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NealC

Arizona boondocking recommendations?

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I'm in AZ now through April. I want to get some boondocking in as I have 1800W of solar on the roof. I've never boondocked before and am a little leery for safety as a solo RVer. Any recommendations for good but safe boondocking locations in central AZ? I'm going to Quartzsite in January and will be boondocking the latter part of the month.

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I liked to buy an annual permit for BLM land in AZ and CA. That let me go into La Posa South to dump and fill and get rid of trash whenever I wanted to do so. That permit is good at lots of government owned lands so you can travel around if that's what you want or you can stay in Q all winter. I would move around various places near Q as groups I enjoyed came and went. This is a good source of information about those lands: https://www.blm.gov/visit

Linda Sand

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2 hours ago, NealC said:

I'm in AZ now through April. I want to get some boondocking in as I have 1800W of solar on the roof. I've never boondocked before and am a little leery for safety as a solo RVer. Any recommendations for good but safe boondocking locations in central AZ? I'm going to Quartzsite in January and will be boondocking the latter part of the month.

If you are in Tucson and want to try boondocking, come out west on 86(Ajo Highway) at San Joaquin Road to Snyder Hill BLM.  It is not too noisy out here and not far whatever you may need as far a supplies and such.  Just pick a spot and set up.

BTW, good to see you on the Escapees Forum.  I see you post a lot on IRV2.

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There is Senators Wash area that is BLM land just north of Yuma. Also on US 95 just before getting to Yuma is a free 14 day BLM area just behind the VFW. Both areas are popular and safe for singles. The WINS and LOWs' are in the area behind the VFW over Christmas and New Years. Beware, many Arizona State Trust Lands are now off limits to RVs.

Edited by bobsallyh

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There are three types of open space boondocking in AZ and southeastern CA.  BLM 14 Day Areas are free for that length of time, then you have to move at least a specified distance away for two weeks.  Sometimes you have to register with a camp host, sometimes not ... it depends on the popularity of the area.  There are no services, just open land.  Bring a full fresh water tank and empty waste tanks and pack out all of your trash and waste.

The second type is the BLM Long Term Visitor Areas (LTVA) located near Quartzsite, Yuma and Blythe, CA.  Also along I-8 a few miles west of the exit to Algodones, Mexico and in the Imperial Valley near Holtville, CA.  All LTVAs have trash dumpsters and the Yuma and Quartzsite area LTVAs have centrally located water spigots and dump sites inside the LTVA.  LTVA permits are $180 for a seasonal permit or $40 for two weeks.  Both are good at all of the LTVAs during the life of the permit.  Doing the math, the $180 permit only pays for itself if you stay in the LTVAs for more than 9 weeks over the course of the season. Otherwise you're better off buying one or more $40 two week permits.  Both can be purchased at the LTVA entrance stations.

The third type is boondocking on Arizona State Trust land.  For this you need an annual recreational permit that allows unlimited daytime use but only 14 nights camping on State Trust land.  The permit is available online and costs $15 for an individual or $20 for a family. 

Edited by Lou Schneider

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There are many Escapees parks in AZ as well. I have stayed in the boondocking area at the Co- Op located in Benson. Not sure how long you can stay but it’s very inexpensive and you can attend the activities if you choose to do so. They have a dump station also. 

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I've been a member of Escapees for a year now, not too familiar with all the resources, just now learning. I was just in Benson a few weeks ago at a SP. Was a nice escape. (no pun intended)

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On 11/13/2019 at 6:59 PM, Lou Schneider said:

There are three types of open space boondocking in AZ

National Forests also provide boondocking/dry camping/vehicle camping. You have to look at the Motor Vehicle Use Map (MVUM) for each forest to determine what areas are open and specific rules like stay limits, distance you can pull of the roadway, etc. The Coconino and Prescott National Forests in the Cottonwood/Sedona area are popular with snowbirds.  

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On ‎11‎/‎13‎/‎2019 at 3:59 PM, Lou Schneider said:

All LTVAs have trash dumpsters and the Yuma and Quartzsite area LTVAs have centrally located water spigots and dump sites inside the LTVA. 

Except the Pilot Knob LTVA west of Yuma, just into California (about 7 miles to Yuma).  It has dumpsters, but no water or dump.

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As a side note, your boondocking will give you a chance to put your internet setup to the test.  I would appreciate if you would post some internet speed test results from these places.

Thanks in advance.

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4 hours ago, LindaH said:

Except the Pilot Knob LTVA west of Yuma, just into California (about 7 miles to Yuma).  It has dumpsters, but no water or dump.

Thank you Linda.  You're right ... the two LTVAs along I-8 (Pilot Knob near Algodones and Hot Spring near Holtville) only offer trash dumpsters, no water or dump stations.  But Holtville has a soaking pool fed by the hot spring and the last time I was at Pilot Knob the gas station at the LTVA entrance had a dump station, well water from a spigot and a RO filtered water dispenser. 

Edited by Lou Schneider

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19 hours ago, Lou Schneider said:

...the last time I was at Pilot Knob the gas station at the LTVA entrance had a dump station, well water from a spigot and a RO filtered water dispenser. 

They do.  However, it costs $15, so...since we have small tanks (approximately 30/30/30) and have to dump once a week...we drive into Yuma and dump and get fresh water for free.  We also get our drinking water in Yuma at a RO filtered water dispenser than charges 50 cents for 5 gallons (we carry 3 5-gallon jugs to fill our fresh water tank in between dumps and 6 1-gallon jugs for drinking/cooking water).

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On 1/3/2020 at 10:07 AM, pjstough said:

As a side note, your boondocking will give you a chance to put your internet setup to the test.  I would appreciate if you would post some internet speed test results from these places.

Thanks in advance.

I've been in some severe fringe locations already such as Wahweap CG at Lake Powell and now at Grand Canyon Trailer village. No cellular boosting required, the Pepwave setup has saved the day time after time! Without it I would have no Internet!

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9 minutes ago, NealC said:

I've been in some severe fringe locations already such as Wahweap CG at Lake Powell and now at Grand Canyon Trailer village. No cellular boosting required, the Pepwave setup has saved the day time after time! Without it I would have no Internet!

That is good to hear.  Hopefully, that will continue if you boondock on Plamosa Road north of Quartzsite, or in Kofa south of Quartzsite.

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3 hours ago, pjstough said:

That is good to hear.  Hopefully, that will continue if you boondock on Plamosa Road north of Quartzsite, or in Kofa south of Quartzsite.

I didn't have any shortage of internet on Plamosa Road with just my basic setup. Was that a problem for you?

Linda

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9 hours ago, NealC said:

I've been in some severe fringe locations already such as Wahweap CG at Lake Powell and now at Grand Canyon Trailer village. No cellular boosting required, the Pepwave setup has saved the day time after time! Without it I would have no Internet!

Before I retired I installed several Pepwave cellular routers at mountaintop transmitter sites to provide Internet service and they proved to be bulletproof.   At most sites I just used their internal diversity antennas inside the building but at one site I had to add a pair of external directional antennas aimed at a cell tower 80 miles away.  These sites all had large amounts of background RF noise from multiple high power FM and TV transmitters that often made cellular phones and other hotspots deaf and useless.

Edited by Lou Schneider

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6 hours ago, sandsys said:

I didn't have any shortage of internet on Plamosa Road with just my basic setup. Was that a problem for you?

Linda

We were about a mile and a half east of 95 and internet speeds were usually less that 2MBS down and about .2MBS upload. We have cell booster with both directional and omnidirectional antennas but neither helped much.  There was six of us there with various cell phones and mifi devices and speeds were all about the same.

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