Boondocking Podcast with Brian Brawdy & Bob Difley

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October 19, 2009

by Brian Brawdy

In my opening 18 months as an RVer, I have learned that the attraction, at least for me, is one of self reliance and nomadism. The places that I have explored and the people I have encountered have only reinforced the sense of independence one cultivates while bringing the far away to their own front door.

Early on I began to feel, not that I was learning this philosophy, but that I was remembering it. That adventure and exploration are latent in the human being. Today it is my great pleasure to share with you an hour long podcast with author and fellow RVer Bob Difley.

Click here to listen to this podcast on Brian Brawdy or click on the link below to listen via iTunes.

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Buried Logic Podcast

When Bob Difley worked for a living, he was Northern California Regional General Manager of El Monte RV Centers, a national RV rental and sales company.

Bob now photographs and writes articles on the RV lifestyle, Green RVing, nature, and the outdoors. Bob’s RV articles appear regularly in Trailer Life, MotorHome, Good Sam’s Highways magazines. Bob also wrote the Backroads & Boondocking and The Green RVer columns in Western RV News & Recreation.

He also teaches RV lifestyle classes and seminars at The Rally, was an instructor in the Life On Wheels RV Conferences, and presented interpretive programs for Arizona State Parks. He is a featured blogger on and writes the boondocking blog at and the birding blog at

Bob and his wife, Lynn, have been fulltimers for seventeen years and enjoy an active RV Lifestyle of kayaking, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, and bird and wildlife watching.

Bob Difley

Bob Difley

BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands is Bob’s new 65-page eBook crammed with bookdocking information, loaded with links to additional sources, and photos of great boondocking locations. Learn more about Bob Difley’s new eBook.

To learn more about Bob, visit his website

BLM website

US Forest Service website

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  3. Rich Oliveria

    can’t we all just get along???
    Some people just know too much for their own good!

  4. GMAs

    whoooo whoooo whooo.. this is supposed to be Bob’s blog… you should be asking him the questions… and not me… he is the writer and photo guy… I was only trying to help out while bob was out back… taking a snooze or was that… oh well… makes the same noise… 😀 😀

    So Bob jump in here anytime… its your show… bud… -:) 😉

  5. GMAs

    AKA The NYC Castaway….
    John… wow.. sounds likes you have a great adventure going and will be even greater when you leave the halftiming and go full timeing… because you won’t be rushed etc…

    Yes we listened to the whole podcast… I’d say not much of any information that one can technically use. It was more a bunch of guys BS’n about how they feel and what religion means to ’em… (not to mention the fact that they like to walk around naked) So I really don’t think I’d waist my time again. Too much BS and side roading.. and not staying to the issue…

    Bob had some info in the podcast ….which was impressive… but with 280 mil ac (desert) one has to remember that 275 mil ac are un-useable.. unless your a jackrabbit, billygoat or a snake…. 😀
    Indeed I think that their def of what boondocking is… is most vague… when one says that the BLM puts campgrounds in for profit… ahhhh most cost more than they make to maintain… but allow the non-boondocking public that have the non-off road RV.. to still go out and experiance the enjoyment and splender of the area. Those parks are to allow everyone to explore (in limited exp) to get a tast of what the country was like for the early pioneers that came across… while not having to worry about being ” alone”

    As to locking gates… puttting tape over the area… etc… is actually illegal… and the rancher who comes across someone camping on their leased land.. well lets say “they own guns too… and go to frontier law level to protect their investment…(cows) besides their is no one around… so following these guys advise… I’d be very careful” 😉 😉 As to walking around naked… well… 😀 cloths make the man.. 😉 😉 and I am sure sunburn happens where the sun isn’t supposed to shine on parts…. 😀 😀

    Other than that… Bob and company basically reidrated all that we have said and others posted here.. so its a audio blog cap. something about what came first the chicken or the egg… kinda thing 🙂 🙂


    Yep… most use normal PU 4×4’s but, as I said we have seen lately a lot more of the Vans… but, PU’s are not Jeeps… and so it has its limitations we have found.

    To expand on this… Their is a big difference in the off roading, exploring vs boondocking. A jeep is a light weight vehicle that was designed to get … well lets say this… a Jeep can head out cross country without a road… a PU 4×4 needs the trail or road to get down. So if you think a PU 4×4 is going to go places a jeep will… I don’t want to say it won’t but, its not going to do as well. PU’s are much more heavy a vehicle… and we all know heavy means you need better soil to track on that is not so loose… But, then again a jeep won’t carry a camper.. kind of thing either.. so like day and night… (and yes their are quad’s and motorbikes which would be better for exploring once you have set up camp in the back 40.

