A familiar boondock at Congress, Arizona

Friday, March 28

I didn’t unhitch the Best Little Trailer the entire time we camped off Vulture Mine Road.  This morning we pull out, stopping briefly at Rachel and Macha’s camp to say goodbye.   At the intersection with Highway 60 I turn right toward downtown Wickenburg.


This post’s photos were taken at our new camp. This is a zoomed in look at the view out our door.

The community center has a dump station.

I go inside and pay Rose the $10 fee.  She meets me outside and unlocks the dump.  That’s when she notices me looking at the sign.  It says the dump station is only open Monday-Thursday.

“We’re closed on Fridays.  If I can get out here, I unlock it anyway,” Rose explains.

I thank her profusely. 

I empty the black and grey water tanks, fill up the fresh water tank and several water jugs, and put trash in the bin.  We backtrack to the intersection of Highway 60 and Vulture Mine Road.  I find a place to park the PTV and BLT in the small, strip shopping mall where Kaley’s Sewing Center is located.

I had arranged for a UPS shipment to be sent there.

Boxes cost 50 cents each and envelopes are 25 cents.  I pay the $1.25, toss the packages in the Perfect Tow Vehicle, and drive across the street to the post office parking lot.  It’s late morning and hot.

I hoof it inside and pick up my mail.

I had emailed America’s Mailbox a few days ago to forward my mail to Wickenburg, General Delivery.

Next I move the PTV over to the Safeway parking lot.  In a whirlwind I grab some meat and bones for the crew, as well as a few supplies for myself.   Groceries put away in the BLT, we head north with the air conditioning humming.  Spike plants himself in the breeze from the vent and Bridget whines because he has her spot.

Some things never seem to change . . .

Except maybe boondocks.   We drive the eight miles or so northward on Highway 89 to the Congress BLM land where we camped the previous two springs.   I get out to open the gate over the cattle guard — a new one has been installed.

The road is much sandier, very deep sand in some sections.  I barrel across it, willing us to keep moving forward with the help of a few, quick, heaven-bound pleas and a steady foot on the accelerator.

We pass the bovine welcome party on the way.

Or more accurately, we pass a bunch of cattle giving us “the eye.”

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N’er-do-wells hanging around the water tank . .  .

I’m happy to see our site is vacant.  Good!  No one is camped anywhere around here!  A few see-saws back and forth and the BLT finds a level spot.


An easy move today to a familiar camp

“Okay, nutcakes!  Out you go!”

We return to Congress BLM for the cell signal. 

I need steady signal in order to do my tax return.  I set up the antenna and bingo, five bars.

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This quintet shows up at our campsite. Bridget and Spike get upset at these drop-in visitors and bark furiously.

I open up my mail and find the 1099s from Social Security, Teacher Retirement System, and Amazon.  The passport card didn’t arrive.  Instead there’s a letter asking me to confirm my permanent address.  Hoo-boy, here we go.


Even though it’s a hot day, the BLT’s interior is comfortable.

What did I get from Amazon?

Ooh, I love getting packages.  Fed up with my thrift store wallet, I now have a nifty Buxton model.  I also have an organizer for the PTV’s visor.  That purchase decision was made after my insurance card and the PTV’s registration came loose from the clothespin holding them to the visor.  They blew out the window and I had to stop and pick them up off the shoulder.  Good heavens, sometimes I operate on a wing and a prayer!


The crew settles in at their new home.  No cholla here!

I also got a lightweight hat for summer.  It’s dorky but it gives 40 UPF protection.   Bridget and Spike got nothing.

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It will be a quiet night at this camp.



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107 Responses to A familiar boondock at Congress, Arizona

  1. Judy E says:

    How is Spike after his awful tangle with the Cholla? And how was Macha, after? I worry about my little guys when we are out and about, and after reading that, I will make sure to update my doggie medicine chest.

  2. Pauline from Mississippi says:

    Am I first???

    • Pauline from Mississippi says:

      Judy E beat me by 1 minute!!! LOL. But I am very happy with 2nd. When I saw the cow pictures, I thought…Hey they look familiar! Remembering the cow adventures and pictures from the last time you camped there. So glad to hear there isn’t any vicious cactus.
      Love you

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        I’m probably disappointing readers, going back to this camp again. However, those five steady bars of internet connection are what I need. Nothing worse that losing signal in the middle of an online tax return!

