Mistakes and mishaps

Well, I finally did it.

Way back in August of 2011 when I was learning how to hitch and unhitch the Best Little Trailer and the Perfect Tow Vehicle, I saw this day coming.

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As you know, certain little tasks need to be done when unhitching.

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Ignore the rake. It’s not part of the story.

The safety chains, the breakaway cable, and the power cord are unhooked.

The hitch lock is unlocked and removed, and the lever lifted up.

The wheels are chocked.

The support post is cranked down into the cone in order to lift the coupler off of the hitch ball.

The PTV is moved forward and so on.

I see clearly what happens if one of the steps is skipped.

One of these days I’m going to forget to do that.  And, sure enough, that’s what I did.  Everything is going along swimmingly.  (Now cut out the speed reading.  You need to slow down and concentrate during this part.)  I get to the point where I crank the support post down into the cone in order to lift the coupler off the hitch ball.  Up comes the coupler, lifting the front end of the BLT.

In a millisecond I realize the coupler (and my entire home) is moving backwards.  “Son of a b&%#!”  I forgot to chock the wheels!

Instinctively I grab the crank post and lean in the opposite direction.

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This cactus has more sense than I do!

Which is pretty darn stupid, me against the entire weight of the Best Little Trailer!

Everything rolls backward a few inches and SLAM!  The front end goes crashing down.  The impact drives the support post about eight inches into the ground.

I’m stunned.  There’s the Best Little Trailer with her nose pointed sadly down in the dirt.

“Well, now I’ve done it.  I knew I’d do it someday, and sure enough, I did it.  Yep, forgot to chock the wheels.  Son of a b&%#.”

Once over the initial shock, I step back and look at my predicament and chuckle.  At least now I’ve done it and I sure as hell won’t do it again.

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With boards from the back of the PTV placed under the coupler, I crank up the support post enough to slide the cone under it.  Then I crank up the coupler, back the hitch ball under it, and start all over again.  This time with the wheels chocked!

Later I tell Rick what I did and he laughs. 

“Oh, I’ve done that.  In fact, I’ve done worse than that.  One time I didn’t put the latch down (that holds the trailer’s coupler to the hitch ball).”  I gasp.  “Oh, no!”

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He continues. 

“I go up and over Hoosier Pass in Colorado, drive for miles.  I get on an overpass to get on the interstate.  That’s when the trailer — I had a Burro then.  Darn thing was heavy — The trailer pops right off the hitch and then one of the safety chains breaks.  So there I am on this overpass . . . . ”

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That night my mishap comes back to haunt me.

I wake up to a strange clicking sound.  It’s the “check” light on the refrigerator clicking and flashing.  Oh, the propane tank must be empty.  I grab a flashlight, go outside, and open up the second tank.  I come back inside, tell Bridget to go back to sleep, climb in bed, and fall asleep myself.

I wake up to a strange clicking sound. 

It’s the “check” light on the refrigerator clicking and flashing.  No, this is not an editing error.  No, I’m not repeating myself due to senility.  There is ANOTHER problem with the refrigerator.

I push buttons, turn it off and on, hoping for a reset to take place.

No good.  Well, there isn’t much I can do in the middle of the night.  I turn off the refrigerator and go back to bed.

Unpleasant scenarios torment me.  Damn, I wonder if that crash damaged something.  What if I have to tow the BLT to an RV repair place?  Is there one in Ajo?  I hate fooling with ice, pulling a dripping carton of milk out of an ice chest . . . Waiting for a part to arrive for the repair . . .  Why didn’t I chock those wheels!  Darnit.  I hurt my nice fridge.

I force the thoughts out of my mind and go to sleep.

I wake slowly the next morning.  I lie in bed while my mind bumbles around, traipsing over the past.  I recall the dust storm we experienced when camped on Ogilby Road.  Boy, that was some dust storm, dust . .  . dust gets into everything.

“That’s it!”

I jump up, grab my keys, run outside, and in the first light of dawn use my key ring to open up the refrigerator panel.

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I blow on the little igniter switch a few times.  I go back in and turn on the fridge.

I run back out. 

Click, click, click . . .  Presto!  The refrigerator is working!

Back inside, Bridget sticks her head out from under the covers.  I know what that quizzical look on her face means.

“What in the world is that crazy woman laughing about at this hour?”

rvsue

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128 Responses to Mistakes and mishaps

  1. cathieok says:

    So glad you figured the refrigerator problem out. Sometimes, you just have to step back and give your brain a little time to kick in!

