Tips for Boondocking with Your Airstream

The following notes are from various websites I’ve found.  some of the ideas are good and some are “far out”JayIdeas to Save Water from

  1. When you fill your tanks with water, even at a reputable source, you can’t always be sure of the water quality or if it tastes “good.” Carry a separate container (ours is 7 gallons) for “good” drinking water. It has a spout and is fastened in place with a strong bungey-cord.When we find water that’s potable but doesn’t taste very good, we fill our main RV tank which we use only for washing and flushing. Then we purchase water to fill our drinking water container. It’s cheap – $2.00 fills our 7 gallon tank at most water filtration kiosks.
  2. Use paper towels wipe all debris from your dishes before washing them.
  3. Trying to conserve water when rinsing your dishes? Use a safe, vegetable-based dish soap (Simplicity is one brand – available at Wal-mart) so that rinsing is not as important..
  4. Use less dish soap – you won’t have to rinse as much.
  5. Cook in easy-to-clean pots and pans. (e.g. Teflon coated)
  6. Conserve water by steaming your veggies (in about an inch of water) instead of boiling them.
  7. Wash dishes in a separate tub (that fits inside your sink), dump used dish water outside or down the toilet since the black tank always holds way more than the grey. If you don’t flush with water every time you use the toilet, it’s a good way to add more water to the black tank.
  8. Showers are a luxury for when you have easy water access. Otherwise, for daily hygiene, a sponge bath or “bird bath” as some call it, does the trick quite well.
  9. If you insist on a shower, “Navy Style” is the only way. (Wet down, turn water off, lather up and wash, then turn water back on for a quick rinse.) Showering in cold (or tepid) water is a good way to resist the temptation of drawing it out (and probably more true to actual navy style).
  10. Shower outdoors whenever possible to save on waste tank capacity.
  11. Install an on-off controlled shower head (Install an Oxy-Genics shower head to replace your RV shower head – it gives far greater pressure an duses less water.
  12. Wash your hair using a non shampoo method. (Try Dr. Hulda’s Clark’s recommendation of Borax followed by a citric acid rinse which we’ve been using for 12 years). This conserves water because it won’t require as much rinsing plus washing your hair outdoors won’t harm the environment.
  13. Wear your hair short – it takes less shampoo and less water to wash and rinse it.
  14. While waiting for hot water from the tap, catch the running water in a clean jug to reuse it. If you’re about to do the dishes, you could put the first (cooler) water in the rinse tub.
  15. Turn off the pump and don’t use water to flush the toilet after every use. Instead, clean the bowl with a toilet brush and a spray disinfectant once or twice daily. If you insist on flushing with water, keep the pump turned off, and keep a jug of (already used once) water by the toilet . Catch water when you shower, or from washing your dishes for this.
  16. Don’t run the tap while brushing your teeth. To wet your toothbrush, shave, or wash your face or hands, conserve water by turning the tap on to just a slow dribble.
  17. Use public toilets when available. In the desert or forest, unless local regulations don’t allow it, go for a walk with a small camper’s shovel in your pocket. Bury your waste at least 6 inches deep. Don’t bury toilet paper because animals will dig it up. (Tent-campers do this, so why shouldn’t you?)
  18. Even when you use your RV toilet, don’t flush toilet paper. Instead seal it in plastic (keep used sandwich baggies or bread bags in the bathroom) and put in your garbage. This also reduces the amount of chemicals you need to add to your tank.
  19. Here’s a novel idea: buy reusable plastic ice cubes – they conserve water by reusing the same water again and again and have an added bonus – chilling your drinks without diluting them.
  20. If parked near a creek or lake, conserve water by using clear stream water to flush your toilet. (I include this hint with a caution…you don’t want any unseen, unknown “critters” invading your tanks.)
  21. Don’t ignore a water drip or leak – repair it immediately.
  22. Laundry – small items like socks or underwear can be soaked (the longer the better) in a 5 gallon pail, then use your toilet plunger to churn them until clean. Otherwise laundry requires too much water and is best saved for a laundromat.Some RV catalogues sell a washtub called Wonderclean ($35.00). You fill it with water, add clothes and detergent, close it, and churn by hand. Reviews from other RVers say: “Don’t buy it.” Your clothes come fairly clean but it takes a lot of water to rinse the clothes and still more to clean the grime out of the washtub afterwards, and then there’s the challenge of wringing the clothes out….
  23. Carry some (collapsible) water containers in your travel (toad) vehicle at all times. You may run across a water fill where you least expect it.

