Sunday, May 09, 2010


WHY NOT CAMP RIGHT HERE? I ask myself that fairly often. It's what my old travel companion, Arnold Eckland, would say when we motorcycled through Yucatan--He wasn't picky--could be comfortable anywhere, cornfields, schoolyards, gravel pits, banana plantation. He convinced me! Now when I'm ready to camp, my first consideration isWHY NOT HERE. Above is the ghost town of Steins, about 10 miles west of Lordsberg. I considered staying the night but the nearby railroad dissuaded me---too noisy.
Drove on to the visitor center in Lordsberg and settled in for the night. This guy driving a 1950's era bus parked beside me and explained that someone in San Diego had given him two of them. With just a change of oil, fresh fuel, some hoses and a battery they had both cranked right up and ran perfectly. He would ship them to Germany for total restoration--they are highly prized there.
He was ecstatic about the interior--perfectly preserved he said.
Soon he was gone and these trucks moved in. Noisy, Noisy--so I moved away a quarter mile to this vacant lot and slept peacefully. Next day I experienced the town--museum--ate lunch with the seniors and started toward Silver City.
Got this far and stopped--I suddenly realized that it's cold in those mountains back there. (Silver City elevation 7000 ft) So I asked myself Arnold's question: What's wrong with RIGHT HERE? And so I camped right there---in great comfort--enjoying the scenery--connected to the whole world by satellite radio, satellite tv, cell phone and internet access ---thanks to those marvelous solar panels that power my lifestyle. I could camp here indefinitely if I wished. We boondockers in the West are surely among the freest people on earth!


Anonymous said...

For the sake of newbies with budget constraints, I wish you would resist over-selling solar panels. They are worth having, eventually. But newbies would be better off by first putting their funds into a good battery charger, more batteries, and a 1000 Watt Honda generator.

There are already too many RV websites over-selling solar panels just for Google click reasons. A site like yours has the advantage of being free of the Google click syndrome, so please take advantage of it, for the sake of innocent beginners.

Randy said...

Point well taken Anonymous==It is possible to live comfortably on the road without solar panels. I know full timers who just use their engine to charge their batteries. Others invest the $1000 that a good solar setup would cost in a Honda generator and do quite nicely. I think full time rv wannabees should go cheap till they are sure they will like this lifestyle. I started out living in my Honda car all one summer. I managed to make it quite comfortable.

Rojo said...

I dont think there is such a thing as over selling solar... People need to do the research and plan ahead. I agree a Honda, I prefer the 2000. is a great start. figure out how much power you are going to need and build to the final goal.

NEVER EVER use the wire size you need right now, use the size you are going to need in your finished product.

Barney (The Old Fat Man) said...

I consider a generator to be a second choice over solar panels.

Anonymous said...

"I could camp here indefinitely if I wished"

unless you need food, water, etc...

I admire your lifestyle in many ways. Not for me as I need to cultivate to be happy. But remember that your (and my) lives come at a cost to others who provide food, energy and other essentials.

Randy said...

With the supplies I have on board, I could stay here in comfort for a month or more. Water, surprisingly, is the limiting factor---and there are ways of solving that. I have a friend who supplies his water from his RV roof. (.67 gallons per square foot of collecting area in a 1 inch rain)
Even so, your point is valid and I don't forget it----but keep in mind that my life is proof that people do not need to work S0 long or SO hard or save SO much money to enjoy freedom and travel. Randy