The hillbillies go to town!

Friday, August 28

P1060966Aspens and firs on the mountainside near our camp

“Guess what, crew?  Today we go to town!”

Bridget, Reggie, and I have been camping on Badger Mountain in Manti La-Sal National Forest, Utah, for a week without contact with “civilization.” 

I toss Bridget and Reggie into the Perfect Tow Vehicle.

Tucked in my pants’ pocket is a list of things we need to accomplish in Ephraim.  I unplug the Best Little Trailer’s solar cable from the PTV, climb into the driver’s seat, and away we go down the mountain!

It’s another beautiful day.  The sky is the bluest ever!

P1060955-001I don’t think I’ve ever driven down this road without seeing wildlife, usually deer, always chipmunks.

This morning we come upon turkeys, about five of them.  Quickly they scatter into the brush before I can grab a good photo of them.

Hunting season will start soon, poor things.

P1060953About half the way down the mountain Bridget whimpers a little.

“Did your ears pop, honey?”   Mine pop, too.  Reggie doesn’t indicate anything.  Maybe those cute ears of his don’t pop.

The green fields of Sanpete Valley come into view.

P1060960A truck pulling a livestock trailer comes around a curve in the road.  Two guys are in the cab and two saddled horses are in the trailer.  Hmm . . . . Maybe they’re going up the mountain to herd the sheep.

This is my favorite spot on the road.

I always stop here for a minute or two.

P1060961The first item on my list is the post office.

A few days ago I emailed Americas Mailbox, my mail forwarding service in South Dakota, to have my mail sent general delivery to Ephraim.  I show the postal clerk my I.D. and he hands me a package.

Per usual the package is full of stuff from my insurance company, most of it unnecessary.  Also from the University of Georgia Alumni Association.  How many times do I have to tell them to stop sending me magazines!

I search for the registration stickers for the Best Little Trailer and the PTV. 

I renewed the registrations online with Pennington County in South Dakota, paying by electronic transfer from my checking account ($135.10, including a small transaction fee).

Darn!  They aren’t here.  Must’ve scheduled the mailing too soon.  Of course, this wouldn’t happen if I didn’t procrastinate with the renewal WHICH I DO EVERY YEAR!

Onward to Walmart!

I like the backdrop for this store.

P1060962Bridget and Reggie enjoy a walk-about, the usual preliminary before I hit the aisles of Walmart.  They have a drink of water and I put them back into the PTV.   I place the water dish where they can drink while I’m gone.

Before going inside the store, I stuff a large bag of trash into a can near the PTV.

Are you interested in what I buy?

Doesn’t matter because I’m going to tell you anyway.

I buy a 32 GB memory card for my photos (always want a spare), a little spiral book of ruled index cards (for notes when researching camps online), a pocket radio (impulse item, doesn’t work, of course, piece of junk, what was I thinking?), a plastic plate (to replace the one that I put too close to the burner — an unexpected foray into chemistry one recent morning), a pack of eighteen washcloths (can never have too many of those!), a blue, folding camp chair (only $9.99 which means I can put it in streams and not care), and, of course, groceries.

P1060792-001I’m tempted to buy Reggie another suit.

Aww . . . He would be so cute in that. 

I see his big brown eyes, his floppy ears, that face.  No!  He doesn’t need another suit!

I steel myself and head over to the auto department.

I fiddle around with the little computer.

It gives me the number of the air filter for a 2005 Chevy Express 1500.  I look on the shelf.  About 50 different filters, not one that fits the PTV.  Oh well, I’ll stop at the NAPA store in town.

At the register we encounter a problem.

My Amazon VISA card, the card that I use for almost all my purchases because it gives me reward points at Amazon, doesn’t work.   In other words that word APPROVED does not appear on the scanner.  The cashier tries different tricks, wraps the card in a plastic bag before scanning, punches in the numbers, calls her supervisor.  Oh, great.  Of course I get The Look when I answer the supervisor’s question with the word, “credit.”

Fortunately, one of the items that came in my mail was a box of new checks!

I leave my cart, go out to the PTV, grab a book of checks, apologize to the crew, go back inside, write the check, and leave.

By the way (that means BTW), it’s important to have checks when living full-time the way I do.  There aren’t any ATMs or credit card/debit card scanners in the forest or desert and a self-pay station at a campground is not going to give you change.  Camp hosts don’t need to be bothered with “Do you have change for a twenty?”  Make sure you have checks.

“One more stop in town, guys, and then we can go home and have rotisserie chicken!”

A Tractor Supply is across the road from Walmart.

I go inside and buy a bag of dog food.  Blue Buffalo Life Protection Formula, Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe.  Not the best food on the planet for dogs (4 out of 5 stars) but it’s something the crew will eat and it’s one that’s possible to find when moving across states.

At the register I pull out my VISA card.

“Let’s see if this thing works.  It wouldn’t at Walmart.”

I swipe the card and, bingo, we’re good to go!

“I hope you have a wonderful day,” the cashier says with a smile as she hands me the receipt.

“Thank you.  It’s already wonderful!” I respond.  “I don’t have to call VISA!”

I hurry to the PTV.

We won’t stop at NAPA today.  It’s getting hot.

Halfway up the mountain I remember the empty water jugs.

P1060963I turn into Lake Hill Campground ($10 regular/$5 with senior discount).

The campground is small with short parking spaces.  Two are occupied and I see another one is reserved for the weekend.  It’s an okay campground, sites are somewhat close together.

Of course, I’m spoiled.  I’d rather boondock.

“I lied.  We have another stop to make.”

I park at the water spigot, let Bridget and Reggie out, and walk them a bit (not far because I don’t want groceries to warm up).  With Reggie tethered to a tree near the spigot, I fill up the water jugs.  I try to give him every opportunity to explore because he has a lot of energy and curiosity.  Bridget is happy to wander around, too, sniffing this unfamiliar place.

By the time we rumble over the rutted road to our camp, it’s lunchtime.

P1060916-001“How ’bout some rotisserie chicken!”



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250 Responses to The hillbillies go to town!

  1. Annie in Oregon says:

    Am I first!!!just saw the post.

    • Cynthia says:

      Rats! Missed it. LOL

    • Annie in Oregon says:

      Well it looks like I am!! It’s funny why this is so exciting but it is. Like finding a float on the beach. Ha! So look forward to your post …I read them out loud to my husband over our morning coffee.’s such a breath of fresh air after looking at the world news. Pets to the doggies and safe travels!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:


  2. Linda Rose & the 4 M's Carmichael, CA says:

    Isn’t it fun how we all want to be first….somewhere, anywhere but especially on Sue’s blog!!

  3. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Lovely views and skies, Sue…so happy for you…the trees and forests are the best!!

  4. Sidewinder Pen says:

    Those are some pretty views on the way into town!

    I was right with you when you slipped a trash bag into the can at Wal-Mart. I purposely use the little 4-gallon bags (Amazon has them!) for that reason. I mean, I don’t just dump trash – I only do it on the way into or out of the store and spending money there, or else at a public facility where it is okay, or when I’m buying gas, etc. It’s not much larger than some car trash bin bags. But this would never work with the large “kitchen” sized bags. A friend uses those and is forever having to stockpile them (to dispose of when dumping/filling). Ugh.

    I also got used to reducing trash when boating. If I can, I ask the store where I buy something with gawdawfulhuge packaging to dispose of it for me. I burn small paper trash when appropriate (campfire), etc. Plus flatten/crush.

    You know you are boating or camping when #1, #2, and garbage suddenly become fascinating topics of conversation 😀

    • JIM PETERSON says:

      We just use the little FREE bags that everything comes in anymore. Tie it off and set it by the door when it’s full. Next person leaving grabs those and puts ’em in the trash when they’re going wherever. Once we’re fulltiming and not rolling to town every day for work, they’ll likely build up in the truck bed until it’s time to go to town. They work great for our two large cats #2 as well. :o)
      JIM & ANNIE (Kuna, ID)

      • KB says:

        I bought a box of plastic “T-shirt bags” from the local store that supplies large quantities of food products to the local cafes and coffee shops. A T-shirt bag has those built in handle loops. You will have no doubt gotten one at take-out food places such as Chinese many times over the years. They are strong and leak resistant, better quality than the grocery store bags. Easy to carry, easy to tie closed and easy to hang on a knob. Perfect size for dropping into the Walmart trash or the gas station trash bin.

        The do look like a sleeveless T-shirt and that is the name to use to find them online.

    • Lisa W says:

      I really like your idea of leaving the “godawfulhuge” packaging with the store.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Pen and Jim,

      I pretty much do things the way you do, Pen, and I use the plastic bags that stores pack things in, like Jim mentioned.

      I had a lot of trash because I’m not burning anything in the forest this summer. I do that when camping in the desert in the winter though.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I used to just use the free plastic grocery bags. Maybe I’m just unlucky but half the time they seemed to have holes in the bottom, and I sometimes put “wet” stuff in the garbage. I just finally decided it was worth spending some money for “official” trash bags. The Glad 4-gallon ones are just slightly larger than a grocery store bag, and after hundreds of bags I have never had one with a hole in it.

        Plus, now I use cloth bags at the grocery store, so it all works out.

        But it’s definitely one of those personal preference things.

        PS: I used to buy the boxes of Glad 4-gallon bags at good old Wal-Mart (they have a picture of a jauntily angled straw wastebasket on the front), but lately they either don’t have them at all, or only have scented ones (ugh!).

        So then I started buying them on Amazon. The trick is, for one box it’s horribly expensive. A pack of two is not bad but not great. But if you buy a “case” of a dozen boxes the price is good, and they can be stuffed into a small space once decanted, so it’s not like you have a huge “case” of something taking up space.

        Okay, what’s the next terribly exciting subject? 😉 😉

    • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

      I also use the Walmart trash barrels outside. I found out the lid is hinged so I could put a larger bag in it. While waiting in the grocery line, I undo all the tops of the cardboard packaging so it will be easy for the cashier to take it out of the box and throw it away.

  5. Judy J. in upstate S.C. says:

    Yay! Love that you got a new “sit in the water and read a book” chair. It’s the best. So look forward to your posts and pics. Very different from the camping we mostly have to do in eastern U.S.: ratio of people to available spaces anywhere makes us have to plan ahead way too much. Enjoy your freedom and spontaneity with the crew!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Judy. I do think it is easier to be spontaneous about moving camps when camping in the west. Yes, I’ve wanted a chair for the water for several weeks. Reading with water up to one’s tush is a wonderful way to relax and keep cool!

  6. JIM PETERSON says:

    I dunno’ if this will help anyone or not, but I honestly *accidentally* discovered how to give the slip to unwanted mail. I had a private mailbox for a time in Boise and when I went to live in Oregon for a while, I wanted to forward my mail from the private mailbox to my new address. That’s when I learned it is actually illegal(!) for the business to automatically do permanent mail forwarding from a private mailbox. (This is not to be confused with them bundling your mail and forwarding to General Delivery at various locations you specify — at your expense — where permanent mail forwarding is FREE.) If you don’t pay or cancel your box, they collect your mail for two weeks and everything is returned to sender with NO forwarding address.
    This was such a relief for me at the time that I went for two years afterwards with no mailing address . . . wonderful! No bills! No junk mail! Nothing! (Of course, you have to watch your registration/insurance renewals and such things as you don’t get any reminders either.) At the time, I really needed a clean break — a fresh start — and this little quirk of coincidence was just the ticket. Then when you’re ready to receive mail again, you can only give your mailing address out to those you *want* to receive snail mail from. If it gets to be too much at some point, rent a private mailbox for a month — and start over. :o)
    JIM & ANNIE (Kuna, ID) — 7 weeks and 5 days to go!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I appreciate you sharing that tip!

      • Terri says:

        I figured out how to stop junk mail. I also stopped the alumni news, magazines, etc from the university I attended (as a mature student. I graduated in 1995).

        I did several things. First, I “OPT OUT” by either mailing in the request to stop junk mail or by calling them. Can’t remember which I did. One of them gets you off lists for 7 years, the other method of contacting them gets you off junk mail lists for a much shorter period of time.