        Love you, too.

  3. Cinandjules says:

    I just popped in and whaaalaaah there is a new post….so I read it in it’s entirety ..get down to the bottom..and WHAT no posts? I’m like oh hell this can’t be…heh heh I’m going to be first…so I click on the comment entry thingymagiggy…and see Pauline’s oh am I first? I start laughing.

    I’m sure you, Rachel and Macha will cross paths in the future. I have a feeling this meeting was one that will never be forgotten….a “special” bond.

    I was wondering how one files their income tax.

    Hey isn’t that white cow the one who gave you all the “stink eye” last time? Rubbed mud on the side of the BLT?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules,

      You can find so many ways to have fun with my blog. Haha!

      Rachel? I told her we would meet again. I have that feeling, too.

      The white cow? From last year? I think that by now she was someone’s happy meal. 🙁

      • RachelDLS says:

        I have that feeling too! I had so much fun talking with you and I loved hearing some of your stories first hand! Besides, Macha wants to play with Spike some more! 🙂

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Rachel…. You are welcome to come up here to camp, although you’d have to camp next to us.

          Maybe Dave would like to camp here, too. Only thing is… my campsite is really the only good site, although it’s large enough for two campers. I’ll probably leave within a week. No cholla here. See the sidebar “Where We Are Now” for directions.

          There was another site that we occupied two years ago but it has been ruined by quads taking shortcuts rather than following the road.

  4. Pam H. says:

    Sue, I’ve just started reading your blog and really enjoy it! I’m retiring from teaching in June, putting everything in storage and Maya (my little pup) and I are hitting the road! Your blog was suggested by Wheeling It when I asked if any single ladies did this. Thanks so much for giving a window into your adventures!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pam H,

      Welcome to my blog! I’m very happy to see you here and hope you will drop in again to let us know how you’re doing “on the road.”

      Congratulations on your upcoming retirement! Sounds like you’re ready . . . It’s a wonderful life when every day belongs to YOU.

  5. I sure do recognize your new/old spot:))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Al . . . I thought of you when I pulled off the Maniac Highway and parked at the gate. You were so kind to meet us that day to escort us in!

  6. weather says:

    Happy for you getting your packages,what fun!Especially glad you still have a registration to put in one,yikes.Spike will be so busy doing his job guarding your perimeter he’ll show everybody that he’s back to his tough little self again.Hope the whole taxes /passport thing goes as smooth as your encounter with Rose.Your site,familiar as it is, will end up w/some great photos for us,I’ll bet,if not that glam photo of Bridget always makes me smile

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, weather. . . Spike patrols the perimeter, as usual. Last year Bridget let Spike do all the barking at the cows. Now she’s taken on some of that responsibility. She really lets them know they aren’t welcome!

  7. Robin in Central Coast California says:

    So happy the dogs are healing/healed!

  8. Haha!! I was laughing out loud and had to read the part about you losing items out the window to my husband. You are too funny.

    You forgot mention getting a coffee in the Starbucks while you were at Safeway. I was very excited to see that:)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John and Pam . . . I didn’t get a coffee at Starbucks. In fact, I’ve never bought a coffee at any Starbucks in the world. You must have seen an RVSue impersonator!

      • kentster says:

        Only the Famous get impersonated. That makes you famous! Hehe.
        BTW, we are still way down in southern Arizona then east to New Mexico for April. Loving your posts as always. I can empathize with Spikey and Macha, having had an intimate experience with the cholla myself. Keep blazing the trails north. Maybe see you up that way later this year.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Hi, Kent and Carmen. . . . I understand why you are “still way down in southern Arizona” when so much of the country has such lousy weather. It’s been a great Arizona winter!

          Plot your travel to NM carefully to avoid driving in springtime winds. April in the Southwest can hold some surprises! Enjoy NM! Have some chile rellenos for me . . .

  9. Rita from Phoenix says:

    Our mutts took their first trip to the rez a couple of weeks ago. They loved the wide open spaces and help herd our three horses into the coral at feeding time. We heard coyotes at night but didn’t see them during the day. We kept a close eye on the pups (my sister calls them low riders) who are on the smallish side. We hiked into the canyon not too far from our back yard and that evening we were all pooped and slept good. Surprisingly the pups were good travelers and didn’t whine when we went to store at Walmart in Payson, AZ to grab a few things. Spike and Bridget are a couple of lucky dogs!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita. . . I can picture you and your sis hiking a canyon and the dogs herding the horses — sounds like a wonderful time — but I can’t picture how you took the trip. Were you in an RV, tent-camping, or do you have a place on the rez? If that’s too personal, ignore the question. 🙂

      Hmm . . . Your pups didn’t whine when you went in the store. Bridget could learn from them!

