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Vintage465

Prunedale CA.

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Posted: 03/24/23 01:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JimK-NY wrote:

It seems obvious that there will never be any sort of universal agreement or even understanding on this topic. There are just too many differences between the rigs we have, the type of camping we do and the access to water where we camp. Someone who has a big rig with a 100 gallons of water, or who takes short trips, or has ready access to water, is not going to understand camping in remote areas for many days with a small FW tank. I have seen plenty of people camping in van conversions or other small rigs and getting by for days with 10 gallons of water or less.


So exceedingly correct! I used to boon dock for a week, on what I believe was a 35-45 gallon tank. Showering was out of the question. We'd be looking for water after 5 conservative days. Now-a-days, we have 60 gallons and we pretty easily go 12 day's and take a shower or two each. Buying 10 each one gallons of drinking water to make coffee and have for drinking really helps keep the water in the tank. All kinds of ways to make it work and it's neat to see other campers ideas.


V-465
2013 GMC 2500HD Duramax Denali. 2015 CreekSide 20fq w/450 watts solar and 465 amp/hour of batteries. Retired and living the dream!

2oldman

NM

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Posted: 03/24/23 01:35pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

JimK-NY wrote:

Someone who has a big rig with a 100 gallons of water, or who takes short trips, or has ready access to water, is not going to understand camping in remote areas for many days with a small FW tank.
I understand it just fine, it's just not how I want to live no matter where I'm camped. I don't think I criticized anyone, if that's what you're getting at.

I also carry plenty of propane and gasoline and food.

* This post was edited 03/24/23 01:56pm by 2oldman *

JimK-NY

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Posted: 03/24/23 01:37pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Vintage465 wrote:



So exceedingly correct! I used to boon dock for a week, on what I believe was a 35-45 gallon tank. Showering was out of the question. We'd be looking for water after 5 conservative days. Now-a-days, we have 60 gallons and we pretty easily go 12 day's and take a shower or two each. Buying 10 each one gallons of drinking water to make coffee and have for drinking really helps keep the water in the tank. All kinds of ways to make it work and it's neat to see other campers ideas.


As previously discussed, water conservation techniques can be extremely important. If I had 60 gallons, I could take a shower every day and still go about 12 days before needing water. The way my wife and I do it, a shower is 1 gallon/day/person.

profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 03/24/23 05:41pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

We are way out on the lunatic fringe of water conservation -- we have 30 gallons of fresh water, which lasts us six days. It is used for showering (every night), cooking, dishwashing, and toilet flushing.

The real limiting factor for us is the gray water -- we only have a 25 gallon gray tank, and it fills up in six days. So we have to dump every week.

We use paper plates to cut down on water usage. And I wipe out the dirty pots and pans with used paper napkins in order to reduce the amount of water needed for washing.

Surprisingly, dishes can be washed in a tiny trickle of water. It takes a little patience, but it works! It's like a Navy shower for the pots and pans: get 'em just barely wet. Turn off the water. Use a little soap on a paper napkin. Rinse in a trickle.

And for soap, we use Dr. Bronner's Castile liquid soap. A little drop of that stuff will do the job, and it rinses clean very quickly.

If we had a bigger set of tanks, we would not have to be so fanatical.


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JimK-NY

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Posted: 03/24/23 07:40pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

We are way out on the lunatic fringe of water conservation -- we have 30 gallons of fresh water, which lasts us six days. It is used for showering (every night), cooking, dishwashing, and toilet flushing.

The real limiting factor for us is the gray water -- we only have a 25 gallon gray tank, and it fills up in six days. So we have to dump every week.

...

I am on the same lunatic fringe with 30 gallons of water to last 6 days including nightly showers.

In theory I have a bigger gray water issue since my tank only holds 15 gallons. I do have a 5 gallon bucket I use for a kitchen trash bag holder. When needed, I use it to haul off some grey water. It is typically pretty easy to find a place where tent campers are supposed to dump water. Worst case, when boondocking in the middle of nowhere, I would lug it into the woods and dump. It's probably cleaner than rainwater running off the side of the camper so I really have no concern about causing any sort of pollution.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 03/24/23 08:52pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

My unit had a previous owner who never got to use it. They had added a 2nd tank. I'm lucky to have 66 gallons.


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JBarca

Radnor, Ohio, USA

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Posted: 03/25/23 09:59am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

H'mm, we all seem to come at boondocking and save water in different ways. All are good, and I did pick up a few tips I had not thought about. One is, collecting the hot water line cold water purged in the shower into a container to later use for rinsing in the shower. I will try that one, as it will help our situation.

A few comments to add that may not have been stated.

When the Oxygenics shower head came out, they only offered one style head; now they have many, and I can tell by the number of nozzles the flow rates are different between the models. I have one of the originals; I will have to measure the flow rate. Depending on your water pump's pressure, the shower head flow rate will change. I upgraded to a variable-speed pump long ago; I can get steady flow with steadier lower pressure than the standard on/off pump at 45 to 50 psi.

I added a positive shutoff on the sprayer hose at the shower faucet. The shower head type always seems to drip, cold water, too, it seems. This positive shut-off solved the drip and the constant cold slug issue with shower faucet shut-offs. Yes, we Navy shower also. This positive shut helped save some lost water, the drips, and the cold slug re-purge.