    One wrote… 4×4 better than the regular pu truck…

    well.. not if your going to stick to the NORMAL backroads … a normal 2 wheel drive PU would do quite well in about 75% of the places we have been… what makes the difference is really the driver tech.. and abilities to deal with the changeable road conditions.

    Those of us who use 4×4 PU’s.. normally run in 2 wheel until things get slippery… then we put it in 4×4 to get out of the situations. How do you learn about it… well mostly from others who have had the experiances… not many books on the subject.. but, with new tech.. you can go to U tube or some of the off road groups and see a nice video on what not /and what to do…

    … well one tool that we have come up with is a soil compaction tester… we have used it as we walked in front of the PU… stabbing the soil where the wheels are going to track… does it work.. well… we still have it… did we still get stuck.. yep… but, not as often… besides getting out and walking is good exercise.. while trying to prevent the vehicle from getting stuck… grin…

    …. No not much modifications to the PU is needed… If your going to get a new one… I would get the skid pans options put on it at the factory… Limited slip axels would also be a good item to have… large alternator, radiator.. etc all come with the tow package… but, other than the bumper, not much else that I can say you should add… and yes getting into and out of the 4×4’s is more difficult.. thus most put the step bars or running boards on them.. the nurf bars and stur’ips are good but running boards are a city slicker wana be off roading item… not really much good out in the back 40 we have seen… as they usually end up bent and broken.

    …. the snatch straps.. are a sometimes called the “RECOVERY STRAP” but, the two most of the time are used differently… again going to U tube and other off road internet sites will show you how they are used… a lot of the off road supply houses’ have product videos that show you how different things are used, when, where and of course you know why… (something about being stuck) 😀

    …. getting stuck is not the worst thing that can happen… their are other things that can make your day go turtle… remember anything mechanical will break down … eventually… but, like a light bulb.. (old kind not CFL) you don’t know when and of course the WHERE factors in… Most of the vehicle owners manuals suggest that you do more maintenance before or after you have gone into the outback… dust, dirt and contamination are the killers… most of the time.. and as such the manufacture suggest that you pay attention and change filters, ets listed in the owners /users guide….

    …. tools…
    Yep we only touched on a couple that should be… taken.. the basic ones… Dan if you want to take your whole garage … just in case something breaks down out back… more power to you.. but all them sockets, wrenches and the like are going to take up space and of course add to the weight of the hauling load… If it takes that much to get the vehicle back going again… one should evaluate it before heading into the back 40… of course rule no 1 being in effect allows the redunduncy factor to be caused.. and so riding out with them to get the needed part is going to have to happen anyway… if it gets that bad. Yes we have had front universal joints fizzle… but, no we don’t carry a spare set.. we know that we can drive out keeping the front hubs unlocked…for instance (driver know your vehicle) however, when we go as a group… some of the people carry spare parts… which will fit others also…

    …. of roading and forging…
    Good question and good idea on this one… what I want to impress upon ya is that just because you have the vehicle factory raised up… and YOUR not getting wet while your crossing that stream or pond… your drive line and its universal joints are… and as you power through… your washing the grease out of ’em… and we all know once the lub has left the part… its not long before they go fizzzle too…

    so what happens after we cross.. is lunch… and the grease gun gets passed around to re-lube and force the water out of the things… Some even go so far as to check the front and rear axel’s for water contam… by pulling the level plug and looking at the color of the fluids… it saves parts and money in the end…( if water is in it.. it will look like a milk shake)

    …… how fast…
    Well some days the group makes about 25 miles… others we go 3-400.. just depends on the trail and roads… One thing for sure… (and I am not a environmental nazi) the ground you cover is not a one time thing… one should respect both the vehicle (for it bears your bottom) and the land its travels over… (that is why you came.. and others will too) in the off road world you will see the phrase “.. travel lightly… tread lightly”… well it doesn’t refer to the weight of the vehicle but rather… tread lightly on the land … staying on the trails or roadways ensures that the fragle land environment around them is not disturbed so that others who will travel that way can enjoy it too… after all the BLM land is for everyone… so don’t go off road and try to tear up the hills… not good and bad JU JU… yes we have seen the idiots going at it… and when they get stuck… well.. that is when you can smile and say.. too bad… dork… Remember you are just the caretaker’s of the land… and how you treat it… enjoy but , don’t abuse… so that others can also…enjoy it later. Leave nothing behind.. what you pack in… you pack out.. and that includes.. PBF or vehicle items…

