Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Yearly Boondocking Figures......

      2015 was another banner year for our boondocking adventures.  Through the end of our first winter south through New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, and the trip east to Michigan.......and then the reverse itinerary from Michigan west to Washington to Idaho, Utah, Arizona, California, and Mexico.....we lived life to the fullest.  We were home in Michigan from April through September.  To refresh our "Rules of Boondocking" we consider this to be any camping off grid either free or no more than $7 a night. 
      We do have the new RV this winter and this has not seemed to affect our power utilization rates, but we will improve the system upgrading the on board battery and tires when possible.  We utilize the suitcase 135 watt solar panel kit to power the RV when we're not in camp and the additional 230 watt truck roof mounted solar panel with battery bank system to tie into the RV when in camp.  We 'water up' prior to going off grid and use two 6 gallon jugs to ferry when needed.  We do have another 33 gallon water cistern in the back of the truck as well.  We try to keep water usage to a reasonable minimum whenever possible. Siphoning gray water in gallon jugs can be used for toilet flush purposes to save fresh water.  Any remote 'point of contact' fresh water pumping uses Sodium Dichlor and a 3 stage filtration system to purify any non-potable water sources.  We reset the fresh water tank several times a year.  This does not mean we never stay in RV parks or campgrounds......every once in awhile you DO just want the convenience, the laundry, shopping, etc.  Sometimes you have no other choice.   
      We boondocked a total of 135 days this calendar year.  We did utilize the Honda generator for battery bank top off and supplemental power a total of 109 hours.  Figuring an average of $30 a night at commercial RV parks.....and an average of $2.50 a gallon gas for generator usage and an oil change our bottom line resulted in savings of $3090 in camping expenses again this year. 
      It's not for everybody, but we have always figured it's easier to live more frugally here and there whenever possible in order to see as much and go wherever as we want.  Factor in the 'green solar' system and it pays dividends every time. 

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