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First Time Boondocking


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#1 aunut

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:39 AM

We are planning our first boondock for 3 days at a football stadium. We are a little spoiled, having never camped outside an RV park with full hookups. Our tanks hold 75 gallons fresh and 55 gray. I'm not worried about the 45 gallon black in that short of a period (also, the University has restrooms (no showers) set up in the area). It will be pretty warm and we will have to run the 5.5 Onan all three days full time. Will this be a problem? Do they overheat? Should we shut it down occasionally? I'm also wondering what amount of gas it will use running two AC's. Someone told me about 12 gallons a day, but that seems low.

We seem to use a lot of water and normally empty the gray daily (or just leave it open) while hooked up. How do you make 55 gallons last 3 days (we can't use more than the gray tank holds). We will probably take a couple of showers each.

Any tips will be appreciated.

 


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#2 lasttruck

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 09:53 AM

Our little in comparison Chalet has 15 gal fresh (+6 in water heater), 20 gals grey and 5 gals black.  3 days are pretty easy for us. 

 

Of course we recycle the water running out to get to the hot water.  Have the water heater thermostat set to 105 degrees so that we do not have to mix the water.  Keep the water shut off in between soaping up and rinsing.

 

55 gallons for 3 days.  That would be quite luxurious. :)


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#3 LindaH

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 10:09 AM

Our fifth wheel has 64 gallons of fresh water, 55 grey, and 39 black.  We can easily go 7 days without running out of fresh water or filling up either tank...but we've had years of experience dry camping and boondocking, which is what we do most of the time.  We do not take showers every day (use baby wipes on "off" days) and when we do, we take "navy" showers:  turn the water on to get wet, turn it off while soaping up, turn it back on to rinse off.  Don't let water run when you're not actively using it; for example, when brushing teeth, turn the water off while you're brushing.  When doing dishes, I put soap on a wet sponge to clean the dishes and turn on the hot water (only) for rinsing.  Also, while you're waiting for the hot water to get to a faucet, catch that water in a clean container to use for other things:  put it back in the fresh water tank, use it for washing dishes, etc.  We also save dish water for flushing the toilet.

 

As for running your generator 24/7, it won't hurt the generator, but may disturb your neighbors (particularly at night when they're trying to sleep) unless everyone around you is also running their generator.  You might consider getting a genturi exhaust system like this one, http://www.campingwo...st-system/14041, or make your own, to exhaust the generator fumes above your rig rather than into the rig next to you.


Edited by LindaH, 16 August 2013 - 10:12 AM.

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#4 Kirk

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 04:31 PM

 Our tanks hold 75 gallons fresh and 55 gray. I'm not worried about the 45 gallon black in that short of a period (also, the University has restrooms (no showers) set up in the area).

The amount of water needed simply depends upon how much you conserve. If you use the "submarine shower" technique of turning off the water while you wash and then rinse, you don't run water while brushing your teeth, use a dishpan to wash dishes and a few other things of that type, you should be easily able to make do with that amount of water. We used to dry camp in a parking lot while at square dance weekends and we had 40 gallons of fresh water that we could make last, even with each of us showering twice from that water. Done right, a shower can be taken with fewer than 5 gallons of water per person. We used to figure that it took about 3 gallons.

It will be pretty warm and we will have to run the 5.5 Onan all three days full time. Will this be a problem? Do they overheat? Should we shut it down occasionally? I'm also wondering what amount of gas it will use running two AC's. Someone told me about 12 gallons a day, but that seems low.

We have run our 5.5 Kw Onan supplying two air conditioners for as long as 4 days without stop. The book does recommend that you shut down and check the oil every 50 hours, which would be roughly two days. Since the Onan also has a low oil, safety shutdown, I never bothered to do that, but just checked it at the start of the run and again at the end. Our manual suggested that it would burn about 1/2 gallon of fuel per hour of run time, but we found that it seldom used that much. On our time of running for four days without stop, I filled the fuel tank of the coach (75 gallons) just before I parked it and after four days of use it took about 30/35 gallons to fill it back to top.

 

Be sure that you keep the access pannel to your genset closed securely at all times when the engine is working as that is required for it to get proper ventilation. The Onan has a blower that pulls cool air into the engine and then blows it out of the bottom but if you open that door it will not operate properly. 

 

The need for an exhaust pipe extension is somewhat dependent upon the length of the existing tail pipe and also your proximity to other RVs. You do need to have enough room around the coach for ample air flow through, under and around it to disburse the exhaust gases from it. The closer together that RVs are parked, the more you may need something of that sort.


Good travelin !...............Kirk
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Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers again.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure
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#5 oscarvan

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Posted 16 August 2013 - 08:51 PM

Everything Kirk said.


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#6 AlCherry

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 03:24 AM

If you can, park on grass. It is a lot cooler. Parking lot asphalt temps can get past 140 degrees. That will make your ac units struggle. The 1/2 gallon per hour burn rate is pretty close to what I get, but that's with one unit running. As Kirk said, keep the genset access panel in place securely, but the RV access door to the genset needs to be open. Noise should not be a issue with the Onan.

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#7 Kirk

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Posted 17 August 2013 - 06:09 AM

. As Kirk said, keep the genset access panel in place securely, but the RV access door to the genset needs to be open.

I'm not sure what door you mean, but in all motorhomes that I am familiar with, there is no door to the genset that should ever be open with the set in operation, only for service of the set.


Good travelin !...............Kirk
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Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers again.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure
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#8 AlCherry

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 03:36 AM

Kirk, the compartment on my fiver where the genset is located has a door that flips up for access to the unit.

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#9 Dutch_12078

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 07:43 AM

The cooling air for my Onan Marquis 7KW is drawn in and exits at the bottom of the compartment. Leaving the unvented access door flipped up just increases the mechanical noise outside and provides no additional cooling. I've run it around the clock for up to a week with just routine stops for oil checks with no issues.


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#10 bobsallyh

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 06:18 PM

A Genturi exhaust system may be mandatory at the stadium. You might want to check. ery easy to use.



#11 Kirk

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:00 PM

Kirk, the compartment on my fiver where the genset is located has a door that flips up for access to the unit.

Running it for a short time when servicing is OK, but if you doubt that it is intended to be kept closed, check the Onan service manual.


Good travelin !...............Kirk
Author & Escapee's Magazine contributor
Full-time 11+ years...... Now seasonal travelers again.
Kirk & Pam's Great RV Adventure
dolphins.jpg
 


#12 cmprcountry

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Posted 28 August 2013 - 07:37 PM

Hi,

My 75 gallons of fresh water will last me for a week.  Navy showers and paper plates is the secret.

Running the generator is no big deal. I have had mine running constantly for 3 days without problem.

Have a good time at the game.

I do suggest getting a genturi to direct the exhaust to the roof of the RV.

Your neighbors will thank you.

 

Chip

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Chip

06 SurfSide

30ft class A

2 slides

V10 Ford chassis