Different rigs for different vagabonds

Wednesday, November 5

Bridget watches as I bring our comforter outside and drape it over a chair.  The air is fresh and clean-smelling at our campsite in Cholla Campground at Lake Roosevelt, Arizona.  Every few days I air out the bed covers to keep them fresh.  Most of the morning I’m online or puttering around the Best Little Trailer.

In the afternoon Bridget and I board the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

The shower house is a short walk from our campsite.  I drive there in order to have a place for Bridget to wait.  She’s used to waiting in the PTV.   Back at camp, I take my Paperwhite and a drink to the lounger, push back, and read while my hair, which is way overdue for a cut, dries in the warm, dry sunshine.

“Gosh, Bridget, we’d better go over to Krystina’s and Cheri’s before we lose light for the photos.”

As I’m opening up Bridget’s stroller, Jack appears around the side of the PTV.

“Hello!  Whatcha’ been up to?” he asks in greeting.  Jack has a contagious smile and an easy-going manner to go with it.  I smile back.

“Not much, Jack.  Come have a seat.”  Jack’s a natural story-teller.  I’m not going to pass up an opportunity to listen to another one of his stories.

I also know to ask questions of people with more experience than I have. 

“Where do you go for groceries around here?  Don’t tell me Payson or Globe . . . . “

“Noooo, you don’t have to go that far.  There’s a grocery in Tonto Basin,” he replies.  “It’s behind a gas station, on the left side as you drive from here.”

“Gee, I drove right past it on the way here and never noticed it.”

We visit a bit and then I explain that I’m expected at two other campsites. 

“Wait up a minute and I’ll walk with you to your campsite,”  I say as Jack moves to leave.

I put Bridget in her stroller and shut the door to the BLT.   I push the stroller onto the campground road.  Jack and I walk with the sun in our eyes as it hangs low in the sky.  We lapse into a teasing banter before parting at his site.

Krystina appears at the door of her Four Winds Class C motor home.

“Sorry I’m late, Krystina!”

1-P1010386-002“Wow!  You have a beautiful rig!”  I park Bridget’s stroller and put her on the ground.

1-P1010387-002Krystina hasn’t had her RV very long, having purchased it last spring.

“Come on inside and look,” she says.  “Bridget can come in, too, as long as she doesn’t jump up on my leather couch.”

Bridget jump up on a couch?  Ha!  That’ll be the day.  Why would Her Most Specialness jump up on anything when she has a handmaiden to lift her?

The interior of Krystina’s rig is very spacious due to a large slide-out that expands the living room.

1-P1010385-002I notice what looks like a three-quarter bed in the back.

“See my long counter top?” Krystina proudly points out.  Previously she told me that the counter top was one of the features that she liked most about the Four Winds.

Note:  Due to the low light conditions, I had to monkey around with the photos in Picassa editor before inserting them into this post.

I mention the fading light to Krystina and invite her to join Bridget and me in a visit to Cheri’s campsite.

Cheri gives us a big hello upon our arrival.  Of course, Tony the yorkie sprints out to greet Bridget.  Tony isn’t very big physically but he’s got one heckuva geared-up motor in that little body of his!

I snap several photos of Tony as he races around the campsite.

1-P1010394-002In only these few is Tony recognizable as a real dog and not a phantom blur of fur.

1-P1010398-001 - CopyCheri and Krystina introduce themselves to each other because I’m too busy twirling around trying to photograph Tony.

Next I turn to take photos of Cheri’s van. 

She has a Ford high-top in excellent condition.  Sweet!

1-P1010403-001Living full-time in a van is, in my opinion, an art form. 

You can’t do it well without the self-discipline, as well as the creativity, of an artist.

1-P1010388-001

Obviously Cheri does it well.

“I’ve learned not to keep anything I don’t need,” Cheri remarks.  “Keep it simple!”

Cheri, Krystina and I settle around the picnic table.

We talk while watching Tony try to play with Bridget.  Bridget looks at the energetic ball of fur with disdain, adding a snarl or two to make sure he gets the message.

1-P1010401-001 - CopyWe notice Cheri’s flexible solar panel on the ground.

1-P1010399 - CopyCheri tells us it’s 130 watts.  Hmm . . . .  Easy to store.  Roll it up and put it away.  Van dwellers don’t waste space!

“I didn’t want a solid solar panel because that would mean drilling holes into the roof of my van.  That’s fiberglass and driving over bumpy roads would lead to leaks . . . .”

“I know what you mean.  I feel the same way,” I agree.

Both Krystina and I drool all over Cheri’s campsite.

“I am so jealous, Cheri.  This is a beautiful campsite!  When did you say you’re leaving?” I ask, kidding her (or maybe not!).

One can see Roosevelt Lake with the mountains beyond.  Most of the sites at Cholla Campground are surrounded by trees and bushes, blocking the view.

“Ooh!  Look at THAT!” Krystina exclaims.

The three of us get up from our seats and stand in awe of the artistry before us.

1-P1010413-001The sun has set; time to return to our homes.

I push a sleepy-eyed Bridget toward our campsite.  “This little girl needs to go to bed,” I announce to no one in particular.

Krystina, Cheri, and I . . . .  Three different people with three different rigs — a Class C with slide, a high-top van, and a small travel trailer pulled by a van.  Our choice of RV reflects who we are and what suits us best while living “on the road.”

rvsue

THANKS, RVSUE SHOPPERS!

I appreciate every Amazon purchase you make through my blog.

1-P1010405-001“Tired yet, Tony?”

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204 Responses to Different rigs for different vagabonds

  1. Cat Lady in Baton Rouge, LA says:

    Love the pictures of the pups.

    Cat Lady

  2. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    I had a Yorkie. We have a 1/2 acre yard and he made hundreds of rounds of that yard a day when he was outside. When he was inside it was all over the furniture and all over the house. I loved him, but we had so many animals, that when I got a chance for him to go to a really good home, I gave him away. He is one spoiled and happy dog now. Love the other rigs in this blog. I think I would be the Class C type if I had a choice. We have a 36 foot Class A right now, but we are still just weekenders. Three more years and counting.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Jean,

      I wonder if all yorkies are that… um … energetic. 🙂

      • Teresa from NC says:

        Hi. I had a yorkie for 16 yrs. When he was a pup, he would go get my travel alarm clock, and bring it around the corner for me to see that he thought it was time for bed:-) About midway through his life (yesterday would’ve been his 19th bday), he became a “sit so I can get in your lap, or hold me if you’re standing” little dude. I would always tell people who wanted a yorkie because he was so mild mannered that this wasn’t their normal behavior…if they didn’t listen, it was sure fun to watch:-)

  3. Pauline in Mississippi says:

    Another interesting post!!! Tony is a cutie but Bridget still has my heart…..after Charlie and Sassy, of course. The sunset picture is gorgeous and could be featured in a magazine.

    Love you

  4. Lee J, still in Northern California says:

    Variety is the spice of life…we have had everything from a surplus WW2 stinky canvas tent to our current Casita, love the Casita, the tent, not so much…did I say stinky? Lol

    Thanks for sharing what our fellow blogorinos use..nice!

    We are off to Klamath Falls to meet our new great grand son, wow, how did we get this old? I guess 68 is a reality, sigh, lol…

    Any other greats out there?

  5. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts, VA says:

    Awesome sunset, straight from an artists’ pallet. Sue, I am so very glad you have such nice neighbors to chat with and share experiences. Even Bridget has little friends…
    I know how unique the camping mode experience is. You just have to find what suits you best. My little camper is only a 13 footer. I know when I hit the road for longer trips I will need a bathroom in camper and fridge, So in the future will get another one. Been the route of tents, converted vans, pop ups and heavy small tag a longs. A lot depends on your purpose. I found the converted van to suite the best for cross country and one niters. No set up and get up and go. Getting too old for tents in cold weather and it takes as long to set up as any camper or longer. I do use them where I can’t take my camper. Pop ups are great for those with fear of hauling because you can see over them when traveling, pain to set up and don’t want to take down in the rain. Heavy tag alongs, duhh not for me, Had one come off the hitch in heavy traffic once. Never again.
    Fiberglass is for me, now a 13 footer later a 16 or 17 footer. Light weight, and will last.
    Oh well, just two cents worth. Everyone is different, the more you travel and camp the more you know what suits you best.
    Have a great time time Sue and Take Care Sue and little crewet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great input for our ongoing discussion of rigs. I suspect many of my followers are looking for insight into the pros and cons of different types of rigs. Thanks, Diane.

      • Dawn in MI says:

        Diane that was really helpful to those of us pondering the differences and what we might like to do. Had not thought about taking a popup down in the rain.