Safe Boondocking

Boondocking Safety

Many RVers are held back from the joys of boondocking by concerns about boondocking safety. Aside from wanting the amenities and full hook-ups, safety concerns are the reason most people cite for preferring developed pay-campgrounds.If you’ve made up your mind to be paranoid, you probably won’t even be reading this, but if you’re looking for boondocking safety information and advice to put you mind at ease, read on.Being female myself I know how, particularly for women, our instincts can kick in when dealing with the unknown. Also, as most people, I’m prone to be influenced by what I hear from others.When we started on our first yearlong RV trip in 2000, we found various locations across northern Ontario to spend the night by boondocking but, before crossing into the “big bad States” (ooooo I was afraid), I insisted on purchasing some sort of protection.So before crossing the border, we stopped at a hunter’s outfitting store to purchase “Bear Spray”. This is, in essence, pepper spray. The packaging makes it clear it is to be used as protection from bears only, not from people.So, feeling a bit better, at least no longer afraid of a bear breaking into our RV while we were sleeping, we crossed bravely into the USA and Northern Michigan. Because we didn’t know the ropes yet (we hadn’t even heard of boondocking, never mind boondocking safety), and we weren’t aware of the fabulous inexpensive and free camping opportunities in the National Forests we were passing through.A week or two later, while crossing the Big Horn Mountains, we met a couple who had been traveling for months. They told us that they camp in dispersed camping area in the National Forests. Because other people – hikers, hunters, fishermen and RVers use these isolated free campsites all the time, we realized they must be a safe option.From this point on, we discovered many other boondocking opportunitiesto camp in safe legal locations that suited us perfectly, for not only cost but also privacy and scenery.Boondocking (or dry camping) refers to RV camping in a remote area,without being hooked up to water, power or sewer.Dispelling Your Fears For me, there were 3 parts to dispelling my initial fears about boondocking safety.

  1. Hearing about other’s experiences and taking comfort in their recommendations.
  2. Experiencing boondocking in remote locations first hand without incidence.
  3. And most importantly, thinking rationally about my fears and what really was behind them.

So, while I hate to say that “fear is all in your mind”, it would seem that it is. And you can change your mind.That’s not to say there aren’t places and reasons to be cautious in this world. Not only as far as RVs and boondocking safety are concerned, but in any situation, you need to let your own common sense rule.The Common Sense Approach To Boondocking Safety I truly believe that everything in life, even sitting in a chair and breathing, involves some element of risk. Each of us decides for ourselves every day what risks we are willing to take. If your risk tolerance is exceptionally low, you’re not likely to be traveling at all or reading this boondocking safety web page.When it comes to quieting our fears, nothing’s more effective than knowledge and experience.From 8 years of boondocking experience, here are my common sense conclusions, insights and boondocking safety advice.

  • When it comes to robberies, statistically, I’m much more likely to be a victim in my house than in my RV.
  • Setting up camp down a dirt road on public land makes me no more a target for a thief than anyone who builds a home or cottage on a country road in a remote area
  • My RV is much less appealing to a thief than a permanent residence in that I don’t have the same amount of valuable removable furniture or fixtures that can easily be converted to cash.
  • I’m often only camped in one location for a day or two…not enough time for a thief to scope the place out and get to know my routines.
  • Although the majority of RVers are honest nice people, even if we’re camped in a “secured” campground or an LTVA area with other RVers all around us it doesn’t mean there isn’t a thief amongst us or that we’re safe from a break-in or robbery
  • I admit that, like many people, at home I don’t know some of my closest neighbors and I have very little time or interest in seeing who comes in and out of their yard. Most RVers will agree that when we’re traveling we’re much more likely to get to know and keep an eye on our neighbor’s property than when we are at home.
  • In most boondocking areas, the common courtesy is to leave space, a few hundred yards minimum between campers. In campgrounds, where units are closer, if someone (a stranger) is walking towards or around the immediate area of your unit, it may not be as obvious or noticeable.
  • We use common sense when selecting a place to stop. When it comes to boondocking safety we trust our intuition and drive on if the environment doesn’t “feel” safe.
  • The further from civilization, the more safe it feels to be camped where we’re totally alone.
  • There’s safety in numbers. This holds true for boondocking safety. Especialy when we’re closer to urban areas, we want others, RVers, truckers etc. within view.
  • Most thieves are lazy. That’s why the majority of RV break-ins occur within easy access of the cities where most thieves hang out. We avoid boondocking when we’re within a short drive of the biggest cities.
  • Most thieves don’t want to deal with any type of struggle so the easiest time to steal our possessions is when we’re not in the RV. As with any parked vehicle, we don’t leave cash in the RV and keep valuables out of sight.
  • Because we’re inside our motorhome at night, our RV is much more likely to be a target in the daytime or evening while we ‘re parked for shopping, dining out, or going to a show in any urban location than when we’re camped in an out-of-the way boondocking site.

