Paper or Plastic...

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flynaz

Member
Joined
Sep 22, 2012
Posts
10
Hello,

I've spent some time o the forum reading all the great advice from the experts.
Since I haven't even taken possession of my RV yet, I have a question or looking for suggestions from the group.

We are planning on taking trips and boondocking say two out of three nights. The third night staying at a full hookup park.
The idea is to charge the batteries and drain the tanks.

So when we boondock, we are running on battery and will have to conserve power and water. Should we use paper plates and such so we don't have any cleanup except trash? Then once we have full hook-up do we use plastic dinnerware and wash dishes just like at home?

Also should I stock the RV with it's own set of pots, pans, flatware and dishes or just use what I already have at home and do the load/unloading for each trip?

Thank you

Flynaz
 

odie1234

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 14, 2011
Posts
354
By all means get separate stuff for the rv. You will get real tired of loading and unloading for every trip, not to mention you will forget stuff.

Paper or not depends on you. Paper costs more. Regular dishes take water to wash (and energy to heat the water). I personally cannot stand to drink from paper or plastic so use glasses and coffee cups. We use paper for some stuff, but mostly regular dishes. We know a lot of other folks who use paper and plastic always.
 

Larry N.

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
8,110
Location
Westminster, Colorado
It's all a matter of what you wish to do, but we have separate pots, pans, plates, glasses, all kitchen, bathroom and bedroom stuff (sheets, towels, etc.) and what have you that stay in the motorhome. When boondocking we do tend to use paper plates more, but we don't totally eliminate regular plates. We don't usually use plastic (disposable) forks, etc. or glasses, either. But you DO have to be very careful of your water usage and tank capacities, so whatever works for you. After two or three episodes you'll start to develop your own style of doing things.

I might note that, when we do use paper plates boondocking, that the inexpensive glasses and the flatware tend to pile up in the sink until there is enough to wash, often resulting in maybe one washing session in several days of boondocking, then more complete cleanup when back to hookups.

But that depends, too, on what facilities you have in the dry camp. In Quartzsite we can drive a couple of miles to dump and refill fresh water, then return to camp, something you might do every 3-7 days, depending on your rig's capacities and on how frugal you are with usage. Some places might have a bathroom nearby with water.

After a little experience, you'll soon learn to adapt to whatever is needed.
 

Sherediney

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2010
Posts
14
Location
So Cal
We like the idea of a separate set of dishes etc for the RV.  That said, be careful as you progress.  We are getting ready to purchase our 4th RV.  As I unload my current one I can't believe how much I have accumulated, especially in my kitchen area.  We have done several 3-6 week trips so obviously we needed more items.  Again, that said, I really don't think I need a toaster, toaster oven, crock pot, waffle iron, George forman, in addition to pots, skillets baking pans etc etc etc.  Inn loading the new coach I am going as minimally as possible.  If we do plan a log trip, I'll load the extra needed items and then take them out after.  Good luck.  Sheree
 

kjansen

Well-known member
Joined
May 19, 2011
Posts
1,308
Location
Alexandria, MN
We never use paper to save on waste and we do dishes once daily shower as we want and can still go a week. Our 5er does have 50gal fresh, 2 30gal
grey and 30 gal black water tanks.  In 10 days  of boondocking we have never run out of water or had full tanks.  You should be able to go 2-3 days
without worry.
 

ArdraF

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 12, 2006
Posts
10,681
Should we use paper plates and such so we don't have any cleanup except trash? Then once we have full hook-up do we use plastic dinnerware and wash dishes just like at home?

Also should I stock the RV with it's own set of pots, pans, flatware and dishes or just use what I already have at home and do the load/unloading for each trip?

I use paper plates when we're boondocking at a rally such as Quartzsite.  That said, we have a set of Corelle dishes for the motorhome and that's what we use most of the time.  We don't use paper cups because we both prefer drinking out of the Corelle cups.  Our drinking "glasses" are mostly plastic but that's because I don't want broken glass if one of them falls out of cupboard or whatever.  The only time I use plastic utensils is for serving some things at rallies, for example nuts.

You might start out without a second set of "stuff" but that will change quickly as you get tired of hauling it all back and forth.  Moreover, the chances of forgetting something you need increases if it's in the house.  We have duplicates of just about everything - dishes, utensils, linens, cleaning supplies, and tools.  That way all we have to remember before a trip is clothing and food.  Well, there are other things too such as maps or beer, but you get the idea.  Anything you can duplicate to eliminate the trips back and forth to the house is worth it!

What I do use a lot of when boondocking is plain white paper towels that are tough, like Bounty.  When I have a plate that's dirty, I wipe off extra debris before stacking it for later washing.  The object is to not let food harden on dishes.  I also wipe out coffee cups that might leave a ring.  This technique reduces washing time later because the dishes don't have to soak as long to soften leftover food.

ArdraF
 

Lou Schneider

Site Team
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Posts
11,056
I prefer to eat off of my regular plates and silverware, so I've developed a technique for washing them that uses little water.

First, I set the sink plunger.  If I've used a large pot or bowl, I set that in the sink to use as a dishwater container.  Otherwise I just let the water collect in the sink.

Starting with a dry sink, the first thing I wash are the cups and glasses I've used.  I squirt some detergent into one glass, add enough water to fill it about 3/4 full, scrub it inside and out, then pour the contents into the next glass.  Quickly rinse it under the faucet (turn the faucet on, rinse the glass, then turn the water off).  Let the excess rinse water collect in the sink or large bowl and put it in the rack to dry off.

Repeat the process with remaining cups and glasses. Pour the last glass of soapy water into the sink or bowl which has also been collecting your rinse water.

You should now have enough soapy water collected in the sink to cover flat plates and flatware.  Add a little more soap if it's getting thin, then wash the flat plates and flatware, again collecting the rinse water in the sink to add volume.

Next I do any small bowls I may have used, followed by larger bowls and pots and pans.

If I have a dish with crusted on food, I just let it soak in the sink for an hour or so and try it again.  Baked on food in a pot or frying pan gets to soak overnight.

By the time you're done you shouldn't have used more than a quart or two of water to wash and rinse several settings.  I usually wind up with less than half a sink full of water when I'm done, and since the rinse water was also put into the sink that's the total amount of water I've used.  Being single, when boondocking I usually wash dishes once a day but the same holds true for several place settings after a single meal.
 

Hfx_Cdn

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 22, 2006
Posts
3,776
Location
Nova Scotia
    We too use correll plates in the MH, and keep pots, cutlery, and utensils there as well.  we both have a major dislike of paper/plastic plates, so we store then do up the dishes after supper.  We rarely boondock for more than 3 nights in a row, but have gone as long as a week, for things like Quartzsite.  We're not quite as organized as Lou, but it is surprising how little water it takes if you are careful.
    Even military style showers, rinse, shut the water from the shower head, soap up/shampoo hair, then rinse again.
    We even use the correll when we are heading south in December and the coach is still winterized.  We carry bottles of water, heat enough in a kettle to do dishes, and boondock until we are well south of the risk of a hard frost so that we can fill the fresh water tank.
    All that to say 2 or 3 days should be easy for you as long as you use a little common sense.

Ed
 
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