The crew’s dilemma and a nagging question about the Best Little Trailer

Monday, May 13, at home in Arizona

Sleeping on the new mattress is like dreaming on a bed of rose petals.

Aren’t these roses exquisite?  Someone please tell me… Are these floribundas?

Okay, so the new mattress isn’t exactly made of rose petals.

But I am pleased with it.  Very pleased.  I put it to the test this past week.

You see, on Tuesday I pulled a muscle in my back or had a muscle spasm or whatever.  The back pain pretty much made it impossible for me to do much, other than sit on the porch reading, watching the boys play, and listening to the birds, or go take a nap.

Lots of naps on the new, queen-size, “medium firm” mattress.

“Reggie, help me show the readers how comfortable the bed is.”

Let me tell you . . . 

This new mattress arrived just in time.  When the ache in my back became too much to ignore I simply eased onto the bed.  Within a minute or two, blessed relief!

“Ooh, stretch out those back muscles.”

By Thursday the pain is mostly gone.

It would be completely gone if I would stop stirring it up again.  There’s so much I want to do around the house that it’s tough to sit around doing nothing!

“Gee, Reg. Don’t overdo it. Oh, here comes Roger . . . .”

The photos in the post show our new bed frame.

The traditional style influenced furnishings for the rest of the room. More about that in another post.

You may recall that the bed frame came from the thrift store ($80) and needed sanding and painting.  Took me a while to get the work done.  I like the way it came out.

I was concerned that Reggie and Roger might not be able to jump high enough to get on it, even with the frame set at its lowest level.

The boys’ typical reaction when something makes them happy — Start a play fight!”

The height did turn out to be daunting for the crew.

Roger jumped up on it one time and, in spite of his success, he refused to do that again.

The white, embroidered coverlet? $6, thrift store.  Or maybe it was $4.  I don’t remember.

Reggie tried jumping up and almost made it.  He hung on the bedspread in desperation until I boosted him over the top.

Not good.  Hmm . . . what to do . . . . 

These two best-friends-forever do everything together.

To assist, I set up a hassock at the foot of the bed.  Ugly.  Oh, well.  At five dollars it’s a lot cheaper than purchasing dog stairs.  Plus there’s not a lot of room in our little bedroom and it’s easy to move out of the way, if need be.

Reggie demonstrates how to use the hassock to get up on the bed. He learned very quickly.

Still a problem:  Roger refuses to use the hassock!

He also refuses to jump up on the bed again from the floor.  With my back out-of-whack I can’t lift him.  I wouldn’t lift him anyway because, you know how it goes, do that once and that’s what’s expected from now ’til forever.

We had one bad night with Roger whining from the floor.

Whenever I tried to position him in front of the hassock and guide him up and over, he acted like I was involving him in a nefarious plot against him. He actually ran and hid under the bed!

This, after watching Reggie hop happily from floor to hassock to bed!

“You’re a frustrating little goofball, Roger.  Not you, Reg.  Well, not at the moment.”

Anyway . . . .

Days pass.  My back is better!

Roger now lets me set him on the hassock (my one concession which I may regret) and he jumps the rest of the way.

Notwithstanding the antics of Reg and Rog, our bedroom is a restful retreat.  I love how the light glows through the curtains each morning.

Orientation of a house, like an RV at camp, makes a big difference in atmosphere. This window faces the sunrise.

More about décor in a future post.

~ ~ ~

Something on my mind lately . . . .

About two weeks ago I carry the 8-foot ladder over to the big mesquite in the back yard.  A branch has grown too close to the Best Little Trailer.  As I work with a pruning saw, a thought occurs to me:

Is it time to give up the BLT?

She’s sat here for a year.  That’s not good for her tires.  She needs a wash and wax.  Why haven’t I gone camping with her?  Maybe it’s time to let her go . . . .

Hey . . . What about a van equipped for camping? Would that be more suitable for the crew and me, now that we have a home?  A van I would use as my only vehicle?

Readers, please help me out here.

What are your thoughts on this?


NOTE:  A while ago a blogorino asked:

“Do you use the BLT’s propane tank for your Blackstone griddle?”

I didn’t reply right away and lost track of the location of the question in comments.  The answer is yes, I do.  I unhooked one of the BLT’s tanks and set it under the table where I use the griddle on the covered patio. — Sue

~ ~ ~


Do you like the bedroom curtains?  I’m delighted with them!

Available from Amazon, they are sold packaged as a set of two panels and aren’t expensive, as far as curtains go, that is.  White semi-sheer with a floral pattern embroidery, they let in light yet provide needed privacy (The window faces the street.).  The curtains are held in place with tension rods.

Opening the curtains on another beautiful day in Arizona!


AmHoo Floral Leaf Embroidery Semi Sheer Curtain Rod Pocket Voile Sheer Curtains Set of 2 for Living Bedroom Window Treatment (White, 53 x 63 Inch)

~ ~ ~


RVSue and her canine crew is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.

Shop Amazon Gold Box – New Deals. Everyday

Fruit smoothies are delicious!

Personal Blender Aicok Smoothie Blender Single Serve Smoothie Maker for Juice Shakes and Smoothie with 20 oz Tritan BPA Free Travel Bottle, 300W

~ ~ ~

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173 Responses to The crew’s dilemma and a nagging question about the Best Little Trailer

  1. Dayton says:

    Enjoy the new format and the older photos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Dayton! Congratulations on being first!

      I’ll post old photos from time to time. I don’t do that for every post because I don’t want my blog (and my life) to be all about the past. Nice hearing from you!

      • Dayton says:

        Camping with a van has been my choice since I sold the motor home.
        Miss the bathroom and cooking inside. Portapotty is problematic.
        So, motels that take dogs… that has been our solution.
        La Quinta Inns have been our choice. But have used others.
        We got a good price for the RV . Used a dealer on consignment.
        Hate the idea of tire kickers after selling our Toad that way. It worked through Craigs List. But, we learned it was best to let someone else sell the RV.
        I shopped for dealers. One came and took it to their location and detailed it. It took a while but it was a clean, no hassle, sale.
        I’m now 82, so moteling has simplified our life.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          You packed a lot of perspective and helpful info in your comment, Dayton. I appreciate that and I understand you being at a stage in your life when “moteling has simplified our life.”

  2. John Duluth says:


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, John!

      Nine minutes after Dayton. I bet you didn’t receive the post the same time he did. The blog is sent in bursts.

      The important thing, you’re here! 🙂

    • John Duluth says:

      Aren’t you going to get tired of the hot southern AZ summer? Doesn’t getting into the northern mountains coolness sound good for a few of those hot months?

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Well, driving there in summer heat isn’t appealing and the house’s air conditioning is divine. Remember, when boondocking (my preference) the solar will not support the a/c.

        No, I enjoy the summers with their cool mornings, cool evenings, and afternoon rain.

        • John Duluth says:

          Well that is fine with me too. Haha. Glad you will be happy in your new home (which looks spectacular inside and out) with those cool parts of the day. Maybe you are at a somewhat higher elevation than Tucson where I lived back in my grad school days. Man it got hot driving around in my 69 black, non-air conditioned VW bug!

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            We may not be at a much higher elevation than Tucson, but we’re not in a city. All that pavement and glass absorbing and reflecting heat. Tucson is routinely higher in temperature.

            Thank you, John, regarding our home.

  3. Susan in Dallas says:

    Oh, puppy dogs, you are a laugh a minute! Who would have thought that Roger would not want to jump up on the bed or have issues with the hassock?
    As a practically non traveler I’m not able to give any useful advice on whether to sell the BLT. But, I know many bloggerinos will offer a lot of different viewpoints for you to think about. With all that information I’m sure you will make the right decision. You have done pretty darn well so far!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Susan!

      Your comment reminds me of something I often wonder: How many of my regular readers and dear blogorinos go RVing/camping and how many read my blog for other topics such as dogs (or cattle… Haha!).

      Yeah, folks have been pretty good about guiding me in the past in making decisions. Lots of experience and knowledge to draw from….

  4. rvsueandcrew says:

    I’ll be back later. It’s time to fire up the griddle. All this blogging makes me hungry!

  5. weather says:

    In case you do decide to replace the BLT, I call dibs on being the one who gets to have her when you are done wanting her, 🙂 , just wanna put that out here now, and will end this comment, then write another comment afterwards.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Don’t you already have a travel trailer?

      • weather says:

        Yep, the T@B with it’s custom attached tent makes a roomy home, however, when I bought those I was driving the jeep wrangler, with it’s towing capacity of just 2000 pounds. Now I drive the jeep liberty, with a towing capacity of 5000 pounds. I love what I have and will be content and happy if that’s exactly what I keep. However, the BLT has such attractive features…

    • weather says:

      Okay, now that I read below that you cringe just writing “selling the BLT” I’ll admit that’s why I called dibs. I was hoping to get you to really imagine letting go of her. There is some sound advice worth considering in greg’s comment. Just a few thoughts-

      Perhaps now while you are enamored with the whole “My, gosh, I love this house…” may be a bit soon to let go of the BLT. The expense of keeping her for a while longer could be an investment in keeping something you will truly be profoundly glad to still own later on. I know you have thought of replacing the PTV for a long time, and at some point in time the it’s expense of repairs will make replacement a better financial decision.

      The way I see it , though, is the BLT and PTV are two separate issues, and would consider those separately were I in your position. To get a newer van need not involve getting rid of the BLT, to sell her as part of purchasing a van reminds me of “throwing the baby out with the bath water”…

      As much as I love your travel trailer, I really would strongly prefer to hang onto mine . I feel it was a gift that God led me to choose and keep. That has been on my heart and mind a lot for weeks now, perhaps in part because I anticipate my granddaughter’s graduating from Syracuse University next May. I thought when I bought the T@B that soon thereafter rving would be a constant part of my life. Then both grandkids chose to get their education here to be near me, so-o… after postponing the change in my lifestyle and location for six years, once again I have some big decisions to make. And I must say, now I’m thrilled that I did not decide to sell the T@B so that can still become my home or getaway if I want that.

      You, your choices and decisions will be in my prayers. I trust, as always, you’ll be led to a blessed path. I find your bedroom, home, roses, crew and life more lovely as time passes, enjoy!

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Good morning, weather!

        Thank you for replying to my question and for explaining your decision-making so thoroughly. Your postponement of travel with your camper is evidence of your love for your grandchildren and your willingness to put others ahead of yourself. I’m glad, too, that you did not sell your T@B trailer. Maybe that’s the way for me, too.

        I appreciate your prayers and your wisdom. I’m also grateful for your presence here. Have a splendid day! 🙂

  6. Velda says:

    I haven’t stopped by in a while but enjoyed today’s post.

    I think you would enjoy a van, since you are accustomed to driving a van. So many ideas on building one out on Bobs Cheap RV Living or buy a low mileage class B of the type with no slides and built within the original chassis walls.

    I love my 05 Leisure Travel Van, with only 27,000 miles on her and been mine since the day we picked her up at the factory in April 05. If all my other vehicles left today, I’d be happy driving my van daily, though there are a couple of tight parking lots , I can walk a little to compensate. The little but powerful 5 cyl diesel gets 15-16 around town and at least 25 mpg on road. Just paid for first big maintenance at $1300 seems a lot but divide by 14 years and it’s a bargain.

    Only disadvantage i see with a class B for you, is not as much cargo capacity if you need it due to counters and bed/sofa and bathroom. I get around that by putting sofa flat and a blanket to protect it and can carry anything I need. Mine has a 4 cf fridge that runs on AC, 12v, or propane. I have a 130 w solar panel and 2 AGM batteries for the “house”.

