It had to happen sooner or later . . . Stuck at a new camp!

Wednesday, February 5

It’s the day after my visit to Los Algodones.  I walk the crew, tidy up the Best Little Trailer, and relax with a book.   I took two pain pills yesterday, slept well last night, and feel fine today.  Bridget and Spike are happy to be home with everything returned to our version of normal.

Les left first thing this morning for a cowboy and western poetry meet over in Sierra Vista, Arizona, that will last through the weekend.

Thursday, February 6

Perfect as it is here in the Sidewinder-Ogliby Road area west of Yuma, I can’t resist the urge to move camp.  Early this morning the crew and I drive down to the rest stop on I-8 to fill up water jugs and dump trash.

We return to camp and I pack up and hitch up.

It isn’t until I’m in the driver’s seat, all ready to hit the road, that I decide where our next camp is.  Browsing my Arizona Benchmark atlas, I choose Coyote Wash in Wellton, only about 30 miles east of Yuma along Interstate 8.  I don’t want to move out of this great weather.

We stop at Pilot Knob at the Sidewinder exit and dump tanks ($6).

I love driving through the Gila Mountains.

When you get to the highest point and begin the descent, Dome Valley lies below you like a green quilt.  Jagged mountains frame the view.  At Wellton, we pull off the interstate and stop at a small shopping center where I remember buying groceries one time when heading to Yuma from the east.

The grocery store and adjacent businesses are closed.

I let out the crew and we slowly wander around the perimeter of the parking lot.  (I want Bridget and Spike calm when it’s time to choose our campsite.)  I toss them into the PTV and walk over to the Jack in the Box nearby.

I order a chicken sandwich for me and a hamburger each for Bridget and Spike (hold the lettuce, tomato, onion, and mayo!).  I eat my lunch inside before returning to the crew.  They are excited about the hamburger treats I feed them, bite by bite.

I’m curious to see the Coyote Wash dispersed camping area.

To get there, one takes the Wellton exit and drives south.  Go past the shopping center, past the Baptist Church, and shortly before the canal, turn left.  You’ll see a scene like the one below as you approach the turn.

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Coyote Wash Dispersed Camping, Wellton, Arizona

Although the area shown in the photo above looks sparsely populated, one does not drive across the desert and park.  It’s always better to camp where others have camped before.

1-DSC02419

It’s not terribly crowded.  However, I’m happier when we camp by ourselves.

Not wanting to camp within earshot of generators, radios or people, I continue further down the lane so the crew and I can camp by ourselves.  I don’t like to concern myself with Bridget and Spike bothering anyone.  When by ourselves they can explore freely.

It’s very pretty!

The palo verde and ironwood trees are lush by desert standards.  The ground is covered with tiny green plants that give the impression of a freshly mowed lawn.  A mixture of small bushes and plants add visual interest and softness to the landscape.

I see tracks off to the side of the lane.

Hmm . . . This is a lovely spot.  I like this.  I take a moment to consider how to angle the Best Little Trailer so the door is to the east.  Then I slowly pull off the lane.  A short distance and . . . uh-oh . . . the PTV loses traction.

Oh, no!  We’re stuck!

I get out to take a look.  Not good.  Underneath those deceptive, little, green plants and a surface crust lies sand so soft it’s like driving on pudding.  I get out my shovel and dig and dig and dig.  I place boards in front of the tires.

1-DSC02423

Well, two and a half years of boodocking off by ourselves . . . This was bound to happen!

I start up the PTV and try to ease her out.  The tires spin, spitting sand.  I immediately let up on the gas.  I get out and see the tires are in even deeper.

Meanwhile Bridget and Spike are having conniption fits.

They want to see their new home!  I open the side door and they catapult themselves out.  I set a bowl of water on the ground.  I stand back, looking at the PTV’s back end, contemplating the sorry situation.   What to do . . . what to do . . . Oh, well, I’m thirsty.

I unlock the BLT and pull out a drink from the refrigerator.

I haul out a camp chair from the back of the PTV.  Might as well take a little break and think things over.  I sip my drink and watch the crew.  They love this place!  Gee, they must’ve grown tired of our last camp.  Look at ’em running around . . . happy, happy, happy!

1-DSC02449

There are times when being a dog is very appealing.

I dig some more behind the wheels, set the boards, and try backing up.

No good.  The hitch extension is so low on the PTV that it jams into the dirt as we go backward.  The BLT is now at a worse angle than when we pulled in.  I unhitch the BLT (which I should’ve done to begin with), dig some more, and try going forward.

Still no progress.

Okay.  It’s only going to sink deeper.  By now the sun is dipping low in the sky.  This is a problem for tomorrow morning!

I put Bridget and Spike back into their harnesses, click on the leashes, and we go for a very enjoyable walk.  We return and I put the interior of the BLT in order.  I fix us our supper, go online and answer some comments, and, at last, put the crew to bed and settle in for a nice long read to wrap up the day.

Snuggled in bed with Bridget, the sound of Spike’s gentle breathing and the soft hooting of owls lull me into a peaceful sleep.

Friday, February 7

Bridget and Spike are up and out the door for a quick potty run.  They jump back into bed and I heat up yesterday’s left-over pot of coffee.  I make two slices of toast.  I’m checking the blog and the day’s report from Amazon when suddenly I’m startled by a knock at the door.

A booming man’s voice on the other side of the door . . .

“HELLOOO?”

