A new camp and a new problem!

Friday, September 13

Bridget knows it’s moving day the moment I fold up the crew’s pen.  From that point on she keeps on my heels as I go about packing us up.  Last task is to hitch.  I put her and Spike into the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

It’s an easy hitch this morning and we’re on our way north!

Highway 101 takes us to Sequim (pronounced Squim) where I take the ramp to Wal-Mart.  It’s been ages since I’ve cruised the aisles of a Wal-Mart.  I zip over to the men’s department.  Men’s clothing is more rugged and long-lasting than women’s.  It also is more comfortable.

We’re bound to hit some chilly, damp weather soon.


Foggy morning in the Pacific Northwest

My cool weather wardrobe is sparse.  I toss two sweatshirts into my cart.  I find a fleece zip-up jacket with hood.  In it goes!  A circular rack holds long-sleeved shirts in a durable fabric with a wide choice of colors.  I pick loden green, a color I love.

Next I cruise the electronics department.

I pick up a small, 100-watt inverter.  I already have one that I use for charging up my camera battery, kindle, and cellphone.  It has a lot of hours on it, so now it will serve as a back-up inverter.

I grab a few groceries and soon the crew and I are back on Highway 101.

We’re going west now to Port Angeles, the largest city on the north side of the Olympic Peninsula.  As I drive through the busy city, I get a brief glimpse of the Strait of Juan de Fuca before making a left turn.  Now is not the time to sight-see.  Securing a camp as soon as possible — it being a Friday — is most important.

Six miles south of Port Angeles, we come to the toll booth for Olympic National Park.


Okay, everyone!   V.I.P., coming through!

I show my senior pass and the lady waves us through.

Heart of the Hills campground has five loops.  I drive through all of them looking for a campsite that suits our needs.  It needs to be long enough, level enough, and providing some sunshine for the solar panel.  It’s after noon and sites are filling up quickly.

I find what I’m looking for and back in!

This campground is perfect.  There’s good separation between sites, drinking water, trash bins, restrooms (not needed), and camp hosts (security).  The crew and I walk up to the pay station.  I write a check for $18 for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Six dollars a night is a great deal for a lovely campground only six miles from a small city!

Saturday, September 14

Around three o’clock in the morning I’m awakened by a clickety-clacking.  What is that?  I turn my head on the pillow to look at the refrigerator panel.  Lights are flashing helter-skelter.  Uh-oh.  That doesn’t look like an empty propane tank.   That looks like a problem.

I get up and light one of the burners on the stove.

A steady flame appears.  Well, it’s not a propane problem.  I fiddle with the buttons on the fridge.  The frantic clicking continues.  I turn off the fridge and go back to bad.

Hmm . . . Yesterday afternoon the big inverter that I use for the laptop started to squawk.  After a day of driving in full sun the laptop shouldn’t have taken the battery’s charge down to minimum level.  The inverter was screaming bloody murder.  I bet the house battery died.

I expected this.

The house battery is the kind that requires regular maintenance — you know, like checking the water level?  I never do that.  I can’t do that.  I can’t get the battery out of the compartment.  From the beginning I resigned myself to the fact that the life of the battery will be shortened by my neglect.

Oh well, I got two years out of it.  I’ve wanted one of those AGM batteries for the BLT anyway.  Love the words “no maintenance.”

I lie in bed making a plan.

Not only am I unable to pull a battery out of the compartment.  I cannot put a battery into the compartment.  So . . . I’ll just hitch up the BLT and take it into Port Angeles.  I’ll buy an Optima yellow-top battery to match the two in the PTV and have the store person change out the batteries for me . . . .

Gee, good thing this happened during cool weather.  All those groceries I bought will be okay if I get a new battery in the morning.

With that plan in mind, I drift off to sleep.


NOTE:  Few photos this entry due to rain and mist.  More next time . . .



This entry was posted in Simple living and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to A new camp and a new problem!

  1. Mick says:

    A picture just like yours from google earth:

  2. Ms Minimal says:

    Hi Sue,

    Sorry to hear about your battery but I’m with you. As full timing single women there are some things we just have to compromise on from the get-go. I hope the battery purchase & install is uneventful tomorrow. 🙂

    Loved the ferry posts! Spike & Bridge are such characters. You are a lucky woman. 🙂


    Ms. Minimal

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ms. Minimal!

