Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do

Wednesday, January 2

Due to wind I didn’t take any photos for this post.  Instead I’ve inserted some pics from the past.  See if you can guess the locations.  Answers are at the end.

Photo #1 . . . Do you know where this photo was taken?

Per usual, Bridget and Spike go outside at daybreak.

I follow to keep an eye on them both as they take care of business.  Already the wind is a-blowin’ and we hurry back in.  Well, a perfect day to stay home and stay cozy.  No need to go anywhere.  Ah, this is the life.

That plan goes down the crapper during a visit to the little girl’s room.

Oh, noooooo!  It’s time to dump tanks!  How did I let that sneak up on me!  Ever since our first day on the road in August of 2011, I’ve managed to anticipate such necessary tasks as emptying tanks.  Okay, wind, cold, no matter.  This is a job that has to be done today. 


Photo #2 . . . Where were we hit with a surprise snowstorm?

I secure everything in the interior, pack up, including the mat and bird feeders, stow the antenna, bring down the solar panel, put the stepladder in the PTV, and hitch up.  In other words, I leave nothing behind.  To do so would look like the items are abandoned and free for the picking.  I also take an important precaution:  I duct-tape the toilet seat down.  It’s a bumpy ride out of here and I don’t want the . . . . well, you get the picture.

I toss the crew in the PTV, and get us back on Interstate 8. 

The trip to the dump station is nowhere near as far as yesterday’s trip to Wal-Mart.  We go to the gas station/convenience store at Pilot Knob which is this side of Yuma.  The dump station cost is calculated according to the size of your rig, and it includes water.  The 17-foot BLT’s charge is $6.


Photo #3 . . .  Awwww!  Where was this baby having breakfast?

Now the sun shines brightly and the wind is a breeze.

I fill up the water tank and gallon jugs and then park over at the dump station.  Soon a couple from Idaho pull their fifth wheel up behind the BLT.  I take advantage of the situation and ask if one of them would turn on the water for me while I flush the tank from inside the bathroom.  “Thanks a lot.  You save me having to run around like I’m in a three-ring circus.”  The man acknowledges that he’s been there and done that.

We’re home in a flash and I’m feeling good.

This buys us more time here.  We’re stocked with groceries and water, and the tanks are empty.  We’re still on the first tank of propane.  Before we need to take care of any of these things again, we’ll be moving to our next camp and I can do those tasks at that time.  Full-timing describes this way of living because success depends on timing!


Photo #4 . . . Where are we camped in this photo?

“Do you ever feel cooped up in a 17-foot trailer when the weather is bad?”

A similar question was asked in a comment recently.  The answer is “No.”  There are several reasons.

One, I’m not a big person.  I can move around in the BLT without bumping into things.  Two, I prepared myself for my little house-on-wheels by living in one room of my four bedroom house for several years.  Three, I have the Liberty Deluxe model of Casita.  It has three big windows around the back half.  When I pull up the blinds, the walls seem to recede.  This brings the outside and the light into the BLT.  It doesn’t feel like a small space.  Four, I’ve always preferred small and cozy to large and grandiose.  Five, I go outside, even in bad weather.  I have to watch the crew while they exercise and go to the bathroom.  And we can always hop in the PTV and go somewhere.

There probably are more reasons why I don’t feel cooped up in my tiny home.  I hope this helps those of you who wonder whether living in a small space is right for you!


Photo #5 . . .Our second surprise snowstorm!  Where were we? 



1)  After driving through a large herd of buffalo, we came upon these donkeys begging for hand-outs.  Where?  Custer State Park, Black Hills of South Dakota.  July 2012.

2)  The crew can’t quite figure out what’s going on outside our window at Percha Dam State Park located between Truth or Consequences and Las Cruces, New Mexico.  We were caught in this snowstorm the week after Thanksgiving, 2011.

3)  While boondocking on BLM land near Congress, Arizona, a herd of horses visited our camp and grazed while I walked among them and took several photos.  Spring 2012.

4)  Our camp in the Sonoran Desert on Darby Well Road, outside Ajo, Arizona, is one of my favorites.  January 2012.

5)  Once again we were surprised by a snowstorm.  This time it was late Spring 2012.  We were camped south of Ash Fork, Arizona.


