Finding a nest for a fiberglass egg

People who camp a lot or live fulltime in an rv develop their own style and priorities. 

For instance, how do you position the rig in a campsite?  When in a campground with defined parking places, there isn’t much choice.  Boondockers, however, can usually choose exactly how to park.  To me that’s part of the fun of it – creating my own outdoor living area.  The crew and I have been exploring the Darby Well area of the desert, looking for future places to camp.

We find a lovely site.

It has a stunning view of the mountains and is ringed on three sides by the wispy branches of Palo Verde and a few stately saguaros.   It’s elevated, which I prefer, and the rocky road up to it has only a few washed out places that our PTV pulling the BLT can easily traverse.   

The crew and I walk around it. 

Wow!  Nice! 

I try to imagine how I’ll park.  Hmmm …  

I soon discover the only choices are up close to the road with the door opening into the road, or facing the other way putting sharp rocks and the lesser view on the door side.  I see that the ground where I want to place the BLT is severely sloped.   

Now it doesn’t look like such a wonderful campsite.

So what are the considerations when parking an rv?

These are the things I look for.  The first is beauty.  What is the 360 degree view?   I don’t want to live in Camp Ugly.  I suppose there’ll be times when I have no choice, such as an overnight stop when travelling from point A to point B.  I’m talking here about a more lasting campsite.  

I consider a lot of factors.

How level is it? Is there any chance of getting stuck?  Will a heavy rain wash out the road?  Is the site visible from the main road (something I want to avoid, others may want that)?  Will I be violating any rules?  Will the sun warm one of the windows in the morning to help take off the chill? Will the sun be too harsh on the door side of the Casita? How will the sun’s rays strike the solar panel?  Will I see the sunset from my dinette window?  Will the wind hit the Casita broadside?  Am I low enough to be sheltered from too much wind?  Am I high enough to get television reception?  Cell phone? 

Whew!  Time for a break.  Go get a snack or hit the restroom.  I’ll wait . . .

Okay.  Where were we . . .  What will I first see when I step out the door?  Are there any dangers for the crew nearby (like the desert cholla)?  Is there a tree for a bird feeder?  Will it be where I can comfortably sit and watch it? Will other rvs be in my view or within my hearing?  Will I be in theirs?  What is the surface of the ground going to be outside the Casita door?  Are there sharp rocks that will tear the patio mat?  Do I need the patio mat on this ground?  How easily will I be able to take the crew on short walks from this campsite? (Can I do so without being caught in pajamas?) . . .  

I don’t go through each and every one of these questions when looking at a potential site.  It’s more automatic than that.  It seems tedious when written out here.  In real life it’s fun!  Especially when everything, or almost everything, turns out to be right where I want it!

The crew and I go visiting!

After a day of rain, it’s a warm and sunny morning for walking up to Caron and Chris’s camp.  They invited us for coffee.  Bridget and Spike meet their big, black, and beautiful Dixie.  Bridget, after rudely snarling at Dixie, sneaks off to rub her back on the underside of their motorhome, getting dirty, while Spike marches around their campsite, making his marks, scratching the ground, and acting important.

Dixie, on the other hand, sits serenely at Chris’s feet, her silent way of saying “whatever” at Spike’s lame attempt to claim territory and Bridget’s low-class behavior.  As for me, I enjoy talking with Caron and Chris, mostly about rving, retirement, and how much we love both.

The recent rain brought new flowers!

Thanks to readers who suggested I try Picasa for my photos. (You can click the photos for an enlarged view.) Do you think there’s an improvement?

rvsue

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About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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38 Responses to Finding a nest for a fiberglass egg

  1. We like positioning our motorhome to face east, especially in the hot summer months. That way the fridge vent is to the north side in the shade, preventing overheating the fridge. (our fridge is on the driver’s side of the motorhome)

    Then our south side is with the awning for shade along the whole south exposure of the motorhome. Makes for a nice shady patio all afternoon.

  2. Bob Giddings says:

    I don’t know anything about Picasa, but copy and paste works almost everywhere in Windows and between any apps. Right click on the picture, pick copy, right click on destination, pick paste. Done.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t think I can do that with the WordPress uploader. See, WordPress opens a window where there’s a choice of uploading a file or browsing. It’s not a copy/paste situation. At least it doesn’t look like it. I’ll see what I can do. Thanks.

