One of the main draws to living in an RV is the freedom to choose where you want to be on any given day. That’s why we decided on this nomadic lifestyle. I believe everyone has their own reasons, but ours were pretty simple. We wanted more time with our family and to truly embrace life together. We didn’t want to get our adventures from a book, but to experience them ourselves.
The more comfortable we have gotten with this RV life the more we wanted to expand our box. While cruising down the 101, on the West Coast last year, we found out you can just park on the side of the road and stay the night! Yes, I’m serious! There are pull-offs right next to the ocean where you can watch the waves crashing against the rugged coast and the orangish-pink sunset right from your window!
(This is a guest post from Tricia Schaber at Venture Wipes.)
It all sounded so amazing but then we had to get practical. How in the world does this work? I mean we don’t have a generator and our fresh water tank doesn’t really hold that much. How are we supposed to stay clean while boondocking? Of course, we were going to take advantage of some of these stops, we just had to dig a little deeper to make it happen.
The freedom that RVing provides along with these boondocking experiences led us to create a product with the adventurer in mind, Venture Wipes. It has helped us maintain a level of cleanliness during the times where water wasn’t available and has opened up new opportunities while traveling on a full-time basis.
Side note: We consider ourselves unintentional boondockers. The majority of our boondocking experiences have happened on the fly, without any in-depth planning. Since we don’t have solar or a generator, we limit the stay to a couple days. The spontaneity keeps things fun and the views have been amazing.
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There have been tons of articles on boondocking, so I’ll leave that to the experts. However, boondocking in an RV is a lot like being at sea without shore in sight. You should have the basic provisions and be able to rely on some prior planning to ensure things don’t go badly.
Stay Clean While Boondocking
One of the main questions people ask is “What do you do about water?” We use a lot more water than we think. Once we started listing out our water consumption it became glaringly obvious that we had to tighten the reins if we were going to enjoy some of these remote places.
- Dishes: 1.5-2.5 GPM, leaving the tap on while washing will really drain the fresh water source. (Our average: 8-10 gallons a day)
- Laundry: 6-15 gallons of water per load. (Our average: 6 gallons a day)
- Toilet: 1-2 quarts per flush. You’ll have to do that math for your RV household. (Our average: 6-9 gallons)
- Showers: Most RV shower heads are 1.5-2.5 GPM. That means a 5-minute shower will require 7.5-12.5 gallons of water. Multiply that be each person in the RV and that is a huge drain on your water supply. (Our average: 50 gallons . . . oy veh!!)
To be completely transparent it is shocking how much water we use in our RV on a daily basis.
Knowledge is power! Now that we know the culprits of our over-consumption, we have to make some adjustments to stretch what we have while still being comfortable and clean while unhooked from a water supply. Here is how we handle our water use while boondocking.
When boondocking, we do the dishes only once per day. We’ll wipe the debris from the dishes with a paper towel to save on having to pre-rinse things. Then we use a tub in the sink to hold the waste water. We also limit the time the faucet is on, turning it on only to get some soap on the dishes and then to rinse the soap off.
Daily H2O consumption: 2 gallons
Tip: We try to minimize the amount of dish soap used while boondocking, which reduces the amount of water necessary to rinse the dishes off.
We won’t run the washer while boondocking. Unless the clothes are completely filthy, we can get a couple runs for shirts and even more for pants or shorts. Dirty clothes go in the hamper and await their bath when we arrive somewhere with hookups.
Daily H2O consumption: 0 gallons
Here is a little diddy we have in the Schaber RV: “If it’s wee, let it be. If it’s brown, flush it down”. That alone reduces our flushable-water by almost two-thirds.
Daily H2O consumption: 3 gallons
Tip: Water in the black tank is your friend. When we get to hook-ups, we always add quite a bit to keep them moving freely.
As the biggest consumer of water in our RV, taking a typical shower while boondocking isn’t the most advisable option. There are a ton of suggestions floating around the interwebs, and it is always good to look at the how they will fit into your personal lifestyle.
1. Don’t shower: This comes up a lot and invokes the image of Link, from Encino Man. However, the benefit of cleanliness outweighs challenges of being covered with filth.
2. Navy Shower: Have a shower head that allows you to turn the water on/off. You’ll rinse down, then turn the water off, lather up, and then rinse off the soap. Not running the water constantly has the potential to reduce the water consumption by over 90%!
3. Body Wipes: We’re not talking baby wipes here, but something more robust, better for you, and easy on the environment. This is a great way eliminate the use of water for showering while hanging out off-grid.
What are Venture Wipes?
After dipping our toes in the boondocking scene a time or two, we quickly found a need for something better than baby wipes. We needed something that fit with an active and on-the-go lifestyle, while providing a quality option to maintain our cleanliness on the road . . . especially when water was at a premium.
Venture Wipes were founded by teaming up with another full-time family, the Fromms. We have a lasting friendship and it made complete sense to build a business on that.
Created by adventurers for adventurers. Whether you’re off-grid and need to conserve water or you’re just a bit too dirty before getting back in the car, Venture Wipes has you covered. We aren’t scared to get dirty but there’s no reason to stay that way.
Venture Wipes Highlights
- Large and Durable: Our 12” x 12” cleansing wipes are large enough to clean your entire body and 350% larger than the average baby wipe. The textured side helps to double the effort of our shower wipes, giving you a full-body clean. They are even strong enough to rinse and reuse in a pinch.
- Portable: Venture Wipes come in single-use pouches which are ideal for packing a portable shower into your backpack, gym bag, purse, or even a pocket. We always keep a few in the glove box for your next unplanned adventure.
- Natural Ingredients: There really is no reason to settle for harsh chemicals to clean your body. That is exactly why we ensured that our Venture Wipes are infused with natural ingredients. We’ve included Aloe and Vitamin E to aid as a moisturizer and antioxidant. Tea Tree Oil is added as a natural cleanser, which provides anti-bacterial, anti-viral, and anti-fungal properties. This knocks out the funk, while giving your skin that oh-so-clean feeling.
- Biodegradable Material: Venture Wipes uses a natural fiber blend. This formula gives a you a soft and tough shower wipe that is naturally biodegradable.We chose a natural fiber because it is environmentally friendly, easily grown, and minimizes the overall impact on the environment.
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What’s Next for Venture Wipes
It is a super exciting time for us at Venture Wipes, as we are just now launching this product within the full-time RVing community. This project has been our baby and we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to share a product that fits into this RVing lifestyle.
We’ve partnered with FullTime Families to help spread the word and cleanliness of Venture Wipes. We’ll be sponsoring the upcoming Fulltime Families Reunion in Madison, FL this March.
In the Fall we’ll be teaming up with the FTF Boondockers Anonymous group as there are no hook-ups in the dessert for the Balloon Fest, which attracts thousands of people and hundreds of RVs.
As RVers we can look back to our Amazon order history and get a solid idea of what our route has looked like. For this reason, we have placed Venture Wipes on Amazon Prime. This has given us a larger distribution footprint and keeps us from lugging around cases of wipes . . . because we live in tiny boxes with wheels.
When you’re on your next adventure, keep Venture Wipes on your mind and in your pocket!
Hi, I’m Tricia . . . the better part of the Team Schaber. We jumped feet first into this crazy RVing lifestyle in June of 2017 and haven’t looked back. I travel with my husband, Lou, and our 11 year-old daughter, Nevaeh. The adventures we share on a daily basis continue to grow us as a family.
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