2015 in review: Part 9 – Oct.

Our October begins in a camp near Beaver, Utah.

P1070675The Best Little Trailer in a boondock beside the Beaver River

From this site the Perfect Tow Vehicle carries us on short excursions.

Little Cottonwood Campground is only a few miles up the road.  The closed campground provides a pleasant place for walks with Bridget and Reggie.

P1070665P1070651

The town of Beaver is handy for groceries, gas, propane, and laundry facilities.

One day we take a drive out to Minersville Reservoir, aka Minersville Lake.

P1070771Fall color at Minersville Lake, west of Beaver

P1070776P1070782-001

The crew and I check out Beaver County’s campground.

I like the rural setting and decide to move our camp here.

P1070815-001Our campsite at Minersville Lake Campground

A few people fish from boats.  Water in the reservoir is low.  The many pelicans don’t seem to mind!

This is a cozy camp for me and the crew.

P1070838Our next camp is at Baker Dam Recreation Area north of St. George!

P1070906Baker Reservoir

P1070903Sunny days at Baker Dam Campground

We might have camped at nearby Pine Valley Recreation Area if it weren’t at a high elevation — too high for camping at this time of year, but a pretty place for a day trip!

P1070959Campgrounds at Pine Valley are closed in October

We also take a drive to see Gunlock State Park. 

Not many people here during this time of year.

P1080097Gunlock Reservoir, northwest of St. George, Utah

On the 15th the crew and I visit spectacular Snow Canyon!

P1070983Entrance booth to the canyon

The rock formations are massive!  In the photo below, people are mere specks in contrast.

P1070993Dogs are not allowed on trails at Snow Canyon.  That’s okay.  I enjoy watching people have fun on the dunes and on the rocks.  As for the crew, they don’t know that they’re missing anything!

P1080023On the 23rd we travel out of Utah.

Interstate 15 takes us through the visually stunning Virgin River Gorge in the northwest corner of Arizona.

We land at Cedar Pocket Campground!

P1080199The Virgin River can be seen below our campsite at Cedar Pocket.

Bridget and Reggie have a great time walking (or riding) around the campground, meeting people and their dogs.  We follow a trail from the campground to an interpretive display.

P1080221Reggie shows the height of the Joshua trees in this area.

P1080228As far as campgrounds go, Cedar Pocket is one of the most scenic!

The crew and I camp here into November.

P1080209Sunset glow above our home

The next post will wrap up this review of our camps of 2015!

rvsue

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122 Responses to 2015 in review: Part 9 – Oct.

  1. Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

    First?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      HOORAY FOR LINDA ROSE! SHE’S FIRST!

      • Linda Rose, Muffin, Murphy, Molly & Midgy in Carmichael, CA says:

        I was checking my emails when your post popped up. Your BLT looks so isolated and small in that first picture. I know that’s just the way you like it. I’ve enjoyed this recap of your year. Now for a little a Amazon shopping.

  2. AZ Jim says:

    Close but no cigar….

    • AZ Jim says:

      I love Bridget in her buggy. Little Reggie standing on his hind legs to see what’s on the other side of that rock wall. Your family is as curious as to what’s “out there” as you are Missy.

  3. Renee says:

    Almost first, but not quite. Love this post, as usual, with all of them.

  4. David in Houston says:

    Such great pics

  5. Jean in Southaven, MS says:

    This brings up memories for me. The picture of the Great Dane on the trampoline was an all time favorite and the evening picture of the BLT beside the enclosed picnic area was my favorite of all time. That picture is my dream. It just looks so cozy and homey or something not sure how to describe it. But it brings good feelings to mind.

    I haven’t posted since before Christmas, I am glad your Christmas was what you wanted and hope that you have a wonderful New Year also.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I hope you had a good holiday, too, Jean.

      Some photos speak to us. I remember staring at photos of campsites back in the days before we hit the road. They transported me out of my present circumstances into an increasingly real dream. Funny, there was a nighttime shot of a Casita with its interior lights on that enchanted me… and now I take my own photos of my own Casita…

  6. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Cedar Pocket is so beautiful. Have to agree with you, it is the most scenic. Bridget looks so sweet in her stroller. What a great crew you have.

    Angel has discovered that she like catnip toys (not Squeaky) She was acting bored, so I was trying to find some she would play with when I happened upon one of Poms old catnip balls and she is having a blast with it. I discovered that putting a drop of aniseed oil on their toys helps. Think I will get that sock monkey and see if she will play with it. Also got her a Kong toy that I have put peanut butter treat in. She seems to enjoy that as well. After reading more on her breed, I need to get her more active.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara (Nashville),

      You’re sweet to search for toys that Angel will like. She likes catnip! I don’t know how you knew to put aniseed on her toys. ??

      About Sock Monkey… Already Reggie has pulled some of the yarn. If you come across the kind like Blue Monkey — made out of a ribbed material and available in other colors — I think they have a longer life span than Sock Monkey.

      You’re probably right about Angel needing a lot of activity. Same with Reg. His days are better when he’s had a lot of stimulation. If there’s a good dog park available, that provides a great outlet for dog energy. Your experiences with aggressive dogs in the neighborhood might put you off the idea of a dog park. I can relate to that.