    • Lolalo says:

      We have had similar experiences. We started out tent camping, then one day while driving home, we noticed a little camper being put out on the side of the road for sale. I told my husband to turn around and let’s look at it. It was a little 13′ Scamp. We bought it on the spot and found out later we got a really good deal. We loved camping with the Scamp because we could camp in any weather and be totally comfortable and cozy. We had the fever!
      So we found out that people were actually full timing in their campers. So we bought a Class A motorhome and will be hitting the road by the end of the year.
      Although we plan to full time in the motorhome starting out, we also are planning to spend a summer in Alaska with either the Scamp or just the van. We are so excited to start our journey soon!
      While tent camping in the Smokies one year, a pop-up camper pulled in across from us at night. They were cranking and banging and obviously having much difficulty setting up. We then decided a pop-up was NOT for us. Seemed to take longer than setting up a tent, was loud, and seemed like a real chore.
      And, if I may make a suggestion (sidetrack) – people with larger rigs that need help backing into a site – a cheap set of walkie talkies will allow you to communicate without yelling and screaming directions and disturbing other people in the campground. OR you can learn to use hand signals by staying within site of the driver’s mirror. It is very simple. And quiet.
      I think the key to finding the best camper best suited for you is to take your time to evaluate what is out there and research, research, research. Go look at all options and weigh out the pros and cons for your situation. There are all kinds of possibilities – just find your dream.

  6. Shirlene says:

    Hi Sue, Cheri and Kristina….great shots of the rigs…and what fun to meet up with other solo travelers that are women….Life IS good. Bridget looks good although a little anoyed at that little thing that moves too fast for her…then again she is a princess..

    I am starting my weekend early and leaving work in a few minutes. It is beautiful weather here also, going to be in the 90’s again today..you know what here I come (I don’t like to rub it in)..

    Have a good weekend Sue and enjoy the great company that you have around you…I think that your stealth camping days may soon be over, you are very famous.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It’s Friday already? If it weren’t for this blog, I’d never know what day it is. Have a wonderful weekend, Shirlene. Enjoy the sunshine!

      (I winced at your last line. The day my secluded camps are over is the day I quit blogging!)

      • Shirlene says:

        I cannot wait until I do not know what day it is or care what day it is….18 months… 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Retirement gives “ignorance is bliss” a greater meaning!

        • Shirlene says:

          Please NEVER stop!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I don’t intend to stop. I can do this socializing for a little while and then I’ll have to go off by myself.

            • Shirlene says:

              Yup, I get that about you…we appreciate all the time that you give and respect that alone time is important to you and to all of us.

            • That is the awesome thing about fulltiming – you can go yo campgrounds and have some social time, them go off to a boondock spot and be alone. Best if both worlds! That fits Greg and me to the tee. Can’t wait for the big escape. As wlways , thanks for sharing Sue. You are an inspiration!

  7. kgdan says:

    We have looked at rigs just a little larger than ours; some that are roomier & nice. Currently we are surrounded by monster sized big rigs & we get stares like HOW can you live in THAT! For some reason we are very comfortable living in the Casita & could not imagine anything else.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kathy and Gil,

      One thing you do that makes your Casita plenty big enough for the both of you… I noticed this when we camped together at Antelope Flat. You use the outdoors as part of your living space, and I mean more than simply eating outside.

      You set up a table with wash basins on it for the dishes. You have a cooker for outside. You sit around a campfire. Your home is more than the Casita. Your home includes your campsite. You don’t confine yourself to the interior of your rig.

      Gee, with those big rigs nearby I hope you get some sun on your solar panels!

      • Lolalo says:

        Perfect! The outdoors is the whole reason for living this lifestyle.

        • Pamela K. says:

          Hi Lolalo,
          It is great to use the outdoors as part of living-space. Hubby and I do, as do most RVers. But some do not and frankly it really surprised us to learn this when we first started RVing. We have friends who never, I mean never, go out side except to take short walks and do general maintenance. At first I found this to be most odd. Then they explained why as we got to know them better. For them RV full-timing was a way for them to be involved in each of their Grand-children’s lives. Their own children live many miles apart from them and so RVing is the way to go and stay and visit and be with their children and grand-kids. Since they do not use the outdoors for any of their RV needs they travel in a 40ft custom built Airstream. It took them 3 years to negotiate with the Airstream factory to have their rig built only for them and is a one-of-a-kind. When they picked it up it was basically a shell-only with plumbing for the kitchen and bath, and all the electrical wiring! From there they had a design house to do the interior. It is AWESOME to say the least. Not for everyone for sure. But it works for them and they never even sit outside in the mornings or the evenings. No medical problems either, outdoors is not their thing. Their thing is customized comfort and purpose related travel. Alaska is their next big adventure to see the whales.

  8. mockturtle says:

    “I’ve learned not to keep anything I don’t need,” Cheri remarks. “Keep it simple!”

    I’m still in this learning curve. Moving from my small Class C to my even smaller Tiger has been a challenge, space-wise. But I’m getting there! 🙂

  9. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue and Bridget!!

    This campground is just so awesome!! So glad you have met all these wonderful people and little Tony, what a cutie! Some of those little dogs just go a mile a minute. Continue to enjoy your stay in this wonderful gem of a campground.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Jolene. I’m fortunate to be here.

      That little Tony is a whirlwind. He reminds me of those mini-tornadoes that swirl across the desert!

  10. Three solo women “on the road”. Amazing! And then there’s Jack. If he shows up at your next camp, we’re gonna think maybe the “crew” is not necessarily gonna include another four-legged kind. 🙂

    Take a look at “Bogie’s Page” on our blog and see if “Tony” has a certain resemblance. Of course, Bogie is MUCH cuter and less blurry. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ed,

      Not to take anything away from Cheri and Kristina . . . Three solo women on the road are no more amazing than three solo men on the road. This lifestyle is accessible and doable by anyone with the health, means, and desire for it.

      Jack is just as happy with his life as I am with mine. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. 🙂

  11. Calvin R says:

    I’m glad you and Bridget are having good days. That’s what adds up to a good life. I have followed to blog long enough to know that your social life has picked up a good bit. That’s good for however long you enjoy it.

    The choices of rigs and the changes people make once on the road fascinate me. For me, the central factors are (1) I am a minimalist; if I don’t need it, I don’t want it, and I define “need” pretty sharply; (2) I expect to at visit a town 2-4 times a week, sometimes more, which will involve driving, parking, and perhaps over-night stays in stealth mode and will give me access to many resources, (3) I want to see many places and meet a wide variety of people, at least in the first few years and I want good fuel mileage for that, and (4) I have good experiences with the rig I expect to use. I will be traveling solo the next time, and that should improve matters also. So, what I will probably do is use a minivan (Dodge Grand Caravan as first choice) as the basic vehicle, with a tent (search “SUV tent” for my choices) to give me space in camping situations (bathroom, storage, changing room) while preserving urban stealth. I will make a bed in the minivan (easy) and carry camping gear, including some version of a porta-potty. I have used this rig happily before, and a great deal of vehicular living information is available from the many vandweller groups and sites.

    Disclaimer: this rig might not suit anyone else in the USA. That’s fine. What does matter is that you study your own needs, desires, and resources to find what works for you.

    • Jan in Montana says:

      Calvin: I have done that on an even smaller scale-a subaru forester. It was great when traveling fast and thru cities. I had issues when overniting at private campgrounds when they said that a *homeless* person was not allowed to be there–finally became too much. Still like the concept, though.

      • Calvin R says:

        Hence one more reason for the tent. However, I expect to do a good bit of dispersed camping, so campground attitudes will not be as much of an issue. Private campground don’t do much for me. They’re too much like apartment buildings.

    • Gayle says:

      Calvin, I have a Town & Country minivan and have a tent that attaches to back of van , hatch up. Check out http://www.Tail Veil — a way to have a screen room and enclosed sleeping area (when it’s too buggy to sleep with windows open) all in one design, which stows in a small bag. Town & Country is only minivan offering stow & go seats. I have nowhere to stow 2 bench seats at home, so glad to have them fold down flat into the van floor. Can reconfigure seating according to need on the road.

      Jan, I hope your feelings weren’t hurt by campground people. Car camping and homelessness are NOT the same thing! Ouch!

      • Calvin R says:

        Gayle,

        Thank you for the experience. It always comes in handy sooner or later.

        I like the Grand Caravan simply because I have owned two of them and had good experiences. Well, and they have 9 feet of space behind the driver, or they did in 1995. I have a brother with much varied minivan experience, and he tells me the Town and Country is the “deluxe” Chrysler product. That sounds good to me.

        As far as the seats themselves, I will not be keeping mine. However, the wells for stow-and-go seats are nice spaces for other uses, such as coolers or storage. (Short of hitting the lottery, I will be shopping for an older unit, and I believe others have offered stow-and-go seating in the past.)

        I have studied the Tail Veil. It’s very attractive except for one thing; it cannot stand alone. That brings two drawbacks for me. One is that some campsites, including all the ones on the Blue Ridge Parkway, are set up for standalone tents only. The other is that I want to be able to keep a site and leave it partly set up while I go sight-seeing or go into a town. Given the convenience factor of a Tail Veil and the small size to stow when traveling, I might look for a work-around. I will have to let that decision wait until my money situation changes.

        • Calvin R (in Ohio) says:

          Looking back at this thread, I could use one of those cute little signs to hold my space. A tarp set up would do that too. Hmmm. Too many possibilities.

