How to deal with extended "off grid" camping. ie - WATER

  1. anotherWS6

    anotherWS6 Banned

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    I'm not looking to venture out into the middle of nowhere and explore uncivilized wildreness. Well, I am, but that's not something I'm gonna be doing anytime soon. Long story short, I'm seriously considering living out of a travel trailer for the foreseeable future. 6months, 18months, who knows. Lots of life factors that will play in and most importantly, how much I enjoy it or if strats to drive me crazy.

    But my house is about ready to close and I am not going to be buying another one - yet. I've made too many bad decisions in life so I'm not rushing into making another semi-permanent big one. I'm getting divorced and changing careers. I need to clear my head. I love nothing more than waking up in woods smelling camp fires.

    Anyway - my concern. Hot long can I go without dumping black water. Gray water and fresh water are an in issue but a bit less of one. I plan on splitting my time between a couple of full service camp grounds, a couple of state parks that have no hookups, and a couple of family member's yards that can supply fresh water and power but that's it. Winter is going to be tough and that's when I'm going to start all of this. Not by choice, life says so.

    What are my challenges going to be? Let's assume that I will be at each location on rotation for two weeks at a time.

    Fresh water - I'll top off when I can with a heated hose. I am not opposed to putting a 40 or so gallon tank in the back of my Jeep for "water runs". I can always get water somewhere and pump it in to the RV.

    Gray water - the majority of waste water. How long does a typical tank last? It's me and my 5 year old who will be spending about 1/3 of her time with me. Any ways to make it "OK" to dump? I know on boats we used to use every thing "eco" based so it was OK to let gray go overboard. Soap and such things. But I sure wouldn't empty a tank on someone'e property and also wouldnt want to do so in a state park.

    Black Water - Eww. Only one place I'll be going to has hookups and they are the only year round place to dump tanks as well. Does anybody run auxillary type tanks? I was actually thinking about getting a small utility trailer with a couple of tanks mounted on it, maybe 200 or 250 gallons in total. Something I could offload the rv into and then easily drive to a dump station.

    I obviously dont have things worked out yet and there are a bunch of things I am sure I'm not taking into consideration. I'm not a total noob, but I promise you wont insult me if you provide basic info that I already know. I don't have experience going past 3 days at a non-hook up site. Thanks for any help.

    Cory
     
  2. SABLE RHINO

    SABLE RHINO Well-Known Member

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    Wish you the best brother, you'll get through this. My uneducated guess would be to develop a schedule between the paid location with full hook ups and the lesser location with no hook ups and rotate. Then you can focus on you and your daughter and less time hauling water and blackwater. Lots of people, myself included have been down a similar road. There's a light at the end of the tunnel and in the end you will be better for it. Life sucks, having a jeep makes it just a little bit better.

    :fist bump::like:
     
  3. Adventure.AS

    Adventure.AS Well-Known Member

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    You might want to consider a Portable RV Waste Pump. This can be used to pump the waste water through a 'garden hose' to any toilet for disposable.

    To avoid clogs in any black tank system use a bag to collect tp, rather than putting it in the holding tank. Another way to say this is that nothing goes into my holding tank that didn't go through my GI tract.

     
  4. four low

    four low Well-Known Member

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    The Black Water is the "social issue", I suggest a Composting Toilet, self contained, check out
    "SunMar Composting Toilets". They are very popular, have RV, Marine versions .
    Gray water can be stinky, but can be neutralized ; I think the Composting toilet will meet your needs...
     
  5. OP
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    anotherWS6

    anotherWS6 Banned

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    Thanks. Yeah, I know I need to be at that paid spot out of necessity, I just don't know how long I can go in between and what tp do to help myself out when I'm not there. This place, like just about everywhere, has a two week in and then two week out rule. And it gets reaaaal busy during the nicer months. Just not a lot of places to go near me.
     
  6. OP
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    anotherWS6

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    Something to think about. I'd sure prefer not to, lol. Especially with my little girl. I want to keep things as "normal" as possible. Luckily she is amazingly adaptable and has the most positive attitude of anyone I've ever met. I guess her mom and I cancel each other ot in that respect.
     
  7. Adventure.AS

    Adventure.AS Well-Known Member

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    My black water tank is 37 gallons. It will last two people about 10 - 14 days.
     
  8. OP
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    anotherWS6

    anotherWS6 Banned

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    That's the basic info I'm looking for. If anyone else wants to chime in......

    I should be OK with power by charging with the Jeep. I may get a quiet generator, especially come summer time. It starts to get pretty brutal around here come late May-ish.
     
