Your RV is your passport to a campsite free of the political cacophony
By Bob Difley
Turn on your radio or TV anytime between now and November and you will likely get an earful of politics. I’ve already had enough of presidential year politics as I’m sure many of you non-political junkies have also. But I have a solution, an antidote to the flow of political tirade. Go boondocking.
I’m not just talking hyperbole here either. Back in 1996 when Bob Dole ran against Bill Clinton My wife and I decided we had had enough and decided to leave the civilized and noisy world behind until after the election. So we did what many RVers do, we headed for the back country, far enough away from TV and radio reception to be tempted to tune in, and we were pretty much alone in our Shangri-La until we emerged following the election.
Boondocking is now difficult, and is an effective way to get out of range of the frantic media barrage of the outer world. The difficulty in boondocking is extending the length of time you can stay away from your support systems–electricity, water, waste disposal–before you are forced to re-enter the civilized world.
But it can–and is–being done by lots of RVers who have discovered how to live off the grid and enjoy the world of nature away from the world of humans. Most of what it takes is already a part of your RV. Electricity is solved by batteries, water by a large on-board fresh water tank, and waste disposal with two holding tanks.
But to stay out as long as we do requires some additions. We changed our 12- volt deep cycle RV batteries for 6-volt batteries like those used in electric golf carts giving us more amps to use. We carry a couple 6-gallon Jerry jugs with extra fresh water as well as some 2.5-gallon plastic water containers that flatten out when empty and store in very little space.
To solve the waste problem, we conserve our fresh water use by taking Navy showers, save the water we run warming up for showers to use for washing dishes and other uses, do not let the faucet run when brushing teeth, washing hands, etc. which decreases the amount of waste water entering out gray waste tank. We also use biodegradable dish detergent and dump the dishwater on a thirsty plant or bury it. (Wipe the dishes clean of food debris before washing dishes to prevent attracting rodents.) The black water tank can last a long time before filling if you limit the amount of water you use to flush the toilet.
Here are some tips for getting even more time out of your boondocking trips:
- Buy a Blue Boy type portable waste water tank that you can haul off and dump without having to leave your boondocking campsite.
- Install solar panels to provide electricity.
- Buy a water bladder to carry extra water, which you can drive off to fill and pump into your RV rather than leave your campsite.
- Plan your meals ahead so you have enough supplies, basic ingredients, and canned, packaged, or dry stores that won’t spoil to last the full length of your boondocking trip.
Then enjoy the solitude, the quiet, and the stars at night–which you probably can’t see from the civilized world.
Next week, how to find boondocking campsites where you can get away from politics and civilization.
For more RVing articles and tips take a look at my Healthy RV Lifestyle website, where you will also find my ebooks: BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands (PDF or Kindle), 111 Ways to Get the Biggest Bang for your RV Lifestyle Buck (PDF or Kindle), and Snowbird Guide to Boondocking in the Southwestern Deserts (PDF or Kindle), and my newest, The RV Lifestyle: Reflections of Life on the Road (PDF or Kindle reader version). NOTE: Use the Kindle version to read on iPad and iPhone or any device that has the free Kindle reader app.