First Boondocking (Dry Camping) Trip!

We set out to go on our first ‘real’ camping trip since we bought our Escape 19 trailer. With a full 20 gallon fresh water tank, full 6 gallon water heater, empty gray and black tanks, and a 150-watt solar panel with 232 amp-hours of dual 6V battery storage, we were ready to take an actual vacation!

Chaco Canyon Dirt Road Towing Trailer

There was a dirt road that led out to the park that many online reviewers would have you think is nearly impossible to get over. About 80% of it was as tightly packed as asphalt, and only for the last 3 miles did we have to go 10mph. Just go out when the weather is good, and you’ll be fine.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Our trailer looked so insignificant, sitting in front of the butte next to the welcome center – but even more insignificant in our absolutely gorgeous camping site.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping) - 02

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping) - 03

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

There was a fresh water hose at the welcome center to fill up our fresh tank, as well as a sewer dump station (and non-potable hose) at the campground to empty the gray/black tanks.

We didn’t need any extra water, staying out there for 4 days and 3 nights. Upon seeing how much water we had left when we got home, we probably could have gone 2 more nights and days without needing a water refill.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping) - 06

The views were absolutely stunning in the canyon.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

The view out our back window was also quite nice.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

So was the view out our front window.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

A four-mile round-trip hike took us to one of the non-excavated houses. The craftsmanship was incredible, not even taking into account that it is 900 years old.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

The Bichon fluff-ball got a bit tired on the long hike, but he was still loving it.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

What was so incredible was just how quiet it was out there. Definitely a fantastic place to relax and regroup.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

We got up to about 90 watts at max sun power during the day, which was enough to keep us charged to run the propane furnace overnight, as well as the electric blankets for 30 minutes (off of the inverter) before going to sleep. We didn’t run out of battery during our whole trip. 🙂

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Although we felt very strange being uninvited to this sacred land by the people who built it, the ruins were absolutely gorgeous, and we felt honored to be able to look inside them.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

The glyphs were also quite awe-inspiring.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

At a Dark Sky Certified campground, I couldn’t leave without getting a couple 60-second exposure shots of the night sky. Next time, I’ll drop it down to 45 seconds, and we’ll go when the moon isn’t so bright, so we can hopefully see the gases of the Milky Way.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

Always go exploring.

Chaco Canyon Boondocking (Dry Camping)

7 Replies to “First Boondocking (Dry Camping) Trip!”

    1. It came with the trailer. It also has a 6 gallon water heater, so as long as we make sure that’s full before we leave, we have 26 gallons of fresh water for camping.

      I love the night shots too!

  1. I just found your blog, starting about your tiny house experience, to camping at a amazing place! I always have said to myself, an RV is a much better way to go.I will start reading your post, as your have a lot of honest things to say

  2. You’re making me want to get out on the road. I have a Casita fiberglass TT as well as a Nissan Frontier. 30k on my truck and I love it.

    Good travels.

    1. Frontier is such a great truck. Ours has about 139k, and the only thing we got fixed (since buying at 123k) is the AC. Everything else sounds/feels/runs fantastically well. Very comfortable truck.

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