Our First Off Grid Experience
Last Friday we checked out of our second home base, Sea and Sand RV Park, which is right on the Oregon coast. While we originally planned to check out on Tuesday, we made modifications to our stay to avoid a holiday price increase for Labor Day. While we were happy to save money by checking out early, we were not able to check into our next RV Park until Tuesday. This left us with four nights without a “home.” We didn’t really have a plan but we knew we would have to find places to park George, our Tiny Home, at and live off grid a few days without our water and electric hookups. We weren’t too concerned because we still had our bed, which we would choose any day over sleeping on the ground in our tent!
Our first day, we checked out and headed towards the outskirts of Eugene, OR in search of some BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Land. We found multiple spots where dispersed camping is allowed, however finding a spot big enough for George to pull in and turn around safely was trickier. We found a space online that other RV’s have used and decided to give it a shot. When we got there, we realized we would have had to pull George miles down small dirt roads so we decided it wasn’t worth the risk. Instead, we headed back to Eugene in search for a Wal-Mart parking lot. We stayed at a Walmart in Idaho once so we thought this would be a good option. Unfortunately, the Wal-Mart that we pulled into had signs up that said they do not let RV’s camp overnight. Apparently, most Wal-Marts are okay with people overnight camping, however in Oregon and California they are a lot stricter. I assume this has to do with the large amount of people who live tiny in RV’s and vans on the west coast of the country.
Thankfully, we ended up finding a rest stop to sleep in that was on the way to Crater Lake, where our next RV Park, Crater Lake RV Park, was located. In Oregon, drivers are encouraged to pull off and sleep in rest areas to make sure that everyone is well rested and alert on the road. Oregon allows you to stay at any rest stop for a length of 12 hours, but rest rules differs within each state. When we woke up at our rest stop, we headed to Thousand springs Sno-Park to sleep for the next three nights. The Sno-park is used for recreational snowmobiling November through April and it has a huge parking lot which is great for RV camping during the offseason. We enjoyed getting to stay here and getting to explore the snowmobile trails and surrounding areas a bit. The Sno-Park was also only twenty minutes away from Crater Lake RV Park so it was nice knowing that we did not have to travel very far when it was time for check-in on Tuesday.
Overall, boondocking was a fun experience that reminded me a lot of camping out in the woods or at music festivals. Since we did not have electricity or water, we had to get a little in touch with our primitive sides, but not too much considering we still had shelter and our super comfortable bed. Our insulation continues to prove itself to us because we were nice and cozy at night and still able to keep the cool in during the day. Once the sun went down it got really dark in our home so we ended up falling asleep relatively early. Some nights we entertained ourselves with some good old Super Mario Bros on the Nintendo Switch thanks to its portable features.
Being so high up in the mountains, we had absolutely no service for miles! We were able to use the local pizza shop’s WiFi to get online but for the most part, we were getting lost in nature. We even found a natural pool next to a waterfall to bathe in on Labor Day that allowed to freshen up a bit! The water was cold but it was a very refreshing experience that can only be felt by jumping in body of water while in the mountains!
After our first boondocking experience, we are already excited for the next time we are off grid with George! It gives us a fun outdoor/camping experience while also saving us rent money. We are now settled in our new home base, right outside of Crater Lake. We are staying here for a month and are very excited and thankful to get to explore this beautiful National Park!