    In June I’m headed to a all women rally in Oregon and have appointment to stop at AM Solar who did my install in 09, to have a solar checkup and see if can add another panel to more closely match the 200 Amps of battery I carry.

    Sue you should check into a chiropractor. Mine keeps me tuned up in spite of a slight scoliosis which leads to occasional issues and I only see him as needed. I refuse to see one which tries to sign you to a contract.

    Sue, you and pups have a great rest of your week. My June journey I’ll be thinking of all you have “said” through all the years of your travels which I have followed since beginning as you traveled solo, and 9 mo after my husbands death I will head on my first solo journey in over 4 decades, knowing I Got This!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I missed you, Velda! Great seeing you here again! 🙂 I’m proud of you, planning your solo journey after more than 40 years. You always struck me as a can-do person and now I’m certain of it.

      Your comment is very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to write details. I would consider a Class B like yours. Of course, the initial cost is a factor but I will have the proceeds from the BLT and the PTV. Like I wrote, I want only one vehicle for all purposes.

      As for cargo space, having a home base I don’t need to take as much stuff with us. Perhaps a carrier on the outside? Also I’d have a twin bed….

      I also want to thank you, Velda, for all the years you have followed me and my crew. There are many here who have enjoyed your “company” during that time. I hope you will let us know how your solo trip goes.

      Yes, YOU GOT THIS! 🙂

      • Velda says:

        As to cargo, I meant as in hauling h8me bedroom sets or other large items rather than on the road. I’m fine with the storage on my van and Mel and I made trips from a few days to 6 weeks in the van comfortably. I only run into cargo issues at times like hauling home a Christmas tree or a long hoard.
        You know I’ve stuck around because I enjoy your style and the community and also because we are weeks apart in age it gives me perspective on what I can do.
        Hey CinandJules, it’s good to hear from you. It’s been a challenge now, 8 months already and I’ve been just dealing with it all.

    • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

      I think about you quite often Velda.
      I’m sure Mel would be smiling … you’re gonna get back on the road.
      Safe travels.

  7. Columbus Calvin says:

    Hi! I’ll address the travel question first because I have experience with that. I have camped and traveled in a minivan with my (now ex-) wife. I would do that again happily. If I were doing it long-term, I’d probably want a full-size van, but I might be happy with another minivan. The single unit is easy to drive and park, and I used a tent to “hold my space” when I went somewhere away from camp. If I had ever needed to “bug out,” I could have just driven away (no hookups for me). Obviously, your mileage may vary. I’ll stipulate that I have no interest in the interior appearance of my living quarters and also that I’m seriously minimalist.

    Your entire bedroom looks serene and restful to me. I’m not artistic enough to see the issue with the hassock, and the light through the curtains works beautifully with the furnishings.

    • Columbus Calvin says:

      I saw your follow-up comment after I typed the above. I am a camper and traveler (or have been) and that’s the “original” reason for following you. (I came here from Bob Wells’ blog.) I continue to follow you because your writing is engaging and friendly and because your entire community has a great personality.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Calvin,

      The fact that you’d go to a minivan again tells me that you found the small space adequate for your style. I appreciate the details from your point of view. I think I’d be happy with a van, since it wouldn’t be “home.” A separate living/sleeping space was important to me when the BLT was “home.”

      Speaking of writing…. You have a knack for nailing an idea or thought with a delightful phrase. I love this —- “….because your entire community has a great personality.”

      So true! I never thought of it that way!

      I also enjoyed your paragraph about the bedroom and its furnishings. Yeah, the light is wonderful. The natural light in this house was a major selling point for me.

      • Columbus Calvin says:

        [blushing a little] Thanks for the compliments on my writing. Thanks also for reading in that depth. That detail about what you need in your interior could be a determining factor.

        I’d also encourage you to study Bob Wells’s sites and other “vandweller” resources to understand how easily a non-technical person can set up a van for camping and keep it modular to change back for other purposes “back at the ranch.”

  8. Sharron says:

    Love your bedroom decorative choices. Very cozy and relaxing.
    Maybe take the BLT out one more time to help decide.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good advice, Sharron. I should do that! Thanks for the positive feedback on my decorating. 🙂

      • ReneeG from Idaho says:

        Yes, good idea, but get those tires inspected first. We have our tires inspected at the start of every camping year. This time we had to replace them all. The peace of mind is well worth the expense.

  9. Michelle says:

    Hi Sue and crew,

    I read and enjoy your blog and wrote to you perhaps once. Your question about selling the BLT was just enough to nudge me to write.

    My husband and I have a camper van. It is a 19 foot ford Pleasureway. We purchased it used but it was still pricy. It gets about 14 miles per gallon. It has a very small shower/toilet combo, a small kitchen….and get enough for a king sized bed that can convert to two xl twin beds. We always keep the bed open as I use it to rest when we travel. We love it because we not only use it for camping,
    but I enjoy taking it on shopping trips around town. Since owning the van, I have become progressively more disabled due to heart disease. I am able to rest in back while my hubby drives. Sue, for you, I think that you might enjoy the ease of just being able to hop in and go…and if you are tired you can just pull over and rest. The van also fits in parking spaces. These are just a few thoughts Sue. I love your blog. I am enjoying reading about how you are fixing up your home!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Michelle!

      Thank you for loving my blog and for taking the time to share your thoughts and experiences with your Pleasureway. You give me a good perspective. I do think I’m at a point now where just “hop in and go” appeals to me. Maybe a week of back ache is influencing me!

      I’m happy for you, Michelle, that you found a way to RV that’s enjoyable with a rig that’s convenient and allows for your disability. That’s what I love about a variety of people writing comments. We get to learn about stuff that may be pertinent to us in the future if not already.

      Thanks. I can see my decision will go back and forth with almost every comment that appears here. Ha!

      Hope we hear from you again…

  10. LeeJ in Northern California says:

    Dilemmas! I have also thought of selling my Casita…my husband does not camp anymore, so I go it alone. That in itself is not a problem, I enjoy alone time….
    but….mostly we use it as an extra bedroom. Now if I want a few days away, I just put a cot in the back of my truck, truck has a canopy, throw in the down comforter from my bed, a few pillows, cooking stuff in a tote, a few clothes and towels, some food..a folding chair and my standing umbrella and away I go…so very simple! If I want to kayak that goes on top…
    So I sure know your desire to simplify. It could be that is you sold the Casita you could get a great price for it and that would go a long way toward a ever van if that is what you want.
    Love the photos, your bed is awesome and I just put the curtains on my want list…I got blinds for my bedroom and need something light over them..hmm…thanks!
    My doggies can no longer jump on my bed, husband hates them on the bed anyway, sigh, but I like your solution. Perhaps Roger doesn’t feel secure landing on a slick surface? Perhaps a non skid rug on top?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Lee J!

      You may be right about the hassock’s slick surface. I’ll see about that.

      Good point about the money from selling the BLT (ooh, I cringe writing that phrase “selling the BLT.”) You know, I’ve already received four separate inquiries about the BLT without putting her up for sale, in addition to what weather wrote above. People see me on the porch and holler, “You wanna sell your Casita?”

      I admire your energy and drive to go camping, regardless of whether your husband goes with you or not. You are your own person and so is your husband, right?

      Thanks for joining in this discussion, Lee.

  11. Beth and Rosie dog, AZ says:

    No! Not yet! Don’t sell the BLT! You’ve been busy with the house, so you haven’t used her for a year. But, you may get the itch for a few days travel here and there. A van you live in, those aren’t cheap and think of all the stuff you’d have to “put up” every time you wanted to move. With the trailer you can leave it and go sightseeing and come back and rest…without putting stuff up all the time. Does that make sense? If you’ve RV’d, you know what I mean, I hope. Anyway, that’s my take. Only you know if you’re ready to sell her. Whatever you decide it’ll be good. And just so ya know, I’m here, just lurking in the shadows but still following your blog! 💜

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Beth and Rosie Dog!

      You make a lot of sense. This is what makes the decision very difficult. The BLT is paid for. I know her inside and out. She’s been a dependable, comfortable home.

      On the other hand there are registrations, insurance, upkeep (maintenance and repairs), the tires, keeping her fiberglass clean and waxed (AZ sun, as you know)…..

      Glad to know you still follow my blog, Beth. Do comment now and again. We enjoy hearing from you and every comment injects lifeblood into my blog. I appreciate that.

      • ReneeG from Idaho says:

        Sue, maintenance goes with everything and the expense of the tags, etc. are still offset because you own it outright. A Class C or B, may cost you more initially to get into. Maybe you should invest in a good cover. Wash and wax it, then cover it and the tires.
        We love our FW because we can park it and take our TV to sightsee. We almost bought a Class A and decided against it and are so glad we did.

      • Beth and Rosie dog, AZ says:

        Ah, yes my comment was here! I didn’t see it because it was much farther or further (one English word I always get messed up) down than when I first posted! Lazy me, not looking or reading enough. I understand the upkeep and the taxes, etc. but I’m just thinking it’s not time, or now is actually a good time to sell, because people want to buy an RV in the spring, right before the summer traveling season. So, again, I’m no help. Just keep thinking, or make a list of pros and cons with all your feedback from your Blogorinos you’ll have a better idea of which list is the longest. You’ll make a good decision. It seems like most of the time you do! I apologize for not posting more often. I will try to do better! 😉 You know you can purchase a cover for your BLT which will slow down the AZ sun damage, just an idea to help with part of the maintenance problem. They even have them on Amazon! Imagine that! 😊

    • ReneeG from Idaho says:

      I agree Beth. It’s paid for so enjoy it when you can take it out.

  12. Patricia McClain says:

    Maybe the boys would use a set of ‘doggie stairs’? They are available at most pet stores and online. I bet Amazon has them! They are usually carpeted and the boys are used to stairs, so it wouldn’t be a big change. I have a tub at the foot of my bed for my Hershey, but then then she is a 15 lb Schipperke.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Patricia!

      Yes, Amazon has the stairs. Readers have purchased them.

      The bedroom is small. There isn’t much room between the footboard and the closet, nor is there any room on the sides of the bed for stairs. That’s why I’m trying to make the little hassock work (plus I already have the hassock).

      • ReneeG from Idaho says:

        I have a Victorian style ottoman beside the bed and that’s what our little dog uses to get up on the bed.

  13. Patricia McClain says:

    I have always coveted a small motorhome, but I am old enough now that I know it ain’t gonna happen. I do like the idea of leaving a tent up to hold your camping spot.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad you find enough to interest you on my blog, Patricia, without being an RVer. Thanks for writing!

  14. Wendy Nichols says:

    To everything there is a season…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Very true, Wendy!

      Moving into a house, living here for a year now, has me evaluating every aspect of our lives — the blog as well as how/when/how often we will travel and camp. Nice hearing from you!

      • Wendy Nichols says:

        I purchased my new Casita Liberty Deluxe in October. Since then I’ve traveled to Wisconsin for the fall leaves, back home to Tulsa for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and out west for winter and spring. I spent two months in the desert at Midland LTVA (where the camp host remembers you fondly) and the past two months around Lone Pine, CA, in the Eastern Sierras. What a blast! Know where I got my brilliant ideas? RVSue! Everywhere I go, someone will mention your name either as an influence or as a resource. Perhaps the time for travelling in the BLT is over, but your experiences live on.

