Keeping my cool

Tuesday, February 3

See this big cloud hovering over the desert?

1-P1020414A bunch of problems roll into our camp off Ogilby Road west of Yuma.  Like the cloud above, problems hover above and cannot be ignored.  Nothing to fuss about, but looming over us nevertheless.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

Bridget and I take off in the Perfect Tow Vehicle for a leisurely drive across the desert.  It’s a sunny, bright day and I’m curious to see the west side of the Colorado River, since we’re camped on this side.

We pass the Cargo Muchacho Mountains on the east.  To the west, the sands of Algodones Dunes create a horizon of pale coral waves.  Route 534 takes us between the major Chocolate Mountains and the lesser Chocolate Mountains.

At the intersection with Route 78, I turn right and head toward Blythe.

The landscape is drab and desolate.  The road crosses several large washes which has us rolling way up and way down, again and again, as if we’re on a ship tossed by a stormy sea.  Just the opposite — It’s a peaceful drive.

I stop for Bridget to have a walk-around.  I check my California Benchmark atlas and see there’s a campground on the Colorado called Mitchell’s Camp.  We’ll go check that out.

I start up the PTV and Bridget curls up in her doggie bed for a snooze.

1-P1020417-001Mitchell’s Camp turns out to be a trailer park.  A fella’ tells me it used to be a campground but recently “we closed it to the public.  You know how it is, a few people ruin it for everybody.  Now you have to know someone to get in here.”

Apparently it was a privately-owned campground before.  I turn the PTV around and return to Route 78.  Further on I see a sign for river access.

The dirt road takes us to Oxbow Recreation Area.

A camper is tucked in the tall grass at the edge of a lagoon of Oxbow Lake.

1-P1020425The campground is small and has an overall look of having seen better days.  I stop at the BLM’s fee station out of curiosity — $15 regular/$7.50 with senior discount pass.

Hmm. . .  only three campers here plus a camp host.

1-P1020421-001Bridget wakes up and yaps to be let out.

“Okay, okay. . .  Let me put you in your suit first.”

We walk over to the trees and picnic tables (above photo).  These are the campsites.  The Colorado flows by the sites, below a steep bank.

1-P1020423Across the bridge is Cibola National Wildlife Refuge.

We can look at that another time.  I can’t see us camping here at Oxbow Campground.  It’s a long drive from Interstate 8 and we wouldn’t come here from Interstate 10.   I’m sure there are better places on the other side of the river, some without a fee.

I walk Bridget around the campground taking photos. 

When she’s had sufficient exercise, I toss her into the PTV.  I eat a sandwich, sharing bites with her, and then we head back to camp.

1-P1020428I park the PTV and remember to plug in the Best Little Trailer’s cord into the rear bumper for the house battery.

First thing I do inside the BLT is open the refrigerator for a cold bottle of water. 

That’s when I discover the refrigerator isn’t working.  Darn!  I open up the outside compartment and with a long brush I proceed to clean out the dust.  Even so, the pilot refuses to light.

Isn’t this great timing!  I have a freezer full of chicken for Bridget and a fridge crammed with groceries for me.  Well, I’m not going to do the ice-in-a-cooler routine.

I take out about half the chicken, cover the pieces with water in a big pot, and set it all to boil.  Once the cooked chicken cools a bit, I put it in the refrigerator.  I shut the door quickly so the chicken will be okay for Bridget’s breakfast.  Unless a miracle happens, the rest will go to waste.

Wednesday, February 4

I check the fridge in the morning and to my surprise the chicken I left in the freezer is frozen solid.  Yet the main part of the refrigerator isn’t very cold.  I check the compartment and it doesn’t look like the pilot is on, but maybe it is. It is hard to tell.  This is very weird.  Could the fridge be working again and it’s needing a long time to cool down?  I’ll give it a day and see what happens.

Besides, I have other problems to sort out . . . .

1-P1020415

Stuff happens in every life.  Eventually all will smooth over with time.

rvsue

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1-P1020430Pack rats are not welcome!

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136 Responses to Keeping my cool

  1. Jeff from va says:

    Me first

  2. Deadeye says:

    Me second. Now I read.

    Don

  3. Cari in Plano Texas says:

    I’ve been catching up on your posts from the last week or so, and I must say, the photos of the sunsets are breathtaking! The ones showing the same mountains during the day and at the ‘golden hour’ are beautiful! I enjoyed the tour of the Organ Pipe area too. The desolate desert photos depict what I usually think of when the word desert is mentioned. But it has its own stark beauty too, and I can understand why you think of it as peaceful and restful. All that open space!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cari,

      I think most of us who did not grow up in the scenic parts of the desert developed the idea that all the desert is like that drab photo. It’s true there are “badlands” that are without vegetation and kind of spooky. There also are vast areas that are beautiful. I’m thrilled that my photos have changed readers’ perception of the desert in a positive way.

      “All that open space” seems to open up one’s spirit… Glad you’ve enjoyed the sunset pics!

  4. CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

    Enjoying very much the pictures of the desert. Still struggling to get my health and strength back so I can get back to my dream of wandering the West. Hoping your week goes more smoothly.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, CheryLyn,

      I wish I could send you good health and the strength to make your dream come true. It must be frustrating for you. I hope my blog and its photos help you to hang on and get through this time. May what I wrote be true for you — “Eventually all will smooth over with time.”