    …. what is the most mis-used item… outback…
    water is No. 1. Most newbies who go boondocking havn’t a clue as to how to conserve it… and run out fast. Its one of the thing you learn real quick… its heavy and hard to get back once its gone… the disposal of it also is something you should learn… as just dumping it anywhere out back.. is not the right thing.. some places don’t get but drops a year from ma nature… and you just drown the plant when you dumped on it… so be conserned and conserv … too many think water comes from the fauct… and is like home .. unlimited supply… well…. 😀 not so outback.

    by the way.. books are good.. but if you want to get a great education.. when you get to the zone your going back into.. stop in and check out the ranger rick shack… seek and you shall recieve .. after all a lot of them are naturalist and know a lot about the area your going into.. ask… they have been their and done that.. kinda thing… good advise.. and the price is right… So leave the books and go meet the people who know… its all part of the great adventuer and experiance… etc…

    Hope that helps some of you who have asked… but, remember as always… anything written on the internet is for entertainment only and should be considered as such… i.e Ya on your own… 😀

  6. Johnny G...AKA The NYC Castaway

    To GMAs

    Thanks for replying Sir.

    I’m very impressed with all your schooling and Military training. An amazing resume.

    Me. Just a poor boy who grew up in a very bad neighborhood on Lawrence Street in Yonkers, New York. I’m one of the few last survivors who didn’t end up in jail, homeless, or dead. I turned my life around at 19 and joined the Army. Since then my life has turned around 180 degrees. I don’t need much. Just food on the table and a roof over my Family’s head. For the past 12 year’s we’ve lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. Got tired of the city, and moved into Boulder City, Nevada. If you feel like stepping 30 years back in time, visit Boulder City, Nevada, near the Hoover Dam.

    We have done numerous weekend ventures thru Nevada,California, Utah, and Arizona. Mostly at RV resorts/Parks. Done a few trips backpacking with the tents Boy Scout style. The only boondocking we have done is in State Parks. (Nothing compared to you with the off roading in the boonies). We hate being stuck, so when it comes to moving our Fifth Wheel, we like to stay on good hard roads.

    Right now we are what we call Halftiming. We sold our house, and moved into our Fifth Wheel. I still work full time. I do have 1 month of vacation, and we use it to travel with our Fifth Wheel. We still go on weekend ventures. In 10 years from now when I retire, we will graduate from Halftiming to traveling on the road Fulltiming. Both of us are looking forward to that big day.

    I don’t think you scared anybody away. People are different today then before. They do what ever they want to do anyway. I’ve found that there are still rugged guys out there who find your comments quite useful. And I see a lot of Guys who forgot how to be a guy and turned into a crying sissy who are offended by your useful tips. Oh well, Maybe Mommy will tell them it’s all right and everything is fine now, Mommys Here to wipe your tears..LOL.

    No I don’t watch too much TV. I do a lot of reading on RVing and self help books on fixing things. I can’t get enough knowledge. Last night I bought a new book by Jack Lalanne. The guy is still kicking at 95. The book is called “Live Young Forever”…12 steps to optimum health, fitness & longevity…My wife and I have been idle for some time now with fitness. We aren’t getting any younger. We both need to get into a regiment to stay fit and healthy.

    Got to go for now. Talk to you later.

  7. GMAs

    Bob… I hear if you super heat water up… it breaks down into hydrogen and oxygen… hey now… can’t we use that then for powering the old RV?

    I would imagine that we have it all wrong… after all we keep the engine at 195 deg F. just think if we took the water out and let ‘er get really steamed up… one could feed the carb water right from the tap and boom off to the races… with exhaust that sounds and looks like the old steam trains… pufa pufa… 🙂

    Only problem I could see are the envrironmental nazi’s that then would say your using up a natural resouces (water) and would want to tax you for it… even though we know that after its compressed and fired it turns back into water again… ohhh all them wet slippry roads with the high humidity exhaust coming out… pershawwww… and just think.. when we refer to the old rust bucket (car) it will be true… LOLL 😀