  15. Joyce in Kansas says:

    We are not campers/travelers. I enjoy when you blog about your travels, thrift store finds, and the pups. Just all round good reading.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you for that reassuring comment, Joyce! I try to make this blog interesting for all kinds of people and their lifestyles. Sure, one cannot please everyone, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try. Ha!

      “all round good reading”…. What a nice compliment. 🙂

  16. Gail from Buckeye AZ says:

    Hi Sue,
    I had always wanted an RV but never had one then after my husband died I decided to buy a Class C. My brother suggested that I get a trailer and a truck that way when I get to a destination I can unhitch and see the area.

    I have a home and store my trailer a few miles from home. I use my trailer about 6 times a year with most trips about one week and one trip that is a month long every year.

    After reading your blog for a couple of years I had the confidence that I could learn to tow a trailer. My trailer is 25 feet long and I love it. Its been a lot to learn at my age but I have loved having the trailer and I love my truck. I think whatever you decide will be the right thing for you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gail!

      I like the sound of your camping “pace.” A few week-long trips and one that lasts a month… Hmm…. Now I ask myself, if I were to do the same as Gail, would I want a van, a Class B, or the BLT?

      Let me say, I’m impressed with your confidence and courage to take on a new challenge. That isn’t always easy once one gains enough years to realize risks, unlike when one is younger and less cautious. Good for you! And look at how taking on that challenge has rewarded you! “I have loved having the trailer and I love my truck.”

      Thank you for inserting a nice compliment in your comment. You make me smile at the thought of having influenced you in a positive way.

  17. Cinandjules🌵 says:

    Uh oh! Sorry to hear you twanged your back! Ice is good!
    Hmm…maybe in Rog’s former life…he wasn’t allowed on the bed! I don’t know of any dog that wouldn’t take the offer of jumping up. Perhaps in the BLT it was the size….now this is a bed bed! The headboard turned out nice.
    Letting the BLT go…your choice. It’s always a great standby when you get that hitch itch! Remember y’all haven’t spent an entire summer here. Van camping means you’ll have to get and pitch a tent…or configure it for sleeping..but since you asked….I vote NO!
    Buuuttttttt…….Weather called first dibs! love it!
    Thanks for answering the question on the propane tanks.
    Have a great day.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cinandjules!

      You may be right about Roger not being allowed on the bed during his previous life. Roger has several strange behaviors that I puzzle over. Sometimes he acts like I’m going to murder him when all I want to do is pick him up. Other times he begs to be picked up. Of the two of them, Roger is the tough guy, yet underneath all his bravado, he’s scared of a lot of things.

      Correction… We have spent an entire summer here at the AZ house. We moved in last June (or was it late May?)…. Anyway…

      It’s so like you, Cindy, to give a definitive answer, no quibbling… 🙂

      Thanks for giving me your opinion. I’ve always admired your judgment and practical thinking.

      I hope you’re having a great day, too!

  18. greg says:

    About the trailer. Even with the bother of a bit of maintenance and exercise (run the fridge, furnace, etc once a month.) the BLT is costing you very little sitting there in the backyard and it sure is a lot less expensive to already have it if you want it than have to fund a replacement when you get that irresistible urge.

    If it was me I would take the advice of grief councilors (My mom is a licensed councilor and has first-hand experience at the grieving process, and let’s face it, leaving behind a lifestyle or a phase of life, even if it is done willingly and is the right thing to do, triggers a grief process.) and give it two years* before making any major and irrevocable decisions.

    I would probably, at the least during that second year, take a short trip or two in good weather and to a place(s) I would enjoy, even if I didn’t have a strong urge, just to make sure I was really done with wandering altogether before sending the BLT on to someone else.

    *A lot of people pin a lot of hopes and expectations on hitting the one-year mark. Having survived every holiday and anniversary that comes up they expect things to get better right away, but then crash emotionally when they realize that grief ignores the calendar and is still lurking.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, greg, for a thoughtful and thought-provoking comment!

      You’re probably right that one year is too soon. I’m torn because I hate seeing the BLT sitting there with her tires getting old and her fiberglass fading and also the extra expense of registering, insuring, and taking care of two vehicles. But I also love the BLT. She’s a good camper!

      The advice to take a trip or two or three with the BLT is good also.

      Thank you also for including that last paragraph about grief. We have blogorinos who are grieving at this time, probably more, too, who don’t comment.

  19. Reine in Princeton, TX (when not camping) says:

    Give up the BLT…hmmm. My suggestion is think about what YOU want. Do you see yourself going camping very much in the future. You don’t have to answer on the blog but think about how your health is doing. Have you seen everything you really wanted to see and been everywhere you wanted to go with the BLT? What would you give up if you went to a van for camping? Are you willing to do that.

    I will say that now that Paul and I have a new home with a big yard and we’re out in the country that we’re finding ourselves camping somewhat less than we used to. But we don’t want anything smaller than our Casita.

    From what I’m reading you’re finding joy in your home and the comfortable BIG bed and maybe camping isn’t as appealing any longer. Do what will give you the MOST Joy.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You raise interesting and important questions, Reine, my level-headed friend. 🙂

      Have I seen everything I want to see? Not really. Remember I always left a camp “wanting more.” What about my health? Well, at the age of 70 the odds of health problems occurring are something to consider. At the same time, I don’t want to give in to what might happen. If I did that, I never would’ve had the time of my life these past 8 years, right?

      But one needs to be sensible and realistic, too. And you ask what I would give up with a van for camping….. All great questions helping me to think this through.

      I’m happy you and Paul are content in your new home in the country. How our lives change over time…. Seems not long ago you were serving me a supper from your grill after Paul helped me back the BLT into her (and our) first campsite.

      Joy to you, too!

      • Reine in Princeton, TX (when not camping) says:

        It’s hard to believe it was almost 8 years ago when we visited with you and the original crew. What I’m hearing in your replies is that you’re not quite ready to say goodbye to the BLT. I turned 71 a couple of days ago and I have LOTS of things I still want to see and places I want to go.

        I think Greg had good advice. Keep the BLT for another year and take several small trips to get a feel for whether the BLT still brings you joy.

        • Barbara (Nashville) says:

          I agree with Greg & Reine. This was your home for several years and I think it would be hard to get rid of. If I were you, I would wash & wax it, & put a cover over it for the time being until you decide. Better, I would take it our for a week or two, run the appliances, and see how you feel afterwards. Y0ur surrounding states or even mountain areas of AZ would be good for a week getaway. You could suspend the insurance for a while to save a few bucks, just remember to call and reinstate it if you go somewhere.
          As far as a van, think of why you didn’t get one to start with. When I came up with wanting to do that, it was because I just wanted to go stay a few days until I ran out of groceries, then dump tanks, refill water, get groceries, fuel, propane and move on to the next place.
          In your case, I would definitely take a few more trips before I decided.
          Love seeing the sunshine coming in through the curtains. Your decorating style looks like mine: clean, neat, simple and relaxing.

  20. Elaine Magliacane says:

    I have no advice or insight on selling the BLT, we have an old Jeep Wrangler that I won’t let my husband sell because we’ve had so much fun in that little car (off road and on).

    I will tell you what we did for our old Jack Russell when he could no longer jump on the bed… I have a bad back and for some reason he want me to help him up, not my husband. Anyway, we removed the bed frame and set the mattress and box springs on the floor, he was able to jump on the bed until he passed at the age of 18. Added bonus, no dust bunnies needed to be vacuumed from under the bed, but sadly no way to hide stuff under the bed 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Elaine!

      Setting the mattress and box springs on the floor is an option. I can’t bring myself to do that though. After all these years not having a decent bed, I’m enjoying normalcy. Ha! I want a normal bed in a normal house. What you did for your Jack Russell was very thoughtful and kind and, at a different point in my life, I would do the same.

      Roger’s not old and infirm. He needs to get over whatever it is that holds him back.

      Ha! Dust bunnies…. I’ll take ’em.

  21. Diann in MT says:

    Hi, Sue,
    Your roses are abundantly beautiful. What a great job you have done on them. Your bedroom looks so cool, classy and comfortable.

    Well. I am on the side of selling your BLT and investing in a van. I just sold my little trailer because we have lost interest lately. Couldn’t have found better buyers, too. You won’t have a problem selling BLT. You’ll appreciate the money.

    I felt badly after the trailer drove away. The grief lasted about a week. I won’t miss it because we didn’t use it much last year.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Diane!

      I’m going off line now to enjoy what daylight is left of this day. I’ll come back tonight or tomorrow.

      Bye for now! Talk to you later…

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi again, Dianne,

      Your feelings toward your trailer seem similar to mine. I’d be grieved to look in the back yard and not see the BLT sitting there. I have a lot of memories associated with her. Those years (and continuing in the present) were/are the best of my life.

      Thanks for giving me more to think about.

  22. FloridaScott says:

    Hi Sue,
    We had the same problem with the bed being too tall in our trailer for our little guy. We bought pet stairs on Amazon, This one ” Pet Gear Easy Step II Pet Stairs, 2 Step for Cats/Dogs up to 150 Pounds, Portable, Removable Washable Carpet Tread” Works great but it took a few days of calm encouragement for him to use it.

    I know you mentioned getting a newer tow vehicle so your idea to get a camper van is a good one! Put the proceeds of both toward your camper van. You may go camping more often not having to worry about hitching and pulling a trailer.

    The right decision is whatever will work best for You!

    Be Well & Stay Happy!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Scott,

      Your thoughts are the kind of thinking that brought this topic to mind. I’ll be writing about the PTV in the future and why it may be time to let her go, too, as well as the BLT.

      I hope you are well and happy!

  23. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Your bedroom looks just lovely. I need something for our dog also… She can make it, but not always. Don’t want her with a torn cruciate & will just a small wooden platform we had for my daughter’s dog.
    Check out this woman’s site. I saw her interviewed on Bob Wells You Tube channel….Her van is all I want once we get older & don’t want to tow any longer. On Bob Wells Cheap RV Living channel. It is #Vanlife. Minimalist living in a Mini Van. She doesn’t live all year, only winter months. I might prefer just slightly longer van but I love the concept of the pull out kitchen and that it is just a regular vehicle. Not ready to give up our trailer yet, figure 4 or 5 years if we are lucky.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Val R,

      The minivan style of camper certainly is stealth and nimble. The only thing that would bother me is sitting inside it for 3 days of rain and having to manage with a pull-out kitchen during strong wind/rain.

      Thank you for the compliment on our bedroom….

  24. Shawna says:

    Hi Sue! I have been using just my van for our traveling adventures and love the simplicity. You can always try it out in your van before giving up the BLT.

    If you do decide to give up the BLT, I am interested. The Chiweenie Brothers and I have been staying put near Q during the winter months, and a small cozy little number like your Casita would be perfect for that period in our year. Please keep us in mind if you make the decision to sell.
    It is so nice to hear how happy you and the pups are doing and that you haven’t regretted putting down roots.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Shawna,

      Two things hold me back from “You can always try it out in your van.” True, I could do that. First the bench seat would need to be removed to provide room for a bed. Secondly — and this is a big negative for me regarding van camping — the problem of rodents.

      In the past the PTV has been invaded by mice. How do van dwellers keep mice out? I don’t want to be lying in bed hearing them scurry around…. ick.

      Nope, no regrets about the house. I believe I was led here, it’s so ideal for the crew and me.

      • Columbus Calvin says:

        The seat issue is a puzzle for me. Minivans have the advantage of removable seats or ones that fold into the floor, but I never camped in a full-size van so far.