I jump up and open the door.  Before I can say anything, a burly man, looking to be in his sixties, looks up at me and bellows, “Do ya’ need a tow?”

1-DSC02424

The PTV . . .  The Pathetically Trapped Vehicle!

To be continued . . .

rvsue

I APPRECIATE EVERY AMAZON ORDER PLACED THROUGH MY BLOG!

Thank you very much.

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141 Responses to It had to happen sooner or later . . . Stuck at a new camp!

  1. klbexplores says:

    The thing that causes fear and panic in the solo traveler. Can’t wait for the ending. My heart tells me the right person comes along when needed!!!

  2. AZ Jim says:

    Welcome to the club. If you haven’t been axle deep stuck at least once, you haven’t had any real off road adventures. I’ve been stuck in snow, sand and dirt all in the name of taking that chance to see what was ahead. It’s something to talk about later. It’s easy to do Missy…. 🙁

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      You’re sweet. Thank you for not laughing!

      Boy, is this ground tricky! I like to think I can “read” the ground quite well, but this stuff had me fooled. The tracks on the ground were apparently made by vehicles much lighter than the PTV with BLT.

  3. Ladybug says:

    LOL!! Just call you Scarlett O’Hara…’I’ll think about it tomorrow’. And there are good things to be said about civilization. 😀

  4. LaneVids says:

    Wow! You always leave us hanging at the end of your blog posts! Makes me want more! Looks like a guardian angel is coming to your rescue. I hope you can get out of the hole that you are in! I haven’t had this experience yet because my wife and I are still in the dreaming phase of our RV travels. We are working on getting our online income up (funnyrats.com) so that we can work from anywhere. Maybe one day I’ll be making a video on how to get out of a stuck situation like this.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, LaneVids,

      The story of the entire getting stuck-getting unstuck experience is too long for one post. At least I didn’t end it before someone showed up at our door! 🙂

  5. Dominick Bundy says:

    Hi Sue and Crew, Dominick Here from Rochester, NY. I don’t post very often, But I keep up all your adventures everyday. Since I’ve been snow bound and holed up in this house days at a time. But I do have one question , that is off topic . And that is. Each time you and the crew , Relocate to a different spot. Do you have a set time or a certain amount of mileage planed for each move? The reason I ask I know a couple of full timers who only put between 100- 150 max. a day . and no more than 2 to 2 and a half hours. each time. their reasoning is why rush when fulling timing . Because you have all the time in the world to get to your next destination. So i was wondering with each move do you drive more than a 150 miles or over 2 hours to get were ever you end up.. that’s all love reading your blog. Stay healthy and safe and happy trail to you. Until next time .. Cheers! Dominick

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dominick,

      Great to hear from you again. I don’t like to drive more than 100 miles or 2 hours from camp to camp. Sometimes that’s not possible without stopping at an RV park which I hate to do and try my darnedest to avoid.

      I like to break camp early in the morning so that I have the new camp set up around lunchtime. (I’ve found that trouble finds me when I try to accomplish things when tired. )

      The crew and I had a long time on the road (about 6 hours if my memory is correct… about 350 miles) moving from Santaquin, UT (south of Provo and SLC) to a national forest camp near Spencer, ID. I was worn out at the end of that day.

      Another long day was driving from Bumblebee Meadows near C’ouer d’alene, ID, past Spokane, across eastern Washington, to a “travel center” in Ellensburg, WA. (230 miles approx., nearly 4 hours on the road).

      I like much shorter hops between camps!

  6. Gary says:

    You are such a tease!! Looking forward to the next installment to get the details. I do like your attitude about it. “It is what it is”

    Gary

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gary,

      I sat in my camp chair with my drink and thought… Unlike getting stuck in the past, now I have my comfortable home with me. Why deal with this today when I’m tired from moving and digging?

      It’s one of the great joys living as a vagabond… The fridge and a comfy bed are always nearby!

      Thanks for stopping by, Gary.

  7. It can be a bit of a nuisance for sure.
    We got our 36 ft class A stuck in the sand at Imperial dunes a few years back, Luckily got it out after disconnecting the car, but just barely. Then our tow car really stuck while looking for a better place to park. 6 people came by and pushed us out of there.
    Then in the spring of that year got our coach stuck again in the lawn at the farm. Hmm… Levelling jacks lifted us up, boards under the tires and waited two weeks for the ground to firm up.
    Luckily you have a friendly neighbor. Rv’ers are helpful people.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, George and Suzie,

      I really appreciate you telling me about your mishaps. Now I don’t feel like a blundering fool for driving into that sand!

  8. Barb George says:

    OMG OMG OMG!!! You had me very worried! Saw the date of 2-5 and thought, oh NO it is the 11th!
    Hope you make it out of your pickle!!!
    Hugs from Hoquiam!
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      You’ve got to stop worrying about us, girl! 🙂

      I took so long to tell the story of our visit to Los Algodones that I’m way behind on my posts. Plus this day we got stuck in the sand is a perfect example of why I skip posts. At the end of that day I wasn’t in the mood to write a blog post. I just wanted to get lost in a book!

      Oh, we got out all right. It was quite an interesting process though . . .

      • BARB GEORGE says:

        Tee hee. My nature is to worry! But I know full well that you are A-OK.
        Whew! Got a nasty storm headed in here. Take care and stay sassy!!!
        Hugs from Hoquiam
        Barb

  9. Bill from NC says:

    Well Sue you and the crew did good! Calm and collected is the way to train horses. If its not working for you today then wait and try it again or come up with another strategy.