Dos and Don’ts of Boondocking Safety SignageThink about what signs you’re displaying. What does your RV say to the passer by? We don’t have the option to control our out-of-town license plates, but we can control any other signs that we post.

  • Don’t advertise your name anywhere outside of your RV. Someone could knock on your door in the middle of the night calling out your name — trying to make you think it’s someone you know.
  • If you want your fellow RV friends to be able to find you, do carry a distinctive sign or flag. Not something that shows your name or address.
  • Avoid stickers that indicate you’re a full-timer. These could be a boondocking safety concern, making you a target, because they indicate that all your worldly possessions are onboard the RV.

Beneficial SignageWhen it comes to boondocking safety there is some signage that could help to protect your RV.

  • A sticker to indicate a guard dog or alarm system is onboard.
  • If traveling alone, put 2 chairs, an extra pair of men’s shoes (size large), or a large dog water-dish outside your door.
  • Our first used RV came with a sticker for Ducks Unlimited. Although we don’t carry guns, we felt it gave the impression that we might, so we left the sticker on the vehicle.
  • I would however avoid stickers such as “NRA” or “Protected by Smith and Wesson” because these might give you problems with police and border patrol personnel who could use them as sufficient reason to search your vehicle.

Other Common Sense Advice on Boodocking Safety 

  • In parking lots, truck stops or roadside areas, don’t look for the darkest concealed corner. Instead park in the light, and use blackout curtains or eyewear that block the light while you sleep.
  • No matter where you are parked, if trouble does come to find you, driving away your vehicle can be your best defense.
  • Park so that you can leave by driving forward. If you need to leave in a hurry, you don’t want to have to back up, or do more maneuvering than necessary.
  • Keep your vehicle in the best possible operating condition.
  • Believe it or not, the only boondocking safety concern isn’t burglars. No matter where you’re camped, in case of a medical emergency, be sure you have enough fuel to make it to the nearest hospital or all night gas station in the middle of the night.
  • Don’t be paranoid. Just cautious.
  • When you’re in a community of RVs, even in a gated pay campground, make a point of getting acquainted with your neighbors before you leave your RV unattended for the day.
  • In small towns, if there’s no signage to the contrary, ask at the grocery store or gas station or even ask the local police about using the town park or a parking lot to “spend the night”. If you get a positive response, you’ll have the added security of them knowing you’re there and watching out for you.
  • Always be attentive to your surroundings.

Protective Safety DevicesWhat if you still feel unsafe and want added security? What are the best protective self-defense devices to have for boondocking safety?

  1. A vehicle that is ready to drive away from a dangerous situation. The safest is an RV where you can access the driver’s seat from the bed without going outdoors.
  2. The common sense to hand over whatever cash and material possessions are demanded without any hint of objection.
  3. A dog large enough to intimidate and trained to follow through on your command.
  4. A working installed alarm system that sounds a loud alarm.
  5. An audiotape of a barking dog that you can turn on immediately when needed.
  6. A loud alarm that you activate manually by touching a button.
  7. A cell phone with a charged battery…so you can dial 911. The intruder will most likely be in and out by the time the authorities reach you, but seeing or hearing you make the call, may be enough to scare him off. So even if you’re camped where you don’t have a phone signal, it’s a good idea to “fake” the call to 911.
  8. Pepper Spray. It has a shelf life and must be replaced when it expires. Be sure you practice how to hold it, so you don’t end up spraying yourself in the eyes. In Canada, pepper spray is sold as bear spray and it’s illegal to use it against humans.
  9. An alternative to pepper spray is a spray bottle filled with straight chlorine. It can cause serious damage, burning an intruder’s skin and eyes, and is not illegal to carry in any country.
  10. Another alternative to bear spray and pepper spray is wasp spray.  It shoots out of the aerosol can in a solid stream for 12-15 feet.  aim at the face and works about the same as mace.
  11. Firearms and Stun guns all come under laws that will vary from state to state. Although you may live in your RV you should be aware that the law is not the same as having a firearm in your home. If you are a person who carries a gun, be sure you know how to use it and know the laws of each state and province.

