RVing — From dumping tanks to finding something beautiful

Saturday, December 5

The crew and I are camped in southeastern California near the town of Blythe.

It’s high time I hitch up the Best Little Trailer and pull it over to the dump station at Midland Long Term Visitor Area.

P1080708The tongue of the BLT jacked up for a hitch-up.

The last time I took care of this task was November 11th — 25 days ago! — the day we pulled out of Las Vegas Bay Campground.  I’m so surprised by this length of time that I skim through previous posts to see if I’d forgotten a dump.

How can one forget a dump?

They’re such an important part of  the full-time vagabond life!  Anyway . . .

P1080707Notice the upright lever on the coupler.  It is brought down and secured with a key lock once the hitch ball is seated.

I don’t want to disturb our cozy “nest” next to the ironwood tree. 

I leave everything as it is — the blue mat, the table, lounger, camp chair, doggie beds, hummingbird feeder, even a dishpan of dirty dishes.  I hitch up and attach the power cords, safety chains, and emergency break-away cable.  I don’t bother with the sway bar.  We’re only going to the other side of the camping area.

Driving away from camp, I look over at our stuff.

That’s what camp looks like when you don’t camp with a travel trailer  . . . .

P1080709Those yellow things are the wheel chocks.

Our camp looks like a yard sale!  I never worry about the BLT being stolen when the crew and I take off in the PTV.    However, I can think of camps where I wouldn’t leave our stuff exposed like this.

Here at Midland it’s okay.  Only one vehicle has driven by our camp during the past two weeks we’ve camped here.

Only one!

We rumble from the western boundary of Midland LTVA, where our camp is located, over to the eastern boundary, where the dump station is.  On the way I count 15 camps of various rigs, all widely spaced apart.

P1080683The photo compresses the distance.  Each rig is pretty much by itself.

No one is camped anywhere near the dump station.

P1080710I plan to photograph the dumping process, but late afternoon shadows change that.

This timing for dumping tanks works perfectly.

The short-term LTVA permit ends on December 17th.  I’ll empty tanks again when we leave for a new camp, thirteen days from today.

Putting camp back together again . . .

If you look again at the third photo in this post, you’ll see that I need to back the BLT into the campsite.  While doing that, I want to line up the side of the BLT along the blue mat, positioning the door at one end. It doesn’t matter if it takes two tries or twenty-two tries.  There’s no hurry.  I’ll position the BLT how I want.


Inches from the mat in five back-and-forth attempts!  That was fun practice!

P1080712Replace the chocks, unhitch, crank until level, lock the coupler, re-position some stuff, and we’re done.

Wow!  What a response to the previous post!

If you didn’t open up comments and you have the time, take a look at the discussion on how to conserve water while RVing/tenting, as well as suggestions for the City of Blythe in response to the water spigots being turned off at Miller Park.

P1080695Irrigation canals between Midland LTVA and Blythe, along Midland Road.

You’ll also find comments about . . .

. . . the benefits of marijuana-infusion oils for people undergoing radiation treatments, links for ideas for cooking in your RV or over a campfire, chats about dreams and struggles and plans to hit the road, and a lot of other interesting stuff, too.

A few readers made the leap from lurkdom to blogorino status by introducing themselves.  That’s always a treat!

P1080696Crops grown near Blythe include cotton, citrus, palm trees, vegetables, and alfalfa.

P1080697-001Fallow land beyond the canal

There’s a huge solar array between Midland Road and the interstate.

From our camp it appears as a silver line that sometimes sparkles in the sunshine at the base of the McCoy Mountains.  If you like to play with Google Earth, you might have fun finding and “flying over” the facility.

A post beginning with dumping waste tanks could use a touch of something beautiful!

The crew and I pull over along Midland Road.  I want to watch and photograph this lovely white bird as it walks in a field of fresh green.

P1080701-001I’ll go out on a limb here and call it a Great Egret.  Correct me if I’m wrong.

What a graceful creature!

P1080700If you’d like to learn about the Great Egret and hear it’s call, click this link to Cornell School of Ornithology’s website, All About Birds.

That’s all, folks! 

I know what you’re thinking — Where’s the crew?  They’ll be back next time.  Promise.



P1080699I appreciate every order, whether large or small.

Here’s a sample of items recently purchased by readers at Amazon:

Samsung Chromebook Laptop
Eureka Quick Up 2-in-1 Cordless
KEEN Women’s Venice H2 Sandal
Real Texas Beef Recipe Dog Treats
Women’s Zipper Front Colorful Sun Hoodie
Triple Drawer single serve coffee pod holder


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256 Responses to RVing — From dumping tanks to finding something beautiful

  1. pookieboy says:


    • cc and canine (Eastern Missouri) says:


    • rvsueandcrew says:


      • Pookie in SE Texas says:

        well I got lucky….I was sitting in a parking lot at a restaurant in south houston waiting for a lady to pick up 2 pups I sold her and while reading posts from your last blog the siren on my phone went off telling me there is a new post on RVSue…..HA!
        now I can relax……
        120 miles one way and the folks in houston nearly run over me
        even at 75 mph on the freeway……sure glad I dont have to drive
        in that mess anymore….
        I believe your assessment of the big white bird being an egret is correct….great post my dear…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Chuck.

          Your phone tells you when there’s a new RVSue post? Wow. I’m honored.

          Yeah, that kind of driving is madness. In California, if you’re towing you’re not supposed to drive above 55 mph. Of course everyone else is going 75 or more… sheesh. And some are absent-minded when they pass. I guess they think we’re the same length as a car because often (yes, often) a vehicle will pull out to pass and then swerve toward the PTV. I can tell by how close their tires are to the center line as they pass me.

          I suppose I could put a big sign on the back of the BLT — “FYI, This is a travel trailer which means there is a vehicle in front of it, Bozo.”

  2. Nora now on Dauphin Island says:

    Hi Sue,
    Yup, that’s an egret. Saw lots of those at Bayou Segrette park in New Orleans as well as ibis. Now it’s pelicans, and lots of shore birds, kingfishers, etc.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Nora!

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I concur. The combination of the all-yellow beak and dark legs says “Great Egret.” (As opposed to Snowy Egret.)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good. I’m convinced. I hesitated because I’m used to seeing the little egrets in cow pastures here and there and in various places in Florida.

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            Just so happens I looked them up the other day after an evening kayak wherein I saw a few “white heron like birds” (I think I saw both Great and Snowy as it turns out). Aren’t they nifty? I really like to see the “tall” birds such as herons, etc. And they look so different when they hunch down and just become roly poly things with fringes.

          • Nora now on Dauphin Island says:

            Those are cattle egrets (for obvious reasons).

  3. Dave Stewart (in missouri for now) says:

    #1 again

  4. Teri LiveOak Fl says:

    You sure have mastered the art of trailering.

  5. edlfrey says:

    I left this Comment at the bottom of your previous posting but have added it here also. If not needed or wanted you can remove it without offending me.
    “This is a link to a blogger that has worked in Fernley and since it has closed he is in TX this season. http://www.lifewithkurumi.com/

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks for putting the link here as there probably are several readers interested in what it is like to work at an Amazon facility.

  6. Jenny Johnson Manuel says:

    #8——mooovin’ on up!!

  7. Cynthia from San Clemente, CA says:

    25 days??? I am impressed, and I need to take lessons from you. We just spent a week camping in our motor home at Crystal Cove State Park (all of 15 miles from home – lol) and my husband had to empty the tanks twice. Clearly, I am drinking and/or eating too much!!! Miss the crew 🙁

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Or maybe using a lot of water when you flush? Of course there are two of you and only one of me. No such thing as drinking too much… as for eating, well…

  8. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    That’s a long time between dumps! Perhaps more fiber! ?

    Ah hah…peace and quiet. Wow getting that close to the mat is impressive…I would have backed on to the mat and over the table!

    Egret…the color of its legs reminds me of the ole muddy buddy. Memories are sad at first…then they turn into smiles.

    Have a wonderful day with the crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I had a motivator to make me careful when backing up next to the mat. I imagined the stakes puncturing one of the BLT’s precious tires. 🙂

      Yeah, I know what you mean about sad, then smiles… I’m sure your AO brings forth memories of another sweet girl…

      Enjoy this day!

  9. Sidewinder Pen says:

    Although not the same as the lovely PTV/BLT combo, I have found a way to camp with the Class C/Class B that does leave a home to come back to. I tend to do it in winter when I stay in one place a bit more. Anyway, the “secret” is putting out a tent/cabana/whatever-you-call-it/variation. This gives an outdoor sitting room plus a “home” to come back to. An option anyway, for those like me with a single-unit rig.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s a great idea, Pen. It takes away the “here’s a free yard sale for you” look. Plus you have the enjoyment of an outdoor sitting room. I’m glad you mentioned that.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        It’s not perfect (but then what is – I mean besides the PTV :D). It can be vulnerable to wind, plus you have to carry it somehow. But some designs are pretty good/compact/plus wind resistant (usually more camping oriented vs. patio oriented). I find it a really nice contrast to my summer “ultra mobile” mode. And yeah, nice to come back to base and not have it look like a “free, take me” table.

        Still want the storage of the PTV though! 😀

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’ve seen people put up a pop-up tent and throw their belongings inside it when they take their rig somewhere. Of course, that’s not thief-proof but it does remove the visual temptation.