    I once got my old beater farm truck stuck in the soupy muddy ditch area of my woods. Left it sitting for a few werks and it dried up and with a minimum of digging I drove right out!

    Cant wait for the rest of the story….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill,

      I’m very, very glad that the crew and I didn’t have to sit for a few weeks waiting for the ground to dry up!

  10. Larry M says:

    I’m assuming you’re free of your sand trap by now Sue!! 🙂 Getting into this situation is one of my great fears with my 35 foot motorhome. 🙁 LOL I can’t wait to read the rest of the story! You’re such a GREAT trooper!! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Larry,

      Yes, we’re free of the sand trap. Of course, I have to tell you the story of how we were freed! I also will include a side note re: a very big motorhome getting stuck. That will surely interest you.

      Thanks for calling me a GREAT trooper. I like that. 🙂

  11. Sue, another off the subject comment but remember when I told you about the Rat Terriers coming to the Westminster Dog Show? Well, they entered as a real accepted breed, not Mutts like you thought. Anyway, here is a picture where you can see one showing: http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2014/02/12/sports/11DOGSHOW24/11DOGSHOW24-blog480.jpg

    And one where they “meet the press”: http://www.trbimg.com/img-52d73a8e/turbine/mc-exposure-138th-westminster-kennel-club-dog–006/960

    Hope you enjoy these.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great photos, Rosemary! Thanks very much! Those are beautiful rat terriers… uh, maybe lacking the individuality of Spike and the Bridge . . . but they’re nice to look at. 😉

  12. LeeJ says:

    Once I was ‘misplaced’ and my friend asked me if I was lost…I told her ‘nope, I am right here, I just need to figure out where right here is’…you weren’t stuck, you were just a little lower in the roadway than you needed to be!

    Great story..getting the popcorn ready for episode two!

  13. Oh, man, Sue! You were in it deep! This happened to me for the first time and recently at Slab City back in December. I was following my new friend, Don, to the Slabs. It was such a happy go lucky day. Don and I get to the “Loners on Wheels” section at the Slabs. He warns me to watch out for the soft sand. Off I go all happy go lucky on an ordinary looking sand road away from everyone. Yeah, I was trying to go remote from everyone too.

    Not two minutes after Don said, “Watch out for the soft sand,” I find my wheels mysteriously going slower, and slower, and slower until they couldn’t move. Uh, oh. Don and I tried to get me out to no avail. The sun sank and the dog and I spent the night in a rather cock-eyed van. He he!

    The next day I payed two Slabbers $100 to get me out. Whew! I hope I NEVER get stuck in, as the Slabbers call it, “Sugar Sand” as long as I live! I was grateful to have people around me who though, knew the science of extracting a vehicle out of deep doo doo sand. Wished I’d taken pictures and video of the event. Can’t wait to hear what happened to you all next! Whoa! A deep booming male voice! This is great!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great story, Gloria, now that it’s over! I’ve been to that part of the Slabs and can picture you and your dog in your partially submerged van. I hope you were tilted in a way that wouldn’t have you rolling out of bed.

      I was sort of glad no one was around the afternoon we got stuck. I didn’t feel like an audience to my mistake. The next day everything turned out fine and I was happy that someone came to our rescue. I’m sure you’ll agree . . . It’s a good feeling to have those wheels turning again on solid ground!

      Now you have a great story to tell . . . Thanks for sharing it here.

  14. Linda in TX says:

    It’s actually a good thing you got stuck while pulling the trailer, and not stuck while out on a pre-move scouting jaunt WITHOUT your little home to settle into for the night!

    Once, I managed to get our pickup truck unstuck from the mud near our new home while my husband (who had tried and given up) was at work. I don’t think he’s ever, before or since, been quite that impressed with me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      Wow! You must’ve been very proud of yourself, too!

      Often people who have a toad behind their motorhome will unhook the toad and drive ahead in a scouting mission. I have never . . . at least I can’t recall ever unhitching so I can drive the PTV on a scouting mission. I always walk to see what’s ahead.

  15. Rand says:

    “Once unstuck, never really stuck again.”
    First stuck time — a 55 gallon barrel buried in the ground,? San Carlos Mexico.
    14.5 years old, Dad lets us drive the truck to the showers at the end of the campo. “Don’t shift out of 2nd”, (first was low granny gear in my granddads 1959 Ford)
    Sorry Dad I disobeyed.
    Along comes the experienced GetUnstuck gang. Spanish/English/ hand/arm/eyebrows communication.
    They shifted into 1st gear- pushed and tugged and freedom with harmless redemption.
    Lemonades (w/ pomagranite and w/ whatever was preferred) at the beach palapa hangout.
    Dad never knew our learning experience. But I think he was happy to see us after our late return.
    Lesson learned:
    Getting stuck is not always a party but it is a time to relax and appreciate.
    But it just might turn into a party!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great story, Rand. It’s always fun at that age to get away with something without the ‘rents finding out. 🙂

  16. Cinandjules says:

    I like your way of thinking! Let’s sleep on it and figure it out tomorrow! What me worried??? Naw….everything always works itself out!

    I had to laugh at the last photo! Looks like a gopher has dug up all around the pathetically trapped vehicle.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, cinandjules,

      Gophers do cause vehicles to get stuck. They make a maze of burrows all over the place. You drive over that area and down go the tires. It’s like trying to drive on air. In fact, that could’ve contributed to the PTV’s loss of traction. Lots of gopher holes there.