        Next, I wrote every single organization that sent me anything I did not want to receive. If I got an insurance advertisement from a company other than the company I am insured with, I sent them the letter or flyer they had sent me and told them to remove me immediately. If I continued to receive their junk, I wrote again enclosing their junk with a firm request to stop sending me their advertisements. I reminded them that they are wasting trees, polluting the planet, and causing other environmental disasters. I tried to use something printed on their junk and turn it around to show how much they are lying, pretending to care about the environment, etc.

        I had donated $20 to a botanical garden one time. They sent me so much junk it was in my mailbox every week. Expensive brochures, newsletters and donation paraphernalia. They went on and on about how environmentally friendly they were. After making several polite requests to stop sending me literature, donation requests, etc. I let them have it. I am a geologist. I know what mineral go into making those glossy brochures. I know what all goes into producing the minerals to make glossy printed paper and how destructive it is in the landfill. So I wrote and told them all about it. I did get a condescending, pacifying letter back from them which told me they absolutely do not care about the damage all this is doing or that the cost of all they were sending me had exceeded the $20 donation I made. But they did finally stop sending me their paraphernalia!

        I even got those weekly sales flyers/magazines stopped!! the ones that don’t have your name on them, just your address! No one does that!! But I did. I found some address in the fine print, mailed the flyer back with a note telling them to stop sending these to me. They wrote me back and said that some of those sales flyers are printed up a year in advance, pre-addressed and sitting in warehouses waiting for the right week to be mailed out! In their letter, they stated that they have removed my address from the mailings but they could not stop the ones already printed from being mailed out. So I kept getting them until the day I didn’t. It was several years before I started getting them again.

        I got my alumni university to stop sending me magazines, newsletters, etc by writing several times requesting to be removed from the list. After I’d requested several times and stuff kept coming, I wrote them a letter saying the 3 years I was a student at ___ ___ University, were the worst 3 years of my life. Receiving mail from ___ ____ University was very upsetting, reminding me of those awful years. BINGO! They stopped sending me mail!!! I haven’t heard from them in years!

        (Long story about why I was so unhappy while going to school, others had a lot of trouble adjusting to that university and to the town it was located in. Several of my professors hated the place so bad, had the same trouble I did and all got jobs other places and left. None of us have looked back. I’m still in contact with them. It was a really bad place and situation. I love school. I am in my element in a campground or on a college campus. It wasn’t going to school that was the problem. It was that university and the town it was located in. My personal situation was a mess there too which did not make going to school any easier.)

        I told my mail carrier what I was doing to stop the mail. In disbelief that I could do it, he said, well good luck with that! When I’d see him, I’d remind him that he is bringing less and less mail to my box. After a year or so, I was checking an empty mailbox most days of the week. Then one day, the mail carrier said, what did you do to stop junk mail? He said there was another person on his route that wants to stop junk mail. I wrote everything I did down and gave the list to him to give the other person. Mail carrier said it was appreciated. (smile.)

        I kept a folder documenting everyone I mailed junk mail back to and their correspondence. I looked for it tonight before I wrote this comment and couldn’t find it.

        So, there you have it, how I stopped junk mail.

  7. Teri in SoCal says:

    I’ve had issues using a couple of credit cards at Walmart, then used them without an issue somewhere else a few minutes later.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I suggested to the supervisor that the machine might not be working well and asked if my card could be scanned on another one. She said it couldn’t. Those scanners at Wal-Mart get a lot of use and probably need to be replaced/repaired sooner than it’s realized.

      • edlfrey says:

        I had a similar problem somewhere, maybe Walmart, using my re-issued VISA card that has a PIN that the reader would not accept as a swipe. The reader also had an “insert” slot somewhat like an ATM where the VISA card needed to be inserted and I was good to go.

        It may be that your card is now PINed and the reader that you confronted was of this new type. However, if that had been the case you would think the supervisor would know this. But if the supervisor would not attempt to scan your card on another register then perhaps not.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Time will tell… I don’t know anything about PINs with my card, so if a PIN is required, I’m out of luck. I think it was a bum machine. Sometimes it takes three or four swipes for them to work.

        • edlfrey says:

          I needed to add that the new VISA card that I have is a EMV chip credit card. This card requires a PIN to work in foreign countries. In the USofA it will become common to ‘insert’ and sign rather than swipe and sign as more point of sale terminals are changed out to the new technology.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            I see. I assume there will be plenty of warning… hopefully via email and not snail mail which I only see about twice a year.

            • edlfrey says:

              You will receive a New Card. It has a chip in it as well as the mag stripe. I have no idea who is to receive them; each issuer probably makes that decision differently. It will come to you via snail mail, as do all re-issued cards. That was my warning – I received a New Card.

              I understand the snail mail issue all too well. It cost me when I had the NV/AZ auto registration/insurance screw-up. That may not be settled yet but I won’t know until I get mail forwarded in another 6 weeks of so.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I hold my breath with apprehension when I open up the package of mail forwarded to me. It’s a Pandora’s Box.

            • Alice (So. Fla) says:

              my visa has a chip and I’ve had it for awhile but for the first time the other day (Walmart) it wouldn’t work with the swipe and I had to put the card in for the chip to be read. You would think the supv would have known that though.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              You too? I just hate getting those Priority envelopes (or worse, entire boxes) full of forwarded mail. Do I HAFTA open them? No, please no!

              I do manage to drag my feet very effectively.


            • Barbara (Nashville) says:

              Target has reissued their Redcards with a Microchip. I recieved an email prior to getting the card this week. No new Visa card yet. It is my understanding that these cards are not swiped, but inserted as with an ATM.

  8. Cinandjules (NY) says:

    I can see why that is your favorite lookout!

    You are so in tuned with your crew…noticing her ears must have popped. Of course we are interested in your treasures. Keep the receipt and you can return the radio at your next Walmart trip…doesn’t even have to be the same one.

    Blue Buffalo is a great choice of dog food.

    Have a great day!

    • Cinandjules (NY) says:

      That black and white portrait of Reg man is adorable.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      I plan to return the radio. I don’t know why I bought it. I prefer to listen to the birds and the aspen leaves . … It’s one of those tiny ones with ear buds.

      I appreciate you approving the dog food… It’s a brand that seems to be carried by tractor supply stores and even some grocery stores around the west.

      I hope your day is great, too!

      • edlfrey says:


        Tractor Supply is also a retailer for Earthborn dog food. It gets high marks and they have a variety of ‘flavors’ which are grain free but I don’t know that all are available in every store.

        I plan on switching Patches from Canidae to Earthborn because Tractor Supply is easier to find than a Canidae retailer. I can always order at a Tractor Supply and probably get delivery in a week. Getting Canidae requires more planning than that most of the time.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Ed,

          I’ve noted on your blog the arrangements you’ve made in order to be sure Patches has Canidae. I wanted a grain-free formula for the crew. This Blue Buffalo has rice, barley and oatmeal which I didn’t realize until I got it home. I was in a hurry because of the crew in the heat.

          At least it doesn’t have corn, soy, or wheat. It’s an acceptable brand in other ways… no artificial preservatives and such. Gosh, buying dog food is challenging!

          • Barbara (Nashville) says:

            Blue Buffalo has grain free varieties, which I’m sure you already know. I had coupons from Petsmart for Simply Nourish, so I am trying that for Angel. She gobbles it right up. It says for her weight to give her 1-1 3/4 cups per day. Since she is on the low end of the scale, she gets 1 cup, plus her Milkbone or Greenie, and whatever I drop while cooking, since she is right beside me while I am in the kitchen. She si a mess.

      • Cinandjules (NY) says:

        You can find Blue Buffalo at Petsmart and Petco…pet co being the most expensive of all.

        SA, the inside and the ferals all ate Blue Buffalo.

        AO eats Annamaet which is REALLY hard to find. No recalls to date.

        Tractor Supply has their brand 4 health…..which is manufactured by Diamond……eh…too many recalls to list.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Seems like Petco and Petsmart are frequently in congested areas which I avoid… unless, of course, I’m looking for a new crew member. 🙂

          • Pamela K. says:

            Awww, do I hear a hint that you have been visiting all the doggie web sites again? I see that smile-face up there… Oh my! Now we will all be mapping the towns with the most Ratties along your travel routes!
            Teasin’ ya 🙂

  9. Lisa W says:

    Good morning Sue and Crew,

    You reminded me to get checks ordered. Hope to get on the road within 3 weeks. We are facing the dilemma with Pepper’s food. She is on halo right now and we aren’t sure how available it will be in our travels. Great photos as usual, and I’m happy that Bridget felt up to walking around the water stop. Hope your weekend is quiet and relaxing.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa W.,

      Good afternoon! I’ve never heard of halo food which tells me it probably won’t be easy to find while traveling, although I don’t know where you are or where you plan to travel. I just haven’t seen it in the stores I’ve been in.

      Thanks re the photos. Yes, this weekend is turning out to be very relaxing. I can hear OHVs roaring up and down the mountain on the main road. Sometimes they come down the road to our camp which is a dead end so I get to see and hear them twice (and see the damage they’ve done to the wildflowers). 🙂 None today so far! 🙂

      I hope you can relax this weekend, too!

  10. Pam and Maya says:

    Hi Sue and Crew,
    Oh I wish you had gone for the new suit for Reggie! I wanted you to know that you saved me again Sue! Yesterday on I-84 my new trailer tire blew. I was stuck on the highway for four hours before help arrived. By the time I was back on the road it was almost dark, too late to make my intended campsite. I saw a sign for Mountain Home and remembered you stayed at a campground there. I found it and pulled in at 9:00 and was greeted by a friendly guy who took me to a campsite. Took poor Maya right over to the dog Park where she could stretch her legs. Thanks again Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pam and Maya,

      How awful for you! A tire blows and you’re waiting for four hours!

      I’m glad my blog had given you information you could use. That Mountain Home RV Park is very nice. I’m sure you were very happy to be there after your highway episode. Scary…. on Interstate-84!

  11. GypsyPurl says:

    Hi Sue. I have always enjoyed this blog. I love to see Reggie being the “Man of the House” and “Lady Bridget”. Your pictures and campsites are beautiful and I can never get enough of our journey. Thanks for taking us along. Keep up the good blogging and stay safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gypsy Purl,

      I love your phrase “can never get enough.” I’d better keep blogging then! 🙂

      Thanks for a very nice comment. I hope you are enjoying the weekend.

      • GypsyPurl says:

        I was playing catch-up on reading the blog, guess I was all caught up! ” Can’t ever get enough.” So entertaining and hilarious at times! Keep it up Sue!!!

  12. Tammie (nm) says:

    We’ve been driving our semi all over the west coast for a couple of weeks and the smoke seems to be evetywhere, I’m glad you were able to get of it. Love the camp and the views. We are currently stuck in Phoenix for the next week (uhg) 109 degrees. I’m so envious of you up there in those mountains.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Tammie,

      Still smoke everywhere? With the miles you drive in your semi, you get to see “the big picture.” Yes, I’m glad we’re out of the smoke!

      Oh my, hot in Phoenix these days…. Cuddle up to the a/c… 🙂

  13. Chey (WA coast) says:

    I just got my RV yesterday and posted about it. Haven’t heard a peep! I will launch in 1 1/2 weeks and would hope to have you and the blogerinos as helpful cohorts! What’s up?
    Barb from Hoquiam was in Puallup WA when she posted the weather where she was. I was IN Hoquiam, and it was 18 degrees less here. Never meant to start a defensive tussle..
    I was just commenting my personal info in real time. BTW, just bought a good 24″ 92 Ford, I’ll be full time in 6 mos once upgrades and road worthiness are good.

    • Pamela K says:

      Hi Chey,
      I just left you a message and saw several others messaging you there too. Head back over to the prior page…there’s where they are.
      Happy! Happy Dance! Balloons all around 🙂 🙂 🙂
      Glad you mentioned it again, I did miss it the first time around.

    • weather says:

      Yippee Chey,what wonderful news -I wish you terrific travel and enjoying it all!