    Best check it out and get back to us on the benifits of burning water… instead of oil…

    too much fun… LOLL…

    By the way we just finished the 3 gen back 40 camper plans… really slick… from outdoor (in the buff.. but then again who eles is around except the bears and squirrels )shower to solar powered refrig and electrical… it has 48 sq feet of dual useage space… which makes it a great weekend camper… or expidition camper that can fit just about any 8 foot bed pickup… and only 60 inches high… 78 inches wide and 130 total overall long… I think I sent you some of the plim.. plans… well production has started on no less than 8 of them…as we got one of the camper manufactures to put ’em togeather… some on dodges, toyotas and of course fords…
    The best part I like is that you now can go up topside… and either sleep or sit from a higher vantage point… as well as the storage… and of couse bambi/one of its cousins… hunting…

    … and no propane… nope instead most of the cooking/heating is electrical… after long discussions with others in the off road group… a removable camp kitchen is also featured … so the outdoors is your living room… kinda thing.

    Mind you this is not your grandfathers camper.. this baby is built to go into the outback and survive… designed and made from steel tubing… it should be one built box… so to speak… with insulation that will allow you to be comfortable down to 20 below…. while most attacch at the bed rails.. this one attaches to the frame through the bed… and has a floor to keep your tootsies’ warm when the trucks metal bed is below “0” outside… takes advantage of the thermal bank effect of the water on board too…. not a lot of room but then again not like a bat cave either… 🙂

    the new third gen outback is designed to be easier to get on and remove… even at the campsite… but, still allow you to get down them off road trails and cross country with ease… Its a columniation of years of off roading along with others who also suggested improvements to the first and second gen pu campers.

    It also has quick connect hookups to the vehicle so that as your are going down the road.. it is also providing power to the camper in several forms… thus when you get to the site… and get in.. if its cold outside… it is already warm and fuzzy for you…

    Like all the rest.. money is hard to come by these days and so a lot of the appliances used are common ones instead of expensive RV dedicated ones. Even the awnings are not commercial made… but are simplistic and easy to set up /take down quickly… Jacks are not carried on the outside of the camper to get messed up with brush or close camper/truck/vehicle eating rocks along the sides… instead they slip into pin slots which allow good mechanical attachment points… and when not in use store easly… till needed… (by the way they have the ability to also lift the side of the truck also.. thus the dirt jack is not really necessary if you bury the wheel… little things like that… are added to the 3 gen camper…

    While not in use… the camper can be removed in a matter of min… and the PU returned to service as it was intended… so you don’t have to carry it around… and… the camper will fit into your 3 car garage for storage… 😀 so no need for the storage yard monthly fees… ahhhh

    Yo Bob… might want to make one too… no one else makes ’em commercially yet… so you can go weekend boondocking or outback with us boys.. and their toys.. lots of high tech goodies on/in it too… ya’d have a custom built dog house if nothing else… so that when we come over to visit .. we would have a place to stay… 😉 😉 😀 grin…

  8. GMAs

    aka the NYC castaways’

    John I have been a military officer, director and engineer, mechanic and photographer… not so much in that order .. for many years… and Yep been around the block a few times… so to speak… my background is in physics, mechanics and electronics engineering along with photogram (remote sensing) and video productions. …
    I still work for one of the larger media producers and so still am on the road while havin’n fun as I say… when it stops being fun… I’ll quit… and I know Bob…:D

    Nothing wrong about twisting wires… and clearly you must be one of the better ones because your here…. 😉 😉 High voltage gives me the shivers… guess we made too many movies where the subject gets zapped… 🙂 (do you watch the show trauma (NBC) where it shows what not to do around powerlines .. hint hint…)

    You didn’t expand into what , where and when you have been camping… best spot and worst? memories … and yep fulltiming takes some getting used to… everything in its place…or else nothing seems right… glad we still have our home base to return too…

    So have you tried boondocking… Bobs definition.. or outback camping… ours’

    I hope that we are not scaring away anyone from the great outdoors and pioneering skills…

    happy trails…

    Hey Bob.. been real quiet lately… know you have been reading the mail.. so….. what new adventures????? 😀

  9. Johnny G...AKA The NYC Castaway

    Too GMAs,

    I like reading your comments. I like reading from both sides, his and yours. You sound like a stand up Guy. You don;t hold any punches and you are very outspoken. I am just wondering what your major career was in your life? It sounds like you’ve been around awhile.

    As far as I go, I have been twisting wires for Utility Companys for the past 30 years. My Family and I have only been RVing for the past 8 years, fulltiming for the past last year.

    Look forward to whatever you have to say. I have tough skin.

  10. GMAs

    Ronald Mc D.