  2. katydid says:

    Mistakes and mishaps are always a little easier to live with when there is no permanent damage.

    katydid, south of Chicago

  3. Aren’t you glad that all you needed was some hot air? Don’t feel bad Sue, we have done some really silly things. There are always so many steps you’re bound to forget one eventually. Like when we were heading to the dump station with the antenna up and the road construction crew yelled to get our attention, or the time (or two) we left the door to the leveling system/propane tank open on the driver side and finally noticed it flapping around on the freeway and oh… the time we dropped the 5th wheel on the bed of the truck. SMASH!

  4. Oh Sue, your writing is just a delight, lol!

    You know we’ve all done stuff like this… I neglected to fold up my steps and tried driving off with them still down, hit the gate post of the campground….nope, not repairable. Had to replace them! 😉

    Then there was the time I arrived at a campground, went to unlock the clip on the hitch and discovered I had just driven across two states without the clip locked in the first place. What does one so at that point? Cry? Laugh? Thank God?

    So glad your little BLT is ok – she’s a tough trooper, I think. Tell Bridget not to worry, everything will be alright.

    Fondly – Lisa

  5. Marcia GB says:

    Yes, we’ve all done something silly – how about having to replace the stabilizer jacks because we forgot to raise them – oops!

  6. Julia says:

    GOOD JOB! You figured out how to get out of your predicaments all by yourself ! See how experienced and confident you have become? We have all made boo-boos my latest was leaving my steps extended and I hit a traffic barrier with them, oh well live and learn!

  7. Pat says:

    Thank goodness we are all human and make mistakes. As long as no one gets hurt and we can fix the damage it keeps life from getting boring.

    Mine was an over loaded circuit and a knocked breaker. I found it, but didn’t push it down far enough to reset. I had a cold night last week. Made me feel very stupid……lol. Could of been worse.

    Pat in Ajo

  8. cozygirl says:

    So I’m reading outloud to Jerry….he says well she solved the problem…I love to figure stuff like that out. Me, I’d be putting my head under the covers like Bridget 🙂 But you can bet I’ll be checking and rechecking Jerry on his chocking.

  9. mockturtle says:

    We’ve all done things like that. At a rest stop once, I forgot to put the MH in park [the emergency brake doesn’t work if it’s not in park]. Halfway to the back of the coach to the bathroom, I notice the rig is moving! I quickly run to the cab and stick my foot on the brake and put the MH in park. I almost took out a whole family walking across the parking lot. :-O Thank God no harm was done!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I burst out laughing when I got to the part about “taking out a whole family.” It wouldn’t have been funny if that happened, of course, but the picture of you running in a moving coach… oh, boy, too funny!

  10. Dawn says:

    so what happened to rick’s trailer? did he mean he was towing a live burro?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No, a Burro is a type of travel trailer, similar to a Scamp or a Casita. Rick had to stop on the overpass, of course. The trailer was back a few car lengths. A guy stopped to help him, but it was too dangerous to back up to hitch up again, so Rick left his trailer there. I guess he drove around to approach it from the rear and hitched up.

  11. Victoria Wendell says:

    SO glad you posted about the dust on the igniter! I have an tiny (16′) old 1976 Dodge RV that I bought from a friend a few years ago and after a long 150′ mile trip down a very dusty road to McCarthy/Kennecott AK with a friend my awesome little propane fridge stopped lighting. Last summer I just used dry ice to keep stuff cool, afraid my fridge was dead. I will definitely try blowing the dust out and relighting it this year (when the snow melts off in April or May) before taking it in to one of those expensive RV shops! Love reading your blog, I grew up in California and used to camp all over the west in tents as a young woman before I moved to Alaska 15 years ago. Your posts really make me miss the Southwest!
    Kind regards,
    Victoria, Anchorage Alaska

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Victoria,

      You’re one adventurous lady! I’d love to hear that all your fridge needed was a little cleaning. Good luck with that. And thanks for writing.

  12. Joe Shryock says:

    That was so interesting, thanks for sharing and I hope everything works out.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Joe. I frequently wonder if my blog has enough to interest the guys.

      • Larry TImothy says:

        oohhh YES!!! Your writing is wonderful for some of us guys. I really look forward to it daily!
        Glad your little ordeal worked out well and yes, the guys make those same mistakes. Have Fun with it all
        Larry Timothy – Pensacola, Fl.

  13. Donna Parker says:

    Great post!! Had me laughing.

