Sunrise, sunset, and, please God, make the engine start

Wednesday, November 20

I did a boo-boo.  I thought I’d be able to keep it a secret, but it looks like I have to fess up.

1-DSC01515 - CopyIt starts with the 12-volt system in the Best Little Trailer not working.  No power comes out of either of the outlets.  The tiny, green indicator light for the antenna doesn’t come on.  Ditto on the tv.   It may be a burnt fuse.

Well, since I’m in one of my depressive episodes at the time that I discover this, I don’t attempt to fix the problem.  All I need to send me over the edge is a dadburn fuse replacement fiasco.  Anyway . . .

1-DSC01517-001 - CopyIn order to charge my laptop, phone, camera, and air card, I use my two small inverters, plugging them into the two cigarette outlets in the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

Okay, no big deal, right?

Well, I don’t go anywhere for a couple of days, simultaneous with clouds hanging over our campsite like a big ol’ tarp.  Because the sun is covered in clouds, I don’t see much point in tilting the solar panel.

You know where this is leading . . .

1-DSC01530The crew and I wake up,  and we’re happy, happy, happy.  We take a walk, eat breakfast, loll around, and then . . .  “Let’s take a little ride into Quartzsite.”

I turn the ignition key.  Click-click-click.  I turn it again.  Click-click.  Son of a . . . !  Dead battery!

I do what I usually do when presented with A Problem Involving A Motor Vehicle.  I walk over to my camp chair, sit down in it, and wait for a miracle.

1-DSC01516 - CopyA few minutes later, a red Volkswagen drives up the lane and stops.  A man gets out, along with a big, bouncy, black and tan dog.

“Hello, Sue!” the man calls.  Hmm . . . must be a reader of the blog.

It’s Lefty (aka Norman in the comments section) and his dog, Betty, both from New Jersey.  They’re camped in Quartzsite in their Class A.

Of course, Bridget and Spike go into a barking frenzy. 

Sweet Betty tries her darnedest to be friendly, offering invitations to play.  Bridget bares her teeth and snarls.  Spike hops around, growling and barking, with his fur up.  Betty looks at Bridget and Spike, bewildered.

1-DSC01531No matter what playful gestures Betty makes, the crew is convinced she’s a threat.  Disappointed, Betty gives up, walks over to the “yard” in front of the BLT, and deposits a huge poop (sorry, no photo).  Touche, Betty!

Lefty and I enjoy the usual conversation that RVers engage in.  I tell Lefty about the PTV’s dead battery and he offers to return to his RV to get his jumper cables.

He comes back in a few minutes and hooks up the cables.

The PTV still won’t start.  Lefty crawls under the engine and taps the starter.  Still doesn’t start.

“Ya’ know, Lefty?  I think the battery is so low on charge that it needs a slow charge for a few hours at least.”

Lefty and I round up a wandering Betty.  We say our goodbyes.  “Thanks for trying, Lefty!”

I’ve learned my lesson.

The solar panel is tilted at a 45 degree angle (photos were taken previously).  I only charge things when the engine is running.

The sun comes out and shines on the panel all afternoon (my miracle!).  By four o’clock, the PTV starts!

1-DSC01513 - CopyI’m waiting for two replacement connectors to arrive in Quartzsite from Amazon.  Yes, the connector that was put on while in Lone Pine, California, slipped and hit the pavement.  I think this is the third time that’s happened.

1-DSC01514 - CopyI’ll replace that connector and then deal with the 12-volt outlet problem.  If I can’t fix it (a likely event), I’ll take the BLT down Dome Rock Road to RV Lifestyles and ask them to figure it out.  I refuse to worry about it.

One thing you gotta’ give Arizona, the sunrises and sunsets are spectacular.

With the short days and long nights of winter, the crew and I have been going to sleep earlier than usual.  That means I wake up well before daybreak.  I wait for the glow that creeps through the window over our bed.  It’s my cue to pull on my Bear Paws, grab my camera, and run outside.

1-DSC01525Isn’t an Arizona sunrise a wonderful way to start the day?  Follow it up with a cup of fresh-perked coffee and life is good, very good.

1-DSC01534And isn’t an Arizona sunset a great way for a day to come to a close?

