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1st night camping in our yard, 2023.01.24

SCADAMAN29325
Explorer II
Explorer II
OK, time for a good laugh and hopefully some helpful hints.

We were thinking about going to a state park just down the road a piece for our shakedown cuise, but it felt better just to stay a few nights in the yard.

That is good and bad, it felt good not having to worry about forgetting something crucial, but bad because we put off the 'away from home' sentiment and we started too late in the day getting ready to go and wore ourselves out getting on the road. Thus the 1st item in the diary:
. Ham sandwiches for supper.

And here's the rest of the list so far (today is day 2):
. Lots of little needs...
. Outdoor rug to keep grass from getting into the camper.
(Found out why outdoor rugs are popular, it's been a pain keeping the floor clean. The dead wet grass on the bottom of my boots was making a big mess.)
. Need coat hooks on bedroom closet doors for our jackets.
. Forgot to turn on water.
(Yeah, went to wally world to get some stuff before the big adventure and cutoff the water and propane before we left. When we got back the gas was the first thing being turned on because of the deep chill we were expecting that night. Wife went to the smallest room, needed a little water in the bowl before taking care of business and no water going into throne!
. Need water meter on the hose.
(So I know when to dump.)
. Indoor/outdoor Thermometer.
. NEED Curtains!
(We tacked up some beach towels for now)
. Need OTC meds, Pepto... first aid kit.
(It was an ordeal getting ready and LuBaby was very sick to her stomach. AND we both were hurting from the big rush to get going.)
. Need to install HottRod to save propane.
. Forgot to hookup electric.
(When moving the camper the other day so water hose would reach. I disconnected the life line.)
. Plastic totes about 18x18x18 to run things back and forth from house to camper.
. Measuring cups/spoons.
. Hand soap
(Dawn will do for now.)
. Minimum 3-night stays.
(I've heard of the 'Rule of 3's)
No more than 300 miles in a day.
No more than 3 hours driving without a rest stop.
Get there before 3 to allow for setup while there is still light outside.
And minmum 3-night stays.
(We were planning on 2 nights: launch day, the next day was her bday, so that would be a 'fun day', then come back the next. Well, we realized that WE DID NOT want to start packing for our return on the 'fun day' also while still recovering from launch day. Glad we knew the park owners (us) and asked if we could stay another night. They are such nice folks!

I'm sure there will be more to add to this list before that long 50ft trip back to the house.

BTW, when our son was leaving for work, he let us know that he didn't have time to feed the cats. I guess that meant he wanted us to do it. I thought about telling him that we were in a galaxy far, far away. LuBaby took care of the cats. We were tempted to get the hand soap and spatula that we forgot, but we were determined to get by without anything we forgot.

And so goes the Chronicals of Flip and LuBaby...

TTYL
THANKS! Phil and LuAnn
1st timers, brought it home 2022-10-19.
1994 Fleetwood Jamboree Rallye
M-T31-Ford-460, 1994 Ford E350
I may not know what I am doing, but I am having fun doing it!
26 REPLIES 26

Valpo_Camper
Explorer
Explorer
I don't even pay attention to the water meter at home.

For driving, we get up and get on the road and stop when we want to stop. Being a Class C, once I shut the engine off I am setup other than connecting shore power. With 2 drivers we can go as far as we want, 600+ miles if we want.

My tank sensors work but an idiot installed them so I don't trust the levels. The gray I have to trust the full sensor but for the black I will open the toilet valve and look down with a flashlight to gauge how much space I have in the top of the tank. I typically have another 4 inches of tank volume once my sensor reads full.

Back in the day we started with the pop-up and just loaded out stuff from home to the camper so it was a chore to get ready to leave. As we upgraded stuff at home the old kitchen gear went to the camper and eventually we just boxed and palletized our loading so all I had to do was raise the roof enough to open the side door. Now with the C its so much easier as we just make a packing list of food and misc and mark it off as we haul it out. A couple of reusable totes and we are GTG for hauling out to the camper. We will pick it up from storage on Thursday and bring it home for a Friday departure. That gives me time to get fluids filled and cool the fridge / freezer over night so I can take stuff straight from inside to outside.

