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mom28 08-18-2013 01:55 PM

Follow up to camping with no electicity/no water at site
 
We went camping without water or electricity hook ups for 4 nights with our 8 kids (18,16,14,13,10,7,3,1). We had originally planned to just hit the battery disconnect for the trip and turn off the propane at night for safety reasons. We would use the toilet at night and the vault toilets at the campground during the day. We would use flashlights and a battery operated LED lantern for lights and our 5 day cooler for food.

We had been using the fridge on the first leg of our trip so when we got there, the fridge was still cold. Our 5 day cooler did not seem to be keeping our food as cool as we wanted so we decided to use the fridge. DH said if the battery died, and it was not good after, we would just replace it. He wanted to "experiment." And we didn't want to have to be constantly checking/worrying about the food going bad and adding ice.

We ended up using the furnace 2 nights. Unseasonably cold in the low 40's and we were worried about our 1 and 3 year old being warm enough. Other two nights were low 50's and we were good without the furnace.

My husband had put some water in the fresh water tank....just in case. :rolleyes:

So we used the water pump and the hot water heater one night to clean the little girls off at night but decided it was just as good to heat up water on the burner and fill the shower with a couple inches of water and just let them splash a little. I also took a navy shower one night because I was just covered in dirt and it was too cold to go in Lake Michigan to "wash" up, the water felt like ice! yikes! We did turn on the pump a few times just because it was easier than trekking to get water from the spigot but for the most part we had water in the bathroom to wash hands and to flush.

I did use the fan/vent on the stove a couple times when cooking inside on the burners.

As the battery was getting lower, we plugged in to the car and started it up for about 2 hours. It helped a little.

We never used any lights because we do not have LED.

The battery died on the morning we were packing up to leave. We plugged into the car to bring in the slide and the awning.

Our black tank was showing 1/3 full, gray tank 2/3. There was no dump station so we had to drive home with it. We filled both tanks with water at home and dumped at the storage facility we use for the trailer.

It worked out well....but if we did this type of camping regularly, we would definitely buy a generator and have not ruled that out when we have a little more money in the budget.

Brother Les 08-18-2013 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mom28 (Post 447309)
We went camping without water or electricity hook ups for 4 nights with our 8 kids (18,16,14,13,10,7,3,1). We had originally planned to just hit the battery disconnect for the trip and turn off the propane at night for safety reasons. We would use the toilet at night and the vault toilets at the campground during the day. We would use flashlights and a battery operated LED lantern for lights and our 5 day cooler for food.

We had been using the fridge on the first leg of our trip so when we got there, the fridge was still cold. Our 5 day cooler did not seem to be keeping our food as cool as we wanted so we decided to use the fridge. DH said if the battery died, and it was not good after, we would just replace it. He wanted to "experiment." And we didn't want to have to be constantly checking/worrying about the food going bad and adding ice.

We ended up using the furnace 2 nights. Unseasonably cold in the low 40's and we were worried about our 1 and 3 year old being warm enough. Other two nights were low 50's and we were good without the furnace.

My husband had put some water in the fresh water tank....just in case. :rolleyes:

So we used the water pump and the hot water heater one night to clean the little girls off at night but decided it was just as good to heat up water on the burner and fill the shower with a couple inches of water and just let them splash a little. I also took a navy shower one night because I was just covered in dirt and it was too cold to go in Lake Michigan to "wash" up, the water felt like ice! yikes! We did turn on the pump a few times just because it was easier than trekking to get water from the spigot but for the most part we had water in the bathroom to wash hands and to flush.

I did use the fan/vent on the stove a couple times when cooking inside on the burners.

As the battery was getting lower, we plugged in to the car and started it up for about 2 hours. It helped a little.

We never used any lights because we do not have LED.

The battery died on the morning we were packing up to leave. We plugged into the car to bring in the slide and the awning.

Our black tank was showing 1/3 full, gray tank 2/3. There was no dump station so we had to drive home with it. We filled both tanks with water at home and dumped at the storage facility we use for the trailer.

It worked out well....but if we did this type of camping regularly, we would definitely buy a generator and have not ruled that out when we have a little more money in the budget.

You have a few things to learn to keep your camping experience a lot of fun instead of a lot of work. Make sure that batts are fully charged. running fridge and propane at night is just fine. get a solar charger. there are 'safety' features that pull 12v. The furnace pulls a lot of 12v power. keep to mim if no 110. many other suggestion but later.

Triguy 08-18-2013 02:08 PM

Sounds like a good trip. Where do all 8 kids sleep in the 233S? That's amazing!

You might consider a bigger bank of batteries (6-volt or 12-volt). Cheaper than a quiet generator and can provide many times the capacity of the typical group 24 that you probably have right now. You were very frugal, but the extra capacity is nice.

mom28 08-18-2013 02:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Triguy (Post 447315)
Sounds like a good trip. Where do all 8 kids sleep in the 233S? That's amazing!
.

Our DS18 and DS13 sleep in the back bed,
DD14 and DD16 on side bed,
DH and I in the front bed
DS10 and DD4 sleep on the dinette bed (although DD4 usually ends up with DH and I),
DD7 sleeps on the sofa bed and DD1 sleeps in a pack and play.

They are used to sleeping on full beds during vacation so these beds are roomy! ;)

My oldest is leaving for boot camp next month so we will reconfigure sleeping arrangements next year....

Triguy 08-18-2013 02:28 PM

That's great! The 233S is really made to accommodate larger families well.

mom28 08-18-2013 02:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Brother Les (Post 447314)
You have a few things to learn to keep your camping experience a lot of fun instead of a lot of work. Make sure that batts are fully charged. running fridge and propane at night is just fine. get a solar charger. there are 'safety' features that pull 12v. The furnace pulls a lot of 12v power. keep to mim if no 110. many other suggestion but later.

