Saturday, May 19, 2007

Finding RV Dump Stations

Part of the "fun" of owning an RV is dumping the black and gray waste holding tanks. Finding places to dump the tanks can be a bit difficult when you are traveling unless you are paying for full RV hookup sites.

Keeping in mind that almost every city and town has an RV dump station somewhere, here are some tips to help you find free and fee locations to empty your waste holding tanks.

State & National Parks - Park campgrounds almost always have a dump station available for anyone paying the park day use fee.

Truck Stops/Gas Stations - Many truck stops such as Flying J, and TA (Travel America) have free RV dump stations. Many gas stations also have RV dump stations.

Community & City Parks - Smaller towns often have a city park where camping is allowed that includes an RV dump station.

City Water Treatment Facilities - Many waste water treatment plants offer sanitary dump facilities. You may have to use the same dump station that large septic pump trucks use.

Many state highway rest areas have RV dump stations available free.

Resources for finding RV dump stations vary. Two nationwide internet web sites offer the best information we've found so far., and have good lists of RV dump locations in all states and Canada.

Ask the local chamber of commerce.
Private RV parks usually let you dump for a price.
Check the yellow septic pumping companies for a dump station recommendation.

RV Camping Home

Friday, May 18, 2007

Camping Season...Are You Ready?

With the Memorial Day weekend and the "traditional start of summer" nearly upon us, it's a good idea to be thinking about getting the RV ready for camping season. What really brought this to mind was a family member that decided to pull their pop up camper out of storage early just to be sure that they were ready for the season.

First off, there was the flat tire that needed changing before exiting the storage lot. Now many folks are able to store their RV's on their property so they will know about such things, but our family members live in an area where extended parking of an RV is restricted. Be ready to change a tire if you have to.

They next get the camper home and find out that the water pump didn't get all the water out for winter and is now leaking. Again, if they would have "assumed" that everything was OK, they would have hit the road and had had a difficult problem to live with. By checking early, a new water pump was obtained, and now a trouble free camping trip is in their future.

Don't forget about using checklists so you don't forget a thing. Look around and especially under your RV. Things may loose or leaking that you are not aware of creating an unsafe situation. I've heard too many stories, and seen too many accidents over the years involving RVs to not take safety seriously.

So get your RV ready and head for a great camping site.

RV Camping Home

Monday, May 14, 2007

The Difference Between Boondocking and Dry Camping

We wish there was universal understanding of the difference between the terms dry camping and boondocking when it comes to RV campsites. RV Camping defines boondocking as remote location camping away from developed camping facilities.

Overnight RV parking locations such as Wal-Mart, K-Mart, shopping centers, restaurants, etc. should not be considered boondocking. The same is true for any public developed campground or horse camp. Whenever you are camped on private commercial property, or in public developed campgrounds without RV hookups, you are dry camping.

Boondocking is really advanced RV camping. There is little information about specific boondocking campsites, which means you need a sense of adventure to find great camping locations. Look at any RV magazine, and you will see beautiful pictures of an RV next to a lake or stream with a great view of the mountains beyond. Those pictured boondocking campsites are really out there, you just have to look hard to find them.

Does the difference between dry camping and boondocking really matter? Probably not, but when somebody says they are boondocking at Wal-Mart, I figure they just don't understand that some of us know the difference between dry camping and boondocking.

RV Camping Home