As you gain time at the campfire you will figure out what works best for your methods for camping.
2005 Gulfstream Conquest LE 28 foot
2018 Wrangler JLU - pulling duty as a daily and toad
2012 Audi A7 - daily fun car

WinMinnie02
Explorer
Explorer
Similar excitement 20 years ago with the new Winnebago. Don't sweat it just take off and leave the worries behind. Keep your motor running out there on the highway.

Martyn
Traveler
Traveler
nickthehunter wrote:
Martyn wrote:
I have a 30 gal tank and like to get it almost full with the flushing spray in order to get a good wash out. I use the meter to tell me when I have 25 gals .
why? You going to store drinking water in it next trip? It’s a black tank, it doesn’t need to be squeaky clean - and it’s a waste of water.


I like it that way. It makes the tank sensors work every time. That alone is good for me. We can agree to differ.......
2020 Keystone Cougar Half-Ton 27SGS;
2019 Dodge Ram 2500 QC 4x4 6.4 Hemi BigHorn;
DEMCO Autoslide; 2 Honda EU2000i's;
Our Website

nickthehunter
Traveler II
Traveler II
Martyn wrote:
I have a 30 gal tank and like to get it almost full with the flushing spray in order to get a good wash out. I use the meter to tell me when I have 25 gals .
why? You going to store drinking water in it next trip? It’s a black tank, it doesn’t need to be squeaky clean - and it’s a waste of water.

Martyn
Traveler
Traveler
I use a small in-line water meter on the inlet to my black tank flush. I have a 30 gal tank and like to get it almost full with the flushing spray in order to get a good wash out. I use the meter to tell me when I have 25 gals in the tank.

One of a great many tips I got from watching the wonderful 'Changing Lanes' channel on YouTube.
2020 Keystone Cougar Half-Ton 27SGS;
2019 Dodge Ram 2500 QC 4x4 6.4 Hemi BigHorn;
DEMCO Autoslide; 2 Honda EU2000i's;
Our Website

4x4van
Explorer
Explorer
Our RV is left pretty well stocked with everything except food/beverages and clothing; mostly everything else stays put. When we load/unload, we use a laundry basket to carry stuff between house and RV.
We don't stop playing because we grow old...We grow old because we stop playing!

2004 Itasca Sunrise M-30W
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rhagfo
Explorer
Explorer
JimK-NY wrote:
SCADAMAN29325 wrote:


As for the water meter, I'm just curious as to how much water we are using. I want see how much we're using, so I'll know for any boondocking. Like how many gallons for 3 days and 2 showers...


You can use as much or as little water as you like. When I am in the desert SW away from amenities, I get by with 3 gallons of water a day. That is cooking, drinking, and a daily shower. When my wife is along the daily is about 5 gallons a day. Instead of a gallon of water for a shower, she needs to rinse out long hair and uses another half gallon for that. If you try to continue to live as you do at home, the consumption can easily be 30 gallons a day.

Regarding all the misc items, I leave my RV stocked with misc at all times. That includes items such as cleaning supplies, basic cooking staples, bedding, spare bedding, towels, toothbrushes/paste, laundry soap, etc, etc. My permanent RV stuff includes basic 3 seasons clothing, raingear, flip flops, swimsuit, hats, extra boots, charging cables, bug repellent, sunscreen, basic tools, extension cord, etc, etc. I supplement based on the season and specific trip that is planned but I always have the basics. If you do not keep the basics in the RV, for each trip you will need a huge checklist, lots of time to plan and load and lots to carry to the RV. Regardless of experience, you will always forget some essentials and most of those will be inconvenient or difficult to replace.


This is how we kept our 5th wheel stocked before we went full time. It makes getting ready a snap. We did a weekend once with about 1.5 hours between me leaving work and putting hitch in truck, airing up tires, getting necessary food out of house refer, and pulling out of storage lot headed for a relaxing weekend.
Russ & Paula the Beagle Belle.
2016 Ram Laramie 3500 Aisin DRW 4X4 Long bed.
2005 Copper Canyon 293 FWSLS, 32' GVWR 12,360#

"Visit and Enjoy Oregon State Parks"

SoonDockin
Explorer II
Explorer II
We always make lists. After the first shake down run we had a number of items that we deemed worthy of addition. Now a decade later its all second nature. We keep our RV stocked with everything needed. Just stock the fridge and hit the road.
2022 Ram Laramie 5500 60" CA New pic soon
2018 Arctic Fox 1140 Dry Bath
Sold 2019 Ford F450 King Ranch (was a very nice truck)

Tvov
Explorer
Explorer
Pretty much agree with everything! lol, driveway camping is always a good start.

