RV Camper's Survival Guide

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RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby mshaman » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:02 am

I couldn't attache the .pdf files to a post, so I linked to a rudimentary page on my website. If someone has a better suggestion, I'm open to it. This was what I typed up last year for some new RV campers at BM. Hope it helps here too. I'd love to beef this up, get it on the BM website, and make it a playa gift of sorts. Here is the link to the RV camping survival guide and the Burning Man addendum:

http://www.titanradiator.com/rv/rv.html

Cheers.
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Re: Survival Guide for new RV owners

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Feb 14, 2012 11:56 am

Nice guide.

You might also wish to add taping over the window vents in the rubber gaskets around the windows - those 2 small slits at the bottom of most RV window gaskets to your prep section.
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Re: Survival Guide for new RV owners

Postby trilobyte » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:07 pm

Great stuff, thanks for compiling and sharing.
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Re: Survival Guide for new RV owners

Postby tamarakay » Tue Feb 14, 2012 2:04 pm

Favorite line: in the event of a dust storm this creates an unfortunate situation. :shock: :) :D :D
Love it! Good tips, thanks!
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Re: Survival Guide for new RV owners

Postby MartyZion » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:28 pm

Great job on a very well written primer.

As for tips for a newbie driving an RV, I would suggest making note about overhead clearance. In a class A or C it's easy to forget how tall the rig is relative to overpasses or drivethroughs, especially if you're using a standard automotive GPS.

It's not a problem on the interstates or Hwy 447 but I recall a story about a burner who clipped the Reno Arch a couple years back.
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Re: Survival Guide for new RV owners

Postby mshaman » Wed Feb 15, 2012 11:14 am

Yay! This is the feedback I was hoping for... It helps me flesh out the document and really get it right. Oh, on the "Freezer Tape" it worked great until it got up to something like 95 deg, then it got all gooey. So Gaffer's tape, although expensive, is still the way to go.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby dragonpilot » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:57 pm

It's a very good write-up...and it just begins to scratch the surface...no offense meant. It's just that someone could literally write a small book about RV life on the playa. You have, however, peaked the interest of those planning on bringing an RV to perhaps do further research.

I have a 5-page write up of issues I've encountered over 7 RV trips to the playa...anyone interested, PM me.

Coupla suggestions:

1. For the overhead tent mesh...stitch some old blanket material (cut to fit) to the outside of the mesh. It will minimize dust sifting inside the tent, and is flexible enough that you can still roll up and pack the tent. Notice I said "minimize"...nothing you do will eliminate it.

2. Just before hitting the playa lay down and tape plastic painter's sheeting cut to fit the floors of the RV. Then put down sections of carpet remnant here and there and down the aisle so's you're not slipping on the plastic. Does wonders for after-Burn cleanup...especially if it's a rental.

3. You said it...LOCK YOUR BIKE! ALWAYS! Especially when you take that quick trip to the porta potties..and EVEN when you're in your own camp! You won't believe the brazen attitudes of some people who'll think nothing about hopping on your ride and pedaling off.

4. When you get home clean your gear ASAP. Don't wait a week or two...it'll be too late. Spritz everything with a vinegar/water solution (about 1:10)...the tent, bike, clothes, utensils. Rinse thoroughly. Then lightly spray the tent zippers with an odorless silicon lubricant...or buy a tube of the same stuff divers use for their dive suit zippers. You won't be sorry.

5. Try to not use the RV on-board toilet...at least no #2's. If it's just two of you, shouldn't be a problem, but 4 folks or more and things go south...real quick! Same goes for the on-board shower. Put a 3-gal garden sprayer in the shower stall. You'll get a decent bath and minimize grey water.

Gawd...there's so much. You may think your best friends and you will get along just fine until you spend a week with them in close quarters, in heat and dust, 4000' altitude, hung over, poor sleep, dehydrated...and then they take a dump in the toilet... :evil: I love it!
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Mojojita » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:55 pm

My favorite RV at Burning Man tip:

Turn off the water pump when you are not using it, then use dishwater or ice melt for flushing the toilet. The last place I want my freshwater to go is down the john.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby XtremevieW » Mon May 07, 2012 3:22 am

This Thread is a must for first time RVers! Thank you
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby LostinReno » Mon May 14, 2012 3:13 pm

This is from personal experience...when you clean your RV after B.M. use a compressor or leaf blower first, especially in the window tracks. Playa turns to concrete when it gets wet then dries....particularly in the window channels. :evil:
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Captain Goddammit » Mon May 14, 2012 3:55 pm

Oh I could write a book about this.

