Leaving Dungeness Recreation Area on Thursday, July 30, I couldn't help but think that all the campers in our loop were cheering to see the big, noisy, stinky motorhome pulling out of their lovely natural campground.
|How I felt in the middle of a wildlife refuge!|
Dry camping is so noisy. The generator is loud (and stinks). The water pump is loud.
Breaking the peace and quiet of the forest at 8 AM to charge the batteries that worked during the night to keep the residential frig going, and to turn on the Keurig is just wrong. We have instant coffee and the kettle for before 8, but really we're pretty spoiled when it comes to our coffee.
Maybe no one else can hear the water pump for every flush and rinse, but I can hear it. It's annoying.
After hours away from the rig, we have to make noise again for a couple hours - making dinner time with family around the campfire less pleasurable I'm sure. One more 30 minute run before bed....well, you get it. I hate it.
We didn't watch movies or need the AC. I used the microwave a couple times during the afternoon "runs". But we were very frugal with our power usage. Not a bad thing, but we still had to run the generator too much for my comfort level.
There was sun every day, and solar panels would make all the difference. Not every where, but at that site in Dungeness, it would have been great!
We did learn more about the electric system, gaining more confidence in managing the power usage and charging times. Mostly I learned it's noisy and I'm not a fan.
I realize the generator will still get used on cloudy days, and on high power usage days. Solar won't take its place completely, especially with the big frig.
But hopefully, it won't be needed so much, and I won't feel like such big noisy, polluting intruder in the most beautiful natural places we love.
So we'll just wait for solar before we dry camp again.
LOL..You monsters with your Big Rig. Hey, at least you appreciate quiet and understand the potential of annoying your tent camping neighbors. It's all good, I would likely risk annoying my neighbors too for a good cup of coffee..just saying. Love following along with you Jodee.ReplyDelete
Felt like leaving "sorry" notes on their tents :-)))) Great to have you along for the ride Maura!Delete
We have solar but still prefer having that little electric plug when possible. It's easier, faster and takes less effort.ReplyDelete
The ease of full hook-ups really is nice. Wish I could find a current-bush to plug into in the wilderness!!Delete
Solar is expensive, we installed it last year--are you going to do much dry camping? I wanted solar so much, now that we've purchased a house in Arizona I doubt we use the motorhome and its solar very much for camping--just to go back and forth to AZ and maybe at some point we will sell our beautiful Country Coach. We love to take the little truck camper out for dry camping--it uses very little electric power and a quick run of our little Honda generator gets us going. Have you thought of percolating coffee--that's what we do when dry camping. Nina and Paul even have a stove top espresso maker--she brought me a cup one morning--delicious!ReplyDelete
We thought we would do a lot of dry camping this summer and that hasn't been the case. We plan to boondock in Borrego and Quartzsite this winter so we would definitely need it there. Still, it's a big expense as you said and we have to weigh that against how often we'll really use it. Hmmmm, espresso off the stove top sounds pretty intriguing!Delete
When we were planning our full time lifestyle I envisioned frequent short boondocking episodes. Turns out I despise the sound and smell of the generator, it completely defeats the purpose of being out in nature. Also turns out that our TV cannot run on batteries so if Hans wants to watch TV all evening the generator must run. Thus, we don't dry camp. And we aren't spending the bucks to put solar on this RV. While I am sad to not boondock, I know I would be frustrated if we did...and would worry that we were bothering everyone else anywhere within sound distance of us!ReplyDelete
I feel your pain...
