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Author Topic: Too big for boondocking?  (Read 4719 times)

dbrownalive

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Too big for boondocking?
« on: February 09, 2016, 08:19:13 AM »
Would a 30' Class A limit my opportunities to boondock?  Mobility and versatility remain our top priority, as we set out full-timing in the fall of 2016.  We ruled out the rPod, although I loved the outdoor kitchen, and have since then progressively been getting "bigger". 

I have read hundreds and hundreds of posts, and I can say that I have never found a better resource than the RV Forum.  Thank you for the help.

Dan and Leeann
Stevensville, MI 

Gizmo

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2016, 08:24:01 AM »
I believe it is fair to say the larger rig you have, the less options may be available.  Having said that I have found plenty of boon docking places for our 28' TT and truck, and I have seen larger than 30' rigs in boon docking locations. My guess is you will be fine.  IMHO decide on a rig that fits your requirements & wants because ultimately you will have to live it, then let everything else fall in place from there.
Regards, Bruce, Lin An, Kenji & Suki
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dbrownalive

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2016, 08:29:50 AM »
Thanks for your input.  Holiday Rambler 30ppd seems to suit us very well.  I would still like an outdoor kitchen, but "you can't always get what you want."

martin2340

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2016, 08:31:46 AM »
Thanks for your input.  Holiday Rambler 30ppd seems to suit us very well.  I would still like an outdoor kitchen, but "you can't always get what you want."
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
Joe & Mari from Sanatoga PA
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INTJohn

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2016, 10:38:44 AM »
I'm both a fulltimer and a boondocker - fulltime boondocker haha..........

If you are really after both mobility and versatility its hard to beat some kind of a TT and a four wheel drive pikup truck. I have a 28' toy hauler and an F-250 and am able to pretty much go anywhere.

I generally park the trailer someplace 'convenient' to serve as a base camp and then I can use the truck to go whereever. Often I'll end up sleeping overnight in the truck especially if I end up somewhere remote to kayak.... return to 'base' next day.

thanx........INTJohn

 
« Last Edit: February 09, 2016, 10:40:41 AM by INTJohn »

garyb1st

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2016, 11:16:58 AM »
It really depends on what you mean by boon docking.  If you spend time in National Forests, even a 30 foot motorhome can be too long.  Prior to buying our motorhome, we had a Ford F250 which was almost 22 feet long.  We pulled a 30 foot trailer and from my perspective, I don't see much difference.  There are lots of folks who full time and boon dock with large 40 foot motorhomes.  They do their exploring from their toad.  Getting around in a 22 foot pickup can be challenging and I'm forever grateful that our toad, a Chevy HHR is so small.  We're going to buy a Jeep which I believe will be the ideal toad and will enable us to go everywhere.  Once the motorhome is parked, just unhook the toad and go.  There are a number of blogs written by folks who do exactly that.  They drive long motorhomes and boon dock a lot.  One of the  Blogs is: http://www.gonewiththewynns.com.  Once you find their blog, you'll see cross references to others who do the same thing.  Good luck. 
Gary B1st

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Kevin Means

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2016, 01:24:29 PM »
Our Class A is 43 feet long and the majority of our camping is boondocking. Most of it is done in the California and Arizona deserts, but we also boondock in Oregon and Idaho as often as possible. At 43 feet (if towing, 63 feet) there are a lot of places we can't fit into. It's not always the campsite that's the problem, it's frequently the access roads - too twisty, with inadequate turn clearance. Out west where we live, it usually just takes some planning to find a suitable boondocking site.

Kev
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JiminDenver

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2016, 11:57:05 PM »
I've seen some pretty big rigs deep, how they got them there I have no idea. That said, there are plenty of stunning spots here that you could get to with no effort at all.

We pull a 25 ft ultra lite with a 4X4 expedition. It's a great combo on the back roads/ trails and goes places most SUV's will never see. A 4x4 TC can handle rougher trails but are taller than we are as a friend of mine found out when he couldn't follow us through a tree tunnel. ;)

Stephen S.

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2016, 01:58:13 AM »
Just my opinion here, but it seems like the boondocking sites in the eastern part of the country tend toward smaller areas. Short spaces staked out where the population is more dense, and land at a premium.

But in the mid western and western lands, where people are scattered further apart and everything tends to be sprawled out, the boondocking sites seem to match the size and openness of the land.

From all the descriptions in blogs I've read, I believe that longer, larger rigs would have a lot less trouble finding campsites west of the Mississippi.
Stephen S.
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v33sonata

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2016, 09:01:19 AM »
I've gotten my 38ft beast into some pretty deep places.So I say go for it. On the flip side Their have been some places I have not been able to get usally due to the roads getting there. I'm pretty sure with a shorter 30ft I would have been ok.

driftless shifter

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2016, 10:41:02 AM »
I've been down some rough dirt roads in south Texas. What will stop a 34' gasser with a long rear overhang is water ways that cross the road. Kind of like  steep aprons, you can drag your hitch or bumper, may push through, may get hung up. I have not gotten hung up, but have experience in off road driving.