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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40 Responses to Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do

  1. Barb says:

    Hey Sue!!! Glad you made it to the poo-spot!!!
    It is amazing to me, how small an area can feel so comfy, most of all when it is all on your own… Our (former) little 69 Aladdin was open and easy for me–I used it most. Well, the new (and larger) rehabbed Silver Streak feels fairly cramped to me (the hubs picked it). It all is the layout, isn’t it? And your attitude!!! 🙂
    Your idea of living in one room was SO smart!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Barb… Now you’ve piqued my curiosity… I’ll have to look up and see what a 69 Aladdin looks like.

      Yes, the layout is so important. And I think the windows make a difference, too.

      Another reason I didn’t think to mention … I really like not having more space than I need. It speaks to my frugal nature. I guess that’s what you mean by attitude.

  2. Pat says:

    I’m with you on small spaces, I love them. My Class C is 22 foot and it is perfect for me. Well it will be perfect when I get rid of some the brown. Redoing the cushions and valances and adding some girly touches with curtains and pillows. Green and coral for the colors, should add some interest and work with the brown that I can’t replace. Enjoy you perfect small home!!!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Pat!

      That sounds like a lot of work but I bet you’re having a great time creating your own space. When you’re done, you can be very proud and have fun showing off your home.

  3. Mick says:

    If you go to Glacier You could cross into Canada and visit Banff and Jasper Parks. A friend was married there in 2003 and took these photos:

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow! What photos! I took a quick look (will go back to it later). What beautiful scenery . . . Ooooh, I can hardly wait for summer!

      • Oh dear, I concur. We have summer of 2014 blocked off for an RV trip to, and through, the N. Great Plain states, then up into Canada and back home traveling through the western provinces. I’ve just added both Banff and Jasper to our list of must-see places.

        • Ed says:

          It is not Banff and Jasper that are the must see places it is all the glorious scenery between those two places. My #1 most beautiful part of the world!

  4. Glenda Cornwill says:

    Now after seeing those photos from past blogs entries I am going to have to go back to the start and do some reading. (I only joined your readers mid 2012) Don’t want to have missed anything. Thanks Sue for posting the site offering the galleries of photos from Canada………brought back lovely memories when my daughter and I travelled through the Canadian Rockies visiting such places as Banff, Lake Lousise and Jasper…………such beautiful scenery and for two Aussies it was out of this world !!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Actually the thanks go to Mick who posted the link. Hey Mick! Glenda says thanks!

      I hope you do go back to the beginning of my blog. One thing you’ll discover is how absolutely obsessed I was to make my vagabond life possible!

  5. Llanos says:

    Does it feel like you have been out there this long? I have enjoyed following your travels. Been to Banff and Jasper. Be advised lots and lots of tourists.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Good question! In a way it seems like a really long time because so much has happened. So many memories. And also it seems like a short time because the time really did fly by because I’ve had so much fun. Now that’s a confused answer!

  6. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Raises hand high…I too need to go back and review the pictures. ….I only recognized photo number one.

    Oh dear….your BLT doesn’t have a gauge to let you know when tanks (grey, black, H20) are getting filled? Yikes!

    Glad it worked out okay….and didn’t make a mess.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Usually I can tell when the time for dumping is near… It’s a learned skill, requiring a good ear. 🙂

      • Can you say “blooping?”

      • Ed says:

        As I said on by web site December 30, 2012:
        I had a surprise waiting for me when we got back to Desperado – about 1” of gray water in my shower floor. I knew that my gray water tank was very close to full a couple of days ago but have not been paying the close attention needed because I felt so bad. The idiot lights on all my tanks are giving me false signals so I need to use other signs, water coming up into the shower floor is one of those. That means you need to dump gray water NOW.

        I got that chore taken care of and filled with fresh water. Since the black water tank is never as full as the gray and I dump them both at the same time I avoid having a big black water mess due to the idiot light on that tank.

  7. What fun, a picture guessing game. I only got the first one right because we were in Custer State Park this summer and have a photo eerily similar to yours.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      It wasn’t very hard to get a photo of the donkeys! The only one not pushing for a hand-out was the pregnant one in the photo. Maybe she had morning sickness?

  8. Chris H says:

    Rather than dragging a hose to flush out the toilet and holding tank, have you tried filling the toilet bowl full a couple of times and then flushing to clean out the bowl and the tanks? Or perhaps you are filling the black tank full of water through the toilet bowl and then emptying the tank to flush it out.

