Sierra Nevada Airstreams - Recreation with vehicles in the Sierra Nevada and American Great Basin areas

Boondocking SNU Style

With the SNU boondocking isn't a special event, it is our standard rally preference. Boondocking is essentially a choice of rally sites that don't provide any amenities. Things like water, electric, or sewer hookups. Usually they are unpaved and dispersed sites, sites with no restrictions on where or how you park. If camping in this type of site is new to you or something you might not be totally comfortable with then we highly recommend you come to an SNU rally. We will introduce you to “off grid”, unstructured, boondocking Airstream camping like Wally Byam did when he designed this special trailer to travel the world.

At an SNU rally you will have a whole support system to help you out if your batteries go flat, you run out of water, a few rivets come loose, you are not sure what to do about gray water, or you forgot to bring bread for your sandwiches. Boondocking isn't just for vintage Airstreams. Many SNU rally participants have brand new rigs. SNU boondocking rallies don't mean you have to do without. We all have what is needed to live in comfort without any hook ups. This includes, generators, solar panels, extra fresh water tanks, gray water disposal systems, tools, and spare parts. Participants at SNU rallies have the same comforts and enjoy the same amenities that would be provided in a full service site. We use microwaves. Some of us watch movies in the evenings or catch up with the latests sporting events on TV. We have plenty of water for showers, dishwashing, and other things. We've even had participants run their vacuum to do a little house cleaning. We can sometimes get cell phone coverage although we'd prefer that any calls are not around the campfire or at our pot lucks. We've used our generators to cook waffle breakfasts, mix fruit smoothies, and hook up computers so we can transfer and and look at rally pictures. Not being tied to facilities gives the SNU a broader range of rally sites to choose from. It also helps us keep costs to a minimum and reduces the need for advanced reservations. It gives us an opportunity to test the various systems of our Airstreams. Most important, it provides us the opportunity to enjoy some of the unique sights and scenery that the Great Basin area has to offer without the congestion and restrictions often associated with more structured sites. So don't let the idea of a boondocking rally inhibit your participation.

The SNU has held rallies in all sorts of weather in all sorts of places. Granted there are a few things to keep in mind. For instance there usually isn't a grocery store or WalMart right around the corner. You do have to keep water and propane usage and battery charging in mind. That's where the benefits of boondocking with fellow Airstreamers pays off. Together we make sure that nobody spends a cold night, has to eat cold food, runs out of water, or has to deal with their black or gray water tanks overflowing. That said, the SNU is always open to trying new things so we'll be starting off the coming year with a rally at a full service RV park in March 2010. For those of us familiar with boondocking this will be a chance to see if we remember how to hook up to water and electric and how to have meals indoors out of the weather. For those of you who haven't come to a rally yet, this might be a great way to get started on some new adventures. There are lots of resources in the owners guide section of that will help you make the most of your boondocking experience.

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