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Old 10-30-2009, 12:03 AM   #141
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I think a trailer would be a good alternative for someone not wanting to make the full "plunge" into big-rigging.
Me too.

We're likely to go the route of taking our current F150 rigged for hauling kayaks and canoes and add a hard-sided popup such as this A-Liner. Light, little wind drag, both heat and air so you can get comfy after a day on the water, hard sided for a tad bit of security and relatively inexpensive. Oh yeah, sets up in about 3 minutes unlike the canvas campers which usually take at least 15 minutes.

We're not RV'ers, just folks who like to camp and be outdoors but feel like we've spent our last night in a tent......... (unless you're talking about camping out of a canoe. Primitive camping is worth the discomfort. But tenting in a developed campground.....blaaaah.).

That's semi-RE'd DW leaning on the truck. Her red Hobie sot kayak is gone and she now paddles the Perception Tribute 12 sit-in shown in my avatar.
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Old 10-30-2009, 10:27 AM   #142
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By the way, in his book, Steinbeck described a low-tech method of washing clothes while on the road that he claimed was very effective. Comments?
I don't know what Steinbeck wrote, but for years troops with trucks or tanks have sometimes put their clothes in a 5 gal paint bucket (with lid) with soap and water. Attach to bumper. If it isn't packed too tight, a day's worth of rough road driving does a good job of scrubbing the clothes clean. It's best to give them a rinse or two beforehand to get the most of the dust and mud off.
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Old 10-30-2009, 11:08 AM   #143
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I don't know what Steinbeck wrote, but for years troops with trucks or tanks have sometimes put their clothes in a 5 gal paint bucket (with lid) with soap and water. Attach to bumper. If it isn't packed too tight, a day's worth of rough road driving does a good job of scrubbing the clothes clean. It's best to give them a rinse or two beforehand to get the most of the dust and mud off.
I read about this when we first got the Casita. Never bothered to try it though. Laundries are readily available, and it's really hard to do laundry without a spin cycle and a dryer.

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Old 10-30-2009, 10:02 PM   #144
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That was the way Steinbeck washed his clothes. At the end of the day, he looked for a stream to rinse it off. Nowadays, that polluting act is frowned upon.

Anyway, I was only kidding to see if any has tried to "rough it" that way.
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Old 10-31-2009, 08:26 AM   #145
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youb, the little Aliner campers always looked like just the thing for a more spartan experience that was still quite comfy. Let us know how you like it if you get one.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:07 AM   #146
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A comfortable bed, A/C and heating, electricity, and room for a microwave oven goes a loooooong way to aid in an easy, enjoyable camping experience under most weather conditions.

And after that indoor plumbing (including shower) is a huge major step up in camping "quality-of-life" although it does mean you have to learn and practice the dreaded art of dumping tanks.

I still notice even owners of big rigs running to the showers at some campgrounds. I always wonder about that. Our shower is full-sized and perfectly comfortable to use - actually nicer than the tub/shower we had in our house. Maybe those folks were trying to converse waste water? - can't remember if I notice this more in parks where there are no sewer hookups.

But running to the showers is a perfectly reasonable trade-off if it means you can camp in a much smaller rig.

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Old 10-31-2009, 09:24 AM   #147
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A comfortable bed, A/C and heating, electricity, and room for a microwave oven goes a loooooong way to aid in an easy, enjoyable camping experience under most weather conditions.

And after that indoor plumbing (including shower) is a huge major step up in camping "quality-of-life" although it does mean you have to learn and practice the dreaded art of dumping tanks.

I still notice even owners of big rigs running to the showers at some campgrounds. I always wonder about that. Our shower is full-sized and perfectly comfortable to use - actually nicer than the tub/shower we had in our house. Maybe those folks were trying to converse waste water? - can't remember if I notice this more in parks where there are no sewer hookups.

But running to the showers is a perfectly reasonable trade-off if it means you can camp in a much smaller rig.

Audrey
We did quite a bit of boondocking with our small travel trailer (with its small water and holding tanks) We became quite proficient at showering with about 2 gallons of water. Nozzle on to get wet- nozzle off, lather up-nozzle on to rinse. Clean and refreshing with minimal tank-dumping. Also avoided the hassle of toting shampoo, soap, towel etc. to the camp shower house. However, it does make one appreciate a nice long shower after returning home.
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Old 10-31-2009, 09:38 AM   #148
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A comfortable bed, A/C and heating, electricity, and room for a microwave oven goes a loooooong way to aid in an easy, enjoyable camping experience under most weather conditions.
I agree 100%. Our Roadtrek is every bit as comfortable as staying at a hotel... or at home for that matter. And that has held true at every weather imaginable and at temperatures between 15 and 102

Keep in mind, however, that we are "travelers" and not "campers."

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And after that indoor plumbing (including shower) is a huge major step up in camping "quality-of-life" although it does mean you have to learn and practice the dreaded art of dumping tanks.
As I explained in an earlier post, with a macerator, dumping isn't even an issue -- you could do it (theoretically) without gloves or even needing to wash your hand afterwards -- and, because it is a "sealed" process, there is no odor or sight concerns.

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But running to the showers is a perfectly reasonable trade-off if it means you can camp in a much smaller rig.
In 40,000 miles we have never used our shower. Not because we don't have one (in fact, it is relatively large -- I can stetch my arms out in it) but because we keep the RV "winterized" all year round. (The toilet gets plenty of use though.)

