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#1 FeldmanKC

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 12:21 PM

We don't have our 16' Casita yet but... will soon. I have seen a number of comments about Boondocking but no one goes beyond the topic. There is no mention about generators, propane, cooking, fresh water, gray water, black water. How is everyone dealing with these areas. A good example "Generator", do you use one? What is recommended? Do you store the generator in your tow vehicle, in the trailer, or outside the Casita in front or back when traveling? Cooking, do you recommend a propane grill? Do you use your stove top or microwave convection oven? Yes, having full hookups is nice but... when hookups are not available or you simply want a change... How are you dealing with Boondocking??? Would love to hear your ideas...



#2 clairemr1

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 03:01 PM

i boondock almost exclusively. i use a honda 2000i inverter generator every few days to boost the battery or to run AC/microwave. i have it secured at the rear on a cargo carrier and OMW low pro lockdown. many owners boondock with solar if they don't need AC. some use both, solar and generator as conditions warrant. i use everything the trailer offers, include stove top propane cooking, run the fridge/hot water heater on propane. i can get away for several days without having to dump tanks or take on water, if being conservative with water. sanitize your fresh water tank, flush it out, add fresh water then use your pump to circulate water.marine showers, get wet, turn off water, soap up, turn on water to rinse off. i often dump dish water down the toilet to save on gray tank use.use a battery monitor so you know the status of your battery charge at all times, recharge as it gets to 50% discharged. the propane furnace will use quite a bit of battery, perfectly normal, just be aware of it.i use the normal locks on tongue/ball/wheel and i wouldn't leave my trailer alone in a remote boondock while i'm out sightseeing. some owners do and have never had a problem.

    our casitas were designed very well for boondocking. the best way to learn is go somewhere for a weekend and don't use hookups. you can even practice boondocking when you're in a regular campground with full hookups or in your driveway. it's very easy to learn and allows you much more camping possibilities if you're willing to try it. go for it!


Edited by clairemr1, 01 October 2017 - 03:10 PM.

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#3 trainman

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:02 PM

We don't have our 16' Casita yet but... will soon. I have seen a number of comments about Boondocking but no one goes beyond the topic. There is no mention about generators, propane, cooking, fresh water, gray water, black water. How is everyone dealing with these areas. A good example "Generator", do you use one? What is recommended? Do you store the generator in your tow vehicle, in the trailer, or outside the Casita in front or back when traveling? Cooking, do you recommend a propane grill? Do you use your stove top or microwave convection oven? Yes, having full hookups is nice but... when hookups are not available or you simply want a change... How are you dealing with Boondocking??? Would love to hear your ideas...

I was at Casita two weeks ago and got the plant tour. Their was only one 16 footer in production, was that yours.  

 

trainman



#4 vermilye

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Posted 01 October 2017 - 05:16 PM

I spend the winters boondocking at Quartzsite, AZ & Imperial Dam, CA in the BLM Long Term Visitor Areas.  $180.00 for 7 months or $40.00 for 2 weeks (repeatable).  For the money you get a piece of the desert, access to fresh water, a dump station, and dumpsters for your trash.  

 

My winter stay is anywhere from 60 - 90 days without hookups.  No generator, but when I had the Escape 17B, I had 355 watts of solar (195 watts on the roof & a 160 watt portable panel) feeding a pair of 6V, 232 amp hour batteries.  I usually went 2 weeks between runs to the dump station & fresh water.

 

I have a 1000 watt inverter, which lets me use a 600 watt microwave (sparingly), make a pot of drip coffee each morning, and sometimes toast an english muffin.  I also use a power hungry laptop to edit photographs, charge phone, Jetpack & camera batteries, and, during the winter, run the furnace for as much as 1/2 an hour overnight.  All in all, I use between 30 & 40 amp hours per day, which is usually made up by the solar panels.  If enough rainy days in a row dropped the batteries below comfort levels, I cut back on use, but generally, the solar took care of my needs.

 

As to cooking, most of mine is on a Coleman Stove/Grill, a unit that has a one burner stove & a small grill.   I typically use the microwave for one or two meals per week, usually a microwaved Amy's single meal or burrito or two when air get lazy & don't want to cook.  Prior to the microwave, I used a Dutch Oven on a Volcano Grill, but never got comfortable baking in it.

 

I now have an Escape 21 with 320 watts of solar on the roof (and still carry the portable 160 watt panel).  The portable is handy for camping in the shade, and during the winter when the sun is at low angles to the rooftop panels, and shining for shorter hours.  So far I've only boondocks for a week with the new trailer, however I will be back in Quartzsite once Arizona cools off. I still use the outside Stove/Grill for most of the meals, but do now have & use an oven, one of the reasons for getting the larger trailer. 