      Well, actually the “compromise” isn’t from being a single woman. It’s from not having the strength to pull the battery out, which is slightly different. 🙂

      Nice to hear you enjoyed reading about our ferry adventure. Yes, I’m very fortunate indeed.

      • I used to have the same problem until I got rid of the rigid wiring that Casita uses and ordered flexible battery wiring from Little House Customs (www.LittleHouseCustoms.com). I also put some sort cord around the waist of the battery to make it easy to pull out. Set it on a small table or stool to fill the cells with distilled water.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          The wiring on the BLT is not “rigid.” My battery tray is not mounted straight. The angle means one has to lift and turn the battery slightly in order to slide it out. I don’t need to do any adjustments with a no maintenance battery.

          • Eileen says:

            With all due respect…the battery wiring on ALL Casitas as they come from the factory is, in fact, rigid. It makes getting the battery in and out very difficult. Did you upgrade from the standard converter in your Casita? Otherwise, the Optima battery (which I realize is maintenance free) will fail prematurely, as in about the same amount of time as the OEM battery. Just sayin…

  3. kgdan says:

    Now you are REALLY getting into the land of my younger days! I hope you enjoy the scenic drive around Lake Crescent—10 miles of beautiful but very curvy road. Back in the day . . . when logging was king, we had to be careful to get out of the way of the empty logging trucks hurrying around the lake to get back for another load of logs. The drivers were paid by the load and had to drive 135-150 miles round trip for one load. We locals understood the culture but the tourists were terrified!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kgdan!

      I’m looking forward to seeing Lake Crescent. Les and a woman named Gail whom I met at Falls View both told me to take the road past Lake Crescent because it’s beautiful. There’s some good camping that way.

  4. Linda Sand says:

    Ah, AGM batteries. Love my AGMs. Mine are under the floor in my van so the van has to go up on a hoist to change them from below. Right. Mine are not quite a year old, though, so I should have four years before having to do anything about them. Have I said I love my AGMs?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda!

      I love my two AGMs, too! It’s bothered me that the house battery wasn’t an AGM, too, so I didn’t shed any tears over its demise.

  5. Kim says:

    I’ll add my voice to the chorus extolling the AGMs. I love mine! Good to hear it will be a relatively easy, and not wholly unexpected, fix.

    Have you noticed how men’s clothing is also cheaper?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kim!

      Oh, yeah. Men’s clothing has always been cheaper even though they require more fabric to make. That’s one of the reasons I shop in the men’s dept. It’s a matter of pride that I’m not being ripped off while at the same time buying something that will disintegrate, fade, fall apart, stretch, sag, bag, and/or shrink.

      And women’s fashions are so stupid and foolish-looking.

      • PNW Alison says:

        This clothing issue is pet peeve of mine too. So often women’s pants have very small shallow pockets, or not as many. Why? Does some designer think we don’t use pockets? And men’s clothes don’t always fit as well, so there’s a compromise there too.
        It’s better than it used to be, 30 years ago there were no women’s options if you wanted climbing or backcountry clothes. You had to get men’s.

        • Pen says:

          Women after my own heart. I did used to buy women’s pants, at least. Because, having larger hips/smaller waist, they fit better. Then they began (seemingly) making EVERY PAIR of women’s pants extreme hip huggers (first clue: zipper is about 2″ long). Okay, fine that’s the style. But must they all be that way? Answering myself: Apparently yes. Then I figured out that men’s pants aren’t like this. Now, even though I have not changed, men’s pants actually fit me better. Go figure. For the most part I like them better as well.

          RVSue, you may not remember (because you have so many readers), but I mentioned that I was “following you around” last winter/spring (Navajo Nat’l Monument, up through Utah, etc.). And then (having made tracks to WA) passed you up and now you’ve been “catching up” to me. Well, guess where I am now? Yep, Sequim. And last week? Lake Crescent 😀 Now I’m about to “jump” back to the Southwest, but who knows, maybe one of these days we’ll meet up (with advance notice, of course).


          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Continuing the clothing issue…. When was it? Last year or the year before when women’s shirts were cut in half? In other words the shirts stopped at the lowest rib. You couldn’t tuck them in and bare skin showed if you took a sip from your coffee cup. How absolutely ridiculous is that!

