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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Why we camp "Rustic" with no hookups.....

Sometimes when I converse with other RV people on the blogs, chat or camping forums, I mention that we usually camp without hookups....    and why having solar is so important to us.

That seems to not make too much sense to folks.  Here we are with a big luxury diesel coach, but we go to rustic out of the way campgrounds without hookups?  They ask: "Why?"  ---(and probably silently to themselves:  "Why would you WANT to?")

Not to get into an "Us" vs. "Them" spiel here, I wanted to post about WHY we like to camp rustic in Northern Wisconsin and Upper Michigan.

Well, the simple answer is that MOST of the campgrounds around us for 100 miles or so ARE rustic without ANY hookups.  LOL

Honestly, we do like the rustic camping better ... it's more peaceful, green, roomy, and not parked in like rows and  rows of tin cans.  We see a lot of wildlife, go fishing in our boat, walk on nature trails and have no restrictions on campfire smoke, where to park or how many people are allowed on our site before we have to start paying extra fees.    Most of the campgrounds we go to are either National Forest, State Forest or small county and township campgrounds.    Some of our National Forest lands allow "dispersed camping" where you can pull off and camp wherever you want on their lands, pack it in, pack it out kinda code of conduct.  The problem is most of the lands are wooded and not conducive to allowing a big diesel pusher motorhome to pull off into the woods without a good sturdy base underneath us.  So we do kinda hang into the campgrounds themselves and park on rustic campsites.  Fees are in the $10-16 range for the National Forests around us.

We like looking out the windows at lush green woods and sparkling waters,  not the siding of the camper parked right next to us.  Gravel, dirt and natural weedy vegetation is more preferable to cement, manicured lawns and gated campgrounds.

Now I know some RV folks won't even consider a campground with only electric and water, they want full hookups of sewer, cable, wifi and all the accompanying amenities of pool, clubhouse, gift shop, golf course and whatnot.  That is fine for them if that is what they want.   Sorry, we don't even have those kind of places around here to begin with.

Soooo just for grins, I made up a map with red flags for the rustic non-electric campgrounds... and green flags for the campgrounds with hookups. We have been to all of these places --- about 100-150 miles radius from our house

We mostly camp to the north of our hometown (yellow)  because south of us it is more populated, less campgrounds and no national forest lands....

This is the reason we have four 100 watt solar panels, a big bank of batteries, a generator and large holding tanks.  With careful use of water, we can go 10 days, with very careful use, 14 days or so.  Our fresh tank is 100 gallons, our grey and black tanks are 50 gallons.

We look forward to the future of going out west and boondocking on  the BLM lands and enjoying the quiet areas that are available to RVers.  For now we have to be content with our National Forest lands.

So THAT is why we camp "Rustic" with no hookups....


  1. WOW! That's alot of camping! You don't let the grass grow under your feet, do ya?

    I like those prices, too. Here in Northern VA, we don't have anything quite like those CG's or as cheap!

    Gotta love solar! :c)

  2. I agree! Wish we had more rustic places like that here, of course with the heat we still need a/c.

  3. That is our type of camping! We are not "RV Park" type of people either.

    Virginia seems to have quite a few State Forests though. Not so much in Georgia, but then quite a few again in Florida. I guess every state is a little diffrerent in that regard. We took the motorhome into a couple of Florida State Forests for $5 a night, and loved it.

  4. Those ARE the best types of campgrounds! You'll love the open space in the West too :-)

  5. Well...I just figured you camped at "rustic spots" because you liked them. Why some readers get so bent out of shape if folks don't camp in FHU parks is beyond me. That's why there is something for everyone out there. Enjoyed your post very much, Karen, even though we do prefer parks with HU's. I can appreciate other RVer's ways and enjoy reading of their adventures. Doesn't mean I have to do it....just appreciate it.

    Have a good weekend.

  6. I like your camping style. When I get my small camper (whatever it will be), that's what I'm going to do.

  7. You are so fortunate to have those wonderful National Forest lands to camp in. We don't have that in our area either. You will really love the BLM lands!!! This is the main reason we just love camp hosting here at FDR.
    I love your camping style!!

    Mike & Gerri (happytrails)

  8. I am starting to follow this very interesting blog...

  9. Al the Stargeezer sent us to see you. Your rustic camping is delightful. We have done a little bit of that in Our Life on Wheels, but our 36-ft Itasca Class A does't have the strength or the budget to add all that wonderful solar stuff. Wish it did, but that's that. No budget for a bigger unit, and now we aren't traveling a lot, so it wouldn't make sense to join your rustic style. Dammit!

  10. Welcome aboard Jerry and Suzy!

    Our last rig was smaller than yours, and we did okay boondocking in it.. perhaps not long term, but being frugal and using batteries and holding tanks you can manage a few days off the grid if you wish.

    On our tight budget, any day you can save with a lower campground fee, or overnight at a walmart enroute to somewhere is a good thing too. Having enough equipment to do just that is a good option. We used to have only one solar panel, a 75watt one that topped off the batteries nicely with frugal use.

    Hope you hang around... check out the past blogs listed on the left, that detail with modifications we made to our rig, and storage etc.

    Karen and Steve

  11. I love your camping style! Been busy with catching up on inventory and not reading any blogs, but my new camper is, fingers crossed, coming home tomorrow!


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