  3. Joe says:

    Hi Ms Sue, I enjoyed your blog as always. Thank you for a list of things to think about when I am out boondocking. I am planning on going the solar route but first have to read up on Solar energy and the accessories I will need. I do run a dual battery system now but need a little more power. Thank you for an entertaining post……Look forward to the next one….Joe

  4. Gaelyn says:

    I like your list, about like mine. I’d add to watch for wind on the fridge vent and like my views to include sunrise and set, from inside if I want.

    Don’t know WordPress, but if you can browse you should be able to find your photo files. Good luck.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Gaelyn,

      I can browse but I can’t browse into Picasa. In other words, I don’t know how to get the photos out of Picasa into the Pictures files on my computer. I’m wondering if using Picasa with WordPress isn’t allowed. I just found a place in Picasa where you click a button “Publish in Blogger.” Ruh-roh.

  5. Donna P. says:

    I’m not too good at Picasa, but can you just click on File and Save As…and dump them into your My Pictures file on your computer? Somehow, all of my Picasa files seem to end up in My Pictures on my C drive. Good luck!!

  6. Lisa says:

    Hi Sue…..
    I know you can upload from Picasa to Blogger… Please check out “Geeks on Tour”, as they give Picasa seminars at various RV events, and post tips/lessons on line and on Facebook. I think they may have a free tutorial on posting to blog sites other than Blogger.

    Good Luck!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, Lisa! As you can see, the photos are in! I appreciate you offering a suggestion. Am I glad I don’t need it!

  7. Al from The Bayfield Bunch says:

    Not knowing anything about Word Press I can’t help you there but glad to see you have downloaded Picasa. Much easier to use than any of the photo shop programs & it’s well suited for blogs. You can put albums together now as well. Aw yes, the freedom of boon docking, how sweet it is. I like a site to feel cozy & homey. Sounds a little bizarre coming from a man but it’s just the way I am & it’s an important part of my contentment. Kelly’s the same. The site we had beside you was ok, but lacked the cozy factor. We well understand the enjoyment of choosing just the right site & making it your own. Nothing wrong with that at all. There are some extreme Booners out there who wouldn’t move a stone to logically make themselves more comfortable….but that’s their problem Glad to see you are really enjoying your time there at Darby Well. I had a feeling you would:))

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I know what you mean about the comfy-cozy factor. That’s not at all bizarre coming from a man. Women instinctively know that’s what men like so they make a comfy-cozy den for their man! Setting up a campsite with care is like making a house a home.

      I love that boondocking spot with all the verbena you showed on your blog. I never had a garden that nice at my stick-house, and I tried really hard!

  8. Sherry says:

    That is one of the great things about boondocking, that you have a much more wide open choice to set yourself any way you like. All your considerations are things I try for too but too often we are in “campgrounds”. Haven’t had the know how or money to get solar for long term stays. We can do 7 to 10 days but then I start worrying about the batteries. And it’s a hassle using head lamps to read by and other things one does to boondock without solar. Sure wish I had me some! Boondocking is my favorite. I love being alone – I have at least that in common with Greta Garbo.

    Sherry
    http://www.directionofourdreams.blogspot.com

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wish you had solar, too. I can tell you have a boondocker’s heart! I bet Greta did, too.

    • Chuck says:

      Hi Sherry !
      Tried to leave a post on your blog….how is it done? A Pasco Co park we’ve used is Withlacoochee Co Park outside Dade City. Call first to see if it’s still open for campers.
      LED bulbs are great energy saver.
      Chuck N Geri n Hound Herd http://www.phunnyfarm.blogspot.com

  9. Geri says:

    I am so happy you are getting to see the desert in bloom! YaY!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Okay, Geri, settle down and tell me the name of that white flower. Then I’ll be the one with the Yay!

  10. Hazel says:

    Sue, the desert flowers and your photos are stunning! (Yes, Picasa does help since now we can enlarge your photos so keep doing what you’re doing.) They’re all new to me so I’m learning the names from you. What a subtly beautiful place to spend the winter!

    Your criteria for choosing a site is well thought out from your experience. I’ll try to remember your tips when we start camping with MEGG. We pick her up next week about 8 hours away; then we come back here to Mission, TX to begin the daunting task of downsizing our belongings and transferring from the Airstream and to the Casita. I’m madly making lists of bare essentials to make MEGG home without stuffing her to the brim. We’ll have a month or so to travel around Texas before returning home to Ontario. That should give MEGG (and us!) a good test. I am soooo excited!!!