      The important thing about taking a dog to a dog park is to enter the park with confidence because the dog will pick up on fear. I remember seeing scared owners opening the dog park gate and I’d think, “Hoo-boy, there’s gonna’ be trouble.”

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Thanks for the advice Sue. I didn’t know about the catnip, I had looked up about her breed, as she started doing things that she had not done previously. The research showed that it is usually due to boredom, so I started trying to think of things to stimulate her other than just our 2-4 times a day walk, when I noticed the catnip toy. When she sniffed, she got perky, so I threw it and she went after it and play for about 15 minutes. She won’t bring it back nor will she give to you until she is done. She does the same thing with her sock. Supposedly, it won’t hurt her unless she tears it and she gets too much. So we play for about 15 minutes and I put it up. The same article talked about the aniseed oil, since that is what is in catnip. Did you know they use it to get the greyhounds to chase the rabbit down the track?
        After a while we play tug of war with her sock, and I try to get a couple of sprints into our walks for more exercise. Sprints are about all I can manage at 68.
        I did have reservation about the sock monkey, so I will look for the other ones or I may just make hers, since I have tones of left over fabric from my various quilting projects.
        You are also correct about the dog park. I had thought of that, but she has issues with other dogs these days, except for Layla, the boxer. One of my neighbors brought his dog out and she had a fit. His dog is about 6 of her, but is very docile. Angel wanted to pick a fight, in his yard, no less.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I hear you about running with Angel. I don’t do many sprints with Reggie. You might try the “circus act” exercise we do.

          Put Angel on a 20 foot tether (about 10 bucks at WalMart or farm store). You stand still and start yelling “Go! Go! Go, Angel!” encouraging her to run in a circle as you turn as the “hub” of the circle.

          I do this with Reggie at least once a day and it gives him a chance to run full out. Of course, he’s already used to the length of the tether. Anyway… Maybe this will give you ideas how you can have Angel run without you having to run,too. Good luck, Barbara!

          • Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in SoFlo (for now) says:

            Hi Barbara, I have a high energy dog too and am looking into a trike bike and a pull harness. I figure the work of pulling me and the bike will wear him out. The circus exercise does look good too.

  7. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    Love the night shot of your home! Stepping right onto your patio! How did I miss that the first time around?

    HRH in her chariot! Her smile says it all! Cute Reg man standing up to get a better view!

    Beautiful photos….the lake, the scenery and the red rocks!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      We had a patio — Not often we have that! HRH hasn’t had a ride in her chariot for a long time. It’s not possible here. I love the way her eyes light up whenever I pull the stroller out of the PTV. The gal was made for a life of leisure. 🙂

      I just had a picture come to mind of AO being pushed in an umbrella stroller. Ha!

  8. Cedar Pocket is most definitely in my top ten of the campgrounds where you visited! I love the red rocks! Probably miss the rocks from the west as much as anything! But loving the beach also! So I am lucky enough to have a good share of both beach and red rocks in my life!
    I agree that Bridget looks very regal in her chariot! Is that a smile tugging at her lips ? Reggie has really taken to the life as a boondocker ! What a wonderful year this has been for him, and for all of you! Thank you for sharing with us!
    Hope you are warm and snow free! The weather out West, all over really, has been unusual! Shorts and flip flops CHRISTmas attire here! Lol!
    Wishing you, the Crew and all the Blogerino’s the Happiest of New Years! ?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Geri. I wish you and Chuck the same and thank you for your enthusiasm for my posts.

      You would love Cedar Pocket Campground. We didn’t go anywhere while camped there, other than to St. George for groceries and propane. It was enough just to BE at the campground surrounded by those rocks and with the river….

      Shorts and flip flops at Christmas… Florida delivers what she’s famous for!

      Yesterday morning while in the PTV for warmth, I heard on the radio that a storm will hit the Panhandle. Any more news on that?

      • Yeah, we were under a tornado watch for 4 hours yesterday, but we were blessed by a super humid and cloudy day! Not even a rain drop until after midnight! No sunshine until next Monday, we have 7 rainy days ahead of us! Unusual weather for sure!

  9. Joyce Sutton says:

    That’s good trailer backin, maam

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hahahaha! You gave me a good laugh, Joyce. If you’re talking about the Minersville campsite, the one with the shelter, I can’t take credit for backing into that one. It’s a pull-through. 🙂

  10. Joyce Sutton says:

    thinking on spending warm winters on the desert. BUT your weather seems to be even cooler than ours this winter. loved the journey this far but the freaking weather is bothering me. This weather is just not right . I love traveling in the fall in that area. your pics are lovely then and now to remember.

  11. weather says:

    You’ve timed these reviews just right. It reminds me of planning lessons near the end of a semester leaving enough time to grade papers and tests so everyone’s marks are on time. In this case enough time for you to move without being missed on the holiday page if you decide to do that. A benefit of your years as a school teacher -though I’m so glad those are behind you . This morning you’d mentioned the disconnect from nature and outdoor air experienced then. I think much of your current health and happiness is due to having reconnected with that. Just scrolling through the photos in this post I can feel the life in your journey now…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      May all who want a vagabond lifestyle be able to grasp it! I agree with you, weather. Connecting with nature is a boost to “health and happiness.” I think a lot of the bizarre behaviors we hear about happening in urban areas come from the disconnect — the noise, the harsh surfaces, the fast pace, the unnatural smells — all of it coming together in a violent attack on the senses. The nervous system can’t take it!