  14. mary ann (pontotoc, ms) says:

    sue, your desciptions kept me on the edge of my seat! so glad everthing is okay. that sudden insight was like a gift of reassurance that you can do this!

  15. Rita says:

    OMG I would have been so scared! What a relief you kept it together and figured out what to do. Yes, dust does need to be blown out on refrig components…even the ones at home and A/C also need to be cleaned by blowing dust out. In AZ I think everyone checks and maintenance their A/C and refrig for dust…even in our cars. So glad everything turned out okay. As I was reading your blogs & looking at the schematics and all the complicated things that you have to do with refrig and even the cell connection, I thought I’ll never get it! I’d have to write a list. My family laughs at me cuz I’m a pessimist and try to always be prepared but sometimes in the end they are glad I made that list & checked it twice. You are one smart cookie!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I remember thinking there was too much to remember in order to full-time by myself in the BLT. I can’t rely on someone saying, “Did you remember to . . . . ?”

      After the initial learning curve, the steps become somewhat automatic and have a logic that isn’t as apparent in the beginning.

  16. klbexplores says:

    The dumbest thing I have done (to date, unfortunately there are probably a few more dumb things left in me) Was when I dumped the trailer off the cone…. onto the ground. The side of the cone broke away and the trailer landed on the ground.The trailer frame is bent a bit… but then aren’t we all a bit weathered and lopsided as we get older? I actually had to ask for help which I had doing to get it jacked up high enough to get back on the hitch and then back on the cone. I only hope I never do that again!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I had to resist the female knee-jerk reaction of running up to Rick’s to ask for his help. I said to myself, “Wait a minute. What do I need his help for? I can do this!” Of course, I could do it because I had the materials I needed (boards, and I could’ve used my jack).

      I, too, hope neither of us do that again!

      • Larry Timothy - Pensacola, Fl says:

        Very good Sue, — independence!!!
        Though I’m not so certain the knee-jerk reaction to ask for help is gender related, the “happy medium” of having the wisdom and ability to ask for help when needed and the independence to just do it ourselves when we can is a wonderful asset.

  17. Rita says:

    P/S I did chuckle with relief!

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

    Knowing me, I would need a check off sheet for everything for fear I’d miss a step. I’m so glad things worked out okay!

  19. Mick says:

    That is why airplane pilots use check off sheets every time they fly. They know the steps by heart but they still must do the check off. Of course their mistakes are more costly. You could print out a list and laminate it in plastic so you could check off with a grease pencil. PITA but safe.
    Very glad you were not hurt.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mick…. I’m a person who can’t master the two-step procedure of 1) making a grocery list and 2) carrying the list into the store. I appreciate your kind concern, friend.

  20. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Yikes! That could have been dangerous for you and the crew. Grabbing the trailer was probably a reflex reaction. Maybe you should unhitch more often. …that way your muscle memory will kick in.

    Glad you were able to solve the problem with the fridge. As well as dirt…spiders like to make homes in cubbies like the vent for the H20 heater (where the flame is). We were told to keep an old toothbrush handy. Actually at the time…we didn’t HAVE an old toothbrush…so I used Jules’. heh heh

    With all that dust…ya might want to check on the PTV’s air filter. Take it out and see if it too is clogged. Just remember to secure the clippy do’s.

    What a cute rake! I say strawberry as it has green leafs on the top. Nice pictures of the cactus.

    Rick’s story was really scary. I think I would have had to change my undies.

    • cinandjules (NY) says:

      Stuck inside today…with 65mph gusts…110 ft trees are swaying…combined with lake effect snow.

      Just waiting to read about your “living on less enjoying life more” story for today.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Gee . . . some weather you’re having. Ah… New York in the wintertime . . . sleigh bells, covered bridges white with snow, glistening tree tops, pretty icicles, and SIXTY-FIVE MILE PER HOUR WIND GUSTS!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Unhitch more often? I unhitch at almost every camp . . . . Believe me, I’ve practiced! Yes, the air filter is fine. Somehow the dust didn’t find it’s way up into it. And yes, you’re right. The birdfeeder is a strawberry. Without the strawberry seeds on it, it looks like an apple from a distance. Dopey thing, but the hummers approve.

  21. Carolyn Youngmeyer says:

    We forgot the chocks also when we were newbies and when the Casita fell the jack stand bit into the pigtail and we had to replace it. We never forgot to use the chocks again! We replaced the plastic jack cone with a metal one that the jack stand fits inside of. It works much better. I was inside the trailer when it fell. I thought the world was coming to an end. It was such a noise and a sudden jar.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Quite a scare! Looking back, I’m glad I’ve had my “forgot to chock” experience. Nothing was harmed, including me, and I’ve learned my lesson. I’ll never forget again.