    Thanks for sharing, Sue. You are an inspiration!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Hazel!

      Every time you mention your MEGG I’m thrilled right along with you. Picking up my Casita was one of the happiest days of my life! I don’t think I was ever that excited about any of the houses I bought. Maybe because the houses meant Responsibility and a travel trailer means Freedom!

      I am so happy for you both. You are going to have a ton of fun. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your experience picking it up and the places you take it!

      I’m learning the flowers as I go. I still haven’t figured out the name of that white flower. I narrowed it down to a few white flowers and then got lazy, hoping a reader would tell us. Glad you enjoy the photos!

  11. lonewolfgal says:

    Sue, since your Casita has an awning, I’m curious — how often do you use it?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, lonewolfgal,

      I haven’t used my awning very much at all in my first six months owning it. Here’s why. The first four months or so I didn’t have solar and was camping in campgrounds (NM) that have a shelter at each campsite. I would pull the BLT up next to the shelter. Another reason I didn’t use it in NM and haven’t used it much in AZ is the unpredictable wind gusts. A dead-calm day can become gusty in a few minutes making the awning annoying with its flapping, and potentially damaging.

      I’m still glad I got it. It’s like an umbrella. . . You can live okay without one but when you want one, you really want one. I don’t know where the road may take me and I may find the awning an important item every day. Who knows? It does make a great sitting area, especially with the patio mat.

      Of all the options I chose (high lift axle, larger tanks, entertainment pkg, etc.) the awning was last on my list and if I had to cut the cost of my Casita, I probably would have left out the awning.

      Remember, though, that I’ve only been doing this for 6 months. Maybe in 5 years I’ll say the opposite.

      Oh, and thank you for the nice compliments!

      • Sue, I’ve got an awning on my Roadtrek. We thought it would be so great, but in actuality, I rarely use it for the same reasons! Although camping in the Blue Ridge in the summer frequently involves rain, so it comes in handy there for a 3-4 foot dry swath…. I’m loving your posts, and thinking that my next rv setup will be a Casita and tow vehicle.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          A Casita convert! If you buy a Casita from the factory, tell them I’m the one who talked you into it. Maybe they’ll send me $200. They do that, you know.

          Yes, I’m a shameless money-grubber . . .

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Great! It’s either the White Tackstem or Desert Chicory. I’ll go look at the plant again. Thanks!

  12. Bill says:

    Hi Sue- Haven’t had much time to find a wifi and check your blog.

    I wanted to chim in on your oil gauge. We had the same problem on our Jeep and it turned out to be the sender. It was simple to replace, about the same amount of time it took to replace the taillight on your PTV but dirtier! You drive with the defective sender as long as you do not see a ‘check engine’ light. Hope this helps.

    Hope to send you pix some of stuff we’re doing. In ABQ today at the HOME EXPLO show. Showing off my energy systems. (14,000 est visitors). Feeling fine, happy healty kids, what more could you ask for. Cheers BR, K and kids.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Bill!
      How exciting! By the time you read this, if you ever do, the expo will be over. I hope it went well for you. Glad to hear everything’s okay with you both and your crew!

  13. Sue, Thanks for the nice words and visit. It was nice meeting you also. We have decided to leave on Tues morning, so this site will be vacant. As you know it is very private. Except for the hillbillys in the dodge on day 1 and your presence, not another body has ventured down this road. Coffee will be on Monday morn if you want to have another look. If not, good luck to you. C&C

  14. Sandi Wassam/ SanD'eggo says:

    Good Morning Sue, I wanted to tell you that I was there this last weekend but left on Sunday for home to San Diego. I had the white Xterra pulling my Casita. I found a lovely spot out there and totally enjoyed all that Darby Wells has. On Saturday, Augy the Scotty and I visited Organ Pipe Nat’l Monument and found it beautiful and a future destination. Ajo was such a surprise and it has alot of ammenities for us boondockers. Thank you for sharing in your posts of Darby Wells. Sandi

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Sandi!

      I saw you! I’m so glad you enjoyed camping out here. I wish I had seen your comment earlier, as now you may not see this. Yes, Ajo has a lot to offer except the Chamber stopped letting people get free drinking water. Wah!

  15. Putting our butt into the sun because we don’t tilt our panels. We got cocky and pointed our posterior to the northeast, and that wasn’t good. Now we know. In the winter, that also puts warm morning sun into our big windows and starts warming things at sunrise.

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