Thursday, May 9, 2013

Boondocking Part 1: The Basic Package

    One of the most educational parts of planning for our retirement has been learning more and more about the ins and outs of boondocking.  I have utilized several of the designs seen on other blogs as I benefitted from others experience.  As such I plan on sharing some of the stuff I have learned and how we applied it to our own rig. 
     We have a 31 foot Keystone Cougar complete with 12 foot super slide.  Features I liked:  solid construction, aluminum framing, solid oak cabinetry, 2 doors, and plenty of room.  Features Barb liked:  comfortable living room, microwave/convection oven, and full size stand up shower.   It is a solid, but heavy trailer weighing just shy of 9000 pounds fully loaded.  It tows and backs easily. 

     We towed this unit for 8 years with our 2003 Chevy Silverado 2500HD.  Towing was a breeze, the gas burner averaging from 5-10 mpg depending on terrain/conditions.  With retirement looming I wanted a new vehicle and decided to go with the same truck, but this time converting to diesel.  Diesel engines have gotten their fair share of pros/cons over the years, mostly cons in recent years.  Chevy has significantly improved their quality with the new Duramax engine and Allison transmission combination.  It features a 2 1/2 inch hitch receiver capable of 13,000 towing capacity.  There will be some changes as this engine uses 13 quarts of oil (I plan on using Mobil 1 synthetic), and a Diesel Exhaust Fluid system.  This system is located just forward of an improved catalytic converter system.  It injects a fine mix of 90% de-ionized water and 10% urea into the exhaust that causes a chemical reaction that results in nearly 90% water vapor for exhaust.  A very green vehicle.  Gas mileage figures for non-towing has been right around 22.7 mpg @ 65 mpg.  We are hoping for towing figures to average around 15 mpg, another significant improvement.

    It is a comfortable truck.  It includes integrated brake controller, diesel exhaust braking control, trailering control, and full digital instrumentation including tire pressure monitoring.  Full front with extended cab and suicide doors.  60/40 bench seat split in the front with a 80/20 bench seat split in the back......perfect for our critters.  The rear windows are electric, not pop out this time.  First vehicle we have owned with Sirius XM Satellite Radio......I love it!  We went with the full 8 foot bed this time and added our usual Leer Truck cap for storage topped with the Thule Rack System for our canoe.  We haven't towed our outfit, but within the next weekend or two it will become a reality! 


  1. I think you are going to have way toooo much fun! :)