Great news! Rusty and Timber move into their new home!

Late yesterday I open an email and find this message . . .

“Hi Sue . . . We moved in today at 2:45 pm and we are happy.  It’s big and Timber is just as happy.  It’s still raining and we don’t feel cooped up as we would be in the truck camper.

I cooked our dinner on a real gas stove and the fridge has real juice cooling in it.  We have a nice couch and a empty entertainment center.  No furniture yet, so Timber and I will sleep on the couch till we get a bed.”  — Rusty and Timber

Here’s a photo of their new home!


Two bedrooms, one bath, a nice kitchen and living room, plus a front porch!

Definitely a lot more room than in the truck camper!  And it has a real shower, a real toilet, a real gas stove, a big refrigerator, and many other features that Rusty will surely enjoy.   He’s waited a long time for this.  I am so happy for Rusty and Timber!

In case you don’t know why I’m excited . . .

Rusty and Timber are dear friends the crew and I met while boondocked near Ash Fork, Arizona.  You can read about the beginning of our friendship in the blog post of April 13, 2012, and the ones that follow.

Timber's home is wherever Rusty is

Timber’s home is wherever Rusty is

Later, when Rusty was camped in Utah and the crew and I were camped in Oregon, Rusty’s dog, Timber, was lost and ended up in Colorado.  The Arizona Republic ran a story written by Scott Craven about the incredible reunion involving several states.  The story went national with coverage in USA Today and a video on Channel 2 News.

Click on this link to my September 8, 2012, blog post (expand the post so the links work properly) to read the stories and to watch the video.  (Warning!  You may need a box of tissues!)

The story touched the hearts of many of the readers of this blog.

Rusty is a kind person who has lived a unique lifestyle so far.  He’s gone from years walking the West with his donkeys, to living full-time in a truck camper he designed and constructed, and now to a permanent home in Chino Valley, Arizona.

I know my readers join me in wishing Rusty and Timber much happiness!



Several of you have expressed the desire to send a house-warming gift. That’s great because the house is nearly empty!  Instructions on how and where you can send a gift are available from the header or by clicking on “House-Warming for Rusty and Timber.”


“We will pick up and deliver items to be donated if others can not deliver. Nothing from the Valley please.”

Thank you, Vicki, for your generous offer of time and labor, plus gas!

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

108 Responses to Great news! Rusty and Timber move into their new home!

  1. lynne says:

    Very, very happy for them. I’m one of many who feel close to these two….thanks, Sue, for all that you have done for them!

  2. Kim says:

    Yay for Rusty and Timber! It’s so nice to see good things happen to good people (2-leggers and 4-leggers).

  3. EmilyO of KS says:


  4. Diana (No. California) says:

    Had it not been for the USA Today coverage of this heart warming story, I’m sure I would not be following your blog. This would be my loss as I learn a great deal from your travels and insights as well as valuable bits of information from your followers.

    Great news for Rusty and Timber! I love supporting our veterans. I’m in!!


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I owe Rusty and Timber’s story for bringing good-hearted people to my blog. People like you, Diana!

  5. Deb from NJ says:

    That is wonderful news to hear!! I have followed their story through your blog since you met them. Rusty and Timber must be so excited. So very happy for them. Will watch for the info on instructions on how to send a housewarming gift to them. (gift card).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You probably know by now that the instructions are on a page seen from the header. Thank you, Deb!

  6. Dixie (N.MN.) says:

    Oh Sue,I’m so thrilled for them! I was just thinking about them last night, wondering how things were progressing on their new place. I will be watching for instructions on how to make my gift. What a fine circle of events from the time you met them until now!! Bless you Sue for being so instrumental in this ongoing story.Sincerely,Dixie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You were thinking of Rusty and Timber last night which was their first night in their new home! (Instructions are up…. Thank you!)

  7. Teri in SoCal says:

    Whoo hoo!!

  8. Hotel California says:


  9. cinandjules (NY) says:

    The time has finally arrived……………………let’s go shopping!

  10. mockturtle says:

    Great news! 🙂

  11. John fossildreamer says:

    Sue, What great news,, All up hill from here,, Rusty it looks like you will
    have to ask Timber to share the couch. I remember Sue when you posted your first meeting with Rusty & Timber & at that time thought it odd, that the lady who really
    does not like to park to close to other campers has Arrived…and The Saga starts…
    To people that don’t believe, That for what ever reason, there’s an order to the
    Universe,, I would ask please think again.. . Rusty enjoy your new found wealth….
    Safe travels..
    PS Again I was reminded that everything I need to know, I learned in kindergarden
    Thank you DeAnne in TN & Sue for helping me with Amazon purchase’s
    see all I had to do was ask… silly me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Feel free to ask questions here, John. Somebody usually provides an answer.