      After your comment on the last post folks,including Sue, that are happy for you posted notes to you.I hope you check for and find them there 🙂

      The temperature discussion you mention having been on July 18th makes it seem likely that’s a small ripple in “water under the bridge “-long since understood,forgiven and forgotten.In fact it took a long search for me to find that date and replies because I barely recalled it,and so mentioned the date to remind Sue of what you meant.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Chey… We’re here for you! We will cheer on your launch date and be ever ready to give help when you need it… You can count on us!

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Chey,

      Congratulations on your Class C! Sounds like you had to look at many lemons before you found your prize – worth the wait! I hope you have many happy travels! Please do let us know how you like it and any mods that you make. Happy days!! Whoo-Hoo! 🙂

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        And 24″ will be so easy to park 😉 Heh, I jest due to the typo. I did comment in the previous post’s comments – will go back to see what you and everyone else had to say.


  14. weather says:

    Hillbillies,cute,how nice for you that you can leave civilization for a week in the mountains so that label fits.A day of getting most of what you needed to done must have made returning to the cooler beauty of home especially satisfying.Small town and country businesses are my primary go to places so I always carry various methods of payment ,too.It’s very thoughtful and helpful of you to list those and so many details of how to prepare,camp and travel and what to expect.The ears popping bothering Bridget included and that it’s but a momentary sensation.

    No widget on page today-I hope -Another Delightful Day and Night is a good guess.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather,

      I fixed the weather widget. Thanks for letting me know.

      It was a good feeling to get a few things done. I like shopping at small town businesses, too, although with the crew waiting in the PTV, I can get a lot done at Walmart with one stop. I like the tractor supply stores. They seem to have items not found in other stores and the products are durable, especially clothes.

      Think of you often as you heal from your loss. Good to see you here!

      • weather says:

        Imagine a new reader not seeing the widget searching for the word weather,reading a comment about butterflies or sunrise thinking “?!!Weird report,what’s the temperature and forecast?”

        Your caring enough for me to have me in your thoughts helps me heal,thank you for that,Sue.Yesterday I went to a couple of small stores(Walmart is a bit of a drive). I’d postponed errands until the dog beside me now stopped searching for the other one so her time of confusion and sadness would be minimal.This is her second day of being back to happily living in the moment,that makes it much nicer for all of us – 🙂

        prediction for lakeside,ny-increasingly lovely days ,may yours be the same

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Good morning, weather,

          The “increasingly lovely days” of a New York summer moving toward fall…. Nature’s poignant metaphor for changes in our lives… May your quiet moments by the lake soothe you, and the reflections off the lake remind you of the pure love that didn’t die but was transformed… I’m glad the pup beside you has moved past grief and is “happily living in the moment.” Our dogs show us the way.

          Another lovely day here, too. . . 🙂

  15. Linda Rose & the 4 M's Carmichael, CA says:

    I just love your posts. The pictures and the details are terrific. Now this one made me laugh out loud, for real: “Are you interested in what I buy? Doesn’t matter because I’m going to tell you anyway.” so thanks for the laugh this morning.

  16. Chey (WA coast) says:

    Sue, Why can’t I post?
    Am I truly being escorted person non grata from your site for correcting a weather report?
    I launch in a week. Will be tending to dogs (14) who are somehow disabled. Senior or disabled. They all get homes and lot’s of love in the space between. Fix the RV, pick a direction with climate in mind All I really want to say is that for these last 20 months I have longed for this and your blog has been my mainstay/go to for courage and insight. Say a whoopie for me, y’all. Also Tyler, a rat terrier rescue, 7 yo, will join me when the RV is fit.

    • Laurie in NC says:

      I see your post! Congratulations on your new RV! I know it is so exciting to get it set up and arranged. We got a new one in May and have been out camping 6 times and my “to get/to do” list is getting shorter! My favorite modification is a wire shelf flipped and installed in the upper cabinets. Put the bent part of the shelf to the front so it helps keep stuff from sliding off. All the cabinets are pretty tall with lots of wasted space. Have fun and enjoy your new RV!
      Sue – love the pictures in this post!

    • Lee J in Northern California says:

      I see two posts you did…hmm, wonder what’s up? I will go back to yesterday’s post to see if I can find the one about your new RV. Exciting times!
      Are you going to blog about your travels?

      • Lee J in Northern California says:

        Chevy, I went back and looked, there are a number of comments about your RV purchase. I have a feeling the computer gods flinched or something..because I was reading the posts this morning and your comment wasn’t there! And when I looked now, there it was along with lots of comments.
        Anyway, don’t give up, it seems that things eventually get sorted out…so happy you gotta nice new to you rolling home!
        So details! I love to hear about people realizing their dreams.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chey….

      I’m terribly confused about this. What defensive tussle? I don’t know what you’re referring to. LATER… Never mind. weather reminded me. You’re new here so I understand your alarm when your comment seemed to be ignored which it wasn’t…. and we don’t hold grudges so not to worry …

      I saw your comment about your new rig. It appeared in two different locations under the previous post. I responded and other blogorinos did also, congratulating you. I really don’t know why you couldn’t see your comment and our responses. That’s very strange. I’m sorry that happened.

      Let us know if you’re still not seeing all the comments.

      You and all the blogorinos can rest assured, whenever something like this happens, it is probably a technical snafu, not something I did. I don’t do sneaky “persona non grata” things to comments. If I have a problem with someone’s comment, I speak up and state my position clearly and directly. You and I are fine… 🙂

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Look at your first post on this page…many folks have posted replies. We are happy and excited for you!!! 🙂

    • DesertGinger says:

      Stop worrying, all is fine. Congrats on new rig.

  17. AZ Jim says:

    Missy, the BLT looks tiny when dwarfed by the surrounding trees. Nice, shady spot. I don’t have to ask how the crew felt about the chicken….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      These trees are very tall! That first photo shows only their tops. I’ve never seen such tall aspens.

      I try to be careful with the rotisserie chicken. I don’t want to give Reggie too much, him being so little. So I give him tiny pieces while Bridget gets much bigger pieces… I try not to let him see. I don’t think he’s noticed.


  18. Me n' Lady Piper says:

    looks nice as always, Sue,, to bad ’bout your tags not being at the post office,, hope you don’t get a ticket(s),, I’d have Mail them send them pronto, with an idea when they arrive ,,,,,,, well we moved and we are now setting next door to the old house here in Chino Valley till Tuesday morning,,,,,,,,,, have a great day you 3 and hope you get your tags,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, me

    • AZ Jim says:

      Hey Rusty! Most police agencies will not cite you if you have paid for but not received your sticker and new registration. Hope you are doin ok…

      • Me n' Lady Piper says:

        Hi Jim,,, We’re doin’ okeydokey,,,,, jus’ watchen the cool thunder clouds commin’ in with the rain,, How’s it with you n’ yours? ,,,,,,,,,,,,, me

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty,

      That is a handy place to camp in Chino Valley… stores nearby. I’m sure it brings back memories.

      I’ve paid for the stickers. If I had a printer I would’ve printed the receipt to show if I’m stopped. I don’t think I will be. If I am, I’ll have to say they’re in the mail…

      You have a wonderful weekend. Hugs to Lady Piper!

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        Plus, I think police are more trained to look for expired tabs in their own state. I mean, other states have them all over the place (like Texas in the windshield up until recently; some on the front and back, some only on the back, etc.).

        Not that it might not happen, but my guess is it’d be much more likely in South Dakota, where they know what to look for at a glance.

      • Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

        If you have the receipt on your pc, you can take a photo of it with your camera and if necessary show it to the authorities. I do that with my phone for invoices and receipts. I can also print from my phone but since you have no printer that is not an option. If you go where there is a library you might be able to print from your SD card if you have the image.

        Whatever, here’s hoping you receive the stickers soon and there are no issues.

  19. Lovely picture of Bridget in the flowers 🙂 Have a good day!

  20. Linda Hughes North Carolina says:

    Wow! I love all the pics, the first one of Aspen and Fir is beautiful and all the view shots are great too! Makes me want to be on the road right now! So you recommend we take checks and not just debt or credit cards with us? Never thought of that since we rarely use checks on a daily basis. The pic of your campsite looks so cozy and nice, have you saw wildlife around your camp? How about bear, we had a couple exciting times on our trip west that involved bear, but we loved the trip. Well enough rambling and taking up your time, have a great weekend and week ahead.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Linda,

      Yes, you will need checks. I mentioned it because many folks don’t use them any more, relying on debit cards instead. It’s hard to keep the right amount of cash because the campground fees vary widely. Checks also come in handy if there’s a scanner problem, like I had at Wal-Mart.

      We see deer around our campsite and when we’re walking. Squirrels and chipmunks, of course. I think I saw an eagle gliding over the tree tops above the peak of the mountain. It was some kind of bird of prey. Boy, that’ up very high!

      No bears. They may be around. They’re probably off where there isn’t as much human activity. I think there’s an OHV competition or something going on right now… Lots of roaring back and forth on the mountainside… That’s Saturday for ya!

      I’m glad you loved your trip. Nothing like a bear for excitement!

      • Linda Hughes North Carolina says:

        Have you seen any bear while boondocking ? And thanks for the heads up about the checks…..every bit of information is so helpful.
        For the most part you probably have allot of peace and quiet where you are now, hope it gets quiet for you again soon! Take care and may God bless your week

      • BadgerRickInWis says:

        Well I guess this is one thing I can check off my to do list. Even though my date is 5 long years away.

        I last reordered checks 4 years ago (I just went and looked at the receipt in the box) and the smallest number I could order was 1000. In the last 4 years I have written exactly 6 checks! So as long as I stick with the same bank account I’ll be good to go!!! Whooooho!

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          That’s right, Rick! You’ll use them up if you full-time by camping a lot in BLM and NF campgrounds for a few years.

  21. MollyLuvsRoadtrippin (Seattle) says:

    Sue I just love the last pic of the BLT nestled among the skinny trees in your lovely camp. It looks like such a wonderful home – cozy inside rooms and spacious outdoor rooms. I can’t wait for mine to arrive! So glad you and the crew get to stay in ONE spot with blue sky for a couple of quiet weeks. Enjoy…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Molly,

      It’s tough to wait! I remember that very well…

      Yes, this is a very pleasant home for us. The shade isn’t heavy, just enough to keep us cool. I love reading under the aspens.

      You are going to be one very happy lady when you meet your own best little trailer!

  22. Linda in NE says:

    You are camped in such a beautiful place! And the Best Little Trailer just fits perfectly between the trees…that spot was meant for you. Looks like the aspens are starting to turn…Fall can’t be far behind.

    Since your card worked in one place but not the other, keep a close eye on your statement…that’s sometimes the sign of funny business.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good advice, Linda. I’ll check my statement. Thank you.

      • DesertGinger says:

        I assume it is a Visa card? If so, don’t worry. I worked for ?Visa for 15 years. They are the best about covering and correcting any errors.

  23. Wonderful to see the BLT tucked into the Aspens!
    Loved the photos of this camp! Beautiful!
    Fortunately, tropical storm Erica never grew to a hurricane and has pretty much dissipated before hitting Miami! Miami will still get some much needed rain and there might be enough leftover to send us some rain also! So we can breathe easy for now!
    Bridget is taking some wonderful pictures lately! Even a hint of a smile! Reggie is just a camera ham like Radar! Glad to see y’all out of the smoke and into blue skies!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Geri,

      Been following the reports on Erika… I was relieved when I read she’s disorganized. A disorganized hurricane… sounds like me getting ready for work, back in the day…. ugh.

      Yes, rain! Get rid of the humidity! I hope the effects of your chiropractor treatment are still with you.

      Hi to Chuck and your crew!

  24. Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

    Isn’t it amazing when going to town is an event? My sister lives in the Ozarks and the same for her.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re right, Marilyn. It’s a big deal going into town when you’ve been on a mountain for a week. I feel the same way about finding a source for water… You’d think I was dying of thirst in the desert… “Oh, wow! A water spigot! Let me at it!” I’ve been known to get excited over finding a dumpster!

      • Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

        Too funny on the dumpster. I have a question. Are you able to find any recycling bins in these western small towns?