    Ahhhh yes ron… well I didn’t write to impress you… (or should it be depress) …No…no instead I responded to people who WROTE to ask advise… So I am somewhat at a loss as to how we got to you meeting my definition of boondocking….

    Really Ron… quite frankly I can’t see how you can say that… if your traveling and sight seeing how can you call it boondocking :::::: 😀 😀 Would that not be REGULAR RV’N… and you will have to explane to me how that makes ’em less in my eyes… I may be half a bubble off… (which according to others I am not in defense of your comments) but if your traveling and sight seeing .. in the national parks… your on hard road… RON… WE ARE TALKING ABOUT GOING OFF ROAD HERE AND THE ADVENTURE AND EXPERIANCES IT BRINGS… not seeing how far off one can go and get back… Sounds like you left something else back in the junior high school locker room… too… from my take on it…

    I am still conserned about your Ronald…

    to answer your questions… most including yourself probably think it pretty good idea using fossil fuel in a engine… after all it turned into a big market and gets you currently down the road… huh 😉 😉
    I am still looking for the pond moss powered munster car… which they probably buried due to the smell it was starting to make.. something about dead fish food… but other than ford (found on the road dead) it was burried and they put one of them politically incorrect little white crosses over the top of the pile… On it they had inscribed pond moss burried here NT… (standing for Nice try)

    And the person who fixed crab that said.. let eat crab and see what it tasted like turned into a millionair and now owns Santa Monica Crab and Seafood house… (crab blue plate special… $39.95) So if they are half a bubble off center… MEEEE TOOO please… By the way Crab doesn’t tast anything like chicken… too meeee…

    wave as we pass…

  11. Ronald

    Very impressed with your resume of boondocking and experience. I certainly can’t understand why the rv industry isn’t beating down your door to share that wealth of information with others!

    Does everyone have to meet your definition of boondocking? I haven’t read anything that its a contest of who wins or not. Isn’t it up to each individual to experience rving and camping to their own satisfaction and goals? Not attempting to “out due” the other person as far as how rugged a back country we can get into and back out of safely. I really left that back in the junior high school locker room myself!

    You just keep 4×4 where you want and we’ll keep traveling and sight seeing where we want. If that makes us less in your eyes, then yes, your the half bubble off!!

    Oh, by the way, what did people think when someone thought of using fossil fuel to burn in an engine? What did people think of the person who said, lets eat that crab and see what it tastes like? Must have been a half bubble off!!

    Take care and safe travels.

  12. GMAs

    Oh and to answer the question.. New or Used vehicle…

    I would say its a chief’s thing again.. but for me… I think a 50,000 dollar pu truck vs a good used one for 4,000 dollars… is a big decider as you will put scratches and maybe even some dents in ’em when you go out back … Now a 10 year old 4, 000 dollar PU will do everything the 50,000 dollar one will… but when it gets scratched or dented… how much is it going to be worth then?

    We have seen two new vehicles recently go turtle… one was a new jeep rubicon… up on the outback trail near tahoe… (they just got it and were out trying it out… ) it was upside down in a stream some 100 ft below the rocky road… and probably totaled… at 38,000 I would cry too… as the insurance company is going to be asking some serious questions that if you answer wrong… will hit hard in the pocket book.

    The other was one of them fancy 4×4 vans… vans are top heavy and so have a tendency to wheelbarrow if past the center point… here we saw one roll over up in the Utah countryside… Moab… again a 50, 000 dollar new vehicle… gone because the newbies didn’t know until it was too late… (once you start up/down some of these trails… their is no turning back.. kinda thing) The bad thing about it was that they had a propane tank, stove and water heater built into the thing… and it was not hard to see where it was from the smoke and fire that resulted after it got to the bottom of the hill… (something else we don’t like to see inside the camper or mounted to the truck… propane equipment.. as they are too much of a risk… a good camp kitchen is the better way to go in the outback anyway)

    So new or used… your choice.. determined by your nature, ego and wallet… 😀

  13. GMAs

    gEE whiz guys… how did you get my email??

    To answer a few of the many… indeed.. you need to start with a good vehicle… and it doesn’t have to be a 4×4… but, most of the time you will hit that hill which will require that all 4 wheels be turning and tracking if you plan to get up it… Now that being said… the good old snatch strap will also work in that sit… but, it should only be used for recovery…

    PU’s are the choice vehicles because they are made to jump ditches out on the farm and plow fields when the horse is taking a vacation… Most of the stuff in them is extra heavy duity… Plus with the back 40 style camper on it… you can remove it anytime and replace the vehicle with a different one or use it for other purposes when not going camping…

    Vans are a close second. We have seen a lot of them out in the back 40 now… a company down in Fresno Ca. makes one that is even 4×4… but, make sure your sitting down when they tell you the price. Its byond sticker shock. One should however note that once converted … and paid for… its a one of a kind camper vehicle… the only other use it has is to haul people (not very well) and tow trailers.