    • DesertGinger says:

      CherylLynn I’m going through the same thing. I’m hoping I’m on an upswing now, but health issues are so uphill. Good luck.

  5. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue!

    Beautiful pink mixed in the dark clouds – love your pictures as usual! Sorry to hear about the fridge issues and other stuff. The problems seem to come in threes, don’t they. Hope all is resolved soon!

    Hugs to you and Bridget from me and Gracie pup! Wishing you a restful night, and a productive day tomorrow, finding the needed resolutions. Have a good night! 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Oh! I completely forgot to mention….I was driving home today and saw a woman walking a little girl rattie pup!! I immediately thought of you! She was a cutie – markings similar to Miss Bridge! 🙂

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Thanks, Denise! There are lots of Bridget-look-alikes in the world. Don’t tell her that!

        Good night to you and Gracie, too!

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          I know…we’ll continue to let Bridget and Gracie and everyone else’s pup’s think that they ARE the cutest of their breed!! And, of course, like doting parents, we HAVE to agree with them! 🙂

  6. Diann in MT says:

    Good to hear you are OK. Sounds like it’s a bit challenging right now. You are always in my prayers.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re sweet, Diann. Thank you. As I’ve said before, not every day is “lollipops and roses” just because I’m living my dream!

  7. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Beautiful area of the desert. Loved the pictures of the Colorado River. Praying everything you are dealing with gets sorted out soon. Hugs.

  8. Larry M from the Pacific NW says:

    According to this website your refrig may need to be “burped”. Of course, it is always important that you be level whenever you’re camped.

    http://www.classicwinnebagos.com/forum/index.php?topic=7704.0

    Also of interest from an RV Forum:
    Welcome to the FMCA Forum.

    The “coolant” goes to the freezer first, then the refrigerator, so compromised cooling capacity affects the refrigerator first.

    Start by making sure cooling capacity is maximized:
    1. Defrost if more than 1/4″ of ice.
    2. Do the “dollar bill test” to verify that the door seals are snug.
    3. Insure that the restrictor is in the bottom/outside end of the condensate drain.
    4. Check that air flow in the bottom and out the top of the outside refrigerator area is unobstructed.
    5. Particularly if the upper refrigerator outside vent is in the side vs roof, make sure there is no “dead space” above the refrigerator that can accumulate heat.
    6. Do the burner area tune-up as outlined in your Dometic manual. Even a slight decrease in flame size can have a detrimental affect on cooling performance.
    7. Lastly, use a manometer to verify propane pressure.

    Happy Trails!!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Fingers crossed and prayers sent up that it is as simple as being off level!

    • Larry M from the Pacific NW says:

      PS…Try gently rocking your trailer for a bit (assuming it’s already level).

      I always enjoy your blog!

      Larry

      • Larry M from the Pacific NW says:

        Ford RV has made a series of 18 videos on the operation of an RV Refrigeration system. Very informative. Here’s the link to #1. I’ve recorded all of them on DVD. If you’d like a copy of it, just send me an email with an address for me to send the DVD to.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIJYx5j2nPQ
        Safe Travels! Larry

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re such a great help, Larry! I’ll watch the youtube video in the morning when I can see what I’m doing. I shouldn’t need the DVD now that you’ve put me in the right direction on the youtube videos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! Lots of suggestions… thanks a lot, Larry! I’ll see what I can do tomorrow.

      #1 (no ice) and #2 are not it… I know the bottom seal isn’t snug (it came loose) but it hasn’t caused a problem for months.

      Thanks again…

      • edlfrey says:

        I think I would focus on #6 that Larry M from the Pacific NW gave you.

        Lynn Brooks. Hmmm….motor?? No motor in an RV absorption style refrigerator/freezer, that is why there were comments about level. Gravity provides the cycling that a motor does in a sticks-n-bricks compressor style refrigerator/freezer.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m thinking #6 or #3… What’s behind door number six? I hope it isn’t a jackass!

          • Cinandjules says:

            Oh my god you made me snort!

          • Gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

            That’s funny! Remember the days when the prize was always a gift certificate from the Spiegel’s catalog? Anyone west of the Rockies didn’t know what that was — like what’s Spiegel?

          • Sondra-SC says:

            Drat! ….you mean of the equine kind or the human kind…gotta add some humor to a trying task! Hope its a simple tweek!

      • Larry M from the Pacific NW says:

        Sue, One last website with a bit more good info:
        http://www.rvtravel.com/?q=daily-rv-tips-issue3709540
        I’ve mounted two 5 volt solar panels on the top of my refrigerator vent that power fans blowing air both up the vent, and also fans blowing air on the refrigerator’s interior cooling metal fins (you need to be VERY CARFUL not to damage these fins). But, I a bit fanatic when it comes to expensive refrigerators…LOL 🙂
        Good Luck! Larry

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi again, Larry… and thanks again…

          I looked at that link and learned about the thermistor. I checked inside the refrigerator compartment and found the thermistor hanging half off the metal fin. Of course I corrected that. I also moved it up higher on the fin.