:-))))) We still hope to boondock, but will have to see how realistic it is even with solar now that we have the residential frig (which of course the dealer said draws very little power). Once we get satellite TV we might change our mind again.Delete
The reasons you give are the exact ones that made us spring for solar. I figure it's only money and in 5 years it will be an amount I may not even remember. True we'll never "get our money out of it" but I too hate the smell and noise of generators so I don't want to be one of "those people". Solar has made it possible for us to camp inside the national parks rather than outside and drive constantly in to hike or whatever we want to do. BUT unless you camp in "no generator" loops, you'll be smelling and hearing everyone else's generators so what's a person to do. Get out in the wild open spaces of the west where there are no other folks is the answer I guess. I'm surprised that even solar would do your residential refrigerator. Probably depends on how many panels you have. Ours won't do AC but we can do everything else. My coffee snob has a drip method he prefers after he grinds his beans. LOL We use the microwave and TV with no trouble.. We love it and put it on specifically the year we went west after finding that boondocking just wasn't fun without it.ReplyDelete
I would have felt better probably if there had been others with generators at the time, but certainly when we have solar I'll not be so happy about that. We have to do more research on the frig and solar combination, since it runs off and on all the time. Maybe a second battery for it, we'll see. I agree it's not something we'll break even on unless we boondock exclusively and I already know that wont' be the case!Delete
It is very frustrating and we also hate running our generator. We have since put in solar. Just a few hints....we also have a 2014 Thor....check the tvs. Are they LCD? Ours were and we had them all changed to LED. Huge saving in amps. Also the lights. We thoughts ours were LED, only to find out during our walk through they were halogen. Had them switched out....dealer paid for that because the brochure said lighting was LED. Also, if it is not too hot out, we turned off the house batteries at night. The fridge was fine. Kettles and microwaves are big draws. We found when we had to run the generator, trying parking your vehicle either in front or to the side, helps cut the noise somewhat. We also feel self conscious running it and people look at you as if to say....go get hookups if you want to have a big rig!ReplyDelete
Great info Melissa, thanks so much for sharing. Will definitely look at the TVs and the lights to see if they are what we thought they are!!Delete
We are so happy with our solar! We got ours when we were in Quartzsite. Brian Boone did a great job and was extremely reasonable. He is in Montana during the summer and Q in the winter. With our solar, we are able to park anywhere we want. We have been on shore power here in Alabama / Tiffin HQ.ReplyDelete
I couldn't remember his name - thanks for that! We may check with him as AM Solar isn't going to work out schedule-wise. We want to boondock in Borrego this winter so if you're back here it would be great to meet up!Delete
I admire your sensitivity for your neighbors. We feel the same way. I know we won't ever invest in an expensive solar system, but we do appreciate our solar panels, and they do a fine job of keeping our batteries charged for our lights, fans, and water pump. We occasionally use our little Honda generator for an hour or so when we're boondocking just to charge our computers, but we run it at a time when it's unlikely to disturb anyone. And we always make our coffee with the pour-through method, so no electricity needed. I don't care about the AC, TV, or microwave, but I do occasionally miss my hairdryer when we're without electricity! :-)ReplyDelete
I'm thinking we could do without much of the power users if we can figure out the refrigerator. I only use the hair dryer for about 2 minutes, but would definitely miss those :-)))Delete
It is so nice to hear someone who is concerned for their neighbors:) Solar or not...that is the questions! We have a residential refrigerator, as well. We can go all day on our batteries. We run our generator two hours in the morning and then two hours at night. Our generator is very quiet, thank goodness, and really can't be heard til you are on top of it. We generally don't boondock too much but do enjoy a few days while in Anza Borrego and outside Yuma. In most of these places no one is near by so we aren't disturbing anyone. We, also, will spend a night at the Wal or Cabella's. But...I am quite spoiled and do prefer having my FHU's. I don't do well with continuous navy showers (I dont' like public bathhouses at all), I like my washer/dryer and hair dryer. A few days are fine but neither us functions without these luxuries. We tend to be out hiking or biking all day and very rarely spend time just sitting around outside. So when we are home, we are usually inside so private parks don't bother us that much. How you outfit your home really depends on what your life style is and where your priorities lie. It sounds like you may be real boondockers:) Solar maybe should be in your future:) It's not about recouping your expenses with solar, but being able to fulltime a way that makes you most comfortable. Good luck with your decision. It is a tough one that we have toyed with several times.ReplyDelete
I'm glad to hear you have the res frig too! I've not listened to the generator more than 10 feet from it, I probably should do that - maybe it's not as loud as I think. But I do hate the noise in the rig. I'm so surprised how we have adapted to private parks! With our days spent away from home as well, we haven't minded these smaller sites at all. The burn ban in Washington has meant no campfires under our bedroom window, so that's been even better :-)Delete
Also, I too, hate the sound of the pump. Hubby put some grey foam insulation around the water pipes near the pump and underneath the bathroom sink. It really helped muffle the sound.ReplyDelete
We had our solar installed by Marvin Braun. He was with AM Solar, now on his own, Precision RV. He did an awesome job. Not sure where he is in the winter, presume Casa Grande Escapees. If you need his number, let me know. Like your postings!!
Thanks Melissa, fun to have you along. I like the idea of insulating that pump, will look at that. Funny, I have Marvin's information as one of our options :-))))Delete