Personally I believe that by carrying a gun, I’m providing one for the intruder to use against me or in his next burglary. If you do carry a firearm, are you prepared for the consequences of actually having to use it?The same goes for any object that you have to actually wield at the intruder –a knife, a club, a tire iron. Is this something you could actually do without a moment’s hesitatioPersonal Scary Boondocking StoryI’d like to end this segment on boondocking safety by telling you about the only time we have ever encountered a feeling of danger while boondocking.Despite all I’ve told you above, it was in a very remote desert location, near Gila Bend, Arizona, miles from any “big bad city.”Picture this:After visiting the nearby pictographs, our chosen campsite for the night was on BLM land, about 200 feet in from the road. There were 2 or 3 other RV’s in the area, but we had chosen to camp far enough away to not be within their view.It’s now Sunday morning about 9 am. We are just up and getting dressed to head into Phoenix for the day, when Randy looks out the window to see an old beater of a car, a driver and 1 passenger, driving off the road, and over the desert toward our RV. Looks like trouble for sure.Randy (brave man) says he will step out to see what they want. I’m not even fully dressed, but I scramble to see if we have a cell phone signal and get the bear spray canister poised and ready.My heart is in my throat as I look out to see what’s happening. The occupants are still in the car. Randy is in conversation and I can pick up small bits. Sounds like he’s talking in a normal voice. He’s thanking them. Maybe they’re lost and asking for directions?A few minutes later, they pull away and Randy returns smiling and carrying a copy of The Watchtower. We kept that little magazine and have told the story often. It shows that the followers of the Jehovah’s Witness faith really are willing to go to the ends of the earth to spread The Word.At the same time it reminds me that no matter where I am, if trouble is going to find me, it can find me anywhere. And that no matter how conscious I am of boondocking safety, my life is always in the hands of a higher power.More HInts on this Website Warm while Boondocking

Boondock Heater/Connection

Some folks wouldn’t ever think of living in their RV without the comfort and convenience of having electric and water hookups. Then there are those RVers who occasionally suffer the inconvenience of not having hookups— at their favorite hunting or fishing spot, or for the annual boondock extravaganza of the RV America gathering in Quartzsite, Arizona.Newbies to boondocking soon discover that trying to boondock using their RV furnace doesn’t work too well. Sure, the furnace heats up the RV very nicely, but running the furnace overnight to keep warm usually results in almost-dead house batteries the next morning. (The furnace fan motor pulls a lot of Amps, and can quickly drain your house batteries.)RVers with a bit more experience under their belts soon open their wallets for small catalytic propane heaters. There are some catalytic heaters that are made for RV use—and they are equipped with both an Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and a tip-over cutoff switch.Catalytic heaters put out more heat (per BTU) than blue flame heaters, most have efficiencies in excess of 99%, and they can be run off of a separate propane bottle or be connected to the propane lines in your RV.A catalytic heater usually has no fan, so no electricity is required for its operation.All propane heaters use oxygen for combustion, and an Oxygen Depletion Sensor is a very necessary safety feature when the heater is used inside an RV. An ODS senses the amount of oxygen in the air and will shut off the heater if oxygen levels reach an unsafe low level. Some of these heaters with an ODS will only operate reliably when the RV is at an altitude of less than 6,500 feet, whereas others will work just fine at altitudes of almost 12,000 feet. Check the specifications on the heater you plan to buy—before you buy it.For only occasional use, many RVers just use a regular 20 lb. propane bottle (the common size found on most BBQs). Though not recommended, most users just put the propane bottle on the bottom entry step inside their RV, attach a regulator and a 5 or 12-foot hose to the LP tank, and then put the propane heater facing toward the bedroom. (Putting a propane tank inside the RV is not recommended, and it is also awkward and inconvenient—but does the job when occasionally needed.)When using a propane heater inside your RV, it is wise to open a vent just a wee bit, so that there is a source of fresh air into the RV. The purists will open a bedroom window just a wee bit and also crack the ceiling vent in the kitchen—thus allowing fresh air to enter the bedroom and exit over the kitchen area.It goes without saying that the heater should be kept away from flammable surfaces, especially above the heater.RVers who regularly use a catalytic heater often prefer the convenience of simply “plugging in” their heater to a handy propane line whenever the heater is needed.In most RVs, the easiest location to “tap into” the propane line is under the cooktop. A low pressure propane line is usually easily spotted when you lift up the burner section.Tapping into the stove-top propane line is a fairly simple matter of disconnecting the propane line where it attaches to the stove top, inserting a 3/8″ or 1/2″ flare-style “T”, re-attaching the RV propane line to the “T”, attaching another piece of 3/8″ copper tubing to the “T”, and running the new copper tubing to wherever the quick disconnect fitting is desired.For ease of connecting and disconnecting the propane heater, many folks add a quick disconnect fitting somewhere near the stove. A quick disconnect fitting allows the heater to be connected or disconnected very easily, without requiring the use of any tools.Many RVers, being leery of leaking propane, have an inate distrust of the shut-off valve built into the quick disconnect fitting, so they add a manual shut off valve between the source of propane and the quick dsiconnect fitting—always turning off the manual gas valve whenever the catalytic heater is not connected.We particularly like the setup in our motorhome. Lifting the stove top provides easy access to the manual heater shut-off valve, and the quick disconnect fitting is hidden up under (and behind) the toe kick space under the oven—nothing is visible when the catalytic heater is not connected!

