Considering 5th Wheel and dry camping

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GOJODO

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Joined
Mar 21, 2005
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7
My husband and I currently own a 21 ft. Chinook Premier to which we have really enjoyed. Truely a quality vehicle, we will soon be out for extended periods of time. From 2 to 6 months, so more space would be nice. There are the 2 of us and a 75 pound Lab and probably 2 grand kids. So we are considering the Artic Fox, Montanna or the Mountineer ??? Or any other suggestions you all may have.  We plan to be in the North West, Rockies, Alaska, Canada as well as Arizona, Nevada and Mexico. We know we will be going to the National and State Parks as well as Corps of Engineers, so electrical hookups are not always available. Is it possible to dry camp in these vehicles. We know we would have to install a generator.

Thank you for any thoughts on the subject.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Feb 2, 2005
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At our Silver Springs FL home
Is it possible to dry camp in these vehicles. We know we would have to install a generator.

Sure. You will likely want relatively large tanks sizes, both fresh and waste water, but the definition of "large" depends on the length of your stay and your water use habits. Some people find it easy to conserve while others just can't seem to break high water use habits.

You will also experience some very cold nights in mountainous and high desert areas, so choose a model with excellent insulation all around, including dual-pane glass in the windows.  Some provision for heat in the tank area would also be wise if yo expect to camp in the colder seasons. Fresh and holding tanks won't freeze up in a few hours of overnight below-freezing, but several hours after a day in the 30's will surely do so unless tanks are insulated and provided with at least a little bit of heat from your furnace.  For sustained furnace operation, you will also need multiple batteries (a furnace fan draws a lot of juice).

 

Carl L

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Mar 14, 2005
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west Los Angeles
Is it possible to dry camp in these vehicles. We know we would have to install a generator.

Maybe not.  Solar is another possibility.  It requires good deep cycle batteries and will not run an airconditioner or a microwave but it makes no noise and requires no fuel or lugging around.
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,522
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
You probably don't need to "install" a generator either. One of the light weight Honda portables will provide a 1000 watts of power, plenty to recharge batteries, with little more than a background hum. Even the 2000 watt model is pretty light and quiet and that will run coffee pots, microwaves, etc.  Check out the Honda EU1000i and eu2000i models.  They are pricey but far superior to the less expensive gensets typically found in local stores. (The "i" stands for "inverter" and is the secret to the efficiency and quietness of the Honda).

You should consider solar as well if you will camp where there is enough sunlight to be useful.  But if you like the deep forests, solar probably isn't worth the expense.
 
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