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Dry Camping Report

We played musical campsites here at Porto Bodega the other day. When the music stopped, we were in a spot with no hookups. So, we are dry camping again.


I realized that sometimes my favorite mode is dry camping at one of the places that has both hookup and non-hookup sites. Sometimes, you get the cool "beachfront" sites for dry camping while the full-hookups are all back in the bushes. It can be better than dry camping at an all-dry-camping place, because in those places you typically have lots of people running generators and making lots of noise. In a full-hookup campground, those generator people tend to be plugged in and we find ourselves dry camping in the quiet out with the tents. Nice! (Oh, and it's cheaper!)

The last time we dry camped was a couple weeks ago at the jetty campground.  We were there for six days:

  • Solar worked flawlessly. We never got below 92% capacity on our batteries (8% used) and the solar recharged us to 100% every single day. We ran lights, laptops, microwave, espresso machine, traeger, hexacopter battery charger, blow drier, flat iron, internet, TV, audio, and recharged iphones and ipads… We made no effort whatsoever to do any "extra" electric conservation. If the trailer is in direct sun – we have all the power we need indefinitely.
  • Fresh water was the weak link. We used 7/8 of our tank in six days. We carry a six-gallon container to refill our fresh water if needed without having to move the trailer. We didn't end up needing it.
  • Grey water only got to 5/8 full in 6 days. We washed dishes, took a couple showers each, and so forth.  
  • Black water only got 3/8 full…  
  • We used less than a half tank of propane… We carry two 7.5 gallon tanks. Propane ran the heater (it got down into the 40s at night), the refrigerator, the stove, and the hot water heater. We have also gotten very good about turning off the hot water heater overnight and when we're not using it.

Overall, with our current setup, we can dry camp comfortably for a week with no issues and no real compromises. The big asterisk there is that we can't run the air conditioner on solar. If we were somewhere hot, that would matter. Luckily, those places seem more likely to have electricity hookups in campgrounds.

(Posted by Kevin)