Welcome to My Full-Time RV Living LifeStyle Blog!

I suppose I should mention that this is an RV blog. The picture of me standing beside a motorhome in the banner probably tipped you off to that fact already, but you know how it is with blogs, any body can put anything in the header.

Anyways, I was born, raised, and live in Maine, I have 12 cats, and some people would call me homeless. Nope, I have a home, I just don't have what people call a standard house. My house has wheels and her name is Rosebud. My backyard stretches on for thousands and thousands of miles all the way from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean.

Once upon a time I had a "regular home" but a flood came and took it away. Me and my cats spent the next 3 years living under a 8x6 tarp and survived through 3 blizzards and Maine's coldest winter on record when the temps hit -48F. After that me and the cats moved in a Volvo. As hard as it is to live in a tent with 12 cats, it's even harder to live in a Volvo with 12 cats, and a motorhome named No Hurry was the answer. No Hurry: my home, my office, my RV.

I plan to use this blog to share my thoughts, ideas, adventures, and advice on being self-employed, living and working a full-time RV LifeStyle with an army of cats, while boondocking in the wonderful (and sometimes sub-zero) state of Maine.

I hope to write a post a day featuring random thoughts as they pop into my head, and hopefully 2 or 3 posts per week will focus on something helpful to those seeking to live in an RV full time. If you've any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions on what sort of posts you'd like to see me write, please comment and let me know.

I hope you all have as much fun reading this blog as I know I'll have writing it.

~Wendy

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Answers To Your FullTime RV Living Questions: What is RV Boondocking? How is it different from just plain Boondocking?

Boondocking is a term that has been around for close to 200 years. It was only recently picked up and used by RVers in the last 15 years.

"To Boondock" by correct, proper, and true dictionary definition, means to live off the land, in an isolated location on the deep far outskirts of society, without electricity, without running/tap water, and without sewer/septic/toilets, and on an very abnormally low income at least 50-75% below the poverty line (generally considered to less than $5,000 per year, per person in the household).

Boondocking means "Living out in the Boonies" or "Living in the Sticks", or inother words to live outside of town, outside of the city limits, or deep in the woods and swamp regions where the average person does not live.

People "Living out in the Boonies" (a Southern term) or "Living in the Sticks" (a Northern term) are said to be "HillBillies" (in the South), "Hermits" (in the North), or "Mountain Men" (in New England and the Rockies).

Since the above terms are now considered to be culturally slanderous, degrading, hate names, or politically incorrect, the modern term used by the general public today is "Boondockers", "Hipsters", and "Hippies" whom are "Living Off the Grid" or "Living Off the Land" or "Living an Eco Friendly Green Lifestyle". In the 1960s and 1970's "Hipsters" and "Hippies" were the preferred terms, but since the 1990's the preferred term has been "Boondockers".

Terms which have always been considered degrading include: "Bums", "Tramps", and "Hobos".

Boondockers whom own there own land are referred to as "Homesteaders".

Boondockers whom camp out on publicly or privately owned lands without the permission of the land owners are referred to as "Squatters". Most states have laws regarding "Squatter's Rights" which allow the Squatters to camp out on government owned lands for a specified length of time (which varies from as little as 6 hours to as long as 4 months, depending on the local laws.)

In some regions it is a stereotyped myth to assume that all Gypsies, Irish Travellers, and Scottish Travellers are ALWAYS Boondockers.

Traditionally someone who lives "Out on the Boondocks" lives outside of the city limits, often on public land, usually in a densely wooded area where they can not be seen from the road. Often living in huts, shacks, tents, cabins, lean too, covered wagons, trailers, and shanties. If they had a house at all, it was usually abnormally small and often had only 1 room. Usually they lived this way because they were too poor to live in town. Many Boondockers had large families with 7, 8, 10, 12 or more kids, all sleeping in the same bedroom. Some begged for food, some worked in near by mills or mines or fisheries. In areas where several Boondocking families gathered together, became know as "Shanty Towns", "Hobo Cities", or "Tent Cities".

"To Boondock" by correct, proper, and true dictionary definition, means to live off the land, in an isolated location on the deep far outskirts of society, without electricity, without running/tap water, and without sewer/septic/toilets, and on an very abnormally low income at least 50-75% below the poverty line (generally considered to less than $5,000 per year, per person in the household).

And that is the way is has been ever since the late 1700's through the 1800's and on into the 1900's until the late 1980s/early 1990s when WalMart arrived on the scene and gave a whole new meaning to the word: Boondocking.

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Skip ahead to the 1990's and the arrival of WalMart.