          Somewhere around here I have a remote temperature thingy. I need to find it and measure what kind of cooling is happening in the fridge area before buying any more food. It feels cool yet I don’t know if it’s cool enough. I have the setting on high and the freezer items are like bricks.

          I can’t thank you enough for all the help you’ve given me and others who can use the information and suggestions you’ve shared.

  9. Barb from Hoquiam! says:

    Oh my I hope you can get the fridge sorted out. Nothing like a hiccup to mess things up!

    I spent nearly a year trying to figure out why my freezer in my house wasn’t draining properly… had a whole routine of chopping up the ice and sweeping it away… so dumb. There was a kink in the line! Hope your solution is a simple one too!

    Hugs from Hoquiam!
    Barb

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barb,

      Nearly a year? Oh, I hate it when I do stuff like that. I put up with stuff and then when I finally get around to figuring out how to fix whatever isn’t working, I want to kick myself for not taking care of it sooner.

      In the case of a refrigerator, procrastinating is not an option!

      Always nice to hear from you, Barb.

  10. Lynn Brooks says:

    Gee Sue,
    I sure hope your fridge is ok!
    Maybe you need coolant? But then the freezer probably wouldn’t be working??? Hmmm….motor?? Gosh, I hope not!
    Hope everything else is ok!
    Lynn

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Lynn. At least I’m near Yuma where there are plenty of RV service businesses. I’ll see what I can accomplish from Larry’s suggestions and the videos… I would be so happy if I could fix it myself!

  11. Applegirl NY says:

    I’m as fascinated by the names of the places you go, as the places themselves. All of those wonderful Native American sounding names, and now you’ve added Chocolate Mountains. That’s too much!

    Hope things work out with the fridge. Sounds like Larry, in the above post, may have some good tips. I know nothing!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Applegirl,

      The place names and geography names in the West are very interesting. I know I keep mentioning my atlases ad nauseum…. I read them for entertainment, finding interesting names…

      You know how you can buy chocolate in big slabs or chunks and break off pieces? That’s what the Chocolate Mountains look like!

  12. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    For relief from rodents eating your engine wires buy a box of Fresh Cab. Six little packets in a box. Each packet will last for 3 months. Put a packet under your hood away from the battery and sleep well knowing the PTV is protected. Rodents hate the smell and will vacate immediately. I think Amazon may have them for sale.

    • Rattlesnake Joe says:

      P.S. Fresh Cab is not harmful to animals they just don’t like the smell. So it won’t bother HRH at all 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh my gosh, Joe. I forgot about Fresh Cab! I bought some a year or more ago and put them inside the PTV which gave Bridget a headache, so I tossed them out. I never thought about putting Fresh Cab under the hood!

      Thanks for the idea….

  13. Betty Shea says:

    Sorry about your fridge!! My appliances are losing thier marbles too..my microwave keeps going back to time 11:11and won’t stop beeping at me !! I pulled its’ plug !!
    My fridge won”t cool on AC only works on propane and my coffee maker thinks it is a gieser..????
    Maybe it is the full moon..

  14. Not sure when you changed your header photo, but I really like it.

  15. Sorry to hear about your frig. I hope you’ll be able to fix it on your own. Your post made me realize we should check to see if we need to clean the filter on the outside of our frig. It’s seen plenty of dust recently. Take good care, Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dawn,

      I remember when I was given orientation on the BLT at the Casita factory…. I was told that dust is often the cause of fridge problems.

  16. Cinandjules says:

    Breath in …breath out…..relax…..everything ALWAYS works out! 😉

  17. Jeff Smith says:

    It may be this – Try turning fridge off, defrost and restart. Of course you would have to put things in a cooler for the time that it takes. If the freezer is working, the refrigerator is working – there is an ice blockage preventing the refrigerator section from getting cool air from the freezer section. Hope it is that simple.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      There isn’t anything to defrost. The fridge is absolutely clear of ice inside the compartments. I love my little fridge. Ice doesn’t build up in it.

      As for ice inside lines, I don’t know, of course. I hope you’re right. I’ll check it tomorrow. Thank you, Jeff.

  18. weather says:

    The trip to that side of the Colorado was a great idea,I enjoyed just hearing about,seeing it on here was a nice surprise and I always love road photos.Still,my favorite this post was the cloud overshadowing everything in your first one.You know I love storms,yet there’s a huge difference being under cloud cover,especially if it’s one that lingers after a really big storm,literally or in life.

    Oddly,I’ve learned not to dread or feel badly about it ,rather I know it will be varying levels of hard to live through,and frustration will be there so often, yet it will be,always has been,a special time.Those are the times that I’ve felt and known divine protection,shelter and provision more exquisitely…been shown things I’d never known.

    Not to make light of your situation by any means,I truly wish things were easy for you,now and all the time.I’m sure the refrigeration problem is just one of a list of things you’re contending with.I’ve watched you after problems,large or small,simple or complex.And your gifts continue to be more refined,you do.I know you get suggestions from people,but you get guidance from what’s higher than the clouds that hover overhead and always come through the richer for it.Rest well when you do,friend,in comfort.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      This cloud hovering over us has opened up enough to let sunbeams (you and other readers here) shine through. Look how quickly folks rushed to wish me well and to offer suggestions! You remind me of the Source of guidance, one only has to listen.