Bill
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JDOnTheGo

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2016, 10:47:54 AM »
Every rig is a compromise. Depending on where you are and what kind of spots your seek, 30' seems reasonable based on my experiences.  I'm 40' plus toad (nearly 60') and spend nearly all my time boondocking in the west.  The roads are always the limiting factor for me.  I spend a good bit of time scouting spots/roads with my Jeep before attempting to take the coach in. Tree cover, sharp corners, ditches (water run off) or anything that would cause the rig to bottom out and all issues.  I'm not sure what it would take to pull a 35,000 pound rig out of a mess and I hope I never find out.  :o
JD - Full timer out west
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Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2016, 02:20:16 PM »
    There is a MAJOR difference boondocking in the west versus the east.  On our first trip west we were amazed with the 45 foot + coaches set up in the desert with multi solar panels, and windmills for power.  We have one of our forum members that including the trailer that they haul behind the Class A ends up, if memory serve me right, over 70 feet, and we first met him boondocking at the Quartzsite Rally.
    In the east, there are far fewer locations to truly boondock.  Yes you can overnight at a Walmart or a Flying J, or some other similar type facility.  But, there isn't the large tracks of land, primarily managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management).
    |We often overnighted east and west in our 34 footer, but never "boondocked" ie put up for a few nights anywhere east of say New Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, etc.

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

dbrownalive

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2016, 08:27:59 PM »
"We pull a 25 ft ultra lite with a 4X4 expedition. "

Is your ultra lite four season worthy?  I like the sounds of your set-up.

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2016, 09:29:12 AM »
Quote
    In the east, there are far fewer locations to truly boondock.  Yes you can overnight at a Walmart or a Flying J, or some other similar type facility.  But, there isn't the large tracks of land, primarily managed by the BLM (Bureau of Land Management).

Yes & No. While there are not the wide-open areas like the Western USA, there are plenty of "unimproved' campsites in National Forests, state & county parks, etc. There are several within 10-15 miles of our Florida home, for example.  Typically pre-defined campsites rather than just "park it anywhere", but boondocking nonetheless. They do, however, tend to be set up for smaller rigs, either because of access roads or site size. Even 35 footers tend to be a bit much in them, though we have done so. Now we have a 40 footer.

I personally do not feel that 30 feet would be very limiting, though I do know of a few places in the East where the real limit is in the 25 ft range due to narrow, twisty access roads.
Gary
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robertusa123

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2016, 10:10:49 AM »
Totaly depends on where you go.    In the area where I go their is vearing levels of access from walk in only tent sight.  To sight that can Handel multiple rv...... The best thing to do. Is pre scout the area and check accuss before bring in a big rig.   This is allSo important as most areas are a first come first get.  You should always have a plan b. In case someone beats you to that ideal spot
1996  26ft. 3 kids 2 dog and the wife too

robertusa123

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2016, 10:20:22 AM »
We boondog with a 26ft travel trailer pulled with a convention van.  I did put  LT all/terrain tires on th van disbight the tire center thinking I was nuts to do so.  We also pack a  come along and hevy roap just in case.  As it has saved an expensive tow more then once
1996  26ft. 3 kids 2 dog and the wife too

denmarc

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2016, 11:33:01 AM »
I look at it this way...

Boondocking is another way of saying "going where no man has gone before". Keep that in mind, prepare for it, you'll be fine.
If you like adventure, it's a blast! You take the bad with the good and roll with it. Where ever you plant your RV for the night,

Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.
Come Spring, will be boondocking out in the woods and loving it.
 
Mark

1994 Jayco Eagle 370FB on 24 acres of paid off paradise in Michigan.

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
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JiminDenver

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2016, 11:58:03 PM »
"We pull a 25 ft ultra lite with a 4X4 expedition. "

Is your ultra lite four season worthy?  I like the sounds of your set-up.

No, not really. It doesn't have a enclosed, heated belly so she will freeze up in day in and out freezing weather. We are use to seeing the 20's at night and survive but those walls are thin. Sit too close and it's chilly.

So the only way it's 4 season is if it's someplace warm while it's winter here. ;)

Kevin Means

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2016, 03:59:12 PM »
So the only way it's 4 season is if it's someplace warm while it's winter here. ;)
^^^ ;D ;D ;D ^^^
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Frank B

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2016, 04:24:57 PM »
dbrownalive:

As others have said, it depends on where you want to go. Are you of the 4x4 crowd? If so, then a 30 footer is pretty big.