  22. EmilyO from KS says:

    And I too had the hitch slip out of the cone onto the ground – if my feet had been 1 inch closer, that would have been the end of my traveling days I fear. I was so shook up from that very narrow escape, I said the heck with jacking it up (it was late and I was tired) and crawled in the trailer & slept at an angle that night. Knew it wasn’t good for the refrig but it survived. Next morning got the floor jack out of the truck and we were back in business – was the only one in the park by the way. After that experience, I kept my cell phone and key fob on me all the time and my feet are always as far away from the hitch as I can get without losing my balance!

  23. Connie & Mugsy says:

    A friend of mine bought a new Scamp and was taking it home from the factory. Some kid at the factory hitched it up for her and she headed home. She lives in the Minneapolis area and was heading down 35W, hit a little bump in a construction zone and the trailer hopped right off the ball (which it seemed was a size too small but wasn’t checked). She wasn’t moving too fast, the chains slowed it down, but it went into the concrete construction barricades along the side. It scraped along to a stop which didn’t do the side of the trailer much good. Fortunately it didn’t harm her new pickup. Some men managed to pick it up, pull it to her truck and hook it back up for her. She turned it around and limped slowly back to the factory and they repaired it for her as they took responsibility for not checking that a newbie had put on the correct size ball.

    • Connie & Mugsy says:

      This is probably the place to confess that the 2nd time I drove my new LTV Libero summer of 2011… putting it back into the storage unit… I caught the side with the weatherstripping on the big garage door. It only did $2800 worth of damage to the side… all the way from front to back. It was great fun calling the insurance company and saying… you know that RV we added to the policy last week? ummm… well the good news is that I didn’t run into the car. (which I could have done instead as it was in the storage unit too)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a story! I’m surprised that the factory people allowed someone to handle such an important job without making sure he knew what he was doing. I bet your friend was very upset.

      • Connie & Mugsy says:

        I think she was mostly just scared spitless. She was too much of a newbie to know how angry she should have been. But there was no permanent damage and the company made things right. Mistakes happen… (like idiots that run into giant garage door…)

  24. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Everytime I couple up I make sure the ball is in the coupler by locking the coupler on the ball and then lifting the BLT with the hand crank. When I see the back of my truck raising high that means I’m locked in nice and tight. Everyone should do this too. I can’t think of anything more dangerous
    than your trailer coming un-hooked and then a chain breaks going down hill on a 6 % grade with a 18 wheeler bearing down on you fast in the rear view mirror, you look up and a small herd of Elk are crossing the highway right in front of you…..Yikes, then the helicopter pilot that is trying to scare the Elk away hits a tree limb and sheers off a foot of his prop, making him spin. The last thing you remember before waking up in the ambulance is the super surprised look on the pilots face as he heads in on you full blast…..all because you failed to set the ball right.

    • PamP says:

      Oh dear! Joe is another experienced RVer – You all have me telling myself re-make that check off list I used when I was a newbie. I’ve gotten complacent and have lost it somewhere. Dumb me!!

      • Rattlesnake Joe says:

        Don’t be too hard on yourself, we all make mistakes, that’s why they put erasers on the ends of pencils. We are human and to err is human. But we have a brain so we can learn from our mistakes. Life is all about making mistakes. This is School House Earth everything is about learning from the time we are first born until our last breath.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I like that practice of cranking after hitching, just enough to lift the back of the PTV, as a way of making sure the coupler is engaged. Good tip, Joe!

  25. Sunny says:

    Great post! I am constantly talking outloud to myself as I get ready to disconnect and move on. I am concerned that someday I will forget to unplug the electric cord. Going to try boondocking next. Wondering how you keep Bridget and Spike from getting into the cactus? Do they just learn over time to avoid them? My Curley Joe got into one in at my brother’s when we first arrived, but I always have them on leash. I just wasn’t careful enough at first and let him get too close. Thanks for any imput.

    • Sunny says:

      PS. I am in southeastern Tucson, AZ, camped in my brother’s backyard (if you call it a “yard” out here 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Sunny!

      On our way to the desert for the first time I was concerned about the crew getting into cacti. I remember when we camped at Colorado City State Park in western Texas soon after picking up the BLT from the factory, Spike ran over to a prickly pear and lifted his leg. Yikes! No harm done . . . Sometimes they step on a goatshead or thorn, but so far they know enough to raise the paw and wait for me to fix it, rather than putting their nose into it and making matters worse.