      Meanwhile, it’s peaceful here and at your place, no doubt. Someone asked if the ironwood tree suffered in the recent dust storm. Not at all. These desert trees — ironwood, palo verde, mesquite — are tough.

      Yeah, review posts are good while the crew and I hibernate. 🙂

      • weather says:

        It was me that had asked about the tree, I feel affection for odd things, ha! I’ve had plants I’ve prayed for and nursed back to health. Have a peaceful night.

  12. Chris(MN) says:

    Hello fellow blogorinos. I need some advice. I have 37 foot 5th wheel. I am new to traveling with a rv and am currently in a rv park. However, next June I want to install a solar panel system and start traveling. I really want to dry camp and not stay in rv parks, just as Sue does. I am concerned that I won’t be happy hauling this large of a trailer. I love the layout and it is very comfortable to live in. I wonder if now is the time to downsize before I put the solar panels on. I have too much toys to go as tiny as Sue. Some people have said that around 30 feet is a good size. What have you found to be a good or bad size to haul? Please give me your feedback! Thanks!

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Everyone’s “comfort zone” is unique. Only you can determine if smaller is better. As for “hauling” once you get comfortable with the task in itself it doesn’t really matter what size trailer you pull!

      If solar is a necessity…install it…pull what you presently have and then decide.

      Just my 2 cents

      • Chris(MN) says:

        I am worried that the size will really limit where I can park. I know even Sue finds spots that are difficult with her smaller trailer.

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Full time or some time?

          Hmm….figure out what is the smallest trailer you would be “comfortable” in….and go from there.

          How many people…any animals….bathroom/ shower a must.

          • Chris(MN) says:

            I will be full-timing with 2 medium to large dogs and 4 cats.

            • Cat Lady in Central, La. says:

              That’s a lot of people/pets to put in a trailer as small as Sue’s. I’m with Cin…try your present unit with the solar panels first. No way would I downsize that small with that many animals. I travel in a 34′ Motorhome with 4 cats and they enjoy their creature comforts. If I go smaller with no a/c, I’m going to have a revolution on my hands.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Ooh, I overlooked all the pets. I’m leaning toward keeping the 5th wheel to see how it goes. Of course, I don’t know it’s condition or anything.

              The way I portray my lifestyle in this blog, it looks idyllic — and to me it is — but it might not be quite what suits Chris. Time will tell.

            • Chris(MN) says:

              The trailer is new. I bought it last spring. I downsized from a 10 acre hobby farm into the trailer. I am use to having peace and quiet and pretty views. The rv park is okay for now, I just need to get through a Minnesota winter, but it is not what I would want to be in after I retire.

            • Chris(MN) says:

              Where do you stay with your motorhome? Do you haul a toad, as well?

            • Cat Lady in Central, La. says:

              If you’re asking me, I have CG memberships in Thousand Trails, ROD (Resorts of Distinction), RPI, Elks, SKPs, and the ole geezers Senior Pass. I enjoy FHUs, laundry, easy dumping, walking trails, my egg for Directv, wifi, cellphones, etc. With this body, the pool is wasted on me, lol, so no, I don’t use it. I’m totally spoiled to creature comforts. I tow a Santa Fe.

              Be prepared to take a hit if you decide to sell your new trailer.

              I’m confused. Are you talking about the 5er or the MN winters you don’t want to be in? The good thing is you can head to warmer climes when it gets too cold.

              Cat Lady

            • Chris(MN) says:

              To Cat Lady in Central, La. What I don’t want to be in is rv parks unless I need a full hook-up. Right now I do need the electric to get through a Minnesota winter. This will be my last winter in Minnesota. When I retire in June, I will head south to Arizona for the winter.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You definitely won’t be as nimble…

          • Cat Lady in Central, La. says:

            Chris, the next 6 months are going to feel like the longest 6 months of your life. You’re going to love the retired life. I’m glad for you.

            The memberships I belong to have sites large enough that I don’t feel like I’m in a crowded RV park. If you’re used to 10 acres, you will feel closed in; I’m in a subdivision.

            Bottom line, as long as you and your fur babies are together and loved, ya’ll can put up with a lot, including smaller living spaces.

            • Chris(MN) says:

              You are right. As long as my fur family is with me, I am happy. I started looking online at smaller trailers. There is a big rv show coming in February in Minneapolis. I will look at trailers there to get a better idea of sizes that I could live with. Thank you so much for your help!

            • Cat Lady in Central, La. says:

              Your welcome. Let Sue and the rest of us know when you punch the clock for the last time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It won’t be as easy to find dry camping spots as it is for me, of course, with my smaller trailer. As someone pointed out in a comment recently, the 37 feet of 5th wheel will be difficult to maneuver into some of the older, less expensive campgrounds like I show on this blog.

      Here’s an idea: Keep the 5th wheel and purchase a suitcase-type solar panel. See how happy you are with the 5th wheel or how not happy. You could still downsize, still use the suitcase solar panel and maybe add another to the roof as time goes by. The reason I suggest this graduated approach is your comment “I am new to traveling with an rv.”