1-DSC01522The crew and I sit outside to watch the clouds turn shades of pink, coral, and orange against a blue sky.


The colors disappear and the night chill arrives.

“Time to go in, guys.”

Thank God, the PTV starts!


NOTE:  I want to share an excerpt from the 11/20/13 post of “Travel with Jean and Skip” that gave me a chuckle.

“We knew that RV Sue was staying up the road from us, but we didn’t see her. A funny thing happened a day or two before we left Dome Rock Road. I was walking along the road with Sophie and Louie, when a red pickup passed us, stopped,  backed up a few feet, the man driving  yelled out the window, RV Sue? I said nope, he says  are you sure?, and looked at the dogs …Sue has two Rat Terriers that are white in color and way bigger than our Boston Terriers. I said I’m sure and kept walking he looked puzzled and started to say something else but we just kept walking and he finally drove off.”

The crew and I met Jean and Skip and their canine crew at Borrego Springs last winter.  They’re presently camped on Ogilby Road near Yuma. Click the link above to see their blog!


Earthing Starter Kit
Victor Electronic Rat Trap
Weber Liquid Propane Gas Grill
PowerShred 17 Sheet Cross-Cut Shredder
Pentax K-Mount DA 18-270mm f3.5-6.3 ED SDM Interchangeable Lens
AeroGarden Classic 7-Pod with Gourmet Herb Seed Kit


On Memorial Day of this year, 2013, the crew and I watch a modern cattle drive on our way to a reservoir where Spike takes a soak.

“Green fields, small towns, and a cattle drive on the way to Mill Meadow Reservoir, UT”


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121 Responses to Sunrise, sunset, and, please God, make the engine start

  1. DeAnne in TN says:


  2. SueMagoo says:

    Am I first today?
    Beautiful sunset photos, happy the PTV was able to start for you. Stay safe, and hi to the crew.

  3. DeAnne in TN says:

    Waa hoo–I sure was! Beautiful pics as always. Revisited retirement plans in 2021 and it is going to happen! Can’t wait—now to save, save, save!

  4. EmilyO of NM says:

    I just love the lessons we learn and how they turn out – thanks to some help from above. Sunset/rise pics are beautiful – I send them to you so you can take the beautiful pictures for all of us to enjoy. We are looking at 2/3 inches of snow possibly this weekend here in So NM. Don’t know if this cold front is headed your way, the cold front is running into the storms that have come from your direction. Stay warm.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Emily,

      I still have trouble reconciling New Mexico and snow. . . even after camping in it! You’ll stay warm in your “new” house.

      Storm clouds are gathering over Quartzsite. Looks like rain to the east of us and maybe some to the west also. The ranger came around today making sure folks weren’t camped in or near washes and could get out.

      • EmilyO of NM says:

        Nice to know they are watching out for folks, as am sure there are some who are still learning about the desert.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I imagine there are rangers who like helping people rather than spending each day being enforcement officers.

    • Elizabeth aka E2/etwo S.E' NM says:

      Hi EmilyO of NM…
      Are you anywhere near the area between Carlsbad & Artesia? If so, maybe we
      could enjoy a meet up? Looks like most of our state could be snow-covered
      sometime before Monday! Over here @ the Escapees Co-Op the weather
      guessers show our area’s daytime high’s in the low 30’s for the coming week!

      Most likely I will stay home except for our every afternoon Happy Hour where
      I play music on my Awesome Technics KN7000 Arranger Keyboard…. How I
      would love to enjoy a jam session with other players! No matter what instrument
      you might play, jam sessions are just about the most fun!

      My long-haired orange with a little white Clyde Cat will greet all women who come
      into our rig. He only greets guys with keyboards, guitars, and any other musical instruments. Other men, he hides from till they leave!
      Can you let me know where you are Emily?….