Edited by vermilye, 01 October 2017 - 05:18 PM.

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#5 Firetruck41

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 05:47 PM

Curious what one does, in Quarzite for several months?  I have several decades of work/kids,before I get to do something like that, but still got me curious!


Tow with: 2004 Nissan Titan LE 4wd Crew Cab, with Softopper canopy (196k miles)


#6 vermilye

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 06:31 PM

Well, I'm sure you could do more than I did/do, but here is the start of my 2015 - 16 winter and my 2016 - 17 winter.  For me it is primarily a way to avoid Oswego's 150" - 200" of snow over the winter, but if you look at the rest of the journals, I do spend time in other parts of the country!


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#7 Firetruck41

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 06:57 PM

Thanks!  :)


Tow with: 2004 Nissan Titan LE 4wd Crew Cab, with Softopper canopy (196k miles)


#8 Blacksmith

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:37 PM

Here's what we learned in year one of Casita boondocking. Honda 2000i is minimal, strains under AC load, but when temp was over 100f at night really needed it! We carry 2 6-gal. Fresh water containers extra in our TV. When possible, we use the outside shower. Beware of brackish water at fill stations! Hard on the hot water tank. Eats annodes.
Carry blocks for load leveling. We use 2"x6" blocks cut 6" long. We carry 4 just for the rear end stabilizers. We use light weight plastic, clip together, load levelers for the wheels.To save the battery, we use solar powered portable lamps for reading at night. We need a dump station about every 4-5 days in normal use.
We use 3 gals. water per shower for a full, non Navy shower. Half that for Navy showers. We try to travel with only 1/4 fresh water tank load, then top off just at or before stopping to camp. Not always possible, hence the two 6-gal containers. Not sure it's true if all Casitas, but our 2017 LD17 has a 25 gal fresh water tank. BEWARE! The bottom 3" will not pump out. And it will only hold 21 gals. on level ground before overflowing. So we actually have about a 17 gal. tank. Not 25 gal!.! That was a big boondocking lesson.
Misc: Dilute liquid soap in a pump type container. Takes less water to wash up, but still enough soap to do a fine job. Never leave home without a battery monitor. Cheap on Amazon.com, but oh so painful without one. No battery, no power to the motherboard...no frig! Carry spare rivets (little custom house kit). Boondocking will flex your Casita. Ours ripped the rivet out of the wall between the bath and the stove wall just turning into a campsite on a curved grade. And a rivet gun. I also carry a $30 Harbor Freight mechanics tool kit in a molded plastic case. Has 90% of what we've needed this year.
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#9 Blacksmith

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Posted 02 October 2017 - 08:42 PM

Forgot to mention storing the 2000i. I keep in the TV, covered and chained. When around camp, it is chained to the Casita for those day hikes, etc.

#10 clairemr1

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 05:32 AM

just FYI on the honda 2000i. many owners of the 17ft casitas report lessening the initial start up load for it (and all generators btw) by installing a "soft start" (some call it a hard start) capacitor. they often have to turn off AC while using the microwave, hair dryer, etc. some owners have also purchased the honda 2000i "companion" which boosts your power available (pretty expensive, but some have done it). some have gone to larger (more wattage) generators but that means more weight and louder, in most cases. omw (orbital machine works) reports sales of the honda 2000i generator beats sales of all other gennys 50 to 1, so there are many satisfied honda 2000i owners.

    owners of the 13 and 16ft trailers (including mine) have the smaller freiderich window ac units mounted under our shorter closet by the front door. much less power requirements than the ac units on the 17ft casitas mounted on the roof. i can run the ac, microwave, fridge, led lights all at the same time without a hiccup with my honda 2000i. the only issue i've had with mine is i clogged the carburator by using bad gas. my bad! works great again after a normal carburator cleaning! safe travels..............


Edited by clairemr1, 03 October 2017 - 05:37 AM.

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#11 FeldmanKC

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 07:26 AM

I definitely appreciate the information to date...Will be very helpful as I go forward. I welcome any additional boondocking information others can share....



#12 clover

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 10:39 AM

just FYI on the honda 2000i. many owners of the 17ft casitas report lessening the initial start up load for it (and all generators btw) by installing a "soft start" (some call it a hard start) capacitor. they often have to turn off AC while using the microwave, hair dryer, etc. some owners have also purchased the honda 2000i "companion" which boosts your power available (pretty expensive, but some have done it). some have gone to larger (more wattage) generators but that means more weight and louder, in most cases. omw (orbital machine works) reports sales of the honda 2000i generator beats sales of all other gennys 50 to 1, so there are many satisfied honda 2000i owners.

    owners of the 13 and 16ft trailers (including mine) have the smaller freiderich window ac units mounted under our shorter closet by the front door. much less power requirements than the ac units on the 17ft casitas mounted on the roof. i can run the ac, microwave, fridge, led lights all at the same time without a hiccup with my honda 2000i. the only issue i've had with mine is i clogged the carburator by using bad gas. my bad! works great again after a normal carburator cleaning! safe travels..............

the hard start capacitor that is in the roof top AC units is totally different than the "soft start" or better know as the Easy Start by Micro Air.

