By Bob Difley
Space. The last frontier. How big is it? Last week astronomers found another hundred million galaxies in a far, unobserved corner of deep space. But here I’m talking, instead, about your rig’s storage space. That cubic area of contained air that we displace with our stuff, that cavernous locker into which things disappear forever. It forces one to re-define the concept of what space is: the seemingly infinite deep space where entire galaxies disappear into its vastness, or the basement locker/cubicle large enough to rent out to a passing Japanese businessman to spend the night.
Space is relative. If you are a boondocker, or intend to become one, space becomes even more relevant. For many of us who have been boondocking for a while, if we could dehydrate or de-atomize all our stuff and load it onto a flash drive to restore as needed, we could get by with a much smaller rig.
A smaller rig would allow us to do more serious boondocking. Think driving a 40-foot motorhome over a rustic desert track or down an abandoned forest logging road. Then think again only substituting a 4WD truck camper. A no brainer. All those neat roads we could explore. All those small nesty campsites tucked into a forest or hidden at the edge of a meadow full of grazing elk. Settle in, plug in the flash drive, type in “folding chair,” “cabernet sauvignon” (don’t forget to include a wine glass), and “cheese and crackers”, and you’re all set.
All too easy. Missing one slight problem. Our personal space. Remember when you bought your first fulltiming rig. Thought you needed something close to the size of the house you were moving out of. Lots of space to roam around, not get under each other’s foot, a quiet corner to be alone, two TVs, outside kitchen. That all changes with the time you spend boondocking.
If you are an adventurous boondocker, you will start visualizing back roads you know a larger rig wouldn’t fit. Probably found out you didn’t really really really need all that space–especially if you also visualized being outside, hiking, biking, exploring much of the time, rather than slouched in front of the TV,wife tripping over your big feet, taking mid-day naps in the same chair.
But . . . What if you and your significant could reach an agreement. Downsizing. Smaller rig = better gas mileage, lower repair bills, smaller footprint, easier access to the great outdoors, explore all those places you could only dream about before.
Makes one think about space, how to define it, how to use it, how much of it you truly need, how much it will define your RV Lifestyle. And that’s the trick. Figuring out what is right for you–and taking full advantage of it. Happy boondocking.
If you think you would like to try boondocking, or expand your boondocking horizons, please consider my eBook, BOONDOCKING: Finding the Perfect Campsite on America’s Public Lands, the results of more than 35 years of RVing and boondocking.