      Sue…. Your AZ sunrise and sunsets are terrific! I can’t tell you how much I would
      rather have my home base just about anywhere in AZ where I came into the life
      experience in Phoenix, and enjoyed my first 10 years…. a long, long time ago!
      Your great pics make me a bit homesick! I too have spent many of my traveling
      winters at the big Q, out by Dome Rock and various other far out places in the
      area…. Down in Yuma is another great place for winter…. There was
      a great group of Technics KB players who came together to play music once
      weekly out in the Foothills area of Yuma…. I am missing that great jam for
      Elizabeth aka E2

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi Elizabeth,

        So I’m camping in your tire tracks! I wish I could play an instrument and jam with you. It sounds like a lot of fun, especially with your energy and enthusiasm.

        I always enjoy hearing from you, E2! Enjoy the snow!

  5. Cinandjules (temp in CA) says:

    Hmm maybe if I’m not long steamed I’ll be first! Ah no worries first, somewhere in the middle or last…… doesn’t matter.

    Yikes! At least it started! Oh no….Sue’s going to play contortionists again….upside down with the fuse tweezers! This ought to be fun…..I’ll pull up a chair…..hold it! I’ve got to pop some popcorn! 🙂

    It just might be worth it to let someone else tackle the job! No sense in fouling up a great mood!

    Glad you had a good visit with Larry and Betty. Folks living your lifestyle look after one another! Had to laugh at Al’s drive by!

    I wonder if you ever got in a pickle….if a red bandana hanging off the Wilson antenna would catch someone’s attention?


  6. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    Dog dynamics is fascinating. Spike and Bridget usually seem to get along with other dogs… or come to a compromise rather quickly… at least from your descriptions. Since Mugsy was my mother’s dog, she had only been around little old ladies until I got her… and dragged her down south in an RV… to a park full of other dogs. First year she was afraid of all of them. Last year she had picked out which she liked or was comfortable with. This year, she has all this confidence and now wants to pick fights with the other small dogs. Unless, they bravely take a step towards her… whereupon she runs behind my legs. She is a bit more respectful of the big dogs. I can’t predict which dogs she will accept and which she won’t, so I have to have her on the leash all the time. But since she grew up without a yard, she has no idea what she is missing. Ever entertaining creatures…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Connie,

      That’s funny, how Mugsy went from timid to confident.

      Yes, usually the crew gets along well with other canines. I think Betty was too much for Bridget and Spike… too big, too playful. The crew doesn’t really understand the concept of play.

      • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

        Neither does Mugsy. She had never played with another dog since she left her litter. Then last summer I went to visit a friend with a good sized Yorkie male. He is used to other dogs. But suddenly she was the one with her butt in the air challenging him to a chase… and off they went. She won’t play with a big dog as yet. My cousins big dog is just dying to play with her and she wants to play with cat… which ignores her. Since I don’t know what she will do, I don’t dare let her go loose in the park dog pens with strange dogs. Last week she snapped at my neighbor’s Llasa… an elderly blind little thing. Definitely has “bully” tendencies. LOL

  7. Gayle says:

    EDIT! EDIT! (How soon we forget!)

    “It’s my cue to [vigorously shake out, inspect, and] pull on my Bear Paws,…”

  8. Mick'nTN says:

    No,No, It is more important to tilt the panel if you have cloud cover. The solar panel gets more charge from infrared (heat) rays from the sun than they do from visible (light) rays and the infrared rays penetrate the clouds better than the light rays do. You can get a sunburn on cloudy days if you don’t cover up and this is due to infrared rays.

    It is great that the solar panel saved the day. What is that worth? LOL

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mick,

      I should think you’d get weary of trying to educate me about my solar panel, batteries, inverters, etc.! Will I ever know what I’m doing? Thanks for the info. I’ll be a good boondocker from now on and keep that panel tilted!

    • Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

      Mr Mick… you are priceless!! Now that you say it, it is obvious. But, I would have never thought of it. What would Sue do without you?

  9. Dedra says:

    Hi Sue,
    I’ve noticed that other blogs show Puritan’s Pride Vitamins ads.
    Are you able to show them and make money? I order a lot from them.
    Would like to give back to you for your great blog. My favorite!
    Tell the crew Hi and love them.

  10. Marcia GB in MA says:

    Nothing beats a good miracle (was there ever a bad one?). Except maybe those gorgeous sunrises and sunsets. Enjoy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Marcia,

      I prefer to ignore the science behind gorgeous sunrises and sunsets and just call them miracles. The Arizona sky makes up for the taxes.