    A lot of you asked… diesel or gas… well like chiefs and soup… diesel is nice but again expensive… gas is lighter and thus not a prone to getting stuck. Ya the diesels have more torque at low end.. but, most of the time you will find that the old gas engine is just fine… and much less expensive to maintain.

    While on the subject of engines… one should replace the air filter before and after the trip off into the back 40… of course it depends on the amount of playing in the dirt you do… Fuel filters… well here we have only seen the diesels have problems with fuel filters… one GMC PU couldn’t get past the 400 mile mark without having to change his… and that made us all scratch our heads as to where the dirty fuel is coming from…

    Setting up the vehicle… for going into the back 40

    Well here we were asked what special stuff… and about all I can say is … where you going… Nice tires and rims… Tires should be the range D or E rating.. not so much because of the loading but rather the resistance to rocks and cutting. they should be fairly high in tread… but, I know a lot of people who take a F150 PU and put the softest radial tire they can find on it… WHEN they go play at the beach and drive on the sand… Otherwise… airing down and let the tire do its job in the rock country (mountains) requires a good resistance to rock bruses and cuts… and only a multi corded tire will give you that.

    Rims… well here its the chief’s thing again… nice to see bright alu rims.. but remember were off roading and thus rocks and other things are going to make a impact on them… dents are not uncommon. So the stock Steel rims are the preferance .. save the good looking ones for when you get back on the road.

    Here we had several of you aske about bumpers… and with a smile I write… the stock ones are JUNK… most now are plastic… and as we said you need a place to put the D rings so that the snatch straps can do their work to get you out of the hole you got yourself into… well tieing it around the plastic bumper is not going to work… unless you want to leave a monument to the year vehicle along side the road… Most of the vehicle bumpers are shock mounted. i.e have a compressive slip mech… hooking on to one of these bumpers will give you a good idea of what they WERE made like… in parts view…
    Putting on a good trailer hitch … front and rear.. attaches to the frame… and so long as your not off angle you can be assured that it will exceed the weight of the vehicle and the tow will work… (note I said not off angle because you can bend things with a 12,000 lb pull winch even though its a 6,000 lb vehicle. )
    So that leaves the bumper accessory… Here the 4×4 shops can help you find a nice good heavy front bumper… (most of the time the vehicles already have the 12,000 lb class trailer hitch so a rear bumper is not needed and the stock one works just fine…as you never hook up to it)
    Bumpers come in two flavors.. those without a winch mount and those with a winch mount…(some have hidden mounts behind them) The choice is yours and should be consulted by your expense account for the vehicle… You want a good sturdy one that mainly is made with at least 1/4 inch steel… (alu has had its problems out in the field) in the center section.

    the choice of bumpers is also good for them deer that run out in the middle of the road at night. Yep bamb’y is going to be road kill but, at least your radiator and vehicle can still be driven back to town. I know of several that live up in the oregon country and driving at night on the road… have had encounters with 4 legged friends. Most have saved the cost of the buck stop bumper by not having to replace the front end of the vehicle.. or end up with a big hospital bill if they come through the window… which is something to consider…
    They also work good in accidents… but, we hope that never happens…

    One other thing that comes with some of them… LIGHTS… yep them good low setting lights that when turned on become daylight at night… again many a time have we been toodling down the road at night and with the two 130 watt lights on in the bumper… seen bambi and allowed us to take action before it was encountered at close range. DO NOT LEAVE THESE LIGHTS ON WHILE STOPPED… they get hot and will burn out… they need the air going by to help keep them cool kinda thing… but, plunking them into the stream doesn’t seem hurt them as they are somewhat sealed up… which is a nice feature.

