This is not boondocking, but no reservations are required.
When traveling on business, when someone else was paying the bill, I would stay at "better" hotels. When traveling on my own dime, or just sleeping somewhere while on a ski trip, I stayed at some of the less expensive motels. Clean, relatively safe, but not fancy. Older places, but no "by the hour" rooms if you know what I mean.
Once the house sells and the proceeds are in decent income-yielding investments, our financial situation looks pretty good. We have our Social Security income, medicare and a supplemental health care plans, no debts, no storage, no mortgage, and no dependents. But I am a frugal person and want to live within a budget. If RV plans are made in JELLO, budgets must be the powdered mix they start with.
To balance the cost of staying at some posh RV resorts with their heated pools and other amenities, I am looking forward to exploring public lands and other legal boondocking opportunities. I have heard of Harvest Hosts in the past, but I don't see it as a way to keep expenses down. If we stayed overnight at a winery, we would probably go in for a wine tasting which is not free, and would probably buy a bottle or three of their wine.
I'm sure we will investigate "Boondockers Welcome" and keep our eyes and ears open for other low cost options.
We have used our Passport America discounts and stayed at a couple of Escapee parks. You can dry camp at many of them for less than $10 a night. Full hook up spots run in the low $20's. We really like their homey feel.
We have looked at a few National Park campgrounds, and because the Alfa is only 35' long, we could stay at some, but most don't have power. The privately run concessioners parks in or near the National parks do, and that is where we have stayed so far. Except for our few days at Yosemite where we ran the generator. I really felt bad about that with our noise and smell polluting the campground.
We have been talking about getting a solar system on the Alfa. We think it would be best to go ahead and get it as soon as possible.
We have not yet looked into what we need or want, nor what it will cost. But I have run some numbers on how long it would take for dollars spent on a solar system to balance paying private RV park space rents.
Considering that some places we might use the solar because there are no power hook ups, the saving on space rent might be about $30 per night. For every $1000 spent on solar we could boondock or stay at a no-hookup park for 33 nights.
I have no idea how much a good solar system will cost but running an extension on the above numbers, $5000 spent would be recovered in about 150 nights.
Spread out over two years, that would be 6 to 7 nights a month.
Of course at the end of the two years we would still have a solar system, slightly depreciated. Maintenance cost is always an unknown.
Doing a solar system is certainly cost effective if you plan on dry camping part of the time. The freedom to do so is priceless!
We have talked about going to see Solar Mike over at the Slabs after the Alfa Owners Rally in April.
We would appreciate any input you may give us.
- Useful URL's, what to watch out for.
- How not to be ripped off as newbies.
- How much it should cost.
But, as always, the house sale has to close first!