  12. AZ Jim says:

    How neat. What could be better, surrounded by breathtaking beauty and good neighbors (including Tony of course). The gals have nice rigs and seem to enjoy them. I like the roll-up solar panel. I scooped up that one pic of the setting sun view. I have built up quite a file of your photographic offerings. I’m having fun right along with ya Missy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      I have the full moon photo as my desktop wallpaper right now. Saguaro, mountains, full moon at sunset …. a cliched Arizona scene for a reason! I’m glad you’re having fun with us, Jim.

  13. DesertGinger says:

    I love the pics of the rigs. Wish I could see interiors.

    Had my psychological evaluation and testing this morning for my gastric sleeve surgery. Seemed to go well. Getting closer!

    Heart rate continues to be 100+. Don’t know what to do. Seeing new doc next week and hope he has some ideas.

    Well, back to working on mail and filing, and HRBlock homework!

    Later….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      Thanks for the update on this pesky heart rate issue. It’s good you’ll be seeing the doctor soon.

      It would be interesting for readers to see the interiors of rigs, but that’s personal living space and too intrusive for me to post photos.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Well, you can go online and look at all kinds of photos there, by looking up the name of the rig….and also look at the drawings to see how it is all laid out. Of course that won’t show how someone maybe adapted something…but it does help with general ideas….we have done that kind of looking a lot!!

  14. cluelesscampers and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:

    As usual, a fabulous post! Cute dog photos are always great…we currently have a 60 lb mutt (plotthound?), but next time we have a dog vacancy we’re looking to downsize there as well….so photos of cute smaller dogs are welcome. We’ve been trying to figure out how to do solar on our Winnebago Rialta, and don’t want to put anymore holes in the roof!! The roll up solar panels looks like a neat solution..do you have any info on it??

    • AlanOutandAbout says:

      I don’t want to put any holes in my all aluminum roof either. So I got some industrial grade silicon adhesive and glued 4 panels of wood, 1 for each anchor screw. The panels are 6x12x1.5 inch pressure treated lumber. I use threaded inserts in each panel for the anchor screws. I have the wood panels on now. I won’t do the rest until I get the solar panels. I put a roof top carrier on a Ford Bronco II in this manner and never had an issue. I went all over AZ in rough and smooth roads and it stayed put.

      Hi Sue, glad you are coming out of your shell a little. 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Aw, Alan… Me? In a shell? I rather think I’m just showing another side of my personality. I’m still a hermit at heart.

        Yes, you can put a solar panel on a rig, bounce it around, and not have issues. But you have to make sure you install it correctly. Glad yours worked for you!

      • Gayle says:

        Fiberglass shell … that is!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, cc& c,

      I don’t know if you’ve looked at the video showing flexible solar panels that is under Solar Panel in the heading. Look in the comments on that page for what Greg East has to say about his panels and also to find the link to his youtube video.

      I don’t have more info than what is shown there. A web search for “flexible solar panels” will bring up lots of sites for you.

  15. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hello, Sue!

    I have a goofy grin on my face. I am taking a break at work and thought I would check if there was a new post – BINGO! 🙂

    Thanks to you, Krystina and Cheri for sharing your choice of rigs with us. All of the rigs are sweet! Seeing them being used in real life helps us visualize our dreams and hopes for the future! It is so cool that there are so many choices out there. Just like ice cream….a flavor is out there to make everyone happy! Solo women campers, with or without a four-legged crew member rock!

    The sunset picture is beautiful! I would snap up Cheri’s site in a minute if you intend to stay in the area for a while. Those views cannot be beat!

    Tony is a little cutie! Too much energy for Bridge, huh?! 🙂

    Enjoy the rest of your day! Hugs to you both! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Denise,

      Yes, it is “cool” that there are many choices for anyone wanting to camp or live full-time on the road. I also appreciate Krystina and Cheri letting me feature their rigs in this post (as well as Tony!).

      Believe me, I will try to grab Cheri’s site when she leaves. 🙂

  16. Pamela K. says:

    Hi Sue and Bridget!
    Sue, I spent much of the morning reading several of your back blogs from 2011 and 2012. Reading them was so uplifting! Doing it was just what I needed today. I have been down in spirits of late. Klemper’s special work project has just moved from 5 days to 6 days a week, 10 hour days and that doesn’t count the drive time to and from work. Every year this happens starting this time of year. It makes plans for the holidays had to make so I wait…and wait…until the time is right again to plan stuff for the new year in late Jan. In the mean time this is when I usaully make my ~great solo escape~ to the ocean. That always perks me right back up again. Which brings me to my point…small campers are devine! My little Mouse House suits me fine. All 19ft of it and that measures from hitch to bumper. Makes me feel like Goldie Locks,
    just right. 😉 Funny how campers are like a pair of shoes. They fit us or they don’t. When we got the second RV, a 32ft, it was really nice but I soon missed full timing in the little one. Klemper would ask, “Don’t you like the larger kitchen and larger bath? That queen size bed is really nice too, and the full size refrige?” “Yes, sure I do, I like all of that.”, I replied. “But the little one is so cozy!!” Just look at those round windows that spand the front and the arched door. Round, not straight walls. I can’t help it. I am a bad Camper Momma, I have my favorites.” Poor Klemper, he laughs and declares the little one mine. “Mine?”, I question! Well then, time to redecorate it with a Fishing theme and the shopping search was on, lol. So that is the tale of the 2 RVs and how the little one became my get-away-during-winter camper! Now I’m just in a holding pattern until I get my senses filled up again at the ocean. 6 day work weeks and the 7th day is laundry/grocery day. Can I really survive it again this Winter? I guess, yes. Klemper’s worth it. 😉 Ain’t love grand? I indeed it IS.
    Well sweet lady Sue, thanks for picking up my mood today. I enjoyed every minute reading your posts. Hugs and enjoy that wonderful company and beautiful camp ground. Picture Perfect!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      I can see how that work schedule would tend to drag you down. It made me smile to read that my old blog posts gave you a lift.

      Interesting to read about you and your husband and your preference for the cozier camper. I’m glad you have Klemper to make the workload bearable. Bless you both!

  17. weather says:

    Today was errand day for me.While driving I saw a few RV’s and, of course,slowed to see every one.I didn’t stop and look at them because none was what I’m after,yet I liked things about each one.Then what a treat to find a new post by you!I read it while sharing a long overdue lunch with the troupe.When I was through staring at your photos I finally looked out the window and saw my first snowflakes this autumn.I am so-o in my happy world!!No wonder you had site envy about Cheri’s spot-beauty needs to be seen.

    Studying and admiring three rigs and the women that drive them ,I kept going back to look at how well you’d captured the day in the story with great pictures, narrative and detail. One thing stood out- your having driven to the shower so Bridget could wait in a way familiar to her and for less time.You know I really enjoy seeing what other blogorinos have done to make life work well for them,yet honestly could find an
    array of that web surfing any day.What’s kept me here is your heart.I like everyone’s RV’s,the only one I’ll love is my own-the one I’ll approach with relief after every excursion because to me it feels like home-like your blog does,thanks,Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I love the way you wrap up a comment with a sweet little compliment at the end for me, kind of like finding a bon-bon on a pillow. 🙂

      It is interesting seeing how other people take the RV concept and fashion their own style out of it. Both Krystina and Cheri seem very happy with the way they camp. Me, too!

      The first snowflakes. I bet it’s beautiful at your place.

      • weather says:

        The snow didn’t stick,it was lovely to see drifting past autumn’s colors.Hope the next thing found on a pillow there is your contented face,n’nite happy camper

      • weather says:

        Hope if you visited other pages beside this one today,they took you to beautiful places,this one does that for so many.Hope your feet took you somewhere lovely,that your mind floated,had fun-that peace drifted near and is in you right now,sleep well this good night,as ever- you’re held in prayer

  18. Walt says:

    Sue, I know you can’t personally address this, but it would be interesting to me (at least) to hear about the variety of RVs other couples full-time in. I suspect for us it will be a Class A, but no longer that 35 or 36-feet. I need some kitchen prep space, and my wife needs a couch to nap on. We also want to be able to bring a Jeep along for off-road excursions, but maybe there’s another set-up that would work for us as well. If so, I’d love to hear about it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, Walt, let’s see . . .

      BLOGORINO COUPLES: What kind of rig do you have? What do or don’t you like about it? Do you have a toad? etc.

      • Carrie ~ TN says:

        30′ TT here, well was. No toad, good napping couch. Prep in the kitchen has to be turned around to the booth table. It’s amazing how fast you get used to turning around.

        If you can do your off roadin’ with your tow vehicle a travel trailer will probably be good. We thought it was plenty space. Hope this helps Walt. 🙂

        • Carrie ~ TN says:

          Oh yes, the thing i really didn’t like about the TT was the low ceiling. Always felt way too close to the ceiling so much I’m trying to break the habit I developed of slouching.

      • chas anderson says:

        We have a 32 foot Flagstaff travel trailer.It is a super light and we tow with a 2500 Dodge Ram Cummins diesel.I need a truck for the property at home so it seemed like a good fit.We can unhook anytime we want and have a car.

        We snowbird only so the trailer is good.I couldn’t take a small one.I am 6 foot six and need the room.If we were fullyime we would get a small Class A.