    Of course… encountering another vehicle comeing the other way… well I think you know ya don’t want to blind him either… for safety reasions.

    so with that and a good CB radio… the Stock PU vehicle really doesn’t take much more to get it ready to go… (you want to have a good CB put in it for comm between vehicles)

    Last thing I am going to mention is the off road tools… as we mentioned before.. a good off road jack and shovel are the main items you can mount on the front bumper or other place on the vehicle. A chain saw has come in handy several times for things wood that have fallen across the road.. or to cut up firewood… (no fair cutting down the old red woods as ranger rick will be pissed at you for doing it)

    Oh ya.. and one other thing that you should have at least 2 or 3 pairs of… Outdoor work GLOVES… keeps your hands nice and soft for the loved ones… 😀

    Hope this helps… I know bob is taking notes as he is reading this too… huh bob…

    but, his article really said it back a few… as we do exploration vehicle boondocking… and his only addressed the NORMAL vehicles and trailers that one uses for RV’n on the road and campgrounds…. so not to think he was not providing good info… its different for different applications…

    But, can we use the web so that others can see your questions too… as Bob needs more material for his book… 😉 😉 😀 thanks…

  14. GMAs

    As to Fred… Yes I do have some recomendations… if you go out boondocking…

    first place you want to stop off at is the 4×4 shop… and get yourself a great big… heavy duity snatch strap… No its not like rope.. its a plastic web type of strap that can take 30 to 40,000 lbs of pull.. but that is not how you use it… and for that you need to go to Utube or some of the 4×4 web pages to learn its proper use…

    Ok second item I would suggest you get put on the PU is a front reciever or a couple of heavy dutiy D rings … them little hooks they put under the bumper.. mostly are for show… ya I know they say they will but… we have seen ’em go shooting off when the bolts shear and never to be seen again.. if they don’t take someone or something out on the way…

    You can get a reciever plug that has the D ring (get the 3/4 inch ones) that will plug into the front or rear trailer hitch rec… and you want the heaviest hitch you can get… yes you can use it to pull the trailer and pushing it around with the front one is much nicer for the driver to see backing up the trailer in to a spot… not to mention the tighter turn radi…

    With those two item as accessories you have a good start… next will come the off road dirt jack.. for when you get stuck… a good spade shovel.. to move dirt and stuff.. and a chain saw to get the fallen trees out of the way…

    A winch is nice but as often as I have used mine… vs the snatch strap.. I would say is not a good investment.. however, like any tool.. when you need it .. you need it…

    Hope this helps and Bob is n agreement with me on getting started into boondocking… the outback …

    Happy Trails… and remember… a horse was a better off road vehicle than anything made today… well except for the droppings.. grin 😀

  15. GMAs

    Ronald on October 20th, 2009 6:55 pm

    Sorry GMA’s, some of us may think your a half bubble off …

    No problem Ron… and yes it does

    Hey bob here is a guy who actually LIKES YOU without laughing.

    Ops.. sorry Bob… as I didn’t read the rest of what he wrote…

    We may not agree with him on everything, but still enjoy reading and being challenged by them….

    Well heck we tried to find you a friend… guess we now will have to keep looking…


    What part of using pond moss in your engine as fossle fuel… do you find not half a bubble off ??

    As to the EV bats… ahhh well sorry we have had a lot of engineering experiance with them.. so again I guess I am half a bubble off… hmmmm…

    And boondocking… well now Ron I didn’t see you list your experiances and recomendations to help?

    Actually Bob is sitting back taking count of how many hits his blog has gotten… actually feels like he has failed if he doesn’t get more than half a doz… be it newsworthy or just plain junk… he is out for the numbers…

    As to writing my own blog here.. well… haven’t been asked as yet… although we do a lot of movies and video stuff… now a days… you know writing is so “Old Fashon” and not high tech… hmmm 🙂 😉 😉

    To answer you question though about writing my own… we are a member of the 4×4 group, the boondockers club and several other off road explorer clubs.. that go regular camping in the back 40 as we call it… from Mexico to almost all of the southwest/west we have probably over 30 years of boondocking.. and yep and done pretty much all the mistakes one can make… school of hard knocks is quite a good teacher…

    We have built several of our own back 40 camper… (some call them expidition vehicles) and equiped our PU so that it will surv’ve a adventure where the normal people don’t go.