  17. CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

    I was having a “what if” kind of day, wondering if I could really take care of myself and the “boys” on the road alone. Your situation, your approach, and apparent solution was actually very encouraging. Sorry you got stuck but what a timely post for me!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, CheryLyn,

      I hope you feel more confident about handling little disasters like this one. If you can’t handle it, someone will come along or you go find or call for help.

  18. Diann in MT says:

    “There are times when being a dog is very appealing”

    Sums it up, Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, the crew has a pretty nice life . . . no worries, everything provided. Once in a blue moon they’re left with someone else. That’s the extent of their discomfort. The rest of the time they live like dog royalty.

  19. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    “To Be Continued”…Sue how could you do this? LOL. I wanted to keep reading 🙂
    Quite sure it ends well?…can’t wait to find out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh sure, it ends well. I’m here typing this blog, right? If I kept going, this post would be way too long . . .

  20. Cheryl Ann says:

    Sue, I remember one time when my husband, who grew up down here in the desert, told me to drive our Honda Accord across some sand to go take a look at a lot. I didn’t want to do it. He MADE ME do it. Yup. We were stuck. I had to call AAA and it cost ME $200.00 to get towed out! NEVER AGAIN, believe me! That dang desert sand is deceiving! Now I’m going to be beside myself waiting to hear if the nice man towed you out (I assume he did…) I’ll be biting my nails anyway!
    ~~Cheers~~
    Cheryl Ann

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann,

      I’d much rather be the person who drove into the sand than the person who demanded I drive into the sand!

      I didn’t have any inkling that ground could be so soft. It looked and felt compacted. There were tire tracks on it, for crying out loud!

  21. Sergio says:

    Maybe you should re-think this post… «PLEASE, NO DROP IN VISITS. THANK YOU!» Sometime its nice to have a little help from a friend. loll
    Sorry, I always speak my mind… just cant help it.

    To be continued…

    Sergio

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, Sergio… You know I’m trying to protect my perfect life from being ruined by too many visits from people I’ve never met, don’t you? That’s why I have that message up. Be reasonable.

      Someone coming to my aid is different than someone dropping in because they figure it would be fun to meet me. I’m sorry. That’s a touchy subject for me, so I don’t want to be teased about it.

      • Sergio says:

        Having a successful blog in a sense is going public… in your last post you where proud of being «Rvsue international» Remember? There are advantages to be public; people read you, learn about you, your lifestyle and like you… then, when they need something on Amazon they get it from your blog… its your reward.
        But there’s a price to pay… just like stars suffer from Paparazzi intrusion of their privacy. Its a give and take, a bidirectional relationship with Humans…

  22. Lacy says:

    Well, I guess it could have been worse: it could have been raining?!

    Sounds like you made the best of it!
    Lacy

  23. Barbara says:

    First time in about 2 1/2 years. I say that make you darn good at reading the landscape.
    However, it did remind me of spinning out and landing in the median of the freeway during an ice storm headed the wrong way from my original direction. Thanks to a nice young man in a pickup with a tow winch, who got be back on the road, I backtracked to the last exit, and returned to my southerly direction. The goodness of strangers is amazing.
    Can’t wait for the continuation.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      “Spinning out” and “freeway” are not words that should be used in the same sentence! Most people are good about helping someone who needs it. The bad people get all the press.

  24. Barbara says:

    Are you watching the Westminster Dog Show? The terrier group is coming up. The have allowed rat terriers in this year. You can watch it either on USA Network(???) or on WKCLive.com

  25. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Oh to be continued……………I am so happy that someone has turned up to help!! This would be my worst nightmare! Not that I didn’t think that you couldn’t get out by yourself mind you………..relieved that you have help just the same!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I may have been able to get out by myself but it would’ve required an awful lot of digging. Basically I would’ve had to dig a road. Much easier receiving help from someone who has the right equipment.

      • I love this post! My dad (R.I.P.) took along all sorts of gizmos, chains, get-a-longs, ropes, clamps, winches, extra STUFF I can’t remember, and I remember people talking about ‘what’s in his trunk’ when he took trips. The person who once said to him, “Would you even know what to do with all that stuff you haul around? got a fast reply: “I don’t need to. It’s the other person who never has what I need.”
        His ‘junk’ (winch & pulley & ropes/chains) was once used to secure a Class A rig pulling a trailer that was sliding sideways, ‘leaning’ into a ditch, due to a gully-washer rainstorm. They secured the rig from across a road until ‘big help’ could arrive and get it back up on the road without it tumbling over with continued wash-out!
        I’m in awe of your ability to “‘sleep on”‘ that situation! I would have needed a purple pill, some type of tranquilizer, and more than water, …. knowing that something was ‘out of my hands’ momentarily!! Yeah for you!! How exciting!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, B Beck,

          The predicament of that Class A was something to worry about! I’m picturing $400,000 lying sideways in a muddy ditch.

          On a different but somewhat related topic . . . I remember when Bill Cosby’s son was killed by thugs alongside a highway when the son had a flat while driving his father’s uber-expensive car. He’d probably be alive today if he were driving an ordinary vehicle.

          I never want to own anything which would attract thieves and devastate me if I lost it. I love my PTV and BLT, but they are replaceable. If they fell into a muddy ditch and sustained serious damage, I’d be able to deal with it.

