Rain on the roof

It’s another rainy, cloudy day here in southern Arizona. 

(Today’s photos are from a previous, sunnier day.)

I don’t bother to put the crew in their suits for the first potty break this morning.  Spike hates rain so I can count on him running back into the Casita as soon as his job is done.  Bridget expects me to carry her to a bush so she can squat. Then she looks up at me wanting a ride back to the Casita door, a trip of about twenty feet.

I put the percolator on the stove and some kibble in the crew’s dish.

Bridget and Spike share one food dish because they never eat out of it anyway.  Spike knocks the kibble out of the dish.  Once the food is scattered about, the munching begins.  I wait for them to finish before I sit on the floor to light the heater.  Then I pour a bowl of raisin bran to go with my coffee while reading the blog comments since last night.

I’m glad I bought some chew bones yesterday.

Bridget and Spike will be occupied and less likely to whine to go out.  As for me, my morning task is reading in bed.  Around eleven, the rain lets up a bit and I’m surprised to see some action at my birdfeeder.  I guess I won’t scrap it after all.

Darby Wells Road, Ajo, Arizona

The crew and I head out to investigate a new trail.

We walk up the road and down into a wash.  Rather than sharp stones under their paws, the wash is wet, smooth, gritty sand.  After a few minutes of walking, I sense a feeling of vulnerability.  The wash now has high sides with overhanging branches.  I don’t like us being low. . . too easy to be pounced upon and I can’t see what’s going on around us.  I turn us back for the dirt road.  Bridget and Spike seem less wary up here, too.

A look at the sky tells me these clouds aren’t going away soon.

Well, it is winter, I remind myself.  I chuckle out loud.  Be thankful you’re not up to your arse in snow.  This will do just fine for a day in December.  From the looks of things, the weather is kind of dreary all across a large swath of the Southwest.  It’s been so damp I see tiny sprouts of grass, as if the desert thinks it’s springtime.

The dirt lane that leads to our campsite

Soon I’ll have to do laundry and dump tanks.

Rick tells me to go to Belly Acres RV Park in Ajo.  I can dump tanks there for ten dollars, he thinks.  He doesn’t know for sure because he stopped using his toilet a long time ago, using a porta-potty instead.  Occasionally he takes the container down to the fair grounds to dump (free).  That way he doesn’t have to hitch up and move his entire home.

Rick's Scamp and Jeep at his campsite

I’ll need to fill my water tank soon, too.

“I don’t imagine Belly Acres allows campers to pull in there just to dump and fill up with water,” I say.

“It’s okay to fill up containers, like three-gallon or five-gallon, and then you can put the water in your tank if you want,” Rick explains.  “Do you have any containers?”

I tell him I don’t, but I’ll get some the first chance I get, the three-gallon ones.  Five gallons of water is probably too heavy.  I’m going to need the containers anyway when I go to Quartzite or any remote boondocking location.

“And you can get drinking jugs filled for twenty-five cents down in town,” he adds.

I’ve seen those dispensers.  I’ve got five one-gallon jugs of drinking water that I bought at the Walmart back in Benson.  Once they’re empty, I’ll fill them back up at twenty-five cents a pop.

Non-rv people probably think this is a pain.

“Look at all the trouble you go through just to have water and to use a toilet.”  I can hear them saying. “Wouldn’t you rather be in a house with unlimited water on tap and a septic tank?”

“No, as a matter of fact, I wouldn’t.”  Besides, it’s not like I have a lot of work to do.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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40 Responses to Rain on the roof

  1. Pleinguy says:

    I enjoy reading about your Casita adventures in the desert. I’d advise staying out of those washes, as the reason they are deep is because of sudden flash floods that often occur when there is rain anywhere in the region. Most folks would not be able to escape in time if that happens. Have fun and stay safe.

  2. Emily says:

    Hey Sue, can you keep that rainy weather down your way? It’s predicated to head across and up our way starting tonite, tomorrow morn turning to freezing rain and snow. Just trying to make you feel good about where you currently are.

  3. PamG says:

    My dream is to rv full time with a dog or two when I retire, so you’re really living my dream, I’d trade you any day, even if it is raining!

  4. Maribeth says:

    Hi Sue, I am back in earnest on my blog http://www..tripswithtwo.com/blog. Although I will only be part time RVing beginning March 2012, I have lots of old trips to post about as well as tibits about other things in my life. I have listed you on my blogroll and would appreciate the same if you will, and would love for you to become a frequent reader of my blog as well. Maybe you will find some interesting place we have gone that will make you want to go there too.

    I know the weather is not cooperating for you, I am a cold weather kind of person myself, and we just got heavy fog setting in about 4 hours ago. It is suppose to snow 4-8 inches tomorrow here in Moriarty, NM. I will try to get the bad weather to bypass you and come straight my way, but I am not sure Mother Nature wants to cooperate with me.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Maribeth!