      • Rita from Phoenix says:

        We took my daughter’s Subaru all wheel drive…mostly graded dirt roads on rez. Two of my sistas have a home on the rez w/all the comforts of city home i.e. showers, cable tv, kitchen appliances, etc. They still have to haul water for the cistern and septic tank. Our visitors are always amazed we have this in a very remote area. Our nearest neighbor is about three miles away…but sound travels far. We all grew up in the area w/o running water or electricity but since then some infrastructure was developed…we still lack telephone lines for internet. sistas planted blue spruce and other trees which makes it very homey.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I’m happy for all of you that you continue to have roots in the place where you were children. Thanks for answering my question, Rita.

  10. Lacy says:

    Wondering: as it begins to get warm, do you miss having A/C in the BLT? Do you run a fan?

    Blogerinos disappointed in you? Nonsense! Personally, I don’t care where you go – it’s more of what you do and how you manage while you’re there that I love reading about!

    If I can’t sleep again tonight, guess what I’ll be reading in the wee hours again?

    😀 Lacy

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lacy . . . No, I don’t miss the a/c. In fact, I forget that I have it! I haven’t had a day yet when the interior of the BLT was uncomfortably warm. I read on a forum (for another brand of travel trailer) a negative remark and snickering comment about the carpeting on the walls of a Casita. Well, I’m having the last laugh because those fuzzy walls keep us cool on hot days!

      No, I haven’t used my 12-volt oscillating fan yet this year. It’s still packed in the PTV. I haven’t used the Fantastic Fan in the ceiling either.

      The Liberty model of Casita has three large windows in the back, as you know. The window over my bed stays closed as I have Reflectix on it (as it faces the afternoon sun). The other side window stays open all the time. The back window is opened occasionally; sometimes I put the Reflectix panel on it so the BLT will darken enough for me to edit photos. The door stays open all the time, as well as the ceiling vent.

      That’s all I do and we’re comfortable! I doubt this would be true if we were parked in a humid region of the country.

      • Lacy says:

        Amazing. If Casita hasn’t contacted you as their #1 salesperson, they’re missing out BIG TIME! 😉

  11. Elizabeth says:

    I am so relieved that you are where NO CHOLLA are!! I hope the pups stay healthy and out of harm’s way there. Laughed when I saw the cows…they are always so curious. My dad had a small herd…funny creatures. NOTHING goes on near them but what they will go investigate. Obvious too that they like to be with other cows…some safety in numbers.

    Hope you are able to complete all you need to there and then be careful getting out of the sand leaving. I always enjoy reading here…and I frankly cannot remember too well the old spots…so it is not a detriment to our reading here!! Besides the doggies are always doing something different anyway.
    Happy travels and be safe!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elizabeth. . . Yes, cows, being herd animals, like to be with other cows. When you see a loner cow or bull, watch out! Same with RVers. . . . 🙂

      The cows are a pain in the neck. That party of five in the photo would not go away no matter how much the crew barked. They stood there staring and then would take a few steps forward, enough to drive the crew crazy with alarm.

      I had to herd them out of here so Bridget and Spike could relax. I herded cows for my grandfather when I was a kid, never thought I’d be doing that again!

      • Diann in MT says:

        Way to go, Sue! Cow herding is a unique and talent of courage! :>) LOL
        If you happen upon a herd of cows on the roadways of Montana, understand that you just keep driving forward, slowly. The cowboys appreciate that you go slowly, yet not halting and stopping, thus giving these opportunistic brutes a chance to stop all advancing traffic for a half hour! Just keep going, cautiously, yet steadily. Out of state people don’t seem to get this.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          It’s probably the city folk from out of state. Most country people know . . . 🙂

  12. AZ Jim says:

    I remember this site from last year too. Nothing wrong with pulling in a place you’ve been before, it’s kinda like visiting an old friend. You may not have the dreaded cholla there Missy, but watch where you step or you may get a stinky surprise. Cows are curious critters so as before they’ll come a calling….Enjoy another Arizona day…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jim,

      Remember last year when the crew and I returned from a trip into Wickenburg to find cows partying all over our campsite? I hesitated putting down my outdoor mat for that reason, but I did anyway. It makes a campsite seem more like home. Plus, like you mentioned, who knows what’s been on that ground or what’s in it . . .