          Going into a panic only makes a person less able to cope.

          I am immensely grateful for the help I received. I can’t imagine the gratitude those Class A owners must have felt for your father. What a great man he must have been! Thanks for sharing this story.

  26. DeAnne in TN says:

    I’m thinking like CheryLyn…what would I have done in that situation? I would probably have been a bit more panicked. If there was still a lot of daylight I probably would have called for help. Hmmm…it concerns me a little bit that I may have over-reacted some. BUT, would it have been different knowing I had my house right there? Great food for thought, and a wonderful chance for self-reflection.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I think it would make a difference for you, DeAnne, having your home only a few steps away. I know whenever I’m confronted with anything problematic or distasteful, my immediate reaction is “I wish I could go home and forget about this.” Well, you can do that when you’re a vagabond!

    • Gayle says:

      It’s not so much that you have your HOUSE right there, but that you have your FRIDGE right there! Toast the trench!

  27. Darci says:

    I saw these things called Maxsa Foldablel Traction Mats, probably on Amazon too. Seems like something useful in a jam. I got stuck something awful in sand in San Carlos one time. Kind of thought of getting something like this for myself in case no kind soul is able to help me next time.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Darci,

      I found them on Amazon. Good idea but they don’t look long enough. If I’m reading correctly they’re only about two feet long. I’d want them to be five feet.

      Here’s the link for anyone interested:

      MAXSA Innovations 20025 Foldable Traction Mat

      • Darci says:

        Thanks for checking on that Sue. I think something a little longer would be good too, 2 ft really isn’t that long. I think the one called the Sand Track would be better because of the length. I am glad your post reminded me of wanting to get something like this. Really probably would have forgot about it until I staring at a hole again. :-/

  28. John says:

    Arrgh! Sorry to read about your getting stuck. I am a Yuma resident and would have gladly ran out to give you a hand. I have enjoyed reading your blog since before Thanksgiving. I always wave as I pass near your camps.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      Gee, if you’ve waved and I didn’t wave back, it was because I didn’t see you. I always return the waves I see.

      Thanks for your kind offer and thanks, also, for reading my blog!

      BTW, I hope you will comment again. Could you call yourself John in Yuma or Yuma John? I like to get to know my readers and try to keep them straight in my mind.

      • Yuma John says:

        It’s more of a wave in your general direction as I am passing near the areas I know you are boondocked at. 🙂

  29. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Been there done that…stuck in sand with my truck. My son bought me a heavy duty hydraulic jack when I bought my truck…trouble is that jack is heavy! But I learned to muscle it in and out of my truck. But the trick is to let some air out of your tire when stuck in sand or snow….learned that as a kid when I watched adults get themselves out of sand or snow. If all else fails, I jack up the truck and put boards anything to lift it up to level of road and fill the hole then put stuff underneath to get some traction. I was alone in middle of desert when I got stuck (before cell phone days) so I followed the steps above to get out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      Several months ago a reader asked me what I would do if stuck in the sand. I gave him a long, impressive list, including things like letting the air out of the tires. Did I do those things? Nooooo . . . too lazy. And then it was too late. LOL!

      I’ve used a “come-along” before (to move a shed on my property). It wouldn’t do me any good in the desert because there’s hardly anything to hook it to.

      You are a very capable woman, Rita. I appreciate you sharing here.

  30. Brian says:

    Ahhhh!!! These two part cliffhangers are killing me!

  31. Evelyn Wood says:

    Hi Sue,
    When mom and I were driving our Ogleby Rd. the other day we wanted an empty place all by ourselves. We kept driving past the Gold something or other place and found a really nice place to park way off the road. I parked the class c on the road and walked into it to give it a ‘look see’ and it looked ok to me. Away we go driving over to that great looking tree over there, and everything was going alright(or so I thought). Now lets turn so the sun will set over that side, that is when I realized that we were in deep dodo. I practiced every thing I had ever heard avout driving in mud or sand. My rear wheels were spinning but I kept steady pressure on the gas, straightened out the steering wheel and just kept going while saying my preyers and driving over bushes and scraping bushes down the sides of my rv. And we got out without not to much damage. Yes the sand was hard where I walked but not over where the great tree was. I was shacking so bad by the time we got back to the road I had to stop and get out and walk around to calm down. Ha, mom said she was never worried and I said that was because she had no idea how much out tires were spinning. We did boondock that night and will do more but now maybe not so far from everyone else.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, dear Evelyn! I am so sorry you experienced such a scare. I don’t know where you were to find soft sand off of Ogilby Road. The area where we camped is hard-packed covered with small stones. Sounds like you got into a small spot of loose sand near a wash.

      Don’t feel terrible about that small error. As you know we make mistakes and learn from them. I’ve learned not to think ground that’s covered with green stuff growing and marked with tire tracks will necessarily support my rig. You’ll learn to sense where to drive and where not to. . . and if you get stuck, it’s not the end of the world.

      You handled a potential problem well. Congratulations to you! Put another stripe on your boondocking badge . . . .

  32. JodeeinSoCal says:

    I’m picturing Sam Elliott in jeans, boots and a big hat standing on the other side of your door. Deep smooth voice telling you he’s just arrived from saving a litter of coyote puppies and he’d sure like to help you out of your predicament – ma’am.

    But it’s Elmer Fudd isn’t it?