As to 4 season, that will depend on your rig, and what you are willing to do to it. I doubt if there are ANY truly four season rigs that come out of the factories. We have an Arctic Fox 30 foot travel trailer with 2 slides that is claimed to be four season. However it froze up at 9 degrees F. Our previous Canadian made 5th wheel trailer with no slides that I spray foamed on the bottom was good to -20 F, fully wet, and NO freeze ups.  But I had to do a fair bit of retrofitting on that. About the only advantage you get with a so-called Four Seasons unit, is that you have dual pane glass. That is a valuable addition if you plan on retrofitting from there.

If it has slides, its cold weather performance is going to be reduced. Too much additional surface area, and slides are typically MUCH less insulated than the rig as a whole. No point having 6" fiberglass roof insulation if the honkin' big slide only has 2".

Where do you live, and where do you plan to boondock? That information will be very important.

Quote
I have read hundreds and hundreds of posts, and I can say that I have never found a better resource than the RV Forum.

Yeah, I heartily agree. One of the best resources on the web.

Frank.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2016, 04:28:59 PM by Frank B »
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dbrownalive

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Re: Too big for boondocking? How about a Thor Hurricane?
« Reply #21 on: February 17, 2016, 05:53:17 AM »
Thank you, thank you for all of your input.

Looking at a 2001 Thor Hurricane for an excellent price of $14,500.  Gas 496 GM with 102,000 miles.

The Thor brand seems strong.  It's got some crazy Tiki graphics decals, but looks very well maintained.  Paying cash for this unit would help our full-timing budget.

I'll need to travel 5 hours to see it, so any advice, in advance,  would be appreciated.

Dan and Leeann
Stevensville

Hfx_Cdn

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #22 on: February 17, 2016, 08:24:41 AM »
    Dan, here is a link to the section from our Library on purchasing an RV, check out the various headings, as I'm sure you will find all kinds of helpful advice:  http://www.rvforum.net/joomla/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&id=38&Itemid=132

Ed
Ed & Donna
Winter-Pinellas Park FL, Summer- Maritime Canada
2000 Coachmen Catalina 34' DP (owned 2004 to 2015)
2006 Jeep Liberty Toad

garyb1st

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Re: Too big for boondocking? How about a Thor Hurricane?
« Reply #23 on: February 17, 2016, 10:13:35 AM »
Thank you, thank you for all of your input.

Looking at a 2001 Thor Hurricane for an excellent price of $14,500.  Gas 496 GM with 102,000 miles.

The Thor brand seems strong.  It's got some crazy Tiki graphics decals, but looks very well maintained.  Paying cash for this unit would help our full-timing budget.

I'll need to travel 5 hours to see it, so any advice, in advance,  would be appreciated.

Dan and Leeann
Stevensville

The high mileage is a problem for a lot of people.  Don't know whether or not the concern is fact based or a psychological hurdle.  Keep us informed in you buy it.  We'd love to hear how it performs.  There's been a lot of talk about high mileage motorhomes.  We bought our 1999 with 72,000.  Have added 17,000 in the past two years and the engine is very strong.  It's hard to imagine it's going to fail after 100,000.  Like everything else, maintenance is the key. 
Gary B1st

2005 Pace Arrow 35G
2016 Jeep Wrangler

driftless shifter

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2016, 11:39:28 AM »
!5 years old with 102K can be used as a bargaining chip. The engine is probably fine if it shows good oil pressure at hot idle. The problem is with wear items. Anything that is belt driven is subject to failure, belts and hoses could easily be original and the radiator could be silting up if it's never been flushed. These are a pita to replace but if you can do these repairs on an automobile you can do them on a motorhome for a whole bunch of less money than paying for it. A maintenance log would be nice to see, especially it the price is firm. I see you will be paying cash, have cash readily available and lowball the price with the mention of cash today. I buy used cars this way and always get the car for thousands less than the advertised price. Mama always likes it when Papa comes home with a fistful of cash.

Bill
Bill & Nan
(o\_!_/o)
93 bounder 34, chevy chassis
couple of aircooled vw's, 1 fast(sold), 1 reliable(sold).  Dubless : (
USN '76-'80, 1 boat, USS Blandy, DD 943.
I'm an analog guy in a digital age.

wolfdog

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2016, 02:42:00 AM »
No matter the miles I would suggest a compression test, best way to find internal engine healthy!

Old Radios

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Re: Too big for boondocking?
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2016, 06:41:35 AM »
As stated above it depends on where you want to go.

Here in the Northeast we had to stay under 30' as many of the the sites we like don't allow anything over 30 feet and some much less. We like to canoe and kayak and most remote sites here that are on the water don't allow or accommodate longer rigs.  Out west it doesn't seem to be as much of a problem.  Not many National park or BLM land available for boondocking here in the Northeast so your pretty much limited to a park's size restrictions even if you might be able to squeeze in.
2006 Fleetwood Tioga 26Q
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