          • Pamela K. says:

            I like putting up a small two person tent w/rain fly cover and a screen room when camping out in my van only. If the weather looks iffy you can tuck the lounger inside the tent to keep it dry (that is if you were smart and dry-sealed the tent before using it). You can also put the patio rug and a few other things in there for dry keeping til the weather clears again. The screen room is great to give that living-room feeling. A few chinese solar mini lanterns and you’re go to come back to camp even in the dark. That reminds me of a point about inside solar lights to help conserve electric… I found the cutest little solar lights (complete with on/off switches) at the Dollar General Store, $1.00 each. They have plastic shades like little lamps and they fit perfectly in the van’s 9 cup holders! Gives plenty of moving around light during the evening and at night. During the day I just line them up in a tub and let the sun do its job to charge them. Anyone who has a need might look for them at the store. Cheap but they look great and they work like a charm, every time!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              One thing I want to point out… I never take up my patio rug to put it out of the rain. It is designed for water to pass through it and it dries very quickly. The rain cleans it, plus it’s staked down. I mention this for those considering buying one.

            • Pamela K. says:

              Good that you did mention that. I do take mine up just because they are so nice and I tend to restrict what I put in the van until I clean it off myself. A personal flaw 🙂 But yes, they do self-clean and the rain runs right thru them. Sure saves on the mud too. I can’t imagine not having one when traveling or staying put for awhile. I don’t always tack it down unless it is really windy or going to storm. Otherwise it’s there, stuff on it, works great 🙂

    • MB from VA says:

      That’s a great idea. I had actually thought about something like that recently while dreaming about my future days of freedom. It would serve the purposes you suggest plus give my dogs a little freedom to move around without a leash or me constantly worrying about where they are. And depending on when I get it together to go….I may have a cat as well. She would love a “living room”.

    • Dawn in MI says:

      That’s a great idea! One of the reasons I’ve thought I wanted to do a trailer is so that I could explore during the day, and yet maintain a campsite….this would work if I end up going with a single unit. Thanks!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Keep in mind though, when you only stay in one place for a few days, you might not want to set up and take down a screen room, nor will you want to leave it unattended if there’s a chance of wind.

  10. Velda in Roseville CA says:

    Cinandjules – I left a reply last night on the previous blog post to your query about liquid diet.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      That was me, Velda. I went back and read it – thanks! What you are doing sounds very high quality (for others reading this, it’s basically the same nutritious meal as generally made/eaten, but then “vitamixed” – as apposed to purchased, canned liquid meals).

      • Velda in Roseville CA says:

        Glad you saw it. Except that his taste is all but gone right now due to inflammation from radiation, he says what he vitamixes tastes way better than the canned junk like Ensure? The point is, where there’s a will there’s a way!

  11. Pat H. says:

    I miss boondocking, but plan on doing some on my trip back to Oregon Coast in March. I love the quiet and open space of camping in the desert.

    Sue, I enjoy your blog and the great pics.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat H.,

      Thank you. It’s good to know you enjoy my photos and blog. I can understand you missing boondocking, as well as the desert. Once you’ve experienced it, it’s hard to let it go.

  12. Norman in San Diego says:

    Hi Sue,

    Are you enjoying your stay here in California? Which do you like better, moving camp every few days or staying in one place for 14 days?


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Norman,

      That’s a fun question to consider. I like moving every few days when I have a destination in mind, as when we explore more in the summer or head for the coast. By the time fall moves into winter, I’m ready to stay put for longer periods to recharge and do things like order from Amazon. 🙂

      The answer is . . . both are good!

  13. Chris B - Southern California says:

    Hi Sue! You sound rather chipper today! Not that you normally sound grumpy…I’ll even bet that you are walking with a spring in your step! 🙂 Must be nice weather with sunny skies, not too cold of nights and the best of all…….empty tanks! We love those empty tanks and living life!

    I’ve been a bit down lately due to that last shooting in California. That one hit home being that I witnessed a shooting at my place of work (Southern California Edison) before retiring three years ago. It just brings back the fear that the world is not what it used to be and that you don’t know people as well as you think you do.

    Readers: If you see something that doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t. Report it and let the police figure it out. Maybe this last shooting could have been stopped if the people living in the complex didn’t feel that they were being racist for wanting to report the men in this terrorist’s garage making pipe bombs. (The residents didn’t know what they were doing but it didn’t seem right)

    That’s my public service announcement for today.

    Have a great day. It’s beautiful here in Southern California with sunny skies and the temperature is a perfect 74 degrees!

    Chris B

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chris B.,

      Your PSA is very important and appreciated! We need to be vigilant and ready to report any suspicious activity. The days of “live and let live” are over, because there are people who don’t want to “let live.”

      I’m sorry you went through the trauma and that the memory of that day was stirred up by the recent shootings. I hate that you have been depressed. I love your wonderful sense of humor!

      Hug Diego… and Clete. 🙂

  14. Piper n' Rusty / Az says:

    Great post and photos, Sue,,,, and Blogerooos,,,,,,,,,, Tomorrow at 07:30 is the Anniversary of Pearl Harbor ,, that was bombed by the Japanese,, A dreadful day in American History ,, My tiny Pearl is already on my hat with the words,” Remember and Honor Pearl Harbor December 7th 1941″,,,,,,,,,,,,, rusty

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rusty re the post and photos and for the reminder of Pearl Harbor Day.

      I love that word — blogerooos — I might use that! 🙂

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        Pearl Harbor was the saddest day in our history. It should never have happened. Our Government at work!

        • Piper n' Rusty / Az says:

          No Barbra, The Japanese pulled a fast one on us, all the time talking Peace while a message, the last page wasn’t getting to where it was supposed to be on time, due to bad weather conditions and a force hidden in the north Pacific heading to do it’s worse,, It wasn’t our Governments fault,,,,,,,,,,,,,

          • Piper n' Rusty / Az says:

            Back then all we had was Short Wave, which on good days , one could hear the whole world, but that day the weather was bad,,,,,,

            • Piper n' Rusty / Az says:

              We IE; Government’s, had short wave, Morris code,, …_ _ _ … _.. _.

            • Piper n' Rusty / Az says:

              Which today in this Age we Have the internet, cell phones, Satellites , Land lines and yes we still have short wave, which is better than what we had,, short wave today has upper and lower side bands from 1117 to 29999 and if one has one of today, one can hear the world, once one learns how to listen and tune in what one wants hear,,,,,, have a great day,,,,,, rusty

            • MB from VA says:

              Thank you for the reminder and for the history lesson. Have a great day Rusty.

          • Cinandjules (NY) says:

            But did you know there was an immediate recall on US money on the island? The Federal Reserve issued Hawaii overprint bills. The distinct bills ( “HAWAII” in brown letters) would be rendered useless if the Japanese invaded.

            • Piper n' Rusty / Az says:

              Did you know that the Army on Hawaii was using radar for the first time and the large Blimp on the screen was a bunch of B-29s coming from California the same time the Japanese Plains were coming from the Northwest just 10 minutes later, and they didn’t see them coming,,,,,,,,,

        • gayle - SO CAL Beach Boomer says:

          My former boss was born on Dec. 7, 1941! Can you imagine the fear his mother must have felt bringing a child into the world on that day?

    • Piper n' Rusty / Az says:

      Why not Sue, Go for it, I use Blogerooos all the time and in my mind that’s who they are,, A Blogerooo, just like me,,,,,,,,,,, rusty

    • Pamela K. says:

      I’m with you about Pearl Harbor, a day to honor, and remember, and to reflect on. I also think it is sad and very unfitting when some authors and historians try to change-up the history of those events. Trying to make those events seem *less dreadful* in order to *quiet and appease* the history. Even the movie was filmed with several different endings! That’s not right to do that. It was what it was…dreadful…no changing-up that! My father’s ship was sunk in the Battle Of Midway on the day Roosevelt died…the day the seas were at war.

      • Karla in Kentucky says:

        My dad was on Pearl Harbor when it was attacked. He remembers not having a weapon at the time. He was not injured but saw things that have not been forgotten. He is 94 years old. He was a pilot and flew 52 missions.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          A great American from “the greatest generation.” Not many left . . . Best wishes to your dad, Karla.

        • Pookie in SE Texas says:

          Karla, tell your dad thank you for all of us….
          I have a neighbor that was 18 when he landed
          on the beaches at Normandy and everytime
          I drive by and see him outside I stop and say
          thanks……he does talk about his experiences
          which really intrigues me….

          • Marilyn, Dania Beach , FL says:

            My uncle was on a Navy ship in Pearl Harbor. He told me if it were possible he would have swam back to the mainland. It must have been a terrible experience. He was 18 at the time. I have not forgotten his words.

            Marilyn, remembering Pearl Harbor Day.

        • Cinandjules (NY) says:

          Actually being there, the images in his mind must be horrific.

          We have many a times visited the USS Arizona…while in Hawaii. Sombering experience each and every time.

          • Pookie in SE Texas says:

            I have a son recently retired from the navy that spent
            4 years at Pearl Harbor….he drove the boat that went
            from the base to the Arizona memorial….we sure had
            a cheap vacation there one year staying with him and
            his family

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I agree with you, Pamela!

  15. Marilyn, Dania Beach , FL says:

    Sue, I haven’t read the comments yet but I believe you are correct. It might be in breeding colors with the green around the eyes.

    Now to read your comments.

    Marilyn, swimming in a huge amount of rainfall in South Florida. There are some blue areas in the sky.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marilyn,

      At first I didn’t know what you were talking about (Who’s been inbreeding on my blog? haha)… Oh yes, the Great Egret!

      • Marilyn, Dania Beach , FL says:

        Ha ha ha. I just read the post and can see where you were confused. I got ahead of myself and left out the Great Egret.

        That is the laugh of the day. I am still cleaning out the 4 hours of anesthesia I guess or maybe it is too much rain.

        Whatever, all is clear and well.

        Marilyn, smiling

  16. kris says:

    Sue, when you pull out your Benchmark Atlas to look for spots to boondock……what exactly do you look for? Can you explain that process a bit? Are you always on “public lands”……BLM lands, state or national forests, etc? Where are the best places to look at in the atlas? Thanks

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, kris,

      I’ll try to explain. The process is part step-by-step and part intuitive (which comes with practice.)