      I don’t envy you facing 4-8 inches of snow! Apparently Mother Nature listens to you because there are few clouds today and they’re white. The sun is shining.

      Good luck with your blog! It’s nice to hear from you . . .

  5. Sherry says:

    The crew’s antics are a riot! Especially Bridget. She’s definitely got your number. 🙂

    You haven’t mentioned how the solar is doing lately. Or have you and I’m just having a brain seizure? Must be keeping your batteries topped up.

    Doesn’t seem like a lot of trouble to me to hitch up and go off to dump every once in a while or carry water. We’ve gotten very soft lately. When we first moved to the farm, we had a spring and in the summer, it often had dry spells and we had to go down and haul the water out by the bucket. Doing the laundry was quite a sight.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sherry!

      The solar is doing fine. Today is the first day in a long time that the sun is shining consistently on the panel. Going for water or dumping tanks is an occasional task and isn’t difficult at all for someone living an easy life.

  6. Mike Leonard says:

    Sue, I really enjoy hearing about the challenges that you run into. I like that you talk about the problem and how you are dealing with it. We have come down with some kind of virus and our departure date is necessarily being delayed. It looks like we will cancel our reservations for the RV Park in Palm Springs. We hope to be leaving sometime next week. It is hard to know until we are well.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, Mike!

      I am so sorry you are sick. It’s no fun, of course, but it’s worse when you have to cancel something you’ve looked forward to. On the somewhat bright side, it’s better to get rid of the virus where you are instead of having it hit you en route.

      I’m sending get well wishes to both of you . . .

  7. cathieok says:

    I agree with you, have a few chores like dumping tanks and getting water is not a hardship when you don’t have a hundred other things to do at work, in the yard, etc.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cathie,

      I remember when I was part of the rat race I would finally find time to do something just for me, something I enjoyed, and I wouldn’t be in the right frame of mind to enjoy it! Now it’s very different. Even things that aren’t inherently enjoyable, I enjoy!

  8. kayjulia says:

    Seems to me you’re doing well in this life style good on you 🙂 This life isn’t so bad even if you have to go get water and dump tanks once in a while heck you have to resupply the larder now and then anyway.
    Pets are a lot of company and gets us out of the rig on a regular basis keeps us moving about which is good. Nothing like a fur baby snuggling with you to make for a comfy moment or two :O

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, KayJulia,

      As usual, you’re right on the mark . . .

      I like the photos on your blog of your dog Shelby playing on the beach in Mexico. Watching a dog (or two) have fun is one of my favorite pasttimes. Stay well and happy!

  9. Shar Pei Mom says:

    We have found that most all RV parks will let you dump and fill with fresh water. The cost is 10-15 for dumping and 5-10 for fresh water. When we’re out, we boondock exclusively and have a good system for doing both without moving the rig until we’re ready to move on. Be careful in the washes during/after a rain due to flash flooding! So glad the birds are enjoying the feeder now.

    • rvsueandcrew says:


      I really like it here, yet I’m afraid once I hitch up, go into town to dump and get water, the wheels of the PTV will keep on turning and down the highway we’ll go in search of adventure! Not that THAT would be terrible . . .

  10. bearwise2010 says:

    An amazing adventure for sure. I love that you take such good care of the crew, thanks for the awesome pics to. Yes you are also living my dream when I retire, of course being from Canada will probably try to do Canada in the summer / fall and then head south for the warmer climate. As for water and dumping if only that was the only things I had to worry about, you would be going 24 / 7 with a house, and you never have yard work to do, wonderful… Live the Dream .. Thanks for keeping us posted, and take care of yourselves.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m glad you like the photos.

      Yeah, I don’t miss the yard work, especially in humid Georgia. My poor house, it seemed like everywhere I looked there was something needing to be done. It became such a burden. I was so fortunate to be able to sell it.

      I love not knowing where I’ll be in the near or far future.

      • bearwise2010 says:

        yes I drove through Georgia last may the weather there was very warm compared to our 6 weeks of summer, and 10 months of cold, and 4 months of being buried in snow, ha ha. Yes the simple life when we retire is where we all should be an not worrying about maintenance, home repairs, yard work, and all those bills, hmmm .. Take care loved the pics on the 19th, amazing. Take care and go where your heart says and the warmth is. Sorry to hear about the dog fight that is not nice at all, but it happens, glad to hear all is well. I hope the sun shines soon for you.

  11. longdog2 says:

    “Carry me to and from the bush, mom”. Got to love that Bridget–she has got your number. lol Can say too much as my Willy is pretty good at manipulation too. I do think she is getting more than her share out of that shared bowl. You were real smart to get out of that wash–they can fill up faster than you can imagine.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bridget is a pain and a riot and a sweet little girl and a total nutcake and I could go on and on . . . This morning I woke to the sound of kibble being munched. I guess there were a few pieces left in the dog dish, Bridget woke up hungry, and went for a little snack. It was funny to see only her fat butt as the rest of her was around the corner of the fridge . .. . munch, munch, munch . . .