      Yes, it’s nice to know a place to camp already and to know what the internet signal strength is . . . You both enjoy your Arizona day, too.

  13. Ladybug says:

    I remember those cows!!

    May I ask, what hat did you get/how do you like it so far? I’ve been eyeing a straw one on Amazon; decided I might need to get one for my travels this summer, since the doc found a couple of ‘could develop into something some day/best be safe and remove them’ spots this past year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ladybug . . . I’m not sure if I like the new hat or not.

      Columbia Sun Goddess Booney Sun Hats, Fossil, One Size

      There are good features in addition to the protection from the sun (40 UPF)… It’s okay to get it wet, can wear it in the rain or for water sports, can wash it, it’s crushable without damage, it has black lining under the rim, adjustable chin strap and crown. I don’t need the adjustable crown as my head is big and fills the hat!

      Those are the reasons I bought it. Maybe I’ll like it more as time goes by. I’m probably too fond of my RVSue hat to accept another style right away. 😉

      • Gayle says:

        I must say that Amazon delivers amazingly fast, so much more so than the specialty catalogs. I’m check Amazon 1st before ordering anywhere else. Delivery speed amazes me — and so will those drones they have planned for deliveries!

  14. Chris B says:

    So, you are going to purchase a dorky summer hat and not model it for us? Geez! What is this world coming to?

    Glad that the pups are okay. I still giggle when I look at Spikes little foot. That was a classic!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chris . . . Nope, not gonna’ model the hat. Gotta’ keep the mystery in RVSue!

      (You can see the hat from the link I added to the response above.)

      Every time I scrolled down to check comments under the previous post, I laughed at Spike’s paw, too. I saw what you wrote there. It is SO like Spike. Nobody gets an owie bigger than Spike’s!

      • Chris B says:

        Sun Goddess Sue. It has a nice ring to it.

        I have a hat sort of like that but there is a flat piece of fabric on the top. Clete bought it for me while we were visiting Bryce Canyon a few years back. It’s some fancy name with a lifetime warranty that cost a small fortune but he wanted me to have it! I’m not much of a hat person. I wear it around my neck more than on my head! LOL!

  15. DesertGinger says:

    I remember reading about Congress inthe archives, and seeing the cow pictures. I decided it was a place I would investigate when I get there.

    If I stay on target, I am scheduled to leave here next Thursday…5 days. Still have a bunch of chores, so wish me luck! Just can’t wait to be on the road again (thanks Willie).

    Glad to hear Spike is healing well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I do wish you luck, Ginger. Only 5 more days… how exciting for you!

      I’m trying to remember where you are driving from. . . . and your new place is in Tucson, right?

      • DesertGinger says:

        I currently live in Albany, NY and I am moving to Marana, a very small town 10 miles north of Tucson. At least, that’s where my park model is for now. I may try to have it moved further west to get further away from Valley fever, but I’m going to check in with a doc there first to get better risk assessment. I have COPD and don’t want to move from the frying pan to the fire! But have to escape the winter. After that I will start working on a travel rig so I can spend summers traveling.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Thanks, Ginger, for answering my question. I like to be able to place people geographically and I suspect it makes reading comments more interesting for everyone.

          I grew up north of Albany near the VT border.

          Yes, you don’t want to make any decisions re Valley Fever and COPD until you’re sure it’s a problem at your new home. You may find a change isn’t necessary.

          I wish you good weather and clear roads for your travel out of the Northeast and across the country to sunny Arizona!

        • AZ Jim says:

          I have COPD. I live in Arizona fulltime. Moving west of Tucson will not change anything as all desert areas are vulnerable to Valley Fever. Valley Fever is acquired by inhalation of a spore that dwells in the dirt and it won’t do anything until picked up by strong winds and inhaled. It takes one of our monsoon winds to create a huge dust cloud which when moving across the land reduces visibility to almost nothing. Obviously when those relatively rare occasions arise, we stay out of the outside areas. These storms are called Haboobs. Here is what one looks like.