  11. Rita from Phoenix says:

    I guess that’s what they mean by clear as a picture…your photos are fantastic…I can almost see every blade on the grass. The desert is beautiful! Actually, Spike looks like he’s ready to play with both front paws spread out and ready to jump this way or that way. It’s chilly tonight…had to shut my window by the computer…cold air coming through. I’m also curious about the 12 volt. Wow, you’re becoming popular RVer with everyone wanting to meet you. Happy camping to you and crew.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita,

      Thanks for the compliment on the photos. It good to know they’re looked at and enjoyed.

      It’s around noon on Friday and the low and high temperatures haven’t dropped much here in Quartzsite. It’s raining on and off.

      I had to post that excerpt about a reader looking for me. I’m still surprised anyone would go out of their way to meet me!

  12. Diane, Blue Ridge Mts. VA says:

    HA!…”I sit down and wait for a miracle” Thank God he got your PTV going with solar .
    Man, that must really be a powerful panel, I am impressed. Loved the way you handled this delima. One of the best things in life is enjoying the sunrise, sunsets. Enjoyed yours Sue. By the way the pic of the cross had perfect lighting, Really nice shot!
    Take Care

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Diane,

      Maybe I shouldn’t have cropped that photo of the cross. The uncropped version is dramatic in its own way. It was taken late in the afternoon when the sun was very low in the sky. The surrounding area was quite dark, yet the cross caught the light and glowed. Quite a sight in the desert .. .

  13. Ladybug says:

    I know how you feel about vehicles, Sue. Right now I’m in a rental car while waiting for my regular chariot to come out of the body shop-hit a deer on Monday night. No, Bambi didn’t make it; well actually, it was an 8-point buck. Anyway….I’ve always thought we need to go back to horses. That way the horse can have a replacement horse before it kicks the bucket! I hate vehicle trouble.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, how crummy, Ladybug. I’ve never had the awful experience of hitting a deer. Sorry it happened.. for you and the for the buck. I assume you weren’t hurt. I hope you’re back in your own vehicle by now.

  14. Elizabeth says:

    SO impressive that solar started it!! Hope you figure out how to help the poor thing so this won’t happen in the future!! You are brave!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth,

      I know what I did wrong… I charged and charged and charged my electronics, including my laptop, for several cloudy days without running the PTV or tilting the solar panel. Over-confidence = downfall.

      It’s not bravery. It’s an attitude. I figure whatever comes my way, I’ll find a way to deal with it. There’s always a way.

  15. Dave Reed says:

    Maybe I missed something but what exactly caused the vehicle battery to loose charge? I assume you have 2 batteries. And have you thought about tying up that cable so even if disconnects it doesn’t drag on the ground?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dave,

      You must think I’m a total dingbat. OF COURSE I’d tie the cable if it could be tied. It’s difficult to explain here, but the connector plugs in at a point below the bumper where there is nothing to tie anything to. The PTV half of the connector is tight up against the surface. You can’t connect a wire from that half of the connector in order to tie it to the other half.

      If I can’t have a bail installed on it, I’ll put an eye screw in the bumper and wire it that way. That is the least effective choice because the plug can still come undone, although the chances of it dragging would be reduced. My goal is a connector that stays connected en route and therefore doesn’t drag on the pavement.

      In case you don’t believe me, several MEN have looked at it and couldn’t think of a way to tie it.

      I’ve tried wrapping a short bungee cord around the cord with the ends hooked on to the hitch latch. Bungee comes loose on bumpy, rocky roads. I’ve tried taping it with duct tape which works temporarily but that’s lame… gummy glue, tape doesn’t stick, gotta replace it every time, etc.

      Re: battery going dead. Heavy cloud cover plus repeated draw = low charge on battery. Plus the mystery of my 12 volt system which I haven’t resolved yet.

      • Sue, take a look at these coiled cables. They say: “You can replace your flimsy old wires that hang down and drag between your vehicle and trailer, with a high-quality coiled cord that is reliable.” I saw a discussion about this on an RV forum and they love the coiled cables. Go here for ideas:

        Hope this helps. At least, I hope this is the cable that is giving you problems…

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Rosemary,

          That’s an interesting site for people who tow. In my situation though, the cable is heavy duty gauge (I forget the number) and is about four feet long from BLT to PTV.