pic of hidden Quick Disconnect pic of LP shutoff valve


  1. Find alternatives to electrical appliances. Old fashioned tools such as a manual coffee grinder, stove-top coffee perk, hand-turned egg-beater, and wind-up alarm clock are good examples.
  2. Mount a few battery LED touch lights (dollar store item) in strategic positions – inside the entrance door, over the bed, over the sink, and in the bathroom, for all the tasks where you only need a little bit of light. Use rechargeable batteries in the LED lights.
  3. Replace incandescent with florescent bulbs. Some RVers have tried replacement with LED bulbs but we find that they just don’t provide enough light to work by.
  4. Do your reading and activities that require more light in daylight hours. Save activities that can be done by candlelight (i.e. knitting) for later. Sit by the campfire or go to bed when it gets dark and get up when the sun rises.
  5. Turn the pump switch on and off as you need it because it still uses a small amount of power when left on. Unless flushing solids, don’t turn it on for toilet use. Instead, flush without the pump (no water) and clean the bowl with a toilet brush and a disinfectant once or twice daily.
  6. To use regular household appliances in the RV, you’ll need an inverter (sometimes comes with the RV) to convert to 12 volt service. To conserve power, turn the inverter off when not in use and unplug appliances when not in use. Like the pump, many of them draw a small amount of power even when not being used.
  7. Your furnace fan is a big draw. Dress warmly, use extra blankets and wear a sleeping hat and wool socks to bed. If your head and feet are warm, you will be too. If needed, turn the furnace on only for a few minutes in the morning while you wash and get dressed. A small space warms up fast.
  8. Install a catalytic heater (runs on propane without a fan) but follow all safety instructions and don’t forget to open a window just a touch when you use it.
  9. Unless you have a generator, you won’t be running an air conditioner. An inexpensive 12 volt fan mounted over the bed is great for hot nights. Mount the fan’s control switch within reach so you can turn it on and off as needed.
  10. With reasonable conservation, expect to get 2 to 4 days from your house battery before it needs to recharge. Never let it drain below 50%. If your needs are greater, and you have the space, increase your batteries, number, size, and capacity.
  11. If you have a separate exploring vehicle (toad or truck), every time you drive, take along and charge your spare house battery
  12. Charge cell phone, camera, and other small rechargeable batteries in the car while you’re driving.
  13. Park in the sun in cold weather and in the shade on hot days. Use your awnings to help shade your RV from the sun.
  14. Conserve power by opening the windows to get a breeze instead of always turning on the roof vent fan.
  15. Since you won’t likely be using your microwave,- it’s a great storage place for non refrigerated fruits and vegetables – the tight seal keeps fruit flies out.
  16. 1. Conserving ElectricityMost people can hardly fathom a day without their local utility company supplying that easy source of power. There are people who live for months in their RV without hooking up to city utilities by using solar panels, however these tips are more for the short-term RV camping trip that lasts a week or two.Most RV campers only have two batteries and you’ll need to make them last so you’ll be able to run your water pump and have minimal lighting. Unless you are camping in the winter, pick a shady location. Your 12-volt vent fan will zap your batteries in nothing flat , so using it isn’t an option. Parking your RV in a shady location is far better and keeping all the windows and doors open will circulate cool air for you.In colder months you’ll want to park in a sunny location. Bring a catalytic propane heater to warm your RV, and keep at least one vent open, and a window slightly open to provide fresh air circulation. Your internal forced-air furnace is not only inefficient, but your batteries will not last more than a few minutes.If you like to read, bring along a separate battery powered reading light, or candles, so you don’t have to use the interior lighting. Better yet, just enjoy a campfire, or relax and relish the night sky. Use lanterns, flashlights, or candles when you need to spend time inside at night.Most RV campers will have a built-in 12-volt clock. Turn it off and keep the water pump switch turned off until you need it. Don’t use the built-in 12-volt radio and other appliances. Bring a portable radio or TV instead. 2. Water Conservation