      Assuming you have no knowledge of an area…

      1) Look for public lands in the area you want to go. These are color coded on Benchmarks.
      2) Within those areas, look for elevation suitable for the season (elev. is posted for towns/cities and mountains)
      3) Eliminate areas with no access to supplies for, say, 30 miles or more (your preference)
      4) Once an area is found as a possibility, do an online search for it, i.e. “Turtle Mountains Wlderness” or “boondocking near Bouse, AZ”
      5) If an area passes the above 4, study the Benchmark for roads into the area. Benchmarks indicate those that require 4-wheel drive and also what the road surface is.
      6) If you can’t stand noise and dust, also look around the area on the Benchmark to find evidence of OHV activities (Are there dunes? OHV play areas?)
      7) Go online and search for “images of Turtle Mountain Wilderness,” for example. This may eliminate an area completely if it’s just plain ugly.
      8) Lastly, you drive to the area and if it looks like a potential boondock area, drive off the main road onto the smaller roads (or walk them if the road is iffy).

      After a while your eyes will become accustomed to the colors for public lands in the Benchmark and you won’t have to look hard to find them… They will jump out at you.

      I use the Landscape section of the Benchmark probably three times as much as the Recreation section.

      Let me know if you have further questions.

      • MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (Seattle) says:

        Thanks for the atlas tutorial Sue – great for many of us newbies I’m sure. I did a little copy/paste to keep those notes for future reference. I always appreciate the reminder that backing up takes practice and that there is no hurry – I should use some of my “winter waiting for spring” timeout to practice! Enjoy your sunny days with the cuties.

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        One more step I’ve read others recommend.
        Google “OHV areas near Bouse AZ” (or wherever you’re researching). That will take you to websites that cater to that particular activity and give you an idea of where to avoid.

      • kris says:

        Thank you so much for the reply, Sue! I’m sure I’ll have more questions for you in the near future!!!
        Oh, look…..here’s one now!…..Have you boondocked in Montana at all? South Dakota? Do you driven the Chief Joseph Highway, or the Beartooth Highway?
        Anywhere to boondock in that area that you could recommend?

  17. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I am impressed with your backing and hitching skills. I f I ever get to travel, I want a Casita, but, I am not really good at backing straight. I have enough trouble with the car. I may need to rethink and get a van with a backup camera. I have one on the car and it has been a godsend.

    The egret photo is fantastic. I agree with Pen, the tall birds are so graceful and elegant. The bird I saw at our lake was not this. It was grayish with a golden bill, which is a heron.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara (Nashville),

      At the risk of sounding like a know-it-all (again), I’m going to suggest one thing. Maybe it doesn’t apply to you, but it might apply to someone reading this.

      Whenever you say or think “I am not really good at . . . .” you have already put up an obstacle blocking improvement. Rather, say or think “I need to learn to . . . ” or “I haven’t learned yet how to . . . .” It’s amazing how empowering that is!

      When I was trying to decide what kind of rig I was going to full-time in, I came upon the question of hitching, unhitching, and backing into tight spaces. I brushed it aside with “I WILL learn how to do it.”

      Okay, enough of that. Hope I’m not too obnoxious.

      “Elegant”…. Great word to describe the egret in this post! 🙂

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I was thinking the same thing, Sue.

        Now of course everyone is not at the same skill level in all things. BUT, I find that many people sell themselves short on trailering either just due to a perception, or maybe due to one or two bad experiences, wherein they were likely rushed, had a huge audience, had “helpful” instruction, etc.

        Now, I can tow/hitch/back as well as any reasonable person, but that doesn’t mean I always prefer it. When I’m bopping around in summer I enjoy driving a single unit. So personal preference is a fine reason to not tow. But I just hope people won’t “assume” they are no good at it (or can’t learn) due to reading or one experience.

        • Pamela K. says:

          Here’s yet another look at towing vs not towing…
          One of the reasons I chose a van rather than another small TT is this: I simply (sometimes, not often) FORGET that the TT is back there! Our Airstream is so lite that it is easy to do. I have towed it before but Klemper is better at *being one* with it. I tend to keep an eye out for those around me and where I am in relationship to that on the roadways (big semi, detours, gas stations, etc.). Because of this I chose the van as my own little get-away vech. Less to worry about and less to remember while on the road. Something to consider for those who sometimes have less than peak performance days or health issues to deal with while traveling full-time.
          LOL, I think when I do tow the Airstream I need a sign on it, “Is my trailer back there still?! Look for me cuz I tend to forget it’s there!!!” HA!

      • DesertGinger says:

        Thank you Sue. Good point. I have been learning your point the hard way. I continue to struggle to improve my writing to the point where I can qualify for the publishing team, for the longer stories. Meanwhile I can attempt the breaking news (shorter) stories. However, if I don’t complete them inside 6 hours…no pay. I haven’t been paid for many. Sometimes I’m ready to throw in the towel, then I tell myself I just haven’t learned how to be quick yet, and I keep trying. I did succeed in making it to the publishing team for the history section. On each full story we do a history and timeline section, explaining any background and what events led up to the news item. Tomorrow I will be doing history and timeline for an analysis on the presidents speech on terrorism. So that is interesting and exciting. But sometimes I feel like I do a lot of unpaid work! But I am slowly improving.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You’re a can-do person., Ginger. You set high goals and you meet them. All in good time… 🙂

    • bess from haystack res/ eugene, oregon says:

      hi Barbara, i want to encourage you to think that you can learn to back up a trailer. i learned slowly and can now do it with several tries. i figure, who’s counting?

      people that are critical can go find something else to do besides watch me go back and forth. also, i have been amazed at how helpful other campers are. there was a guy at the Oregon Coast, who had been a tow truck driver, who told me about a trick that has been helpful sometimes (not always because of my ineptitude):

      begin your turn very slowly in speed and a very gradual turn of the steering wheel, and as soon as you see the back of the trailer going in the direction you want, turn the steering wheel back a tiny bit. the trailer will continue the turn without going too abruptly/sharply.

      also, practicing in a big parking lot, like a community college during the weekends, is a great. plenty of room and no one to be impatient while you practice.

      as for hitching skills, Barry and i wrote up exact lists of what to do when leaving and arriving with the trailer. i printed it up on the computer. i have a copy in the trailer and one in the car. it seems like every time we unhitch and re-hitch we forget the order or a step. and we both have great memories!

      YOU CAN DO IT! keep the dream alive.

      • bess from haystack res/ eugene, oregon says:

        Hi Barbara, i also thought i wouldn’t want to tow a trailer on the highway because of it whipping in the wind and also the lack a visibility behind the car.

        i got a stabilizer bar and the trailer is almost just an extension of the car now. the mirrors work great so i can see in the blind spots.

        i checked out A-frame collapsible trailers which my Subaru could pull, and Road Trek type of vans. i didn’t like the A-frames because there wasn’t the type of kitchen storage i wanted. and the vans were too expensive for me and they seemed too small in the interior for the style of camping we do.

        so we decided on a restored vintage travel trailer. they are not for everyone because some don’t have a toilet/shower (mine doesn’t but we have a port-a-potty and usually camp in campgrounds most of the time.

        all of this is to say, you can find the set-up that works for you. the open road will be calling you and you can say YES! i can hear it now, “come explore and play.”

      • Lisa, Tommie and Buddy in SoFlo (for now) says:

        Here’s another tip I use for hitching up. When I get to my site and have the rig where I want it, I put a marker by one of my rear wheels of the truck. I’ve used rocks, duct tape, bags…anyway, put your marks beside and behind your tire in an L shape. When you are ready to hitch up again you have a marker to back in to. I usually get within an inch of where I need to be to drop on to the ball on my truck. Of course I do use the back up and look method too.

        • Reeves99 says:

          What a great idea!!! Thank you. I do that for the trailer wheels but I hadn’t thought about the car. That will save me jumping in and out to check position.

      • Pamela K. says:

        We, too, have two printed lists as our *always do* check list. We even took ours to Kinko’s and had them laminate them so they can be used in the rain. That list has been a lifesaver many times, especially when hurrying to beat a storm on the horizon 🙂

      • Cheryl O. (WA state) says:

        All good tips that I’m going to incorporate in my hitching/unhitching routine. When I first bought my TT, I was nervous backing it in and out of my driveway by the side of my house. I first have to stay clear of a telephone pole on the drivers side and the passenger side is landscaping bricks. I use my mirrors a lot, moving them where I think I’m getting close to something. I struggled for awhile with the pole, but I realized I just need to stay close to the bricks to avoid the pole. Then, backing it up further between the fence and the house, avoiding the gutter. (I did graze the gutter once, but stopped after a couple inches into it.) Whew! Now, I do a good job of backing up.

        Bottom line, it takes practice, practice practice. Eventually, I’ll be backing up at camping spots only with more clearance.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          How nice that you have the “perfect” driveway for practicing. At some point, it will be a saguaro and a brittle bush, or a spruce and a rock 😀

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Or a wall and someone’s vehicle, like at the RV service place. 🙂

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Oh sure, kill the romance. 😀 😀 😀

            • Barbara (Nashville) says:

              Thanks everyone for the helpful hints. I think some of my issues stem for the scoliosis as my back and neck don’t allow for a lot of turning to see where you are backing. I do us my mirrors quite a bit, but the camera helps a lot. I am not a defeatist and do keep trying, but sometimes I just get frustrated. I will probably still get a trailer as I, like Sue, like being able to have a home to come back to. The van type units are convenient though.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Just in case it helps to know, I don’t use anything for backing other than my outside side mirrors. What I mean is, I don’t twist/turn to “look out back” at all when I am in the driver’s seat. Most of the “big” vehicles I’ve driven over the years that would not have done any good anyway, as there was no back window to see out of!

