Boondocking is out in the boonies, away from people and civilization, so there are no campsites. It’s also dry camping, but you can also dry camp in a campground if you pass on any hu’s. I do it all the time. Most BLM land I’m aware of is lower elevations and I spend almost all of my time in mountain national forests. So I’ll let those who use BLM land speak to it.
In the nf’s, you can just drive back in on a forest road and set up about anywhere that looks good to you. There may be some restrictions, but they’re typically signed as you go in. Or you can ask at a local ranger station to play it safe. Actually, your rig is a bit big for that sort of camping, forest roads are usually rough, unimproved, narrow and heavily treed. But you could stay out close to the pavement as long as you have room to maneuver. If you want to go back one of those roads, unhitch and scout it out with the TV first. I’ve seen some people in very awkward positions as the road deteriorated and they couldn’t maneuver or turn around.
The few times I’ve used BLM land I treat it the same as nf land. Park where I want while watching for any signs or restrictions. I’ve been doing it for about 50 years with no issues at all.
That’s an extreme case of more unsaid than said.:) Dry camping without a generator is more akin to tent camping than anything. I dry camp almost exclusively, don’t use a generator, don’t use commercial parks, and have a small TT so I have limited tank capacities. Also I have one 12v battery. Still, I can go almost a week before I have to recharge/restock.
If boondocking I carry extra water in 5 gallon cans. In a campground I refill a can at the water source and refill my tank. No tv, microwave, or other electronics and I use only one light unless I temporarily need more. The frig runs on propane. I carry a battery charger and sometimes I can recharge my battery somewhere if I’m in a national park, otherwise I move to a site with electric hu’s for a couple of days. Or I can take the battery out and have it recharged, but I don’t use my TV as a battery charger. No washing the hair or long, hot showers, navy showers or sponge baths are the rule. Also no furnace or ac. But I camp in as high an elevation as I can get so ac is never needed and I can take the cold much better than the heat. In my case battery power is the first to go followed by the water. Propane lasts a long time and so do the gray and black tanks.
It’s somewhat primitive, but that’s how I like to camp and it gives you the flexibility to get away from the mob scene and camp in some great places. Go ahead and do it, it’s very likely you’ll enjoy the experience and you’ll learn quickly what your limitations are. And if you push the envelope too hard you can just move to a site with hu’s and regroup. Good luck.
I doubt if you can get a “large” supply of your prescriptions, a national chain will work best. But don’t use mail order, some clown will invariably send them to the wrong place. Happened to me about a year and a half ago and was a real PITA to straighten out.
I’m not into the group thing or mobs of people, so it’s rare I’d go camping with someone else. Grandkids and the son’s family are exceptions. I’ll make friends with some fellow campers and enjoy their company, but even then I don’t want to spend the whole day with them. Odds are we both have some things we want to do that don’t appeal to the other party.
We spent 5 days in Yellowstone and 3 in Grand Teton and would not cut any shorter than that.
I have to agree. I haven't been to Glacier yet but I've made many trips to Yellowstone/Tetons and I spend at least two weeks there. I wouldn't bother to drive there for a few days, I might as well watch a half hour segment on tv at home. I'd spend a bit over half the time at Yellowstone, it's a huge park and if you really want to see it you'll do a lot of driving. And a bike would be a great way to do it. I love the Tetons, they're spectacular, but there's more variety of scenery in Yellowstone.My approach would be to plan a couple of weeks and if I ran out of things to see I could always move on.
The oldest thing I take is my M28 S&W; it dates from the late 50’s. Next would be my old tent camping Coleman gas stove and lantern dating from the 60’s. But I only take it on winter hunting trips in frigid weather. It saved my rear end when everything in my PU froze and the propane wouldn’t light. And I have an old coffee percolator of unknown vintage that we routinely use since I don’t carry any electronics or electrical appliances. Oh, and my old down jacket, also 1960’s vintage but still better than the new stuff with feathers in it. And my 60’s vintage Vasque mountain boots that I’ve worn out two sets of vibram soles on and they’re finally starting to look a little beat up. I notice they’ve put on weight, though; they’re a lot heavier than they used to be.:) I guess I’m an aficionado of the old stuff.