        • wildflower in prescott says:

          The two most dependable and easy places to recycle on my road trips have been National Parks and Starbucks. I think Wal-Mart has recycle bins for used plastic bags inside their entrance. Otherwise, trying to recycle can be challenging. If there is a stand alone Starbucks store AND the community supports recycling then there will be a commercial recycling bin nearby, I have used them.

          • Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

            That leads to another question. Do most towns out west have Starbucks? I don’t know how they could do the necessary business compared to what I see here in south Florida where the population is overwhelming. Sometimes they are in Walmarts or Targets I believe.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              I’ve found recycling bins in campgrounds and when I go to a transfer station, which I don’t do often, only if it’s handy, there usually is an assortment of recycling bins.

              In Madras, Oregon, I came upon a business involved in recycling. What a set up! Dumpsters for all sorts of materials and with specific instructions.

              I’ve never had a Starbucks coffee in my life. (and I lived to tell the story!)… Don’t pay attention to them, but I don’t think I’ve seen any. Of course, I stay out of the cities except when torturing myself on an interstate.

            • wildflower in prescott says:

              I do occasionally get Starbucks gift cards. That’s how I originally noticed their big blue recycled bins. And no, most small towns don’t have the stores.

            • DesertGinger says:

              Well I have to differ. I’ve lived in the west most of my life…..San Francisco, Tacoma/Seattle, Las Vegas and now Tucson. There are Sbux everywhere out here. Many smaller towns have them.

            • Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

              this is for all you starbucks drinkers out there…..HA!
              wish I could afford $3.50 for a cup of coffee…..once you
              folks get on SS and limited income you will stop that
              nonsense….not saying starbucks aint a good cup of Jo
              but way too expensive for me and my budget….:)

  25. Kate in Iowa says:

    I never thought a Wal-Mart could look pretty, but boy, those mountains sure spruce it up!
    I’ll second what many others have said– that’s an adorable photo of Reggie! I love seeing the photos you take, especially of the fur babies, campsites and roads. It helps me plan all my future adventures! Someday…..someday…..
    Thank you for the lovely, happy distraction. Now back to dissertation writing. Sigh..

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kate,

      Yes, I think the Ephraim Walmart wins first prize for Most Scenic Setting.

      Thank you regarding Reggie’s photo. I do have a very photogenic crew!

      Good luck with the dissertation…. We’re here when you need a break!

  26. Pookieboy in SE Texas says:

    when I saw the title of this post the first thing I thot of was
    Beverly Hillbillies….HA!
    Hey, us guys can always use a new suit or 2….can never have
    I usually go to town once a week whether I need to or not and
    end up buying things I really dont need but its fun……..
    last Tuesday we had a storm come thru and lightening hit
    our outside AC unit and blew it up….I put a window unit
    in the bedroom and one in my office so Im thinking I may
    wait til next spring before replacing the AC at $5000…
    cheesh, it never ends when you are a home owner….
    thanks for the post and the pictures, Sue…keep up the
    good work

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Chuck,

      We’re the Badger Hillbillies! 🙂

      You’re right about home ownership. Sorry you had that expensive damage. Reminds me when lightning hit my pump house, destroyed the pump and everything. What a pain… I also had a couple of trees destroyed by wind. Fun times.

      If you’re keeping cool, that’s what’s important right now. Have a good evening…

  27. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    Sue, Denise, Pamela, Krystina and Elizabeth,

    I did go back and read all of your comments and appreciate your looking out for my welfare. I did decide not to go there for the reasons you mentioned. I do see Grant actually walking Duke on a leash occasionally, but rare. I did notify the authorities as an after the fact report right now, but wanted it on record. I also notified animal control. and I have talked to our property management company for another notification and since I am on the HOA Board of Directors, I have talked to other members about notification, enforcement and fines for unscrupulous pet owners. The biggest issue we have this group is they are renters and just don’t give a flip. Unfortunately I don’t think the homeowner is much better. Thank you all again for your concern.
    FYI: Angel did calm down overnight and was almost back to her spunky self this morning. We walk in the opposite direction, though. What bothers me the most is that we were at our mailbox and had not gone anywhere near where they live. Her leg and my arm are a little red and swollen, so I have just kept washing the areas and putting peroxide soaked cotton balls on them periodically.

    • Marilyn, Dania Beach, Fl says:

      If you haven’t had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years, you should get one.

    • Pamela K says:

      So glad to hear from you again. I have thought of you often today. Wonderful news to hear that you did not go over to talk with the owners. Now I can rest easy. So your arm and Angel’s leg are red and slightly swollen? Maybe take a photo to document that. Could come in handy if needed later. If your camera has a date/time stamp function use that when taking any photos. It will print on both the digital file and the hard copy printouts too. If your camera does not have that function, then today’s front page of your newspaper (shown in the photo) will serve to document the date too. I sure hope the swelling goes down soon for both of you.
      Well, enough said from me. Since I ve had so many years of documenting everything (my prior business life) I just wanted to make sure to have your back on this one.
      You too sleep well, OK?!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      You are handling this situation very well. Ditto what Pamela wrote to you. Thanks very much for writing an update. We care about you and Angel and this is upsetting.

      I think — of course, I don’t know — that Duke, having been allowed to roam around the neighborhood over a period of time, considers the neighborhood as his territory. Therefore, he perceives Angel as an intruder. That’s why he attacked at your mailbox, although you didn’t walk near his property.

      I hope you both heal quickly and well.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Barbara,

      I am glad that Angel is almost back to her sweet, little self. I am sure you keeping a calm demeanor is helping to ease her stress. It is a shame that you now have to be extra careful, surveying the area for Duke, just to check the mail. Good luck with the HOA….at least you are on the board…that has to help! Take good care of yourself and that sweet little Angel. Sending you hugs!

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      Glad to hear your update…I felt the other advice was good! I do hope you have at least taken photos of your arm and if it is see-able, the injuries to the dog!! I do hope the neighborhood can prevail upon the owners to do something about it. ANY time I saw the dog on the loose, I would definitely call the animal control!! You might have a bit of a chat with the owner’s insurance company too. We had dog issues which renters next door were causing and NO HELP from anyone…but in chatting with MY rental and car insurance man one day about the problem and telling him I thought the ones holding the house insurance MIGHT be interested in knowing that a possible lawsuit was on the offing…was not long until apparently the owners forced the renters to get rid of the dog. Amazing…but money talks!! I do not know HOW to find out what company covers the insurance on that house but I bet your insurance person might be able to do it!!

      • Barbara (Nashville) says:

        I live in a condominium complex so we all have the same insurance. It is a blanket policy for all units. I would not file on the association, as the renters would get off Scott free.

        • Pamela K. says:

          Yes, don’t direct your efforts at the renters. Instead direct it at the homeowner of the property. Most mortgages have a mortgage clause that clearly states if a homeowner allows his or her property to be used for illegal activities then they, the homeowners, are in default of their motrgage! It’s there to help protect the title companies, PMI companies, and provide the mortgage companies cover if a homeowner is sued before the morgtage is paid off. Advise the property owners and the renters in writing. Off leash is illegal…it’s not just for illegal drug stuff…that mortgage clause might be your ticket to have them (and their dog) move 🙂

    • Nancy from South Georgia says:

      Your story makes me think of something that happened recently to my elderly mother. She had walked to the end of the drive to her mailbox and some trashy folks’ dog from directly across the street came charging after her. This dog is about 75 pounds and often wandering off leash out in the yard.

      My mother is in her 80s and unsteady on her feet so she was challenged to turn and run back up the drive in a mad dash for the door. She just did make it and the dog was right on her heels, and slammed up against the storm door as it closed behind her.

      I went over to the house the next day and they wouldn’t even answer the door. This makes one mad enough to take the law into one’s own hands.

  28. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    I enjoyed this post. That first picture of the Firs and Aspens in contrast was just beautiful. Just curious, did the radio work? I did read the post, but haven’t read the comments yet.

    • Pamela K says:

      LOL, nope. Didn’t work. She called it a *piece of junk* and asked herself, “What was I thinking”… THAT is so SUE! Is it not?! Love her witt 🙂 We’d all love to have back the money we have spent on crap stuff like that, lol. I think I hear a return trip to Wally-World in Sue’s near future…or give it to Reggie-Man — he’ll teach that radio a lesson 🙂

  29. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue, this is so pretty and I always love to see pics of the crew!! I, for one, love to read anything you write so whatever you choose to write for us is fine with me!!

    Blue Buffalo is a good dog food. I feed a dry 4 star food to Harley and a 5 star canned food. He gets just a little of that each day. And after his little hairball surgery, did some research and asked questions on a Boston Terrier group, and I am now also giving him unrefined, extra virgin coconut oil, about a 1 tsp a day in his food at night. It reminds me of Crisco, but is healthy. It is suppose to help with digestion and help keep things moving through. I hope to never go through that again.

    Looking forward to your next post! Have a great time!! Always love your beautiful pictures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene,

      Excellent idea to give Harley coconut oil. That will grease the skids, so to speak. 🙂

      Your compliments are very sweet. Thank you. Hugs to Harley.

  30. Lisa and Tommie in SoFL says:

    Hi Sue,
    I love to tag a long with you shopping, esp Walmart. It’s a nice diversion from my everyday, speaking of diversions, Ericka has disintegrated and headed west, so all of us on the east coast of FL are prepared, hoorah.

    Good tip on the checks. Oh and I overcame a bit of inertia, enough to test and pack most of the things I need for my trip. In a way I was doubly productive since I am ready for post hurricane mayhem too. Thanks for the tips on motivation. I also downloaded some of your camp pics to dream about during our tropical storm downpours. Could be worse, could be snow.
    Stay happy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lisa and Tommie,

      Great report on what’s happening in your part of the world, including your productivity. Good for you!

      I smile to think of you dreaming over photos of our camps. Sometimes I feel like I’m giving the impression of showing off. You know, look what I found and can enjoy and you can’t, that sort of thing. When what I really want my photos to accomplish is encouragement, hope, keeping dreams alive. That’s why your comment makes me smile.

      I’ve experienced those “tropical storm downpours” in Florida. Unbelievable until you see it for yourself. Water comes down in sheets. Yes, better than snow, no shoveling required.

      Have a good night!

      • Lisa and Tommie in SoFL says:

        Thanks Sue, I don’t see your pictures as bragging at all. I find them highly encouraging and helpful to know what is out there to enjoy. I consider it a personal tour to plan my own itinerary. Keep it up.

  31. Suzette (TN) says:

    What a beautiful post! I would be finding excuses to go to town with those views to look forward to. Sorry to hear the registration didn’t arrive. I know that’s distressing.

    Don’t ever hesitate to to share the beauty of your surroundings. I use your pictures as inspiration. They don’t make me envious. Well…maybe a little. But in a good way. I’m happy for you. And happy that you’re helping me to know that such vistas are open to ME, too! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Suzette,

      Ephraim is a pleasant town with Snow College in the middle of it. Unlike a lot of college towns the main street is not a collection of bars and clubs. Of course, being in Utah, properties are neat and well-maintained.

      We’d go into town more often if it weren’t so nice on the mountain. Plus the drive up the mountain, while not terrible, does require some work on the part of the PTV.

      Sweet of you to be happy for me…. Yes, there are beautiful places awaiting you, Suzette!

  32. Denise - Richmond VA says:

    Hi, Sue,

    Pretty pictures of the mountain and valley town below! Another day in the life of Sue and the Crew….a Walmart run that ends with a feast of rotisserie chicken! 🙂

    I have a question for all the blogorinos who are Hatch pepper lovers. I was lucky to find some fresh Hatch peppers at Kroger this afternoon. How do I prepare and roast them? Can they be roasted, packed and saved for later? Can I freeze them? I do have a food saver…. Thanks in advance for your advice and helpful tips! 🙂

    Today one of my sisters and her husband came to visit. They helped me with several things around the house. Nothing hard, but it helps to have an extra set of hands or two and extra strength. I am very thankful for their help! I took them to one of my favorite hole in the wall places for brunch. We enjoyed a spinach, tomato and feta omelette, quiche with andouille sausage and cheddar, and fresh blueberry pancakes – Yum! Two weekends in a row I had family stop by to visit and to lend a hand – I am very blessed!