  33. Willow says:

    Sue
    As they say “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” you are dealing with this situation like the calm, strong woman you are. Anxiously waiting for the the rest of the story. Hugs and pets to the faithful crew.

  34. Robin says:

    Hello! Whew! Glad help came along, and I can’t wait to read exactly how.

    A bit off topic, but here goes. I’ve been researching my future traveling retirement, and had settled on a TV and TT. I fell in love with fiberglass trailers, and narrowed it down to a Casita or Escape (for when I win the lottery). The TV? I kept waffling between an SUV and a van (for storage). It was at that point, about ten days ago, that I discovered your blog. I was captivated, and went back to the very beginning of your blog, and by setting aside a couple of novels, and grading some papers a day or two late (yes, another female teacher, who has always described herself as a highly social loner, planning to go solo touring with her two dogs, Welsh Cardigan Corgis), I’ve made it to September 2013. With the upcoming three-day weekend I should be completely ‘in the now.’ Independently I’ve also come to appreciate the benefits of the Chevy Express.

    What I’d like to know, is now, with years of road experience, what options would you look for in a used Express as being useful, even necessary? Is the 1500 okay, or would you recommend the 2500? I’m just starting to shop, and everyone has input, but I value your opinion. You rock!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Robin,

      Picking the right tow vehicle is very important. You are wise to research and choose carefully what suits you and your future life on the road.

      I have found the 1500 works well for me and have never wished I had the 2500.

      Here are the options that the PTV has that I have found beneficial . . .

      1) Upholstered throughout providing insulation from heat, from cold, and, just as importantly with a cargo van, from noise. 2) Tinted windows (all except the front windows), again insulation, as well as concealment of possessions (and the landfill that forms back there). 3) Bench seat for the crew 4) eight doors! Wow! Is it ever handy being able to open up both sides of the PTV! It isn’t necessary to have all these doors (not easy to find in a used van), but they definitely are a bonus. 5) Comfortable, cloth seat (I prefer cloth) for the driver (and passenger).

      Going back to option #2… Windows in the back are not important. They provide some light which is nice. However, solid walls in the back would make it easier to install racks. I’d like to be able to have wall holders for long-handled items (broom, rake, shovel, awning support bar, mop, etc.).

      I hope this is helpful. Feel free to ask me or readers questions. You help more than yourself when you do so!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Robin, for reading my blog from the beginning. Good luck finding your perfect tow vehicle.

      • Robin in Central Coast California says:

        Thanks for taking the time to respond so fully! I was deliberating the usefulness of having back windows vs the usefulness of racks, as well as wondering how ‘enticing’ visible stuff might be if there were back windows – deliberation solved. It might take some time to find a fully upholstered van, but the search is on!

        As for reading your entire blog, no thanks needed. I teach HS English, and in my personal time I read nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that doesn’t please me. ; )

  35. MK Reed says:

    Well Sue this is a fine mess…LOL anyone remember Laurel and Hardy?

    To cheer you up…you might be stuck, but look where your stuck!

    I’m in NE GA in what is to be considered a catastrophic snow/ice storm for the next several days! Of course my Swedish Vallhund, Odie has become a professional Zoomie Master out in the weather.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, MK,

      You reminded me of that bumper sticker… “A bad day fishing is better than a good day at work” or something along those lines.

      A “bad day” in SE Arizona in winter is better than a “good day” in winter in NE Georgia! From your comment, it sounds like you aren’t having very good days right now, weather-wise. Odie would disagree!

      • MK Reed says:

        LOL I don’t mind the weather but, I’m scheduled to work tomorrow and will get dinged big time if I can’t get in. My driveway is over 500′ long and steep in places. I’ve got a 16 year old F150 that I’ve put cinder blocks in the back over the axle and I just went down to look and I’m going uh-oh, if it doesn’t melt and I can’t get out, I’ll proly get fired.

        Anyway, here I sit in another one of GA’s nasty ice storms and at least I can enjoy your adventures…tradejah…LOL

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good luck, MK. I hope you don’t risk life and limb because of the pressure of a job.

          And if you get fired, your employer is a colossal jerk and may he/she be zapped with a big load of bad karma.

  36. Sue Alexander says:

    Wow! You are my hero! Traveling alone! Relaxed and enjoying life no matter what happens!! Me, first totally stressed, second the sweats, then the finale tears! But I would soon get the wine out and hope that Johnny Depp would show up! Glad to hear you and the crew are safe and sound. Thanks so much for keeping us informed on all you do.

    On another note, being recognized in Mexico, I have never seen a picture of you so don’t worry if your rig is not there I won’t know you! Lol!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sue,

      I guess I’ve stressed so much, sweated the small stuff many times, and cried buckets to no avail, that now “I drift with the flow of life.” (I read that last clause somewhere but can’t remember where.)

      Johnny Depp is nice to look at. However, I’m glad I had the help of the man who appeared at my door. I needed help, not a pretty face!

      If you’ve never seen a picture of me, I suggest you go back to the beginning of my blog and start reading. 🙂 Or skip all that and scroll down to Mick’s comment and the links there.

      Aw shucks, I’m no hero. Thanks for writing, Sue!

  37. DeadEye says:

    Glad you got out. Question. Are you in danger of getting stuck again when you back in to hook up the BLT?

    Don

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Don,

      I intend to put together another post today explaining how both the PTV and BLT were extracted from this mess.