        I never had the rodent issue, but I can tell you where to find ways to deal with it. I have seen good discussions of that on Bob Wells’s blog (cheaprvliving) and on the RVtravel site. Each of those offers several methods used by people with experience. As others have mentioned, Bob Wells offers a wealth of experience in every aspect of vandwelling.

      • Shawna says:

        I use a string of solar lights underneath the van as mice deterrent after an invasion in early spring at Palisades Reservoir in Idaho. Yeah, mice are nasty.

  25. Take the BLT camping & see if enjoy being out there as much as you did. I myself like to tent camp & not use a ‘camper.’ Your BLT is just the right size for you & crew. You don’t have to do anything but park & set up out door table & mat…this makes it super easy to camp. I’d keep it another year to see if you do have the urge to camp.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rita!

      You’re probably right. I should wait another year before making a decision and within that time take the BLT camping.

  26. Val R. Lakefield On. says:

    Val… I removed your duplicate comment. Your original did appear (above). Sometimes there’s a time lag in comments appearing, especially when a post is “new.” — Sue

  27. Oh Sue your bed, bedroom looks Devine and the Boys look like they belong on it, I’m curious to ask why did you stop roaming, is it because of health reasons? No need to tell me if that’s the case,, well I just got home from the last of the test at the VAMC up in Louaville and will know more Thursday when I see the Thoracic surgery Doctors, and my Heart Doctors want to get my Heart in Rythem by putting me to sleep and giving it a Jolt of Electricity to put in back in good timing and my Thyroid is working right, so I’d say by the time it takes to prepare all this new process of fixing me, I’ll be a new man at my 70th Birthday and for the past 3 Sunday’s I’ve been singing in the Chioure at the Knoxx Creek Baptist Church here in Linwood, Kentucky,,, I pray for you everyday now, I pray for everyone and our Nation,, you have a great day and a Pleasant weekend to you and the Boys,,,, 👣👣🐾

    • Velda says:

      Rusty and Piper, it’s so good to see you pop in! I’ve thought of you so often! Hey you’re just a kid,I’ll be 71 in September!

      • Happy young birthday Velda, just think that if things in the far past haven’t happened we’d all be in our Hundreds, lol, like Nine hundreds, do I hear a amen to that?,,,,, 👣👣🐾

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rusty and Piper!

      Why did I stop roaming? I thought I spelled out clearly in several posts why the house became part of my life plan. That plan didn’t work out, but the house did!

      My health is good. I would say so if it weren’t.

      Thank you for your prayers. I’m glad you found a community of friends around your home in Kentucky. Best wishes with your medical events. Give Piper a few pats from me and the crew!

      • The house, home, is yours to keep, a home base to beautify to your liking and a home to rest in from road travels and camping, thumbs up, you scored two thumbs up young lady in my book🤓. Thanks for the wishes and bless your heart and tell the Boys I love em and Piper says hi too! ,,, 👣👣🐾

  28. Jolene/Iowa says:

    Hi Sue,
    I love everything about your home that you have shown us! So happy for you and the new mattress. Glad you figured out a solution to the height of the bed problem.

    Now about the BLT. Since Rick’s heart attack almost 2 years ago and then we had the transmission go almost out of our truck, we have not been camping. I do miss it. Now here is my thoughts on selling the BLT but obviously this has to be your choice.

    I am reasonably sure your BLT is paid off. It is cheaper to put a new set of tires on it than get a different vehicle. That is how I look at our camper sitting out there. I don’t want to sell it as I may go out again and you have the BLT set up just how you like it. If you ever need to get a new tow vehicle, just get one that can handle the BLT and you are back in business again. You are all set up with your boondocking with the BLT. I just think you might regret getting rid of it. Also, you can take so much in the back in vehicle you have now and you would lose some of that if you get a camper van. Think of the things you haul in it.

    Also, I read your blog for everything you share and also what all the friends on here share. We are all one big family is how I feel about it.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Jolene!

      I remember when Rick had the heart attack and the transmission went out and life was very, very difficult for you. I felt very bad that you both went through those trials.

      Your advice is good. There are a few, additional factors involved in this decision which I’ll write about in a future post. This post was already long when I brought up the topic of selling the BLT.

      From your last paragraph I sense your affection for the people of this blog. I’m glad you’re a part of our “blogorino family,” Jolene.

  29. Karen LeMoine says:

    I vote go for a van!

  30. Mona says:

    The roses are beautiful, I’m sure these are floribundas. Floribunda roses feature clusters of flowers. You may want to mix in your soil a handful of epsom salt. Roses need nutrients during the blooming season.
    Last week I picked-up my 2109 Casita Liberty. Over the years I have followed your blog. Thank-You for sharing your travel adventures.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Mona!

      Great hearing from you. Congratulations on taking ownership of your “new” Casita! You are going to have so much fun!

      I appreciate the tip about Epsom salt. I had read about that for roses and then forgot about it. I’ll pick some up next trip to the store. They did get rose food earlier in the spring but it’s time I gave them more.

      Thank you for following my blog “over the years.” Do keep in touch… I’d love to hear where you go with your sweet home-on-wheels. 🙂

  31. Rosie says:

    Hi, Sue. I have followed you for many years, but seldom comment. Re selling the BLT, I would say that any RV just
    sitting is deteriorating. Since yours is so famous, though, I think you may have more time than usual to decide.
    About the pet stairs. I put out $50 for some several years ago. Our two Yorkies never took to those stairs. I ended up buying
    something similar to your hassock. I made a nonslip blanket type cover that stopped the slippery problem.
    I love your bedroom. My favorite colors and the morning sun!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Rosie!

      I appreciate your positive reaction to our bedroom. It isn’t decorated in the latest trends. It’s decorated how I like it. 🙂

      About the hassock, being slippery and Roger refusing to use it. If you look at one of the photos, to the left of the window you can see the corner of a large, flowered hassock. I removed the brown one and pushed that one over to the bed. Roger hasn’t used it yet but he has considered it, at least (no hiding under the bed). It’s covered in fabric, also the larger…. might make the difference.

      Thank you for reading my blog for years…. I hope you will stop in here more often. Reader input gives me motivation to blog.

  32. David says:

    Hi Sue,
    I was most struck by Greg’s comment…. and, given how long it’s been since you went out in the BLT, maybe just maybe camping is just not your thing anymore… before the nuisance of trading for any other living/camping space on wheels, echoing his thoughts I’d want to go out a few more times in the BLT.
    Thank you and your community for all that’s shared here. Am sure you’ll “only get it right” whatever you choose…-)

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, David,

      You raise the question… “Am I just not into camping anymore?” Time will tell, right? I should give the BLT a few more tries before making a decision.

      You’re welcome, David, regarding this blog and our community. I appreciate you for being here.

  33. EmilyO in southern NM says:

    Am rolling the same idea around in my head and fixing up the back of the pickup (has camper cover) for short trips here and there – or long trips too and not having to wrangle hooking and unhooking because I don’t see my right knee going back to its flexible state. But it does make a nice extra bedroom. Yes, give yourself some time, take it out a couple of times and see “how it feels”. I have been rolling this around in my mind for 2 or 3 years now and I still own it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Emily!

      I was sorry to read you’ve been having physical troubles (your previous comment) and hope for the best for you.

      You know very well how I feel about the question of keeping the BLT or letting her go. Our little trailers are self-sufficient and comfortable and paid for!

      I don’t remember if your trailer has an electric jack or not. That’s something to consider when physical issues arise.

  34. Hilogene in Az says:

    Hi, long time reader, occasional commenter.
    As for your question about what to do about the BLT…I say life is short. Sell the BLT and get a van and have some new experiences. The BLT served you and the family well, but it is good to have new challenges and learn new things ;). If it doesn’t work out, there will be another solution.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Hilogene!

      Interesting response to the question at hand. Love how direct and unequivocal you state your opinion. Yes, new challenges are good.

      Your last statement carries wisdom. You pretty much summed up my attitude when I took off on my “big adventure” from Georgia many years ago.

      Faith. Don’t leave home without it. Ha!

  35. Anne - GA says:

    Sue, Crew and Bloggerinos,

    What a marvelous bedroom. It looks like a room in one of those super expensive European B&B’s. So relaxing unless Roger and Reggie are in the room with you checking things out. 🙀 😂 😂 And ya gotta love those adorable boys on the bed. I cannot decide which pic is the cutest. They are just so photoworthy and cute.

    I have a hassock from Walmart and it’s beautiful red. The boys like to come in, dirt and all, and hop right onto it. And it gets moved around a lot (not much room in an RV). So I have a couple of pretty sheets I almost threw away. I drape the one that best coordinates with whatever corner I’ve put the hassock into.

    It is the end of a busy day for me and I sat down to read your blog and make a comment or two. I did so at the very end of the previous posting. And I’m just too tired to try to move it. Tomorrow is another day and I’ll try then.

    You did the clickable addy above for your smoothie maker on Amazon. I clicked on it and on the second photo down from the top photo on left side of page, it shows the travel cup, the travel/drinking lid and on the bottom of the cup, the blending lid. It is the one I have. The lid shown at the top of the photo and top of the cup, you can see the
    raised area for the flip up/down stopper for the drinking spout. That’s the part that is still leaking. Since I know it does that, I am just quite careful with it. No point in sending it back or trying to exchange it. I’d likely not be able to do without it for that long – 😳😳🙀😇😇

    And thank you for asking the question about your Casita. I’m trying to decide if I want to buy a small (17′) camper or buy a van and sell my truck. The van is winning, hands down, for now.

    I will be thinking about it while I travel in a few weeks. I have parked at various Walmarts for a quick overnight nap. I always try to make sure I’m in as safe a spot as I can be. But a few times, I’ve really wanted to leave urgently before situations escalated and i was just another ‘Innocent bystander’ while sleeping in the back of my truck. At a rest area at the OK-AK border, I actually had to call the police.

    With a van, I can just hop out of bed, start the engine and leave. And the most important part, if I wanted a snack, I wouldn’t have to get out of the van in the pouring rain and walk back to the tailgate to get food, etc. as I do now with my truck. I love my truck but it has a couple of drawbacks.

    My daughter and her husband have a van they’ve converted to a camper with a space to put in his racing motocycle. I’ll be looking very closely at what they’ve done to see if something like theirs will work for me.

    As many here have expressed to you, I agree, you will make the right decision after much and careful consideration as you always do. You have so much beauty, love, support, friendships in your life that didn’t arrive there by making snap decisions. And there are some excellent thinking points offered here by others as well. It took me 18 months and a baby rattlesnake to make up my mind what I wanted to live in before I bought my present RV home. No point in rushing into anything (at least until I found the baby rattler right in front of my tent flap).

    Will be exciting to see/hear what you decide and then sit back and watch you make it happen. You just amaze me with your talents and creativity, energy and patience. I want to be you when I grow up.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Anne!

      You know? I was thinking I didn’t get a travel cup with my smoothie maker. Now I’m thinking maybe I did and put it away with other similar travel cups and eventually gave the whole mess away.

      I have to respond to the need “to leave urgently.” This is often stated as a reason not to get a travel trailer. Well, in over 7 years of travel, camping every night, I have NEVER had “to leave urgently.”

      Probably for two reasons. 1) I don’t “spook” easily and 2) I always evaluate potential campsites for safety. Isolation is safe; strangers nearby means less safe.

      I never camped at a rest stop and I never will. Rest stops are dangerous places because evil people can do their dirty work and be gone in a flash. Just putting this out there for anyone who may benefit. As for WalMarts, sometimes they’re a necessary camp….