OK here's one of my tricks.
It drives me nuts every time someone says you shouldn't use the shower in your RV at Burning Man. WTF? That's what it's for! ANd nothing beats having nice hot showers on the playa!
If you have room, like in a trailer or wherever, bring 33-gallon water containers. (I find 33s a lot easier to deal with than 55s). I bring two full ones (sometimes three) and one empty one. I screw garden-hose adapter fittings into them, with shut-off valves too.
I bring a Harbor Freight (cheap) electric water pump, and screw garden-hose fittings onto it.
When your fresh water tank gets low and your grey tank gets full - dump your greywater into a 5-gallon bucket (you'll have to do it a few times obviously) and pour it into the empty 33-gallon barrel. Lay a 33-gallon barrel on its side, water fitting down low, and use the electric pump and garden hose to reload your fresh water from one of the other barrels. As you use fresh water, you will create more empty barrels to keep dumping the grey into.

This way you can use all the water you want, and handle your own "pump-out" and recharge. And, you don't have to screw around with messy pain-in-the-ass evap ponds. Just stop at a rest stop with an RV dump on your way out and dump the great water.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Savannah » Mon May 14, 2012 4:15 pm

That sounds like a great strategy, Captain Goddammit. Arranging for an RV pump at the event always struck me as a pain (I don't want to be on someone's schedule, or have to be findable). Were I at the helm of an RV, I'd probably want to do it just like that.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Drawingablank » Mon May 14, 2012 6:03 pm

We used the RV toilet with no complaints although I know many burners don't like to.

To keep the black water tank from filling up too fast we left the water pump turned off and sprayed the bowl down with a garden sprayer before opening the valve to flush - it uses much less water than the normal flushing operation.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby SnowBlind » Mon May 14, 2012 11:26 pm

Captain Goddammit wrote:It drives me nuts every time someone says you shouldn't use the shower in your RV at Burning Man. WTF? That's what it's for! ANd nothing beats having nice hot showers on the playa!


I guess there is a difference between people like you who are prepared and have extra water rigged up, and people who fly in and rent a "six people" RV and think that means they can live in there comfortably with six people, take daily showers and never have to go to the porta potties. I think it's those people that get a warning here, and probably rightly so. In *can* be done, but not out of the box.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby djkilldyl » Tue May 15, 2012 1:48 am

This is good info!

I am flying in and renting an RV for the first time ever with absolutely no idea about how they work LOL ...

We have 3 people staying in an RV with :

Water Tank
56 gallons / 210L

Waste Water Tank
Grey Water: 28 gallons / 106L
Black Water: 22 gallons / 83L
Sink

Is that a lot? How many litres does a shower usually use?
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby theCryptofishist » Tue May 15, 2012 9:42 am

Simon's real sig line?

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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Drawingablank » Tue May 15, 2012 10:38 am

First, It is not reccommended to drink the water in a rental RV so bring other water for human consumption needs.

The black and grey water tanks will fill up remarkably fast and that's more of an issue than having enough water. Getting them pumped out on the playa costs $50 and you have to search out and flag down the trucks that do it. The logical thing is to just use your water smartly to minimize your water usage.

Always leave the water pump off except when in actual use - accidentally leaving the water dripping will fill your tank in a few hours or less.

Minimize usage as much as possible - strict water discipline is vital.

Showering - wet down, shut the water while soaping up, then rinse off as quickly as possible. A better way (and more fun) is to have a friend use a garden sprayer to rinse you while standing in the shower stall.

Dishwashing - Use a garden sprayer in the sink. I've heard of well intentioned people filling their grey water tank with one dishwashing session using the faucet.

Toilet - As mentioned above, using a sprayer to rinse the toilet before flushing will save lots of water. An rv toilet normally flows water when you flush, however unlike a normal toilet - it is not a fixed quantity. The flush mechanism is a sliding door at the bottom and if the water pump is on it will flow water as long as the door is open so if something gets stuck it will keep flowing water. Don't forget to add the blue stuff after each tank pump out too - it really helps deodorize.

A sprayer something like this is easily pumped up to pressure, has an adjustable spray pattern, is compact, and inexpensive.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby dragonpilot » Sun May 20, 2012 7:22 pm

djkilldyl wrote:This is good info!