12 Volt Bed WarmerWe have used a bed warmer for several years and they are really great!  You really do stay warm and don’t use all of the battery energy running the furnace.  The bed warmer pins on the mattress and you sleep on it.  We bought ours through the following website.  Ours is a dual control, queen size.

These 12 volt models have a round cigarette lighter plug.These are commonly used in off-grid homes, RVs, Sleepers on semi-trucks, campers, anywhere there is 12 volt DC power available. Bed warmers have tabs around the edge for safety pinning to the mattress. Bed Warmer are 60″ long. 12 volt Bunk Warmer
Model 12 Volt DC Size Watts Amps Pounds Price Special
T30 Bunk 30″ 54 5 7 $85 $59
T36 Twin 36″ 74 6.2 8 $95 $79
T54 Full 54″ 94 7.8 9   $125

Q: What is the difference between an ElectroWarmth® bedwarmer and an electric blanket?A: An electric blanket is used as a covering, the bedwarmer is used under the bedding. You sleep ON it, not UNDER it. The bedwarmer attaches directly to your mattress and is covered up by your normal bedding. ElectroWarmth® bedwarmers are much more energy efficient than an electric blanket because of the way they are used. Your covers hold in the heat that rises from below. The heat from an electric blanket rises from above you and escapes into the room.Q: My home heating costs are high, will this warmer cost me more for electricity?A: No. In fact, with an ElectroWarmth® bedwarmer, you can turn down the heat in your home during the night and still sleep comfortably. By turning down the heat in your home, you will not only save on heating fuel costs, but your furnace blower, refrigerator and freezer will also run less in a cooler house. This will help reduce power costs.Q: How do I know what size I need?A: The model number of each warmer indicates its width. For fitted bedwarmers, you need to match the warmer to your bed size in both width and length.       For 12 volt warmers the length is 60 inches. The warming pad can be narrower but not wider than your mattress. For example the model T36 measures 36 inches wide by 60 inches long, and can be used for a twin sized mattress or on one side of a king-sized mattress.Q: What do the bedwarmers look like?A: The bedwarmers very much resemble a mattress pad. They are made of white material, and are about 1/4-1/2 inch thick. The fitted models are like a fitted sheet and have extra cloth at the head of the bed that allows the warmer to cover the entire mattress, and has a skirt with elastic all around the warmer to hold the warmer in place. The warmers are quilted around the heating wires. This is done in such a way that you do not feel the wires when you are laying on the warmer. The 12 volt models has several cloth tabs sewn around its border with which you safety pin (pins are provided) the warmer to your mattress.Q: Are ElectroWarmth® bedwarmers washable?A: It is recommended that ElectroWarmth® bedwarmers be hand washed. They are electrical devices that can be damaged in a washing machine. Since the bedwarmers are used underneath your bed coverings, there is not much need to clean them on a regular basis.

The Comfort Control thermostat cycles the warmth on and off at short intervals. It pulls full rated amperage only when cycled on. The amount of time it is cycled on versus off depends on the Comfort Control setting and room temperature. Experience has shown that on the average, it is cycled on less than 50% of the time. Since rated amperage listed is maximum if it is on 100% of the time, the average load on the battery system is 50% or less of rated amperage (reports of battery problems have been negligible over the 30 years we have offered the 12 volt products).


* Note: Wattage and amperage shown for dual control models is total. Each side is rated 1/2 the total shown.Here is another good website dicussing Boondocking.  Check it out