I would certainly think you should be able to pull a 20’ TT. But without knowing the specs for your TV and TT it’s an impossible question to answer. With a ½ ton payload is most likely to be the limiting factor. And regarding the specs, dry weights are relatively useless numbers. I pull a 16' TT with a 2001 F150 and it's a piece of cake, even in the extensive mountain driving I do. But it weighs 3000# loaded.
I gave my PU to my son years ago, but we really liked it. The DW still sometimes says she wishes we had it back for some camping trips; it gave more of a camping feel. Mine was an older Coleman all metal PU and unfortunately, they’ve been gone for years. The ones I notice today have showers and are heavier than my current 16’ TT so they don’t have much appeal to me. But I haven’t kept up with the market and don’t know what all is out there.
Being all metal, mine was on the light side and the impact on my gas mileage was negligible. It was very maneuverable and I could also get it far back in the boonies on the primitive roads where we liked to camp. If I needed to I could be set up and inside 10 minutes after I pulled into a camp spot. Canvas never bothered me; I camped for about 17 years in tents so there was little difference. It was in some ferocious storms and rain was no problem, either. You don’t want to leave one closed up wet. But if I was camping it was open, if I moved it was open that evening, and when I came home it was opened to unload. So the whole idea was a non-issue.
It did have smaller tires than my TT and I could expect to lose a tire and sometimes a wheel bearing on a long trip. That was just a minor nuisance; I carried an extra spare and bearings and got adept at changing them out along the road or in parking lots. The TT also had the advantage of being able to pull off the road and go inside for lunch or a break, the PU had to be opened up to do that. And I think the DW felt a little more secure with a hard side, especially if we were camped in bear country. I did finally have to replace the canvas, but I used a tent and awning shop to make a duplicate for hundreds of dollars less than a factory replacement. All in all, we used it for about 15 years and I can’t really find anything of substance to complain about, it did a great job for us.
I also looked up the Tundra specifications and found this:
Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR) = 16000 lbs
Max Towing Capacity 9000 lbs
So the weight of the truck (7200lbs) plus the GVWR of the trailer 8800lbs (which equals 16000lbs) must be lower than the GCWR? Or do I add the dry weight of the trailer (6800lbs) instead of the GVWR?
tent camping is so much simpler. just sayin
Your GVWR’s just matche the GCWR, which is good. What’s not good is you don’t want to pull the max the TV is “designed” for, the performance will suck and I think it’s very likely after one good trip either the TV or the TT will be replaced with something more suitable or it will be relegated to short, easy trips. Remember, you have to stop that sucker, also. Then, too, your 900# hitch weight sounds like a dry weight. TT hitch weights generally run 10-15% of the gross loaded TT weight and 10% would be very unusual, 13% is much more likely. Which translates to over 1100# for an 8800# TT.
If you only travel the flats, like FL or the mid-west you can pull more weight than if you want to cross any mountains. There you’ll lose about 3% of your power for every 1000’ of elevation which will be especially hard on a maxed out TV. Also, those weight ratings are arrived at by pulling just weight, not TT’s, which is like pulling a billboard through the air and a harder pull for the same weight. I just think your proposed TT is too big for the TV you’re considering. One option that might work for you is one of the HD F150 EB’s, but I have no experience with them. Questions about what one can pull with a given TV are pretty common and If you have the time and energy to read countless posts, you could do a search and find more information than you probably want. Good luck.
