After writing the last entry, my suffering with white line fever became inflamed with a case of “hitch itch” and I decided to follow my own advice. It has been so long (over 6 months) since I had last towed our travel trailer that my tow ball had a serious coat of rust on it. (Note: Add that to the spring maintenance list!)
With the tow ball cleaned & lubed, the RV fully prepped, along with the spring checklist completed, truck fueled (spare fuel too), and enough groceries to last us through another pandemic, my wife and I were off to the boondocks.
After being a prisoner in my own home for weeks due to the pandemic I felt a sense of freedom overwhelm me as I set up camp in our isolated boondock site (currently permissible on most federal land). I began to ponder why; my wife and I were still isolated from others, in fact, we were even more isolated as there was no cell phone service where we were camped.
Was it the fact that we had gone from our home county of over 2.2 million people to a neighboring county of less than 47,000, or from a region that has over 6,500 cases of COVID-19 and many deaths to one that only had 15 cases and no deaths?
Maybe it was the fact that we weren’t within miles of any other residents and only heard an occasional passing vehicle, or that we could go for a walk in any direction and not worry about meeting others approaching in the opposite direction on a 4-foot sidewalk like at home.
As I further pondered the question, I thought about the extended (4-6 week) RV boonie adventures my wife and I have enjoyed in the past where we go many days without ever seeing another person much less talking to one. Many times my wife and I will be sitting outside the RV (in the boondocks of course) after a day of exploring trying to remember the last time we interacted with another soul. How come we have never felt self-isolated then? Was it a case of we chose to be self-isolated rather than ordered to?
I may never know the answers to these questions, but it reinforced why I like to camp in the boondocks, which is freedom. The freedom to go where you want, when you want, for free.
As I encouraged others in our last entry, we took all the supplies we needed as not to burden a small community or risk spreading the virus, including enough spare fuel to get us home. However, I have to confess the thrifty part of me couldn’t pass up the opportunity to purchase gas at under $2.00 a gallon. I used disposable gloves, paid at the pump, didn’t get close to anyone, and used hand sanitizer when returning to the cab of my tow vehicle.
What about you? How has the pandemic impacted or altered your perception of self-isolation? Please share via the comment box below.
Escaping self-isolation for self-isolation in the boondocks, just another thought-provoking adventure in RVing!
- 14 Reasons Why I Would Rather Boondock
- 4 Things You Need To Know About Camping Post-COVID
- CampgroundReviews.com—The Best & Most Up-To-Date Source Of Campground Closures Due To COVID-19
Dave Helgeson’s many roles in the RV industry started before he even had a driver’s license. His grandparents and father owned an RV dealership before the term “RV” had been coined, and Dave played a pivotal role in nearly every position of an RV dealership. He and his wife Cheri launched their own RV dealership in the Pacific Northwest. The duo also spent 29 years overseeing regional RV shows. Dave has also served as President of a local chapter of the Recreational Vehicle Dealers Association (RVDA), worked on the board of advisors for the RV Technician Program of a local technical college, and served as a board member of the Manufactured Home and RV Association. Dave’s reputation earned him the title of “The foremost expert on boondocking,” bestowed by RV industry icon, the late Gary Bunzer (The RV Doctor). When he’s not out boondocking, you’ll find Dave in the spotlight at RV shows across the country, giving seminars about all things RVing. He and Cheri currently roam in their fifth travel trailer, with Dave doing all the service, repair and modifications to his own unit.
After reading your article I though maybe I could offer something for those who like rv parks. We are currently staying at Aspen Grove rv park in Tremonton Utah. This park is new it is beautiful,well laid out, lots of space between sites, cement pads and patios and grass. Also the owner has not raised prices seasonal highs. My concern and part reason for writing is this park is wide open. There are roughly 70 to 80 sites available. I would hate to see these people suffer or even go out of business because of this virus and economy. Call, reserve and come. You won’t be disappointed. By the way. They are following virus guidelines.
Loved reading this blog. We are getting ready to take our grandkids and social distance camp in a couple of weeks. Although we now still make some trips to the store, I am stocked up ready to hit the road. And I can’t wait to not have to associate with anyone for a week. Have a safe summer!
Mike Beaulieu says
So you are not removing your hitch when not towing, that’s a no-no, not only isvit a leg breaker but in some states and provinces it is illegal to leave your hitch on the vehicle if you are not pulling a trailer. The other that can happen is that it will that in place so bad that you will never be able to remove it if you have to.
Steve Edwards says
Nice article. I have always preferred boondocking, and my gIrls do too. My wife can deal with it but does like little trips to towns – pre COVID-19 – to explore. We boondocked on Easter weekend this year and the kids, even though teenagers, had fun hiding eggs for each other Sunday morning. One is still out there, unfound for someone else to find. I hate littering but we tried our best to find the missing egg.
Haven’t camped since but hope to Memorial Day weekend.
A: No, it is not illegal to have a ball hitch in the receiver of a truck when not pulling a trailer at that time. It is not illegal to have more than one ball hitch on the bumper. But with that being said, you need to be aware that multiple ball hitches on the bumper could obstruct the rear license plate.Jul 5, 2015
Dave Helgeson says
Robbie, Thank you for clarifying.
Mike, what country are you in that these practices are illegal? Thanks.
We left 5/3/20 for Gold beach Oregon where there have been two Covid cases since the outbreak.
Life is great with my lady 200’ from the ocean with nobody around us
Mike Beaulieu says
I have looked for confirmation, but can’t find any tangible law, however here in Nova Scotia there is supposedly a law against leaving hitch on vehicle, some people have been ticketed, so I heard. It was years ago when I first heard of it, but it’s like noise by-laws they are not enforced.
Robert Slimak says
I spend the 6 months of winter on the road, always dispersed camping. Social distancing is my norm, shucks why it ticked me off when even some national forest shut down to all camping under pressure from the idiots in government who never leave a city. As you said, when dispersed camping you are way away from people, not just six feet! I ignored the things I read about that by was supposed to return home, because home, being northern Minnesota was still winter. So on BLM land I was usually no closer than 200 feet from the next person! I finally had to return in May as I own and live in a duplex and my tenants were moving out. So now I’m in my apartment having white line fever as you put it. Life is so much better on the road that I sure wish I could sell my place, but the virus makes that dangerous. You don’t own a home. It owns you!