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Need advice on boondocking locations for a car.
#1
Hello,

I am still mostly a lurker on this forum and haven't posted much, but I thought I would ask you all for some advice.

My situation: I live in L.A. and hate it. Not going to be able to be a full-time Nomad just yet, so until then, and to keep my sanity, I need to take semi regular excursions camping in nature for a week or two at a time. I have a specific chunk of time coming up, where I will be able to do that. I would like to create this one as a "Spiritual Retreat" of sorts, so I will have higher privacy needs than usual. However, I have a set of questions that elude me at the moment as to how to resolve.

Also, I will be sleeping in my Nissan Versa and maybe bringing a tent.

Here are the questions and thoughts that are running around my brain....

1.  Where to go? I need to leave soon, late Feb/early March, and I want to stay about two weeks. The weather keeps looking iffy at the places I have come up with. Any recommendations? Ideally, I would like to be somewhere in the desert and not too long a drive from LA.

2. Electricity. All I will really need is my phone to stay charged. Is charging while the car is idling an ok thing to do? Is that rude to others who maybe somewhere in the vicinity? I don't have solar or any other option as of yet. I'm hoping not to have to schedule in sitting at a Starbucks as I am trying to get myself into "hermit mode."

3. Even though I will have greater privacy needs, I don't need to be entirely alone and far from facilities. Being next to a town that has showers, refill of water, and some grocery shopping would be good since I will have to replenish my food and water. (I don't think my Nissan Versa would be able to store 2 weeks of food and water with all of my camping gear as well, but if I'm wrong, please educate me.)

4. Also, I would need enough Verizon signal to get regular texts out. I won't need signal to watch videos or anything.

5. What the heck to do about needing something like a shower tent for changing and housing the "5 gallon bucket" and not having the money to buy one? The desert is pretty open.

Anyone care to share their wisdom with me?
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#2
How far from LA do U wana get?
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#3
Sedona will answer most of your needs and is considered a "spiritual center" by many people.

I know a great boondocking spot up by Victorville, just above LA. Tons of camping around Barstow. Lone Pine CA is one of my favorite places on the planet and isn't far.

If your car is a 4 door, open both doors on one side and use spring clamps to clamp on a sheet and put the bucket inbetween the doors to poop/pee and sit on it to sponge bathe.
2015 GMC Savannah 2500 van, 480 watts of Solar Panels--and a wonderful furry best friend named Cody. I'm out to change the world!
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#4
We've camped at two spots not far from LA that might work for you.

  Alabama Hills near Lone Pine is a beautiful location on BLM land. True boondocking and enough room that you should have privacy. Lone Pine is a small town but will have most of the supplies that you'll need. Not sure about Verizon but we did have good AT&T signal.  https://freecampsites.net/#!6335&query=sitedetails

 Sawtooth Canyon Campground is a free, primitive campground with tables and vault toilets. Another beautiful location. Supplies at Barstow which is about 20 miles away. We had good AT&T signal but I don't know about Verizon. https://freecampsites.net/#!7733&query=sitedetails
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#5
(02-20-2017, 08:32 PM)INTJohn Wrote: How far from LA do U wana get?

I guess not farther than about an 8 hour drive from LA.
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#6
(02-20-2017, 10:28 PM)akrvbob Wrote: Sedona will answer most of your needs and is considered a "spiritual center" by many people.

I know a great boondocking spot up by Victorville, just above LA. Tons of camping around Barstow. Lone Pine CA is one of my favorite places on the planet and isn't far.

If your car is a 4 door, open both doors on one side and use spring clamps to clamp on a sheet and put the bucket inbetween the doors to poop/pee and sit on it to sponge bathe.

Thank you! Yes, I do have 4 doors and now I can see that would work!

Victorville.....hadn't thought of Victorville. I guess I should just check with freecampsites? Funny, Sedona was the first place I thought of but one of the weather apps that I checked said it might snow! I'm not feeling like dealing with snow this trip. Lone Pine sounds great but is supposed to be cold also. Actually, it seems that everywhere is cold for that time frame. I suppose I will just have to deal with it. But I draw the line at snow...lol!
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#7
(02-20-2017, 11:38 PM)tonyandkaren Wrote: We've camped at two spots not far from LA that might work for you.