      • Lolalo says:

        We have an Admiral Holiday Rambler. It is 32′, and fits in most campsites. We installed a hitch for our little toad Chevy HHR, which pulls with all four wheels down. It has a queen size bed, and a smallish couch, which lets out into a smallish bed. The kitchen has quite a bit of storage space, not quite enough counter space, but you can turn around and use the table. We also plan to have an IKEA wooden cutting board installed next to the sink that will fold up or down for extra counter space when needed. We also plan to cook outdoors most meals.
        One of the best features is the storage space in the bins. One goes completely from side to side. Not only the storage space, but the carrying capacity is adequate. That is a major factor to consider. Always check your carrying capacity of any camper because you must stay under that amount to be safe.

        • Lolalo says:

          Also verify the towing capacity of any camper you consider. A Jeep will tow with all four down.

          • Walt says:

            That’s one of the reasons we bought the Jeep. Right now, we have a 34-foot fifth wheel that we tow with a 2006 F-350 DRW diesel truck. That set up works okay for most state parks and RV parks, but not so well for boondocking or Forest Service campgrounds. Nor does the truck work well for exploring, as it is huge.

            A motorhome, if it isn’t much bigger than our fifth wheel (or is even a bit shorter), might work well for us and allow us to at least do more dry camping and use the Jeep for exploration. Part of me would not mind a camper on the current truck, but my wife is not inclined to go that small. 🙂

  19. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    OK, seems like the stroller needs an acronym. I propose:

    PTC = Perfect Terrier Carrier

    Anyone second?

  20. Toni Matthews says:

    Hey Sue, I love following your blog and plan to follow in your style soon. I have a Lance truck camper and a yellow lab! Would you have any more info on your friends flexible solar panel? If you do and wouldn’t mind please send it too me. Keep enjoying the good life!

    • AZ Jim says:

      Second the motion….let’s vote….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Toni,

      Glad to see you here! All the info I have is accessed through “Solar Panel” in the heading. Scroll down the comments to the youtube video and information provided by Greg East, a guy with flexible panels whom I met in Dubois, WY. That video is excellent!

      A Lance truck camper and a yellow lab… a great combo, Toni. You’ll be able to live similar to my style. . . in a style you make your own. 🙂

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Toni, if your not familiar with it you might enjoy http://zenonwheels.net/
      it is a blog run by fellow blogorino Michael and his recent adventures in a Lance truck camper.

  21. GJBCasita08 says:

    Hi Sue! I’ve read a few of your entries (bear visit during the night and the special day), but was curious about when you picked up your Casita. So I went back and read your blog from the beginning! I loved hearing about your travels and all, and will be following your adventures from now on. (Hugs to you for the loss of Spike. It’s hard to lose a pet, especially one that has such a personality.)
    Safe travels!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, GJBCasita08,

      I’m not sure if you’ve commented here before. Whatever the case, I’m happy to see you here now. 🙂 Thank you for reading my early posts.

      And thank you for your condolences regarding Spike. Yes, he was Mr. Personality!

  22. Gloria Brooks says:

    Awww! You got to spend time with Cheri and Tony! I met her and Tony at Bob’s Summer ’13 RTR and Rochelle and Tony spent some time together. I just loved to cuddle that little guy, he’s just too cute! So, you’re making your way leisurely toward the desert, it looks like. Wonderful!

    I made it here to Quartzsite two weeks ago, too soon. It’s still too hat for my liking but it will start to cool down for good by next week, according to Accuweather anyway. Not everyday has been too hot. We did enjoy several consecutive days in the mid 70’s.

    I had an issue with my solar controller and had to buzz down here early from Bishop, CA to Discount Solar in Quartzsite for them to look at it. It was indeed broke and I had it sent back to Blue Sky, the controller’s company. Thankfully, it was covered under my 5-year warranty and they chose to honor it. It’s hard to say what happened, but, I’m sure thankful to have a new solar controller!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gloria,

      Great to hear from you again! It’s also great to hear about a warranty being honored. Too bad you had that hassle, but hassles are bound to appear in one form or another.

      Be well and happy…

  23. Sondra-SC says:

    Hello to Sue & everyone and I just got a reminder from the NPS, all parks entry will be free on Nov 11, honoring Veterans Day. Nice visits to some nice gals rigs…It is a hard choice to make and I figure the right rig depends on your life style and what you need from the rig. Me I don’t mind roughing it a little, but every now and then I need some creature comforts…I am not an RV’er I am an explorer! So mobility is my main concern. I would love a 4 wheel drive van— and if wishes were horses…:0)
    Have a great weekend –

  24. Lee J, still in Northern California says:

    I really think every situation needs different RV’s. Our first was a cab over camper, our only son and the two of us fit perfectly and I could tow my horse trailer, son and I rode lots back then.
    We went to a fifth wheel next, better for son and his friends plus the two of us. Plenty of room in the back of the truck for firewood, bikes and stuff like that. If I wanted to take horses my friend would pull the four horse then stay in the fifth wheel with is, worked great.
    Time passes, son moved out, got married, had kids, husband wasn’t really into camping much so it was just me. After a few years of solo trips messing with that big ole fifth wheel, we gave it to our son and his family, perfect for the five of them!
    That is when I got the Casita, easy for a solo woman, easy to pull, easy to park, easy to set up and plenty of room…
    My husband realized what made him resist camping was the huge amount of work to maintain, haul around, set up, to say nothing of finding a spot big enough to park it.
    So, we leave in the morning for a week or so trip to see family in Oregon..and husband is starting to look forward to this more simple lifestyle!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J.,

      Very interesting about your husband’s change in attitude toward camping once he didn’t have to deal with a large fifth wheel. If anyone has a spouse not wanting to go camping, maybe they should have a heart-to-heart conversation and figure out why the spouse doesn’t like camping. Maybe a change to something simpler and easier would allow the fun to come back!

      I’m happy for you both. I hope you have a wonderful time on your trip to Oregon!

  25. Nancy says:

    RVSue (my RVAngel(-:),

    Love the pictures of Women and Their Rigs, I thought of Tennyson’s line from Idylls of the King “the low sun makes the color” (although his meaning was allegorical and mine literal) when I saw the beautiful shot of the sun setting on the mountains with the lake and cactus, lovely. The furballs are awfully cute too.

    This RV talk about rigs is great! Thanks all for sharing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nancy,

      Well, actually, that isn’t the sun. It’s the full moon. 🙂 Anyway, what’s it matter. Ha! Thanks for letting me know you enjoyed the post and photos.

  26. AZ Jim says:

    *fighting green monster about “Jack”….J/K

  27. Beautiful sunset photo, Sue:) Sounds like of visiting to keep one busy:)

  28. Cheri says:

    I have enjoyed spending time laughing and talking with Sue and Krystina so much. Tony loves the company. I am afraid he gets pretty bored when it is just the two of us.

    I know some of you are interested in why each of us choose the home that is just right for us. After I retired I spent 3 months in a dodge caravan in 2009. I traveled many miles and saw places I had only read about. Yosemite and the Grand Tetons and the redwoods and Yellowstone and much more.

    After that 3 months I decided I wanted to really Live this life. I wanted to, BUT, I needed to be able to stand up in my home so I sold the Dodge and got the high top Ford e350. It is the extended model and was already very well insulated. That was important to me because I can not even imagine figuring out how to do something like that. I am not very handy to say the least.

    I chose this big open empty cargo van because I don’t have much money and I knew I would never be able to fix the stuff that can break in a “real motorhome”. GRIN In my home if the plumbing fails I buy a new $100 portapotti, if the propane system fails, I buy a new little green bottle of propane or a new $60 coleman catalytic heater or a new $20 cook stove. If the water system fails it means I “again” dropped the gallon jug of water and it broke open. Gotta buy a new gallon container. I try very hard to keep things simple in my life.

    I am blessed with a son who is very supportive of my unconventional lifestyle and who has installed my solar and set up my computer so I don’t need to worry about that. Not sure I could do this without him.

    I can’t even imagine living full time in a house again and I know someday I might have to, but until that time comes I am going to live my life on the road doing just what I want to. This isn’t a lifestyle for everyone. We each need to find what makes us happy and follow our own dreams. My dream is never being cold again so I follow the sunshine.

    HUGS to all, Cheri and Tony

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Cheri,

      Thanks so much for sharing your process in choosing your rig. I am in the saving and dreaming stage, so I love to read about fellow blogorinos choices. I’m glad you have your son to help you with some of the technical “stuff.”

      Your little Tony is adorable! Wishing you safe travels – I look forward to reading about your future adventures! 🙂

    • Sam says:

      Hi Cheri,
      Hope you ladies are having fun.

    • Gayle says:

      I resonate with all you’ve said! You’ve provided more useful information than I bet you think! You’ve made some very sensible choices, and let’s hear it for our sons who help and cheer us on!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheri,

      I’ve enjoyed the time we’ve spent together these past few days. Thank you for letting me feature your van and your darling Tony, as well as sharing your personal lifestyle.

      I also appreciate the extra information you provided in this comment. Very helpful for many, I’m sure!