      I’m glad you enjoyed the trip along the west side of the Colorado.

    • weather says:

      Good morning Sue,I’ll bet you slept soundly after your long day yesterday.We all did here.Was thinking about the 80 degree highs in the desert as I had to squint from the sunlight’s brightness this morning and hoping that the too warm fridge doesn’t stop you from enjoying the warmth of your environment today.It occurred to me that the main cost of appliance repairs is the service call fee,since you can take yours to their door it may not be much at all.As you’ve subjected it to cold,heat,rumbling down the road,etc. all this time -and need your seal repaired anyway,a bit of a tune up will be like patching a favorite old shirt.Any who,enjoy the morning,it must be amazing where you are!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Glad you and your house-buddies slept well. We did, too! Bridget loves her meat breakfasts so much that she no longer dawdles about getting up in the morning. She opens her eyes and jumps down waiting expectantly for me to get up and serve her!

        As for the fridge… I’m not going to get involved in a repair. I’ll try a few simple things this morning and if they don’t work, I’m hitching up and going to an RV service place.

        This living on the road is funny. Yesterday– Feb. 4 — was like a summer day… in the mid-80s. And last June we camped in snow!

        Wishing you and yours a wonderful day. 🙂

        • weather says:

          Glad to hear that you’re going to keep it simple,as in if it’s not easily done by you,let someone with experience take care of it-good call.A diva that doesn’t dawdle-a rare and miraculous creature that little darling girl is 🙂

    • weather says:

      P.S.Really liked your reply to Deb re size of RV being right when lifestyle and environment are taken into consideration.Reminds me of “I don’t live in my camper(or whatever portable shelter one has),I live out of it”.

  19. Lisa W says:

    Hope you get the fridge working without to much of a hassle. I love the last picture in your post today, what a beautiful sunset.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa,

      Thank you. Yes, that last photo… Soon all problems will be smoothed over like those clouds. 🙂

  20. rollininclover says:

    Hi, Sue…this question has been rolling around in my head for awhile now: what, if anything, would make you give up this life on the road and return to a “sticks and stone” home? Thanks, in advance, for helping me out with my decisions!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, rollinclover,

      The only thing that would make me give up this life on the road is losing the capability to live this way, for whatever reason. For as long as I am able, this is the life I want.

      Of course, health problems necessitating being close to a medical facility for an extended period of time might lead me to “park it” nearby…. and then, of course, advanced age.

      • Krystina at Wellton, AZ says:

        Good Morning RVSue,

        I just read that some hospitals are allowing you to park there and some even have electric and water!

        LOVE your new header.

        Yesterday I made a solar shade (my design) for one of my windows. It goes on the outside and you don’t need a ladder to put it on. It is working very well.

        Oh, I went to Starlight Solar (FABULOUS place) to have them look over the install of my solar panel. Larry was horrified! Said it was a fire hazard the way the wires go through the slide out….dah!!!! Probably $500 to fix it all. Not a happy camper right now. Of course there is no way to get the money out of the installer. Live and learn.

        Have a great day everyone.

        Krystina

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Krystina,

          Good for you on designing and creating a solar shade!

          And a Big HOORAY for going to Starlight Solar… They are the experts. I’m glad they fixed that looney-tune wiring job. It’s very hard for a lot of people to say, “I’m sorry. I don’t know how to do that.” Instead they pretend to know what they’re doing. I always appreciate a person saying “You need to take that somewhere else” instead of making a mess out of things.

          Well, anyway.. The $500 bill will hurt for a while, but the correct wiring will feel good a lot longer. 🙂

  21. phxkayaker says:

    We must have just missed you yesterday. We were eyeballing Ox Bow for future possibilities but I really liked the Hart Mine road area east of Cibola better. Unfortunately, we only had one bar of 1x on the Verizon phone.

  22. Norman in San Diego says:

    Hi Sue,

    Happy Wednesday from San Diego. I hope you get your refrigerator back up and running. When I was sitting in the trailer I want at the dealer in Yuma dreaming of the trailer life, one of the first changes I would make would be replacing the gas fridge with an AC/DC compressor fridge. Then a better kitchen faucet. The roof covered in solar panels. I don’t even have my trailer yet and I am dreaming of updates. What a wonderful life in a trailer.
    Have a wonderful week and keep living the dream.

    Norman 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Norman,

      Oh yes, making modifications is a hobby of some full-timers! You make your trailer how you want it. If you’re handy (or rich), that can be fun.

      I’ve made very few modifications to the BLT. Things I’ve changed — like taking out the other twin bed and replacing it with storage drawers — aren’t permanent. I change my mind too much!

      The BLT has AC/DC/propane. I’m almost always using propane because I rarely have hookups and I don’t use a generator.

  23. Susan in Dallas says:

    Gosh, your refrigerator must know my house alarm system. No notice, just decided not to work. It was installed in the 8o’s but wouldn’t it be great if things could work forever? LOL

  24. A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

    Sue,

    That last sunset scene was a great catch. Your photography work shows much care. No matter what you have to work with, you have an eye for great composition.