      Or, since you already have doubts about being happy hauling the long 5th wheel, ditch it and start out with something shorter. You need to evaluate how important the extra length is to you.

      As for me, a longer kitchen counter or a sofa or whatever isn’t worth the hassle and limitations of having a bigger rig. But that’s me.

      BLOGORINOS: Chris would like your input on this decision. What say you about dry camping with a 37 foot 5th wheel?

      • Cat Lady in Central, La. says:

        I believe Sue is spot on. Six animals and you need the extra room. You apparently have that now in your 5er. There’s no way I’d adopt out any of my fur babies to go smaller. If I just had to boondock, I’d keep my present RV and get the solar Sue referenced. That would be the much cheaper and practical solution for me…YMMV.

        • Chris(MN) says:

          No, I would never adopt my “kids.” I am lucky that my cats all get along with each other and that the dogs and cats all get along, as well.

      • AlanOutandAbout - Pahrump says:

        Size is a comfort thing but the difference in sizes can be misleading. You can go tiny like Sue. But the difference between 17ft and say 23ft ain’t all that much. The next span is basically 24 to 30 ft. There really isn’t all that much difference between them. Because the added size is spread out over the entire unit. You get a little more bedroom area, a little more kitchen area, maybe a slightly larger bathroom. The point is the extra length isn’t added to just one section and most of the time when you downsize the floor plan is really important. Even over 30ft the difference in size can be misleading as to the extra space actually provided.
        If you eat sitting in front of the TV or outside. Then you don’t need a table for eating and the space can be put to a better use.

        As to solar. The big question is how many house batteries do you have, what is their amp hours, what is the wattage on your invertor and how much 115v power do you use. You really shouldn’t mix solar panels. I think they should all be the same size and voltage. Many solar controllers actually require it. If you are under powered and go boondocking you may be disappointed. Solar is not cheap so make sure what you get will work

        • Chris(MN) says:

          Thank you! That is a lot of good information.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Just to flesh that out a bit from my perspective.

          1) I wouldn’t necessarily use existing batteries as a base to design from. Reason is, they may be too small, too old, etc. Why build on a crumbling foundation? (Or at least why do it without examining and deciding proactively.)

          2) Solar panels don’t necessarily have to match amps and volts completely. It depends on how you are hooking them up. If in parallel, the volts need to match within around .5 volts. If in series, the amps add up. I’m not saying to assemble a rag-tag group of panels to try to string together. Not at all! But for example, I now have a matched set of two 100-watt panels hooked up in series. I have two more panels I will add. These two panels match each other, but don’t match the first two (by design) because they are both 135 watt panels. The two “strings” will then be joined in parallel, and all will be happy because the volts are less than .5 volt apart. Not to sound confusing, but I really just wanted to note that all panels don’t necessarily have to match exactly – but all really should be planned and calculated.

          And, as Alan points out, an important thing is that your system be in balance. At least as many watts in panels as you have amp hours in the batteries, and I’d say preferably a few more watts in the panels (if you have AGM, they like to be charged to 100% as often as possible). Sometimes people think “Oh, I’ll get a bigger battery bank (than I have panels for) and then I can last through a week of clouds!” True, but then you are in a deep “hole” if you don’t have the wattage to charge them back up quickly. That would be different if you knew you were going to go to a full hookup place every week and had a good charger. Then you could dig out of the hole by “power post.”

          I find that usually there is one limiting factor and you end up designing to that. Either your budget, or the space on your roof, or the space you have for batteries. It’s great to take an inventory of how much power you use, but that doesn’t mean you’ll actually be able to design up to that number. You may, but many times you just put up a (balanced!) system that fits one of the other limitations and learn to adjust your use.

          I happen to be able to do everything I want to with 200 watts, but I have lived on boats for years and have modest power requirements.

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            One last thing (sorry if this is TMI – feel free to skip!). Just an analogy to help explain why I said that it’s not a great idea to have a proportionately large battery bank (as compared to panels) so that you can “get through a rainy week.” The latter sounds great, and fits in with our money idea of saving for a rainy day (which IS a good thing). You “bank” that extra money so you can use it when you need it. So why not “bank some amps” in the form of a larger battery bank? Well, the reason is that that rainy day fund (of real money) can be used when you need it, and then you can take weeks, months, or years to build it back up.

            In the case of batteries, they want that power back ASAP. Preferably the next day (in the case of AGM’s) and at least this week. But of course you are still living and using power in those sunny days following a week of rain, so where is that “extra” power to replenish the rainy day usage NOW going to come from? It could come from a power post, if that fits your usage pattern. If not, then I think it’s great to have the capacity to get through a cloudy day or two. Especially if you have a bit of extra “panelage” to put it back as soon as possible. But a “hole” the size of much more than that is hard to fill. I find that after a few cloudy days I either just conserve, drive (alternator charging) or plug in (charger charging). But then I don’t tend to hang in cloudy places usually (PNW excepted).

            Anyway, I found it hard (at first) to get my mind around the “saving for a rainy day” concept of a huge battery bank (in relation to panel wattage), because in money terms (saving money for a rainy day), it sounds so sensible!

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Remember that Sue has a large storage unit that doubles as a tow vehicle.