            And not every woman wants a scoop neck or wooden beads hanging off her or sparkles or metal discs inserted in her shirt.

            On a brighter note… Gee, Pen… you’re my trailblazer! 🙂 Isn’t this wonderful country! I’ll be heading to the Southwest soon, too.

  6. Bill Redding says:

    Hello SUE! Been awhile. I check your blog about every other week. The place in CO is not cell or internet friendly. I’m checking in because, if you remem, we got that ‘darn’ non’AGM’ battery out once. It was the same day (I think) when we found the jack for the PTV! Mayabe nott….makes a good story. More later… buzy year!, for you too. Hi to engineer MICK! LV NM Bill

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, Bill! Great to hear from you again. I was thinking of you and Kathy just the other day. I hope you and yours are out of the flood zone in CO and doing well, including the pups!

  7. Mark Watson says:

    Gads… on Google earth, 43 cars and 4 motorcycles waiting to get through the entrance toll booth. I think I would turn around and go somewhere else.
    How many cars were inline ahead of you Sue?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mark!

      That Google pic must have been taken on Saturday. I took a drive up Hurricane Ridge and I think I saw all 43 cars and 4 motorcycles. . . plus about 15 cyclists who rode up to my rear bumper going downhill on a winding road at 45 mph. The campground was full. Now it’s almost empty.

      So to answer your question . . . I arrived on a Friday and the only vehicles in front of me were the ones in the photo (pic taken with hand out the PTV’s window).

  8. Barrie says:

    Hi Sue,
    Thanks for the reminder about checking the batteries. I’m getting ready to leave tomorrow on my next adventure and forgot to check mine. I have a battery box on the front of my trailer and still forget.

    I still check your blog every day and go through your site for my Amazon purchases. I really appreciate hearing about Bridget and Spike ( OK, you too… 🙂 ) I’m not quite ready to head to the southwest for the winter but hopefully next year. It is 33*F outside this morning so that should be motivation enough.

    Thanks for sharing your adventures. By the way, I buy all my clothes at Goodwill. I always have a place to search for when I enter a new community.

    All the best,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barrie!

      Most of the clothes I own come from Goodwill and other thrift stores. It is fun to check them out when passing through new places. I haven’t hit a good one in a long time.

      Thank you for going to Amazon from here! I appreciate your loyalty very much.

      Enjoy your next adventure! And keep warm!

  9. Hotel California says:

    I have a question about Amazon purchases through your site. I’ve recently made a couple of purchases by clicking on one of the previously purchased item links you provide at the end of your daily post. Do you get credit for that or should I go back to the Amazon link at the top of your post?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Hotel!

      It doesn’t matter what link you use . . . the ones in the sidebar, the one at the top, the ones at the bottom, the Amazon search box, or any of the links on the Shopping Links pages.

      If you go to Amazon from here, anything you buy (doesn’t have to be the same as the link’s product) within 24 hours gives me a commission. In other words, click on a link for a battery and end up buying a flashlight… I get credit. 🙂

      Thanks for caring enough to ask this question, and also for doing your Amazon shopping through my blog!

  10. It’s terrific fun reading about you being in the same locations we were this summer. We loved the Pacific Northwest wholeheartedly, and Olympic and Mt Rainier in particular.

    There is an amazing market in Sequim at 261461 Hwy 101 W, called Sunny Farms, should you have occasion to go through Sequim again. Amazing produce, a machine that lets you grind your own fresh peanut butter, and delicious frozen yogurt among other things.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Tamara!

      I wanted to camp a few miles outside of Sequim so I could explore it. There’s a campground called Dungeness Forks south of Sequim but I read it can be 20 degrees colder there. Sequim sounds like a neat place.

      I’ve wondered why people put up with the cloudy, foggy, rainy weather in the PNW. Now I know! I love it here, too, and want to come back.

      I’m glad you enjoy reading about your summer locations through my eyes. 🙂

  11. Shirlene says:

    Hi Sue,
    I now do all my Amazon shopping through your web site, and I seem to buy frequently so I hope you reap the benefits of my indulgent spending habits. I have been to sequim myself and loved it there…I would move then when I retire but I will be on the road like you following my every whim…except for winters which I promised to Florida. Stay safe as I follow you almost every day and think about you cuddled up with those cute crittes of yours every night sleeping with the stars.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shirlene!