              Just thought I’d mention it in case it helps, since it takes very little “twisting” to see the outside side mirrors. Also, if the passenger one does cause too much twisting (I know from experience that when you have the seat all the way forward it can be a *bit* of a twist to see that mirror), there are “fender mirrors” for the passenger side that do the same function but mount out forward on the fender – no twisting at all! (I’d like one of those.)

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Same here, Pen. I use the side mirrors and nothing else. Sometimes it helps to turn them a little toward the ground in order to see rocks or the edge of pavement when at a campground.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Good comment on the mirrors, which then “should” be power adjustable mirrors. For years if you’d asked me I would have said “I have no need for power mirrors, I’m always driving and I just set them how I want them.” But THEN I drove a rig that had them (towing a 32′ trailer) and oh, how nice to be able to angle the passenger mirror down to see that outside tire/curb/whatever. Now I would always want power adjustable mirrors if possible. I use them to see the boat/trailer wheel when launching, too (which I could not see as well with the mirrors in “normal driving” position).

  18. chas anderson says:

    I am often tempted to ground dump my grey tanks while boondocking but I never have .It would not be highly damaging to the environment but if everyone did it might.Do any of you folks occasionally dump the grey tanks into the ground during a long stay somewhere?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, chas,

      Why would you need to dump grey water on the ground? You have to dump black water at a dump station, so dump the grey water at the same time. Unless you use an inordinate amount of water that goes into the grey water tank, I don’t see the need. Maybe I’m missing something.

      Okay… I don’t want to hijack your question because it’s valid.

      BLOGORINOS: Do you occasionally dump grey water into the ground during a long stay somewhere?

      • chas anderson says:

        Well we enjoy a probably higher level of water use than most and find that our gray tank might last a week and our black two weeks, so there are many days when we have a full grey tank and a half empty black tank.Pretty common problem actually for many people.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        Wouldn’t even think of doing that.

        It’s kind of like throwing trash on the ground when a trash can is available.

        Look at the mess and health hazard Rusty came upon not long ago! Yes, that was black water…

        Who knows nowadays what people put down their kitchen sink…

        Leave no trace…. Is the best way to preserve what is left of the open countryside.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I agree. When on our public lands (or anywhere, for that matter), I ask myself when wondering about the rightness of doing something — “What if everyone did it?” I once had a firm talk with a man riding an ATV across a pristine beach at a lake in Montana. Signs said to ride on gravel surfaces only. He shrugged and said, “Nature will take care of it.” I pointed out to him that once he made tracks across the beach, the next person on an ATV will see his tracks and think, “Oh, how fun to ride on the beach!” Then another comes along and another until the beach is a mess. I’ve seen where this has happened in the desert and forest. Hence the gazillion signs that say “Ride on designated roads only.” Duh.

      • Renee says:

        Hi Sue, just a note on some of us may needing to dump gray earlier that others. We have two gray tanks – one for the kitchen sink and one for the shower and bathroom sink. The kitchen sink gray tank is smaller. Most times, even with our being conservative, we need to dump it, in between and then we do so into the fire ring and well away from streams or rivers. DH always keeps some gray water though to follow the black water, he says to help flush out the hose.

      • Pamela K. says:

        No, never have in the 18 years of rving. There are fines for grey water dumping in many areas and on COE lands they strictly enforce it. Will fine you $300.00 and ask you to leave if you are sighted or reported for it. I guess on public lands there are codes that may allow one to do that if a hole was dug or something, i’m not sure about that…have read pros and cons about it. I do dump out my dish water after doing dishes if I’m doing them outside. Other than that, I don’t. Besides it draws ants to it and bugs that I do not want near or on my campsite. Those critters are masters at finding their way into your rigs if there is a *home spot* nearby for them…grey tank runoff or dumping gives them the Welcome Mat.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I never do this. I do understand that grey water as it heads down a drain is not necessarily a “bad” thing (it can be used for good at homes, etc.).

      BUT, there are two reasons I don’t:

      1) I have a feeling that grey water that has been “ripening” in a tank is NOT the same as water running out of a sink or shower into a drain field (at a cabin, for example).

      2) I have camped in places where people dumped a grey tank. It was gross, there were flies, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it attracted rodents. UGH.

      I suppose one could dig an appropriate hole, and if it were allowed in that area, the above wouldn’t happen, but that’d be a tough hole to dig here in the desert. And after a few holes around a campsite…. maybe some not deep enough. So no, I just don’t go there.

      I have dumped “fresh” dishwater a few times, but don’t make a practice of that either. I just feel there are too many people in most places (who come after me), and also many of the climates I camp in just don’t “regenerate” that fast.

      As long as I can find dump stations, I prefer to use them (and so far I always have).

      On the contrary, I lived with an outhouse for many years and I felt it was actually not only pleasant but environmentally fine. However that was a very deep hole, located a specified distance from waterways, wells, etc. and had years to compost in place. Also no-one else was coming the next day to camp there.

      • chas anderson says:

        Thanks, I tend to agree with you which is why I have never done it.I have seen people do it and wondered how common it was.

      • Renee says:

        We too have seen other campers, just open their valve and dump gray water out onto the ground beside their rig and I’ve seen this even on paved camp sites. Gross, yes.

  19. weather says:

    Two weeks with only one vehicle driving by, how nice for you! I like the attention to detail you use to describe tasks ,in this case hitching/unhitching. It helps teach or remind readers what not to overlook. Nice backing/parking job, “I’ll position the BLT how I want.”-way to go 🙂 Beautiful photos of the Great Egret (thanks for the link)!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I get the feeling you are busy or pre-occupied today — maybe working at the antique shop. Anyway, no need to reply, just thinking “out loud” and wishing you a great evening.

      Thanks for the response to this post!

      • weather says:

        Actually, I’d written a different and longer comment that I erased by touching a key by accident(still getting used to my new laptop) so I just quickly posted a note to say “Hi” while you are on here. I hope you and crew have a great evening, too.

        • Marilyn, Dania Beach , FL says:


          Well, this is my second time with this post. While sending I lost the original.

          What I wanted to tell you was to use control+z (control and the letter z together) if you accidentally delete something. It is amazing.

          Marilyn, hoping this posts

    • weather says:

      It’s wonderful to be surprised by beautiful things as we do what we need to, isn’t it? When I walked outside predawn yesterday the soft frost and fog was tinted pink and glistening. As the sun rose closer to the horizon that disappeared and was replaced by the ordinary misty white and bluish gray one expects . Ordinary days strewn with fleeting gifts ,breath taking scenes glimpsed for moments, held forever…At the moment a golden glow is giving way to full morning light here. Dawn around your desert home must be amazing. I hope you have an awe-some day.

  20. Marilu from Northern California says:

    Hi Sue, Crew and Blogeroos?,
    I loved your post of a day in the life of an RVer. The great egret puts a smile on my face. Your photo of the BLT at the dump station reminds me of a funny thing we saw while on our long fall RV trip.
    We were staying at an RV Park in West Yellowstone for a few days and taking day trips into the park. We were amazed to see so many Asian visitors. Sometimes 50 or more would be gathered around one or two elk or bison. They all had big cameras with long lenses. One afternoon when we went back to the RV Park a large group of Japanese visitors were standing around the dump station taking pictures. We figured that maybe they were taking pictures of their hotel across the street but what a funny foreground for their photos. I wonder if they had any idea of what that part of their picture is used for?
    I’m so glad you’ve found a place where you have peace, quiet and privacy. Isn’t it interesting that the presence of a tree can make a plot of sand into a campsite home?
    Have a wonderful day everyone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Interesting story, Marilu. I wonder if there are dump stations in Japan? I guess RVing isn’t such a big thing in such a small country.

      Yes, a tree does make a big difference. It gives personality to a site and also provides a place for a hummingbird to sit and sing.

  21. Pam and Maya says:

    I have to share my backing up story; when I retired I was so excited to leave that it never occurred to me to learn how to back up. The first place I stopped had pull through campsites but after that I was in real trouble. Maya became used to strange men getting in my car and backing the trailer into the campsite. Thank goodness for them! Sometimes I would try 10 to 15 times without success, I would hold up traffic – it was really embarrassing! Moral to the story, learn to back up before you leave!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      No more asking men to help you, I hope! Yes, learn as you go along is okay for some things. Backing up isn’t one of them! Don’t solo-fly an airplane without learning how to land it either. :).

  22. Dianna Marable says:

    Really enjoy your adventures! Looking forward to full-timing, next summer.

  23. Patrick says:

    Your Benchmark Map, some time ago on your suggestion I switched from DeLorme maps to the Bench Mark Maps that you use. IMO the Benchmark Brand is a better map and costs less than DeLorme. Although both are available thru Amazon.

    One reason for my switching to Benchmark Maps is their binding is a lot better than De Lorme. Also the coordinates in the BenchMark are better.
    Thank you for the suggestion last year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Patrick. Nice of you to mention that.

      • bess from haystack res/ eugene, oregon says:

        i use clear, adhesive shelf paper to cover the cover of my Benchmark maps. it makes them stronger.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I learned to do the same thing, I used clear packing tape as that is what I had on hand. My Benchmarks take an awful beating!

          • Patrick says:

            Yes using clear packing tape is one way to keep them together. But when you open them up and the pages fall out of them there is something wrong with them. But I really shouldn’t complain I had the California De Lorme Map for about 6 years before it fell apart. I could take it to Kinko’s or any copy store and have them rebind the map with a spiral binding but they wanted more to do that than it cost to buy several new map books. Go figure.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I see what you mean, chas… You can protect the cover from ripping. Pages falling out are another matter.

          • Barbara (Nashville) says:

            They also make a product called “Press A Ply” which is a self adhesive laminate that I use for cards, quilting pattern instructions that I want to keep, etc.

