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The Frugal RV Traveler Newsletter, Issue #011-Boondocking Has Changed
December 02, 2014
Hi

Boondocking Has Changed. How?

Like many of us, this time of year puts me in a reflective mood. It's hard to believe Randy and I have been RVing and boondocking for fifteen years! I know, eh?

Now, before I get some crazy questions about that, I should clarify a common misconception: We are not full time RVers. We have a sticks and bricks home in Ontario, Canada where we return to live and "pretend we're normal" for months at at time. We do manage to escape every two years - RVing for five or six months at a time (once, for a whole year).

To commemorate fifteen years, I thought it might be fun to list some of the changes we've noticed over that time - those that relate specifically to boondocking.

Here’s my list. Some changes are positive, others not. I'd love to hear your comments. Have you noticed factors I missed? Are you doing more boondocking than years ago or less? Why?


Going Solar?

If you're just getting into this style of camping for the first time, you may be considering adding a solar package to your RV. I'm often asked for advice on this. I've mentioned Handy Bob before. Bob remains one of the best sources of accurate, easy-to-comprehend solar guidance on the Internet. A must-read before you invest!

Actually, we have always managed without solar or generator. We rely solely on conservation and driving enough to recharge the battery every few days. This week I read a great review of a solar starter kit at a bargain price. (I value Melo Mike's opinion.) This may be just the ticket to try it out without breaking the bank.


On the Road Again

Preparations are underway! We're leaving in January on another extended trip. Our plans for a 2014 summer trip were foiled by persistent RV issues. We've finally gotten around them (more on that later). With a strong memory of last winter in Ontario and two early snow storms already this year, escaping to our favorite boondocking spots in the southwest seems like a no-brainer!

Our goal is to slow down a bit on this trip, spending more time at each stop. We're hoping that will increase the oppportunity to meet up with some of you. I'll be posting weekly blog posts again if you'd like to follow along. We'll also update our location on RVillage.com making it super easy to track our route and find (or avoid) us if you like ;-)


Important News for Canadian Snowbirds

Travelers' passports are swiped upon entering and departing Canada and the U.S. Now, as of June, 2014, this exit and entry information is systematically and immediately shared between the two countries. Canadians are permitted six months in The States before risking several potentially dire consequences. Snowbirds who push the six-month limit (even those who stay five months like we plan to) and want to venture across the border (or out of province) for shorter trips later in the year, should not miss reading this article.

Another useful link before you cross the border:Canada to US Border Crossing Official List of Prohibited Items. It's where Homeland Security posts official updated lists of prohibited items.


Have you noticed? Frugal RV Travel is Now Mobile-Friendly!

A monumental step forward: all pages on the site now render properly and should be easy to navigate on a tablet or smart phone. I've tested it on many devices but, if you discover a problem I've missed, please contact me. I'll want to know which device and browser you were using.


Big Changes at Boondockers Welcome

My other web site, Boondockers Welcome, could not exist without the generosity of our hosts. Although all members pay a small, intial fee to join, a new Host Rewards Program means active hosts can keep their membership free in subsequent years.

Boondockers Welcome will soon be mobile-friendly as well. In fact, Anna's working on a site-wide overhaul that will enhance and simplify all aspects of using it.

If you've been thinking of joining but procrastinating, this is a good month to do so. New members save $5.00 with this coupon code: FRUGALRVPROMO2 (offer expires Dec 31, 2014). Why not use your winter travels to try it out?


Frugal Finds:

RV Service Reviews: RV owners evaluate service facilities they have personally used across The USA and Canada. More than 7000 reviews.

RVillage: A free Social media site for RVers. Allows you to easily find where old friends are camping and meet others with common interests.

An additional, too-often-overlooked form of boondocking: Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity allows you to park free while you do good.


Inspiring People:

New favorites on my blogroll include:

The One Year Road Trip Join Matt and Eva Webb, as they take their three young children on a yearlong adventure across the US to interview kids in all 50 states who are making real change in the world. And in the process, the Webb family expects to be transformed as well.

American Gypsy Gibberish Wendy has been on the road fulltime for two years and writes, "Moving on from place to place, following my husband’s career and having all the time in the world to write and experience new places and people was something I had only dreamed about; now it’s my reality".

The Path Less Beaten Hiking, backpacking, camping, road tripping, cycling, cave exploring, snowshoeing, and more. This couple's adventures are set in the western states.


See You Down the Road

Wishing you a happy holiday season and safe travels!

~Marianne

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