          • Cinandjules says:

            I was thinking last night about you and how you mentioned having COPD. Wasn’t my place to say something.

            It’s always good to get information from someone who BTDT.

            Have a great day!

  16. Vicky says:

    Hi Sue, besides the trouble with Cholla in the desert have you ever run into scorpions around your campsites? I’m glad Spike is feeling better, poor guy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Vicky . . . I appreciate your kind words toward Spikey. He’s well into a morning nap right now, along with the Bridge.

      Haven’t seen or felt one scorpion. The last scorpion I saw was at my home in Georgia about four years ago.

      • Pen says:

        A few posts ago, someone brought up rattlesnakes, and I had just seen my first one (napping *right* under the entry step of a friend’s rig – which happens to coincide with the shade of the rear dual wheels). Now I read this, and just yesterday saw my first Scorpion! It was trundling along the ground just outside my rig, while I puttered on a project. No harm done, but not my preferred guest! (This was near Parker, AZ).

        Now please no-one ask about Panthers!


        • rvsueandcrew says:

          Which Pen is this? Pen row? The Penny I met at Sidewinder? The other Penny? We now have a total of three Pen/Penny’s who comment . . . HELP!

          • Pen says:

            Oh dear, that is confusing. This is the Sidewinder Pen. How about I just go by … well… hmmm… Penwinder? 😀 (I do have a soft spot for that road since it was my first real desert boondock.)

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Okay, that sounds great, Penwinder! Thanks for helping. . . I like to know to whom I’m writing.

  17. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue
    I love reading about how you tackle the everyday chores of a full timer. How you manage your mail, the UPS pick-ups, the locations of the dump and water stations, and of course the camping sites you find or rediscover. It’s all fascinating, and probably helps a lot more people than you can possibly imagine. Maybe, I will never have the same adventures you have discovered for yourself, but if I ever find myself in full time circumstances, I will have some information about how to manage.
    Your adventures hold those “heart-stopping” moments which keep your readers on the edge of their seats. When you came to the deep sand, I caught my breath and wondered “What next for Sue and Crew!” Your grit and determination are admirable. Great stories. Keep ’em coming, Sue!

    • Edie says:

      Diann said it better than I could have.

      Hope you are having a great morning Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diann . . . It’s very tempting for me to skip over the mundane tasks of daily living “on the road,” and then I remember comments such as yours. I used to savor every detail I read about full-timing. Need to remember that for my blogorinos!

      It’s gratifying to know that people learn from my blog. I appreciate you letting me know and thanks for the kind words.

  18. Pat in Rochester says:

    Ach, earworms. First Pam H introduces Beyoncé and “all the single ladies” and we end with “on the road again.” Regardless, I am missing Arizona today. I remember using a forestry map to hike trails outside Flagstaff. Not getting lost, but not going where we thought we were going. Running into a herd of unfriendly looking bovines. (I grew up around dairy farms, and dairy cows are a different mentality. Maybe because their lives have a different purpose and they somehow know it?) And having so much fun in those mountains. This morning I woke up to SNOW. More DANG SNOW. Where’s that little March lamb that’s supposed to be heading into April now? I don’t care if you are re-running your campsites, Sue. I’m just grateful for pics that have growing things and no snow!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Pat… And the earworm “getting to know you, getting to know all about you.” That one worked on me . . .

      It’s hard for me to comprehend that people are still dealing with snow, even though I’ve lived through several northern winters. When you’re a vagabond and follow the mild temperatures, it’s easy to lose perception of seasons. You live an endless summer. If it weren’t for this blog and my glances at online news, I’d forget how hard winter can be in the snow belt.

      It used to make me so mad when I was a kid, anxious to swim in the river, and the water (snow melt) would be cold until July. As an adult I fell on the ice. Flat on my back I looked up at the sky, and right then and there decided I was moving to Florida!

      Spring will come… hold on!

  19. Cheryl Ann says:

    Glad you and your dogs are away from the cholla, Sue! And, it looks like you have a little more shade now, too. We’re having a storm move in here and maybe even RAIN by Tuesday/Wednesday. Won’t that be nice? I love the desert after a rain…it smells so nice!
    ~Cheryl Ann~ in Southern California

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cheryl Ann . . . Great! I hope you do get that much-needed rain.