  9. Adventure.AS

    Adventure.AS Well-Known Member

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    In my JKU I was able to put a quick charge into the house batteries with jumper cables. I haven’t tried it yet with the JLU, so I’m not sure that method will still work. A DC to DC charger (Red Arc) from the jeep to house batteries is best, but not cheap.

    To run an air conditioner you will need about a 3000 watt generator. It may be less expensive to stay at a park with electricity when you factor in fuel cost too (let alone annoying your neighbors.
     
  10. Captain Obvious

    Captain Obvious Well-Known Member

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    The full service camp grounds often have a sewer hook up right at the place you set up. I lived in a campground for 6 months when we moved to the Midwest from CA, and I think I only dumped a couple times. I'd usually just walk over to the campground bathroom to do my bidness, especially that of the more solid variety.

    In case you didn't know...make sure you don't just leave the black tank valve open if the campground has a sewer where you park. The liquids flow through, but the solids sit in the bottom of the black tank and form a really crappy version of concrete. Just open it up every week or two and get rid of it all at once.
     
  11. OP
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    anotherWS6

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    a 10,000 btu unit needs about 700 watts once running, which gives me a 30 hour run time at 25% on the genny. 15,000 btu gives me 15 hours at 50%. So that's about 43 cents/hour fir a 10 or 86/hour with a 15. I'm just gonna have to find out. I'm easily swinging 50 cents an hour right now at home with central air and a .28/kilo-hour rate. On days that I was home I'd probably run the AC from about 3pm to 12-1am. AT least that's how it is in the house. Gotta start as the heat really starts pouring in from sunbaked roof and fight it until nature and night calm things down. Can usually shut it down super early morning.

    If I could run a small unit for 10 hours a weekday, 20 on weekends I think I could spend under 50 bucks a month. Might be double but I'd still be OK with that. That's based on super quiet 3,000watt unit rated for state parks. WHo knows....
     
  12. OP
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    anotherWS6

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    Thanks for the crappy tip Cap Obv. Lol.

    Staying at a park with electricity isn't going to be an all of the time option. They just don't exist in my area. Best you can get NYS park-wise is a camp ground that has a dump station and a spot to fill up fresh tanks. Zero electric.

    I got spoiled the few times I stayed in PA parks. Lots of them have electric. Made those late fall/early spring trips so much nicer at night when I was using my crusty old hard-side Palomino pop-up. It didn't have a bathroom and I never messed with the water pump system or electric panel/outlets. But a big extension cord and a couple of electric space heaters? OOooohhh boy. 3 gallon tank of fresh water with a spigot next to the sink that just drained outside. Game changer.
    I really prefer NYS parks. Have a really nice one close to me. Really nice sites, no power or dump. Gotta figure it all out. Using the park facilities AMAP is a good idea, but they're on the rough side. Even for a state park.
     
  13. Hudson

    Hudson Well-Known Member

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    If you can use a campsite’s restrooms and shower (or the RVs outdoor shower), you can go a few weeks.
     
  14. smokinjeep

    smokinjeep Well-Known Member

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    Most campgrounds have a water spicket. I have see folks in RV’s get the camping spots close to spicket and have lots of hose to fill up their tanks. I wouldn’t worry about dumping the gray water in the campground or your friends place within reason. It doesn’t stink and is no different than laundry water.

    I know for a fact you can buy flat, black, portable black tanks. They have wheels on them. So once they are full you just haul them to a dump station. Keep in mind however that some places charge to dump when your not staying.

    I don’t know what kind of camper you have but I’d be most worried about freezing poop and water in the cold months. Unless it’s insulated well you’re screwed.

    Frankly I think it’s a bad idea all around with a child for many many reasons. I’ll list a few (not trying to be a dick here either): your ex may be able to use this against you to get full custody. Your daughter may be resilient but let’s not kid ourselves, chits not normal and she will know this. No if I were you I’d sell the Jeep, get out from payments, get an apartment, buy a cheap car, get your head straight, get back on your feet and thank your lucky stars you got out when you did.

    Good luck.
     
  15. OP
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    anotherWS6

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    Fresh water shouldn't be an issue. I'm not too concerned with that. And yes, even most state parks have communial water spiggots that a hose can be attached to. Freezing is of course an issue. I'm prepared to handle that however I need to. And use antifreeze in my poop water lol.

    I dont have an RV yet, I'm planning on getting one very soon. House ready to close, divorce coming to a close.

    It's not a permanent solution and I don't have custody of my daughter full time. She'll also have her own room at a house when I/we decide to stay. Her bed, toys, dresser etc. But staying at that place 7 days a week isn't an option. My life is absolutely insane right now, I couldn't even begin to type out the details to make it make sense. She'll be OK though. And I will too eventually. This idea isn't a random new one. It's my safest and best bet right now.
     
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