      Another reason given for not getting a travel trailer is the “having to run in the rain” scenario. Again, it doesn’t happen (only once for me– a few raindrops, big deal). When I’m driving, I’m not going to stop and get out in the rain because I don’t drive in the rain. Once at camp, I’d get in the BLT and stay in the BLT. The one time I had to do that is not enough to make a travel trailer a wrong decision. Capeche? 🙂

      There are reasons to choose a van, a Class B, C, A, whatever and there are reasons to choose a travel trailer. The above reasons, although given the most often, are the least valid, in my opinion and experience.

      You make me laugh, wanting to be me when you grow up. Not a good idea! Haha!

      Always enjoy your comments, Anne.

      • Anne - GA (but soon on the road to escape) says:

        I have been camping for past 68 years so have racked up lots of various kinds of camp experiences. After leaving home and having home of my own, camping trips almost always involved a camera and frequent stops. If any of you ever think about buying a used vehicle from a photographer, check the brakes – they will be the most used and/or most replaced parts of said vehicle. At any rate, I still shoot when travelling with the intent now as then, being able to sell the resulting pics to pay partially or in full for my travel expenses. For me, the above reasons are more than valid reasons to choose a van over a TT. I actually live full-time in a TT RV and wouldn’t trade it for all of Jeff Bezo’s money.
        Also, I’m going to be 75 in a couple of months or so and am pretty certain I still want to be you if I ever grow up. Though at this point, at my age, it seems less and less likely that I ever will grow up and become a real adult. Too much stress with being all grown up and such.
        Good luck with your decision.
        Anne – GA
        Oh yes, with more frequent comment, my math skills are improving. My typing/spelling, not so much. ☺️

  36. Rob says:

    Your house on wheels question…
    It’s coming up on summer, think you’ll want to pack up the trailer and find someplace cooler to hang out for a bit?
    Like you said, it’s been sitting for a year. It was a huge piece of your life, but your life has changed….
    Are you really happy doing what you’re doing? Maybe it is time to fully embrace this next block of your life?
    You’d never have brought this up if it wasn’t close to the top of your mind

    Good luck with this decision!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Rob! To answer the questions you raise….

      Yes, I am really happy with my life right now. That’s what brought selling the BLT into my mind. I just paid the registration fees and the insurance for another year. As I did so I wondered, am I going to use the BLT?

      You’re right. My life has changed. I’m older. I have a home I love.

      A couple blogorinos have mentioned me taking the BLT to the mountains to escape AZ summer heat. The opposite is true. I stay at the house with its big, beautiful a/c rather than sit at a camp without a/c. I’m more likely to go camping in the winter to get away from the cold at the house and to enjoy the warmth and sun of lower elevations.

  37. Columbus Calvin says:

    Also, I offered a review of my electric-assist bicycle several days ago.

    Ancheer Folding Bike With 36V 8AH Removable Lithium-Ion Battery

    ASIN: B074SKW31R


    I ordered this bike to use for local transportation because I tire more quickly than I did 50 years ago when I began to ride bikes. This bike has outperformed my expectations by quite a bit. I bought the cheapest unit that looked as if it would meet my needs and I worried about the quality. (This ASIN tells me it’s currently unavailable, but the page offers me a very similar unit for $20 less.) So far, (since September 2017, lots of miles) it has needed no maintenance other than brake adjustments and moving one of the cables about half an inch. I assembled it myself with no problems. If I were unfamiliar with bicycles, I’d get someone more experienced to help.

    I don’t know how fast the bike is capable of going. It’s sold to do 20 mph, and I don’t go that fast. The throttle-only mode operates more or less like a motorcycle throttle. I have used it enough to know it works, but not much. I operate on low assist (of three levels). That is, I keep the pedals turning, but put little effort into them. My speed, as always, averages pretty close to 10 mph. The furthest I have ridden the bike between charges is 27 miles, and it had some amount of power left. There are no odd quirks or unexpected issues. I have to pedal several seconds when I start from a stop before the motor kicks in. All in all, this bike is a great addition.

    • Columbus Calvin says:

      If we include keeping the tire pressure right in maintenance, add that in.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m very happy for you, Calvin, that you have this new mode of transportation and that the bike you chose is a good one. Besides being practical, it sounds like fun.

      Thank you for the product recommendation! I will use it at the end of a post, maybe not the next one, but sometime in the near future.

  38. Nila says:

    Sue, I absolutely love your peaceful, calm decorating style!

    I think going for a test trip with the BLT is a great idea. You could also do the same kind of test trip with the PTV only, and set it up for van camping. A twin bed (Amazon has a steel platform one with good reviews), a porta potty, and whatever else you think you might need.

    If you get a class B, or even a regular van and set it up for camping, the van will have a raised fiberglass roof. It’s less fiberglass to maintain than the BLT, but it’s still something :-).

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Nila,

      Interesting point about the raised fiberglass roof. I hadn’t thought of that.

      I’d need to remove the bench seat from the PTV to make it roomy enough for a bed. We don’t use it anyway, not the way Spike and Bridget did. Spike loved the bench seat, especially in his latter years.

      I’m pleased you like my decorating style. You give me confidence! 🙂

  39. Nila says:

    Things I forgot to say:
    I loved Anne’s comment on the previous post about drinking so many smoothies her insides were sloshing :-).

    I like to put protein powder in my smoothies; it makes them a filling lunch.

    • Anne - GA says:

      Thanks. I do slosh. Thanks for the reminder for protein powder. The reason for my using skim milk is for the largest amount of foam on blending – foam provides the sensation of ‘fullness’. However, it does also provide much entertainment in the form of personal gas issues. So beware.
      Anne – burrrp! sloshhhh!😳

  40. CherylLinMI says:

    I remember how hard you worked & how hard you pinched pennies to buy the BLT! So MANY memories you’ve ‘built’ in your full-timing life. I feel it’s too soon to think of selling it. Take your time…Take a couple more trips to see IF keeping it is giving you as much joy as puttering around in your yard, sipping smoothies, watching the wildlife, & your crew chase about the place, + not to forget thrift shopping!!! I mean there are such things as priorities, right?

    I speak from experience, when I say you might regret selling too soon. We had a ’69 Shasta 13′ w/O “BR” facilities; just 2 beds, sink, 3-burner stove, oven, & a cube ‘fridge. My husband decided that we didn’t “need” it anymore @ a time when I was in a severe depression brought on by my Dad’s death. I wasn’t in a frame of mind to make that decision…So, he did what he thought was best to do @ that time. That was 10 years+ years ago, & I regret it to this day. I love to travel, but hate the hassle of making reservations @ motel/hotel(s), finding pet friendly places that don’t charge extra, plus being confined to one place. Visiting GA this month to see family is one thing…enjoying nature is entirely different. BUT you have to do what you think is best for you & your crew. Prayers coming for wisdom in your decision. A very tough call!

    As far as a van conversion is concerned, I have my opinion on that, too! (you ASKED!) We also had a ’77 Chevy Van Conversion that I absolutely LOVED! We ran that ’til it wouldn’t run anymore & became too much $$ to repair. We honeymooned (my decision) in that Van {{Blush!}}! That was 41 years ago this June & I have very fond memories of all the trips we took…Family Reunions, Stratford Festival in Ontario, local county campgrounds, my Aunt & Uncle’s 40th in St. Louis, MO! Just to name a few! Good Times!! Like I said previously, “Tough call!”

    Best regards to you & Reggie+Roger! (Roger! Take your time…you’ll know when it’s the right time to show them!) 🙂

  41. jenny Johnson says:

    I vote for a van —- you can build it out inexpensively especially from the thrift store—a used dresser or chest of drawers to hold all your kitchen -modify the top to cook on — plastic drawers for clothes and essentials,,,,,a bed can be simple with 2 x 4s and plywood and a memory foam mattress —a porta potty which can be emptied easily — youre good to go—-BUT ON THE OTHER HAND you have all that in your trailer –take a couple short trips and then make a decision—factor into that decision registration tires upkeep etc on two vehicles BLT and PTV as opposed to one VAN—- You will have a plan that makes you happy and keep on bloggin’ that makes us happy!!!!!

  42. Linda in Minnesota says:

    My last RV was a van and I loved it! I owned curtains similar to the ones you just bought and I cut them down to go in my van. I like having everything with me even when just sightseeing–stop at the grocery store and put the fridge food away then continue on sightseeing. Wonderful!

    If you want to play around with interior ideas I recommend They have cut and paste furnishings on line but you can also make custom-sized items. I figured out how I could put a twin bed, my desk & chair, my chest of drawers and a port-a-potty in a van. That was fun.

    I started reading your blog years ago when it was mostly about RVing but I still enjoy reading how you are adapting to life changes over the years including changing crew members. I also love your new bedroom–so calm.

  43. Linda in Minnesota says:

    I forgot to say the late Andy Baird differentiated between day camps and night camps with day camps being where you set up on a beach or someplace to play and night camps being where you park just to sleep. A van makes that type of traveling easier to do.

  44. Elizabeth says:

    I love your new bed and glad it is helping your back!!! One of the most important choices a person can make is the bed!! I think your thinking to sell the Casita is interesting…and life does change and we have to make changes too, to go along with whatever life is handing us at any certain time. (Yea, and here we are moving again…made a couple loads over today!!…not what we planned for NOW, but we do what we must!!) Love the doggie photos, of course!! We COULD have dogs where we are moving…well, for more money and of course, it all depends upon how hubby does in near future as to if that would be a wise choice. But others around us have them…so maybe we can get in a few pats here and there anyway!!

  45. Chris B and Mr Diego who just turned 12 years old! 84 in dog years says:

    Hi Sue – Decisions, decisions, decisions…. I have no idea what you should do. I was rather surprised that you stopped camping and that was it. I thought that after a few months, you’d be doing some trips, but it didn’t happen. Maybe you accomplished what you had set out to do and you are done? I know it takes effort to be on the road handling everything on your own and after seven years, I think that I’d be ready to move back into a house. If you think that you are ready and want to try something else, I would probably do it.

    You’ll figure it out. You make sound and practical decisions. I’m guessing that you just need a rest and are occupied with your home the same way you were occupied with your Casita years ago.

    By the way, Clete is reading the book called “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century.” He says that you are mentioned in the book. You are more famous than I thought!

    I guess that my advice would be to give it a little more time. You don’t seem to be quite there……yet. Be sure and take your time. That’s all that I can suggest.

  46. MB from VA says:

    Good morning Sue!

    First of all, I love the way your home “feels”. I love the colors and the fluttery curtains…and the fenced in yard. I’ve wanted a hideaway like that since I read The Secret Garden as a child. Still on my list of favorite books.

    Bella can’t manage to get on our bed either but she is only 6 lbs. My new sweetie (adopted two weeks ago yesterday….and feels like she was born with us) is 18 lbs….solid as a rock…..and good at jumping. She will also use the rocker/recliner at the foot of the bed but Bella thinks that any piece of furniture that moves is out to get her!

    Glad the mattress worked and that your back is better. I had something like that happen this winter after shoveling some very heavy snow from my uncle’s ramp and deck. Not fun!