  26. jean/Southaven, ms says:

    I am an avid list maker and checker. even then I miss things. I hope it is just part of being human. love you blog. enjoy Ajo.

  27. Bonnie says:

    I think every RV’er has done something silly. Ours happened in a MD state park while leaving the dump station. They had 3 dumpsters along one side of the exit which was on a curve and a lean-to recycling center on the other. We had a crew cab truck and a 30 ft trailer and as my husband was watching the dumpster side he caught the corner of the recycling center on the other and we were wedged in place. The park maintenance people had us unhitch and they tried to nudge the dumpster away from the trailer. When that still didn’t give us enough room to get free, they got a chain saw and chopped off a foot or so from the recycling center roof that was wedged against the trailer. Needless to say we attracted quite a crowd ! The worst part was that the park manager was a friend of our daughter and had to file a report about it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, no! As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough, a chainsaw alerts everyone to come running to gawk! I bet you still cringe when you remember that situation. Thanks for sharing it so the rest of us don’t feel too bad when we go through something like that.

  28. AZ Jim says:

    For years I camped in my travel trailer. Made all the mistakes. I did learn though to always have a few chunks of 2×6 lumber (10″ long aprox.) AND a hydraulic jack. Came in hand many times. Have fun Sue….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim…

      Blocks of wood and boards come in handy in many situations. I picked up mine from the scrap bin at Lowe’s and I also ran off with some that were loaned to me by a friend (Hi, Chuck! Nice blocks!).

  29. Rod says:

    I always leave a safety chain hooked to the truck while I am jacking the coupler off of the ball… That way if something is going to roll the chain will stop the travel….. Of course you have to remember to unhook the chain before you drive the truck ahead.. And I would loose the plastic cone for something made out of metal…. Eventually the plastic will break and dump the trailer on the ground…. Just the way I do it, YMMV… Rod

  30. geogypsy2u says:

    So many lessons to learn. I have a cheat sheet.

  31. tinycamper says:

    We’ve had a false hitch once, too. We were tooling across northern Mississippi when I heard a funny little bump. We pulled into a truck stop and discovered that our hitch was sitting on top of the ball, not locked down onto it. The heavy tongue weight was all that was keeping the hitch on the ball.

    And I also removed the chocks before hitching up once, too… and discovered that trailers roll. Fortunately ours didn’t roll far!

    We still have a smashed stabilizer jack that didn’t survive a pothole.

    Just glad your episode wasn’t worse, Sue. And how I wish I could learn to laugh at stuff like that! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Those “funny little bumps” always should be checked! I’ve pulled off the road several times to check on a weird noise that turned out to be something in the back of the PTV bumping or clanging. I’m glad you survived all your “lessons.”

  32. PamP in SW Florida says:

    Gotta put my 2 cents in on mis-haps. I once camped on my son’s property and had to use a portable waste tank. I had dumped from my MH into the tank, then tied the handle of the waste tank to the back of my toad and drove slowly to his septic tank. Halfway there, I see him waving and shouting at me. The cap had come lose from the waste tank and I was leaving a stinky trail of XXX down his driveway. I wonder why my DIL asked me to camp in the field the next year??

  33. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    I noticed when you took the cover off the refridgerator you had no insect screening protection. Bees, wasps and other crittters like to make a home in these openings of our Casita’s. Get some non metal screening at the hardware store along with a roll of Gorila Duct Tape. Blow all the dust out with an air hose if you have access to one and wear a mask to prevent disease that is in the dust. Don’t want to get Hunta virus or Valley Fever. Use a pair of sizzors to cut your screen material to fit the back side of the cover opening. Tape it good. The Gorila Duct Tape works super good. It is so sticky it lasts even in the Arizona dust and heat. You will need enough to cover up all your outside doors except for the outside shower door or battery compartment as there are no openings for the bugs to get in. To keep the vermin out of the power cord box try a bit of that metal scraping-cleaning ball stuff that works like magic washing patotoes off. Its kind of like steel wool but not fine and it being metal the bugs and rodents can’t eat there way in. I have heard of people doing the same to the A/C but I have not done that yet. Also get a rubber plug to stop up the bathroom drain hole. I once watched the Mother of all Black Window spiders crawl out of mine and that convinced me to plug that hole. I got under the Casita and found the drain pipe is made of rubber and it had a hole in it the size of a quarter. The owner before me must have run over some sage brush and tore the hole in the drain line this allowed the spider access to the inside of my trailer. Once this is plugged just good housekeeping will keep the inside of your little home safe. Unless you bring in something yourself in a box or what have you. Pleasant dreams RV Sue and sleep tight tee hee hee.