          That site reminded me of the breakaway cable that I replaced with a coiled model. Casitas come with a metal cable that sags and eventually is worn into two pieces.

      • Ed says:


        I had a similar problem with the cord from my tow vehicle to a Teardrop. Rather than try and explain the fix I have drawn a very poor sketch that may show you what I did. IF the cord were to come loose it could not pass through the pipe/ring on top of the post and drag on the ground.

        Sketch is here: (Sketch removed)
        ignore everything else on the page it is a test page that I use.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You know, that is a possibility, Ed. I’ll have to think about that. Thanks for showing me your sketch.

          • Ed says:


            Please remove the link to the sketch. I’m going to break the link today. You are more than welcome to copy the sketch before I do that however.
            It was the only way that I could think of to get the sketch to you to explain what I did.

  16. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    You can go down the road to the RV repair store and get a plug connection that won’t come apart accidently. It is a quick and easy fix and shouldn’t cost more than what you paid for the last one. Tell the repairman the problem you have been having. I have a single handed plug disconnect that has never come apart on me. This could solve your dead battery problem too. Tell him about your dead battery, as a hot wire may be touching metal from your frayed plug.

    • AZ Jim says:

      Good call Joe. Very possible. I also spend years with a power connection between my Cherokee and trailer without a single problem

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Hi Jim,

        If you or Joe can find the correct connector online (Amazon?), I’d appreciate it. I tried a couple of connectors ago without success.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        So what is the connector you have? I have a power cord that I never have problems with… It’s the one for the trailer brakes.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe,

      I’ve tried to replace that connector. It’s a high-amp connector and everyone I’ve asked so far can’t find one to replace it.

      • AZ Jim says:

        Go to google and put in trailer/vehicle electrical connectors. When it comes up, hit images. You may find it there. If so click on go to page and you may find it’s part number and where to find it.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’ve done all that… several months ago.

          You guys make it sound so easy, yet I don’t see anyone coming up with this connector that won’t unconnect on the road.

          • AZ Jim says:

            My connector was a seven pin type. It connected and the lid of the receiving side (female) dropped down and locked it there. I also held up the cable with a short bungee cord. Never had any problem whatsoever.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I have a seven- pin connector, too, for the trailer lights and brakes. It’s great.

              This cord requires a different type connector. There aren’t seven pins. Look at the link I posted (below in reply to Joe) and you’ll see.

  17. Jean and Skip says:

    At first I was worried that it might have been a friend, then I thought a friend or a regular reader would know what you and the crew looked like. I hope your miracle has lifted your spirits.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jean and Skip,

      I’m pretty sure it was a reader of this blog. In fact, I have an idea who it might be. I hope he will surface here!

      I still can’t get over that stunning photo you have as your blog header. I hate to think where you might have been standing when you took it.

  18. Sue,
    A couple of those wide velcro straps may be a way to keep those plugs from draging the ground? I can picture it in my head and could send you a drawing and copy of the straps.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s a possible solution if there’s a way to attach the straps to the bumper.

      The problem is the kind of travel I do… over rocky, bumpy, dirt roads. I’d like to take the PTV and BLT to a shop that will raise the connector ABOVE the bumper and install some kind of bail that will clamp over the connector to hold it in place.

      It seems like whenever the connector is replaced I’m not in a place to have cable put in above the bumper or I have to go find a new camp.

      I’ll take a look at the velcro straps online.

  19. Teri in SoCal says:

    Those sunrise photos are gorgeous!

  20. AZ Jim says:

    Sue remember my warning about flash flooding. I mean not just at your immediate site but the route out as well. If it gets muddy, trouble in river city. Nice pics of our sunsets and sunrises. It is only when we have clouds but it is spectacular. I used one on my desktop. Safety first Missy….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I will admit my photos do make great desktop wallpaper. I change mine often.