    Chris H

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I did the latter. I didn’t use flushing because I wanted to leave with a full fresh water tank. And I didn’t want to haul water to the toilet either.

  9. geogypsy2u says:

    I make notes on my calendar when a propane tank runs out and when filled. But you do have plan ahead for certain things, like that black water.

    I too prefer living in small spaces. I get lost when there’s too much room in the house but not when there’s lots of space outside. Fun to see the old photos.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I wish I had the kind of mind that remembered to take note of such things as propane and waste tanks. I tend to lean toward the “winging-it” method.

  10. Timber n' me says:

    WOW!!! Look et them Donkee’s….In South Dakota, Are they wild? ,,,,,,,hey i know that spot, it snows there every year in late spring, but it’s gone by noon. say hi n’ give th’ pups a hug fer us, and a fol n’ it’s mom, sweet………………..

    • Timber n' me says:

      That donkee in th’ window is sayin’ ,,,,”Give us cookie

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I bet that photo of the PTV covered in snow brought back memories. I remember I walked over to your camp to see if you needed any firewood. You were well prepared and your wood stove had you and Timber warm and cozy.

      The donkeys roam Custer State park, along with buffalo, and pronghorns. They may have been somewhat wild once, but every day they get food from people driving through the park, even though signs say Do Not Feed The Animals. The car ahead of me was giving a donkey handfuls of those red-hot fire french fries. Idiots!

  11. Bruce Knutson says:

    Sue, have you checked out this site? The writer (and lots of people who have tried it and continue to do so) claim they no longer have to flush their black water tank at all and don’t have to use the expensive blue chemicals. I’m going to try it this spring when we start traveling.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Bruce! Yes, I’m familiar with that method. Whenever I remember to shop for Calgon, the store I’m at doesn’t have it. Then I forget about it for a while, try again, and that store doesn’t have it! Good luck.

  12. Glenda Laine says:

    Great answers, Sue. Me, husband, 2 cats, & one 30# dog have been happy & comfortable for 19 mos now in our 17′ Liberty Casita (same as your model). We’ve workkamped most of this time tho with full hookups. When outside is ‘uncomfortable’, we don’t need much room inside to get cozy & hang out reading, computing, & tv or music. We’re starting to boondock tho so we’ll see what ‘comforts’ shift. Besides, dog is ALWAYS ready for a walk. Hope to cross paths with you.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Wow, Glenda . . . Congratulations to you, your husband, and pets!

      I don’t think another person would live long if living with me in a 17-foot trailer. Although that probably has more to do with my poor relationship skills, rather than the size of the trailer! Ha-ha!

  13. Maureen says:

    Know what you mean Sue. Myself, my husband and our 15 # poodle are cozy in our 20′ TT. Even when we lived in our 3 bdrm house we occupied just about the same amount of space that we use now in the TT. My favorite part of this lifestyle is the choice we have to pack up and move if we don’t like the neighborhood!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Maureen!

      Well, I never did grasp the concept of having more bedrooms and bathrooms than people living in the house. That’s just more to keep clean.

      Being able to leave the neighbors behind is one of my favorite things, too!

  14. Jack says:

    Sue, you can also drop off at the Q casino, drive down to the tribal campground. They have a dump, water and showers. You can camp by the day or do monthly dry camp for $150 a month. You can also cross the border to Algodones to get your PSGW (perfect stained glass window) for your rv door. Just a thought! Love your pics!

  15. Bob says:

    Oh crap! Er, did I just say that? Maybe it’s more like, “Shit happens”?
    That’ll be quite enough of that I think.

  16. Wayne Scott says:

    I have been following your blog from the begining. This post is great. Inspiring to think of all the great times you have had already, and the great times ahead for us too. Thanks for the valuable info, helps us plan where we will want to be.
    oh thanks for the reminder too!, I need to ‘get on’ those tanks today! HaHa

  17. AZ Jim says:

    Hi Sue and Crew. I can’t think of anyone who might appreciate this more than you. Turn on the sound.
    I hope wherever you wander, it’s what you wanted it to be this fresh new year. Love this blog as I love ’em all. Thanks for letting me tag along.

  18. Gayle says:

    I don’t remember where photo #1 was taken, but that is definitely a photo of my ex-boss.

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