      • Pamela K. says:

        Chris MN,
        My husband and I have had both large and small rigs. We started full-timing in a 19 ft. Airstream. Later bought a 32 ft. Gulfstream.
        Both are travel trailers so they do handle differently than a 5th wheel but even still 37 ft is a long tow and during summer months you will want to do a lot of elevation climbing to stay cooler. That often means narrow roads and turns too. I would think the heavy longer tow on your vech would be something to consider too. More repair costs over time. It is much easier to replace a $20,00.00 smaller 5th wheel or travel trailer than it is to replace a $60,000.00 truck set up to pull that 37 footer. Just something to consider.

        As for your pets, we have cats and a Golden. The cats tend to use the buddy system when in a smaller space and the dog while bog thinks she is a lap dog. Your pets will be happy and find their own places as long as they are with you they will be happy even in a shoe-box size rig. I personally could not imagine dry camping full-time in as long a rig as your 37 footer. Maybe find a local farm to put it in storage or store it at a marina and pull it out as a base camp when the winters come around. You could tow it to the winter location of choice and get a smaller rig from there to travel in. Maybe that is an option. Storage costs are not that high and it is nice to know that you have a back-up rig if one needs a serious repair too. A 16 ft vehicle plus a 37 ft in tow is IMHO going to seriously limit your options long term and maybe even shorter term. A 24-26 ft tow is a nice and doable size to consider.

        We are very happy with our little 19 footer but we do not need much in terms of size. We have all the comforts so that is a non-issue. Those comforts, including a dishwasher in our little house. That said, we DO like to get out and about and see the local sites so staying inside is not something we care to do much of unless the weather is bad. I guess it comes down to camping your own camp style. However, size does matter…and smaller is often best for dry camping. Whatever you decide, good safe travels to you and your fur kids.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I travel in pretty small rigs, and I do like the nimbleness. I want to be able to pull into a side road, try a boondock, etc. On the other hand, I enjoy driving big rigs. And I could see enjoying, say, a 36′ Class A with a toad. The rig would be more of a base for exploring, and I’m sure I would not boondock as much (especially in summer, without the wide open desert). On the other hand, I’m sure I’d explore like mad with the toad. And I’d have more of my stuff along, more room for hobbies and gear, etc.

        Maybe I’ll do that someday, who knows? For now I like the smaller rig, plus the smaller expenses. I like to move on a whim, and be able to get into smaller places.

        Putting on a “good,” properly installed, decent-sized solar system is not going to be inexpensive. And although it will be a selling point, I doubt it will increase the value by even close to as much as you put into it.

        I agree that what I would do if I weren’t sure is carry a portable solar system. I’m not a “kit” person, but what I did was get two 100-watt panels, a controller, the appropriate wiring/fusing/connectors/etc. and then set that up. It charges the batteries I already have. My loads are modest (mostly electronic gadgets and a small compressor refrigerator), and this suits me just fine (which somewhat surprised me). I am going to add roof panels, for those times I don’t want to (or can’t) put out the ground panels, but I would no longer give up the ground panels. Reason is I have a Class C and I like to park in the shade!

        The cost to add the portable panels as compared to the roof mounted ones is not THAT much less; but where you save is in the labor (there isn’t nearly as much) and in the fact that you can bring them along to your next rig.

        To know if 200 watts would work for you would take a more detailed discussion; but I know that RV Sue has a similar amount (220 IIRC) and she gets along fine as do I.

        But of course who knows what you would or would not like. Cause, you know, it’s like saying “What kind of house should I get,” when we know some folks love a one-room log cabin, and others would feel like they were “camping” in a four bedroom house. Still, I always like to hear what others think; sometimes they say something that either resonates, or *doesn’t* resonate, both of which can be helpful.

        • Chris(MN) says:

          Thank you everyone for your feedback. I am going to check out some shorter 5th wheels to see if I like the feel of them.

        • Chris(MN) says:

          I am thinking about that comment on having 2 trailers. I could keep the bigger one for the winters when I am staying more in one place around Arizona and use the smaller one for exploring in the summers. ???

          • Pamela K. in GA says:

            Chris,
            Exactly. We have our 32 ft as a home base in a marina campground. It’s great for winter months and also provides that needed “house” for vech./tag renewals, any scheduled annual medical check ups, etc. Great for holiday entertaining if you enjoy hosting some of that with friends or family during winter. Nice for hobbies during the winter months. The rest of the time (other three seasons of the year) the 19 ft Airstream is what we use and travel with. It really is a prefect combo of home base and travel when you have two rigs of different size. Also, now some states have laws where “living in your smaller rig or van is not allowed full time. Having that second (larger rig elsewhere) puts the issue of “living” in your smaller rig as a legal non-issue…since you do NOT live in it, you “live” in your parked in another place rig. We always carry our lot rent receipts with us to prove we have a second rig in a real RV Marina (even if it is just stored there, lol.) Hey, it helps sometimes to have some proof of “home based” ownership with you. I strongly suggest keeping the larger 5th wheel for that reason and getting a smaller rig for 3 season travels.

            • Pamela K. in GA says:

              Chris,
              Now don’t laugh…BUT when my 3o th year anniversary came around my hubby asked what I would enjoy having. I told him my own conversion van to head to the Florida beaches some during the summers without towing a full rig with me. SO, now we have two rigs and a conversion van. One for winter months, one for 3 season travels, and the van for weekend get-a-ways to the beaches. The van while it did start its life as a weekender, I find I really love it for even longer solo trips like PCB bike week and it pulls my bike trailer really nicely. So smaller is nice…opens up a lot of options that would otherwise be closed off to you. Maybe look at the Roadtrek B-plus Vans or a small Class C.