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Cheri, thanks for sharing your perspective. I come at this from a backpacking background so your comments about “system maintenance” have given me something to think about. Thanks.

  29. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    Thanks to all of you traveling ladies for sharing your rigs and stories with us! It’s always interesting to read the process each person goes through determining what is “just right” for them. And again, it’s very reassuring to see other single women on the road. I’ve done it for years (in a car and staying at hotels), but invariably I get the comments, gee aren’t you brave, or funny looks when I say I’m alone.

    And that last photo, Sue, is proof positive that the vagabond life, whether full or part time, is a wonderful way to live.

    I’m counting down the days – Dec. 21 is my last official day of work!! I’ve started telling the bank managers that I know and have worked with that I am retiring, and every single one of them congratulates me and then gets that wistful look in their eye, like “wish I could do that too.” I don’t have any firm plans yet, but I am tending to think more and more that a Casita may be in my future.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari,

      I remember seeing that wistful look in the faces of co-workers during the months before I retired.

      What a merry holiday season you have coming up . . . It’s fantastic to know that soon the paddock gate will swing wide and out you will gallop, free at last!!!!

      • Donna in West Texas says:

        Hi Sue, I retired about 3 years ago and was taking a lot of guff from everyone at work until I said “you know, I’ve worked more years than any of you have been alive”.

  30. Timber n' me says:

    Wow, It’s sure neat how folks live on the road, especially ladies. That Tony fella is the small version of Timber, huh, and fast too. That photo of the landscape with the cacti, the lake and mountains in the sunset, sure is beautiful, Sue. ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,us

  31. Kay says:

    Gosh, that Tony sure is a cutie!!!! I bet a wee too much energy for Bridget.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, there’s the age difference, too. Bridget is too mature for all that running around. 😉

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        She might not like it if you were to get another dog huh? Pups are sometimes kind of hard on older dogs. Hope her ability to walk improves soon!!

        • Kay says:

          I think Bridget will be very jealous if another pup came into the household. But, then again… she might really enjoy it… she loves her RVSUE so I can’t see her “sharing” Sue with another….

  32. Lynn Brooks says:

    Dear Sue,
    I loved seeing a “compare/contrast” blog!!! Different strokes for different folks – it’s great!
    I was very happy in my 40′ mh whole full timing for 5 yrs (2005 – 2010)!

    I’m in brick & mortar now, but look forward to FTing again in a few years. I am SERIOUSLY considering a set-up much like yours – a small trailer pulled by an SUV. My beautiful GSD, Lady, whole traveled with me has since crossed over the Rainbow Bridge (I’m sure she was there to welcome Spike & teach him the ropes!
    I will adopt another GSD to take on the road w/me, both for companionship & protection.
    I’m think your set-up is a good way to do it!
    Thanks so much for sharing your travels AND YOUR LIFE with all of us !!!
    Lynn

  33. BadgerRickInWis says:

    “Why would Her Most Specialness jump up on anything when she has a handmaiden to lift her?”

    That line almost had me spitting up my coffee. 🙂 And yes Bridget I can understand your setting boundaries with that little whirlwind Tony. He sure is cute though. My Dexter does this thing where she raises her lip and lets out a low growl to let other dogs know not to get to close. We call it going “full Elvis”.

    Love seeing the different rigs. So many paths to the same dream and all of them valid and perfect.

    Speaking of rigs I have a question for you Sue. If my memory is correct (and it seems to get spottier by the day) you have the main dinette set up as a full time bed and added plastic storage bins where the smaller dinette option would be. Does this mean that you live without having a table set up inside the BLT? If so does that mean that you do all of your computer work lying in bed?

    I ask because at this point as I look at what I “think” I want in a rig my requirements would be a full time bed, a full time dinette or place where I could do computer work, a shower, kitchen, solar, and enough ground clearance to travel on fairly rough roads. Just curious, glad your feeling better.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rick,

      I have a Liberty Deluxe Casita. It doesn’t have a dinette, which is one of the reasons I chose this model, as I can only sit in one place at a time and I usually eat outside.

      At first I had the BLT set up with a regular-sized bed at the back. Soon I changed it to twin beds along the center aisle. Then I removed one of the twin beds and put storage drawers along that side (12 in all, various sizes, for clothes, electronic accessories, Benchmark atlases, personal care items, kitchen gadgets, quick repair/maintenance (tape, screw drivers, velcro, etc.), and canned goods.

      These storage drawers give me additional counter space of approximately 8 feet! 🙂

      The Liberty model allows three choices where to place a table and three different table sizes. I have the smallest table set up at the very back, under the large window. I sit on the end of the bed in order to use my laptop or eat at that table. Since my bed is narrow, two pillows behind my back and I’m comfortable!

      The BLT has all that you stated in your last paragraph in a compact space. Casitas aren’t for everyone — some men find them too confining, especially in the shower — and yet there are couples who find a Casita perfect for them.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        That’s really interesting about the twin beds and the small dinette set up all the way in the rear. I saw a couple of Liberty deluxes at an egg gathering this summer but none of them were set up like that. I like it. It’s a lot like Casitas new Independence model.

        I really liked the Casitas that I saw but at this point I “think” that I am leaning more towards an Escape 17B or a 17 ft Bigfoot. I’m thinking that I want more insulation and enclosed tanks so that I’m better able to camp in below freezing temps. I know you work around this by making sure you are well south of cold weather but I may want to get higher and farther north a bit earlier and perhaps stay a bit later in the year.

        They are both a bit more expensive and harder to find plus in the case of the Bigfoot this will mean a slightly larger and more expensive TV so I’m still not 100% clear on my need for the cold weather packages.

        So I know I’m posting this late and not many folks may see it but I would love any feedback from those in the blogorino community that have more real world experience full timing on any of this.

        As always thanks for letting me tag along.

  34. Pamela K. says:

    Hi Sue,
    I just love all the comments about all the different rigs and why one chooses the one that fits them best! Different styles, makes and model and model years, floorplans…all are important considerations along with cost. New or Used, so much too consider and the choices are endless…leaving room for finding just the right rig.

    When we went looking for the 32ft we had a list of things we wanted and that really helped to narrow the field. We wanted a front or back kitchen, not one in the middle because of the traffic flow to and from the bath and living room or bedroom. We wanted a separate bedroom in the back and a middle bath and shower. The front kitchen, love that! I love that I can mentally seal off the kitchen from the rest of the RV activities while I am cooking. No worries that I will open the refrigerator door into someone. No worries about opening the oven door into someone’s knees. No elbows to get nugged and pots flying off the stove. All are considerations the cook of the house has to think about, especially if several people share the inside spaces…kids, grandkids, family/friends.

    The dinette was also a must have area. We enjoy playing cards and board games. Something as simple a nice puzzle can go a long way to break up a few rainy days in a row. Little stuff like that make a huge difference and knowing what you like and want before you go looking helps to fill your list with the right things. It’s so easy to forget about all the little considerations while you are ooo-ing and awww-ing all the many different rigs. So, hope that helps someone to add a check off their wants vs needs list.

    • Pamela K. says:

      Sorry about the typos and the run-ons. I am sitting here since 4:00AM with tissues in one hand and chicken soup in the other! A wicked cold has found its way to me and I am hoping it gets lost really soon. I don’t DO sick very well. I know this about me, I whine and then I sleep…and whine some more.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        You have my sympathies. I hope you recover very quickly! Nice of you to write here anyway . . . .

        • Pamela K. says:

          Thank you, Sue.
          It is just after 12 Noon and i’m already on my 2nd can of Chicken Noodle Soup… Science says it works to help knock out a cold, I sure hope they’re right 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      Thanks for adding your perspective on the choice of rig process. Interesting that the dinette was important for you, whereas it wasn’t for me. A good example of why one should examine HOW they live, rather than WHAT looks appealing.

  35. Anne Ogden says:

    Great pics. Just got back from California and now how difficult it can be to catch some of those views.

  36. Ron Sears says:

    I started out in a 24 foot motorhome and really had a great time. I moved up to a 31 foot class C and finally a 37 footer class A. I found out that bigger is not necessarily better. It burned last year and I still have my 2012 Lance 855 truck camper that I find now suites all my needs. I can pull my scooter, Suzuke Burgman 650, on my trailer and have a great way to get around when I get to where I am going. It’s all what a person is happy with and makes their life full….be safe..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’ve come up with a winning combination, Ron. Simple, compact camper that can go practically anywhere with a scooter to … well… scoot around on. Thanks for sharing your personal RV history.

    • Pamela K. says:

      Ron,
      You have have a great rig set up!
      Klemper and I have often thought about a very small 24 ft. Motorhome or B-Van to pull our 2 scooters. We have seen so many set ups like that at the scooter meet ups. They really work great! You are a lucky one to have such a fine scooter as that 650 Burgman and I hear that the Lance Truck Camper is top rated! For now, hubby pulls the Airstream and I follow behind in the car with the 2-scooter trailer. Great for when you get there but a royal pain ~HRH Bridget would sigh~ to travel in separate vehicles. It does tend to limit where or how far we can travel.
      Safe travels to you and may the ROAD be good to you always!
      Wow, how I love scooting a new town or back roads! Nothing else quite compares! If I were a tad younger I would do the Cannonball for sure! At least once.