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the evening, Sue. Gracie is tuckered out and put herself to bed. I am enjoying British comedies on PBS. Sending you and the Crew hugs from me and Gracie pup! 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Denise and Gracie pup,

      We’re very predictable… a trip to Walmart ending with a rotisserie chicken feast.

      Speaking of food, that lunch sounds wonderful. I want some! I’m glad you have family that pitches in and helps.

      Ah, British comedies… Enjoy! I think that’s one of the few things I miss not watching tv much.


      • edlfrey says:

        The easiest way to get roasted peppers is to buy them from one of those places that is roasting them in a rotating drum outside the market.

        The way is what we did it when I was growing up. Put them on the roasting pan under the oven flame. Watch them closely, turn them when one side is blistered, when the other side has blistered take them out and dump into cold water. Then the fun begins – you peel the blistered skin off, cut the stem end off and take the seeds out.

        The storing is very easy IF you have a large freezer. Package the prepared roasted peppers in Ziplock bags and freeze. The other alternative is to can them – which I have no knowledge of and can not help.

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        I am glad that my sister and brother in law liked the restaurant! It is my favorite spot for weekend brunch. It is a small place, with maybe 10 tables and a handful seats at the bar. Cozy diner-like atmosphere, creative food.

        Being used to doing everything myself for so long, and being the one to help others, it is almost hard to accept help when needed. I am very thankful and appreciate my family members who help me!

        Thanks for the shout out for the pepper advice! 🙂

      • kgdan says:

        I roasted all 25# on the BBQ yesterday. I like the skins to blacken, immediately put them in a big bowl and cover. Can easily peel them then after they’ve steamed. I peeled a bunch to use immediately; made green chili stew-yum! Packed the rest in ziplock bags without peeling and froze. 25# yielded 10 packed quart size bags. They are very easy to peel when thawed. Must be very vigilant when roasting— don’t want them to burn to a char–just to blacken.

        BTW— it’s football time. GO SEAHAWKS!!!!

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Thanks, kgdan! Is your bbq gas or charcoal? I use charcoal…is that ok or will it change the flavor too much? I use plain briquettes, with a charcoal chimney to get the coals going.

        • Denise - Richmond VA says:

          Go Bears! 🙂

          • Pamela K says:

            I’m with you and kgdan, gotta have my football! It just never seems like Fall is coming until football starts again. I love fall too.

            Serious “Packer” backer here 🙂
            I even have green and gold glitter nail polish for my nails and toes, seriously I do! Looks mighty fine with my Cheeseh

            • Pamela K says:

              Cheesehead hat…
              Boy the web servers are really acting wierd this week. Must be the big storm in the tropics. Even still, I hate it when it acts up like that!

            • BadgerRickInWis says:

              You’d blend in well in these parts Pamela. 🙂

              However my allegiance was instilled at a very young age. Go Broncos!!!

      • Velda in Roseville CA says:

        Hatch peppers go on sale here each August. I usually put them whole in ziplock Large bags, labeled as to mild, medium, or HOT and toss in our big chest freezer. Take them out one or two at a time and use. Today hubby took a fresh one and toasted it on the cast iron grill pan he was using to sear steaks and seared the pepper too. Came out nice.

    • Lee J in Northern California says:

      Easy to roast peppers, you can do them on a grill, under a broiler or just on the burner of a gas stove. Use long tongs so you don’t burn the fingers, duh. Just keep them heating until the skin is black and blistered, turning to get all sides blackened. Lots of folks put them in plastic bags, I don’t ..Ethel methyl bad stuff, so I put them in a glass bowl and put a plate on top to seal, let them sit for ten minutes or so, the skins will soften and you can pretty well rub them off.
      Put them in the freezer till you need a chili fix…oh my..good!

      I do an egg scramble with a chopped prepared chili, some shredded cheese and fresh salsa on top…oh, now I need to cook! Who wants to join me?

      • Denise - Richmond VA says:

        Thanks, Lee! Your egg scramble dish made my mouth water! It sounds delish! 🙂

        • Pamela K says:

          I do mine in a wok, using a stir-fry method of turning them and tosing lightly. Works very well and they brown up nice without burning. I don’t cover them, just open-face.

    • Nancy from South Georgia says:

      “…enjoying British comedies on PBS…” I used to be addicted to “Are You Being Served” and the one about Hyacinth Bucket, can’t remember its name.

  33. Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

    Sue…..I’m sure you’re keeping an eye on reports, but just wanted to make sure you knew that a fire started near Santaquin, UT today.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Ladybug. I wasn’t aware of that fire. I’m wondering if the fire is near Tinney Flat Campground. We’ve camped there twice. It’s high up in Uinta National Forest. I’ll research it.

      LATER: Since your alert the fire is 100 percent contained… It was a brush fire in the canyon, 450 acres burned.

      • Ladybug in Mid-Tenn says:

        Good deal! When I saw it, it said 0% contained, and about 85 acres burned. It said cause was ‘human’ so I’m assuming it was started from a campfire.

  34. Alice (So. Fla) says:

    Great post, love the pics, just beautiful country. The pups look good and I know they loved that chicken. Bridgets pic is just perfect ! Blue Buffalo is good food I think. My girls are on Prescriptives since they had a flair up. NOt sure how hard that will be to get, I buy it at the vet. I supplement it with green beans (we are a little chunky) and carrots for treats.

    Read your prior post about the bear. I tried to buy bear spray from Amazon and they are not allowed to ship to Fla. Which reminds me I used your link and bought a bear bell, air horn (thank you!) and a small table. I’ve had them for a couple weeks so hopefully they gave you credit. Funny when I read your post about the cows thought of another story I heard about. Someone heard something at their camper door and checked through the window before opening. Good thing, it was a bear. Be careful. My girls would bark, wonder how a bear would react to that. These two can be relentless wild children. scary.

    The area is beautiful but not sure I could drive curvy high roads. I need some practice driving the rv. Your a brave person. Glad your in a good place. The good news is the storm fizzled for me and there is a storm bringing rain to the northwest which will help with the fires. You should have clean air soon I hope.

    take care and be safe.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Alice,

      That is good news for Florida… A rain without high winds, much better!

      I’ve seen all the items you’ve ordered on my Amazon report. Thank you!

      By “Prescriptives”… if you mean Hill’s Science Diet you won’t have any trouble finding that. Seems all the vets carry it.

      About the story of the bear… I’m glad you mentioned it, good advice for all of us. Always look out the window first before opening the door!

      I don’t know how a bear would react to dogs barking inside the RV. In our experience, Spike slept through it and Bridget was paralyzed and didn’t make a sound.

      Have a good day!

  35. mockturtle says:

    I buy those big packs of white washcloths, too. They make great rags. Most I wash but some I blithely throw away.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do the same thing, mockturtle. Eventually they all disappear and I buy another pack. I get the assorted colors pack. The colors help me avoid mixing them up when I have more than one use in progress…

  36. Ron (Oregon) says:

    Due to the comments on dog food, I thought I would post this site that gives a ton of info on numerous brands of dog food and rates them. They list every thing that is in them. Had to laugh at the name for Reggie, “The Reginator” As always love your pictures of our wild west.

  37. Elizabeth in WA says:

    Well, today you would have been glad to be gone, Sue…horrific gale winds came…and lots of power outages…daughter in Kirkland been out of power since noon…and no projected return time. So hubby was off to get ice and containers in hopes of saving the expensive meats etc. We had it blink and come back on as we left to go over to babysit…and it was one when we returned hours later. But getting to their house was horrific. The gusts that came here as we left I guess to be about 80 mph…I have been in winds to a bit over 100 mph before…scary!! Hear a tree fall in the neighborhood someplace…but we have not found out where yet!! There was a motorhome driving in this crazy weather…I was so afraid it would topple over!! People are nuts!!

    • Pamela K says:

      WOW! Just read about your storm. Scary stuff at 80 mph. Hope the electric comes back on for your family soon. I trust they are in a *real house* instead of an RV. Always fearful of bad storms in the Airstream, straightline winds and lightning happen here often. I never get used to those forces of nature.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        THANKS Pamela, Yes we are both in regular house/apt…not trailers!! These tall trees are so beautiful but can be so treacherous…I am worried too as with the bad drought, I imagine the roots are weaker and with drier soil…well, just seems a bit of rain and lots of wind might take them down. We had to go a different way due to one road with a big tree entirely across it…and saw other parts of trees along the roads.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Stay safe, Elizabeth. You are devoted parents/grandparents to go out in winds like that.

      • Elizabeth in WA says:

        Thanks Sue…heh, no worries…cause NOTHING gonna take me out till GOD is done with me…survived a bad truck wreck you know…gonna keep going so long as we can. Well, I was not driving either…just “back seat driving”, heh!! I am worried about being injured is all, you see… Thankfully the winds did not stay at that intense level too long…but sadly today the paper said trees falling killed a young dad and a young girl in another location. My opinion is that likely the drought makes the trees more unstable… and you know how large the trees are in these parts too!! We got a twinge of rain, but nothing to count much…sigh. We were hoping the forecast for today would happen…but nope….just somewhat cloudy skies…well, surely soon the rains will come again!!

  38. Pamela K says:

    Hi everyone,
    Since we are *discussin’ food*. Has anyone tried the WONDERBAG? It’s a non-electric slow cooker cooking bag. I have read many reviews of it and people seem to like it BUT some of the reviews sound more like info ads…sort of over the top good ratings and all. Anyone own one or has used one before? I’m looking at one as a cheaper option to a thermal pot for van camping. If you guys and gals like them then I’ll get one. Maybe move to a thermal pot later if I like that style of cooking.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      I am not sure if I have seen that exact one, Pamela…and while less mess would be nice, I wonder about cooking in plastic or whatever the bag is made of…the possibility of that leaching out into the food, etc??

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        It’s simply an insulated cloth bag that you put a regular pan inside. So you heat/partially cook the food in the pan, then slip the pan in this “cozy” to complete the cooking and keep it hot.

        I’ve never (yet!) been the crockpot type, but if I were I’d probably get a thermal cooker (same concept but an actual insulated stainless pan vs. a cozy). My guess is that the thermal cooker would work a lot better, but I have not tried a Wonderbag.

        You can see a Wonderbag and various thermal cookers on Amazon.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          See links below.

        • Pamela K says:

          I agree that the thermal pot cookers are mostlikely the best. What concerns me about them is the volume of food you have to load into them. Even the small ones need to have the pot 3/4 full. That’s a lot for one person, even with leftovers (with I like). With the WONDERBAG you can use your own pots instead. Making 2 qts makes more sense for me even if it is, maybe, a less effecient thermal method for me there would be less food waste. I think so anyway. Still considering the thermal pot vs the WONDERBAG. If I go with the thermal pot, it would be the Saratoga Jack one, the smaller one that has the baking pans also. Then again, the WONDERBAG would fit and ride nice on the floor of the passenfer seat while driving between camps… LOL, hard choices 🙂 I am such a crock pot devoutee, really miss using a crock pot when not on-grid. I tend to leave the campsite early in the day and stay out all day and into the late evening seeing the local sites around the beach towns and such. Having something cooking all day would be a delight to return home to…I avoid eating out as much as possible, not my thing and the prices are killer.

        • Elizabeth in WA says:

          Well, years ago I learned of bringing eggs in cold water to start, up to a good boil, putting lid on pan, turning off heat, letting sit 20 minutes…usually perfect boiled eggs with little use of power. So it makes sense that, if the food was already at a hot boil, you can cover it, and wrap it in this bag and expect some good things…just a thought though I have not tried that one yet. I am considering one of those thermal pots for this winter however…but there are 2 of us so we can eat more than just one person.