            • Chris(MN) says:

              Nice idea! I looked online and saw a cute 21 foot travel trailer with everything that I could need. I actually could see me and the “kids” staying in it during the summer travels. I like the idea about keeping the bigger 5th wheel as my “main” residence. I feel very confident that pulling a 21 footer would be MUCH easier camping in the mountains. My 1 ton truck wouldn’t even know it was back there!

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              “Also, now some states have laws where living in your smaller rig or van is not allowed full time.”

              Pamela,

              What states have laws against living in a smaller rig? I’ve never heard of this. (I’ve heard of places you can’t park or camp, but that’s more like zoning, which affects everyone to some extent.)

            • Pamela K. says:

              Pen,
              Sometime back I read about a young couple who were “living” in their conversion van full-timing in it. They were sighted by the state police for living in their vech. The van was impounded and they had to go to court to fight the charges. They won (on appeal) sighting the van was equipped with a factory bed and factory outlets for small appliance use which could easily be used for lite cooking needs while traveling. Thankfully, the judge agreed and sighted that they were not doing anything different than other larger rigs do all across the country everyday. While they did have their WIN in court, in cost them most everything they had saved to travel on. Not something I would want to have happen for me or others traveling in a small rig full-timing. The news print was not completely clear about whether the state police sighted a local law or state law or if they had misinterpreted the laws at the time they arrested the couple. Yes, arrested them and impounded their van! Seeking more info it would seem that there are indeed laws about living in a car or van full-time. What those laws are exactly I don’t know for certain. I do know that having a 2nd larger rig as a “home base” in your “home state” is a very good idea and one that is now getting much more attention because of the ever changing local, state, regional, and national laws. I came away after reading about it with the idea that it is a homeless vs travelers issue. Traveling is often one thing, but traveling due to homelessness has a whole different set of standards and laws that seem to apply. Most everyone has opinions on those subjects but it often takes the court system to rule on a case once law enforcement sights you for what they believe is a violation. Again, having some proof of domicile seems to be key with the courts or proof of travels and not just living (camping) out of your car or van or small rig. I have heard of these topics discussed by teardrop owners who either full-time or travel for months at a time. They are often questioned about living in their small rigs. It’s not fair, but it does seem that it is happening more and more often in certain regions of the county – the north and northeast come to mind. Maybe it is safety from the elements related, not sure. I know Minnesota has laws where after Oct they cannot make a person move because of any past due heating bills, etc…safety’s sake because of the extreme weather elements. I lived in Minnesota for many years, would not want to ever full-time in an RV during winter there but some do it I guess. Something about that -40 F was enough to get me hauling to somewhere else with warmer temps. Anyway, back to the young couple… when they were arrested it was in the police report that they had been “living” in their van because 1. they had food supplies more than an average traveler would carry and 2. they had a lug-a-loo for bathroom use. It seems that that was all that was needed for them to be hauled in and charged for homelessness and living out of their van. Thankfully the judge thought that was way too vague to uphold it! Given another judge and the outcome could have been far different is my point.

      • Chris(MN) says:

        The feedback that you all are giving me is GREAT! I needed people who are actually out there traveling.

        • Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in SoFlo (for now) says:

          Hi Chris, I havene read all the comments so forgive me if I repeat some “advice” . I once heard someone say, buy the smallest camper you can stand to live in and the biggest truck you can afford. My rig suits me but would not do for others. I’m not fulltiming yet, but a recent two month trip taught me a lot any what I needed and wanted. Those are two different things, needs and wants. My large dog and geriatric cat adapted quickly to camping in my pickup cap, better than I did in fact!

          There are always trade offs for big and small rigs. I suggest making a list of wants, needs and wishes. Then see what your budget will accommodate. Sue’s lifestyle of boondocking suits her budget and desire for space. You might want more socializing and have $ for campsites. It’s all a mix of what you want and can do. Maybe you could rent a smaller rig for a weekend to try it out. You can always sell what you have and get something else if your budget allows for that too. Happy camping.

          • Chris(MN) says:

            I like that idea about the smallest rig and the biggest truck. You never want to be under-powered and why have more house than you really need.

  13. Pamela K. says:

    Sue,
    Wow, Wow, and more Wow! Nature’s beauty abounds. I remember seeing these scenes and loving them at the time. But now, seeing them so close together and they are even more stunning. That one shot of the Pine Valley lake leaves me breathless. Seriously, just plant me there with a few good fishing rods – some iced tea – a nice sandwich and I could cast away for hours on end! I wouldn’t even care if the fish weren’t biting. Anyone who loves to long distance “cast” would find that a playground to fish! Klemper could snooze in the lounger (he doesn’t fish) and that would be a perfect afternoon! OK, I’m “SOLD!” 2016 is “our year” for massive traveling. This lovely area is a “sure” to be on our list of places!
    Thanks for showcasing it Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pamela K. That reservoir you see in the Pine Valley photo is right next to the campground. You can walk there with your fishing rod and gear from your site. Some sites are just up a slight incline from the water’s edge. I do hear it’s busy in the summer though.