I am flying in and renting an RV for the first time ever with absolutely no idea about how they work LOL ...


You need to PM me my friend...I'll send you my list of DO's and DON'Ts
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby frankbank » Mon May 21, 2012 11:25 am

Thanks for the tips guys. :mrgreen:
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby remi » Thu May 24, 2012 6:53 am

Drawingablank wrote:A sprayer something like this is easily pumped up to pressure, has an adjustable spray pattern, is compact, and inexpensive.
Image



I really like this idea... these sprayers filled with a water/vinegar solution will be great for cleaning up too.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Drawingablank » Thu May 24, 2012 7:34 am

Well, yes I use it for my personal gear clean up - but the best way to clean an RV is to take it to a truck wash for the outside and use swiffers for the inside. Clean as much as possible dry because the dust turns like concrete when wet.

We did have to use a bit of water and a scrub brush to clean the treads by the steps though.
Savannah: I don't know what it is, but no thread here escapes alive. You'll get 1 or 2 real answers at minimum, occasionally 10 or 12, and then we flog it until it's unrecognizable and you can't get your deposit back.

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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Foxfur » Sun Jun 03, 2012 8:58 am

dragonpilot wrote:Put a 3-gal garden sprayer in the shower stall. You'll get a decent bath and minimize grey water.

Best advice EVAR!
I am gonna do this in my trailer this year! Tho I only have a 10gal tank, 4 showers still leave 10gal of water to be packed out or be treated and sprinkled...
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby daft » Wed Jun 20, 2012 7:04 pm

I use a sun shower. Fill it up and leave in the moho in the heat of day or leave it outside. Hang it up in the shower stall, shower before crashing. I limit the use of the toilet by using the blue portapoopers, and pee in a gatorade bottle when in the rv and dump it when full at the provided blue stalls. I take a couple of 5 gal water containers for the sun shower and fill them up in Reno. I take 5 gal fuel can and fill it up at Reno, add it to gas tank when parked and avoid the hassle of gassing up in that long line that blocks the highway.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby theLynxmissesthesnow » Tue Jun 26, 2012 3:10 am

I am going to be friends with all of you and your a/c systems! Just an FYI
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Dr. Pyro » Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:07 am

You're with Barbie Death Camp? Who are you camping with? Like to know our neighbors!
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby theLynxmissesthesnow » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:00 am

Dr. Pyro wrote:You're with Barbie Death Camp? Who are you camping with? Like to know our neighbors!


We met briefly once, Doctor, at Kara Ow's impromptu birthday party... I talked to you about Catholic School Girls, I understudyed the show. I'm camping with Mr. John Young, who is absent on these forums, and we'll probably be nextu Kara and Steven... and Kimmie Miller (who I've referred to fondly as Kimmillera for many years)... mostly the 20something people of BDC.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby theLynxmissesthesnow » Wed Jun 27, 2012 2:01 am

theLynxmissesthesnow wrote:
Dr. Pyro wrote:You're with Barbie Death Camp? Who are you camping with? Like to know our neighbors!


We met briefly once, Doctor, at Kara Ow's impromptu birthday party... I talked to you about Catholic School Girls, I understudyed the show. I'm camping with Mr. John Young, who is absent on these forums, and we'll probably be nextu Kara and Steven... and Kimmie Miller (who I've referred to fondly as Kimmillera for many years)... mostly the 20something people of BDC.


oh, wow, I just realized my name isn't on here. I'm K.D.
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Dr. Pyro » Wed Jun 27, 2012 7:34 am

Just sent you and John our BRC/Barbie Death Camp stickers in the mail this morning to the Cadillac Drive address! You can see where I would have no idea from your handle beneath your avatar who you were. Welcome!
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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby theLynxmissesthesnow » Wed Jun 27, 2012 3:23 pm

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Re: RV Camper's Survival Guide

Postby Rusted Iron » Sun Jul 08, 2012 5:17 pm

This is a helpful topic. It's already added a few more items to my anal-retentive 100+ check list.

This year will be the first time that we're bringing a non-archaic camper to the land of dust. It has a working fridge rather than the small object storage space that our Alaskan had. But, after reading the advice about sealing up all vents I'm considering using an ice chest, yet again. I’ve been told that RV refrigerators need lots of ventilation but the vents are great means of drawing in dust. I can picture the intake and every other entry point getting clogged.

How do others handle this situation?

Thanks.
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