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Old 06-07-2020, 08:03 AM   #1
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How Long Can We Last?!?

Looking for some experienced advice, and I'm pretty sure this is where to get it. Here's the scenario: there are 2 of us- my wife and myself- we have 43 gal. of fresh water, 76 gal. grey water capacity, and 38 gal. black water holding tanks. We can take GI showers every 2-3 days, we have 2 gennies for power when needed, plenty of gas for them, we don't watch much TV, maybe a movie once in a while, but we do have satellite. Don't use the micro, and do most of our cooking outdoors on camp stoves or BBQs. Fridge can run on propane; same with water heater. 2 20 gal. propane tanks. I don't think we want to stay out much more than a week. By then it will be laundry time, re-stock, etc. We won't go anywhere where the weather is extreme- hot or cold. But we've been through many storms and inclement weather, and that's not a concern. I think I have all the tools I will need; my toolbox is pretty full. Compressor, hoses, full set of tools. Tire repair stuff. I can't think of much more at the moment. Soooooo.....what do you guys think? Are we good for a week? We've camped all our lives, but never boondocked with a fiver. Thanks for any replies!
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Old 06-07-2020, 08:19 AM   #2
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Your number one limiting factor will be fresh water. Our 60 gal tank will last the two of us (and one dog) four nights with conservation. We do use our trailer to it’s fullest, showers, toilet, coffee pot, etc. Just got back from a five night trip and I added 20 gallons of FW using portable water jugs.

You should have no problem with your holding tanks and propane.
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Old 06-07-2020, 08:22 AM   #3
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You are good for at least a week, but the depends on your black water tank. Take extra fresh water, maybe 20-30 gallons more. We have a 40 gal black water tank, we (2 of us) can last at least 10 days.
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Old 06-07-2020, 08:22 AM   #4
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we don't watch much TV, maybe a movie once in a while, but we do have satellite.
so the satellite is NOT TV?

You do not mention your battery power... I would think a minimum of two 12V or 2-6 volt for power when you aren't running the genny would be necessary and an added battery power display would be nice to monitor that battery power.
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Old 06-07-2020, 08:38 AM   #5
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I also believe that fresh water may be your limiting factor. It depends a lot on how you use it. If you use a lot of water for cooking and cleaning up, that will limit you. Showers you can postpone for a day. Keeping hydrated is not an option. As mentioned, you can always supplement with jugs of water.

You're not really going to know what your limiting factor is till you try it.
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Old 06-07-2020, 09:03 AM   #6
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We boondock in the backwoods most of the time. The longest we have been out is three weeks.
We have a basic setup for power. 2 series 27 batteries and Honda generators that we run 3-5 hours a day. I usually carry 11 gallons of fuel plus what is in the generators. No issues there. If we will need the a/c more than usual I will throw in an extra 5gal fuel can.
Propane (2 - 30lb tanks) has never been a factor, even when running the heater. But I do carry a 20lb tank for the grill that we could use for the RV if necessary.
50gal black tank lasts easily three weeks, with me using a tree for #1 most of the time.
We have 100gal of gray tanks, but we usually water a tree with that. And yes, where we are at, it's fine to do so.
The limiting resource is usually fresh water. We have a 60 gallon fresh tank and carry an extra 30 gallons in five 6 gallon containers. If we really watch our water usage, we can get by on 45 gallons a week. And that is showering daily for both of us using a Shower Miser during our navy type showers. Our average weekly usage is 70 gallons. We can usually drive the truck out once a week for refill of water cans at a ranger station or rancher friends home if needed.
Beer is also a limiting factor. It seems to disappear faster in the mountains
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Old 06-07-2020, 09:34 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by NMWildcat View Post
We boondock in the backwoods most of the time. The longest we have been out is three weeks.
We have a basic setup for power. 2 series 27 batteries and Honda generators that we run 3-5 hours a day. I usually carry 11 gallons of fuel plus what is in the generators. No issues there. If we will need the a/c more than usual I will throw in an extra 5gal fuel can.
Propane (2 - 30lb tanks) has never been a factor, even when running the heater. But I do carry a 20lb tank for the grill that we could use for the RV if necessary.
50gal black tank lasts easily three weeks, with me using a tree for #1 most of the time.
We have 100gal of gray tanks, but we usually water a tree with that. And yes, where we are at, it's fine to do so.
The limiting resource is usually fresh water. We have a 60 gallon fresh tank and carry an extra 30 gallons in five 6 gallon containers. If we really watch our water usage, we can get by on 45 gallons a week. And that is showering daily for both of us using a Shower Miser during our navy type showers. Our average weekly usage is 70 gallons. We can usually drive the truck out once a week for refill of water cans at a ranger station or rancher friends home if needed.
Beer is also a limiting factor. It seems to disappear faster in the mountains

But think of all those happy trees
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Old 06-07-2020, 09:43 AM   #8
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Agreed, fresh water is the limiting factor. (Note to NMWildcat - if beer is EVER your limiting factor, you need to adjust your cargo priorities! "Those who fail to plan, plan to fail" )
There are a number of threads on the Forum about the collapsible bladders carried in the truck bed hooked up with a simple 12V pump - as long as you have the payload capacity.
Enjoy!
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Old 06-07-2020, 10:17 AM   #9
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Thanks everyone! Just as I thought- tons of useful info.
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Old 06-07-2020, 12:40 PM   #10
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HOW LONG?