    While perusing the stacks at one of the libraries looking for information about RVs, I came across a fun little book called Mobile Mansions. It detailed the home-on-wheels’ history from Gypsy Wagons to converted Greyhound Buses. I found this side note about one of the very first motorhomes amusing and thought most Blogerinos would get a chuckle from it. 🙂

    “One of the most interesting features of the Gypsy Cruiser’s interior is the wicker seats [drivers’ and passengers’] which were used because of their light weight. Curiously, the chairs are not secured to the floor, which must have provided a modicum of excitement when taking turns at anything but the slowest speeds”

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That is funny! Wicker!

      I like that phrase “mobile mansion.” I may use that someday to describe my palatial travel trailer. Haha!

      Thank you for the nice compliment on my photography.

  25. DebsJourney says:

    Hi Sue,
    Always sorry to hear you are having problems with important “things” like Fridge, car etc. Seems like when everything is going great something happens to create stress and worry. I know things will work out… they always do.
    I’m thinking of eventually getting a bigger RV since I will be living in it. I want to have enough room for friends to be able to spend the night. My little trailer is good for one person and that’s it. Or two madly in love. lol But I’m happy with it in every other way.
    Hope you are feeling ok and that what ever is happening in your life get’s all better soon. sending a sister hug, Deb

    • DesertGinger says:

      Be careful…don’t buy too much space for friends. I have done that, and then they don’t come. And certainly not often. And now you have this space…what to do with it? What if I use it for storage and pack it all up….then they come? It’s just a mess really, IMO.

      • DebsJourney says:

        Hi Ginger,
        Thanks for your input. I know there are pro’s and cons for having a small trailer or a big one. I just feel like I need more room for myself too. If I am living full time in it I feel like it is just so narrow with no extra space for much of anything. I counted the cabinets in my small RV and there are 15 of them. It’s not a lack of storage for normal camping and traveling but to live full time where I bring all my art supplies (beads paints and canvas’s) then it would be very full. I want to be able to have a dinette area bigger then a two seat bench. I have to think about this carefully. You are right I will mostly be by myself anyway. Lots to think about.

      • PookieBoy in houston says:

        yep I know what you mean about too much room….we built a bigger house so our 3 boys and their families could be comfortable when they come and spend a few days with us and they havent been here overnite in 5 years…..go figure…

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Ginger gives some good advice Deb. Do you have the ability to make the dinette into a bed? Or maybe your friends can sleep in a tent? Remember you will probably be spending most of your time outside anyways.

      I know it seems like a hassle to make up the dinette or deal with a tent. But IMHO it would be more of a hassle to have a rig too big to get where you want to go or cost so much to run that you can’t afford to go anywhere.

      From your posts here I know you’re a wise woman and you will figure it out. Only you know the best rig for you. But I just wanted to share my opinion.

      • DebsJourney says:

        Hi Rick,
        Thanks for saying I’m a wise woman… smile. I know it will be cheaper to live in this 19 foot trailer but having a 25footer would really help with space. Over NYE my friends stayed in a tent at night but it would be nicer to have them comfy inside. Also the dinette area can be made into a single bed. It’s so close to my bed that it would be to tight. Would be fine for a little child but that’s it. I need to consider everything and I have a few months before I move in full time. I like cozy but this is beyond that. I see myself in a class C for the extra space but then I wouldn’t have my truck. So many options and reasons for both. I appreciate your comments always. 🙂

        • Velda in Roseville Ca says:

          Deb, that depends on the size of your truck and the towing capacity of the class C. You may be able to tow your truck. I happen to prefer to drive my “house” and tow my car vs drive my car/truck and tow my house. It’s all a very personal thing. With my husbands health it’s better for us to have class A or C than a trailer. Keep comparing your options, you will find what works best for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Deb,

      Ginger is right about considering guests when purchasing. It’s never a good idea to make a big decision based on what other people will do or not do.

      You’re probably aware of ways you can make more storage on your trailer or truck for your art supplies, so I won’t go into that.

      About your trailer seeming to be too small… Here’s something to consider….

      Do you plan on traveling in the Southeast only? Your trailer may seem small because you are spending a lot of time inside, rather than outside. This I can understand, primarily because of the mosquitoes in Florida.

      Little trailers like yours and mine are best suited for a life lived outdoors. For instance, doing arts and crafts at a table outside, rather than at a dinette. I know full-timers who do that. They do their creative work at their foldable table outside during the daylight, rather than inside after dark. Their supplies are kept in a bin, easily carried to the table and packed up when the session is over.

      I don’t know everything about your situation, of course. It does seem your discontent with the size of your trailer is related to this indoor or outdoor living approach to full-timing. If you are primarily an indoors kind of person (nothing wrong with that!), it will take a greater adjustment to be happy in a small trailer than if you are an outdoors type of person.

      Again, humid, buggy Florida (or other less than ideal climates) makes outdoor living more difficult.

      I hope what I’ve written is helpful for you. If not, maybe it will be for someone else. Good luck!

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        I totally agree…with the others!

        Stay focused on what’s good for YOU! Guest can figure out what and where …when they arrive!

        Jules always wants to plan for what ifs….me? I’m a …and what if they don’t!

