I have more than three years of fulltime RVing experience and have spent nearly every one of those 1000+ days off-grid. Solar provided my electricity and a water fill-up / dump station stop every couple of weeks covered my holding tanks. Conservation was the name of the game and it wasn’t burdensome.
For the past few weeks in Minturn the Forest Service has provided me a full-hookup RV site, effectively eliminating all of the “I can run out of X” elements in my house. The electrons flow from a monster 30-amp outlet and water enters from a spigot, draining directly to the city sewer system.
Two weeks ago I installed the capstone of this full-hookup experience: an electrical heating element for my water heater, which had previously only run on propane and was used sparingly. Who would have thought that the “hot” faucet in my sinks and shower would always do something substantially different from the “cold” faucet? Long showers are happening, people. Long showers in an RV. I can’t run out of water. I can’t fill up my tanks. I’m not even in a campground. It feels so wrong.
Who would have thought that an RV could be so similar to a non-motorized house? Amusingly, the answer is “most RV-ers.” Boondocking is not the norm. Most RVers drive their roving homes to RV parks and immediately connect to the grid, content to pay cash money for 15 feet of space between themselves and their neighbor.
Now, is this on-griddedness something that I would pay for? Probably not. But for free while volunteering for the Forest Service – I’ll take it and enjoy every ounce of piping hot water. One day this past week I even took two showers. I planted myself a flower garden. I have a permanent-looking patio setup, a silly little storage shed, and drive a badass government truck all over the forest. It’s good stuff, folks. For now.