      Well, let’s just say I’m picky whom I camp near. 🙂

  12. marcia in pa says:

    Best Wishes Rusty and Timber, and (sigh)… ENJOY!!!! We are all so happy for both of you.
    Holding both of you near to our hearts.

  13. YaY! So happy for Rusty and Timber! WELCOME HOME! Soon you guys will have all your rooms full of furniture and good memories! I hope you get a nice big bed with room enough for you and Timber!!!

  14. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Oh what wonderful news. So happy for Rusty & Tmber, what a great day! A home of their own and a caring, compassionate friend named Sue. Who could ask for more 🙂
    Best Wishes Rusty & Timber, enjoy the comfort

  15. Susan in Dallas says:

    So very happy for Rusty and Timber! And I can send an Amazon gift card ordered from RVSue’s blog! Great to be able to help 2 sets of folks and furry friends with this.

  16. rvsueandcrew says:

    DEAR READERS: The information for house-warming gifts is now available in the header (or see the note at the bottom of post).

    I know Rusty will be very pleased to read all your warm wishes for him and for Timber in their new home!

  17. tinycamper says:

    So HAPPY for Rusty and Timber. And the picture of Timber sleeping with his stuffed toy made me cry! 🙂

  18. Mick says:

    ♪ ♫ ♪ Happy for you Rusty & Timber ♫ ♪ ♫
    Enjoy your new Home.

  19. cinandjules (NY) says:


    Is there an actual list of items Rusty and Timber want?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I haven’t posted a list of what Rusty wants because he needs everything!

      Some suggestions:

      Corelle dish set
      Vacuum cleaner (carpeted floors)
      Pots and pans
      Kitchen cooking utensils
      knife set
      glass storage containers
      blender (with glass receptacle)
      end tables
      lamps (floor and table)
      mixing bowls (non-plastic)
      garbage cans
      towels (kitchen and bath)
      kitchen clock
      bedside clock
      chairs of all types
      outside furniture
      power and hand tools
      cleaning supplies
      small kitchen appliances (electric can opener, mixer, etc.)
      bed (double or queen size)
      bedding for a double bed

      See what I mean? I could list forever! I know you’ll shop wisely and he’ll put your gift to good use.

  20. cinandjules (NY) says:


  21. ronaldesears says:

    great job by everyone involved. It’s time to do something for the old vets. also…

  22. Lovely! We look forward to gifting Rusty and Timber as well. Peace to you all.

  23. Chuck Hajek says:

    Great NEWS!!!!!! Your new home looks very nice! A picture of you and Timber on a couch is in my head and I’m chuckling!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m so happy his new home is not on a city street. I really like Chino Valley myself. The town is the perfect size and the valley is a pleasant place.

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      Well Chuck, He tried to sleep there at my feet, but he on his own got down and I got up and got his bed out of the truck and made a temporary bed right next to me on the floor, so I could at least pet him from the couch, Timber really liked that idea. He is waiting at that spot now, at 9:31 pm, AZ time with all his toy’s ,,,,,,,,,,,,,Rusty

  24. Donna in CT says:

    Wonderful news! If only I lived closer. I’m working at downsizing and have so much I could pass on in terms of kitchen stuff, etc. Unfortunately, not much in the cash area but I will definitely try to send a gift card. What goes around comes around and they deserve it!/

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Finally the wonderful news Rusty’s been wanting to share for so long!

      I do believe your last line, Donna!

  25. Glenda from Glendale says:

    Awesome news Sue!!! Congrats to Rusty and Timber on their new home. Thanks Sue for keeping us posted, I know that I and other readers of your blog also follow and care about what happens to Rusty and his sweet Timber. I know his new place will be worth the wait!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Glenda. Just to have refrigeration for food will make life a lot easier, and showers!! Oh my!

  26. Diane says:

    Sue, I have loved Rusty and Timber’s Story, thanks to you. It is heartwarming. I am so happy for them in their New Home. How exciting to have your own home base, a shelter from the storm so to speak. And I am a real dog lover. I so wish I lived closer…I would share what I have…
    You three have a relationship that will last a lifetime…
    Thank you for sharing the excitment!!!!!!

  27. DeAnne in TN says:

    This news has brought some much needed joy to my aching heart. I lost a dear co-worker Monday night and he has left behind two small children. Knowing that God smiled down on Rusty and Timber restores a little faith. Thanks, Sue, for letting us all know and I know he will be astounded by the generosity of “strangers.”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi DeAnne . . . I’m sorry for the heartache you’re feeling over the loss of your co-worker.

  28. Barbara B says:

    Congrats! So happy for you Rusty and your faithful sidekick, Timber. I will be sending a gift card, but it will be next week, as I am having surgery tomorrow. Take care and enjoy your new home, you deserve it.