          • Pamela K. says:

            Yep. Here’s my thinking…
            I buy the WONDERBAG first. Try it and if I like that way of cooking then I’d go for the really nice Thermal Pot. For those really cold winter days and nights. I could put the Thermal Pot inside the WONDERBAG for added heat retention 🙂 I also like the fact that the WONDERBAG serves as a quick grab-it and go cooler bag for soft drinks and sammies too 🙂
            BTW, you fix your eggs like I do. A great method to use.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      Ed (edlfrey) said on January 18, 2014 about his Thermal Cooker . . .

      I use mine 3-4 times per month when I make something in it for my ‘linners’. I can eat the same thing for many days so this works well for me, perhaps not for every one. Generally speaking anything that can be cooked in a Crock Pot can be cooked in a Thermal Cooker. I always brown off any raw meat that I might be using but other than that, which is NOT required, you can follow Crock Pot recipes. I have written about a lot of my creations which you can find by using the Search on my web site (although I have found that the Search does not find everything).
      Here is the recipe for Frey’s Special Chili:
      ~ 1 lb pork loin/chops diced and browned
      1 lb of Jimmy Dean Sausage browned (what ever flavor you like – I use Hot)
      2 small cans of Red Beans
      1 large can crushed tomato
      1 yellow onion diced
      3-4 oz Bakers unsweetened chocolate
      Powdered cayenne pepper (as much as you like – I like it hot so I tend to use too much)
      This is all put in the Thermal Pot in whatever order you wish and brought to a boil for ~ 10 minutes. The Pot then goes into the Cooker for a minimum of 6 hours but can stay in there until it cools down to room temperature which will take about 24 hours. I then refrigerate the Pot and take a serving out every day that I re-heat in a sauce pan. For me it seems to get better as it sits and all the flavors meld over time; I don’t consider it leftovers, I think of it as part of the cooking process.

      Good time for me to remind folks of the page where we shared a lot of recipes. A few new ones have been added…

      Readers’ Recipes

      • Pamela K says:

        Thanks Sue! That Chili sounds soooo good! Would be great for this Fall’s camping trips. I am thinking about the Saratoga Jack thermal pot or the WONDERBAG. Both have their uses, the bag would ride nice in the passenger seat floorboard of the van but the thermal pot is nice too. Would be nice to be able to return to camp and have dinner already cooked 🙂 I’m not one to eat out when camping. I tend to go to the local grocery story and buy fresh stuff to cook. Saves the *dine-out money* for fun stuff to spend it on, like a tour or two. a round of golf.

      • Pamela K says:

        Rally enjoyed going to the Readers’ Recipes link you gave. In the comments area of the post I just added a FAV dinner we enjoy for Fall and Winter evenings. Great for football tailgating afternoons too. Sort of a twist on Shepard’s Pie but it is No-Bake. 🙂 Also it’s easy to do on most any kind of heat source, always good to have foods you can make using different stoves and grills. It’s a simple no-fuss dinner, uses only one skillet or pot 🙂

  39. Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

    WOW RVSue…love your site…cozy with lots of outdoor space. Photos are fabulous!! I once parked at a Walmart in Albuquerque NM during their famous Balloon Festival. Watched them rise up behind Walmart…quite the site!

    Yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah…I finally met my Grand Daughter Nora yesterday!!!!!!! The cutest baby EVER! At 7 months she has the cutest little personality ever…smiles all the time. What a fantastic day!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Krystina,

      Hooray for you! You finally met Nora! When you said you were going to meet her and she is 7 months old, the first thing that came to mind was … Nora’s at the age of smiles. Perfect! I’m very happy for you, Krystina.

      What a great photo — balloons rising up from Walmart. That was a smart place to park during the festival.

    • Elizabeth in WA says:

      So happy for you, Krystina…the good part is the baby will never remember your not being there the previous months. One of ours was almost 9 months before we could fly across continent to see him. Another was 5 months old. One adjusts and takes gratefully what they have. The one we saw the soonest was already past a week old…and they lived nearby…but you have to wait to be invited I have learned, when it is a daughter-in-law especially. We have been in the process of “adjusting” to many things ever since our oldest kids married. And making our own life too…that still in process. All of this is very different from when I was growing up and when I had my kids, etc. But we are enjoying life…just somewhat differently than we might have thought years ago. I hope things continue to go well for you dear!!

  40. MB says:

    Hi Sue. This is totally off the subject, but I have something I’d like to share with you. I was told last week that the farm where I work is to be sold. Not a total surprise….but I thought it would be next year….even though the owner said he’d never sell. You would think that a single woman with only herself to depend upon would have freaked out! But, as I listened to the owner explain why he had made the decision… sorry…..ect., all I could think was “Thank you!”. If he had stayed another year, I would probably felt the need to also. But now, I am free to bump up the computer job that I started in Jan. a level or two…..take care of some “stuff” here….buy my new home and get the heck outta here! I am more excited than scared so I know the sale of the farm was a gift, not a curse. It all feels so right….like things falling into place just so I can go. 🙂

    I did want to ask one question about your solar power. I can read what you have but what I wondered is…..on any given day, what electric devices do you use that pull power from your system? Thanks! I loved the pictures. Utah is one of my favorites! I also understand the temptation to buy things for a tiny dog that would never tempt you for a larger one. “They’d just look so cute in that!” Have a great day! MB from VA (for now!)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, MB,

      I love your news! When something like that happens it means you are heading in the right direction on the right path. Now you are free to move toward your vision of a different way of living. Your first paragraph is full of vitality and eagerness and positive attitude. You are on your way!

      Okay, down to earth.. solar power… I don’t use a lot of electricity. On a regular basis it is the laptop for a few hours, charging small items like phone, Paperwhite, and camera battery, electronic panel on the fridge, one LED light for less than an hour. There are nights I never turn on a light because I read by the light of my Paperwhite.

      Occasionally I will watch television for the length of a movie or run the ceiling vent Fantastic fan for a few hours. My coffeepot is heated on the stove (propane) and I don’t have a microwave or hair dryer and don’t want them. My heat is propane. A/C only turned on with electric hook-ups. (You know some of this already — I write for anyone seeing this, as well as to you.)

      “More excited than scared” and YES! “the sale of the farm was a gift, not a curse.” Love it!

    • Sidewinder Pen says:


      Great to read your post and how you are not only comfortable with what happened, but excited and thankful. Yeah!!

      I’ll pipe in on the electrical/solar question. Somewhat like “how much money does it take to live,” the answer really varies with the person and their lifestyle. I come from boats (and back in the day at that), so having solar is a “step up” from kerosene lamps and ice/cooler. If it weren’t for “electronic devices” (which I now love) and now a compressor refrigerator, I would still be fine with non-electric.

      On the other hand, some people are the opposite, and don’t want to “feel like they’re camping,” and/or want home type appliances and experience (hair dryer, toaster, etc. etc.). They would need a LOT of solar. Basically anything that makes heat via electricity is a power hog, and 110 devices need conversion, so there is some power loss there. I’m on the other end, don’t use any of those things, and almost everything I have is 12-volts.

      Right now I have 200 watts of solar, and I’m using around 35 amp hours per day, which the panels are handily keeping up with (although it is summer, so we shall see in winter).

      Here are my draws, in order of significance:

      1) Waeco 50 compressor cooler – around 28 amp hours per day.
      2) Laptop – around 3-6 amp hours per day.
      3) Lights (LED), around 3 amp hours per day.
      4) Phone charging, AA and AAA battery charging (headlamps, camera, etc.), a couple of amp hours per day.
      5) Jetpack (Internet hotspot) charging…. maybe 1 amp hour per day?
      6) Marine type fan, depends on season, but very low draw (under .5 amp).

      The above are all 12-volt items.

      Everything else is infrequent or short duration use. Examples:

      a) Stereo (I may use it more sometimes, but now now)
      b) Water pump (don’t have it hooked up right now, but it’s around 5 amps, however only used for moments at a time, so minimal)
      c) Fantastic vent

      The above are 12 -volt.

      I have very few 110 volt items, and for those I use a small, plug-into-cigarette-lighter inverter:

      i) Drill and power tool batteries (charge while driving)
      ii) Toothbrush battery

      Everyone lives differently, but this gives you an idea from someone who lives on the “camping/boating/12-volt” side of life.

      I have a friend who has a desktop converter and whole house inverter (for 110 power all the time), plus uses microwave etc. He can easily use 120 amp hours in a day, which I would not be able to keep up with unless I had a lot more solar. Luckily I’m happy with my laptop.

      • Mick'nTN says:

        Great info Sidewinder Pen.
        I just wanted to (hopefully) clarify amp-hours and watt-hours. It can be confusing to non technical people.
        Watts = Amps times Volts
        Amp-hours times the voltage = watt-hours so:
        10 amp-hours from a 12 volt battery = 120 watt-hours
        10 amp-hours from 120 volts AC = 1200 watt-hours

        Big difference – must be careful here!

        Solar panels are rated in Watts. To get to watt-hours (per day) you would multiply by the time in the sun. The solar panel will put out the rated watts only at mid day and when pointed correctly at the sun. Much less on a cloudy or rainy day.

        Remember the rainy days when figuring out how many batteries you will need.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Good points, Mick. My monitor will read in watts or amp hours. I stick with amps or amp hours since they are commonly used when speaking of DC draws. Also my batteries are rated in amp hours, so that keeps me all on the same page. But either works as long as you know which you are using!

          The solar panels I have are 100 watts each, which is (at peak theoretical perfect output) 12 amps at 12 volts, or, as I have them wired, 6 amps at 34 volts (the solar controller then outputs the appropriate voltage for the batteries, usually around 13.3 – 14.3 volts, depending on temperature and charge stage.

          Anyway, mostly I just wanted to give the idea of how a non-electrical-stuff oriented camping person does it (which is similar to Sue except she has a propane refrigerator).

          And yes, the system should be set up for the bad days, not the optimum ones. I have a larger system planned, with some panels on the roof and some on the ground. Right now I’m just running on the ground ones.

      • Lisa and Tommie in SoFL says:

        Hi Pen,
        Can you tell me more about your frig set up? I am researching food storage ideas and different types of refrigerators for my future fulltiming. I like the top loading designs often found in boats but am concerned about the power usage. I want to avoid hookups when possible and use solar. Can you make ice in your refrigerator? Also, I do like the wonderbag slow cooker options but will experiment first with blankets and boxes, or solar ovens. Anyone have any input on those cooking methods? Thanks everyone.

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Sure, happy to expound on my fridge 🙂 Okay, for starters a bit of background so you knew where I’m coming from. Lived for years on boats with just an icebox, top loading, deep and cavernous (“grab my ankles, I’m going in!”). A pain but back then a single 130 watt solar panel was but a dream. Propane refrigerators don’t go on boats for various safety reasons. And compressor ones were big/expensive, etc. So icebox it was.

          Next I had a campervan with a compressor refrigerator (12 volt or 110 volt, no propane). This was nice as you can run it at any angle, and no holes in the side of the rig or the roof. But at that point in time I had NO solar, so I had to keep on the move or plug in to keep it going.

          Next an RV with a propane refrigerator, but it was a huge monster and plus, although I’m fine with propane for most things (no problem running lines, using it, etc.), I’m just not fond of propane refrigerators (absorption type). I’m typically level enough when parked for camping, but since I have a C, I often park it in slanty spots when going hiking or etc. Also…. just not entirely comfortable with the construction and safety factors of them (this is just me though!). Also, the vents can be prone to leaking (side mostly; roof are not so bad). That said, many, many people are using them and loving them, and they use very little electricity when they are running on propane, so there is a lot to recommend them.

          On to “today,” there are compressor refrigerators that are quite efficient. Many are made for marine use (or were originally) or back-country camping. There are chest style ones and regular door style ones. Some brands are Engel, ARB, Vitrifrigo, Isotherm, Dometic/Waeco, etc. These use a “real” compressor that is basically like a house refrigerator, but DC (although many can run on AC as well). Many use the well-regarded Danfoss compressor.

          To be practical for boondocking, I’d say you’d need some solar. Right now I’m running a Dometic 50 cooler style compressor refrigerator (Danfoss BD 35 compressor), and it’s using around 28 amp hours per 24-hour day, I’d say. I have it set to 32º, which does not keep things frozen, but is a very cold refrigerator. You can also set it lower to be a freezer. Supposedly you can’t do both, although I have friends who do after a fashion by using something like a Reflectix layer about halfway down, thus freezing in the bottom but not in the top.