    As for the trailer/van. I’ve decided to do what you are thinking of… reverse. My sweet F150 just rolled over to 200,000 miles. It’s been an awesome truck but I know it won’t last forever. So, I’m looking at vans. I think I could set one up as a camper and make better use of space than the camper vans I’ve seen. And it would give me something fun to work on while I wait for the time when I am free to go. (Right now I’m doing wound care on my uncle’s diabetic ulcer on his foot. His second. The first healed up nicely but this one is being stubborn. He may need a graft. 🙁 I wish I could say that I have a caregiver’s heart but I really don’t. That would shock a lot of people. But sometimes you just do what you have to. ) I figured I could do the camper van thing….solar powered, of course. Then if I love camping as much as I think….and wanted more space, I could get a trailer. I know it’d be tough to let go of the BLT….or maybe not. Sometimes when “it’s time”, things that you thought would be difficult……..aren’t. You’ll know what to do.

    Still working on getting my old barn down and a new shed/garage up. Then, I think I’ll seriously search for a van.

    Take care! And as always, love from VA
    MB, Bella and Molly

  47. Jan NH says:

    Hi Sue,
    I started a post a couple weeks ago but never finished. I wanted to say that however often you decide to blog and whatever you find you are in the mood to blog about, I am happy to follow along. Your blog is always entertaining and interesting regardless of the topic….from dogs, yard, house, thrifting or travels should you decide to go on any adventures…though you manage to find adventures just staying at home.

    Greg’s comments were insightful and thought provoking. I tend to agree with his suggestions about waiting another year to sell or trade off to a van. I think that you are still in the novelty phase of your new home and making it yours and you may find that you do want to make some longer trips in the next few years. A van is great for shorter trips but you are also used to the conveniences of the BLT…I’m thinking getting up early and putting on the coffee inside your home on wheels…a holding tank to dump rather than a porto-potty though I have seen some great reviews on composting toilets. Class B van may give you some of the convenience’s you are used to but when I priced them out a few years back, sticker shock drove me away from that idea :)… Anyhow, just my 2 cents…

    Love the pics of the dogs enjoying the bed. Hoping the Roger overcomes his aversion to jumping up on the hassock himself…maybe something a little wider or longer than the hassock would encourage him to jump by himself if you have anything in the house…even a low table like a coffee table to test that theory.

  48. Maryanne Davis-Baldwin says:

    Funny you’re thinking about a van for both stay at home & possible travel; I have been (briefly) considering a class B van rather than my 2008 Tundra & 19’ funfinder trailer. That’s not happening due to the high cost of even a used one plus none have as much space & storage as my little trailer. As my mechanic pointed out, I bring lots of “stuff” in the truck under its cap, so much that I call it my cellar/attic. One reason I thought of “an all-in-one” is the physical difficulty of hitching & unhitching- I’m 10 years older than you are. Instead, I’m trying to find ways to ease the work involved. The hitch itself is quite heavy; using a big hose clamp on the crossbar that the battery sits on, I can store the hitch on the trailer so it’s a short heave into the truck’s receiver. Last summer working at home, I replaced the camper’s counter in the kitchen area, putting a new round sink & a 2 burner stove top with a piezoelectric starter which automatically shuts off the gas if the flame goes out. IMHO all stoves everywhere should have that safety feature. And now I have 12” of space. Before I couldn’t even put down a coffee mug. Being able to park & then travel in my truck was the main reason for the trailer purchase. Plus being a pack rat!
    As for your puzzling over whether to keep or sell the BLT, your blog shows your careful thinking & your joy in life: if you are looking for opinions, my take would be to address the minor problems with tires. fading fiberglass etc with covers & so on then let your heart be your guide. And take your time!

  49. Columbus Calvin says:

    I never once thought of you selling the PTV. (I’d camp in that.)

  50. ReneeG from Idaho says:

    Sue, I know you will make the right decision for you regarding your BLT, but there is a lot of good advice here.
    On another note, we lost our beloved Maggie early April. We adopted her 12 years ago at the age of 2. She was a beautiful Lab and had the personality of one too. Loving, smart, and a great traveler. Over the last few years she began to lose the use of her back legs and then in March she began to deteriorate mentally. It was the hardest decision we ever made. We are still mourning her. Before her we lost our beloved little Maltese, Missy back in 2013 and I just couldn’t bring myself to adopt another, but after losing Maggie, we both felt it was time to give another a loving home, so we visited our local shelters. After checking our four dogs, we adopted a Rat Terrier mix (although she sure looks pure bred), Mae Mae, who we renamed Mabel. She is 14 months and every bit a puppy. I sure don’t remember our Mica, our other Rat Terrier Mix, being that much of a puppy when we adopted her at a year old. Mabel has brought us much joy and exhaustion too with her neverending energy! We look forward to many years of love from her. They say the older you get, the smaller your dogs become. We both wanted another Lab, but we just couldn’t see ourselves older and lifting another one into our truck and fifth wheel as they age and as we did for Maggie these last two years.

    • Cynthia in San Clemente says:

      Renee, I’m so sorry that you lost your Maggie. It is surely the toughest thing in the world to say good-bye to our furballs. You sure like “M” names, don’t you? Mabel sounds like fun. You didn’t mention your age but it sounds like you expect to be around a long time with her. My husband is almost 75 and I am 66; our dogs are about 10-12 and about 5-6 – both rescues so we don’t know the exact age. My worry is what to do after the younger one passes away (and yes, I worry about things like this long before I should!). I can’t imagine living without a dog, but I wonder whether it makes sense to get another one. I feel strongly that I don’t want to leave one behind because I don’t think anyone would take care of my dogs the way I do. Then, I’ve thought about adopting senior dogs as I become more and more senior myself, but then you’re having to say good-bye more often and potentially have higher vet bills. It’s a real conundrum ….

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        If I may inject a thought here…..

        Choose a dog that is about to be euthanized. Then you have no guilt about adopting him/her with the possibility being that you will “go” first.

      • ReneeG from Idaho says:

        Cynthia, thank you for your kind words. It is tough. It’s just been over a month since losing her. She was such a great dog, but aren’t they all? Yes, we somehow end up with “M” names and just a couple with other letters – Molly, Champ, Missy, Paris, Maggie, Mica, now Mabel. Problem here is that I end up calling “roll – call” like parents do with their kids, before I get her name out! I’m 63 and my husband is 54. You’re right about not outlasting them and something I’ve fleetingly thought of, but need to get more serious. Mica is 7 and she has a life span of 12 – 16 years, same as Mabel, so hopefully I will be there for them when their time comes. We too have thought of adopting senior dogs, but as you stated the bills with senior care are there. If we are so blessed financially we would do so, but it also takes a toll on your heart to see them go.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Renee, you have my sympathy on the passing of Maggie. The pain cuts deeply.

      Best wishes to you and Mabel! You know how I love rat terriers. They’re great dogs.

      “We look forward to many years of love from her.” 🙂

      • ReneeG from Idaho says:

        Sue, Thank you. Our love for her grows every day. She’s picking up on training, especially if it involves food and it most invariably does. Boy is she food motivated whereas Mica is not. Mica has the shape and size of Reggie and Roger and Mabel is 13″ at the shoulder, but weighs the same as Mica – 16 lbs. Mica has Reggie’s coloring, but Mabel has Bridget and Spike’s coloring – and the same huge ears as Bridget – but one ear is dark brown and the other is spotted with a mostly white body, speckled with black, like Spike. She has those almond eyes that stare deep into you too. P.S. Mica is coming to like her too, but doesn’t want to admit it.

  51. Ruthie in Fontana says:

    Hi Sue, Such a hard decision, sell or wait. I liked Nila’s idea of using the PVT as a way to camp for a little while. Then your answer’s as to the space and easy may be answered. I love your new bedroom and I can see the boys do too. We found a small box with carpet glued to it worked. If you made one it might even fit under your bed. Good luck and enjoy your boys and home.

  52. Beth and Rosie dog, AZ says:

    Hi Sue,
    I wrote yesterday about your BLT dilemma at 1:24pm AZ time but it looks as though it got lost in the blue nowhere (The Blue Nowhere, a book by Jeffery Deaver, really good read!). Anyway, I don’t think you should sell the BLT yet. The last year you’ve been busy with the house and other issues. It’s ok that you’ve let her sit for a bit. But! You may want to take her out again before you decide. I realize others have said this too, I agree with them. The van idea is a good one now that you have a home base but those vans aren’t cheap and buying a regular van and having it fixed the way you want won’t be cheap either. If you’re able to be a minimalist you won’t have issues with space but have you considered that every time you move you’ll have to put “stuff up” or it’ll be flying around when you move the van. The BLT can be left as you go exploring and then it’ll be used as your mobile base. I see positives for both ideas, so I don’t think I’m much help at all. It just depends on your style and what you see yourself doing as you travel. You know in your mind what you really want to do and honesty, is it, could it be, really an emotional attachment to the BLT that’s keeping you from your decision? Whatever you decide, when you make the final decision, you will have figured it out. Your Blogorinos give such good insight and I haven’t read them all. Yesterday when I wrote only 4 people had written before me and I read those, but today there are 94 responses and I haven’t read them all! Just trust your decisions, you’ll research it all and the feedback you’ve received here in this post, so many good ideas from the Blogorinos will help. I’m just writing to say, you’ve got this, whatever you decide! And to let you know that even though I don’t post often, I’m reading every blog post you write. You’re an interesting blog writer with awesome followers and I lurk in the shadows, as the saying goes. Trust your gut, you’ll figure it out. God bless! And thanks again for a wonderful blog!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thank you, Beth, for posting your thoughts a second time. Your first post DID show up. It’s up near the top. Sometimes comments are delayed when there is a lot of activity on the blog.

  53. Laura Roorda says:

    I haven’t commented for a long while, but had a thought when I read your question. Maybe someone has already suggested. Have you thought about making a bed in your van, and adding some camping gear. That way you could try it out and see if you would really want to continue camping or stay at your house, or trade the PTV and the BLT for another van. Class B van’s are very expensive, but sometimes you can run into a good deal. Maybe you would only want to do a few short trips during the year.
    We have a home and also a small motor home, and have thought about going full time, but the thought of giving up our home stops us from doing it. So we just do a few short trips and maybe one longer each year. That’s enough for us. What ever you decide to do I am sure you will have a lot of support on the blog.

  54. AZJim says:

    Hello Missy and the boys! I have not been posting since I lost my Detta on the 30th of Jan. , so much to learn and do now that I’m alone. I do try to read here daily. Missy you and the boys fit perfectly into your new lifestyle. I read joy in your every word you type. Seems like you have decided to sell the BLT and acquire a van. Sounds like it’s time to do that since the rig is just sitting there. I’m sure you’ll make the right decision. Don’t count me out but an 82-year-old recent widower has much to do to try and survive. I’ll be around. Hi to my fellow blogorinos… *HUGGIN MISSY*

    • Barbara (Nashville) says:

      Glad you are giving your solo life a good try. Hang in there, Detta would want you to.

    • Cynthia in San Clemente says:

      Jim, it’s good to here from you. I know you didn’t want to learn to do new things without Detta, but the silver lining is that it’s probably good for your mind – helps you to stay sharp. Take care and keep learning!!

    • ReneeG from Idaho says:

      It’s good to hear back from you AZJim. Hugs to you during this tough time.

  55. jazzlover says:

    Good afternoon Sue and Reggie n Roger,

    Meant to join in several blogs earlier but have been dealing with a tag team effort by a few medical issues to keep me from doing so. Things looking better now.

    Wow, came back at just the right time to put my .15 cents in. Back in 1977 I lived on Cape Cod in a Ford 150 van bought new and fixed up with a bed, space for an ice box, porti-potty and some storage with my two small poodles. One of the best experiences I ever had, made two friends for life then. Of course I was in my early thirties and life was much different then, and safer.