      This morning the clouds are grey and I’m hoping for rain, too. This area could use it. Seems like whatever covers the ground is browner than I remember from previous camps in the same spot.

      Nice to hear from you. . .

  20. Pen row says:

    Sue, first time responding, long time reader.
    I’m sure the crew is gaining weight by your new photos. Can’t be good for them especially in the heat. Maybe a little less food daily??
    I’m in a campground in Natchez MS with my two dogs for a week or two, I understand the solitude. Penny

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Penny….

      Welcome to my blog! Thank you for being a longtime reader.

      Yes, Bridget is showing more weight these days. Her weight has always fluctuated. It wasn’t long ago she was trimming down. I do give her less food that Spike gets. I’ll continue to cut back her portion.

      Part of the problem with her weight is not enough exercise. I have the same problem. We don’t hike as far or as often as we used to, now that Spike can’t handle it.

      Spike’s legs are thinner than in his youth and he’s developed a paunch in his old age.

      Enjoy your camp and solitude in Natchez. I may camp there when I visit my sister and her family in NE Mississippi.

  21. John K - Mobile, AL says:

    So, in the “if you had to do it all over again, and knew then what you know now department” would you do your solar panels any differently? Fixed solar panels are an option on the Oliver trailers but now sure that is such a good idea. I am thinking more in the line of portable ones that you can set up in the sun and aimed to get the most juice out of old sol.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John . . . At the risk of sounding prideful (once again), no, I wouldn’t change a thing about my solar set-up. It works great for me and I like the fact that the panels are not mounted on my precious BLT. Also I can change the panel’s orientation to the sun simply by moving the PTV.

      I assume from your comment that the Oliver panels fixed on the trailer do not swivel. Do they tilt?

      Portable solar panels may be less expensive (no installation) — don’t really know much about them. However, keep in mind that you’ll probably have to stow them away if you leave camp. In other words, portable panels are tempting to thieves. Lots of people have them, though, and they seem happy with them.

      • John K - Mobile, AL says:

        I’m not too sure about the mounts on the Oliver. It just seems silly to have to park the trailer in the sun all the time. I agree on the portability being an advantage to those with sticky fingers. Any issues with the panels being mounted on the PTV?

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I agree about having to park the trailer in the sun all the time. That’s why I decided to put my panel on the PTV, among other reasons.

          I haven’t had any issues with the panel being mounted on the PTV and I credit that to the engineering skill of my friend and advisor, Mick.

          He designed the tilt mechanism and the mount in such a way that the rack and panel do not make noise as we go down the highway. It’s absolutely silent. Periodically I have to tighten the screws/nuts/bolts/whatever they are. No big deal.

      • Marsha in MI says:

        We have portable solar panels that came with a case to stow them in. We love them, but you’re right Sue. We don’t leave them out when we’re not there in most cases. We were perfectly comfortable leaving them out while we went away for the day when camped at Mammoth Campground in Yellowstone last September.

        • John K - Mobile, AL says:

          Tell me more Marsha!

          • Marsha in MI says:

            John, we have a 90watt solar panel that we purchased as part of a group buy through the Casita Forum. Information is under the subforum “Electrical Systems” and the last group buy was in September 2013. From the posts it looks like not all who jumped in on the group buy are Casita owners, so it might be worth joining, if you haven’t already, just to see when the next group buy might be. What’s nice about the unit is you just take it out of the case, and it’s ready to hook up to the battery, tilt toward the sun and you’re all set. We’ve had ours a couple years and have no regrets. The price at the time of the last group buy was $395, free shipping and it included everything you need to use it.

  22. John fossildreamer says:

    Hi Sue, I also remember AL opening that gate for you last year, boy it don’t seem like
    a year has passed,, I Know that I have never paid more than $10 dollars to dump my tanks, over 50 gals of waste and in 2009 that was high,, and like you I have never purchased a Starbucks coffee or what ever they call it… 50 gals $10 – 8ozs $5
    Safe travels Sue,,,

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John,

      Actually it was two years ago that Al opened the gate for me. Time does fly!

      While I was dumping tanks at the community center, a Class A pulled up and the owners filled their water tanks. Rose said that people do that all the time and since they don’t need the dump station unlocked, they take on water for free.

      I remarked that it couldn’t be much (once again speaking without having a clue) and she corrected me, saying that it averages about 20 rigs a day filling up tanks with water without paying. Not that they’re asked to pay or anything . . .