  26. DesertGinger says:

    Hi guys! Nausea is dogging me. Had to leave work early yesterday. I have 6 days in a row of work, starting tomorrow. Hope I make it through.

    So sorry to hear about fridge. Must have a fridge. Hope you work it out. And whatever other issues,

    My mattress arrived. Sitting in my carport in box. Too heavy for me to get in house. I didn’t even think of that! Hope I can find someone to help me soon.

    Hope all is well with everyone. Xxoo

    • BadgerRickInWis says:

      Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well Ginger. Hang in there.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Sorry to hear this Ginger…sounds like you may need to tell your doc if this lingers long…my go-to food whenever I do not feel well, esp. in the stomach, is applesauce. Wonderful food…try to keep some in those small cups as I don’t eat it regularly, but want it on hand whenever those days happen. Hope you can make it ok at work…so difficult to work sometimes!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      A salty Saltine on my tongue helps me with nausea. I used to keep a pack of them in my desk in my classroom.

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      Hope you feel better soon!

      Wait…the delivery folks dragged it to the carport? They couldn’t drag it into the house? Sheesh!

  27. BadgerRickInWis says:

    LOVE the new header. It’s as if your rig is suddenly starring in a John Ford movie.

    If so I’m sure it’s a love story full of adventure and intrigue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rick. There’s a flaw though. That SUV needs to be a buckboard. Darn tourists wandering through a live action movie set!

  28. BadgerRickInWis says:

    One other thought about the fridge. Can you switch it over to DC power? If you can than it is a problem with the pilot or the propane supply.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wouldn’t that be hard on my house battery?

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        Long term yes, I was thinking of using DC just for a few hours and seeing if it started to cool. If it does than it has to be something in the propane system or the pilot. If not than it is a problem with the fridge itself or the coolant. Running on DC for a bit it in the morning on a sunny day will drain your battery but your 200W of solar should recharge everything before nightfall.

        But I’m hoping it’s just the thermistor and all is well by the time you read this.

        Yet again you show your wisdom by being willing to take it to a pro if you can’t figure a simple fix. And by remembering that stuff like this is just “stuff”. All the important things in your life are fine. You and Bridge are healthy, happy, and very, very loved.

  29. riverhauler says:

    About that frig…..One of the most common problems with r/v frigs is a low flame condition. This problems builds over a long period of time until you notice it in the lower frig.
    The problem occures in the burner area, as the burner heats up the flue pipe rust forms on the inside of the flue pipe and as you move from campsite to campsite small particals of rust fall down on top of the burner, over time they block the screen on top of the burner and propane can not get thru.
    The repair is to open up the burner area and use a small brush to clean off the top of the burner

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, riverhauler,

      That sounds like a very real possibility. I haven’t started working on it this morning… I have to be fully motivated which is the job of the second cup of coffee. Thanks for the suggestion!

  30. Pamela K. says:

    Sue,
    At home depot they sell air conditioner filters…the thin ~black~ ones, not the white or blue ones. I think they come in a two pack, the really soft ones ~without~ frames. You can cut them to fit the outside vent-door of your refridge and place them on the ~inside~ of the outside vent-door. Klemper and I do this every Spring during heavy pollen season, works like a charm at filtering all the dust and pollen! You DO have to remember to take it out and shake them every so many days but it is a small price to pay to not have to buy a new Refridge. And one year we left them in during the hot Summer and they still worked great at keeping the dirt/dust out, while allowing the air to still flow freely to the fridge. Maybe once you get the fridge going well again you can buy some of those filters…they really help to keep it cleaned out inside the vent-door.

    • Pamela K. says:

      A NOTE OF CAUTION:
      We use our Fridge on AC power or 12V. It runs on propane but we never have used it so I don’t know if the filters would work for propane use or not. Does the outside vent-door get hot at all with propane use for your Fridge? If not, then they may work very well, otherwise maybe not if the vent-door gets warm the heat would maybe build up with a filter there. On AC or 12V they work super great for anyone in an electric hook-up site or using an external generator.
      Well then, hope you find the correction to your current Fridge wows and hope the correction does NOT require a whole new Fridge. That would be a real OUCH! for sure!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I’m hesitant to put a filter on it. I travel in very dusty places (long, dusty, washboardy roads!) and I’m notorious for forgetting to do things. I can’t depend upon myself to remember to fool with the filter which I’d have to do very frequently.

        Thanks for posting the suggestion as we all learn from what others share.

      • edlfrey says:

        Pamela K. ,

        I think your filter suggestion is a good one.

        However, there is no reason to believe that the propane heat is any greater than the 110v or 12v heat. There is only so much heat required to make the refrigerator work and I can not imagine that the manufacturer would provide more hear from one source than from another.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m glad you reminded me of Pamela’s suggestion for a filter, Ed. I’d like to mention that to the RV service people. I’m curious if they have a recommendation for what material to use. The BLT collects an awful lot of dust given the places I go.

  31. Marsha/MI says:

    Sorry to hear about the refrigerator issues. We had the same problem with our fridge at the end of our long trip last summer. Since it was fall and we really weren’t going anywhere we decided to deal with it in the Spring.