 

it has been recommended to carry around an extra hard start capacitor by Larry at Little House Customs http://littlehousecu....com/store.htmlyou can purchase it for less than $14. I can tell you that if I didn't have one along on a boondocking trip in south Texas in August, we would have had to come home with no AC. Even if you are plugged into shore power and your hard start capacitor goes out you will have no AC. It is easy to install and Larry includes some very good directions on how to do it. Took me maybe 20 minutes, most of which was time getting the needed tools, removing the shroud. Really nothing to do with the ability of the generator to run the AC.

 

The Easy Start is an electric design that is genius to help your generator start the AC unit much easier . This takes some skill to install and costs around $300. All that have installed it say it is well worth the money and extra effort to install. 

http://www.casitaclu...hl=+soft +start

https://www.microair...ant=30176048267

 

All the above noted, will not pertain to your window unit in the 16'

 

We use to store our Honda 2000 on the tongue in a custom made "basket" with a cover over the top. After we "killed" the Honda using it in the Texas heat for long periods of time we jumped up to a Champion 3500/4000 which lives in the bed of the truck. Our new Champion 3000 inverter generator will live in the truck as well

 

Getting "good" at boondocking, such as learning to conserve water, just takes practice. When we are going to be remote for extended periods of time and also some distance from water. I carry a 55 gallon plastic drum (food grade). I have a 12volt water pump that runs off of a "jump box". I can fill the Casita fresh water tank in less than 5 minutes. I never move the water drum out of the truck.

 

We've never run out of black tank capacity, only gray tank gets full. Most/many place we dry camp allow the gray water to be let out on the vegetation. We only have one place we frequent for 2 week stretches we carry a portable waste tank to get rid of the gray water. I am extremely finicky about what finds it way to the gray tank. Never grease or food particles from washing dishes and I run bleach through it on a regular basis, because we do often have the option of letting the gray water out on the ground and I don't want that to stink.     

 

Dry Camping/BD opens up a whole new world of possibilities. The sooner you wean yourself from a power pedestal, that happier you will be. You will also find much more fun(wildlife & scenery) and remote  places to camp that are very cheap to free$$. 


Edited by clover, 03 October 2017 - 10:55 AM.

Happy Trails!
Clover
2003 17' SD
2002 F350 Diesel Crew Cab
(I know it is overkill but we live on a real ranch it takes a vacation with the Casita)


#13 Tom Haberski

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 01:36 PM

I'd have to say that whether on this Casita forum, the other Casita forum or other trailer forums, there's tons and tons of information to digest on boondocking.  Your answers are there, you just have to look, research and poke about.  All the suggestions listed in this post are well reasoned and insightful.

 

Water use is a big issue.  I've used a hand held solar shower bag from Seattle Sports to minimize shower water usage in my 16' Casita when traveling without de-Winterizing (freezing temps) or just not having 17 gallons to fill the water tank and water heater.  Heat a gallon of water on the stove, shower with the bag in the Casita and all is well and clean.  Water and electrical power are your constraints.  Propane is not....1 or 2 tanks last for weeks and weeks.

 

Reduce your wants......simplify your needs.......I think that comes from Thoreau.


Edited by Tom Haberski, 03 October 2017 - 01:46 PM.


#14 Blacksmith

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 05:20 PM

A late thought. While camping at Blue Lake National Wilderness this summer, the host told us they carry a cheap Walmart inflatable swimming pool. WHY, I ask? Put it under your outside shower. You can shower outside in any boondock location. Just return the used water to a bucket, use it to flush the toilet. That's creative advice from experienced campers carrying a small round inflatable swimming pool.
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#15 clairemr1

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Posted 03 October 2017 - 06:40 PM

A late thought. While camping at Blue Lake National Wilderness this summer, the host told us they carry a cheap Walmart inflatable swimming pool. WHY, I ask? Put it under your outside shower. You can shower outside in any boondock location. Just return the used water to a bucket, use it to flush the toilet. That's creative advice from experienced campers carrying a small round inflatable swimming pool.

creative way to repurpose used bath water. i use my dishwater in the same way while boondocking..........


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