WalMart realizing that RV travelers needed a place to stop and shop and stop and get a few hours sleep between driving, came up with a marketing screme to bring in more customers, by allowing RVers to camp out in their parking lots 100% for FREE. In the beginning, all WalMart's allowed RVs to park in their parking lots. Some WalMarts even offer hook-ups and dumping stations. All you do is drive out behind the WalMart to the designated RV parking spaces, park, head  in to the service desk, give them your name and info (make of RV, plate number, etc) and tell them how many nights you need to stay. The only thing WalMart requires of you, is that you come into the store each day.

However, while ALL WalMarts allowed RV parking, not all cities give WalMart permission to do so! It is not uncommon in certain places, for the police to wake you up at night and tell you to clear out of WalMart, wither you have permission from WalMart or not. Cities started charging WalMart fines and many WalMarts were forced to tell RVers they could no longer park over night. Fortunatly cities banning WalMart parking were few, and there are still over 400 WalMarts across the country, which welcome RV overnight parking.

Originally there was no limit on how long you could stay in WalMart's parking lot. Need to park for a week? A month? Six months? A year? As long as you went inside and bought something every day, they did not care how long you parked. Entire caravans would park in WalMart, 5, 10, 15, 20, 30 RVs traveling together. They'd pull out their slides, set up their tents and lawn chairs, set up a fir pit, and than every day go into WalMart and buy one .99c item. They'd lay out on beach towles and play loud music and annoy and disrupt WalMart's regular customers. When they left they often left piles of garbage in the parking lot. They almost ruined it for every one.

Times have changed.

Today, some WalMarts don't want to deal with the hassle and choose not to allow RVers at all. Most however, ask that you park, but don't "set up camp". (In other words - don't open your slides, don't pull out your awning, don't set up a tent, leave the lawn chairs indise, and don't cook on your grill or fire pit.)  Many now have time limits varying from 1 night to 14 days, often only allowing employees to stay longer periods. Some disallow caravan groups. And if you only rush in and buy a single .99c item each day of your stay, rather than doing your regular shopping there, they may ask you to leave and not let you come back. And remember - if you break too many rules - they took down your name, RV make, and plate number - you could get banned from WalMart nation wide, not just the one you parked in.

Other stores now follow WalMart's lead and it is not too difficult now to find, shopping centers, malls, gas stations, truck stops, casinos, race tracks, and other commercial businesses which allow RV parking. Rarely will any allow more than a 3 nights stay.

But the result of all of this was a new breed of people who had begun to call themselves "Boondockers" or "RV Boondockers" or "WalMart Boondockers". Because they were dry camping (without hook ups) while at WalMart, these same folks began to call themselves "Boondockers" any time and every time they parked ANYWHERE without hook-ups. If they parked in an RV Resort and opted to dry camp no hook ups, they called themselves Boondockers, even though they had bumper to bumper people and amenities on all sides. If they are parked in WalMart without electrify, they call themselves Boondockers. In they are parked on the street in the middle of the city, surrounded by apartment buildings, they call themselves "Stealth Boondockers". If they are in a National or State Park, they call themselves Boondockers.


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And so what is the difference between Boondocking and RV Boondocking?

"To Boondock" by correct, proper, and true dictionary definition, means to live off the land, in an isolated location on the deep far outskirts of society, without electricity, without running/tap water, and without sewer/septic/toilets, and on an very abnormally low income at least 50-75% below the poverty line (generally considered to less than $5,000 per year, per person in the household).

"To RV Boondock" means to live in any location an RV without electricity, without running/tap water, and without sewer/septic/toilets, and gives no regard to income levels.

RV Boondocking, if you want to get technical about it, is not true Boondocking and is actually a slang term for Dry Camping. Dry Camping means to camp in a spot where you do not have access to electricity, running water, or flushing toilets. This covers everything from camping in your RV to the family fishing trip in the tent along side a river. If done only occasionally as a vacation it is considered "just a camping trip", but if down every day, all year long as a lifestyle than it becomes Boondocking.


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This post was written by Wendy C Allen aka EelKat, is copyrighted by The Twighlight Manor Press and was posted on Houseless Living @ http://houselessliving.blogspot.com and reposted at EK's Star Log @ http://eelkat.wordpress.com and parts of it may also be seen on http://www.squidoo.com/EelKat and http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com  If you are reading this from a different location than those listed above, please contact me Wendy C. Allen aka EelKat @ http://laughinggnomehollow.proboards.com/index.cgi?action=viewprofile and let me know where it is you found this post. Plagiarism is illegal and I DO actively pursue offenders. Unless copying a Blog Meme, you do not have permission to copy anything appearing on this blog, including words, art, or photos. This will be your only warning. Thank you and have a glorious day! ~ EelKat

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