  24. Alice (So. Fla) says:

    As you know it is an egret. They are beautiful. I so love to see them around in the bushes hunting. My little baby (JRT) likes to chase them, nothing in HER area. I really don’t let her but she does a good job growling and barking. We probably had 4-5 inches of rain yesterday but it is cooler. Yay.

    Good lesson on hitching and backing!! I’m working on backing a 25′ class C. It’s going pretty well but it can be weird because there isn’t any vision in the rear. I was never very good at backing anyway.

    Good to see your well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alice,

      It’s a good practice when backing up to get out and look — several times. “An ounce of prevention… etc.” I’d rather check what’s back there than hear that awful crunch.

      I bet your baby Jack Russell is a cutie!

      • Marilyn, Dania Beach , FL says:

        I see there are wireless back up cameras on Amazon. That might be a nice safety item for RVs.

        I am relying more on my car’s back up camera since I cannot turn while healing from back surgery. It does work. One should first do as Sue suggested, “It’s a good practice when backing up to get out and look — several times. ”

        Also, look both ways when turning, left, right then to the left again. I just completed the AARP Safe Driver Course. It is worth your time and also most auto insurance companies give a discount for course certification. I figure it saves us $75 a year plus it makes one more conscious of being a safe driver.

        Safe backing and driving, Marilyn

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        My JRT likes to chase the turkeys and Can. Geese. I don’t let her either but she can make an issue of barking at them. She too doesn’t like interference in her area. Struts around like she owns the neighborhood!

  25. Joyce Sutton says:

    I have older class c. I get out and actually look. Back up. get out and look again. Men” helping” often look at me strangely because they just “told me” to turn etc. I am responsible for what I am driving. My husband tried to look left and right for me too. Is it a man thing?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, mostly I think it has to do with the need to be in charge. For a few it’s contempt for females. And some are trying to be nice.

    • Pamela K. says:

      I’m not sure it is really a man-thing. I think it is mostly a help thing. Most guys have a mother and or sisters they spent years helping do stuff. The older the guy is the more this mindset comes into play, I think so anyway. Times have changed in recent decades but that helping style of upbringing is still alive and well in many households taught to men. I have been glad on more than one occasion for the *help* and I’m a pretty darn independent old gal. It’s like holding the door open for a lady…is he patronizing you or helping you just to be nice? I think it is a catch 22 for many men…

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        What you say is true. I’ve also had men get mad at me if I didn’t drop back and have them do something I was perfectly capable of doing myself. That’s not help. It’s keeping a woman “in her place.” A recent commenter mentioned a friend whose husband wouldn’t “let” her drive with Casita towed, although she was part owner of the vehicles. That’s not help. It’s control.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          I think you’ve hit on in important distinction. If someone is offering (or just going on and starting) to help, what will happen if you say “thanks, but I’ve got this.” To me, someone who was truly “just” offering to help will be glad you “have it,” and go on with their day in a friendly way. Or does the person get offended, or even angry, OR somehow try to make you look lesser for not needing/wanting the help (“I was just trying to help,” “can’t you take a joke,” “oh sure, be uppity,” etc.)

          The people I know who are wonderful and warm and helpful wouldn’t even think a negative thought if I said “Thanks but I’ve got this.” They’d say “Great! Have a great day,” smile, and go back to what they were doing. The “control” people are typically the ones to have the negative reaction. It was more about them helping me than it was about me getting my job done. They may take offense if I don’t need or want help when they want to give it.

          So yeah, for me it boils down to “What would happen if I said thanks but I’m good.” Positive, friendly reaction? Or ….

        • Pamela K. says:

          In that case, if I were the part owner of the vechs I would be asking, “And YOUR name appears WHERE on the registration cards?!” Friend’s husband or not. Sounds like they need to leave that *good ol’ bubba boy* home the next time.

          • Pamela K. says:

            was for Sue’s comment. Sorry, didn’t go where it was replied to.

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            I think it was the person in question’s husband (but the person in question was a friend). So in other words, the two people involved were married, and likely the husband’s name was on the title in addition to (or perhaps to the exclusion of) his wife’s name.

            Still, I never understand this sort of “doesn’t let” when it’s a spouse who is also an adult. Where does “let” even come into it?

  26. Carla - North Texas says:

    In hopes of a Casita one day, I practice backing up all the time. I back into the garage almost all the time now. The garage isn’t wide enough for 2 vehicles (well, maybe 2 Smart cars) so I have to make sure I can squiggle in between one vehicle in the driveway and the huge trash can that seems to scoot itself a few inches in the wrong direction every now and again. I can’t wait to practice with a Casita attached!

  27. BadgerRickInWis says:

    I always love the posts about the “simple, basic’ aspects of living in an RV. A trip to the dump station is the highlight of the day and the inspiration for a blog post. You my girl are living the life. 🙂

    One person driving by in two weeks. Oh my, no wonder you decided to stay a bit longer. Sounds like paradise to me.

    I think maybe that Samsung Chromebook on the recently purchased list is Kelly’s Christmas present. I just love the idea that I can buy gifts this way and give to two of my favorite people with one purchase. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, “Merry Christmas to me!” Thank you for that very nice commission, Rick. Your Kelly is a lucky gal, and I’m not talking about the Chromebook! 🙂

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      I think she may also want a camp stove! ?

      • Pookie in SE Texas says:

        I often wonder why Sue doesnt have a camp stove to cook outside…
        I would think a good steak in a frying pan every now and then would
        sure be good….but then again Im a big meat and taders man myself…a
        good bowl of oatmeal with brown sugar, butter and milk is awful good
        when made on a campstove outside on the picknic table….darn, I dont
        went and made myself hungry now…:)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t eat steak or hamburgers. When I did they were best when cooked on a grill. I almost always eat outside. I think what makes that oatmeal taste so good is where you eat it, not how it’s cooked. Fresh air flavoring… 🙂

  28. Renee says:

    Nice posting Sue. I too missed Bridget and Reggie! How’s the new hobbies coming along? 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Renee. I have some supplies on order. Then I need to learn how to do it. Then I need to produce something I wouldn’t die with shame showing to the world on the internet. In short… it will be a while! 🙂

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        “Die with shame”
        Come on now. I have no idea what your new hobby is but whatever it is I’m pretty sure that we would be a pretty easy crowd to please.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hahaha! That was written in reference to my lack of skill. Yeah, you’re a good crowd. 🙂

      • Renee Galligher says:

        Looking forward to it. I have a couple of hobbies – watercolor painting and crafting, anything from cards to altered books and tags. I have a Facebook page on my watercolor painting. Just search my name up there and you’ll find me as Renee Galligher Watercolor Artist.

        • Barbara (Nashville) says:

          Renee, I just checked out your site. The paintings are very nice, but I do agree with the prize for “Cat Eyes” It is outstanding!

  29. AZ Jim says:

    A solution to the dump blues if you don’t want to move the rig is a portable dump tank than you can tow up to the dump station. I had one years ago, a 25 gal model. Beats hitchin up and go to the station with the rig. Amazon has some good prices on many models. Barker (30844) 4-Wheeler Tote Tank – 42 Gallon capacity
    Something to think about. Hi Missy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      For couples who really sock themselves into a camp with a lot of stuff (satellite dishes, awnings out, etc.), maybe it’s a good option, not for me. I’m glad you mentioned it though. Thanks for the link.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I can see the Blue Boys for people who camp with a larger rig or more of a homestead feel. I tend to like how moving every two weeks or so keeps me “ship shape,” even if it’s only to dump tanks. (Maybe others don’t need that discipline to keep mobile and tidy 😀 )

  30. Susan in south central WA says:

    I got a close look at an egret today when one flew a few feet from my car when I was on the freeway!!! A little too close for my comfort. They are lovely birds. Good to see I am not the only one that “complains” when there are no Bridget and Reggie photos. 😉

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Gee, an egret across the windshield on the freeway… not so lovely! I’m glad you made it through that okay, Susan.

      • Susan in South Central WA says:

        The egret was taking a short cut across 6 lanes of freeway to get from a marsh pond to the Columbia and Yakima River delta. It was a spooky and beautiful experience!

  31. Pamela K. says:

    Well, you made good on your word, lol. You always said you could write a blog post about dumping and people would read it! You post was really great. It is nice to see you reaffirm that great RVing has a learned skill set with it, not just going from Point A to Point B. Dumping, backing up, finding stations for water and dumping, how long one can go on their own tanks before dumping…all good skill sets to know in advance BEFORE needing to do it. All those skills make life on The Great Ribbon a pleasure instead of a grind. I really loved this post and the benchmark comments and such…nice goin’.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Pamela. I’m happy you “loved this post.”

      Not to scare wannabes, I’ll add this…. dumping tanks and other aspects of managing one’s waste can be learned once one is on the road. Sometimes one has no choice, as I didn’t. I picked up the BLT from the factory with no RV experience and learned everything as I went along. Not the best way, like Pamela says, but some of us learn well when there isn’t a choice not to! 🙂

      • Pamela K. says:

        Good point Sue. Klemper is one of those who learns fast under pressure. I do too but I am always trying to measure the learning curve by doing things in advance when I can. I think a lot of us do a normal *shakedown outing* before heading out to full-time. Even if it is just clear clean water it is a good dry run for learning to dump at a dump station.

  32. Pamela K. says:

    I left you a comment about working on the road. You might find it interesting for short work gigs. I did some short temp assignments in years past and really enjoyed them. It really is a great way to add money to your kitty for full electric hook-ups during the coldest of winter.

    • Pookie in SE Texas says:

      and then there is always McDonalds a person could work
      at for a day or two…..:)

      • Pamela K. says:

        LOL, McD’s…when my husband was doing his Harvard University research for his White Papers (in the 1990s) I took a job as a dining room hostess at McD’s just to kill the boredom. I still laugh when I hear about the McD jobs…those were crazy times back then. The *breakfast rush* was something to behold…hoards of hungry, sleepy people would look up at the menu and just stare like they saw it but it didn’t sink in yet while the guy behind them had less than 5 minutes to get to his job with his food in hand. It takes all kinds, doesn’t it?!