      • Ron Sears says:

        Pam the Burgman is a great scoot. I would not hesitate to take off and head anywhere on it. I’ve had lots of big bikes in the past but have enjoyed this one more than any of the other ones put together. The Lance is a great rig and is fully self contained even with a gen. if needed…Hopefully you can figure out some way to get back in the same cage when traveling…thanks for the reply..

  37. Dawn in MI says:

    This whole post was very helpful. Love seeing different alternatives. Also loved the photos! Cute dogs…beautiful country.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate the positive feedback on this post, the photos, and the comments! I love it when readers share here. Makes my blog a more interesting place!

  38. weather says:

    Good morning Sue,
    Hope so far it’s been quiet enough for you to appreciate the beauty of where you awakened today.I’ve been trying to figure out if you could fit where Cheri, for instance, is camped or if you have a particularly large site,it’s hard to discern from the pics.As for naming the stroller ,I’m still hoping you get a deluxe version 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, weather,

      Cheri’s site is a single and it’s long, plenty big enough for the PTV/BLT (I’m getting ahead of my “story”). 🙂

      Good point about naming the stroller. I still plan on ordering a bigger, more comfortable one once Bridget and I settle in Yuma.

      It’s peaceful here this morning. A campfire party took place across the way from us, lots of hooting, hollering, and laughter… I didn’t mind that at all. I’m happy for those people having a great time on a Saturday night. They were quiet after 10 p.m.

      Wishing you a splendid day!

      • weather says:

        Folks mature enough to settle down at a decent hour are nice neighbors to have for the weekend,good for you!That place has moved from handsome to hard to resist 😉 Thanks for giving me a better sense of the sites with water views sizes,as I intend to travel with my jeep as a toad that information matters.Here’s to our both having a splendid day in our still unpredictable stories 🙂

  39. barry says:

    Sue, I have been away from your blog for a while and want to ask what happened to your other dog? We travel on our boat with 2 dogs and previously in motorhome. So we can appreciate the companionship. Hope all is well with you.

    Barry
    aboard 0 Regrets, 36 ft. Albin Trawler

  40. Krystina at Roosevelt Lake, AZ says:

    Good Morning Blogorinos! I do believe that this is THE BEST campground I have been in so far…5 months on the road now.

    Ah yes, finding the right RV. I first wrote down what I really thought I wanted. I knew I wanted a Class C, mainly because I do a lot of crafts and I wanted the bed over the cab so I could store supplies there. I wanted the bathroom sink…to be in the bathroom. I also thought it would be great to have a “glass door” on the shower. And, of course, I wanted an actual kitchen counter.

    My “Buggy” is the first RV I actually looked at. I had been online everyday for about a year looking at RV’s. It had everything I wanted and only 26,000 miles…so I bought it! I bought it in Vermont last March when there was at least 5 feet of snow around it! Mekkleson’s RV, Montpelier, VT (BEST people on the planet) shoveled it out and brought it inside one of the bays. I spent 2 hours sitting in it, opening up EVERYTHING, standing in the shower, sitting on the sofa…dreaming. It was perfect…and it still is. I put the table down and it stays there. I have things I need the whole sofa for…laying out my crafts, holding the patchwork pillows I made…my cross stitch craft tote, etc.

    I have one of those “as seen on TV” white tables where the legs go all the way under your chair and that is what the computer is on. Between the driver and passenger seats I have a 15″ square ottoman (Wally World) that I can put stuff in and it is a huge help when I drive because the fabric is kinda sticky so my “stuff” doesn’t fall off and I don’t have to reach down to get something.

    The good thing too is that I don’t need to have the slide out. I can walk nicely everywhere with it in.

    About 6 weeks ago I had Solar put on and I LOVE IT! The thing I do not like is not having a car 🙁 When I get used to driving the “Buggy” I might consider getting a tiny, tiny one. Hope this helps the Blogorinos who are still deciding. Have a great day everyone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Krystina,

      I enjoyed seeing your rig and how you have it decorated. Very nice! I’m sure you can tell from the responses that readers appreciate you sharing it with them.

      The information in your comment is helpful for those trying to figure out the right rig, the one that suits them best. Thanks!

  41. Cinandjules (Snowing in NY) says:

    Neat to see the different rigs and different styles of living!

    Boy that Tony is like the energizer bunny! I’m sure he had you smiling!

  42. There really are so many ways to “do it”. I think solo travelers are much more daring and creative with the diversity of their rigs. Couples (like us) tend to go with the more traditional set ups. Hmmmmm, wonder why that is? I’m sure Bridget was put out by Tony’s antics – being royalty and all 🙂 Wonderful colors in the sunset – loving this campground.

    • Walt says:

      I suspect it is because the “traditional set ups” are better able to strike a happy medium between what the two partners might want or think they need. They seldom end up being the perfect set up, but they often end up being good enough. At least, that’s my suspicion. Then again, I could be wrong. It’s been known to happen. 🙂

  43. mary battaglia says:

    Dear RVSue,

    We are newish to your blog (is this a blog?); just a note to tell you how much I/we appreciate your fluidity and composition of the presentation of your comments and pix. It’s alot of words, I know. I came across you when researching Casitas on the net. So, kudos.

    We appreciate,
    mbatt and her husband

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Mary and her husband! Welcome to my blog and thank you for the words of appreciation. 🙂

  44. Hi Sue,
    And hi Krystina, nice to ‘see’ you again!

    I also have a Casita that I am living in full time with two Golden Retrievers. I have the Freedom Deluxe model which has two captain chairs. I removed the one closest to the bathroom and the door so there would be some ‘turn around’ room for the 3 of us. Also I put a mat on the floor there for Joy or Shiloh to lie on if they don’t feel like sleeping on the bed. 🙂
    This is small but so far seems to be perfect for our needs. I have some solar on the top which keeps my battery charged. I also have a Honda 2000 generator for back up. I’ve been out here since August 10 and have only used it once. The solar will run Wandering Spirit’s air conditioning if need be. I have the furnace that Casita puts in and that has been working fine for us, when needed. I also have a tiny electric heater…the kind they sell to put under a desk to keep feet warm! So far it has warmed us plenty.

    When I bought Wandering Spirit it was used…a 2011, which Became mine last October. It already had the solar on top, various other mods, and the generator was included with the deal. I just came from a Casita Rally in Texas where Larry Gamble did a few more things for me. Larry knows Casitas inside and out probably better than anyone else on earth and has been working on them for 20+ years. He also owns one.

    My one major problem? Backing up! I’m not good at it, and I find that I generally avoid practicing because it upsets me! Gotta get over it, I know! Gotta just bite the bullet and make myself learn. I have done it, so I know it’s possible for me, it’s just that it takes me 15 minutes to half an hour to do it!

    • Ron Sears says:

      No use getting upset..You’ve got the rest of your life to get it parked! Life is to short to worry about the small things for sure..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You probably know this… Hold the bottom of the wheel… Turn it left to back left, turn it right to back right.

      Have both side mirrors so you can see what you’re doing and go slowly.

      Some angled sites are more difficult than others. Make sure you are pulled ahead far enough before trying to back up. I find it’s easier if I pull ahead further than I think I need to.

      Good luck. You’ll get the hang of it!

  45. Barb George says:

    Hi Sue!
    A friend just reminded me that a book her brother wrote–Christmas Magic by Edward J Hawkin’s is out and an AMAZON editors choice. I kept forgetting to order it (she is a florist shop girl in the book, set in 1857). I remembered, AND remembered to go through your blog! YAY! LOL Sometimes just remembering something can make your day better!
    Now to catch some sunshine. Took the AC out of the window today as it is going to be very cold… of course, the silly thing leaked everywhere and I am currently drowning in laundry. LOL Hope the arctic blast stays away from you!

    Hugs from Hoquiam,
    Barb

  46. AZ Jim says:

    Gawd! You guys all make me so jealous. I can no longer do what you are doing as both my wife and I need to be near a hospital and we neither one get around like we did years ago. I wish you all well, even through my jealousy, and hope every single day brings you and yours on the road happiness. I can’t go but I am lucky to have found Sue a while back so I do get to “ride along”.

    • weather says:

      Sitting near twigs gathered for kindling -to use for the woodstove in winter,I’m treated by glimpsing a chipmunk.Without moving a muscle we stare at each other relaxing as minutes pass by.Finally noise of his family coaxes him away-it was nice while it lasted for us both.I notice trumpeter swans in the cove,their appearance here is fairly miraculous,in and of itself.And if you’ve ever stood above one preparing for flight,seen him lift and stretch out his wings- you know nothing on earth more closely resembles an angel. The amazing gifts are so precious,fleeting as they are.So was the time I had with my husband.I,too,consider having found this blog to “ride along” on wonderful,experience wistful times reading where and what others are doing when they write.I guess we all do,there’s so much to appreciate about experiencing life in different ways.Something that particularly warms my heart when I note it is you and your wife in Arizona- together lo these many years.Just saying,friend,on this single day,I consider you one of the most blessed among us and agree-more happiness is a great thing to wish all here-even those having it already,like we do! 🙂

      • AZ Jim says:

        Weather, I’ll say no more than this at the moment. When one counts their blessing in this life, one must consider all of them. I want you to know, I consider not just Sue one of the reasons I come here and bolster my spirits but YOU as well. At times I think of all I’m missing then inventory all I have and feel comfortable and even ashamed knowing others have so much less.
        Thanks for your reply.