  12. Sassy Rider says:

    I always follow my instinct when a place just doesn’t feel right. I also buy those 1 gallon drinking water jugs at Walmart and then re-fill them. There’s a place here in Yuma where you can get 5 gallons of water for 50 cents !!

    None of it is a hardship to me for the benefit and beauty of boondocking.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hello, SR,

      Your last line explains it well. Whenever I come upon a difficulty (which hasn’t been often in this new life, thank God), I pull into my mind something disagreeable from my past working life and think, well, at least I’m not facing THAT!

  13. Don’t let the washes intimidate you. They are nature’s highways through the desert. We use them because the sandy bottoms are easy on little paws. No need to fear water rushing down the wash unless you are having or have had a recent thunder storm. Those washes generally only fill during Monsoon season. So glad you are still enjoying your boon docking experience. We are such fortunate people to be able to get out into Mother Nature and enjoy the freedom, the peace and tranquility that only boon docking has to offer……….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The rain has been steady, but light. No torrential downpours . . . I’ll stay out of the washes though because I don’t like not being able to have a full range of sight around us. I guess it’s my prey instinct kicking in. The sun is shining here again. I’m getting awfully lazy . . . it’s so nice here.

      I’m watching your blog with interest. Wishing you well soon . . . . I pass on your news to Rick, as he has no interest at all in looking at a computer.

      Isn’t it just like Pheebs to be pals with a donkey! She’s quite a girl.

  14. Sandie says:

    Dumping tanks and getting water is just part of the lifestyle. After awhile you get to the point where it’s automatic to put everything away good enough to go dump and it really doesn’t take all that much time. We got the 2 gallon water jugs because even the 3 gallon was getting pretty heavy. There are all kinds of water stands down here in AZ where you can fill them. We’ve not had any trouble finding an RV park or a gas station where we can dump and get fresh water. And the beauty of the desert is so worth the effort.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sandie,

      You’re right about it all becoming automatic. Hitching up used to seem like a big deal. Now it’s so automatic, I don’t even think about it. I just do what needs to be done.

  15. Rod Ivers says:

    I had to come back to KC for a medical deal, and left the RV in Arizona, so I am enjoying your blog from the cold Northland. Keep up the good writing, as you experiences are keeping me sane up here.. Retired Rod

  16. Emjay says:

    Indeed, listen to the folks giving you cautions about the flash floods. They do generally occur in the summer monsoons BUT even it if isn’t raining in the area where you are, keep an eye out for the rain and clouds in the foothills around you. THAT’s where the flash floods come from, and they do come fast.


  17. Laura Roorda says:

    Hi sue: I think you are awesome. Through your blog I am living my dream. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences.

  18. Be careful of being in a wash when it has rained. Flash floods are nothing to smile about. When I lived in Scottsdale as a youngster, we would regularly have school canceled due to flash floods that happened a day or two AFTER the rain came through. Especially if you are in a deep wash! PLEASE be careful!!!!

  19. Gayle M. Cooper says:

    Hello again! Loving your blog, your lifestyle, your Casita! How about some housekeeping questions? Where do you store laundry to be washed? Do you limit your shower time in trailer? Where do you keep kitchen trash can? What is the outside temp. before you get cold in there and need to put on the heater? Do you leave heater on all night when at a certain outside temperature? Do you crack a window at all times? We stealth camped in my minivan and slept in parkas and down mummy sleeping bags. Are you bundled up like that? Hope not — makes it hard to turn the book pages and drink the rum — I mean, the hot tea! Happy Holidays!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gayle!

      I have a mesh bag in a laundry basket that’s under my bed. I just slide it out and put the laundry in the bag. Shower time is very limited. I’ve been taking sponge baths. Sometimes I put water in one of my “dishpans” that I never use as a dishpan . . . and wash from it, putting my feet in last and washing my legs. I don’t like to use the shower head much when conserving water. If I can’t have a full stream of water, I don’t enjoy a trickle. I’d rather use a washcloth.

      I put my trash in a walmart plastic bag and leave it on the counter temporarily. When I go outside I put it into a bigger trash bag that stays in the PTV until I have a chance to throw it in a dumpster.

      I dress warmly for bed, but not like a mummy. Typically, a long-sleeved knit shirt over a tee shirt, leggings underneath flannel jammie bottoms, and socks. I sleep with only a quilt over me so I need to dress warmly. I don’t leave the heater on all night. On a cold night I run it for a few hours before bed. Then I turn it off and shut out any drafts except for the ceiling fan opening…. I leave that cracked a bit. The heat stays in really well. In the morning, making coffee on the gas stove usually takes any chill out.

      Glad you like my blog!

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