        • bess from eugene, oregon says:

          i don’t plan on working in retirement at a “real” job like McDonalds’s or Amazon.

          i have thought about doing work exchanges with the NFS, like trail repairs, clean-up of campgrounds, repairing cabins at places like Yellowstone or being a interpretive actor at a lighthouse or historical house. something like that. i met a couple at a fish hatchery on the Metoilous river in Oregon that mowed the lawn and visited with the visitors. they didn’t have the duties i find objectionable in being a camp host: drunks, loud poeple, collecting money, reservation bookkeeping, cleaning toilets, selling firewood, and being stuck at a place for many months.

          my husband and i won’t be full-timers because we love our house, our daughter lives a block away and we get to be with our grandson everyday. we will be going on longer trips this coming year.

          i asked the queswtion because i didn’t know about Amazon’s campwork force program. i am curious by nature. thanks for responding. i love this blog that Sue had created.

          • pookieboy says:

            That’s what I said when I retired but cost of living has gone up so much in the last 10 years I had to go to work PT or sit at the house and not go anywhere…..never say never

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Just to clear up something… Camp hosts don’t take money. The rangers or concessionaire personnel take it out of the “iron ranger.” I believe camp hosts did take money in the past until too much money was disappearing. 🙁 I agree with you, Bess. There’s a lot about camp hosting that is unappealing to me. On the other hand, some folks LOVE camp hosting, have made many friends, enjoy the stability of staying in one place for months. I’ve met camp hosts who have worked in the same campground for several years.

  33. David Ainley in Fulton, KY (for now) says:

    Sue, love your blog. It’s one of only two where I read all the comments for the information provided by you and your followers.
    I recall that you recently delayed posting for a few days because you were near you data limit. I’m new to using my cell as a hot spot. Until recently I had unlimited data because I had a house in Houston, TX. Could you do a post on how to reduce data usage?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, David!

      We’re both up early today! 🙂

      You ask if I could do a post on how to reduce data usage. Well, that would be a very short post because I don’t have many suggestions. The best way I know to cut data use — “GET OFF THE DADBURN INTERNET, RVSUE!” 🙂

      Seriously, one thing you can do is download a free adblocker like Adblocker Plus. That will cut down on ads being loaded. I also avoid sites that start a video automatically. And I stay away from YouTube which is addictive and eats up data like they’re potato chips.

      It’s always a thrill for me to read “love your blog.” 🙂

      • Pamela K. says:

        I hate it when you click on a story to read and it is a video! Seems that happens more and more without any warning. Videos are such data-hogs!

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Agreed. Plus, I’d rather read something myself than have to listen at *their* pace. Like Sue, I have a “click to play” type plug-in (or whatever it is) that makes it so no video will start without me clicking on it. I find that handy because I will often open up two or three links in tabs but stay on the original page to finish reading it. All I need is three or four Flash ads or news videos starting to play (and suck data) when I’m not even “there” (on those tabs)! With the click to play (variations have similar names) that doesn’t happen. When I get to the tab I can choose (or more often NOT choose) to play the video. Reduction in annoyance AND data usage. Ahhhh.

          • Pamela K. says:

            I, too, have the click to play video feature but it is the Ads that play them self first that drives me nuts. Sometimes you can stop or pause them, other times you cannot even if the featured video needs clicked. I guess they want that ad revenue even if you don’t click the video to watch it. I’m like you, I really do enjoy a good read over a video.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              I don’t get the “moving” ads at all on pages I go to. I think it’s adblock plus that eliminates them. Videos I get as a still picture, which I can click on if I want them to play.

  34. Pookie in SE Texas says:

    Sue, its interesting as to how much I have learned and been introduced
    to since I began reading your blog……
    I was up early watch the History channel on TV and it was a program on
    it seems that they built a dam around 1900 to stem the flow of the
    Colorado river and it didnt hold but diverted the Colorado river
    to what now is known as Salton Sea….took them several years to
    get the river back on course….
    thank you for what you do girl…..

  35. Pookie in SE Texas says:

    I finally figured out what your hobby will be…..
    the pictures you are taking of the scenery are so
    awesome you have decided to start painting them…
    you need paint, brushes, canvas, easel…uh…what
    else will be needed? oh yes, great morning and
    evening sunrises….:)

  36. How nice to have the peace and privacy of that site with a dump station so close by! With groceries and services just over the hill, I think you’ve found a pretty sweet winter spot. Our weather in Tempe has been perfect this weekend, and although I never thought we’d stop in a city rv park, this hasn’t been too bad (and is incredibly quiet). One can never go wrong with a big white bird to close a post :-)))))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good for you, Jodee, finding a quiet park in a place with perfect weather. I know how great that is!

  37. Good Morning Sue, well you were up early! I bet Reggie was not tugging at you to go outside at that time in the morning. Nice time to get things done. Being retired you can get up and 4:00 am and then have a great nap in the afternoon. I was up with the sunrise all weekend knowing I could just take a little nap in front of the football games..ha! I went to visit my rig this weekend, put away supplies, check out the free stuff that we were given when we purchased it…and believe me it was a really good box of goodies….even water pressure regulator and tire gauge with extension for those BIG tires…also a tool kit and socket set..Long thingy to clean our big windows and the list went on..I was shocked. I took some pictures and posted on facebook, now everyone wants to go with us..ha! She is a beauty though…We were still struggling about a name, I want Stella, but I guess it did not ring a bell with Laura…then of course one did ring a bell of sorts. Eleanor! Wait for it! Eleanor Rigbee by the Beatles…get it..RIG bee…oh well…might be a keeper..I still like Stella. Anyway, have a great morning walk and a great cup of coffee…I am about to finish mine…yum! Maybe coffee tomorrow? what do you say?

    Hi all blogorinos! Hope ya’ll had good weekends. A special thoughts to those dealing with challenges like illness..keep up the good fight, we are all thinking of you.

    Just a quick note for no special reason except for thoughtfullness of blogorinos, one of my close friends was at that site in San Bernardino, lost two co-workers of hers, and worked on the same floor as the shooter…special shout out for her today as it has been difficult for her to return to work today…thanks.

  38. Larry in AR says:

    Another mundane (methane) task transformed into entertainment. You’re pretty good at that.

    Did you ever point out to a friend or family member that they had a smudge on their face and might want to wipe it off? Good. Me too. That’s what I’m doing now. There’s a typo in one of your headlines. You’re welcome.

  39. Dawn in NC says:

    I have a question for the blogorinos! For those using composting toilets and camping, where do you compost at? Thanks! Dawn

    • Chris(MN) says:

      When I dump my composting toilet periodically, it goes into a garbage bag that I dump into the trash. It is only partially composted. The company does sell an extra tank that you can switch out and keep the old tank composting longer. Since I don’t have anywhere to store the extra tank, I don’t do this. If you have property available (I don’t), you could start a composting pile there.

  40. Chris(MN) says:

    I also have a question for the blogorinos. Speaking of Sue’s mystery hobby. I saw that one person is a watercolor artist and crafter. I also am a crafter and card maker. What other hobbies are being done out there? Just curious.

    • chas anderson says:

      My wife is a big cardmaker.It works out well when we casino camp.She makes cards and I play cards (poker).We carry a plastic toter with all her card stuff when we travel.Also, she scrapbooks our trips as we go along.

    • Velda in Roseville CA says:

      I’m a stamper and card maker too! I also live to crochet and once in a while cross stitch.

  41. Ron in Tx says:

    My hobby is a little different. I build knives.

  42. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I am not yet RVing, but the hobbies I have and plan to continue are: crocheting, embroidery, quilting (but smaller projects,) adult coloring books and reading of course. I will also keep walking with “Angel.”

    • bess from eugene, oregon says:

      i just checked out “Renee Gallighar watercolor artist” online and i loved her work. i am a painter too and i have found it is easy to have a tote devoted to my art supplies while camping. you just have to be ready to talk to people who stop by to “chat” because you never know what they will say.

      for instance: “my aunt is a painter too but she is better than you.”

      “are you a artist? i wouldn’t think you could succeed painting like that.”

      “i hope that painting turns out better than it looks now.”

      “you keep trying. some day you will get good.”

      thick skin and a smile will suffice as a response. who cares what they think!

      • Ron in Tx says:

        My better half is a very talented artist, I use to crack up ,some one would walk up when she was painting and tell her they painted also ,then would start criticizing her work ,here normal reaction was to hand them the brush and say (here show me)
        that usually stopped that.
        Around my house you better not stand still or you will get painted.

        • Pamela K. says:

          That would be a Kodak moment for sure!
          The LOOK on the critic’s face would have been Priceless 🙂

    • Laurie in NC says:

      I love to scrapbook, stamp, and Zentangle and I found Art Journaling a few months ago! I can use all my paper crafting materials in the journal! I put together a travel art kit and now when I go camping, I can sit in the middle of the woods and create whatever I feel like in my journal. It is very relaxing and more so when you combine that with camping!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        That’s the key — Find something that is engaging and fun/relaxing for you and that you can bring with you when camping. I’m glad you enjoy your hobby, Laurie.

  43. nancy s says:

    Hi sue,
    Been away from reading your blog for a few days, still recuperating from surgery. The egret pictures were so pretty. Occasionally we get smaller ones on the river at our home base in central western indiana, which always amazes me. My take on the gray water dumping is this . We have plenty of holding tanks in our 5th wheel, but have friends that pull a travel trailer that evidently don’t. We were with them when their gray tank was full. They attached a hose & let it run out on the ground . They were caught , ask to leave the park & their name distributed to all state parks in Indiana & banned for 2 years from camping. Don’t know if all states are that strict but it made an impression on us. And really, would anyone want to camp where dirty dish & bathwater was dumped?
    Looking forward to your future posts. Nancy s

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Hi Nancy,

      I’ve been thinking about you and wondering how you were doing. Glad to see you here! Hopefully stone is zapped and you are on the mend.