  34. Surprised it took you so long to have a mishap! Mine happened last Sept when I pulled my TV forward without disconnecting one of the safety chains (I was distracted by the people in the next campsite who were watching my every move). Pretty embarassing. Had to hoist up the tongue with a scissors jack that I carry. Also ruined the pin into the hitch receiver, but, fortunately, another Casita owner had a spare. Doo-doo occurs. Live and learn.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Eileen!

      You bring up an interesting point. I learned a little trick several years ago that served me well. When I find someone staring at me, I stop, stand absolutely still like a statue, and stare back with no expression on my face. When the person gets uncomfortable and stops staring, I hold my stare for about a half a minute longer. Then I go back to what I was doing.

      Of course, now I’m so dismissive of people that I don’t give a royal hoot if somebody’s watching.

  35. Krystina McMorrow says:

    Oh NO RVSue! As you said…something would be overlooked at some point. Thank goodness all seems to have worked out ok…phew! I have been reading everything about how to take care of an RV …quite honestly it scares me to death! Your discription of the event was quite amusing….(Now cut out the speed reading. You need to slow down and concentrate during this part.) Of course it was exactly what I wanted to do! I am so happy the fridge is ok, you are ok (and of course the crew) and the BLT is ok! On a side note….I have 3 of the rakes you have! Best little rake in the world.

    • Rattlesnake Joe says:

      Krystina you need to get rid of all this “STUFF” that is weighing you down. You have time now to hold Garage Sales. Now the secret to getting rid of stuff at garage sales is to know what the real value of your stuff is. We put too much of a value on our stuff because we love our stuff. Take a pair of large shears and cut the heart strings that you have attached to your stuff. Remember it is just stuff and remember too if you don’t sell this stuff you will have to store it. Storing is BAD…BAD…BAD. You need to repeat this as you look in the mirror every night before you go to bed. Read “Waldens Pond” by Henry David Thoreu. When you get to the part that says, “We are possesed by what we possess”. Put it on a home made sign and hang it where you can read it everyday. Some day is just around the corner for you now. Save one of those lovely rakes for camping but drill holes in it so you are not hauling all that extra weight around ha ha. Make a big party out of selling your stuff. One day you will be FREE of all this stuff. So your heart strings will wrap around only your cute little BLT and PTV. You can do it girl. Your metamorphesis awaits you Madam Butterfly…live your life and fulfil your dreams, cast off the bowlines, weigh anchor and head into the trade winds.

      • AZJim says:

        Yeah but Joe, I love my “stuff”. Soon as I throw out some stuff, invariably I have a need for it again. I would set out to label all my stuff as either “good stuff” or ‘bad stuff” but in the end I would have only wasted time and made a mountain of “good stuff” and none of the other. You write good stuff Joe, all “good stuff”.

        • Larry TImothy says:

          Getting rid of “good stuff” is almost tramatic to the hoarder of all hoarders. I’m mid sixties and in the process of getting rid of years of good stuff to the point of total non-encumberance. \
          “Things gather ’round us over time,
          Next thing we know we own a lot of stuff,
          Then we find that our stuff owns us.
          Larry Timothy — Pensacola, Fl.(for now)

          • Rattlesnake Joe says:

            I once followed a Roll Royce near Reno Nevada that had a bumper sticker that read, “He who finishes with the most toys wins”. Too bad for that person because the road of materialism is a road that leads nowhere. Follow the path of spirit instead. Life is not hard if we just look for the simple things in life. And now follow the bouncing ball and sing along with me……”Look for the bear neccesities the simple bear neccesities, forget about your worries and your strife…yeah man…look for the bear neccesities that’s why a bear can rest at ease, with the simple bare neccesities of life..”.

      • Krystina McMorrow says:

        OK OK Rattlesnake Joe…the sign is now on my bathroom mirror! Thank you for all your great advice. I have been selling my “stuff” on Ebay for over a year now and for the last 3 months I have been holding Estate Sales in my home. Yard Sales at the moment are out as it is -5 here in Vermont! The bad news is I have a 3200 sq ft house, a 3 car garage and a small barn…OVERWHELMING! I stick to it EVERYday and everyday I try to come up with new ideas on how to sell everything more quickly. Hopefully by the time the house sells EVERYthing will be gone…except for my 1 rake of course! So happy to have my new sign up….it will help! Thanks again.

