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Driveway Camping in a Small RV
One of the joys of owning a small RV is being able to visit far away friends and family with minimal disruption to everyone's normal daily lives. This is an introduction to boondocking with a social twist -- driveway camping!
Having your own mini kitchen, bathroom and bed on wheels frees your host from the responsibility of feeding you three meals a day. And it gives you both plenty of personal space and privacy. You can enjoy being together longer than if you disrupted their routines by moving into their house.
Two or three days used to be the limit that I felt comfortable visiting with friends and family. But now we often visit for several days - and all of us love every stress-free minute of it!
But before you head out with trailer in tow, make sure that your rig will be welcome at your destination. Homeowners Associations almost invariably prohibit RVs. And some local laws also forbid the practice. But if RV parking is permitted - and if there is room for your rig in the driveway or back yard, then go ahead and plan your trip.
I've found that having a few things agreed to in advance helps make driveway camping a great experience for all concerned. First, I plan on preparing our own breakfasts and lunches in the camper. That way everyone can stick to their normal getting up times without worrying about having to coordinate breakfast. Lunches are usually pretty casual affairs for us. We eat when we are hungry. We do always plan to have dinner together with our hosts, though. They may prepare it. We may prepare it. Or each of us may prepare part of it. Or we may go out to dinner together.
Late in the evening, we surf or read in the camper until we are ready to go to bed. That leaves our hosts free to unwind and get ready for bed without having us underfoot.
There are other details that need to be thought through as you plan your visit. Where will you do laundry? Will you go to a laundromat or use your host's washer and dryer? This can influence how many changes of clothing you need to pack.
Another big consideration is your rig's gray water capacity. Since it is going to have to stretch the length of the visit, you will need to be adept at water conservation practices or know where you can dispose of excess gray water, if needed. We use disposable plates, cups and plastic silverware in the camper to keep from filling up our gray tank with dish water.
I prefer showering in the camper because everything I need is close at hand. But have learned to shower and shampoo on 2-1/2 gallons of water. My husband showers in the camper only if he does not feel comfortable using the host's bathroom facilities. We do our best to keep our visits as non-intrusive to our hosts as possible.
Driveway camping has brought us closer to our family. It has allowed us to share many wonderful times together that we otherwise would have missed. And it has been very good to our travel budget, too!