      Like you say about the grey water… “Who would want to camp….”

      Anyone with a nose who has dumped greywater probably knows that by the time it’s been in the tank for some days, it’s pretty darned gross. Fats, food bits, milk, soap scum, and what-have-you…all fermenting at room temperature or higher…. I mean even if you don’t “put” food down the drain, there is a certain amount of matter that flows off of dishes, etc. Anyway… ewww. Indiana’s response certainly sounds like it would get one’s attention.

      I hope your “mend” keeps on keeping on!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, nancy s,

      I hope you are doing much better now. You write a strong reminder to everyone why dumping grey water can get you into a load of trouble. Thank you!

  44. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, pat . . . It’s nice to know you read my blog every now and then. You’re right. Yuma is a good place to have maintenance done. We’re not there yet. 🙂

    Was there any particular maintenance you had in mind?

    Oh, BTW, my go-to places in Yuma are Starlight Solar and Sun Bum RV Service. I’ve never had oil changes or brake checks done in Yuma, always somewhere else during the year while traveling.

    • pat says:

      I think your rv is 4 or 5 years old now. Around that age I would … check all sealants, especially around windows and make sure vents are clean, so water can drain. A/C gasket needs a little tug on the bolts or gasket replaced if more than 1/2 way compressed. Frig/freezer probably needs cleaning out of debris in boiler plate and chimney . Good inspection of frig hinges. Suspension needs good inspection, including your hitch on tow vehicle. Your bearings are probably alright as I did see your posting of getting them done. Make sure all hose clamps are tight, and new aerators if getting clogged. Little shot of lock lube in key way slots, etc, etc.
      Little things that can prevent headaches later. RV’s bounce around and stuff wiggles loose after period of time. Just thought I would bring maintenance up. It’s easy to put off or forget.

  45. I don’t post often, but I have to add that power mirrors are an absolute necessity! And the more adjustable, the better!

    I am constantly adjusting my mirrors while I am driving. I have a 32′ Class C motorhome with a lot of real estate behind my rear tires. That means that I have something called “tail swing.” That means if I have to turn left, my “tail” can swing out into traffic a couple of feet. So if there is a car next to me on my right, I have to pull slightly forward at a gentle angle and not make the sharp turn until I am well away from the vehicle. So, when I turn left, I always look out my right mirror, which sounds strange!

    Also, I keep the mirror selection lever pointed towards my right mirror so that if I have to make a sharp right turn, I can quickly point the mirror down to look at the curb so I don’t hit it with my rear tires. (My son blew a tire on his trailer hitting a curb in a parking lot.) I also adjust my right mirror downward when I am on a narrow road and want to see how far my wide vehicle is tracking on the white line.

    I also adjust my mirrors going into and out of a gas station to make sure I am clearing those red steel poles they put to protect the gas pumps! They are short and you can’t see them unless you adjust your mirrors.

    Obviously, they are handy when backing into a camping spot. I can drop either mirror really down and inward so I can see if my rear tires are correctly going up on the leveling blocks I use. I have gotten so good at it, I can leave the wooden boards down and pull right back onto them, just using my mirrors.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Judy — Another Full-Timer,

      Great comment, full of important information for folks with a long rig. Your description of tail swing and how you avoid scrapes is excellent. With a little practice driving backwards using mirrors alone becomes “second nature” — It’s actually a fun challenge to execute a “clean” back-up, placing your rig right where you want it. Yes, mirrors are important!

      Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. 🙂

      • Cheryl O. (WA state) says:

        Speaking of mirrors. I want mirror extensions for my truck mirrors and haven’t found any I like. I did put one on once and it vibrated too much, couldn’t make out anything while driving.

        Does anybody have any recommendations?

        Thanks, Cheryl

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          What kind of truck do you have? Reason I ask is, I’m most familiar with Ford, and Ford makes towing mirrors that are really nice. They are just the “regular mirror,” but they are on telescoping arms, so you can put them out and have nice, wide “wings” when towing, then telescope them back in to normal width when not towing. Solid as a rock, of course, as they are Ford stock mirrors. You can find them on eBay (but watch for real Ford not imitations), or of course just buy them. Make sure to “match” heated or power features if you have them on your original mirrors and want to keep them on the new ones. They are easy to remove/replace (basically three nuts).

          If you have another brand TV than Ford, I wouldn’t be surprised if there is something similar available, but I know (and love) the Ford ones.

          RV’s often have aftermarket mirrors (such as Velvac) because the body is wide all the time (they don’t telescope), but above I’m speaking of Ford “factory” mirrors on a pickup truck or regular van.

          Maybe someone knows of some miracle strap-on mirrors, but I have never found anything to come close to the telescoping factory mirrors.

          Trying to drive or tow something wider with the regular mirrors is just not great. I did it for part of a trip with my camper van. Ugh. You have quite a blind spot behind the tow (until the mirrors “kick in”). A friend recently found out he had too narrow mirrors on his RV. I was following him and was a LONG way back and he still couldn’t see me (and I couldn’t see his mirrors). Come to find out he had mirrors meant for a 96″ body on a rig with a wider body. Got the mirrors for a 102″ body and all is well now.

          • Cheryl O. (WA state) says:

            I have a 2001 Toyota Tundra pickup. I’ve been driving without an extension mirror with no complications, but I’m sure I should have one to be on the safer side.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              Okay, I don’t know if there are any “stock” extendable towing mirrors available for the Tundra. If your trailer is wider than the vehicle, then I think longer mirrors are in order (because they don’t work the same if you have to tilt them forward to see past the vehicle – what happens is that a longer-than-necessary blind spot develops behind you. When the mirrors are wide enough, they can be tilted “in” and still work, and you can then see better behind you (behind your trailer).

  46. Good Morning Sue, how is your coffee this morning? We are having Arizona sunrises here in So Cal this morning, beautiful orange and pink skies, just waiting for you to take a picture. You have a beautiful campsite and the thought of leaving must be weighing on you about now…so much land, so little time… Enjoy your day and this great weather we are having. I will be lurking around and will be here for coffee with you in the morning! Let’s have another cup, and then walk the dogs!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Shirlene!

      The crew has been walked, two cups of coffee enjoyed… I hope yours was as good as mine. Sometimes I get it just right!

      Southern California sunrises… ahh! This morning I opened up the door and straight ahead the sun was just peeking above the mountains on the horizon. The timing struck me… “Well, good morning to you, too, Sun!”

      About moving… My only concern is that the shipment of my hobby supplies will tie us to this area. Tracking info is not looking good. Of course, that could be resolved from one minute to the next.

      Right now there is a tremendous noise, like one hears for a moment when a jet goes overhead, only this noise has been constant for about 15-20 minutes, coming from the west. I can’t figure out what it is. It’s like a rocket exhaust that doesn’t quit. Really weird. Probably coming from the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center.

  47. Dasher - Tampa Bay says:

    So many helpful comments for us newbies. I want to thank Judy Another Full Timer for a suggestion made on her Blog – a rubber mallet for those of us who have little hand /wrist strength.

    But I now I will share how the RV Guardian Angels were watching out for me and The Dash yesterday. I went to hitch up, drive around to charge up and practice backing and to install the Solar Trickle charger for my battery. After hooking everything up I decided to start over as the hitch just did not look totally seated over the ball. This happened the first time I did it with a friend’s husband watching. We both questioned it but since the lock lever went down ok we went with it.

    I pulled forward about 20yards and made a big turn to position it under trees in the shade so we could put air in the tires using his car and small compressor. Lesson 1 – remember height of trailer is more than truck I’m pulling with. Realized could not pull forward because of low limbs so first back up practice. Horrible groaning, metal sounds. Not good. Raised lock lever, rolled slightly forward and back, trailer dropped on ball where it should have been. Yikes !!

    So yesterday thought I would not take chance. Raised hitch, resting it on several pieces of 1×6 that previous owner and I had been using, pulled truck up about a foot then backed. As I opened door to employ the G.O.A.L. method (get out and look) big groan and bang as trailer came down! It slipped off boards and thankfully trailer tongue landed between large ball and smaller ball used to connect sway bar, leaving jack still clear of ground. I was able to slip boards under jack as I raised trailer again and successfully hooked to truck. Then when I walked around to hook up sway bar I saw what caused the mishap.

    I had removed the chocks in front of the trailer wheels and trailer had rolled forward off the leveling blocks. (I only had them on the curb side so rain would run off roof away from the side with refrigerator vents. I had read this had caused leaks under fridge and next to door and may be reason for evidence of slight swelling of wood trim inside door.)

    Lesson learned. Chock wheels ANYTIME trailer is not hitched to truck Don’t be so stingy and use more leveling blocks to allow room for trailer to roll forward during hitching but not roll off until task is complete. They are the yellow interlocking ones and I have about 10 and used only 4 so lots left to extend rolling room. Whew ! Said my thanks to those watching over me.

    Oh and in my recent RVSue Amazon purchase was also a Jack Stand like Sue uses so no more tottering stacks of wood pieces. Breathe.

    Unfortunately the Solar charger may not be the fix for my dead battery problem. I also ordered a Battery Monitor and even after towing for an hour it only gave me a yellow light, 12.11. The next day, mostly cloudy, checked it, red light, 11.9. Boo, Hiss. Today lots of sun. Fingers crossed it is better.