      Yes, safety first… I moved to a new camp that I’m sure you will approve! 🙂

  21. Grace says:

    I check the sunrise every morning when I let my pooch out and haven’t seen anything like that! You must have a different sun than we do.
    Grace (in Tucson)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Grace,

      Same sun, different clouds… It takes clouds to make a great sunrise and sunset, as you probably know as you’re a Tucson resident.

      (I love it when readers put where they’re from. Thanks!)

  22. Timber n' Rusty says:

    whew, thought I’d be driving down the hill to give ya a jump, I’m glad ya got the van to start up, I’d be filling the rear axle up a lot to get there and back, my ol’ girl going to the shop to fix the axle seal again for the third time this month, we have a good warranty, 90 days labor, a year on the parts. they better get it right soon, it’s costing them ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Rusty

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      It’s so annoying when repair jobs drag on and on. I’m glad you have a good warranty. I know you like your truck to be in good shape.

  23. Thats a good thing that you got your PTV started, but always somebody around eventually to get you going.
    Love the beautiful sunsets and sunrise in Arizona, can’t wait to get back to Q.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, George and Suzie,

      Quartzsite is pretty quiet these days. I overheard a local say it’s quieter than usual.

  24. I hate mechanical problems of any kind! I am no good at figuring them out, I just get frustrated and mad at myself for not being able to retrain my brain to be mechanical! Chuck is good at that stuff! I am good in the kitchen. This relationship works! LOL!
    Beautiful sunrise and sunset photos! We haven’t seen a sunrise or sunset in over a week! Heavy cloud cover, no rain, just heavy clouds! I was so surprised that EmilyO is expecting snow in T or C NM! Early snow! We are 70’s days and 60 nights here in FL panhandle! Glad your solar got the PTV going again. Yeah, I think a trip to town to get your 12 volt system working correctly might be a good idea. Also like Rattlesnake Joe’s idea for the plug connection! Keep on smiling RVSue, it’s all part of the dream!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Well, be patient and you’ll get your beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Florida knows how to paint the sky, too! 🙂

      Yeah, snow in NM in November. What a surprise, right? The weather in NM is nothing if not interesting . . .

      Believe me, I’ve been wanting a different plug on that cord for over a year now. I wish I could find a different one!

      I’m looking forward to hearing how the boondocking seminar goes. When you blog about it, I’ll put a link here . . . just mention it in a comment after the seminar and that will remind me.

  25. Dexter says:

    Whew Sue! The pucker factor you must have felt when you turned that key and heard clicking instead of an engine roaring to life must have been intense! As they say, things always work out! With your strong willed, independent nature, beautiful scenery, and two awesome four legged friends, I am curious as to what you would be depressed about. All of your readers, in my opinion, would trade places with you in a heartbeat! You have my email address so next time you’re feeling low, lets talk! Thanks for the blog-love it! Dex

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dex,

      You’re right… What do I have to be depressed about? Absolutely nothing! That’s what is maddening about depression. It arrives uninvited for no good reason. . . other than maybe nutritional or chemical. It doesn’t matter how strong or independent the person . . . .

      Nice of you to offer your email for some talk therapy… Talk doesn’t help what I get. Time and solitude cures it, fortunately.

      Yeah, it’s a bummer to hear click-click-click when turning the ignition key. And oh how happy I was to hear the roar of the PTV’s engine by the end of the day!

      I’m glad you love my blog. It may seem like that’s something I say without thinking about it, but I really am glad! It means a lot to know I’m not just “spinning my wheels” when I work on a blog post.

  26. Louise says:

    Depression will do that to you. Sometimes I think I spend a third of my life cleaning up problems the depression caused! I’m so glad it want away — and the battery is charged, and the PTV starts. Good luck with the plug.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Louise. I don’t become glum when I’m depressed. My problem is lack of initiative. I’m a procrastinator anyway (I am getting better), so if I lose my equilibrium, I also lose my desire to accomplish anything. When I start doing things again, I know I’m coming out of it.

      It doesn’t matter if you live in a home that’s stuck on the ground or in a home on wheels, life’s road is going to have some bumps and gullies. Nice to hear from you!