  47. wa_desert_rat says:

    In our years of camping and RVing we have had every sort of rig from tents (we still kinda like tents as long as we can put cots inside them) to truck campers, travel trailers, fifth wheels (with slides), and motor homes. So far no Class C and no pop up tent trailers but life isn’t over yet. 🙂

    We went to a diesel pusher with a queen bed in the back (lifts up to get to the engine) because Sue wanted a bed that we could make like a normal bed. One on each side. Beds that have walls next to them are harder to make and the older we get the more difficult getting onto a bed to make it becomes. Plus we have bedside counter and drawers on each side. 🙂

    I wanted a place to sit. I was tired of sitting in dinettes and settees and jacknife sofas and after spending all day in the driver’s seat it was hard to relax even if it was turned around. So our DP has a recliner. And enough roof space for almost 700-watts of solar panels. And ham radio. And satellite TV. It will be home six months of the year, after all.

    We won’t be able to get into all the tight places you can get into, but we’ll be able to get into enough of them. And our Jeep Wrangler will let us explore into tight places that even your PTV won’t get you into. But you can probably hike better than I can. 🙂

    It’s all good. Full time, part time, snow birding, weekending, we all do what we can in what we like. It might change or it might not. It’s still all good. 🙂

    WDR
    Craig in Moses Lake, WA

    • Walt says:

      Craig, you have a 1993 Foretravel U225, correct? I see your posts from time to time on the Foreforums. Don’t know why I never put two and two together before. I’m usually pretty good at math. 🙂

      • wa_desert_rat says:

        Right, Walt. One of the old narrower (8-foot wide) styles that is also not as high (11-feet). Are you in a FT, too?

        WDR

  48. Bob G says:

    As it happens, I just bought my first Solar panel for my little 17 foot trailer. Like your friend’s, mine is also portable and stows away easily. It’s a little suitcase in a nice padded cover, about 2 feet square folded up, and produces 100 Watts. Tops out at about 6 amps in full sun. Can’t roll it up, but it comes in an aluminum frame that folds up for storage. Weighs about 30 lb. You don’t have to lay it on the ground, the frame holds it up a various angles.

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HR8YNK6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Shows there’s more than one way to poach an egg.

  49. Pamela says:

    Hi Sue, loved this post and all of the comments! Every time that it’s time to pack up my pop-up camper I wish I had a little Casita like you – but otherwise the pop- up works perfectly for me and Maya. I feel less claustrophobic because of all the windows and there is a lot of storage space. I also use the outside as my living quarters, I always cook outside so the inside of the camper has less cooking smells and splatters – my awning always goes up so I can cook in the rain. I’ve decided that since taking down and putting up is more work than most I should just stay in one campsite a little longer.

  50. Evie says:

    Hi Sue, It is Sat. Nov. 8th, Mom and I were in Cholla last night. Bummer so close. We are in Payson now. Hope you had a nice time visiting friends.

  51. thebluejeanbohemianearthmomma says:

    Hi Sue,

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog and learning some things along the way. It was one of the first ones I came across links to as I started my research for my new life. I’ll be a vangabond when the time comes. I’m actually hoping that you might be able to get me in contact with Racheldls’s new blog as I too have many allergies to the 21st century. I wasn’t able to figure out how to leave a comment for her on her old one so I could be directed to her new one. Thanks!

    • Mick'nTN says:

      Hi BJBEM, Go to Rachel’s old site here:
      http://racheldlsmith.blogspot.com/
      Read the note at the top about the new site.
      Put your mouse pointer on “no comments” and click.

      • thebluejeanbohemianearthmomma says:

        Hi Mick. Thanks. 🙂 I could have explained my problem better—I don’t have any of the IDs required to leave a comment on Rachel’s old blog and I was hoping to not have to create one. I have enough trouble keeping track of the web stuff I already use. 😛

  52. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Thanks for setting up so many different people could tell of their rigs and why they like them, Sue. We cannot choose yet, but we are looking of course. And wondering. The main one hubby wanted to see, was not at the last RV show we attended….and it was supposed to be there. Maybe sold? I am afraid of the big ones….and yet not sure how small we would feel comfortable enough in either. Need to look more….

  53. weather says:

    A few white tendrils floating through the air was all winter showed me of herself .We both knew the timing wasn’t right for her to stay longer yet.Her beauty’s meant to own the view,seeing autumn still clearly does,she left.So confidant that they’re matched in their magnificence,they don’t need to compete to prove it,and wait their turn each year.

    This morning’s calendar marks seven weeks left for them to trade places .As if noting that wildlife here is making preparation.Without rushing they explore and carefully choose placement as I watch.Today my favorite was the cardinal-his color suits both seasons-goes as well with the leaves he’s next to as it will with holly berries.How neat that he doesn’t need to change that gorgeous suit to be ready.How blessed I am that I can.Today I’ll wear a warmer jacket,Tuesday’s sixties will give me one more chance to let warm wind blow around me while I’m out there in my jammies.Sue ,do you remember choosing glory as a name for autumn when I asked?This morning’s proving you chose perfectly !Hope your coffee’s as good as your ability to choose is 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      Busy morning here… Nice to read that you’re enjoying the last glorious days of autumn. You’re right about cardinals. They accent the gold of fall and the white of winter. No wonder they’re often seen on Christmas cards with holly…

      Another warm and sunny day here. The weekend party people are packing up and moving out, leaving me with “Witchita Lineman” (Glen Campbell) looping in my head, picked up from our neighbors’ radio last night.

      Yes, my morning coffee was fresh and good, as well as the egg salad sandwich I finished a few minutes ago. I hope this day is good for you.

      • weather says:

        How funny is this,I just shared an egg sandwich with the troupe,checked in and find you’ve had the same.You know,though I’ve “roughed it” more than most people I know,tent camped in snowstorms,backpacked into areas of wilderness to stay by a secluded lakes,slept in my vehicles more places than I can count because I traveled on a whim,etc.,etc.,etc., the smallest home I’ve ever stayed in for long was still larger than a Class C is.The troupe being three species (and has been more at times) makes the layout in the one I prefer livable for us a group.Besides it’s the only thing on wheels I’ve ever seen that spoke home to me at all.I could certainly adjust to something different ,yet don’t need or want to.I love the idea of the troupe ,each in their own spots at home waiting when I’m in a store or where ever.If I ever needed overnight service done we’d be fine sleeping in the jeep,already have.

        Anyway my point is to help us become accustomed ahead of time I’ve used one burner only for a long time,we’ve had simple food I could replicate anywhere.Finally got around to closing off one more room-the bedroom-and found we loved it!Aside from the outdoors that we’ll always have available,we’ve been living in less space than we’ll have then.They’ve not only adjusted well like the sweethearts that they are,they’re thriving.If this hadn’t worked I’d have given the whole idea up as other options are available.I’m still in no rush and have no plan in place that involves timing as I haven’t been led to yet .

        Just wanted to brag about the babies as they’re napping so cutely beside me.Glad the neighbors only left a tune(left -the key word 🙂 ) Thanks ever so for the note,my day’s is much better than good now,it’s more joyful

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          By “down-sizing” living space as well as possessions, one can practice living in an RV, even before purchasing one. I did the same as you, weather… and I also found I liked living in one room more than when I lived in the entire house.

          Congratulations to your babies…. Animals know how to adapt… No angst over possessions… No preconceived notions regarding the “right” way to live… And your troupe, happy if they have food, water, shelter, and YOU. 🙂

          • weather says:

            We had to tame our wild sides enough to move in unison over time.Learn what startled or soothed each other so that ,not distance apart,kept us in peace.Cat,canary finches and dogs don’t easily do that -adapt is a good one word description of what they’ve done.Now that it’s proven doable I feel sure that all options are on the table,freer to really consider that true.

            Interesting that we both really prefer a single room dwelling.I always had larger ones for the sake of people living with me,spent my happiest hours in the porches to see and feel nature, hear what gives me life…

            Hope your lakeside desert home does that for you more than ever today 🙂

            • weather says:

              P.S……Sue your mention of animals not having preconceived notions regarding the “right ” way to live made me think.One thing worth noting came to me-they don’t read calendars,they think being awake is enough reason to love,have fun,celebrate the appearance of another as if each time it happens it’s special-they don’t wait for Christmas to act that way-they just live it-no wonder they capture our hearts!

