Boondocking tips

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Jan 13, 2005
We were having a tough time figuring out how we'd be able to boondock at places like Quartzsite for an extended time, so I asked how forum members did it without running out of fresh water or filling their holding tanks to capacity. Here's a summary of their responses, most of which we've since used successfully to boondock for two weeks at a time.

  • One word, conservation.
  • Do not let any fresh water run down the drain until it has been used.
  • Capture the initial cold water from the shower in a pitcher and use it for other purposes e.g. drinking water for the dog.
  • When taking showers wet down, then turn water off at shower head. Wash and then turn water on again to wash off soap.
  • Shower every other day and use a wash cloth off the other days.
  • In dry climates wet wash cloth or baby wipes work good.
  • Use bottled water for drinking and coffee.
  • Since the gray water tank fills faster than the black water tank, use a dish pan to wash dishes, then dump the dishwater in toilet.
  • Use paper plates to minimize dishwashing.
  • When brushing teeth, use a glass of water to first dip the toothbrush in, then use half to rinse the mouth and the rest to rinse the brush. Don't run water while brushing the teeth.
  • During the day put some water in the hand bowl and use it to rinse the hands in; Just add to it when rinsing the soap off.
  • Have enough changes of clothes to be able to go two weeks without having to do laundry. If and when necessary, use laundromats.
  • If in a location that has bathrooms, extend gray holding tank capacity by doing dishes in a bowl and dumping the water in the bathroom. Extend black water tank capacity by using the campground bathroom instead of your own.
Contributions to this list came from forum members Betty Brewer, Terry Brewer, Bernie Dobrin, George Jannini, Al Goggins, Doug Jardine, Ned Reiter, Ron Ruward and Fred Thomas.
We were wondering about your boondocking capabilities after your first year at MOAB.  But obviously you were just trying to entertain us with all those drives to the dump station, or was it really driving practice.  You guys learned very quickly as you did well at Quartzsite.  Wasn't at all dificult was it. ;D ;D ;D
LOL Ron, when we left QZ we even had fresh water to spare and room in our gray and black tanks, although we looked dirty and smelled a liitle  :)
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