We have found that for competitive reasons, RV parks are very sensitive to the condition of their bathroom/shower facilities and are quite modern and pleasant (in most cases).
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:07 AM   #149
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I still notice even owners of big rigs running to the showers at some campgrounds. I always wonder about that.
Small gray tanks and no campsite sewer would explain some of that - probably better than lugging a blue tote.

But I'mm with you - we use our shower and go easy on the water if necessary.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:21 AM   #150
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But I'mm with you - we use our shower and go easy on the water if necessary.
Yep. We've learned the two of us can go five days (10 showers) before needing to dump our gray water tank. That includes a lot of hand washing and a limited amount of dish washing.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:31 AM   #151
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Did I mention we routinely go 10 to 12 days between dumps and that is under normal usage conditions? We once went 3 weeks when we absolutely had to.

Sorry to boast - but the massive wastewater tanks (100 gal gray, 78 gal black) is one of my favorite features of our brand of RV! For the kind of camping we often do (limited hook-ups) it's really convenient. And unfortunately these RVs aren't made anymore.

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:32 AM   #152
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In 40,000 miles we have never used our shower. Not because we don't have one (in fact, it is relatively large -- I can stetch my arms out in it) but because we keep the RV "winterized" all year round. (The toilet gets plenty of use though.)
Hey - that shower makes some pretty useful storage space if you aren't using it for bathing!

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:38 AM   #153
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Hey - that shower makes some pretty useful storage space if you aren't using it for bathing!
DW sure thinks so. However, it is not as simple as that -- one of the two sinks and the toilet share the space but, yeah, it is handy storage space.
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:44 AM   #154
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DW sure thinks so. However, it is not as simple as that -- one of the two sinks and the toilet share the space but, yeah, it is handy storage space.
Oh - I get it. We had a "shower/sink/toilet closet" like that in the Casita. We actually used it and learned the tricks of minimal water showering with it - water on to wet down, water off, rub self down with soapy sponge, water on to rinse. The sink came in quite handy for this kind of bathing. It wasn't precisely out of a bucket since we used the shower head - but it came close!

With the Casita I only went to the campground showers to wash my long hair.

I don't know how my 6'4" husband managed it in that cramped Casita shower, but he did, he almost never when to the campground showers - maybe once that I remember!

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Old 10-31-2009, 10:49 AM   #155
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Did I mention we routinely go 10 to 12 days between dumps and that is under normal usage conditions? We once went 3 weeks when we absolutely had to.

Sorry to boast - but the massive wastewater tanks (100 gal gray, 78 gal black) is one of my favorite features of our brand of RV! For the kind of camping we often do (limited hook-ups) it's really convenient. And unfortunately these RVs aren't made anymore.

Audrey
You do have huge waste tanks - and that's a compliment! I think we have 55 gals of gray, 40 gals black. Works fine for how we "camp".
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Old 10-31-2009, 10:52 AM   #156
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You do have huge waste tanks - and that's a compliment!
Yeah - people often tell me I'm full of sh--!

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Old 10-31-2009, 11:00 AM   #157
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Oh - I get it. We had a "shower/sink/toilet closet" like that in the Casita. We actually used it and learned the tricks of minimal water showering with it - water on to wet down, water off, rub self down with soapy sponge, water on to rinse.
Well, still not exactly. We have a Roadtrek, which is comparable in size to a TT (without the setup/teardown issues). (Closet, however, is an appropriate word.)

Roadtrek Motorhome, RV Camper Van, Class B Motor Homes# (Click on Models and then on 210 Versatile)

If we would "boondock" and use the storage tank, the "Navy" shower technique is required unless we'd wish to go get more water -- which I am sure is the same in a small trailer. At an RV park, however, hooking up to the city water would allow us to take as long a shower as the water heater can handle.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:02 AM   #158
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You do have huge waste tanks - and that's a compliment! I think we have 55 gals of gray, 40 gals black. Works fine for how we "camp".
We're at 65b/53g and find that 3-4 days is what we get from the gray tank. If we are very careful, 5 days tops.

If we find we are doing more state / national park camping in the future, probably will get a 10 or 15 gallon tote for occasional use. But for now we almost always have full hookups, so it's not a concern.
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Old 10-31-2009, 11:10 AM   #159
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We're at 65b/53g
Another (big) difference between "Travelers" and "Campers." The fuel required to haul that much weight around is waaaay outside my budget. I try to keep the storage tanks as empty as I can and use the water available at my destination. (Obviously, the Black Water tank is an exception as it requires a couple gallons as SOP.)
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Old 10-31-2009, 12:05 PM   #160
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Another (big) difference between "Travelers" and "Campers." ...
YES. I know that we will be travelers and not campers. We "camped" out at our 2nd home in the boonies enough.

I would not rule out a smaller class B for ourselves if I run across a good used one. However, the Roadtreks and the Winnebago Rialtas that I mentioned command premium prices. On eBay, they usually go for higher than Nada average prices. On the other hand, the class Cs usually sell below what Nada suggests. Ditto for class As. So, a used class C seems to be in our sweet spot for the value.

We also like to go into nearby cities. We are not nightclub nor bar goers, but like to visit downtown areas. Nature is cool, nature is good, but we certainly can have too much of it (nature can be cruel, and I like humanity). So, a class B would solve the problem of towing a dinghy. I do not see us boondock for more than 2 or 3 days. And one can just do a sponge bath over such short periods, right?

Ron, what kind of gas mileage do you get with your Roadtrek?
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