    Sue, thanks to you, too for keeping us all up to date. Bless you.

  29. Ladybug says:

    I remember when I had to move into a new home and set up housekeeping from bare bones. Clothes hangers! Light bulbs! Shower curtain hooks! Constantly something. Rusty’s gonna be busy setting up housekeeping for sure.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You bring up a good point, Ladybug. There are so many little things necessary to pull a house together into a home. Your gift will be a big help!

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      Thank you Ladybug, Rusty,,,,,,and Timber is having fun with his toy’s, running from one end to sliding in the kitchen ,,,,,weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

  30. Glenda says:

    Thinking of Rusty and Timber settling into their new home warms my heart…… very happy for them!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I know you are, Glenda. All of us who have come to love Rusty and Timber are sharing his happiness now. People have written that they think we met for a purpose. I’m beginning to believe it, seeing the outpouring of kindness of my readers at the occasion of Rusty getting a home!

  31. Rita from Phoenix says:

    So glad Rusty & Timber moved into their new home! And, he has enough time to furnish the place so it’ll be nice and cozy before winter arrives. Does the house have a fence around it for Timber? Just wondering. Wow, imagine a hot shower every morning while coffee is percolating in kitchen and a nice, warm, comfy bed to sleep in at night.

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      Hi Rita and thank you, I’m trying to get permission to completely fence Timber in so he can run, Rusty

  32. Hi Sue!

    Soooooo happy for Rusty and Timber!! (Welcome home guys!) What a wonderful friend you are, Sue! It is because of you and your wonderful spirit that Rusty and Timber have finally gotten their recognition that they have deserved! May God bless you!! Plan to shop Amazon for Rusty and Timber this weekend and will let you know what we decide. Hoping to make it to Arizona myself with hubby and daughter this coming Winter.

    –Robin from Georgia

  33. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Yahoooo yip yip yip Yippeeee

  34. Gaelyn says:

    Congrats to Rusty and Timber on their new home. I’ll bet it will be furnished before you know it. Chino Valley is a nice place. Just drove thru today.

  35. Timber n' Rusty says:

    Timber and I thank all + Bob G , VASH-HUD, my VA Rep for the Homeless Vets in helping us to find and get into a home. I Thank and ask the Lord Jesus to Bless You All and Keep you all Well and Safe Always. Your servant, Rusty

    • gingerda says:

      Rusty, so glad everything is working out for you now. I’m sure you will love having your own place with a little space to move around.
      Last year I sent you a little note with a small amount of cash (was going through a divorce, so I didn’t have much) and sent it to your post office box. Hope you received it. I wish you the best!!

  36. Pamela in Louisiana says:

    A man and his dog need gasoline and food! Don’t forget Walmart cards for dog food purchases and gasoline at Walmarts that have the Murphy stations!

  37. Eileen P. says:

    Great spot, Chino Valley. Lots of space, but still close to Prescott and its services. I am sure you will enjoy your new home. And give a scratch behind the ear to Timber from my two pups :-).
    Eileen in Phoenix

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I agree, Eileen. Chino Valley looks like a great place to live. It has the basic services and stores without a lot of traffic, and the countryside is nice. Rusty chose well!

  38. Az- Vicki says:

    WOO HOO…Congratulations Rusty n Timber…Welcome Home!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you so much, Vicki, for offering to pick-up and deliver gifts from local people who cannot handle it themselves. I added your message at the bottom of today’s post. I will send to you the email address of anyone who has items from their home they’d like to share.

  39. Mindy Reed says:

    Ohhh Congrats Rusty and Timber, a new chapter in your life…enjoy!!

  40. AZ Jim says:

    Congratulations Rusty and Timber. Here’s wishing you happy times together in your new home.

  41. Jean/Southaven, MS says:

    I am so glad everything has worked together for good for Rusty. I will send a general gift card. Gas still has to bought and so does food. Seems I remember Rusty likes a certain flavor of ice cream. Sue, you kept it in your freezer for him when you were last camped together. I want him to be able to buy what he wants at the grocery store. I wish that all the states had this program for homeless vets. We have alot of vets living on our streets here in the Memphis metro area that do not even have a truck to live in. God has blessed you Rusty. Enjoy this new phase of your life.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very thoughtful of you, Jean. Remember, if you’re tempted to send a check, that Rusty can’t accept that. A gift card is good . . . On behalf of Rusty, thank you!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know if Safeway has gift cards. That’s the grocery store in Chino Valley where Rusty will, no doubt, shop in addition to the Wal-Mart in Prescott.