  14. Velda says:

    Put a fork in it, he’s DONE
    Ring the bell, time is here
    Hear Ye Hear Ye
    Let it be known
    Chief Solomon has completed his duty of holding down the radiation table at Station UCD RadOnc
    He and CDR Solomon have been PCS’d (permanent change of station) from UCDRADONC in Sacramento
    To RSGPD (Recovery Station Gold Pan Drive) in Roseville for extended duty. Hip Hip Hooray Anchors Away!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’ll join you in a cheer — HIP HIP HOOORAAAAYY!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Well done Velda and congrats to CD-R Solomon!

        Let the celebration begin! Hip hip hooray!

        • Velda in Roseville CA says:

          CDR Solomon is me! Navy Nurse Corps Retired.
          I learned today why we had not heard about the bell for finishing. They just got it and Mel was among the first to ring it. We are relieved it’s over but it will take a while for him to feel better and a year to heal the Dr said today. Ready to celebrate the New Year if I can keep him awake long enough- he slept most of afternoon today! He deserves that for sure.

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            Oops! ?

            Glad they got a bell and Mel was one of the first to break it in.

            Sleep is good when the body is healing…not to mention he has to be exhausted both mentally and physically.

            Take care of yourself and Mel!

            Happy and healthy new year Velda CD-R and Mel!

      • cc and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

        Yippeeeee….a PCS home to Roseville…we’re so happy the treatments are over!!

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Yay!!

      (And I love the way you stated it :D)

  15. cc and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

    Another cause for celebration—-whoo hooo—the snowshoes that I ordered for my son’s birthday has made Sue’s Amazon list!! This must be what it feels like to be first!

    On a more sober note, we were planning an RV trip down to Big Bend NP in Texas, and the weather has cancelled it. Massive rainstorms and flooding up here and all along our route through OK and TX…except where it’s snowing. We decided not to leave when the sump pump in our yard failed and the lake that formed kept growing…got a portable pump, but had to keep monitoring it. Meanwhile, out in our camper in the driveway we find that both rear windows are leaking as the windows have sagged in their frames. (They need to be removed, shims installed, and then replaced in their frames ) But it is a good thing it is safe in our driveway as the Meramec River is flooding, and our storage facility is calling owners and everyone has to get their rigs.. But the interim pump brought the “lake” under control, and our basement is high and dry, so we are doing better than many folks around here. We had 10-12 inches of rain.

    So we decided to stay home and deal with our problems…Big Bend will still be there..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Whoa! You have a load of things to deal with right now, cc! I’ve seen the photos of flooding in your state. Sagging windows?

      Yep, better to stay put and save Big Bend for another time.

      Thanks for ordering the snowshoes from Amazon through my blog. 🙂

    • Joyce Sutton says:

      We are higher on a tributary. The Black. Ours has run down now watching for Mississippi rd closing maybe 55 as we have dau coming for new yrs. major flooding.

  16. Pat H. says:

    Great pics and campgrounds to visit!!!!!!

    I plan on doing more boondocking after my 7 months of hosting next summer and wanted suggestions for solar. I want portable panels and to replace my house battery (4 years old). Want to get 2 batteries and I think I have room in my battery box. It is under the step in my class c.

    I will be in Quartzsite January and want suggestions on the best place to go there to have this done.

    Thanks for all information.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      BLOGORINOS: Is there a solar installation place in Quartzsite that you can recommend for Pat H.?

      • edlfrey says:

        Discount Solar 540 E Main St, Quartzsite, AZ 85346

        I had them give me a quote a few years ago and they were VERY competitive. The reviews that I read at that time were positive compared to others in Quartzsite.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        What type of installation is needed for portable panels?

        Im trying to remember if 2 batteries would have fit under the step of our “c”. Not sure…..

        • Pat H. says:

          I’m not sure what it will take. I’m just starting my research.

          I hope to get 2 batteries. It looks like I will have enough room. The one in there only takes half of the space.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Even though the panels themselves don’t need any “installation,” there are still things to plan, buy, and install. Examples being batteries, properly sized cables, fusing, maybe bus bars (if there aren’t any) switching, controller, way to attach the cable out to the panels, etc.

          Some of this is “supporting” infrastructure but it’s not always all there or all adequate. Voltage drop is the enemy and sometimes things need to be re-sized or re-wired to accommodate. Also, batteries should be same size/type/age, so sometimes new batteries (and of course their wires/fusing) need to be upgraded.

          Not to make it sound like a mountain, but just that you can’t always “just” buy two panels and string them out (some can; just depends on what’s already there).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      My recommendation is Starlight Solar in Yuma if, perchance, you are in that area.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You can email Starlight and set up an appt. They have a website with contact info. Ask them if you can camp in their lot the night before the appt. (It’s in a good area.) Then the next morning their team can hit the ground, or your roof, as it were, running. It’s an easy way to have solar installed and they are highly professional.

  17. Pat H. says:

    I plan on going to the Yuma area when I leave Quartzsite.