We have been camping since 1974. Now, its just the 2 of us. We often dry camp, and have found we can easily stay out 6 to 7 days with no problem. If a camp ground has a water faucet, I can fill my 5 gallon can and pour it into the fresh water tank. And in a National Park, we can "water" the nearby trees with grey water using a hose from the tank. So we can stretch to maybe 8 or 9 days. Yes, we also take along a 2000 W generator.
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Old 06-07-2020, 02:13 PM   #11
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Agree with almost everything said above. You don't mention battery bank...inverter for AC power use or air conditioning use so those could change some calculations about how Many amp hours you'll be drawing from batts to MAKE A/C power for AC, TV, Coffee Pot, Hair dryer etc. but with generators and unlimited petrol, it may not affect your stay time at all...just your noise free stay time!
Suggest that if you intend to make a habit of boondocking...the one tool you don't have and would find paying for itself would be a Victron Battery monitor. Lots of threads on here about that but it would tell you.
Present battery use...how long remaining at this use, TRUE % state of charge, when to start recharging, when to STOP recharging and why 6 hours of charging is needed whenever you hit 50% discharged. It will also show you amp draw of individual items.
And amp draw when "nothing is on". And how many amps you are putting back in during charging phases. Don't think there's any more useful tool to have if you're deep cycling your batts.
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Old 06-07-2020, 02:59 PM   #12
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We easily did a week in the Montana mountains with my daughter. We've got a 3500 watt inverter generator which kept the big AC running, 2 golf cart batteries, and adult beverages. In the winter, the big draw is the furnace fan, in the summer it is the need for AC. There was an old saying in the ocean cruising community when you are in "no discharge" waters--"If it's yellow, let it mellow, if its brown flush it down".
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Old 06-07-2020, 03:06 PM   #13
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I also believe that fresh water may be your limiting factor. It depends a lot on how you use it. If you use a lot of water for cooking and cleaning up, that will limit you. Showers you can postpone for a day. Keeping hydrated is not an option. As mentioned, you can always supplement with jugs of water.

You're not really going to know what your limiting factor is till you try it.
One tip for conserving water is to save some from hand washing and showering.

Put plastic pail in the shower to catch the water normally wasted at first waiting for hot water. Also let it catch the splash from your showering.

When done just leave in the shower and then use for toilet flushing. Gray water tanks usually fill quicker than Black so you are not only conserving some water but also evening out the tank fill.

Same can be done with hand washing water by catching in a bowl placed in the bottom of a sink. Then either take the bowl outside and water a tree/bush or pour it in the pail sitting in the shower.

Funny thing, most people think nothing of someone dumping a pail of wash water in the bushes but will scream bloody murder if someone drains a gray water tank on trees or bushes. Wonder where they think tent campers dispose of their wash water.
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Old 06-07-2020, 03:31 PM   #14
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like everybody said freshwater is the biggest limiting factor we go out for a 3 to 4 day weekend in the desert and we carry extra 55-gallon in the trailer in our class c and usually we have extra water
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Old 06-07-2020, 04:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by RangeMaggotBob View Post
Looking for some experienced advice, and I'm pretty sure this is where to get it. Here's the scenario: there are 2 of us- my wife and myself- we have 43 gal. of fresh water, 76 gal. grey water capacity, and 38 gal. black water holding tanks. We can take GI showers every 2-3 days, we have 2 gennies for power when needed, plenty of gas for them, we don't watch much TV, maybe a movie once in a while, but we do have satellite. Don't use the micro, and do most of our cooking outdoors on camp stoves or BBQs. Fridge can run on propane; same with water heater. 2 20 gal. propane tanks. I don't think we want to stay out much more than a week. By then it will be laundry time, re-stock, etc. We won't go anywhere where the weather is extreme- hot or cold. But we've been through many storms and inclement weather, and that's not a concern. I think I have all the tools I will need; my toolbox is pretty full. Compressor, hoses, full set of tools. Tire repair stuff. I can't think of much more at the moment. Soooooo.....what do you guys think? Are we good for a week? We've camped all our lives, but never boondocked with a fiver. Thanks for any replies!
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Old 06-07-2020, 04:16 PM   #16
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From Tractor Supply we bought a 35 gallon plastic tank that rides in the bed of pick up . Water from it will gravity flow into our tank .. Not so much because we run out of water , many places we go the local water is offensive to my delicate tastes . you should have no problems going a week , using as you describe .
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Old 06-07-2020, 04:18 PM   #17
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Use paper plates etc whenever possible to limit dish washing. Take sponge baths, don't run the forced air heat. We have gone for ten days on 40 gallons of freshwater and not using a generator. A week with your set-up, no problem at all. Just remember you are camping, and don't need or want to live like at home.
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Old 06-07-2020, 04:20 PM   #18
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Dogman635,

What's the path to the library of documents to download? The link doesn't seem to work for me.

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Old 06-07-2020, 05:02 PM   #19
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Use paper plates etc whenever possible to limit dish washing. Take sponge baths, don't run the forced air heat. We have gone for ten days on 40 gallons of freshwater and not using a generator. A week with your set-up, no problem at all. Just remember you are camping, and don't need or want to live like at home.
The bath wipes used in hospitals for bedridden patients also work well. Walmart, Amazon, and others have them. To make them more comfy to use either put the pack in the microwave for a few seconds (if generator running) place in the sun before "bath time". No rinse needed and often contain Aloe so skin doesn't dry and flake.
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Old 06-07-2020, 05:18 PM   #20
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That's a small fresh water tank you've got there. Ideally, the combined volume of black & gray tanks should slightly exceed the fresh water. You can bring along jugs / bottled water for drinking and cooking allowing the onboard water to be used for showers and dish washing. Toilets can use fresh or recycled water. As is, with careful use, you and your DW should be able to eke out a week. At that time, where will you dump and get fresh water? Pay close attention to fresh water tank usage. With experience,you'll learn how to stretch your resources. Laundry is actually less of a problem as most towns have at least one laundromat (most with free WiFi available too).
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