Just a couple of comments. Offhand, I think a 7000# dry TT is a bit much for a ½ ton; I doubt you’ll enjoy towing it, especially if you plan on climbing any grades. Especially with a ½ ton TV, forget the so called tow rating, you’ll run out of payload before you get near it. And don’t listen to what any salesman says about what you can tow, their job is to sell, not look out for your interests. I really suspect if you want that big and heavy a TT you need to look at ¾ ton with a bigger engine than a 5. But if you can come back on with the specs for the TV and TT – dry weights are useless – you can get some good input that may help you out. Good luck.
As said, payload is the issue. The best way to know what you have is to load up the TV with all the people and gear you’ll carry on a trip and weigh it. Subtract that from the TV GVWR for the payload you have left for the TT hitch weight. Keep in mind if you’re pulling near your max in the Rockies you probably won’t like the tow, the more excess payload you have the better.
You can connect the hose but don’t open the valves; it’s not a home sewer system. You want the black tank ¾ full before you dump it to wash out the solids. If you have to dump it, add water to the tank until its ¾ full. Then open the gray tank valve to wash out the residue from the black tank.
I don’t know what chemical they used in the tank, but I suspect it was to control odor. You won’t know if you need to do that until you use the TT. We’ve never gotten any odor from our black tank so I’ve never used any chemicals. I can’t answer your third question.
I’d gladly have joined a Boy Scout Troop when I was young but there weren’t any in my area. But as a teenager I and a couple of friends would take off and wander the mountains in W VA, KY and sometimes TN. We didn’t have any camp gear to speak of so we slept in the car or often on the ground. And on a few occasions with people we met back in the “hollers”. Those trips are where I developed my taste for biscuits and gravy. When I went in the service it was actually a step up, I had a pup tent and a sleeping bag.:)
When I came to AZ many decades ago there was a lot of rough and remote country and I began backpacking, hunting and camping, so I acquired all my camping gear then. I made a grub box to carry all my cooking/eating gear and it converted to a stand with legs. And I made another one to carry the rest of the gear. I also traveled around the west with the same setup for about 17 years. Setting up and breaking camp was manageable, but I tired of the constant packing and unpacking of the vehicle when we were traveling so I finally bought an all metal Coleman PU. That was a major improvement over the packing/unpacking of the tent gear.
We traveled all over the country in that PU and a great many of our best memories occurred camping in the PU. About 10 years later we bought a 16’ TT and most of our longer traveling was with the TT, although we used the PU for short camp trips and it was my base camp for hunting trips. That’s the end of my progression, the TT has done everything I wanted it to do and well, so we still use it.And all of that camping from tents through the TT was with at least two and often three kids and no one was the worst for wear.
You will get many answers as until recently, there were no standards.
I forget exactly when it started, but any TT with the yellow sticker has a weight that should be accurate. Any new one will be this way.
Now the bad news. Yout TV tow rating is reduced pound for pound by whatever you put in it, So your 5500# rating is not what you have to work with. The only way to know for sure is to load it up for a trip, and weigh it.
X2. Dry weights are useless and tow ratings aren't much better. If you want to KNOW what you have to work with weigh the TV and get your remaining payload. To do that load the TV with everyone and everything you'll carry on a trip and weigh it. Subtract that from your TV GVWR for the usable payload.
Good move, asking questions before you buy something. I’m not that familiar with either the Nissan or the Toyota and will let people who are answer that, but I will say this. Dry weights typically wind up understated. Tow ratings are a relatively useless number. The payload of your TV is what you need to know, you’ll run out of that well before you get near the tow rating. Your available payload is your TV GVWR less its weight as equipped and EVERYTHING you put in it plus the wd hitch. Your real tongue weight will be about 13% of the loaded weight of the TT. So a 6000# TT could have a tw approaching 800#. Also if you tow near your max and spend much time in the mountains you likely won’t enjoy the experience, so you need some slack. I think 6000# loaded would be a handful for either vehicle, but as said, I defer to those who know the vehicle specs better than I.Last thought, do not believe anything a salesman tells you about what you can pull. His job is to sell TT's, not look out for your interests.