      To answer your question, most definitely there was danger for the PTV getting stuck again while trying to hook up the BLT. That’s why I didn’t unhitch right away. Once I saw that I wasn’t able to get the PTV out of the sand without the help of a tow truck or 4-wheel drive, I went ahead and unhitched.

  38. Mick'nTN says:

    Doesn’t look like a 60ish and retired desert rat to me?

    http://rvsueandcrew.net/today-is-the-day-weve-waited-for/

  39. Nan says:

    Way to go, Sue! No panic, no conniption fits, just take the situation nice and easy. You set a good example for solo and even couple travelers.

    I do not comment often, but read regularly. Really nice blog.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Nan. Nice to hear from you. I appreciate you reading my blog.

      I clicked on your name to read your blog. Your photos show the fun of New Orleans (Feb.9, 2014 post). I’m impressed with your “Quinoa and Black Bean Enchilada Bake,” I bet it’s tasty!

  40. Lisa Clark says:

    Hi Sue,

    I’m sitting at lunch putting together the next packet of RV Sue adventures for my grandmother. I’m sorry that I don’t seem to have the time to follow your blog on a daily basis, but I’m always sure to copy & paste each of your posts every few weeks, so Gram can see what you’re up to. She told me again to let you know how much she likes reading these. I bought her an atlas for Christmas and she went back thru all of your posts, so she could follow your travels on the maps!

    I’m not sure how you go about making your travel plans, but if some stories bring her such happiness, I can only imagine how excited she’d be to see the PTV with RV Sue & her Crew pull down her driveway! Just thought I’d throw the idea out there, in case you were considering some adventures in Upstate NY this summer… I’d be sure to be there with a camera, so we could capture the reunion for sharing! 🙂

    Thanks again for sharing these great adventures!
    Take care,
    Lisa

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      I’m very happy to see you appear here again, and I totally understand that you can’t spend as much time reading blog posts as we retirees do. Thank you for printing up my posts for my Auntie, and for dropping in here.

      I want you to know I’m sorry for your recent loss. I didn’t know your father very well. Please accept my sincere condolences to you, Lori, your mother, and the rest of his family.

      I wish upstate NY wasn’t so far away. It’s a lot more difficult to live and travel the way I do into the northeast (not to mention very expensive). Please convey my love, hugs, and kisses to your grandma, along with my posts.

      Thanks again for writing!

  41. Ron says:

    Sue
    A little something we used when beach running. We carried some 12 inch wide sections of carpet to put under the tires ,sure worked better than wooden blocks and they roll up pretty small. On a beach there isnt much to tie to so we carried a small boat anchor with flukes , the harder you pull on it the deeper it goes in the sand and will get as solid as pulling on a rock.
    Slowly but surely I am getting ready to ft and kicking around the perfect TV for me , Extended cab truck with a good glass topper and after thinking about your post I think a 4 wheel drive and a small winch may be added.
    Question , do you use paper plates bowl etc or does that create to much trash?
    Thanks for taking the trouble to do this blog.
    Ron

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ron,

      I did use some carpet but apparently it was too flimsy. I should get something better.

      This is the first time in 3 years of owning the PTV that I would’ve used 4-wheel drive. It’s not something I’d want to pay a lot of money for. I’d rather have my big ol’ van.

      No, I don’t use paper plates… very few “disposable” items, in fact. Yes, it’s because of the trash and I don’t like burning stuff. Besides, I have the time to wash things. It’s part of my way of life.

      You’re welcome, Ron.

      • Gayle says:

        Paper plate question helpful. Packing my minivan to camp when So. Cal. weather warms up (it’s a chilly 70 now and 45 at night, sorry!). Paper products way too bulky IMHO. Better to wash one plate, one bowl, one cup, be done with it, no trash, no spending $$ every couple weeks on paper. No paper blowing around campsite. You know that already, RVSue! Be part of the solution not part of the problem, as we used to say.

  42. Bob G says:

    Well, getting stuck in sand is something that is going to happen if you drive long and far enough. There is an old saw that says having 4WD just allows you to get stuck farther back in the woods. You have the sort of combo rig that is easiest to get unstuck on your lonesome.

    Everybody knows that getting stuck in sand is usually solved by unhooking the trailer and letting air out of your auto tires. But the key is when and how you do these things. Denial is not your friend. You are going to get dirty and tired and annoyed, and that’s that. Might as well get used to the idea. It won’t kill you.

    First, don’t make the problem worse by spinning your tires. Second, unhook the trailer as soon as possible. Third, let the air out of your drive tires. I mean almost flat. Half measures just get you dug in deeper and prolong the misery. Give it your best shot the first time. Dig out from in front of all four tires. Then you can usually crawl your way out of there, in low gear and with a light touch on the throttle. At that point you can slowly go for help, and get your tires inflated.

    But the most important skill is the one you seem to have mastered: don’t panic. You have your home and supplies right there, and unless the tide is coming in you have all the time in the world. Make supper. Have a cuppa. Believe it or not, eventually some Bubba in a big truck will magically appear, and it will just absolutely make his day to help you out.

    This last bit is not intuitive, but in my experience it is inevitable.

    But even Bubba can’t help you if between you there can’t be found a folding shovel, a tow rope, and a tire inflator. These don’t take up much room. Of course owners of Class As have a much simpler tactical problem, as they are basically impossible to get unstuck without a tow truck, or at worst a bulldozer. All the emergency equipment they need is a working cell phone and a fat wallet. Maybe a bicycle would be handy, to get them back in range of a tower.

