takes a little planing and go with the flow.
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Re: State Park Camping

Unread postby oldcampers2 on Sun Mar 23, 2008 12:19 pm

We like state parks. However, have never camped w/o elect. and water in a camper. (dry camp?) Have never used fresh water tank and pumps in either camper.
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