We don't have a few things to learn....we need to learn a LOT!! We just got the trailer in Feb.

But I like the "work" aspect of camping...that is part of the FUN!! ;) And I felt like we were living the luxurious life as most of the families we were camping with were in tents.

I am not sure a solar charger would have worked very well, there were so many trees. How do the solar chargers work?

bikendan 08-18-2013 03:06 PM

installing a two battery setup will go a long way.
we dry camp nearly all the time and we have two deep cycle batteries and a Honda 2000, just in case.
have had this setup for over 5 years now and we can go 3-4 days without needing the Honda to recharge.

TeresaInCAL 08-18-2013 03:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mom28 (Post 447327)
We don't have a few things to learn....we need to learn a LOT!! We just got the trailer in Feb.

But I like the "work" aspect of camping...that is part of the FUN!! ;) And I felt like we were living the luxurious life as most of the families we were camping with were in tents.

I am not sure a solar charger would have worked very well, there were so many trees. How do the solar chargers work?

There really is quite the learning curve when dealing with travel trailers. And be sure to take notes, because if you don't use it for a few months (like over winter), it's easy to forget key points.

We dry camp just as much, if not more than with hook ups. We have the 2 battery set up, and a Honda 2000i genny. We don't conserve energy, just run the genny for an hour or 2 each morning. This way we can run the microwave, and charge any electronics too. No big deal. We DO conserve water though.

RVChick 08-18-2013 04:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Triguy (Post 447324)
That's great! The 233S is really made to accommodate larger families well.

Wow I am really impressed!! Love reading this thread!

mom28 08-18-2013 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mom28 (Post 447322)
Our DS18 and DS13 sleep in the back bed,
DD14 and DD16 on side bed,
DH and I in the front bed
DS10 and DD4 sleep on the dinette bed (although DD4 usually ends up with DH and I),
DD7 sleeps on the sofa bed and DD1 sleeps in a pack and play.

They are used to sleeping on full beds during vacation so these beds are roomy! ;)

My oldest is leaving for boot camp next month so we will reconfigure sleeping arrangements next year....

Not that it matters to anyone but myself, but I should have proof read this before I posted it. My daughter is 3 not 4. And my 7 year old is a son, not a daughter. oops!

Triguy 08-18-2013 06:21 PM

I mix up the details on three kids :) I'm certain every parent here understands.

Swaggler 08-19-2013 07:35 AM

Hope nobody minds if i "piggyback" on this thread, but DW and I are new to TT camping also, and have a lot to learn. We do mostly dry dock camping at the parks. We have a genny to recharge the battery but have found our biggest problem is grey water holding tank capacity. I am interested to learn some of the tips and tricks some of you all have learned over the years. We bought a Thetford 12 ga portable tank for our trip to the Adirondack but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Prothos 08-19-2013 07:42 AM

I want to do some dry camping but this time of the year its just to Hot in SE Texas to sleep at night without the ac. sounds like you had a good time maybe in the late fall you can head out for some dry camping

Triguy 08-19-2013 07:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Swaggler (Post 447804)
Hope nobody minds if i "piggyback" on this thread, but DW and I are new to TT camping also, and have a lot to learn. We do mostly dry dock camping at the parks. We have a genny to recharge the battery but have found our biggest problem is grey water holding tank capacity. I am interested to learn some of the tips and tricks some of you all have learned over the years. We bought a Thetford 12 ga portable tank for our trip to the Adirondack but haven't had a chance to use it yet.

Swaggler - wash your dishes in a tub that fits in the sink so that you can dump that water into the black tank. Also, take showers at the CG facilities. These help us immensely.

mjones12 08-19-2013 07:53 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Triguy (Post 447820)
Swaggler - wash your dishes in a tub that fits in the sink so that you can dump that water into the black tank. Also, take showers at the CG facilities. These help us immensely.

That's a good idea. I have also, in a pinch, gone outside and drained gray water into a 5-gallon bucket and dumped it down the toilet. Load leveling, I call it.

Great Horned Owl 08-19-2013 09:09 AM

You want to try and avoid running the battery voltage below 12V very often. Every time you do it tends to shorten the ultimate life of the battery.

Joel

Rugged Brown 08-19-2013 09:16 AM

There gotta be a reality TV show here!!

Triguy 08-19-2013 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mjones12 (Post 447830)

That's a good idea. I have also, in a pinch, gone outside and drained gray water into a 5-gallon bucket and dumped it down the toilet. Load leveling, I call it.

We've done that, too. Another idea that some have done is to mod up the tanks so that the gray overflows into the black.

Swaggler 08-20-2013 06:02 PM

These are all good suggestions. I never even thought about dumping the dirty dish water into the black tank. I bet the soapy water also helps keep the black tank clean.

DKirk 08-20-2013 06:30 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Swaggler (Post 449069)
These are all good suggestions. I never even thought about dumping the dirty dish water into the black tank. I bet the soapy water also helps keep the black tank clean.

Do a search on the Geo Method for keeping gunk from building up in your tanks - keeps the walls slick so nothing sticks. One of the first things I learned here when I joined the forum a few months ago when we bought our first (used) TT. I don't post a lot but I read like crazy, and we've done a lot of camping since April and have put in over 4,000 miles (NC to CT and back, plus other trips). I'm starting to feel like a veteran TT owner!!:thumbsup: ( I need to update my signature block too!)

I also wash dishes in a plastic dish basin that we got in WM, heck the sink is too small for most items anyway, and I've taken to pouring the water in the toilet, or sometimes we wash dishes outside using our outdoor shower so a lot of the water goes on the ground.


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