      You sweetie! You do all your shopping here… Thanks so much!

      Your comment about me “cuddled up with those cute critters . . . sleeping with the stars” gave me a few chuckles. It is a great way to live and my critters make it even better.

      I’m happy to read you will be following your whims. You stay safe, too, and thanks for writing!

  12. rvsueandcrew says:


    Please do not write comments that go to my yahoo email address. The same goes for private messages on forums. Please write your comments here.

    Sometimes people feel they need to ask me a question privately. Almost 100% of the time it’s a question other readers would like to read.

    I do not read emails sent to my yahoo email address.

    I’d disconnect the yahoo email but I fear it would mess up the email notification (subscription) feature of my blog. I did not realize my yahoo email was made public until recently. So if you’ve written to me there, I didn’t ignore you personally.

    Sometimes I have limited charge for my laptop due to cloudy weather. I have to limit my online time and adding more steps is not good. I hope you understand.

    Thank you!

  13. Cecilia says:

    When I was ten years old, we spent a whole summer living in a trailer in Sequim. The ocean was across the street from where we were camped. Back then the oysters and clams were so easy to get. I didn’t like clam chowder, so my mom called in bacon soup. I liked her bacon soup. There was a creek that we played in. We had a blast that summer. One of my best memories. Another is Hurricane Ridge. Sure hope you get up there.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cecilia!

      That does sound like a magical summer of your childhood. I drove part of the way up Hurricane Ridge, went through the tunnels. Of course, the view was obscured by heavy fog! I don’t know if I’ll go back up there. These high places and mountain climbs are not my favorite things.

  14. Just a note to let Alan know I posted on previous blog about flood conditions here, and to Donna about adopting a forever furball friend!

  15. Hope you have your AGM by now ! I remember my Casita battery being a real PIA to check or do anything with. Seems like they could at least put in a drawer like system that you could pull out like the Oliver has.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      I tried taking the battery out once and decided… nope… I’m not doing this again. It’s a sure way to wrench your back. But now, it doesn’t matter because I have an AGM!

  16. AZ Jim says:

    Still riding along. Still warm her in Arizona. Quite a contrast to your weather. But the hand on the clock still turns so it won’t be long till Arizona will be the place to be. I’ll know when the parking lot at Safeway has 50% out of state license plates and you have to wait for a table at the restaurant. 104 so far today though.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim!

      Your description of AZ reminds me of FL. The snowbirds would flood the stores and streets every winter, and it seemed like no one knew where they were going. 🙂

  17. Barb says:

    Hey Sue!
    I keep thinking the rain is going to catch me, then we keep getting a slice of sunshine! Each time I think of you and hoping you are able to enjoy as much as our WA has to offer. I am AMAZED by the critters… They are so good! Now my two? They would have probably pulled me right over the edge of the ferry and laughed at me on the way down! Where on earth did I go wrong??? LOL I am so glad you had a good time.

    Hugs from Hoquiam!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb!

      As you can see from the weather widget on this page, rain and clouds are here for several days. Today is partly cloudy… a bit of sunshine now and then.

      I’m amazed by the crew, too! Maybe all this moving around and changing where we live has made them super adaptable. They took that ferry ride in their stride!

  18. Gayle says:

    After watching the Dr. Oz Show this afternoon, I felt compelled to share with you and other solo RVers, how to save your own life in 30 seconds if you are alone. See http://www.doctoroz.com for his video “Self-Heimlich Maneuver.” This knowledge could be the most important part of everyone’s first aid kit — this information and the back of a sturdy chair!

  19. Sye says:

    I spent the day looking at people who live as you – day dreaming of that life – trying to convince my husband to see the way! I stumble upon your blog from another person from youtube – and I find it so ironic that I live in Forks and the day I find you – you are in Port Angeles! (55 miles or so away) I was wondering how those solar panels work in cloudy climates such as ours – now maybe I will get to find out first hand – here on the coast it is supposed to rain – not sure what PA is gonna get – Oh Port Angeles is always PA =) Well enjoy the Peninsula – maybe you will make it to the west end on your travels – so enjoy that too!

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