      Therefore, the $10 people who pay for dump station/water/trash are also helping to cover the cost (my assumption) of those who take on water and dump trash for free. I also assume they don’t charge for taking only water because the spigot is not visible from inside the community center. They could put a lock on the spigot also, I suppose, but that would require Rose to run out there all day and she has other things to do.

      Rose chalks it up to good public relations not to get picky about the water being taken for free.

      Either way, I don’t mind.

      • Sidewinder Pen says:

        I can inagine why dump stations (in general) just have one rate (to keep it simple), but it always used to frost me when I’d pay the given amount for my Class B, which had no black tank at all, and an 8 gallon grey and 8 gallon water tank. Then a huge Class A would pay the same rate. Hmph! (It’s mostly mock indignation, but still!)

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I understand your feeling. Did you ever go to the Shell station at Pilot Knob (east of Sidewinder) to dump tanks? They charge according to the size of the rig. You’d like that. A 17′ Casita costs $7 to dump there.

          Even so… that seems high for your little tanks.

          • RachelDLS says:

            I understand the price question too! But I guess it would be hard to try to track what vehicle has what size tank. My little Privy only holds about 3 gallons at most. Paying $10 dollars every four or five days is going to get pricey! Looking into different ways to handle that situation!

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              ATTENTION READERS: Does anyone have a good suggestion for Rachel how she can extend the time between visits to dump stations? (Keep in mind Rachel cannot use chemicals which eliminates — no pun intended — chemical toilets and vault toilets.)

            • Diann in MT says:

              I am totally serious here: While backpacking, one has no choice but to dig a hole and cover it up. Always carry a trowel for that purpose. Real question, real answer. Destroy the paper in a small campfire.

            • Diann in MT says:

              Maybe there is a little more wisdom here: Leave No Trace

            • Cinadjules says:

              They have portable waste holding tanks with different capacities. It has two wheels so you don’t have to bust a gut lifting it.

            • Marilu, Northern Ca. says:

              This works great for us: Put a bowl or dish pan in the kitchen sink, pour the old dish water into a container to keep by the toilet and use that water to flush the toilet. We are also using this system in our house since we have water rationing during the drought. Shower water is captured and used for toilets or poured outside depending where we are camped.

  23. Terri From Texas says:

    Hi Sue
    Your new camp looks neat. I wonder what those cows eat!

    How do you confirm a permanent address when you don’t have one?
    Take care!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Terri,

      The cows munch on the sparse tufts close to the ground, the small bushes, and the tips of the tree branches (mesquite and ironwood). I’ve never seen them eat creosote and from the looks of the creosote I’m pretty sure they don’t eat it.

      How do I confirm my permanent address? I return the form they sent to me with my Americas Mailbox address written on it (which is my legal residence), the same address I sent on the original form.

  24. Susan in Dallas says:

    Glad all the pups have recovered. Can’t help it, love the nosy cattle. They make me laugh. The chickens at the community garden affect me the same way. 🙂 There is just something special when animals acknowledge you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan. . . .Well, the cattle are “special” for a few minutes and then they are a big pain. I don’t want them pooping in our yard. I shoo them off and they keep coming back! They remind me of some nosy neighbors I had once. They didn’t poop in the yard but they kept coming back.

      • Susan in Dallas says:

        Ok, now I’m laughing about your ex nosy neighbors 🙂

        • Gayle says:

          My friend in Florida bought a home with goats next door — not in the house — in the yard. I wonder what that will be like?

      • AZ Jim says:

        *In my best cow voice*….”I’ll have you know Ms. IwannaBEalone, We cows expect a tad more respect than you are offering. We are NOT nosey! We are curious. There is a difference. We don’t mind you camping here, though we were here first, but remember you are not going to be somebodies steak in the near future, we are. Just a little respect for we Bovines, please.”

      • John K - Mobile, AL says:

        Reminds me of the feral ponies up at Grayson Highlands State Park. They are fun for about 5 minutes then they are as annoying as a raccoon! They will get into everything and anything you leave lying around.

  25. CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

    Hi Sue,
    Glad to know all the pups are recovered. Timely posts and comments as I have had concerns for my “Boyz” both large rescues and used to being ranch security and running everywhere. Are most of the areas you camped in this winter in Arizona teddy bear cholla territory or can they be avoided. My guys would just love to be herding those cows!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hmm… Where have we encountered cholla in Arizona camps?