    I’ll be interested to see what the solution is. We did the following, to no avail: clean out the outside area where the flame is; completely empty out the fridge and “defrost” (really not needed, but we had to try); and we finally bought a little fan for the interior to circulate the air at the suggestion of another Casita owner we were parked next to at Yellowstone. Also being on AC didn’t help and for some reason we can’t get it to work on DC.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marsha,

      I’m sorry you have/had fridge problems. I can’t tell from your comment if adding the little fan solved the problem or not.

      My refrigerator has a ventilation fan built in. I’m running it and it’s noisy.

      • Marsha/MI says:

        We have the exterior fan, which really doesn’t help. The one we bought in West Yellowstone is to circulate the air inside the refrigerator – no help either. We still have the problem. The Casita is under snow, so we’ll deal with it in the Spring. It’s a bit frustrating.

  32. Eddie says:

    Doubt that your fridge has a “pilot light.” They haven’t used them for quite awhile. Modern units use an electronic lighter to light the flame.

    Eddie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Eddie. I didn’t mean pilot light… I meant that I can’t see the flame where it’s lit. My heater has the same kind of lighter.

  33. Gary says:

    Dropping by to check on you. Bummer about the frig. Hope you can get it fixed without taking it in. It’s a real inconvenience when you need to take your house in for repair. Especially if it drags out more than a day.

    Great pics, thanks for investigating new places. I am very intrigued about DRY camping, but haven’t had the courage to do it yet. My fifth wheel is a little big to maneuver in tight places. Safe travels, Gary

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gary,

      The desert is a great place to practice boondocking, especially if you don’t have a small rig. Ogilby Road area looks like a mall parking lot filled with big motorhomes and fifth wheels.

      Thanks for the wish for a speedy repair!

  34. Doug H says:

    we had the same problem with our fridge last summer. turns out the sensor that attaches to the slider inside the fridge on the fins had been bumped loose and was hanging in the fridge way to far down so it thought you were telling it to be warm. ours is a Dometic fridge but I think they all have that adjuster inside on the fins. check it out and see if it came loose or got bumped and is turned way up on temp.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Doug H,

      I’m hoping that’s what the problem has been. Larry posted a link to an RV tips website that explains the thermistor. I adjusted it. Wouldn’t it be great if that’s all that’s wrong?

      Thanks for the tip!

  35. Shirlene says:

    Good Morning Sue, well if it isn’t one thing it’s another…You manage to handle all things very well..this is just a bump in the road on your journey…with all the advice I expect that having to take it to town would be the last thing you do…I hope things smooth out soon, but there are many here with great advice as usual. Enjoy the day, and I hope you are able to preserve Bridget’s chicken.

    • Shirlene says:

      Good Morning Weather, enjoy your day…I am glad you got some sunshine…

      • weather says:

        Thanks,Shirlene,bright sunshine is a treat as it’s isn’t something one knows will be out side the door every day- the way your ocean is for you.Feels it’s wonders a little extra for me when you’re not at work later on 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Shirlene!

      I like the confidence you have in me to handle this “bump in the road.”

      Now that the fridge is empty and I’ve fiddled around with it, it seems to be cool enough to store the cooked chicken for Bridget. That’s been my main concern. I can be happy for several days on non-refrigerated food. I’m enjoying Yuma’s wonderful oranges and grapefruits. 🙂

      Hope your day is good!

  36. K & B in CO says:

    We were not particularly enthused by the relative bleakness of the desert in the Ogilby Rd area, and we needed groceries, so we headed back to Yuma after one night. We then headed north to find a boondock in the QZ area. Along hwy 95, we stopped at a neat farm stand, bought some asparagus, and a couple homemade tacos for lunch. Mmm. We found a nice spot to setup south of QZ, and have been here for a couple nights. Nice area, nice people here. I can tell this place was packed a few weeks ago, but it was a good group, in that all the sites are clean. Now, there are very few rigs here (relatively).

    I hope you find the problem with your fridge, maybe cleaning fixed it and it will recover.

    Great photos as always. We thought about going to Cibola from our camp on Ogilby, but decided to head to Yuma for groceries instead.

    Cheers and safe travels.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, K & B in CO,

      I’m happy you found a place in the desert that you like. Bleakness? I had to chuckle at that.

      Having wheels under our homes makes it possible to live where we feel the most comfortable and “at home.” I like having Yuma close by…. one reason is the grocery stores. You were smart to buy groceries before leaving Yuma. The stores in Big Q are limited and pricey. There’s a Safeway and Wal-Mart in Parker.

      I know that fruit and veggie stand where you stopped. I bought some red grapefruit there that was the best I’ve ever eaten.

      Enjoy your new camp!

  37. Judy Johnson...upstate S.C. says:

    Must be the full moon! 🙂 We just had the first problem with the fridge in our 2004 Casita. Cleaned. burner with small brass brush; rust and scale build-up. Took care of problem. We learned the hard way about regular maintenance. Hubs says place hand on upper vent cover outside. You should feel heat if burner working properly. Fingers crossed/prayers said.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy,

      There’s heat above. I turned off the fridge and then restarted it while standing outside listening with the lower cover off. I can hear the fridge operating. Also, on the 2011 model, on the display on the front of the fridge, the “gas” light is on, rather than the “check” light. The “check” light comes on when the switch fails for whatever reason. I had that happen one time because the switch was dusty.