    Fast forward to 1985, got married, spent winters where it was much warmer, Fla first, Az last. Sold the Airstream bought a mobile home which made a huge difference in my husbands health. Had a 23 ft Tioga to go for trips.

    Move to 1997, still in Az, now alone. Do I stay in a senior mobile home park where everyone is at least 20 years older or sell and come back east. Thought it might be better to give the dust some time to settle after my husbands death and did just that for a couple years.

    A lot of very good suggestions here to help you make a decision. You can move the BLT a tad to rotate the tires perhaps, get a large tarp to cover it as well so the Arizona sun slows down its work. It has only been not quite a year and you still have things to do in getting your home where you want it to be.

    By the way, you certainly have an eye for finding what goes well in and outside the house. Getting something and making it yours to fit in with a little elbow grease. Everything is paid for except the yearly and sometimes things that happen. I found it did make a big difference for me to just stop and breathe for a while, look at what I had and what I thought I may want for my future. It was the best thing for me and I think Greg had some sage advice. Keep taking care of things you want to do at home, wait until it gets up over 100 degrees and you may just think about heading for somewhere cooler for a bit, or not.

    You do what will make you content. Sorry for being so long winded but this is important because it’s you. Be Well Always.

  56. Barbara (Nashville) says:

    As for Reggie not wanting to jump on the Hassock. I think the non-slip area rug may help with his fear. Our bed sits high and Angel cant’ jump in either. I had an old cloth office chair that I sat beside the bed (tight fit), that she uses. I worked with her by first lifting her to the seat then bed. Then had her jump on the seat and then the bed by herself, with me standing there. After 3-4 tries she started doing by herself. She uses it all the time.

  57. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    We bought our 2001 Class C, went out once, Jules got hurt at work and time for getaways became non existent. BUT it was there ready when we were! Fast forward to 2010…drove across the USof A. Lived in it while we gutted our NY place and then exchanged it for a pontoon boat!

    To keep costs down.. you can insure it “seasonal” and non opt it for the reg. Not sure how it works here in AZ.

    In NY, we still have one vehicle and the pontoon boat. We can do the above listed but NY being crazy…we’d have to turn the plates in each time! Not worth the hassle!

    The BLT is paid for…put the leveling blocks under her tires..cover the tires, wax her up good, cover her so she doesn’t oxidize and she’s good to go when you are!

  58. Cynthia in San Clemente says:

    Well, I am late to this party (discussion) regarding whether to get rid of the BLT and/or PTV, and I didn’t get here at all lat week. I think I mentioned that Jim had surgery on his foot/ankle/leg a month ago and has been immobile, so taking care of him and the dogs has kept me really busy. It’s like having three toddlers!! I am a big fan of not rushing into things, not that you would, Sue. I know you like to hash things around in your head for awhile before taking action and I think that’s a good idea. Why not take a short trip out in the BLT once you know your back is strong enough? That might give your heart, mind, and body some feedback about whether it’s something you want to keep doing or something you’re ready to turn into a memory. The idea of a van is attractive to me and I’ve thought about it for myself if something happened to Jim, because lord knows I wouldn’t want to take our 40 foot motorhome out by myself. But I would have to have some type of van conversion that had a potty and a little shower in it. Unfortunately, I think they are pretty expensive, aren’t they? On the other hand, you have turned your house and yard into a really lovely home and I can see how you wouldn’t want to leave it for longer road trips. Maybe it’s not a bad idea to try a trip or two with R&R in the PTV and stay at a motel. There are lots that take dogs – I know it’s a big industry thing now to cater to us old folk who love their animals. Bottom line is you might want to take baby steps before making a big permanent decision.

    I love the pix of the boys play-fighting on your bed (and yes, the headbord turned out really pretty!) The little ottoman at the end of the bed is a good idea to help them get up and down and probably much better for their backs than jumping up and down to get on and off the bed.

    Glad your back is feeling better. You might want to try a foam roller – exercise equipment can usualy be found pretty easily at thrift stores or they are pretty inexpensive on Amazon. I’ve been rolling on one almost daily and it seems to be keeping my sciatica pain at bay. It hurts when you do it, but it’s a good kind of pain – LOL!!

  59. Second comment here: As I said I tent camp and have a Dodge Dakota Sport truck, manual shift and manual windows and doors…no bells or whistles to it. But it does have an a/c, four door, king cab, short bed. I bought the truck new in 2001 and now has 163,000 miles on it. I have replaced almost everything on it went pass 100,000. In fact my mechanic says he wants to buy my truck if I ever want to sell it lol.

    Anyway, I usually drive my vehicles until the mileage is so high and the vehicle is sieving oil all over the place. I think in my life time, I’ve only bought maybe five vehicles mostly used. Anyway, I use the truck for camping and travel.

    The only thing I’ve done is buy an extra wide cot to put in the tent so I can get up easier in mornings. My 73 year old bones don’t like sleeping on mat on floor anymore. The cot works wonders…I simply spread my sleeping bed over the cot and it’s comfy because it’s extra wide. I can move around. I have a pop up tent…no poles to mess with. I unfold it, step inside and pull the middle up and snap it into place. The tent sleeps four. Take down is easy too. I pull on a lever and the tent collapses. I’ve had that tent forever and now my daughter borrows it to camp too.

    I’ve been looking at truck tents & a camper shell but haven’t made the move to buy them yet. What I have works so why buy extras. When I think about it, and if I owned your BLT, I’d not sell it. I’d cover it, tires and all, and store it for when you get the urge to travel. Nothing wrong with closing the house down for a month or two to hit the road!! You’re young and still have some exploring to do is what I think.

  60. Anne - GA says:

    I hopped out of bed in the cool of this GA morning with intents to achieve so much.
    Well, that was about 5AM. This is now, after Noon. But I did get off to a great start wth a faux iced coffee drink.
    I thought of my previous comment to you and giggled while I made this. I don’t have AC power 24/7. And it is off now because I simply haven’t gone out to start the generator again. So, I used a new blender bottle, filled 3/4 with icy cold skim milk, 1 pkg of Tasters Choice coffee, few drops vanilla extract, bit of granulated sugar and some vigorous “blending”. Perfection!
    Once done drinking, I opened the bottle and was amazed to find it 1/2 full of a fairly
    stiff foam. I took a spoon and “ate” the rest of my iced coffee. I am so full right now, I won’t feel hunger in at least 2 weeks, I’m certain.
    Trip to WallyWorld today for a few things and protein powder is on the list. Thank you so much. And yes, I have the personal issues with eating/drinking the foam so I’ll try to be very discreet while at Wally’s.
    Can you spell “full-of-foam” weight loss? This is a perfect way to start my mornings while travelling and as a perfect fill-in for times when I’ve no power to make
    a fruit smoothie with blender. All the bases are covered.
    Travelling in Maine a few years ago, the feeling of hunger became so strong as to totally distract from travel. I wheeled in to a groc. store, wandered around and finally made a
    selection – a rotiss. chicken, all brown and juicy looking. Arriving at my truck, I let the tailgate down, spread the plastic picnic table cover over the TG, put down a paper plate, opened the pkg of chicken which smelled even better than it looked if possible. And tasted even better than that.
    I dug into that chicken like I’d never seen food before. No idea how hungry I actually was. Using this blender bottle and the smoothie blender will hopefully keep that kind of hunger at bay. Starvation will NOT be an issue on this trip. And you shouldn’t even have to ask why I thought of a rotiss. chkn. Yep, heard it here. By the time I’d finished, there was only skin and bones of that poor bird left.
    I’m thinking a flavored, skim milk foamy drink close to bedtime will prevent waking in the AM so very hungry. Or feeling so hungry when driving through food desert areas – I-77 in hills of VA during wee hours of night-morning.
    Thanks for the protein powder idea.
    Anne – GA, not hungry

  61. rhodium in SW VA says:

    I had hoped George’s Tioga would be donated to the Smithsonian or some other museum, but events made that impossible. So when you do decide to part with the BLT I really think it has historical value. The full timer culture is a fascinating part of American history. I do not know how things like self driving vehicles and climate change will allow its continuation in the long run. But I guess to me everything is a Ph. D. thesis topic so maybe I am wrong. But whatever you decide for the BLT I would miss the humanity and good sense of your blog if it stopped.

  62. Lisa, Dad, Tommie and Buddy in Florida says:

    Hi Sue,
    I enjoy the pictures of your house and I didn’t know Roses liked epsom salts, I always learn something here on your blog. I have thought of selling my Escape for a lot of reasons; It has at and not been used for a year (except as an extra bedroom for guests), my Dad is not comfortable in it, at 6’3″ he has to stoop anytime he stands. I will not be able to use my camper until my Dad passes, which I honestly hope will not be soon. He will be 88 in June, but is still sharp mentally and active.

    So why is that thing still parked in my front yard? A couple of reasons; true to it’s name, it is my escape. Meaning when Dad passes, I will hookup and take him on one last trip, to place his ashes by Mom’s. After that, I might just keep heading west to heal my heart a bit. Second, and this is a tough one, my Mom held on to see my trailer delivered. She wanted to know I would always have “a home”. So I just can’t let go yet. Who knows? Maybe the house will sit for a few years, and then I will get rid of one or the other, maybe both. I just don’t know right now and that’s ok. When I am ready to decide, I will, and I will decide WITH JOY!

    I think that should be your guideline, what option points your heart toward joy, which is deeper than happy or content. There are plenty of people living in vans, converting vans to campers and talking about it. You know how to find that info.

    You have always been good at making the best decision for you, and finding your joy. So sit on your porch, sip your smoothies, smell your roses and think it out. Whatever makes you smile and feel joy, point your grill/nose/feet in that direction and go for it.

  63. rvsueandcrew says:

    Hi, Blogorinos!

    Well, I thought I’d keep up with replying to comments but I let them get way ahead of me. That’s a good thing because it means plenty of blogorinos showed up with something to say.

    You helped me a lot in making a decision regarding the PTV and BLT. I’m going with the advice to wait before making any changes. The boys and I will go camping again. By spring of next year I should know the best decision for us.

    Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughtful replies. I read every one and carefully considered your viewpoints and suggestions.

    It was nice to hear from folks who haven’t commented in a while or are here for the first time, also for “regulars” to check in, too. I’m missing a few blogorinos; I’ll assume you’re okay and busy with life. 🙂

    The weekend is here! Have a great one! If you’re on the road, safe travels.

    I’ll be thinking of y’all as the crew and I greet the sunrise from the front porch.

    See you on Monday!

    P.S. Roger is getting up on the bed all by himself. 🙂

    • weather says:

      Thanks for the news, hopefully, with having decided not to change the BLT’s status for now, and having Roger willingly climb up into bed , the 3 of you are nice & relaxed,

  64. Jan NH says:

    Woohoo…so glad that Roger is getting up on the bed all by himself. He’s such an adventurist I figured he’d find his courage!

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

    Hi, Sue and blogorinos…

    I’ll also be looking at selling my (have to get used to not saying “our”; so strange) 2004 SD Casita. It shouldn’t be too hard. Within the past couple of years we bought a new awning and fridge. Last fall we got a Southern mattress. Plus, I live in the south (upstate S.C.) and Casitas are harder to come by east of the Mississippi.

    This really isn’t an emotional decision, even though Raleigh just passed away May 11. He was on oxygen 24/7 and we had already made the decision to sell. Our plan was to find a new way of having adventures: hotels and rental places. Even though we more recently had learned Raleigh’s condition was progressive, we truly thought he would have some possible years ahead. God had other plans and I would not want him to suffer.