        • Virginia says:

          Well, you can give it away to charity. That is what I have been doing. If you can sell stuff, all the better but now days, who is buying? The more I give away, the lighter my heart and the more free my spirit. Just make sure you keep the stuff you absolutely need.

          • Krystina McMorrow says:

            Hi Virginia
            It is a very tough sell these days as you said. I know EXACTLY what you are saying about my heart being lighter. My 1st floor is almost empty. I have been known to just go down there so I can see the progress I have made. AND I almost have 2 bays cleared in my garage. I LOVE IT. Thank you so much for boosting my spirit Virginia!
            Krystina (Vermont) P.S. Going to be -25 tonight!

  36. Nicole says:

    Oh, we’ve all done something like that. I backed into the corner of the garage once, luckily only bending the gutter on the house but needing a repair on the RV. Oopsy. Then there was the time I drove off with my wheel covers on. 🙂

    & I was speed reading through that one section, smarty… hahaha…

    Happy to hear you are in working order again!!!

  37. Julie Green says:

    Sue, your story brought back a scary memory for me. I was heading to a horse show with my horse trailer (and two horses). Got to the rodeo and unhitched the trailer, and I had not put the latch down on the hitch ball. I and the horses had arrived safely, but I dang near fainted at that sight. To think I could have killed two innocent animals that totally trusted me to get them places safely! The good to come out of that story? I NEVER, EVER, EVER pulled a trailer without walking about it at least twice checking EVERYTHING. Also I never told my folks about it. LOL. (You’ve heard “this ain’t my first rodeo”) – well that would have been my LAST rodeo.
    Jool from Weatherford, TX near Ft Worth

  38. Bee says:

    Your right, you won’t forget again. My SNAFU was done when I forgot to dolly down the trailer legs on a semi trailer that was loaded with 36,000lbs of frozen meat. I disconnected everything and slowly started to pull the tractor out from underneath the trailer and felt and heard a large WHOMP! I stopped and set the brakes. When I got out and saw that I had dropped the trailer on the frame of the semi, I was embarrassed but glad that I had not dumped the trailer all the way down on the dollied up trailer legs. After a great deal of physical exertion and lots of profanity, I NEVER forgot to check everything twice when dropping a trailer or hooking up to a trailer. I borrowed the modified carpenters rule: Check twice, crash once.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bee . . . You are incredible. What a responsibility! There’s nothing like the strong, sometimes harsh, hand of experience to make a lasting impression on the brain . . .

  39. Bill and Ann says:

    Delightful, love it.

  40. Garri Ann says:

    Sue, if this is the first time you’ve messed up, you’re way smarter than I am. I did what your friend Rick did. I got all the way up a mountain without a mishap, thank God. So much to think about!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Garri Ann…

      Here’s what I do to remember the latch. A friend gave me a lanyard for keys. The key end can be released. I release the key end, unlock and remove the lock, but I don’t remove the key from the lock. Both lock and key go back on the lanyard immediately.

      The weight of the lock around my neck reminds me to put the latch down and to secure the lock on it.

  41. DeAnne from TN says:

    Glad you have set out food for the neighborhood critters. Have you seen any hummers yet?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi DeAnne! Yes! A hummingbird showed up right away. I saw two of them fighting over it yesterday until one was driven away.

      • DeAnne from TN says:

        I love hummingbirds. Of course, here in Tennessee they are seasonal, and I can’t use feeders. I have a cat that can go from sitting up to a jump 5 feet in the air. She brought me two dead ones before I could take the feeder down. I don’t want to risk that again.

  42. Jack says:

    Sue, I think every Rver has forgotten to block their wheels. I have and if It had not been for a couple other nearby campers I might have had to call a tow truck etc. (26′ trailer) Now I block front and in back because mine twished before going down. I had to borrow a small bottle jack to get the Rv back up. I suggest keeping a small jack on hand for such times. Yes, it will happen again. Harbour freight is a good source or a good yard sale. WOW! another reason for doing yard sales! Yippeee!

  43. gingerda says:

    I thought you were going to say the trailer rolled back into something and damaged the back of it.
    I don’t think there is a camper out there who hasn’t done something stupid, or just forgot something. Myself included. You are pretty smart to figure out about the dust causing the problem.
    Ginger Las Vegas

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Ginger!