  27. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Try Solar Bill’s in “Q” for a high amp plug. He may have to order you a plug but the wait shouldn’t be long. This will give you plenty of opportunity to shop for all the little things you need that you can’t live without tee hee hee…don’t forget the Don’t Tread On Me Flag and the super dooper trash picker upper tool with little black rubber suction cups for only $10.00 or so.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Joe,

      I’m expecting two high-amp plugs to arrive via UPS today. The same kind as before:

      SMH SY50 Series 8 AWG 50A Breakaway DC Power Connector

      I stopped at an RV parts and service place on Main Street (down the street from Discount Solar). The guy had one of those 5-inch-thick parts catalog. Together we looked up electrical connectors. The only one that would work for this application was the connector I ordered from Amazon (see link).

  28. Laurie says:

    Hi Sue, It’s Laurie from Boca Raton. I enjoyed your post today and got a few chuckles reading it. Your dogs look nothing like Jean and Skip’s but they are black and white. Rat terriers can be the most anti-social pups but they are great dogs. I had one years ago.

    I’ve been busy and not able to read your posts lately. We have rented our house out to about 8 different families, for the season on That has been quite the learning experience. At the same time doing all the things that need to get done that we never bothered with doing. We will be driving up to Utah and staying at my Mom’s house for 3-4 months.

    You are probably wondering why I am telling you this.
    Well, we will be picking up our new Casita in March on our way back to Florida. The plan is to tour around where it is warmer than Utah : ). Your input on the Casita helped us decide on the purchase. Thanks! This will be our first trailer experience. I would love to be off the grid but don’t have any expertise I will have to do the research when I have the time.

    Just thought I would share. Glad things turned out ok for you. Have a wonderful day. Sue.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Laurie!

      A new Casita . . . How exciting!

      That’s interesting that you found 8 families to rent your house. I’m not familiar with that website. Maybe by mentioning it here, you have helped a reader or readers of this blog who need help finding renters for their house.

      You have some wonderful experiences ahead of you. I love Utah and all of the Southwest. Thanks for taking the time to let us know your plans.

      As for going “off grid,” I did it without any experience or expertise, other than what I read online. You take each day and each challenge as they come. Best wishes to you both!

      • Laurie Spear says:

        Thanks Sue. I forgot to mention we will be traveling with our 2 black 47 pound dogs (Cassie and Luna). This will be the first long haul trip we will be doing with them. I hope we don’ have too much trouble finding places to stay on our way up to Utah. I am also wondering how 2 people and 2 large dogs are going to do in the Casita. We shall see one day at a time. : ).

        I am realizing your blog is a full time job for you. I read an older post and decided I was naive not to consider that some people could get nasty and become political. I suppose blogging is harder than I thought. It is interesting that you can post everyday. I had considered doing it as a way of documenting our trip and sharing with friends but I don’t think I could do it everyday. Be well.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Well, I haven’t been keeping up with posts every day lately, although I answer comments throughout almost every day.

          I’ll be curious to know how your Casita camping goes with 2 adults and 2 fairly big dogs. I’m sure it can be done!

  29. Betty says:

    And I wanted to tell you how you influenced our decision to put the same tires you did on our rig . Toyo Open Country A/T II 10-ply,all-terrain, 50,000-mile. Thank you for sharing your story with us a couple months ago. We have been Toyo people for a long time,both the car and RV but our new to us rig we have now has Michelins on them. The tread isnt bad but the walls were showing signs
    Of weather cracking and Joe being a retired Greyhound Bus Driver says none of that. So today off they came and six new Toyos put on. We are ready to hit the road the day after christmas. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Betty.

      Congratulations on your new Open Country A/T tires! It’s a good feeling having all that tread. May your six new tires carry you over many safe miles to wonderful places.

      BTW, you have a lovely blog.

  30. Pauline says:

    If I go to the desert with my 2 dogs I wonder if I might be called Sue. LOL…that was funny. Does Jean look like you? Of course I love the pictures!!! Take care…Love you much
    Pauline in Mississippi

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I would like to think that I look like Jean…:)

      Love you, too. Hope all is well with you and the family. I read your email about trying to find reasonable accommodations in Manhattan. Good luck with that!