    I’m blessed to have a very close family and we often camped together. That will continue. Just in a different form. My oldest grandson took right over on making future reservations for all of us. His Grandpa would be so pleased. He was a wonderful man.

    I know you’ll make the right decision for if and when you sell, Sue. I love your bedroom! Your decorating style both inside and out just makes me smile. Remember when you were not so confident about choosing items for your home? Well, have you ever come through shining! Love to all. So thankful for this wonderful place to come visit with you all.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      And I’m thankful for you, Judy. Your gentle spirit is a blessing. I continue to include you in my prayers and am glad to learn you have a loving family.

      Thank you for sharing yourself with us!

    • Lisa, Dad, Tommie and Buddy in Florida says:

      Hi Judy,
      I will keep you in my prayers as you adjust to what life has for you now. I know that struggle of seeing a loved one sick and on oxygen, because we went through that with my Mom. It’s hard to say the loss of a loved one is a blessing, maybe more of a relief that they are no longer struggling. I commend you on your decisions to move forward. I just want to ask what is a Southern mattress? I have never heard of that, thank you.

      • Judy J. in upstate S.C. says:

        Southern Mattress is a company in Rocky Mount, N.C. They custom make theirs that fit slightly different shaped mattress area, which fit great for Casitas. They are very well made and extremely comfortable. Google Southern Mattress for more info. There probably are similar companies west of the Mississippi.

        • John says:

          A van with a homemade is perfect. I do that now. Love it. Don’t take to much stuff, just a good double mattress, and the biggest comfortable chair you can muster. I use a big outdoor lounge chair and add thick outdoor pillows as necessary. A cooler self insulated with polystyrene is just as good as 12v. I just went on a 3500 mile road trip. I have a 2006 Chevy 3/4 ton. You have a good van to do the same, we’re lucky in that my friend has 500,000 miles on one of his Chevy 1/2 ton, fluids on time only, no tranny or major engine problems. Do it, you’ll love not dragging around a trailer. Sell it.

  66. Nila says:

    Oh my goodness, Anne, I can’t believe you ate a whole chicken! Although I have been known to eat a whole pound of lamb chops at a sitting :-). It sounds like we may have the same habit of going too long without eating.

    For the RV travelers here: I use using an electric food “chopper” as a low powered blender for smoothies. ( From Amazon, of course. 😉 Much easier on the RV batteries than a full sized blender. Maybe the personal smoothie blender is similar?

  67. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Batten down the hatches Weather!!
    Stay safe!

    • weather says:

      Luv your still watching out for me 🙂 ! Fortunately, I’d been watching radar from multiple sources early in the afternoon, because I was supposed to go feed and walk my friends’ dog at 5pm. They were out of town for a funeral and we try to keep the little guy’s schedule the same if we can. However, I saw more severe wind and rain on the way to this area so decided to go take care of him at 4pm instead. It was raining pretty hard when I left for the 10 minute drive, then as soon as he ate it stopped so he enjoyed being outside for a few minutes. Just as I started driving home my severe alert screech came on my smartphone, announcing a tornado warning and saying to seek shelter. Knowing their dog would be fine inside their well-built home, and that I was more concerned about getting off the road and into my little cottage home where my cats were waiting, I continued driving and was here inside when the really intense stuff came through and left. I saw a funnel cloud on the lake, the golf ball sized hail bypassed our place and thank God, so did the 60+mph wind that left a few thousand people just south of here without power. Anyway, exciting couple of hours, yet we’re all safe, sound and happy, thanks for caring.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Gee whiz, weather. What a heightened experience, for sure! I had no idea you faced a storm coming your way. How cozy to be inside, “safe, sound and happy” with your feline crew, and knowing you helped your friend and his dog, too. 🙂

        • weather says:

          Part of the happiness came from something I know you’ll appreciate, Sue. While at the wheel I prayed that the storm not harm any vulnerable, that all those I care about be spared. When the wind and waves were quieting here before sunset I went outside, and on the grass beside the lake, all present and accounted for, walked both sets of geese parents and their goslings that I have been watching grow during this year’s springtime. Though potential peril and dark clouds had seemed to dominate the view, looking like twelve little lights those wee yellow babies were calmly enjoying their evening meal.

          • rvsueandcrew says:

            How precious… “twelve little lights” showing us to live by faith. Good morning, weather, and thank you.

      • Cinandjules🌵 says:

        Oh my! Our favorite channel up there was the live Doppler radar! was spot on! And we always checked it before we ventured out. Seeing a funnel cloud on the lake..yikes! Thank heavens everything worked our well for your friends pup and you were able to get home in the nick of time!
        Did you ever get a generator? So many at our lake don’t have one…Jules parents are among the without! Everything including their water pump and appliances is electric. So when it storms…and the power goes out NIMO can’t get to the boonies until it is safe…which can mean up to a week. Guess they are used to roughing it.
        We had a 100 ft tree snap, white pine but it missed our bunkhouse. Jules brother lives in SYR..they had a tornado warning as well! Crazy weather all over! Today it’s gloomy, cloudy and windy. The temps went from 90 to 70 like it saw a state trooper!
        Looks like the tail end of another red patch is headed your way! Stay safe!

        • weather says:

          While you were offering me info to get in touch with your generator guy, our power was out and a friend and I were texting each other about my needing one or not. My thoughts were that in a white out snowstorm with deep snow one could not count on our sharing homes and resources…then he walked into my place carrying a lit oil lamp, said to keep it- a reminder of how close we all live and feel. Among our three households a few of us have four generators and other emergency supplies, so, no, I didn’t get a generator, as I don’t know how long I’ll be staying in this part of the country it seems like an unnecessary investment.
          There’s a small plaque I keep that says a lot about how fortunate I’ve been with connections throughout my life.
          ” Some families we are born into, some families we choose. All families are heaven sent.” Kinda like what this blog’s comment section has grown into for some of us.

          • Cinandjules 🌵 says:

            Small communities where neighbors lookout for each other! The way it should be everywhere!

      • Elizabeth says:

        Oh so glad you were protected, Weather…how scary!! I am concerned for others in your region too!! Thanks for letting us know you are ok!!

        • weather says:

          The news reported no major problems for anyone in this region after all was said and done, so I trust those you were concerned for are alright. All’s well here, and I hope that’s true at your place, too 🙂

  68. Anne - GA says:

    I did eat the whole chicken, although I did notice a bit of a waddle as I began to walk around the truck packing upthe food things and tossing the trash into receptacles. It isn’t a healthy thing but sometimes there are more pressing things to do while travelling than eat and I forget to do so.

    I’m not sure about the personal blender – mine is only 350watts but Sue could more accurately speak to the actual comparison to a blender. I would only use mine when in
    motel, at friend’s home, at my home, or a campsite with AC tent hookup. Otherwise, I would use my blender bottle which has a 1.75 inch “whisk” ball inside to mix coffee, skim milk and make lots of foam (iced coffee). I can put in the ingredients at some rest stop or other then I can shake/mix while driving.

    Oohh! Tomorrow’s Monday – another post from Sue is due – I hope. Tall grass is calling me. Must finish cutting it before I leave on Wed. Tootles.
    Anne – trying not to take a deep breath in GA. So humid today, I could drown.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I haven’t tried the smoothie maker while camping. Didn’t I get it after we moved into the house? It probably would be okay because it doesn’t have to produce heat and one only needs to run it for 10-20 seconds with frozen and fresh fruit.

      Yes, tomorrow’s Monday and I don’t have a clue what I’ll write about. 🙂

  69. Cinandjules 🌵 says:

    Sue and crew,
    Freeze warning for you tomorrow morning..might want to cover up some of your plants. Old sheets will work. The ones on the porch should be fine.
    Crazy weather…snowing in Flagstaff

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What? Freeze warning?!!! But it’s MAY. Snow in Flagstaff… unbelievable.

      Darn. I have petunias in pots outside, all over the place. I’ll have to bring them inside. One pot of ‘tunias is too heavy so I’ll cover it and hope for the best. Oh, the roses!

      Was it you who asked, “Did you by chance move to the wrong Arizona?”

      Haha! Thanks for letting me know. I hope you’re wrong! 🙂

  70. rvsueandcrew says:


    I miss you and I’m starting to worry. I hope you and Gracie pup are okay. I don’t want to pressure you, but please let us know….

    Love and hugs,

    • Denise - Richmond VA says:

      Hi, Sue,

      Thank you for missing me and your concern, love, and hugs. xo So sorry for the worry my absence caused. I thought I had popped in on this post, but cannot find my comment, so I might be thinking about the previous week’s post.

      Been a bit stressed. I have been dealing with some ongoing, escalating health issues for the past 4 years. Found out that I will need surgery next month and will be out of work for quite a while. I have been busy trying to get all my ducks in a row. One of my sisters will be with me and will be babysitting (spoiling) Gracie pup. I have faith that everything else will get done and fall into place.

      Changing gears….I saw my first lightning bug last night! Summer is almost here!

      My little peanuts, my great niece and nephew celebrated their 1st birthday this month! Seems just like a couple months ago that they were in the NICU. I sent my sister and BIL my iPad mini so I can FaceTime with the twins. Not quite the same as being there, but it is the next best thing. Baby boy tries to reach for me through the iPad and baby girl thinks it is hilarious to press a button plot to make my picture small on the screen. They are so adorable! 🙂

      Sending you, Reggie, and Roger lots of love and hugs from me and Gracie pup! I really like how your bedroom has turned out – a comfortable, peaceful oasis. Glad that Roger is now using the hassock to climb into bed. I could almost smell your lovely roses! I have red double KnockOut roses planted in front of my home. The soft rose scent wafts on each passing breeze…heavenly!

      Savings alert:
      If anyone needs to replace/upgrade their cell phone, Walmart has IPhone 6S 32GB for $149.99. They are unlocked, but work on the StraightTalk plan. ST uses Verizon’s network. Unlimited plans (voice/text/data) start @ $35/mo. I finally was able to upgrade from my “dumb” slider phone. I signed up for the $45/mo plan, which is less than I was paying Verizon wireless for voice and text (plus all the taxes, surcharges, and fees.). Sometimes breaking up is easy to do! 😉

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Denise! Thank you for appearing here again! I want to respond to several items in your comment, but I need to take care of something right now.

        I’ll be moving your comment to under the newest post and will reply there. I am so relieved to hear from you. I thought I might have said something that turned you away.

        Talk to you later!

  71. A gal and a cat in Florida says:

    Dear Sue,
    One thing about life is it changes. You had wonderful years on the road, exploring seeing and experiencing a lot. But now this beautiful home, your neighborhood,your birds, the weather, the safe yard for the dogs and all the work and $you have put in, suits perfectly. The PTV sits, the van needs or will repairs. Two vehicles to care for, one you are not using…. things to think of. Do you really contemplate locking up that house and taking off for months leaving it? No! A van you can convert would be a fabulous project. Like you say, you wont need all the stuff for full time living. I travel the country on my way from Fl to Montana to workamp for the summer with a little standie teardrop that toes well behind my SUV. Ac heater, micro,tv sink comfy 30 inch bed and reliance porta pot. Easy,simple. A van would offer even more all in one convenience. What I mean is there are still ways toget away if the desire is there. Money from BLT and van lol I forget the abreviations, anyway you get my minimalist idea. It is not foreign to you anyway.
    Just another perspective. One vehicle that serves multi purpose and one house.:))

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