      And I think the ice cream flavor is vanilla…. Rusty likes to be able to share his ice cream with Timber. 🙂

    • Timber n' Rusty says:

      All States do, Obama and the VA started a program in 2007 to get all our Vets into a home by 2015 , the Homeless Hotline is;1-877-424-3838 . It takes about 5 months ,,,,,,,,,,Rusty

  42. Marilu says:

    Is cash acceptable or are gift cards best?

  43. Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

    For those contemplating a way for Rusty to buy things from stores other than Walmart, there is such a thing as visa cards that act as cash. I had received a Vanilla Visa card as a gift. It was the greatest thing. I could use it anywhere that accepts Visa. Gas stations, grocery stores, and so on. They are available in $25, $50 and $100 denominations.

    The only drawback is that they have to be purchased through a retailer and then mailed to Rusty. But the retailers are listed on the site so you can see if one is near you.

    • Donna D. (stickhouse in CT) says:

      There are probably other cards that work in the same way. I only have had experience with this one.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Another great option, Donna! Please don’t take offense, but I have to remove the links as they may jeopardize my relationship with Amazon. I’m walking a tightrope here every time W-Mart or any other competitor to Amazon are mentioned, too. 🙂

      • Donna in CT says:

        No problem. I didn’t think of that. People can just google it.

        • marcia in pa says:

          I’ll google map his area, look for gas stations/retailers/groceries and see what gift cards I can forward to him.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Check how long they are valid. Some of these cards expire in short periods of time.

  44. gingerda says:

    Sue, if I send a gift card from Amazon, do they mail it directly to Rusty? Is it good anywhere or only on Amazon?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Ginger,

      There are two kinds of gift cards. The Amazon email cards will be sent to Rusty almost immediately and within a few minutes you will receive confirmation by email that he received it.

      The more conventional gift card, which is an actual, physical card like you see sold in stores, will be mailed to Rusty by “snail mail” although there are options for same-day delivery.

      The Amazon gift cards are good only at Amazon. However, Amazon sells goods from a gazillion retailers. There aren’t very many things you can’t buy at Amazon. Look at the drop-down menu in the Amazon search menu and you’ll see that Amazon sells everything from food to automotive to DVDs and beyond.

  45. Mary Ann (Pontotoc MS)) says:

    My heart is so full of thanksgiving! I’m so happy for Rusty & Timber! I’ve been running all day, and this is probably the latest I’ve ever waited to check your blog, but after an email from Rusty, I came a runnin’!

    Blessings on you too, Sue. Even though you are a loner by choice (I am too), you have something about you that makes people feel comfortable with you. That is a true gift.

    You can bet that my housewarming gift will have something for Timber too!

    Thank you Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Mary Ann. I hope you will let us know what your gift to Rusty and Timber is!

      • Mary Ann (Pontotoc MS)) says:

        For now an Amazon gift card. Another package of odds and ends from my house will follow 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That’s super! I like the idea of “odds and ends from my house.” There are so many necessary odds and ends that one can use. . . Thank you, Mary Ann.

  46. Oh my gosh! Congratulations Rusty and Timber! I am so very happy for you two! God bless ya’ll and your new home. 🙂

    Hey RVSue! Love where you are now, we want to go there too! Maybe next summer. I was super busy workamping in NC and missed some of your posts so we had to leave so I could catch up, heheee. OK, not really why we thought we left but maybe…

    Kudos to you as always for doing all the wonderful things you do, it is more than you know. I know from being just one of all your readers you’ve kept sane while waiting for the day to come.

    Thank you RVSue. You are the best! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate your kind words, Carrie. I hope your workamping experience was a good one! Kind of hot and muggy over your way lately… Hope it’s cooling off.

      • Carrie says:

        It was great for the most part, thanks. It is hotter down here but it’s so great because we have such super friends here, expecting more to come too, YAY! Supposed to cool off some too, ah.

        Huggers to you and the fur kids too!

  47. Ruth (TN) says:

    So happy for Rusty and Timber. A Walmart gift card on the way to him, estimated Monday 29th arrival. Such a wonderful story that is working out well for a well deserving vet, with your help. Timber is precious with his toy. Max (my 4 legged buddy) and I wish him well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Ruth! Rusty will appreciate your gift. You are a part of the story “that is working out well.”

  48. Congratulations to Rusty (& Timber). What a nice feeling to have a home. Thank you, Sue for your inspiration and help. Very cool indeed.

  49. Cari in North Texas says:

    I’ve been away from my computer for a few days, so I’m just now reading your last few blog posts. How happy I am to see that Rusty and Timber now have a real house to call home! I’m delighted that he is able to rest now and have 4 walls around him, with all the comforts that entails. I’ll be ordering an Amazon gift card for him this weekend. As a retired military veteran myself, it warms my heart to see good things happen to our veterans. And God Bless You, Sue, for being an instrumental part in bringing Rusty and Timber’s story to the rest of the world!

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