    You should try boondocking some time Ronald… really I mean it…seriously its a real hoot and times you won’t forget…… if one takes their time… (ya lots of driving for hours and miles (longest was 470 miles) at 5-20mph in 4x low range… back when the going gets rough…) it a whole new adventure in camping and when you finish… you feel really accomplished and then the bragging starts.. when someone says.. well we went to the Grand Canyon… and stayed in the campground…. you can respond with.. sweet…. we drove down in it… camped along the river…and drove back out… up in the canyonlands … guess who wins the contest.. 😀 😉 😉 Check out the canyonlands rv routes… but, may I suggest that you first take some training on off roading and how to get UN-stuck… and rule No. 1 is in effect big time .. Never go alone… even if you are a old salt like me…

    bob is a big boy… and can take care of himself… but I am sure he is saying .. thanks for trying… I just have to make it to one of his seminars… coming up…
    should be a hoot…
    😀 😀

  16. Ronald

    Sorry GMA’s, some of us may think your a half bubble off as you always have to jump in stick it to Bob. There are many of us out here that thinks that he is right on and likes his comments on boondocking and the environment! We may not agree with him on everything, but still enjoy reading and being challenged by them. You may be the one that is a half bubble off!

    Can’t find the smilies like you have, but also offering these comments in the same manner. Maybe you should start your own blog on boondocking and see what the response would be!

    Not sure what the shots are suppose to mean about his experience in the rv business and the inferences about there travels. Oh well, you can always be counted on to take your shots at Bab for anything he says or does, hope that makes you feel more successful or manly!

  17. GMAs

    Ok… bob you opened up the box… get ready for some fun….

    When Bob Difley worked for a living, (Does that infer that he doesn’t function anymore now… 🙂 )he was Northern California Regional (Ya small region… bounded by two streets north, east and west of the center) General Manager of El Monte RV Centers, a national RV rental and sales company. (which now is…. 🙂 )

    Bob now photographs (hmmmm) and writes articles on the RV lifestyle, Green RVing, nature, and the outdoors. Bob’s RV articles appear regularly in Trailer Life, MotorHome, Good Sam’s Highways magazines. ( What a hoot!!!… One needs to go back and read the postings and comments… for a good laugh on some of his Green thingiees 😉 😉 ) Bob also wrote the Backroads & Boondocking and The Green RVer columns in Western RV News & Recreation. ( I think I can hear the laughter from here still…. 🙂 )

    He also teaches RV lifestyle classes and seminars at The Rally, was an instructor in the Life On Wheels RV Conferences, and presented interpretive programs for Arizona State Parks. He is a featured blogger on and writes the boondocking blog at and the birding blog at (BIRDWATCHING… BIRDWATCHING… ahhh now we can say… he contracted Bird Flew… 🙂 What next BUTTERFLYS… AND A BIG NET?? 😀 )

    Bob and his wife, Lynn, have been fulltimers for seventeen years and enjoy an active RV Lifestyle of kayaking, hiking, swimming, mountain biking, and bird and wildlife watching. (And the last time the rig has moved … was??? what year? 😀 😉 )

    I am not so sure that Bob is all the compedent on the issues of Boondocking… but rather a he said… she said thing that he is passing down???

    I like FRED…

    Indeed you should be prepared for any problems encountered out in the back country boondocking… but, no matter what you think.. unless you go out their.. you won’t know what you will need to improve upon. As Fred says.. start with the basics… and form your own plan. High Tech today has indeed made isolation a thing of the past.

    Only Three rules that should never be broken…

    Rule 1. Never go alone…
    Rule 2. Use the boy scout motto.. be prepared…
    Rule 3. Never camp in a dry wash… how do you think it got that way???

    The rest is just impervacation… that turns out to be part of the fun of boondocking…

    Bob is a good egg… and lots of fun to have conversations with… and I consider him a friend.. so don’t take my critizmmm of him the wrong way… Bob is just about half a bubble off center when it comes to the environment and some of the great things he comes up with… but, hey that is what makes the world go round… and brings a smile to the faces of those who know…

    I have yet to attend one of his seminars… but I’ll bet its a hoot and food for the mind… as bob’s manager skills when he WAS WORKING …(cough cough) probably could tell you what size nut fit on what bolt in the RV… I am not so sure that he can assume the position … of head dictator of off roading and boondocking… BIRDWATCHING…. ahhh Butterflys next bob??? Oh look.. some nice looking guys in white coats are looking for you… something about a bird I think… LOLLLL 😀 😀 😉 😉

    run my friend… run…

  18. Hi Guys and Gals:
    My wife and I prepared for 40 years to become nomads.
    I became a Ham Radio Operator, Taught all of the Red Cross 1st Aid classes for over 20 years, I was a disaster chief of a small town in Missouri.
    Scoutmaster for over 30 years, etc.
    Yes, these skill s are handy on the road, but not necessary. Technology has caught up with the gypsy lifestyle.

    9 years now full-timing after a brief stint in 1965 and 66.

    Happy Camping,
    Fred b.