      Here at Congress — no cholla
      Vulture Mine camp — lots of cholla
      Bouse camp — very little cholla, can camp away from it
      King of Kofa Road camp — areas of heavy cholla, can camp away from it
      Palm Canyon Road camp — scattered cholla, can camp away from it
      Sidewinder Road camp — almost no cholla (don’t remember any)
      Coyote Wash at Wellton camp — very little cholla, can camp away from it
      Mittry Lake camp — no cholla (don’t remember any!)
      Dome Rock camp — lots of cholla in some areas, not so much in others

      You’ve read several of my posts from the above camps and it wasn’t until Vulture Mine Road camp that Spike got into trouble with cholla. Bridget never has.

      • CheryLyn(Oregon) says:

        Thank you so much for the detailed reply I’m making notes. Still painting walls so not doing so much research. Figured Spike and Bridget stayed out of it since they are seasoned travelers now. Spike seems to have gotten stuck more by accident then intent this time.

  26. DesertGinger says:

    Sue, I was just watching a casita video and have a few questions. Do you have any trouble with the latches on your cupboards and how do you keep food cold in fridge when you are driving? Does the fridge have a 12 volt option or can it run on propane when vehicle in motion?

    Also…how does the shower work? Is the water hot and decent pressure? I used to be able to get approximately 6 minutes of hot water in my old trailer.

    Just curious. Appreciate any info.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Ginger,

      I am beginning to have trouble with the latches on the cupboards. The one over the stove and the silverware drawer tend to come open in transit.

      I keep the refrigerator/freezer running on propane when we are on the road. In other words, I leave it like it is when we are parked. The fridge has a DC and AC option, as well as propane gas.

      On those rare occasions that I have electrical hook-ups in a campground, it automatically goes over to AC power. I never run the fridge off the house battery.

      The water in the shower gets hot. I never measured how many minutes of hot water is available. The pressure is okay. It’s the low volume of water coming out of the nozzle that annoys me. I would guess these are things that can be adjusted. I really don’t know.

      • Cinandjules says:

        Tinycamper modified her existing hand wand by sealing up the outer ring of holes with clear epoxy. This creates a stronger stream with the same amount of water usage.

        There is a picture of it on her blog….pretty clever!

      • DesertGinger says:

        Thanks for the good info. Thanks everyone for your thoughts and suggestions. That’s what makes this blog so great! Well, that and Sue’s great stories.

    • Ed says:

      How to keep things cold while traveling from one camp to the next?
      I shut off all power to the refrigerator while traveling. I don’t want to stop for gas and think about an open flame burning in the refrigerator, or water heater, while I’m filling the tank. I know most people do not worry about it but it is just my way.
      Since my usual travel time is not over 6-8 hours and the refrigerator/freezer doors are never opened everything stays cold. I have had power off for as long as 24 hours and never opened the freezer door thinking that it would defrost but I still had ice although it was loose.

      • Marsha in MI says:

        We use plastic bins to organize things in the fridge and then when we hit the road, if it’s a longer day (which it usually is) we have a few of the blue ice packs in the freezer and we distribute those among the plastic bins and we’ve never had anything go bad. We put the blue ice things back in the freezer when we fire up the propane and they’re good for another day. We also keep a remote thermometer in the fridge to monitor the temp and it pretty much holds steady. We don’t travel with the propane on, but that’s just personal choice.

  27. …The passport card didn’t arrive. Instead there’s a letter asking me to confirm my permanent address. Hoo-boy, here we go.

    PLEASE give details of that challenge as it develops, good luck, hope it is not too painful.

  28. kgdan says:

    We made it to Playa Santipac—paradise! Met Utah Penny & husband Rich. Absolutely beautiful here—warm water, wonderful people. Everyone so helpful & accommodating. Love it!!
    Hugs to you & the crew.

  29. Glenda in OZ! says:

    Phew a big catch up for me this morning as I read through all the entries since early March. I’ve been away on a holiday, cruising in the Pacific………so happy to be home with hubby and my two pups. Life on firm ground is very good!! Great to catch up on all the news and dramas Sue!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Cruising in the Pacific, eh? I get the impression you know how to enjoy life. 🙂 Glad to have you back!

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