      • Pauline says:

        Got 2 free nights at the Marriott Courtyard in Jersey City…a $2.50 train ride (20 min) from Times Square….courtesy of Ken Gottry!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That’s fantastic, Pauline! Between my readers and your alumni pals, we’ve got it pretty darn good!

  31. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Absolutely superb photography of the sunrises and sunsets………eye food for your camera!! Very jealous!!

  32. kgdan says:

    We left Q on Thurs heading to Alamo State Park for 4 days of fishing. Arrived (after 38 mi) from Wenden to find lake very low, campsite far away and rain clouds building. We also explored BLM area to the east—roads bad; not suitable for trailer (tho other rigs there). We stayed 1 night and headed east toward Phoenix. Very good lunch at El Ranchers in Wickenburg. Our short stay at Dome Rock was magical to say the least!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Such a pleasure to meet you and Gil! Too bad about Alamo Lake. It probably will have a higher water level after these rains Thanks for reporting here.

      I’ll be writing about you in my next post so stay tuned! Good travels to you both.

  33. LdB says:

    Hi again! I think you were in our RV park ( gr in ). were able to start the van and hope the 12v glitch is an easy fix. H ugs

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m not sure I know what you mean… “in our RV park..” You mean another RVSue look-alike with two rat-terrier look-alikes? Gosh, they’re all over the place!

      • LdB says:

        Oh, no … Only ONE RVSue ! Glad you got to meet Kathy and Gil – they are the greatest.

        We spend the winter at that funky park with “the shower house”. Enjoy the luxuries. LdB

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Are you here now?

          • LdB says:

            Yep, we arehere thru March. Our Scamp was just south if you, in the row of sites for “little trailers”. Sorry we missed you this time but perhaps down the road …

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I looked for you to be outside your Scamp every time I went out so I could casually “bump” into you. I guess you, too, stayed inside to keep warm . . .

            • LdB says:

              Yep, it was about staying dry and warm these past few days. Thanx for being on on the lookout …. No worries, we’ll meet in good time.
              Thanksgiving blessings, LdB

  34. Diann in MT says:

    Thanks for the beautiful photos. How appropriate for your little miracle story. I just feel that whatever trials you had to endure to reach your goals had purpose. Thanks for inspiring so many good people!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Diann.

      I held onto that cross photo for several days, waiting for a good place to insert it in a post. That’s where all the miracle talk was heading . . . 🙂

  35. kgdan says:

    Our Scamp friends are excited to see you but, like us, respect your privacy. It’s enough to get a glimpse 🙂

  36. Bethers says:

    Curious about how you got the van battery charged… Did you connect the solar panels directly to the van battery with a charge controller?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Bethers,

      The PTVs battery is always connected to my solar system. I didn’t have to do anything except tilt the panel (which I should’ve had tilted to begin with) and wait for the sun to do its job. Oh, and quit putting draw on the battery.

  37. Bethers says:

    Cool! Sounds like a nice set up. I was wondering how that worked. Thanks.

  38. Connie & Mugsy (MN/AZ) says:

    Hope you’re staying dry. Mugsy and I have been dodging raindrops all day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, I’ve done some running through the rain and, of course, Spike HAS to go outside when it’s raining.

  39. kerry kempf says:

    Sue the answer to you plug connector falling apart is a Velcro Tie Wrap. Once you plug the ends together you just wrap the Velcro around both plugs, between the wires and snug it tight. You won’t be able to pull it apart! They are obviously reusable, and available at Amazon, of all places. A buddy of mine had the seven way plug fall out of the socket while towing. The road eventually chewed the rubber locking tab off the plug, and it no longer stayed in the plug for more than a few minutes of travel. I gave him a handful of Velcro wraps that he now uses to lash it tight to the socket. Ten years later, it’s still working great. If I had any left I would gladly mail you a few. Good luck, Kerry

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kerry,

      Someone else mentioned Velcro also and I didn’t visualize it well. If I’m stuck with that same connector, the Velcro wraps might work! However, I’d have to move the PTV half of the connector above the bumper in order to be able to wrap it. That’s something I want done anyway.

      I may be able to use Velcro in the meantime. It just wouldn’t be a neat wrap. I’m going to look for it on Amazon.

      Thanks for taking the time to tell me about it, Kerry.

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