      The fact that the BLT wasn’t damaged is why I could stand back and chuckle at my predicament. If there were damage, I’d be very sad. I love my BLT!

  44. Ky G says:

    PHEW!!! For a moment there i thought you were going to say you slipped backwards and landed in that catus!!! I have pulled sea urchin out of my feet so i can only imagine cacti! Also a concern was gas leaking_not a good thing. Glad you are up and running, breathing and well. PS: nice to see the dogs meet and great new and old friends along the way. Thank you for the morning read <3~ Ky and Bingo

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Ky!

      In situations such as that one, I’m glad I have a propane leak detector in the BLT.

      BTW, love Bingo’s name. And Bingo was his name-o . . .

  45. Elizabeth says:

    Glad to hear you were able to get out of your situation!! That is part of what would worry me in living as you do!!

  46. Jack says:

    Forgot to thank you Sue for the pic of the organ pipe and the barrell cactus! I sure miss them. BTW did you know that the Indians and later early settlers used barrrel cactus to tell directionsd. Barrell cactus always point South, they love the Sun and bend nearly in half to catch every ray. Jm

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Jack! That’s interesting about the barrel cactus. Now I’ll be checking for that every time I come across one. There’s a baby barrel under the palo verde by the bird feeder. It’s on the south side. 🙂

  47. Bruce (Columbia River Gorge) says:

    Boy, do I ever have it bad..took the day off from working on clearing out our house in preparation for our upcoming ‘breakout tour’, and thought I’d check on your blog. I went back 4 times today to see what kind of a day you and crew had.. and no post! Boy, am I hooked..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m sorry I didn’t post, Bruce. Your dedication deserves reward! I had a choice of going inside the BLT, sitting at my laptop blogging, or staying outside by a campfire watching the sky turn pink, orange and yellow. . . After that, I’m too mellow to write.

      Thanks for the compliment.

      • Bruce (Columbia River Gorge) says:

        Ah, a good choice; I’d have done the same. Hope your day goes well. I’ll try not to worry when you don’t post for a few days. Have you seen Jim Carrey’s movie ‘The Truman Show’? Reading your blog (this is my first rodeo) reminds me of that movie. The whole world follows his every move. Might seem a bit creepy to you (hope not), but I’d wager an ice cream cone that there are hundreds of people that read your blog that feel the same way as I do. I’m certain that you are living the lifestyle that many people wish they could emulate. You have managed to ‘de-clutter’ and simplify your life in an amazing way and there are loads of folks that would enjoy the chance to do the same. My sweetie and I (me?) are one couple that are weeks away from doing the same, and we’re so excited we can hardly stand it. Almost ready to buy our solar setup!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I know that excitement so well, Bruce! The anticipation will drive you nuts . . . but in a good way. I get the feeling you and you “sweetie” are going to love this kind of living.

          The thought of hundreds of people caring what I do in a day is hard for me to fathom.

  48. Susan in Dallas says:

    Loved that picture of the cactus with all the “fingers”. It looked like a “cactus hand”. Beautiful and I wonder how old it was? Funny, funny trailer story.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good question about the age of the organ pipe. Now I’m curious!

      LATER: I did some research. Organ pipes can live to be around 150 years old! They have their first flowers at age 35. Unfortunately for me, the blooms appear in May or June when I won’t be here to see them.

  49. DeAnne from TN says:

    I love all the facts and tidbits about southwestern plant life. What book do you recommend for identifying animal and plant life. For someone coming from the South, I can tell you about magnolias, azaleas, tomatoes, and ‘possums, but that kind of life is alien to me.

  50. Cindy says:

    My parents made a check list to follow so they won’t make mistakes. They also used a sign that they left on the steering wheel to remind them when the antenna was up. Since they camped 6 months a year for over 20 years they were old hands at how to stop a problem before it happened. Still, they came up with these methods after making a mistake or two. LOL Love your writing style! Hugs to Bridget and Spike.
    Cindy in Cleveland Ohio

  51. Al says:

    Great story Sue. I’m glad you survived youir ordeal. As a maintenance man I appreciate you ability to resolve the refrigerator issue. Good job!

  52. Jill Thomas says:

    That is a hilarious story. Except for the fact that my husband did the same thing. With an 8000 pound travel trailer. His instinct, too, was to hold on and pull in the other direction, which doesn’t have any effect with a trailer of that weight. Luckily it stopped rolling back after about one foot of movement. Of course he quick looked around to see if I had seen, and then I about choked myself laughing at him.

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