          • Walt says:

            That “down-sizing” living space if a tough one. My wife has computer and math books from 10 or 20-plus years ago. While I’m sure she will one day dispose of them (or allow me to), I have yet to convince her. Plus, I have my own “junk” I need to purge. We do make a little progress occasionally. At this rate, I think we’ll be ready in 20 or 30 years. 😀

      • weather says:

        With fewer neighbors and probably cooler temps by now,I hope tonight you sleep well and as long as you need to.May sweet quiet dreams make your rest deeply peaceful,n’nite

  54. Merle from WA says:

    Hi Sue,

    It’s been awhile since joining in with the bloggorians (

  55. Merle from WA says:

    Well that didn’t work….must have hit a wrong key. Everything I had written went to outer space urrrgggggg!

    Love all the comments about the bloggorian rigs….

    Enjoyed all the photo’s as well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mert,

      I, too, have enjoyed reading the experiences of readers and the pros and cons of the different types of rigs.

  56. Gayle says:

    Different rigs for different vagabonds … “and so on and so on, and scooby-dooby-doo- oh, sha-sha! We gotta live together…!” If I can’t be nostalgic here, where can I?

  57. Applegirl NY says:

    Hi Sue and everyone else! Great posts the last couple of days. Love reading about everyone’s rigs and also the encouragement to each other.

    Wonderful picture of the sunset, Sue. Thanks for the pics of the rigs, too.
    Beautiful morning here in Upstate NY. Looks like we’re in for a cold snap. Happy are all of you who are in the warm south!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      I remember those brisk and beautiful mornings in upstate NY. Enjoy!

      Thanks for the compliment on the sunset photo (which is a picture of the full moon with the mountains glowing from the sunset).

  58. Pamela K. says:

    Good Morning Sue and Everyone,
    I was reading a news release and that it might be fitting to mention it here since we are discussing our RV rigs and the ways we use them. The news story was about 2 guys who used their RV to go to meet ups and showcase/ sell their RV insurance and services.

    They had been doing this for over 10 years and had a good following. 2014, however, was altogether different for them. Seems that the IRS rules for 2013 tax laws changed and they were not able to write off all that they had written off in the past years. They took the matter to court and the courts ruled against them, leaving them to owe $20,000. in back taxes.

    In short, the courts ruled that using your RV as a dual purpose is not good. They ruled that even ~watching TV~ makes it a pleasure trip use and not a business use trip! The guys lived in Calf. and had a ~real~ full office there. That’s where they would write the policies, using the RV only to get leads and do follow-ups at the meet-ups.

    Well, I know many RVers who work from their RVs while on the road full or part-time. Some plan to do it later. I would think if anyone is planning on the income from doing so might want to take a close look at the recent rulings. And the courts said that you needed to have a dedicated office space within your RV for such work. It could have a profound result on any future RV-Home-Office plans.

    Does anyone here have any input into this topic for us? I, for one, would be interested in hearing more on this topic just as a general topic. Yes, of course, ALWAYS seek out professional advise before undertaking work-from-your-RV issues. For me I one RV as our full-time home and the other one as my office space for my photography so for me it is not an issue except when travel and stays need both RVs to go-with.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      Good of you to share this with us. The experience of these two RVers illustrates why I didn’t take any write-offs on my taxes for Amazon income. I’d rather pay the taxes than risk having my life ruined by the IRS.

      I appreciate you bringing this to our attention!

      • Pamela K. says:

        Cool! Glad to be of help.
        You do what I do too. I never take any of the write-offs for my buttons either. I travel to military bases, once I’m on-site I set up and do the family buttons and Fallen Hero memory buttons. But I never mix the two in write-offs. When the Georgia DEMs ran out of Obama buttons I did theirs for them, again not taking write-offs. It is never worth the hazards that can befall anyone who would seek to take a fine-line too far. I’m really kind of odd that way too…I never minded paying my fair share of taxes. I always saw it as something one does. Sorta like eating junk food, LOL, ya gotta do it sometimes, even if there is no real benefit to it.

        • BadgerRickInWis says:

          Interesting, I’ve dealt with the same regs when it comes to taking the deduction for a office in a home based business. They are very particular that the space was used full time for business use only. Hard to imagine any square footage in an RV that doesn’t due double duty.

          • Pamela K. says:

            Hi Rick,
            From what we have been told over the years, in the past at least, is this… A Class A Motorhome is truly considered as a legit 2nd home. For taxation and such. You can write down a Mortgage on them as a 2nd home. But anything other than a Class A Motorhome is considered only as personal property and fall under different tax guidelines for its uses. Same with LE search laws too. Full-timing in a TT or B Class can be search by LE at will as a vech. A Class A Motorhome IS your first or 2nd home and as I understand it a search warrant is needed to do a search if the owner does not volunteer to a search when stopped. Sounds sort of bizarre but that is what we have been told by other RVers. I guess it is that rule that makes a Motorhome/Office different somehow, not sure though as the laws change so often.

            Ever since 9-11-01 it has been increasingly harder to be completely mobile, especially off-the-grid living. Local, State and Fed want to know who is where these days. The times we live in I guess. One of the costs of Freedom and maintaining it. That reminds me…Veterans Day is almost here! Thanks to all who have ever served to assure our Freedoms!

  59. Pamela K. says:

    Ya know…
    RV living and travels are wonderful and exciting, yes. But the replacement costs of tow vechs and up-grading RVs is almost never cheap. Do most of you plan and save for those expenses? Have replacement insurance on them? Many of us love our shade trees but that can be a hazard too. Would love to hear what everyone else does regarding this. Example, our turbo-diesel suburban went down… so we are looking at Jerry’s Vans as a replacement vech. I know we have looked at the many motor-homes but have stayed with the TT style of RVs for that reason too, not as much to break. Less costly to replace the TT or the tow vech. Anyone have any thoughts on this subject to share?

    • Big H says:

      Pamela K:

      You make excellent points.

      I have often wondered about exactly what you mention. I have read here, and on other blogs, of people (often women) who sell the homes they have owned for as much as half a lifetime in order to have the funds to purchase an RV in order to hit the road.

      As a woman of mature years, I also wonder what people do when they have their life savings invested in a now-aging rig and that time finally comes when they find that they must retire from the road.

      This time will come for all of us. What then?

      Thoughts, anyone?

      Thank you.

      Anne

      • Pamela K. says:

        Thanks Anne.

        When I asked these questions of course our own tow vech was in my mind but I also was thinking about a friend and their current problem. Their Class A diesel Motorhome went down and needed expensive repairs. They were from Georgia and were in AZ at the time. Turned out the repairs were too large for them to undertake at that time AND hauling it all the way back to GA was not an option either. They ended up storing it in AZ until they can afford the repair costs.

        It has been 5 years now and it is still there in AZ, never good for a Motorhome to sit like that. They pay a guy to check on it but that is about it for now. They keep hoping next year will be the year they can afford to get it fixed. It is a nice one too! They now are using a smaller, used RV in the meantime. One a friend has loaned to them. Every time I think of them I hope this year will finally be The Year for them…and say a smaller prayer giving thanks that it is not me that faces such choices. At one point they almost sold it for $3,000 just to be rid of it. Really sad, and such a mental drain of them too. Especially since they really want to be in AZ full-timing. They are in their late 50s now and wait until 62 when soc. sec. funds kick in to provide the funds for those costly repairs. I personally can say that retirement pension funds and soc. sec. funds go a long way to support this lifestyle! I doubt that we would do it if we just had 401-K funds to use…too many factors affect those funds.

        Anyway, all are factors to consider in addition to just the rig and tow vech. It really IS a lifestyle to manage and maintain over time. For many, they can sell their house and take the one-time tax exemption. Put the money aside and invest it. Then use the retirement and soc.sec. funds to maintain the lifestyle while keeping hold of the house-savings funds. Those who can do that are best served for RVing to the fullest. That and part-time work or part-time income from other means can make it work too. Like Sue and her Year End Numbers from Amazon must really help out when the unexpected costs come up. She could maybe shed some light on the topic for you too.

  60. Terri From Texas says:

    I, for one, have really enjoyed the discussion about the many types of rigs available. There is alot of truly helpful information. Thanks! Right now, my hubby and I travel in our 22′ Airstream Sport. The longest we have been out has been 3 weeks, but I long for the time when we can be gone longer! Texas heat is really getting to me during the summers! We like the Airstream alot. It pulls extremely well, has a great kitchen and a queen bed that converts to a dinette. However, converting that dinette is a royal pain in the you-know-what! However, I don’t think anything is perfect. (Except for the PTV, of course! 🙂 )
    One other thing, Sue, you may find if Bridgette does not improve she may need a steroid shot from the vet to take down inflammation. Just a suggestion-the same thing happened to one of our cats. Keep on keeping on!
    Terri

  61. Paula says:

    Thanks for the shower info at Cholla CG – sounds very luxurious indeed!!! Not certain we will make it up that way before Thanksgiving, but if we do I know I have a nice hot shower waiting for me.

    I love the evening photo with the blues, pinks, and lavender colors; and, that full moon is a nice touch, Sue. You couldn’t have asked for a better setting.

    So nice to be able to connect with a couple of full-time ladies and see their rigs. I love all the ways people find to get out there and enjoy life on the road.

  62. Cheri says:

    I am so sorry. I know you both loved traveling. HUGS Tony and Cheri

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