I have heard the "rule of 3" referenced many times on these forums. Funny thing, the more I towed my camper around, the more I found myself just following the rule of 3 naturally!

2 night stays are very common for us - leave Friday afternoon to get to the campground, do stuff on Saturday, lazy breakfast on Sunday then pack up and go home. I do not like going on one night stays. Usually not worth the effort, one of the few times I prefer a hotel.

Outdoor carpeting under the awning - absolutely! Keeps the camper much cleaner and provides a nice place to sit under the awning. The only campgrounds that I have seen outdoor carpeting cause a problem with grass is where week long and seasonal stays are common. Most private campgrounds have separate areas for "weekenders" and seasonals. The dead grass areas in the seasonal areas are usually where awnings and carpeting would be normally, so it just becomes part of the campsite. Actually, I remember only one campground where it was a prominent part of the rules not allowing carpet on grass.

Biggest water use for us - showers. Learn how to do the "Navy shower" - quick wet down, shut off water, soap up, turn on water, rinse off as fast as you can. You will be surprised how little water you actually need to get clean.

Related to showers - filling up the grey tank. You will fill up grey far faster than black tank. Keep this in mind.

Dish washing - again, we use as little water as possible (throw away paper plates helps a LOT!), and also use small buckets in the sink to catch dirty dishwater... then empty that into the toilet. Does two things - keeps you from filling up the grey tank quickly and adds soapy water to the black tank to help keep it cleaner.

Lots of tips and tricks to figure out. Take all the advice (which people are always willing to provide) and mush it all together to create your own way of doing things.

Have fun!
_________________________________________________________
2021 F150 2.7
2004 21' Forest River Surveyor

K3WE
Explorer
Explorer
SCADAMAN29325 wrote:

Rule of three's, I've seen it referenced a few times with various factors, but yeah, even 3 nights seem too short, but it didn't occur to me till we were in the heat of the moment with just 2 nights scheduled that it wasn't going to work at all. We will know better next time.



Here's my $0.02. There's a number of good RULES OF THUMB, which are also OK to bend or even not follow.

We often "drive hard" to get to our destination (800 miles). Yes, we are tired. Other times, we drive less and "enjoy the journey". It all DEPENDS. How much time do we have, are there really neat things to see on the way, or do we just "get on with it?"

Also, "just to keep a handle on water consumption", consider using your water tank. Fill it up and see how it empties. Using this method has given me a good insight into water consumption- which guess what- varies greatly.

We sometimes "dry camp" and can easily make our water tank last longer. If you have water available- "Shower-on", rinse dishes liberally. And, even used a 6-gallon tote tank this year to get us a valuable extra day of water.

It's not too hard to get estimates of your water use after a short while.

Fun stuff!

bukhrn
Explorer III
Explorer III
mdcamping wrote:
SCADAMAN29325 wrote:
Thanks to all, and for the input.

Didn't think about killing the grass, a very good point! Don't want to be THAT guy. We should have already gotten doormats. They are on the list now. Been web surfing for what I need to know and saw that a lot of them had large carpets, but didn't notice the environment they were in.
TTYL


The large carpets are light, dry out fast when wet and fold up easy for storage. As mentioned, I agree about the carpets and grass but I think they do come in handy when on sand, packed dirt or crushed stone. (crushed stone is tough on bare feet)

Mike
Putting an Awning mat on grass, is a variable, I've used mine on grass for 4-5 days, it did Not kill the grass, it Did turn it yellow, but it came back nice and green in a few days, if you leave it out for a week or more, you may very well have a mud pit.
They do come in Very handy in places without manicured grass, like National Forest and Parks, COE parks, State parks, generally places with dirt, Pea gravel, sand, pine needles (and pine gum).
2007 Forester 2941DS
2014 Ford Focus
Zamboni, Long Haired Mini Dachshund

StirCrazy
Traveler III
Traveler III
SCADAMAN29325 wrote:
Thanks to all, and for the input.