  38. Perhaps moving to a repair shop for the fridge will resolve the other problems as well – here’s hoping for smooth resolutions for all 🙂 The new header speaks volumes. It’s interesting that the waterfront sites are all empty this time of year…….

  39. Pen row says:

    You should go back to South of Ajo ( after fiddlers are gone this weekend). Yesterday 80F, night 50. I could sit here for a week or two wonderssful for Feb. The BLM land is Magic. Penny from Ohio

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pen row,

      I’m happy you’re enjoying Ajo and the BLM land! Quite different from Ohio. 🙂

      No need for us to go back there. It’s in the 80s here, too. It may go as high as 88 according to one forecast. Love the desert!

  40. AZ Jim says:

    New header is a winner Missy. Here is my advice on the refrigerator: Hook up BLT to the PTV and head for RV repair facility. Aside from all else remember we are dealing with propane here and it can be very dangerous. I saw the entire side blown out on a trailer once. Not good. I hope it works out for you safely. A few buck to an expert is a good deal when some of the alternatives are not so good.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate your words for caution, Jim. One thing I have going in my favor… I know not to go beyond what my knowledge and experience can support. That’s what gets people into trouble.

      I should take the thing to a good service place and have it cleaned thoroughly. It means moving camp and all…

  41. Jerryc says:

    We knew that was you cruising the highway South of Blythe on Tuesday. We were pulling the Casita from slab city back to the Q gathering.

  42. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Well, in looking on the bright sides of things, Sue…at least you can find help with the fridge issue…there are spots in this country that help could be quite a ways off!! 🙂 But what an irritant!! Sounds like you are not storing foods for yourself…that sounds safer till you know all is well again!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      The many ideas shared by readers about what might be the problem with the refrigerator do not seem complicated if I end up taking the unit to a service business.

      I threw out a lot of food that was questionable. I’m not taking any chances!

  43. A gal in Maple Valley, WA says:

    Sue,

    Among the many things that your site provides are the math problems that keeps the grey matter healthy. Math hasn’t been my strength but I try to improve where I can. Here’s a problem that I seem to be missing a variable you could provide.

    The times listed for each comment is YOUR computer’s time, right? So when you move to a new time zone, does it automatically set to where ever you are? I’ve tried to pay attention, especially with Arizona having it’s own zone, but I’m easily confused. So now that you’ve crossed the border, will your posts reflect Pacific Standard Time (until March/Daylight Savings) ? It’s fun to figure out what time it was when comments were actually sent. I’ll probably not get Australia, Thailand or Japan. By the way, has anyone heard from/about the Blogerino guy from Japan, lately?

    Is the auto correct in comments controlled by the site? Funny how it corrects some words and tells you you’re ignorant with others. You’d think it would recognize Blogerino by now! 🙂

    Although your well-crafted narrations create intrigue, I have come to know that I don’t have to worry about the situations you may find yourself in. Even the ones you haven’t shared here. Your wisdom to handle issues makes me thankful for your blog. You are a fine example of a person, that happens to be female, takin’ carea bid’ness. You thoughtfully consider the plethora of suggestions and glean what works for you. I find the ease with which you provide ‘teachable moments’ refreshing and exemplifies what can be done as a solo unit. There may be hope for the rest of us yet!

    Wouldn’t it be something if all these guys would pipe up regularly, even if there are no problems to figure out? Their contributions would really add to the mix. Even so, it’s a wonderful ‘box of chocolates’ ya got here.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, a gal in Maple Valley, CA,

      You’ve directed a question about time toward a person who rarely knows what time it is, no matter where she goes or what time zone she’s in. Right now my computer says it’s 6:47 as I type this sitting in the Pacific Time Zone. Beyond that, I know nothing. Maybe a reader can help us.

      I’m pleased that you have so much confidence in my ability to handle what life throws my way. Thank you for the very nice compliments in your comment.

      About the guys…. We have a few males who comment regularly (I love ’em for that!). Mostly though, it’s the women who write. I guess I’ll have to break an appliance periodically or have van trouble to get the menfolk involved!

      I, too, enjoy hearing from them.

  44. Pamela K. says:

    Sue,
    The Fridge and Van/rodent problems are a real ouch! Hope you can get them both fixed again in short order and the wallet is spared as much as possible.
    As I write this, I wish you were doing other things, like training a new crew member to pose for the camera or teaching them to like the water for some of those great water shots we love to see. Or maybe teaching a new crew member the fine art of Royal Protocol as they will surely have to bow to HRH from time-to-time 😉 For now, all that will have to wait…life throws all of us odd curve-balls; to make sure we are still in the game!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pamela,

      I haven’t had any rodent problems as of this moment. (Knock on wood.) I put the hood up on the PTV as a preventative against pack rats.

      I wish I were doing those other things, too!

  45. PookieBoy in houston says:

    Hi Sue, great pictures as usual…thanks for posting….
    I had to get my map out again and see where you are driving……its like I
    was there with you….HA!
    thanks for making my day when you post…..always on the lookout for them.
    Chuck

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