          This “cooler” is destined for another use, but I’m using it now to feel out how much power it’s going to consume, vs. my solar setup, vs. my lifestyle. It’s certainly grandly luxurious compared to a cooler, but not as convenient as a “door” refrigerator.

          “For real” I’m going to be putting in a ~4.5 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer with a door. Same size compressor, so that will draw the same, but it may run a bit more (duty cycle) due to being larger. OTOH, I’m going to add some extra insulation to the outside, so we’ll see. I’m figuring on around 48 amp hours per day, but maybe I’ll get lucky and it will be less.

          This refrigerator needs some ventilation, but nothing like a propane one, so I’m able to close off the problematic vents (leaky design).

          The cooler style one is certainly easy, and super efficient. Presuming you have a good place to put it. Sometimes the appropriate place really works better with a door style.

          Right now I’m more than generously covering my needs with two 100-watt panels (not hard mounted, so I can put them out in the sun but park in the shade). I do plan to add a couple of roof panels to go along with them and for the “bigger” refrigerator. I’m also not a big power user besides the things I mentioned above (previous comment).

          I haven’t been plugged in since about a year ago, and have not run the generator for power. I started using the refrigerator (cooler style) in June when I hooked up my two 100-watt panels.

          I think I could make ice in the “cooler,” but I have not tried. I do love ice, but since my drinks are now at the practically slushy stage, and there is no really convenient ice “shelf,” I’ve foregone ice for now.

          Hope that helps and is not too much info! I don’t have a full year to report yet with the solar/frig’ setup, although so far so good. I do have my battery bank, wiring, and solar controller set up to allow more panels, and do expect to add a couple on the roof.

        • edlfrey says:

          The Specs claim: 14 Amp-hrs/day at 12V, 32°C (90°F)
          This may be a little lower than you would experience in actual operation but probably one of the lowest power usage units you can find. The link below is for the 5.8 cu ft model refrigerator. Isotherm Refrigerators are also great for power usage but they are small capacity and high dollar – even higher than SunDanzer.

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            From what I know, Isotherms are great units. I wanted a slightly larger freezer, so went with a different but also good brand.

            Since many/most of them use the Danfoss compressor, for me a lot came down to size (I had a space to fit), and freezer compartment arrangement.

            Isotherm does have the ASU power management, but I think I’ll be okay without it. As it is now I sometimes just turn the temp down during the day (when there is extra solar to burn) and then up a bit at night (which is also quieter as the compressor doesn’t kick on often).

            Lots of good choices these days, which is sweet.

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Exciting times are on the horizon for you, MB! 🙂

      • MB says:

        Thank you everyone! You have no idea how much I appreciate the information and the encouragement. And it means so much that both come from folks who are out there doing it…..not sitting in a chair telling me all the reasons I can’t! (Not many of those in my life though.) Thanks again and have a wonderful day…..wherever you may call home. 🙂 MB from VA

  41. Donna says:

    Recently found your blog, am enjoying it and jealous I am here in my house and you are free in your camper. I’ve consider full-timing now that I’m retired but just sold my A-frame camper because I wasn’t using it. I’m single with 3 dogs which is an impossible situation for camping because my hound has issues. He doesn’t like dogs, people or new situations and barks a lot. I wanted to add to the discussion about pet food. I used to shop PetSmart and Tractor Supply to buy Blue Buffalo but now use The food is the same price as I had been paying, my order is on my porch in 1-2 days after I order and they have many brands of pet food. Last time I ordered, I had my order in less than 24 hrs. This, of course, won’t work if you are a full-timer, but if you aren’t living out of your camper it’s the best. I have also scheduled regular shipments which can be delayed, shipped or stopped at any time. I don’t ever have to worry that I’ll run out of food. Your subscribers might also be interested in my blog which is about frugal living, debt elimination, retirement, recipes and crafts.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m glad you are enjoying it.

      Two things I want to mention since your comment gives me an opening to let new folks to my blog be aware of a few things..

      If you click on your name at the top of your comment, you will see that it opens to your blog or website. Therefore there is no need to promote your blog in your comment. Donna, your one time doing this is fine as you are introducing yourself.

      The other thing is I sell Amazon products. When links to Amazon competitors provide products at a cheaper price or products not available at Amazon (rare!), I don’t mind them being posted on my blog occasionally.

      I post Amazon ads, special links, and search boxes in order to make some bucks for my future security. Blogorinos have been wonderful about using them. No problem, this time, Donna, as I see that some of the dog food is cheaper at than at Amazon. BTW Amazon does deliver quickly and provides the scheduling conveniences you describe, too.

      Best of luck with your blog. I’m sure several of my readers will find it interesting and helpful!

  42. Gal n a cat in Fl says:

    I admit to being a lurker for the most part making few posts but reading every couple days. LOVE your site and dream of doing this. I cried at reading weather’s post about her beloved old dog. For there goes me and us all? So sad and wish her peace and strength these days it is so fresh. I also didn’t read far down enough to see Chey’s new rig. How I envy that 24ft c!!! My dream (I think) Looked at B but wondered about size/space etc. But the 24’C seems like something I could manage alone. 2 beautiful very old lazy Persian cats too! Anyway, love your blog and lurk and read and feel like I know so many of you. Happy trails to all, especially you Sue.
    PS I love hearing what you buy in wallyworld!

    • Sidewinder Pen says:

      I have a 21′ C, and used to have a Class B camper van. I like(d) them both! The B was perfect for road trips/on the move, and also for camping in perfect weather in private spots, because I could extend outside. It was a very blended outside/inside type of rig.

      The C is still nice for road trips (albeit not quite as compact and “car like”), but shines when I want to stay put a bit longer (because larger tankage, bathroom, more water, etc.). It also has more room for solar panels and more outside storage (although I still drool enviously at the PTV’s cavernous holds). It’s also nice when I’m not in a place where I can comfortably live outside (rest area, Wal-Mart, rainy days, cramped campgrounds, etc.). I can spend a day “at home” indoors and putter and etc. more like at home (the van was sized more for basically sitting in place, although that was comfortable).

      Another plus to the C is that although I was perfectly fine with the porta potti and sponge baths (still take those, actually), sometimes it’s handy with the C because people are more comfortable that I’m “living normally” with a “real” bathroom, shower, etc. I can pass for typical more easily (if they only knew ;))

      If I had my druthers right now (and a pocketful of money or no aversion to loans), I’d go for a brand new Transit van high top and outfit it just to my liking plus add 4 x 4 for getting to even more private boondocks. But then my rig now is pretty nice and a fraction of the cost.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        BTW, when I said the van was better for sitting in place, I meant that I tended to just sit in one spot inside when closed up on a rainy day, at night, or whatever. It wasn’t really set up for “walking around” inside, or puttering in that way. Very comfy though.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Did you ever wish you had a toad when you had the Class C? In other words, did you mind having to break camp in order to go to the store?

        • edlfrey says:

          Let me butt in here. I live Fulltime in a Class C and there are times that I ‘wish’ I had a toad. However every time I sit and think about my ‘wish’ and think about my financial situation I arrive at the same answer every time – I can not afford a toad.

          Do I mind having to ‘break camp” to go to the store? NO! I do not set up a camp as does Sue and other RVers with a lot of ‘stuff’ outside. My breaking camp entails unplugging from electric and stowing the cord. I never remain connected to water and sewer although I usually have a full hook-up space. So breaking camp and setting up camp again adds about 10 minutes to what it would be if I had a toad. How long it would take me to un-hook and hook up a toad once a month is an unknown.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            Your Class C fits your lifestyle. I’m concerned about readers of my blog wanting to duplicate my lifestyle for themselves and thinking they can do it with a Class C.

            Do I think no one should have a Class C? Of course not. Just know that choosing a Class C will result in a different way of RVing than the way I RV.

          • Pamela K. says:

            You have had several different kinds of rigs in the past. From teardrop trailers to converted cargo trailers to your current Class C. You speak to each with all their pros and cons. I liked that about your blog. All the different choices you made and why you made them for that point and time. You always make it clear that you are most handy with the needed tools and repairs, something some of us are not so apt at doing for ourselves. For me, that is where the *right rig* comes into play. For the long term and the care/needs/expense of maintaining our rigs. I would think that a small Class C would be a clear answer for many, like yourself. As for the toad; You already have one…Your Bicycle! For a guy who has traveled doing bicycle tours over thousands of miles and done so for many years, well, that is your *car* 🙂

        • Sidewinder Pen says:

          Hi Sue,

          I still have the C. I don’t have a toad, and neither did I have one with the B camper van. One of the downsides is definitely the need to break camp to go someplace. I don’t set up as much outside as you (but maybe I would if I had your setup!). On the other hand, I do like having everything with me when I go places. I had the use of a friend’s toad one winter and although I LOVED having “my car,” it also slightly drove me nuts having to remember what was where, “pack things to go somewhere in the car,” bring them back “in the house,” not have my food/etc. with me. I guess as always, there are plusses and minuses.

          The main thing that drove my choice of rig was that I sometimes tow a boat. So having a camp trailer would mean yet another trailer to store/maintain/etc.

          Still, I have thought about it. For now the B/C type suits me, but I may change (and indeed, I did have a 13′ fiberglass camp trailer in the past).

          I have also considered a small toad, but so far haven’t done it. I like to feel zippy and nimble when traveling. What I really need is an inflatable car! Get to a campsite, blow it up, and away I go 😀

          I don’t know that I’d say someone couldn’t enjoy your type of lifestyle with a B/C. I mean, it wouldn’t be exactly as you do it, but maybe a variation.

          I guess for me when it comes down to it there is no perfect choice (see now you are one of those “irritating” people who DOES have a perfect choice for you 😀 :D). So I just try to enjoy the plusses of the one I have (and then of course daydream about other ones).

          • Sidewinder Pen says:

            PS: I should say that I don’t go to the store super often. I never have liked shopping and busy stores/people. I do typically shop on my way between camps (and then the kitchen and refrigerator are right there in the store parking lot :D).

            Another thing is that in winter, when I tend to stay in camps for longer, I will sometimes set up a screen tent. Then I don’t have to break camp to go to the store (even taking the “C”) because the screen tent, my chair, etc. ARE still in camp. And driving my rig is basically driving a van (slightly larger, but not a lot).

            Not saying it’s the right choice for everyone (or even the perfect choice for me in every single way), but it seems to work out.

            • Sidewinder Pen says:

              And one last (oh who am I kidding, let’s say one “more”) comment: There is a huge variation in the size of Class C’s. Mine is barely larger than a van, whereas I have a friend with a 27-footer, that is not only much longer, but wider and higher with a big cab-over. Mine feels like a big van; his feels like a medium sized motorhome. We each like the plusses of our particular one, and put up with the minuses. I especially like driving a narrower rig. Not that I can’t drive a wider one, but I enjoy narrower.

              Although, Gal n a cat in FL: Don’t sell yourself short on towing if you think you would enjoy a trailer. It’s just a thing to learn and get used to, like so many others. If you don’t want to tow, that’s one thing, but if you think you might enjoy it, I’d encourage you to pick up the skill.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              You’re right, Pen. Again I say to people… Buy the rig to suit what you want to do with it, how you want to live. Not buying a trailer because it has to be towed is like not buying a dishwasher because it has to be emptied. I suspect female, lack-of-confidence, lifelong conditioning when I hear a woman say that. Not being critical. It’s something I had to overcome. Funny how we never hear men saying they don’t want a trailer because it has to be towed. Towing doesn’t require physical strength. There are electric jacks.

              The freedom that comes from having a vehicle that is not my house is important to me. Not everyone feels this way… just give it a lot of thought.