Didn't think about killing the grass, a very good point! Don't want to be THAT guy. We should have already gotten doormats. They are on the list now. Been web surfing for what I need to know and saw that a lot of them had large carpets, but didn't notice the environment they were in. I'll chalk that up to "that's the way they did it on the internet, so it MUST be something that I need". I've been tempering my OCD, but somethings just slip by me.

As for the water meter, I'm just curious as to how much water we are using. I want see how much we're using, so I'll know for any boondocking. Like how many gallons for 3 days and 2 showers...

Rule of three's, I've seen it referenced a few times with various factors, but yeah, even 3 nights seem too short, but it didn't occur to me till we were in the heat of the moment with just 2 nights scheduled that it wasn't going to work at all. We will know better next time.

I see y'all have been on this forum for a good while and I really do appreciate your seasoned viewpoints.

We're now freshly showered and enjoying the familiar surroundings from a different perspective now.

TTYL


get a woven carpet that lets water through, I have camped a week and it hasnt killed the grass, most of the time your setting it up on sand or gravel anyways if they build the camp site right. that rules of three are just someones preference. I for example try to finish driving for the day about 4 to 5pm and I take brakes when I need one. if I am going to a farther destination I may drive up to 14 hours if I want to get there in one day, or I may pull over and sleep in a road side pull out if I decide to do it in two days.

I think if your curious about water usage get one of the cheep ones you can atach to a hose so you can see how many gal you put in. myself I just go buy how much my take level indicator says, not exact but close enough.

Steve
2014 F350 6.7 Platinum
2016 Cougar 330RBK
1991 Slumberqueen WS100

mdcamping
Explorer
Explorer
SCADAMAN29325 wrote:
Thanks to all, and for the input.

Didn't think about killing the grass, a very good point! Don't want to be THAT guy. We should have already gotten doormats. They are on the list now. Been web surfing for what I need to know and saw that a lot of them had large carpets, but didn't notice the environment they were in.
TTYL


The large carpets are light, dry out fast when wet and fold up easy for storage. As mentioned, I agree about the carpets and grass but I think they do come in handy when on sand, packed dirt or crushed stone. (crushed stone is tough on bare feet)

Mike
2022 F-150 3.5 EcoBoost 4X4 Supercrew GCWR 19,500 157WB
Payload 2476 Maxtow 13,800 3.73 Equalizer 4 Pt Sway Hitch
2017 Jayco Jay Flight 24RBS
Old TV, 07 Toyota Tacoma, Double Cab, Factory Tow Pkg, retired towing at 229K. (Son now owns truck)

JimK-NY
Explorer II
Explorer II
SCADAMAN29325 wrote:


As for the water meter, I'm just curious as to how much water we are using. I want see how much we're using, so I'll know for any boondocking. Like how many gallons for 3 days and 2 showers...


You can use as much or as little water as you like. When I am in the desert SW away from amenities, I get by with 3 gallons of water a day. That is cooking, drinking, and a daily shower. When my wife is along the daily is about 5 gallons a day. Instead of a gallon of water for a shower, she needs to rinse out long hair and uses another half gallon for that. If you try to continue to live as you do at home, the consumption can easily be 30 gallons a day.

Regarding all the misc items, I leave my RV stocked with misc at all times. That includes items such as cleaning supplies, basic cooking staples, bedding, spare bedding, towels, toothbrushes/paste, laundry soap, etc, etc. My permanent RV stuff includes basic 3 seasons clothing, raingear, flip flops, swimsuit, hats, extra boots, charging cables, bug repellent, sunscreen, basic tools, extension cord, etc, etc. I supplement based on the season and specific trip that is planned but I always have the basics. If you do not keep the basics in the RV, for each trip you will need a huge checklist, lots of time to plan and load and lots to carry to the RV. Regardless of experience, you will always forget some essentials and most of those will be inconvenient or difficult to replace.

Veebyes
Explorer II
Explorer II
I am also at a loss for the need of a water meter. It does not take long to learn how many 'people nights' the holding tanks will last, gauges working or not.

Everyone has a slightly different way of doing things. We draw from our onboard tank 100% of the time. We dump very 3-4 days but we can go 7 days with 100% water needs coming from our tank. That is 14 person nights drawing a little under 10gal per person per day.
Boat: 32' 1996 Albin 32+2, single Cummins 315hp
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2007 Alpenlite 34RLR
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