    • bess from eugene, oregon says:

      i had a similar problem with my deep cycle 6 battery and the problem was a ground wire had been installed wrong. this took several trips to the mechanic and was very frustrating.

      your trickle charger won’t completely recharge within a few hours. it is a charger that maintains the charge. so something in your trailer is pulling energy.

      you need to have your mechanic check out the entire circuit from battery throughout the rest of the circuit. i don’t know much about all that entails.

      did you get a relay switch installed so your battery in the car doesn’t run down too? i wish you well and keep your spirits up. there is a solution.

      • Dasher - Tampa Bay says:

        Hi Bess. I had the battery checked out by RV repair shop along with other stuff, telling them I would eventually want to replace it with AGM type. they said was good but that they replaced the connectors. So I assume all hooked up corrrectly.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:


      It sounds as though the coupler “hooks” may not be adjusted correctly. Maybe it’s not that, but it sounds like it could be. If you look up into the coupler (the part of the trailer that drops down onto the tow ball) you will see a set of “fork looking” things. If you work the latch up and down (not on the hitch ball now, just the trailer alone) you will see that that moves the forks. If you look up into the center of the “underneath” of the coupler you will see some sort of nut. This adjusts the forks. You want the forks to be tight when they are on the ball and the lever is engaged, but you also don’t want the forks to try to “engage” ABOVE the equator of the ball. When this happens the lever does lock, but the forks are not below the “equator” of the ball and can thus slip off.

      If you get down and watch the forks while you are moving the lever (this time with the coupler on the ball) you can see what I mean. I have one coupler that – even when it’s adjusted properly – likes to have the forks engage “above the equator” (which really isn’t engaging at all, just acts like it is). I have to be REALLY precise on that one with the ball/coupler alignment. If that was a trailer I towed often (it isn’t – more of a temporary thing), I would have a new coupler put on, as it just is fussy. On my more usual trailer, once adjusted properly, it’s all good.

      Once you have things adjusted properly (which they may already be, but good to check), you can watch the forks when you are engaging the lever – at least until you are confident they are doing the right thing. If the trailer is light enough, you can “lift up” on the coupler AFTER you have the latch engaged to see if it can come off or not. If trailer is too heavy for that (my regular trailer is, at ~350# tongue weight), then you can just watch the forks as you engage the latch. If you have an out-of-adjustment, or just persnickety coupler, you may need to do that regularly. But also know that couplers can be changed by any trailer shop. If you prefer, there is a type of coupler called “Bulldog” (because the jaws look sort of like a bulldog maybe?), that closes in a different way which is completely obvious even from above, so no bending down to look at forks. It works with any trailer ball just like the “fork” kind, but more visible. I only mention this if for some reason your coupler turns out to be too persnickety (as mentioned above, I have one like that, but it’s the only one I’ve ever had that didn’t adjust to work more easily).

      One note on towing/charging. I gather that is what you are trying to do? Charge trailer house battery with alternator while towing? That’s going to be a tall order if you are doing it through one of the trailer hitch wires. Typically that “power” wire is meant to power things that are in use while you are towing, not to charge batteries. It’s really to thin to carry enough power to do much actual charging, so you would have to drive for days and days. Maybe something else is wrong too, but I just wanted to mention it and am somewhat guessing as to your setup.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Excellent info, Pen.

        Re a persnickety coupler. Mine can be that way. Often I do this: Once the coupler is on the hitch ball but the lever won’t come down, I remove the front chocks (leave the rear chocks), put the PTV in drive, remove my foot from the brake so that the PTV gives a tug forward. This seats the coupler firmly on the ball and the lever will come down and lock. Also a lubricant on the hitch ball helps, like 3-in-1 oil.

        Re: charging house battery while towing. Yes, trailer hitch wires aren’t enough. The reason the PTV/starter battery/storage batteries charge the BLT’s house battery is the heavier gauge power cord installed between the two for that purpose.

      • Dasher - Tampa Bay says:

        Thanks for your explanation. I’ve pulled a horse trailer so I do understand how coupler is supposd to work but you may be right about replacing it so I can be more confident that it will work every time. As for needing to drive for “days and days” I guessed that after I saw how little a charge I got after one hour. Sigh. Time to ask another favor of my best friend whose pasture was where I first parked it before securing a storage space. I guess I need to take her up on the offer to spend a night in her drive plugged in to her house. I have the adaptor.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dasher,

      Thank you for taking the time to explain what happened with your trailer! I’m relieved it all turned out okay. Your comment is very instructional and important.

      Re: Amazon purchases — Thank you very much!

      Re: Rubber mallet… Ahem… Not to take away from Judy . . . HowEVer. . .

      “Women often ask me if hitching and unhitching a trailer is difficult. No, it isn’t. I’ve found that the chores normally done by men are not harder than the chores done by women. Typically “male chores” only seem difficult to women because they sometimes require strength. I don’t have much strength in my hands. Rather than give up, I compensate by using leverage and tools.

      When hitching or unhitching, I’ve found that the only thing that requires strength is putting the cotter pins through the holes in the stabilizer bar and then pulling them out when I want to remove the bar. I use a rubber mallet to tap the pins in or out… voila! Problem solved!” — RVSue and her canine crew — October 2012 hee-hee… 🙂

      Here are links that readers may find helpful…

      Tri-Lynx 00015 Lynx Levelers, (Pack of 10)

      Tri-Lynx 00018 Wheel Stop/Chock, (Pack of 2)

      Camco 44573 Yellow Tri-Leveler

      Camco 44505 Leveling Blocks – 10 pack

      Valterra A10-0900 Red Trailer Tongue Jack Stand

      Amazon sells several different brands of rubber mallet. Here is one:

      Stanley 51-104 16 Ounce Rubber Mallet

      RE: The problem with your battery going dead. I don’t remember if this was your starter battery going dead or what. You do have a relay, I assume. I’ll be surprised if more sun is the solution, but it will be nice if it is!

      It looks like the blogorinos are coming forth with good suggestions for you!

      • Dasher - Tampa Bay says:

        Oh nooo ! So Sorry Sue. You are correct (of course) re: your Blog being the source of the rubber mallet idea. I guess it was Judy another full timer who suggested getting some kind of pliers/wrench. Good place for me to inject this ditty ” The biggest lie I tell myself is, No need to write that down, I’ll remember”.
        The battery I am dealing with is in the Casita. Good thing I changed out the electric jack !

  48. Cheryl O. (WA state) says:

    Here in the Puget Sound area, I see an array of clouds ranging from dark gray, light gray and some off white. The rain and wind make it even more gloomy. lol

    I was looking at your trailer key lock and can’t quite make it out. Do you know what it’s called? I’ve seen a variety on Amazon and can’t decide which is best. I’m willing to pay for a good one that prevents theft.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl O.,

      Here is the trailer hitch lock that I have. It came with the BLT from the factory.

      Reese Towpower 7006600 Trailer Hitch Coupler Lock

      I think it’s about the cheapest hitch lock available. I don’t recommend it if your trailer will be parked in or near high-crime areas or at risk of being stolen in any way. Obviously I’ve done okay with it, but then I don’t camp in iffy places. It’s quite possible/probable that no thief has ever looked at it.

      There are better, more expensive locks as you no doubt have seen. They would take longer to saw through than mine.

      I want to wish you clear, blue skies but I vowed I’d never wish anything against rain. 🙂 Okay… I’ll do this… I wish the Puget Sound rain would fall where it is most needed!

      • Cheryl O. (WA state) says:

        I’ll check that one out and look at other ones. You’ll see what I purchased on Amazon. 🙂

        We actually had a drought last summer, very unusual around here. First time in my life I’ve seen brown grass on everybody’s lawn. Of course, it’s all green now. I second your wish.

        • rvsueandcrew says:


        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          To my mind a hitch lock is basically just to keep honest people honest (as they say). That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t have one (I do), but I don’t know that there is one that is going to keep anyone determined from taking your trailer. After all, if they want to they can just come in with a tow truck and winch it up onto the deck (“Oh, she called with an axle problem and we’re towing it in for her”).

          That said, I’m sure that kind of thing is very rare. I’m actually saying this to say the reverse: that an “average” hitch lock is all you are likely to need, ’cause above-average thieves would be very hard to thwart. Luckily above average thieves seem to concentrate on more lucrative items.

    • Cheryl O. (WA state) says:

      According to my Amazon garage, that mirror doesn’t fit the 2001 Tundra. I believe that’s what I had and returned due to it not fitting. I saw a mirror at Walmart that I think would fit. I could get it and return it, if it doesn’t.

      Thanks for checking it out for me. Appreciate it.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Maybe go to a Toyota website first and get the stock number. Save yourself some running back and forth.

  49. Az Jim says:

    Trailer towers! One thing to remember make sure to grease the ball on your rigs hitch assembly. It makes a difference not only when towing but also when hitching up (those metal parts go together much easier). Yeah it’s messy if you walk close enough to hit the ball but you should be out and about not hanging around the hitch… Another quick tip, those plastic threads on your water intake and also you tanks love a little Vaseline on them, just a little…. I am sure most of you are way ahead of me but I just wanted to share with those who might be new to towing.

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      Good point, Jim. After ruining about twenty seven pant legs (by brushing up against the grease), I finally bought a $2 rubber cap that goes on the ball when not hitched up. No more “grease leg.”

      I use a little container of Reese white grease. I’m sure there are other examples (and not that one has to use a proprietary grease – this may simply be white lithium grease – but the container size is handy to store near the hitch so I use it). You can find it by going to Amazon from Sue’s link and searching “Reese Towpower 58117 Hitch Ball Lube”

      The little cover is similar to “CURT 21801 Black Ball Cover Fits 1 7/8″ and 2″ Ball Packaged” These are a bit expensive on Prime, but then they are very inexpensive items and they do have to ship them. And still only $5 or so.

  50. rvsueandcrew says:

    Blogorino Alert: Save your comments for the next post! It will appear in a few moments. 🙂

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