  Alabama Hills near Lone Pine is a beautiful location on BLM land. True boondocking and enough room that you should have privacy. Lone Pine is a small town but will have most of the supplies that you'll need. Not sure about Verizon but we did have good AT&T signal.  https://freecampsites.net/#!6335&query=sitedetails

 Sawtooth Canyon Campground is a free, primitive campground with tables and vault toilets. Another beautiful location. Supplies at Barstow which is about 20 miles away. We had good AT&T signal but I don't know about Verizon. https://freecampsites.net/#!7733&query=sitedetails

Thank you so much for these suggestions! They both sound good. :-)
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#8
(02-21-2017, 12:42 AM)Mystic Wrote: I guess not farther than about an 8 hour drive from LA.

Lota spots in the desert that are within 8 hrs of LA.

Sedona & Lone Pine been mentioned to you but they're still kinda chilly, weather wise right now: high's in the mid 50's lows in the mid 30's for 2 week car livin and they're not really in the desert if thats what you're trying to get to.

Between Calexico & Yuma in Ca, south of I-8 is a realy nice BLM desert camp area that is very private - has nice camp spots and when I was riding my bicycle thru there last week there were about 4 or 5 vans rv's in the entire place & its BIG! - that was it. 

Weather for nex 2 weex is sunny with highs in 70's & lows in 50's. The All-American water canal is about a mile away.  The Hot springs are about 2 miles north next to I-8 where you can bathe off all you want - its free. If you want need a store calexico is 10miles West.

There's great cell reception too as there's a tower about a mile away next to the interstate.

Easy to get to from LA - take the 5 South to I-8 in Diego - head east to 131 mile marker then exit. Go north  over the interstate, take first road to east till you cross the canal (Half mile), then turn south & go under the overpass(different over pass) and take the road south for about 2 miles: its all desert privacy, nice weather, nice temps and Hot Springs (there's trash & toilets at the hot springs too)  

Google maps on satellite I-8 131 mile marker for the area. West of the canal is all farming - east side all desert and there is zero border problems in this area. 

Good Luck!...........INTJohn
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#9
(02-21-2017, 08:25 AM)INTJohn Wrote: Between Calexico & Yuma in Ca, south of I-8 is a realy nice BLM desert camp area that is very private - has nice camp spots and when I was riding my bicycle thru there last week there were about 4 or 5 vans rv's in the entire place & its BIG! - that was it. 

Weather for nex 2 weex is sunny with highs in 70's & lows in 50's. The All-American water canal is about a mile away.  The Hot springs are about 2 miles north next to I-8 where you can bathe off all you want - its free. If you want need a store calexico is 10miles West.

There's great cell reception too as there's a tower about a mile away next to the interstate.

Easy to get to from LA - take the 5 South to I-8 in Diego - head east to 131 mile marker then exit. Go north  over the interstate, take first road to east till you cross the canal (Half mile), then turn south & go under the overpass(different over pass) and take the road south for about 2 miles: its all desert privacy, nice weather, nice temps and Hot Springs (there's trash & toilets at the hot springs too)  

Google maps on satellite I-8 131 mile marker for the area. West of the canal is all farming - east side all desert and there is zero border problems in this area. 

This sounds intriguing, thank you! Although, I am having a hard time finding on the map. I'm not sure what I am doing wrong. I'm also not used to finding these out of the way places on Google maps. Most of my camping was done in pre-google days and now I've been using freecampsites.net and luck! lol!
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#10
https://freecampsites.net/#!4038&query=sitedetails

I think thats the best link for you to find the place. This link is to the BLM Long term visitors area which is where my trailer is sitting. They charge 40 $ to stay here for 2 weex but you must be self contained - no cars or tents but the site I'm talking about is south of the LTVA another mile or so and you can stay there for free for up to 2 weex in anything you want to.

Basically just pull into the above ltva and ask Reynolds & Karen the Camp Hosts how to get to the free area and Reynolds will give you directions -- if he isn't busy hell he'll probably jump in the quad and guide you to it.

INTJohn
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The following 1 user says Thank You to INTJohn for this post:
Mystic (02-22-2017)


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