Boondocking

We are boondocking right now. It is still winter here in southern Ontario. The temperatures are below freezing as I write this post. The water to our pedestal is not running. And we have no sewage where we are parked.

We do have 50 amp service, a mostly full tank of diesel, and we are warm and comfortable in our coach.

My plan was to install a SeeLevel tank guage while we were in Florida. That did not happen. The system that came with our Dutch Star is a joke. Even when the sensors work, which is not the case right now for two of our three tanks, they only provide a rough indication as to the levels in our tanks. Not an issue when we are connected to services but certainly an issue when we are boondocking. Even more so now.

We have managed to last five days so far. Our black tank is reading one third, our grey tank is now full and our fresh water tank is reading empty. I don’t trust any of the readings.

Visually, the fresh water tank is closer to one third than empty but that is probably to ensure that we don’t run dry. Unfortunately I do not have a line of sight to the other two tanks but I suspect that neither reading is all that accurate.

We last dealt with our tanks this past Friday. It took us roughly two hours to complete the process.

We had to drive to a building on the dealership lot with an active water line. Almost an hour to fill up the fresh water tank. We then had to move to another location to empty our black and grey tanks. We always rinse our black tank and that took a fair amount of water and a slightly different approach as the area where we dump our tanks does not have an active water line. We rinsed the black tank by flushing one of our water closets multiple times. We drained enough water out of our fresh water tank that we had to return to the active water line and top it up. Back to the site.

Today we will be spending several hours to get the coach ready for another 5-6 days of boondocking.

We need showers. We really need showers.

We need to do laundry as we are running out of clothes. And we have some dishes that we want to pass through the dishwasher. For the most part, we have been using paper plates and plastic cutlery to minimize water use.

Our dishwasher is pretty efficient. About 4 gallons to do a load. We have a high efficiency front-loading washer and it takes roughly 10 gallons or so per load. We have four loads to do today. And a 10 minute shower will use about 20 gallons per person.

Our fresh water tank holds 105 gallons, assuming that we do not trigger the overflow “feature”. A design flaw in the filling system can trigger a loss of 20-30 gallons after topping up the fresh water tank. You can read about it here and here. The overflow triggers whenever we fill the fresh water tank and, due to the bad design, it will continue to drain water until the fresh water tank levels out. We can lose almost one third of our fresh water this way. Not helpful Newmar!

I can modify the overflow system to prevent the loss. But not now. It is simply too cold to be working outside on the coach.

We will pull up the jacks and bring in the slides and move to the building with the active water line.

We will fill up the fresh water tank.

We will return to our site.

Between the showers, dishwasher and laundry, we will consume 80-90 gallons from our 105 gallon fresh water tank.

We will then pull up the jacks and bring in the slides again and go and refill the fresh water tank.

We will then head over to the dump area and dump out the tanks. We will rinse the black tank by flushing the water closet 20 times or roughly 30 gallons from the fresh water tank.

Back to the building with the active water line to top up the fresh water tank.

Back to our site.

The temperature will range from about 2 to 7 Celsius during the scope of our operation or 35 to 45 Fahrenheit. Cold.

Day 7 of mandatory quarantine.

The fun continues.

6 replies
    • Richard
      Richard says:

      We are doing fine. I am really sorry to hear about the dealership closing down!

      Keep healthy and ride it out as best you can.

      Reply
  1. Jim Johnson
    Jim Johnson says:

    Richard
    Hang in there. Glad to hear you guys are safe and at least you have a place to go.
    We expect to pull out and head back to Iowa this Sunday, if not sooner.

    Reply
    • Richard
      Richard says:

      We are thankful that we have a place to serve our quarantine period. Safe travels on your way back to Iowa. Keep healthy!

      Reply
  2. Ruthie and Ron Sherman
    Ruthie and Ron Sherman says:

    So, why not fill your fresh water, go to dump site and hook up. Take 2 showers while it goes straight out to sewer. Head back to refill fresh water and go back to your Boondocking site. This sounds like Hell in earth. I’m sorry you have to go through this. What a pain in the neck.

    Reply
    • Richard
      Richard says:

      The dump area is on a steep decline and narrow… only good to dump really. Once the weather warms up, it won’t be an issue but I suspect we are in for at least another week of sub-zero temps before the water lines open up. A bit of a pain but nothing we can’t handle 🙂 🙂

      Reply

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