  18. Pookie in SE Texas says:

    just back from eating mexican food….
    giving mama a rest from our family Christmas party.
    she did such a great job of putting everything together..
    dont know how you women do what you do……I get tired
    just watching her….
    as usual great post again young lady…..keep up the good work.
    chuck

  19. Sidewinder Pen says:

    Since this ended up at the very bottom of the last comment section, and maybe was missed, I just wanted to say…

    Happy “Golden Age Pass Day,” Julie, Molly & gizmo (Idaho)!!

    May it serve you well 🙂

  20. DesertGinger says:

    So….I can’t remember what I have shared here. I think this stuff is impacting my thinking. When I saw the doc on Wednesday she told me I have severe pulmonary hypertension. Jolene was kind enough to tell me about a Facebook group whichihave joined, and am gathering info already. PHisrare, only about 200,000 cases in US, fatal, no cure other than possibly lung transplant. I have to say learning you have a terminal disease just doesn’t make your day. And they tell me my case is pretty advanced. I don’t know how or when that happened. Meanwhile I’m just trying to manage day by day. Very tir d, but slowly regaining a little strength.

    Off to bed now. Hope everyone is doing great.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      The Blogorino creed:

      Some roads we go down in life are smooth and easy, and some we take are rough and rocky. This one’s gonna be a little bumpy and scary at times… but we’re gonna go down it together the same way we’ve gone down all the ones before – hand in hand – taking it one moment, one hour, and one day at a time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Sweet Ginger…. I don’t know what I can add to what Cinandjules wrote so well, other than to say there are many “hands” here to hold yours across cyberspace. Reach out whenever you feel like it. Hugs and love…

    • Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in SoFlo (for now) says:

      Hey Ginger, sorry to hear about the trouble you are having. My thoughts and prayers are with you, and if my hands are ever in your neighborhood, they are ready to help too.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Ginger,

      Man, that’s a blow. I’m so sorry.

      I hope you want to keep posting here (even “real” things that may not always be happy-dappy) because you’re part of the group and we care about you. (Of course only post when/if you feel like it, but I just mean that you would sure be missed if you didn’t.)

      I’m thinking of you.

    • cc and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

      OOOOhhhh Ginger….Thank you for sharing. It is good that you have found a support group, that understands the specifics of what you are going through. The blogorinos will all be here to listen and to pray for you..

      Hugs and prayers…

    • Pamela K. says:

      Ginger,
      Reading this news of yours…it leaves me speechless!
      I have tried to find words to write, to comfort you but the words are not coming my way. I can only say my heart hurts “for you” and “with you”. If you are ever in need of anything please reach out to us, as well as your own family and friends. Above all know that “You’ll Never Walk Alone”.
      Pamela and Klemper

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      SO sorry to hear this Ginger…prayers that you will be able to manage this in the best possible way for you…and that somehow they can help with any pain or discomfort!! Life holds a lot of hard places. Pray you will have peace most of all!!

    • Applegirl NY says:

      DG, I am so sorry that you have had such difficult news. As others have said, we are praying for you. I have been keeping you in my prayers and will be even more diligent. I know you can find strength in the Lord, especially through such discouraging times. Hang in there. So glad you could feel you could reach out to us. If you have any specific prayer request, please let us know.

  21. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Like everyone else, I am enjoying all these pages of awesome pictures. It has been great traveling with you in 2015 and am looking forward to 2016

    Thanks for the memories. 🙂
    Sending big hugs to you and the crew

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hugs to you and to your crew, too, Pauline! Wishing you and the entire family a great new year!

  22. Good Morning Sue! If I may jump in here a minute…lots to do, but need to add my 2 cents..ha! As you know we have purchased a 35 foot class A, BUT, we are keeping our pop-up for those mountain trips, by streams, where a big Class A would just look out of place…but I never thought about keeping it for alternative like was discussed here, we just loved our pop-up so much and could not think of letting it go….actually we are using it in a couple of weeks to go to Salton Sea…sometimes one just needs to feel closer to nature and it is more like tent camping only softer…but still out in nature listening to the birds and night things roaming around…love it.

    I love the pictures and continue to love the look back! Especially as we move forward.

    I have been in hiatus also, as my Daughter was in town from Boise…fun times with my two girls back together again enjoying family time…

    Happy New Year to you and the Crew and to all the Blogorinos.

  23. Chris(MN) says:

    Sue, thank you so very much for letting me use your blog for my rv question. It has really got me thinking! Things were brought up that I have never would have thought of my own. Sometimes you really need a fresh set of eyes looking at a problem. Plus, you have great people coming to your blog. THANK YOU, EVERYONE!

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      And as a side bonus, I think it’s interesting to most of us. I mean, who among us (well, maybe Sue with her PTV/BLT 😀 :D) hasn’t noodled the idea of a different rig/combo? I chose what I chose, but I could see myself enjoying a couple of other setups just as much (sometimes more, sometimes less).

    • Applegirl NY says:

      Chris, I found the entire topic of your 5th wheel decision and everyone’s input very interesting. I learn so much more when people discuss the ups and downs of different options from their own experience than I learn from reading an article. So, Chris, thanks for starting the topic.

      And thanks to Sue for allowing the free exchange of information and ideas.

  24. Velda says:

    Sue I know you don’t watch many videos due to internet constraints but tonight I stumbled upon a song you should listen to sometime. On YouTube it’s listed at Casita Me Gusta. Song written of course by a Casita owner!

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