    Nothing is going to help more than patience. Lots and lots of patience. As you and Scarlett like to say, “Tomorrow is another day!”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Well, Bob, let me point out a few things. . .

      First off, I’ve never been reluctant to get dirty. Believe me, shoveling that sand was dirty business. A lot of it I did with my bare hands in order to put the board under the tire.

      Secondly, the hairs on the back of my neck stood up when I read your advice not to spin the wheels. Do all men think women are idiots? Someone (male, of course) came along during this incident and remarked, “You shouldn’t have spun the wheels.” As if I would ever do that! I sighed then and I sighed again reading your comment. Once again I say, no, I didn’t spin the wheels nor will I ever spin the wheels. I’ve driven out (with a “light touch”) of more snowbanks, ice, and mud than I can recall and never once did I think spinning the wheels would work. I do have a brain.

      Okay, now that I’ve got that off my chest . .. . 🙂

      I didn’t unhitch right away because I knew it would be a worse problem hitching up again. I underestimated the difficulty of getting traction on that sand and, thus, didn’t deflate the tires from the get-go. I realized the difficulty too late. I have a tire inflater. I’ll know better next time.

      Looking back, I don’t think there was any way anyone could’ve extricated the PTV and BLT without external power and traction in the form of a tow truck or 4-wheel drive. Every story I heard of people getting stuck at Coyote Wash ended with someone having to pull them out.

      Thanks for writing all these hints. I wrote them long ago but I don’t remember where. It’s helpful to repost them from time to time for the benefit of all of us. I will take your advice about “giving it all I’ve got” with the first try. That was my big mistake.

      • Bob G says:

        Sorry to get your dander up. All those “hints” didn’t come out of a book, nor did they come with my gender certificate, or even what passes for my brain. I picked them up the hard way, slowly, by being stupid over time, until it all, so to speak, sunk in.

        Anyhow, it’s a mess. I feel for ya. Glad to hear you got out okay. I always figured if I got stuck bad enough, I could always just try to lease the land, call it a ranch, and say I did it on purpose. Figgered it was time to put down roots, you see.

        I’m always thinking, though it seldom gets me out of a hole that has my name on it.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m sorry to be snippy, Bob. It was good of you to take the time to write all those suggestions.

          • Bob G says:

            One of these swing up hitches might not have helped, but I’ve often thought they might be handy in certain circumstances:
            (I removed the link — It’s not the one Bob intended. . . Sue)

            Your trailer is light enough that you might be able to push it around by hand if you had a wheel on the end of your jack.

            Just a thought.

            • Bob G says:

              Well, I don’t know how that happened. Here’s the item I meant to show:

              Reese Towpower 74410 Trailer Swivel Mount Jack

              (I replaced Bob’s link with one of my Amazon links. . . Sue)

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Yeah, that’s similar to the one I have. The big difference is mine is put on much like the cone… by cranking the post down into it.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I do have the wheel that came with the BLT that one can use instead of the stationary cone. I never use it because it is very heavy and cumbersome to pull out of the PTV. It did come to mind when Byron went to hitch up (see next post).

  43. Barbara says:

    60″ X 11″ sand track at Amazon.com

  44. Ron says:

    The way to use a 4 wheel drive is to not use it until the two wheel gets in trouble then use it to get the heck out of dodge.
    Ron

  45. mary (in Colorado) says:

    Well, Sue, these “to be continued” stories are going to be the death of me. We’re leaving in 10 days to spend 2 months on a sailboat in the Sea of Cortez. My husband says I’ll be going through wi-fi withdrawal, and he’s probably right about that. There are ways to have continuous wi-fi services, but very expensive; so most likely I’ll have to catch up when we pull into a marina (few and far between). As a plus, I’ll get lots of reading done, and all the peace and quiet I can stand. And the tequilla bottles travel well!

    • Mary (MN) says:

      Is it my imagination or does the new camp make Bridget’s butt look small? 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Ha! I don’t know, Mary in MN. It looks the same to me . . . Maybe the new diet will help her shed some weight.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Have a wonderful time, Mary in CO. I’m sorry you’ll be out of touch with our adventures. Sounds like you’ll be having lovely ones of your own. Enjoy!

  46. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Everyone gets stuck eventually if you drive off road. Four Wheel Drive might have helped you but then again it might not have and in that case you would really be stuck! One time I did what you do. I got out of my vehicle and walked a ways out onto a playa. This dry lake bed seemed pretty dry where I was so I assumed it must be this dry all the way across? Wrong! I felt my little Datsun pick up sinking deeper and deeper. I knew I couldn’t turn around that would have only slowed me down and I needed speed and momentum to get to the other side. About half way across I ran out of speed and bogged down but good. I was with my trusty dog Buck out in the middle of no where. I made camp right where I was just like you did. First thing in the morning I got out my special bolo type tool and started cutting sage brush. I made a road out of sage brush for almost half a mile. Not the whole road just the track of my little pick up. It took me almost all day to lay this road out. I knew I only had one chance to do it only if I took everything out of my little truck lightening my load. I finally dug and jacked it up enough for me to give it a try. Success …I was moving along with my trusty dog running right along side until I got to terra firma on the other side of this BIG DRY lake bed. I looked back at my mountain of camp gear parked in a pile in the middle of this playa. It took me the rest of the day to walk it all over to the other side where my truck was parked waiting for me. Needless to say I never did that again. “Once burned…twice shy”.

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