            • Pamela K. says:

              You both bring up great points! As you know I have an Airstream travel trailer. Never thought I would ever be enjoying a Class B or C. I didn’t have a clue what all the fuss was about. That was my thinking BEFORE getting my Conversion Van. I have done some mods and love haveing it, along with the Airstream. Both add their own kind of flavor to my camping ventures. Now I can easily see why RoadTrekkers love their RoadTreks and the Van crowds who love their coverted Vans. It comes down to more than ones taste. It comes down to HOW you camp, what you enjoy doing when camping, how much stuff are you willing to take with VS leave behide. And with my Van I do tow my 2 cycle motorcycle trailer but it is rare that I unhook it while camping. I do unload the bikes though. Some days I think it’s a pain to do it. I soon get over it once I’m riding though 🙂 I would guess a toad would be the same way if you really wanted one with you.

            • DesertGinger says:

              Penn, exactly what rig do you have?

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            When I wrote that the lifestyle wouldn’t be like mine if one had a C, I wasn’t thinking of the very small, narrow ones.

            For example, if someone drove a full-size C up this mountain (tough going!), I don’t think they’d zip down to Walmart like I did the other day and then make the climb up again. They’d drive up here (or not) and stay until it was time to leave this camp. Also I can think of free camps that one would hesitate to take a C because of the road in. Fewer free, high camps may mean more RV parks ($). It seems that with a C one isn’t as likely to explore as much (whim-driving), like one does with a small vehicle.

            “Well, then, I’ll get a toad.” Which means what? More investment, 10 tires, not counting spares? Two engines, two transmissions to crap out…oh my, better have $$$.

            My purpose, as is yours, is to help people know before they leap. It’s easy when shopping for a rig to catch cute dinette-pretty curtains syndrome. Match the rig to how you will camp.

            • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

              I totally agree RVSue. My class C is 27′ and perfect for me. After I ventured up that cliff road in CA I never went down a road that even looked slightly iffy. As everyone has already said, I did my shopping on the way into a camp or when leaving a camp. 99% of the time I didn’t hook up to the sewer or elec (have solar) and would just dump on my way out or in if I needed to. My awning was push button so no big deal and I would just put my chair out that had a little table attached to it. 99% of the time I didn’t even put out my 18′ side because I didn’t need to. It is perfect for me!

      • Gal n a cat in Fl says:

        That Freelander 19c looks just about perfect. Love the bath, double door frig and that back corner bed. Could use that overhead for storage drawers that are light and a kitty hangout. like the idea of a permanent bed that you don’t have to use for a table. They pretty much park in a regular space too. Really looked at those Travado? But they are very slim inside even outfitted as you want. Do love that aerodynamic look though. For me that short C is the ticket IF you can find a decent used one. Lets out stealth camping of course but there is a drawback to them all if you think about it. I would have to have a vehicle of size (don’t have) and learn to tow (yikes) so although love them, have to pass on a trailer I guess.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Oh, Gal n a cat in FL…. You learned how to drive, you can learn how to tow (which is easier than learning how to drive!)

          I have to say something here. I feel I owe it to my readers. If you see yourself living full-time on the road in the way that I do, camping in the kinds of places in which I camp, and you plan to do it with a similar budget as mine, chances are you won’t be able to do it with a Class C. The rig you choose determines how you will camp. I’m not saying one shouldn’t get a Class C. Just know the differences.

        • Nancy from South Georgia says:

          Hi Gal n a cat,

          I have a 1996 Minnie Winnie that I bought 3 years ago and I’m the second owner. It’s a 24-foot with the permanent bed in back and I have truly loved it. I’ll be using it for the rest of this year and then fall of 2016 will be getting it ready to sell. We’re buying a Class A to fulltime in and don’t wish to trade it in at a dealership.

          If you are interested in this type of rig at that time, keep me in mind. I’m in Georgia so it might be a possibility that you could see it and see what you think.

          I’m taking off in it this coming weekend and spending 4 days in Eastern Tennessee visiting friends.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gal n a cat in FL,

      Great seeing you here! We love hearing from a lot of different people. It makes this part of my blog more fun.

      I’ll be sure to include my Walmart purchases in future posts. 🙂

  43. Pamela K says:

    Me too! Love hearing about what you buy at Wally-World. It is always a treat to hear what you as a frugal spender finds to buy. I’m not so much like that but hubby is. He almost never parts with money. When he finds something he wants I never question his buys. I know he must really feel he needs it or wants it really badly.
    Well, LMOST never question his buys, LOL. There was the time he bought a cheap used car…a complete piece of crap that he poured money and time into.
    Now I BUY the cars!!! 🙂 I think he is secertly relieved, heheheh.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Never did I ever think that my Walmart shopping cart would be of interest to folks across the continent. 🙂

  44. Vicki M. From MI now TN says:

    We used to feed Blue Buffalo lamb to our shitzu before he passed away. It was very gentle to his little tummy.
    We have been having trouble with Walmart card readers too. We live on Discover and half the time it won’t except my card but would Henry’s etc. Last week Henry tried his card three times, I got mine out and it took. Got a call from Discover fraud dept. saying they had four charges from the same Walmart for the same amount, did we make them? I then told him about the other problems we had at Walmart and he said we were not the only ones, Walmart has been having issues with the readers for a while all over. So we will be keeping a close eye on our accounts when we go there for sure.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m not sure I’m clear on this. Did Discover suspect fraud re the four charges because of repeated scanning by you or your husband?

      Interesting about Walmart’s issues… I’m going to keep a close eye on my VISA statements.

      • Vicki M. From MI now TN says:

        Yes and because we were charged the $125 2 times also. Thankfully Discover straightened it out for us with Walmart and we were reimbursed the second charge. We certainly have to watch our accounts in this day and age.

  45. John K - On the road...Airstreaming! says:

    Wow, RVSue, you are putting down some tracks! We are still in Oregon. When we left Viento State Park, we went into Hood River to dump our tanks (free, provided by the city) the town was blanketed with smoke so we made a beeline for the coast. We found a nice spot at the Blackberry Campground which is 14 miles east of Waldport, OR. We spent 6 nights there @ $11 a night with the Geezer Pass. After that we went south a bit more and spent 7 nights a Quosatana CG 14 miles east of Gold Beach for $7.50 a night. Both nice USFS campgrounds and Quosatana even has an RV dump. Both are on rivers and are nice and quiet. Today, we are east of Grants Pass at the Valley of the Rogue State Park for some luxury living with electric/water/showers/laundry/etc. We need new batteries for the trailer which I will buy in Medford, OR. Not sure where we will go next. It is getting cold at night near Hells Canyon which is where we’d like to go.

    Still having a lot of fun, glad to see you are too. Hug the fur kiddies for us!


    • Pamela K says:

      WOW John! Those are some great camps and the Geezer Pass prices are much better than I would have expected along the coast! I will remember those for sure 🙂 Airstream… do you ever attend the rallies? I hear they have some great workshops to attend and super ideas for repairs/parts. I have a few minor things I will need to have done before heading out Southwest with ours. We have a Vintage one so the parts can be hard items to find sometimes.
      Enjoy your travels and stay safe.

      • John K - On the road...Airstreaming! says:

        The only “rally” we have attended is a non-rally called Canopener which is held in January at Topsail Hill Preserve, FL. We will be there again this year.

        We did not find any campgrounds along the coast that had any vacancies. That is why we had to go inland a few miles to get a campsite. But, we were glad we did. It was a short drive back down to the 101 and then we could site see all we wanted.

        • Pamela K. says:

          I guess I should have stated that differently about *the coast*. See, being landlocked in Atlanta I think of the coast as anywhere one can reasonably be able to drive on a day trip and see or be on the coast 🙂
          Jan in FL is a nice time of year. My mom is in Orlando and we used to save the Winter months to visit. Of course we wore shorts while everyone else thought it was Winter-time. I’ll take being called a Tourist anytime over low temps elsewhere. Sounds like your non-rally was fun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, John! Enjoyed reading your travels and campgrounds. Blackberry is the one the crew and I stayed at!

      I’m glad you’re still having fun…

  46. Penny in AR says:

    Love your photos….sure makes me wish I was there! I appreciate how your blog states where you are (city & state). I read several blogs and lots of them don’t state where they are located….some just have the city name, or campground name. So, it takes me a few minutes to read into the blog before discovering or remembering whose blog it is or where they are, since I read so many. Yours is no prob since I keep up with it several times a day, since I wish I was doing what you are! Not a biggie, but wish all bloggers would do this!
    Cooling off some here in the south….much better!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Penny,

      I feel the same way when reading blogs which I don’t do much anymore. It drives me nuts not knowing where they are, that along with no indication what type rig they are driving. That’s why I try to insert our location in the first part of the post, either under the first photo or in the text, and also why I have a photo of the BLT and PTV in the header.

      Enjoy the cool!

  47. DeAnne in TN says:

    I smiled at Reggie Man being referred to as the “Reginator.” I have been teaching for 16 years and since my first year my students have referred to me as the “Murphinator” (last name Murphy). I even have a sign on my classroom door that a student made. Here’s to Reggie, who can take care of business!

  48. Lacy says:

    Ok Mother Hen………I’ll check in with you more often! I’m always telling my college son to CALL HOME just so I know he’s breathing 😉

    Have you noticed that your comments seem to always be in the 100-200’s????!! You go girl!


  49. Shirlene (Huntington Beach, Ca) says:

    Good Morning Sue….OMG there is just so much information on this post, I cannot get to it all this morning. That is what I get for taking the weekend off from the post, too much to catch up on, but I will. Thanks to all who contributed to his great post.

    Have a great day everyone!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good morning, Shirlene!

      And in a minute I’m going to add another post for you to read. 🙂

  50. Cate W/Portland Maine says:

    For Sue and the blogorinos,

    Speaking of the cute antics of our pets, here’s the story of “Max the Moocher”. During our years in Peterborough, NH one of our babies was a large, sweet, mild-mannered orange tiger cat named Max. He was very good about staying in his yard so we allowed him to be an indoor/outdoor cat without fear for his safety. That is, until he disappeared one Friday afternoon. But “The Cat Came Back!” on Monday morning. Whew! However, he disappeared again come Friday and returned home on the following Monday. This pattern repeated itself for several weeks. One day a neighbor came over to tell us that the mystery of Max had been solved. The neighbor had taken a self-help course in basic car maintenance and during a break one of her classmates, a monk from a nearby monastery, told a funny story about a big orange cat that came to visit on Fridays in time for fish dinner, spent the weekend, and left every Monday morning. Max continued his weekend retreats with the monks for months until one Friday he stayed home. We called the monastery to ask if he had been banned. Oh no, they told us…he was very welcome, but he seemed put off by their new Golden Retriever Puppy. 🙂


    • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

      So cute Cate W!!! Thank you for sharing it with us 🙂

      • Cate W/Portland Maine says:

        You’re so welcome, Krystina. Thanks for reading it and glad you enjoyed Max’s story.
        By the way, I was born in Vermont (Burlington) and lived my last 16 yrs,before moving to Boston and then Maine, in Woodstock. Now the dumb question, where is Victory, VT?
        Have a great day,

        • Krystina ~ Victory, Vermont says:

          Hi Cate! Where I am in Victory is about 15 miles from St. Johnsbury, VT in nowhere land…no cell service at all. When I was first married, I lived in Sharon VT and went to Woodstock (over the river and thru the woods) all the time! Love Woodstock! We then built a house in Plainfield, NH. I owned a baby furniture/European toy store named The Red Wagon in the K-Mart plaza in W. Lebanon NH. Loved it there 🙂 Love Portland ME. The kids and I camped up there all the time. Good times.

  51. Cate W/Portland Maine says:

    Hi again Krystina,

    Ok…now I know your location in the state. I loved Woodstock too..I worked for the public library in town, also the Billings Farm and Museum, and after earning my masters degree had a small private practice there. Hated to move away but my life circumstances changed, and I couldn’t afford the high cost of living in VT.

    I’m an addictions counselor for a large non-profit health care provider in Portland and have lived here for over 10 yrs. Its a nice small city with good cultural options like theater and music. Love the Casco Bay which I can see from my living room and bedroom windows. I will probably stay for another 2 yrs and then I hope to RV fulltime like Sue and her crew.

    Nice to “meet” you here,

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