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Boondocking August 22, 2009

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

That’s RV speak for parking someplace – not a campground or a RV park – to stay without any connections: water, sewer, electricity. It’s also called dry camping.

I have done that for fourteen nights straight, never having to pay. I run one (of two) gasoline powered generator about an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, to check email and to keep the drop-in freezer cold. The trailer has a battery powered internal water pump, and holding tanks for fresh, used wash water, and toilet waste. I buy two eight pound bags of ice per day for the two Coleman coolers, where I keep fresh food for today and tomorrow. Apples and oranges for a week or so. While the generator is on, I have one large and two small electric fans which push the hot air out of the trailer. Mostly.

We stay at Wal-Mart Super Centers (they have both groceries and household stuff) which are on the “approved to park overnight list” (about 5% are not on the list), and those are open 24 hours which gives me a sense of security. Sam Walton set the policy when his adult kids complained that they couldn’t find RV campgrounds for an overnight stay at a reasonable price while going from state to state. (Sam also put an RV stuff section in his stores which I use a lot.) Where overnight “parking” (never “camping” at Wal-Mart) is prohibited, the town has set the rules, probably because of citizen complaints. So, I don’t extend the slides, I don’t set up the barbecue and beach chairs, heck, I don’t even turn on lights! Church mice, Lacy and I are.

We also don’t stay in one place more than one night (a trick I learned from Yasser Arafat, Mohamar Khadafy and that guy Saddam What’s-his-name. It’s also important to find a place to dump the waste, and fill up with fresh water. In this area of Pennsylvania (Carlisle and Lancaster), that’s the Flying J Truck Stop, which offers both for free, as well as free overnight parking. It also has a laundry with three coin operated washing machines and six dryers, showers for $10, and a restaurant. Haven’t used the last two items for budgetary reasons. (I take sponge baths in the trailer.) Flying J does that so they can sell me food, diesel, gasoline and store stuff.

I don’t run both generators at once, which is required to use the trailer air conditioning. When it gets too hot, Lacy and I go into the truck and recline the seats, start the engine, and set the A/C to max. Not a good idea in a gas engine truck or car: the engine will overheat; it is not built to idle for an hour plus, like a diesel will. Once our internal body temperature is down, we can shut the truck down and go back to the trailer.

The generator will also run the microwave, so Lacy gets her cooked chicken breast nightly. I am fine with a salad or PB&J. In fact, I noticed tonight that my distended extended oversized belly is gone. I can kneel down in church and not rest my ginormous butt on the seat. My belly was so big I couldn’t kneel up straight behind the pew in front of me. But now I can.

So, that’s today’s edition of “RV-ing on the Cheap”. Oh, and possibly two job offers coming this week…




1. Lynnessa - September 1, 2009

Just found your blog, I hope that things get better for you. You are making do with what you have and that is so inspiring! =)
If you want to check out my blog at http://lynnessacrystal.blogspot.com

2. gregquill - September 2, 2009

Thanks, Sandy! Wal-Mart is my essential place now!

Thanks, Lynessa! I like your blog very much. My home is in Bradenton, FL – moved there last year from North Carolina and New Jersey. You too are very busy: daughter and college at once! Please come back and visit.

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