|Saguaro National Park, Arizona, April 2022|
|While hiking Capstone Canyons|
|Near Sitting Bull Falls, New Mexico, April 2022|
Boondocking: Allan was determined to get off the beaten track, and he did just that as he followed the spring weather to the great American West. Completing the "homework" information assignment I (your Green Goddess Glamping blog writer) provided, Allan determined that his overall camping habits for spring and beyond have been mostly off-the-grid camping.
- Full service campsites 4%
- Electric only 7%
- Forest service, picnic table, fire ring, and privy 15%
- Fully dispersed, no amenities at all 74%
|On the West Fork of Oak Creek, near Sedona, Arizona, May 2022|
|Broken leaf spring, April 30, 2022|
"Bugger!!! That is an English technical term for when something goes wrong. As you can see, the picture is not one of Finley or a lovely vista but rather the undercarriage of my Kodiak and more specifically the broken leaf spring. As you all know, I love to find campsites off the beaten track; driving to them is often an adventure all by itself. So I do expect that things will break from time to time, although I am a bit surprised that the leaf sheared off where it did. Also, I want to stress that this has nothing to do with RTTC. They use an axle and suspension from one of the leading suppliers in the industry and a generously rated one to boot. I wonder if UPS will deliver to my campsite?"
Solar Power: "My solar system has worked flawlessly, allowing me to charge my many electrical items and keep the fans, fridge and lights working. I think for next year I may add some more battery capacity but other than that I am well pleased." (More solar specifics and a photo of the deployed panels are described in Part 1 of this travelogue series.) During the spring, no photos of raised solar panels on the Kodiak's roof were posted. I asked Allan about that--too much work, dangerous in the wind, not necessary? His responses made perfect sense and reflect the RV wisdom he has gained by his time on the road. "I generally only raise my panels during the winter when the sun is low in the sky," Allan said. "By May it is quite high and up for significantly longer, so it’s unnecessary to raise the panels. The panels are fine in winds up to 20-25 mph, but I would not raise them in higher winds in case of damage. They are so quick and easy to deploy that there is no point leaving them up in iffy weather."
Heater: "My heater has last worked perfectly," Allan said. "We have had temps down to 15F, and it can keep the cabin at 70+ with no issue. I have no idea what the upper limit would be as 70 is too hot for me! I have 2 x 10lb tanks, and I have to refill one every 2-3 weeks if I’m using it every night when temps are below freezing. We spent the vast majority of the summer camped at 8-12,000 feet, and the only thing that I found is that I must keep the tanks fairly full in order to have enough pressure to fire the burner." (Heater specifics are described in Part 1 of this series.)
|BLM campground near St. George, Utah, June 2022|
Me: Hot enough for you?Dude: But it’s a dry heat.Me: Rather like sticking one’s head into an oven.Dude: (Crickets)
Allan said about his hot stay: "No hookups but I will run the a/c later for an hour or two to cool things off. Still it’s just for the night, we’ll head to higher altitude tomorrow."
Toilet Facility: (I asked Allan if he had a particular system for his waste management when off the grid, or whether he just managed with a shovel and a hole.) "LOL I do have a portable toilet but have yet to use it. I just use a 5 gal bucket with a toilet seat on top. I use trash bags and cat litter to keep things nice and clean and odor free."
|Flagstaff, Arizona area, May 2022|
|East Pocket, Arizona, May 2022|
|East Pocket dispersed camping area, Arizona|
"Well, we drove all over the north rim, had to make two u-turns on single-track roads (not easy) thanks to downed trees but perseverance paid off in the end with a spectacular camping site on the east rim, and I mean right on the east rim! Will definitely have to watch how many glasses of wine I consume! I even have a promontory to sit with my legs dangling over the canyon. Fin is happy as there’s no one around and he’s off leash to go on a sniffari."
|Grand Canyon rim boondocking, early June 2022|