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About theboondork

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    Photography, travel, my blog

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  1. Instead of giving you a bunch of numbers I will only give you three numbers and some advice. I've been a full timer that mostly boondock's for almost 4 years and I live on solar power, I don't own a generator and have no desire to do so. I live very comfortably in my 30 foot Arctic Fox fifth wheel with, and here's those three numbers, 6 solar panels totaling 700 watts, and 400 amps of battery power. Now that may or may not work for you, but for me in four years of full timing, mostly boondocking, I've never run out of power. Remember you have to have enough solar panels and batteries to last for several days if the sun doesn't come out. You can't depend on being able to charge your batteries every single day, sometimes it's cloudy, sometimes it rains, your batteries have to last through that, which is why I have as many panels and as many amps as I do. Tom
  2. Since I don't know anything specifically about your area I'll just give you a very general answer. As an RVer for the last 30 years, a full timer for the last four, and someone who boondocks 95% of the time I have found it best to find a place well before the holiday where I can hunker down until it's over. Finding a place to stay for a holiday is only part of the problem, and yes it's a big one. But for me the biggest part of the problem is having to deal with all the crowds. The holidays bring people out camping that don't get to do it very often and they tend to bring their bad habits with them. Their barking dogs, their loud music, their excessive drinking, their extremely loud generators, and their kids that think it's okay to bounce a ball off the side of your RV. Some people like the excitement and the party atmosphere of all that, but if that's not your cup of tea your best bet is to find a place in a National Forest somewhere and boondock. Tom
  3. Well thank you Annell, I looked it up on the Internet and I now have Dave Ramsey's EveryDollar app on my phone. It looks very useful. Tom
  4. I've been living full-time in my Arctic Fox 27 – 5L for almost 4 years and I live totally on solar. I have six Kyocera 140 W panels totaling 840 W. My battery bank consists of 4, 100 amp battle born lithium iron batteries. And just like you I built the system myself. I didn't build my system to run the air conditioner or any other thing that has a heating element in it, but it does run my microwave just fine. Being a full timer that boondocks about 95% of the time. I don't need air-conditioning, if it gets too hot I go somewhere else. I run my hot water heater on propane but only when I need it so it uses very little. I don't need a toaster, I seem to live okay without toast. And I don't have enough hair to worry about a hairdryer. So what that all means is I have more than enough electricity to live a comfortable life, and in the four years I've lived like this only twice have I been in a situation where I had to go four days without any charging because of the weather. By the third day I had to start conserving a little but I made it through just fine. By the way I don't own a generator. If you would like to read about boondocking in a 27 – 5L and living on sunshine you are welcome to visit my blog at http://www.theboondork.com/mainphp there's a lot of useless drivel there but you might get a snapshot of what it's like to live on sunshine in an Arctic Fox 27 – 5L full-time. Tom
  5. Verizon only has one unlimited plan that offers truly unlimited hotspot data with no throttling and it is a prepay plan number 28366 that uses a jet pack. but as mentioned before it does have network management but I've never found that to be a problem in the two months that I've had the plan.. it's hard to find but for $70 a month its worth it. just make sure your talking to Verizon people that understand the prepaid plans, not everyone does. Tom
  6. While the gadgets definitely are getting smarter I feel I'm falling behind faster than their gaining. And my problem doesn't seem to be learning new things, it's remembering the things that I learned. Most times when I open up some software that I don't use very often I have to go over to YouTube and get a video on how to make it work because I can't remember where I put the last video on how to make it work. Tom
  7. Well then you're in a nice place. I always stay up on the high flat area other than down in the hole for fear that if it rained I couldn't pull the trailer back up the embankment. I stayed just down the road at Craggy Wash one year but I felt the road going down there was too rocky and rough on my tires. And since I live totally on solar, I don't even own a generator, the Canyon walls were preventing me from getting sun for much of the day so Lonetree has always been my go to spot when in Havasu. I try to never buy gadgets that are smarter than I am, but it's getting harder and harder. Tom
  8. Thank you for the compliment about the pictures I sure appreciate it, its just about the only hobby I have left. I used to think I put things off because I had better things to do, but it turned out I was lazy, unambitious, and unmotivated. I know this is true because my wife used to tell me all the time. I was in Havasu, I think it was in November, and I boondocked out at Lone Tree BLM area for a while. I always liked Havasu, it's got a lot of shopping and things to do but in a few minutes you can be out in the desert in the middle of nowhere, my kind of place. The weather is no better here, yesterday was okay but that was the first time in a long time. I'm beginning to think maybe I should've gone to southern Texas this winter. I see you have a smart car. I've already got a smart phone that I carry around, I'm afraid if I got a smart car the phone and the car would get together and realize they no longer needed me. Tom
  9. You have certainly been there and done that so your suggestions are valuable to all of us. I've been RVing for 30 years but I've only been a full timer for a little over three so I've still got a lot to learn. I admit to having numerous character flaws such as lazy, and unambitious but when you throw procrastination in there it makes accurate record keeping hopeless at best. I try to keep up with my expenses as best I can but my heart usually isn't in it. When I made my first expense spreadsheet it had two columns, fuel, and miscellaneous, because the cost of diesel fuel was about all I cared about at the time. I envy people that can keep up with details but I like to think of myself as a "big picture" kind of guy, and my big picture is where do I want to spend the winter, and everything else is miscellaneous. Tom
  10. I never actually wanted to keep up with my expenses I figured that just limited my freedom. but since I don't have an income of any kind, no retirement benefits, no Social Security, I just sell off assets whenever I need some money. And since a lot of my assets are Real estate I have to hope that real estate is up when I need to sell something.And since I have a rough idea of what things are worth at the moment I figured I'd better see how much it cost me to live every year so I would have a rough idea how long my assets would last.so I've figured I'll be okay as long as we don't have another crash like we did in 2008. Tom
  11. the problem for me is making the money last until I leave this world. I would hate to spend my last couple of years wandering aimlessly around the country looking like a homeless bum...... oh wait a minute, I do that already....Nevermind. Tom
  12. I used to do the same thing, except I wrote my expenses in a notebook and never bothered to add them all up for fear of what I might see. But then I learned how to use a spreadsheet which automatically adds everything up for me so the numbers can't be ignored. There's a lot of truth to the old saying, "ignorance is bliss" Tom
  13. Thank you very much 2gypsies that's very kind of you to say, and yes I do travel alone, and I do love nature. I think boondocking not only saves me money but it gets me out into nature where the pictures just take themselves. Tom
  14. If anyone is interested I just put my 2018 expenses on my blog. I'm a full timer that boondocks most of the time, and I live by myself in a 2013 30 foot Arctic Fox fifth wheel. I don't break my expenses down into very much detail so I only have 10 categories, But it tells me everything I need to know. If you're interested you can find it at http://www.theboondork.com/mainphp theboondork
  15. I'm a full timer and a boondocker. I buy the New Mexico out-of-state Park pass every year. I tow a fifth wheel that has a motorcycle on a rack on the back.and in all my years of doing that I've never been charged an entrance fee or any other kind of fee. My pass lets me boondock for free and after two weeks I move to another park. I think it's one of the best deals that any state offers. Theboondork
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