We have a 42-gallon freshwater "system". The amount of water in the fresh tank is about 34 gallons. 6-gallon water heater, 2 gallons in the whole camper piping; once the pump dry locks and sucks air, you cannot use the other 8 gallons held in the system or what is left in the fresh tank. As per the OEM setup, you can never use 34 gallons before the pump lost prime.

I reworked our fresh tank pump suction piping. From the OEM, the suction port comes in the side of the tank. This conventional side-mounted method is bad news for water conservation. Once the pump sucks air over the top of the water line in the tank, the pump goes into the dry lock, and you cannot suck that last 1" or more out of the tank. That 1" of the tank is 5.8 gallons lost water that cannot be pumped on my size tank. That is a lot of water not to be able to use.

Here is the reworked pump suction; I can now use the entire tank and only lose 1 to 2 quarts I cannot suck out. This gave me 5.2 more gallons of usable water. This tank has a bottom-mounted low-point pocket with a strainer inside the tank. The OEM used this as the tank drain. If you look at the right side tank end, a gold brass plug is in a port. That is where my pump suction line used to go. Now I draw water from the low point pocket through the Tee. I am a stickler for clean water; there is no dirt or crud in my freshwater system. This has worked out well for many years.
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Hair washing, my wife has shorter hair. It does not touch her shoulders in length. Every morning she washes her hair. This is "her" thing and need. I am not going to try and talk her out of it... She devised a way to wash and rinse only using 16 oz. plastic coke bottle. She put a push-pull drinking spout on the end; it screwed right on. She goes in the bath sink each morning to draw water; the tank is warm from the night before. We always shut the heater off when not using hot water. Our water heater is right under the bath sink. She fills the bottle with no waste and goes to the kitchen sink to wash her hair. She can wet, shampoo, and rinse and still has some left in the bottles. She is also a water miser at washing dishes; we use real silverware and plates.

At the bathroom sink, I added ball valves in the faucet supply lines to adjust how much water comes out of the faucet. We have a mono-lever faucet, and it is way too easy to open it up to allow too much water to go down the drain. I also did this when we had the OEM 2-knob faucet also. Yes, you have to wait a few seconds to fill your cupped hands with water when rinsing, but I found the bath sink was one of our larger daily water waste areas. Washing your hands after every time you go potty almost uses more water than the quick toilet flush. But when we go into the boondocking mode, the faucet supply gets choked down, and the waste is very little. When on hookups, I can open the faucet supply back up.

We have a Sealand 110 china bowl toilet; they no longer make this smaller size. It also has a sprayer to rinse the bowl if needed rather than running the foot pedal using much more water to rinse stuck on paper. I have a large, more flat-bottom black tank, 32 gallons; I add 3 gallons of starter water to the tank while setting up camp. This comes from a blue rubber-made water jug, not the fresh tank. The parks we boondock camp in have shower and potty houses; there is just no power or water at the sites. During the day, I hike to the potty house to reduce the black tank use. The wife uses the camper. When we go to the dump station, we transfer any leftover water to the black to aid in dumping. I have never had the dreaded black pyramid.

We can go 8 to 9 days on the black tank before dumping.

We wash dishes once daily; I clean, wipe and scrape dishes until the night meal dish clean-up time comes which go in a dry wash tub. If the weather is good, we wash dishes in tubs on the picnic table; the water is hauled in the 3-gallon jugs and heated in a pot on the LP gas outside stove. If the weather is bad out/raining etc, the wife does them in the kitchen double bowl sink. She uses less water inside than we do washing outside. Dishwashing inside is about 1 to 1 1/2 gallons.

I shower every night, navy shower, wife showers every other day unless it is brutal heat during the day.

Being on a 34-gallon fresh tank supply, we can go 4 to 5 days before I top off the tank at the campsite with the 3-gallon fresh water jugs. We only boondock for 8 to 10 days before moving to the next boondocking site. I use the blue tote to take the grey water to the dump station every 3 to 4 days.

This works for our style of boondocking, which is about 40% of our camping. Most of our camping (50%) uses onboard tanks and changing camps every 4 to 5 days, and about 10% full hook up. We all camp differently; all is OK to fit everyone's needs.

Good discussion, folks.

John

* This post was edited 03/26/23 08:47am by JBarca *


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ktmrfs

Portland, Oregon

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Posted: 03/25/23 12:34pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

This is what probably saves us more water than anything when showering.

It's easy peasy to turn water on/off AND keep the same water temp, and adjust the flow from a trickle to as much as you want.

the IMHO ideal shower water control with seperate temp and flow control

thermostaticallly controlled shower valve

It's pretty easy to mount to replace an existing shower control valve assy with a bit of plastic to cover the exisiting hole and some right angle fittings to couple to exisiting pex fittings


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profdant139

Southern California

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Posted: 03/26/23 03:16am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

John, that was a great write-up -- lots of good ideas. Thanks for posting that!

JimK-NY

NY

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Posted: 03/26/23 06:39am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

profdant139 wrote:

John, that was a great write-up -- lots of good ideas. Thanks for posting that!


I agree. His approach and goals are very close to mine.

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