Goodbye, hello, rig maintenance, and “filthy lucre”

Time to say goodbye . . .

At the end of our excursion into the desert yesterday, Bill and Ann promise to say goodbye before leaving Darby Well Road.  This morning they pull their new travel trailer (They’re former Casitans) down to the end of the lane opposite our campsite.

I see them through the window and hurry outside to meet them in my “driveway.”  Bridget and Spike greet Julie and Sammy.  We three adults have one last chat and again resolve to plan a trip together to Puerto Penasco next winter.


“Goodbye!  Stay safe!”

Two hours later I meet Pat at the fork in Darby Well Road.

Pat has been camping in her Sunseeker Class C at an RV park in Ajo for the past month. She let me know she’s ready to get away by herself for a while.  I’m happy to help her find a great spot, as she’s a faithful reader of this blog.

I lead her with the PTV over to the site Bill and Ann just vacated.  “You should get five-bars on your cell phone and internet here.  And look at the view of Black Mountain!”  Pat agrees it’s a great campsite, and soon she’s positioned her rig.

Today is warm and clear, a good day to do maintenance.

1-P10201341-P1020303The hitch area needs to be painted.  A few weeks ago I bought some Rustoleum, black, glossy enamel. The harsh afternoon sun makes for a poor picture, but you get the idea how much better it looks.

I’m so inspired by the results that I paint the BLT’s doorstep! 

Of course, little paw prints are on it already.  Spike loves to lie in the doorway.  He’s guarding our home and protecting his family, I guess.  The tape under his left paw is holding up a rubber strip that’s come loose.  A repair job for another day.  I don’t want to overdo it.  I’ve got books to read and sun to soak up.


I like this photo of a natural rock garden seen yesterday on our jaunt out into the desert.1-P1020259

The silvery plant in the foreground may look like sage to you.  It’s actually brittle-bush which puts forth a mound of bright yellow blooms in late winter or early spring.  It’s a member of the sunflower family.  You see it all over the Sonoran Desert, highlighting the brown of the rocks, the yellow-green of palo verde trees and creosote bushes, and the dark, grey-green of ironwood trees.

I’m encouraged by your response to the Amazon links!

I hope to strike a balance between reminding you to shop through my blog’s links without seeming like the only thing on my mind is chasing filthy lucre!  I’ll place links to temporary, special sales at the bottom of each blog entry, and the Amazon home page link will stay at the top right.

Sincere thanks to those of you who’ve already purchased Amazon items through my links.  I really do appreciate your support!

One last photo . . .


I love the gentle hello of a new day.



About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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64 Responses to Goodbye, hello, rig maintenance, and “filthy lucre”

  1. That natural rock garden is so pretty. Nice to see someone else does touch up painting. My Joe paints the grill in the front of the motorhome, the steps, the framing around the lights, tow bar…….anything that is black gets painted… Thougt it was funny that Spike has his paw prints on it already. Just like a kid.

  2. Cari in Texas says:

    I’m enjoying your pictures and stories of the Sonoran Desert. I’m adding it to my list of places to visit once I hit the road.

    I got a big kick out of your comment that you don’t want to overdo it, you’ve got books to read and sun to soak up. That’s the life for me!

  3. Gayle says:

    Before I read books and soak up the sun, I have to select a rig. Loving a 4 season 23 ft (with slide) just adequate or 26 ft (with slide) absolute heaven. In your experience, would 3 ft longer make a difference? In other words, if you Casita became 3 ft longer, do you think that would make your tow experience and backing up much more difficult?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I guess it wouldn’t make much difference. I did squeeze into a tent site at a state park on the Pacific Coast when no other sites were available and didn’t have a foot to spare. I’m not a good one to ask because I have no experience with a trailer longer than 17 feet. I imagine there would be a point at which the difficulty increases greatly. Maybe a reader will see this and help you. I’d be more concerned about pulling that weight. I assume you’ve got the power to pull it.

      • Old Fat Man says:

        I have had everything from 16 feet to 34 feet in hitch pull. the shorter the trailer the quicker they respond to intended and UNINTENDED movements. Backing a longer trailer is easier for me than a shorter trailer. Going forward there is no difference in towing due to length. More care on corners but not really a trouble. The question answered is only about towing and backing. Whether it is the right size for you is a whole nother subject. I can guarantee you that the long wheelbase van and the short Casita of Sue’s is a devil to back. I warned her of this when I met her a while back. However she has learned to back that set up better than 99% of the folks that tow trailers. I am proud of her.

      • Rattlesnake Joe says:

        Hi Eagle Eye, Sue’s Casita is only 6’8″ wide. Most of the 4 season trailers are at least 8 feet wide. It is easy for sue to tow her BLT and keep it inside the lane. The others are hard to keep in your lane if its windy or an 18 wheeler is passing you. If you have never towed before see if you can test a friends Casita out and then try an 8 or even wider trailer. The wider the trailer the less gas mileage you will get. If you are going to do a lot of traveling I vote for the Casita or something of that size. If you are going to stop and stay awhile at different camps you might want a bigger trailer like a 23 footer. You don’t need a longer trailer unless you want a walk around queen bed. The best 4 season trailer is the Big Foot but unfortunately the queen island bed is only found on the 25 footer. Is it just you or are you going to be traveling with more people. This makes a big differance in length, beds ect..

        • Old Fat Man says:

          Sorry RJ but I live in the best 4 season trailer and it is an Arctic Fox brand. That is a guaranteed opinion.

          • Rattlesnake Joe says:

            Your Arctic Fox was probably made before the housing market crunch. They are not made as good anymore, but Big Foots are…in my humble opinion. But my favorite trailer is the 22 Arctic Fox GQ 4 season and I have been looking high and low for a 2006 that is in excellent condition.

            • earthdancerimages says:

              For me, all I need to think about is pulling into and out of a gas station! A smaller rig like the Casita is much easier to tackle that chore than a larger RV!

              • Rattlesnake Joe says:

                My feeling exactly. The price of gas fluctuates but creeps up higher and higher. The old days will never be seen again. Our hayday is now over and China is the new economic engine that runs the world. .

            • Chuck says:

              Is BigFoot in business any longer???? Chuck in NM

              • Rattlesnake Joe says:

                Yep Big Foot is still going but was out of business for a couple of years back in ’08 because of the housing crunch in the USA. The vibrations from our collapse effected Canada too. Big Foot bit off a little more than they could chew by getting into making bigger non molded fiberglass trailers and motor homes. Now they are back and strong but making only the campers for pick ups and the molded fiberglass trailers. But not the Silver Cloud that was a 27 footer I believe. Only 13 or 14 of them were made. Big Foot has an Outlet in Oregon now.

  4. Allen Flanagan says:

    Sue, Donna & I put a deposit on a Winnebago Sightseer 35J. We are going to spend the next 18 months getting it and us ready to join you. We will be homeschooling our son, RV training our dogs and learning to “Boondock” as we go. Your daily commentary is instrumental in our decision along other frequent bloggers. Good luck, stay safe, we’ll see you soon.

  5. cinandjules (NY) says:

    Bye Ann, Bill, Sammy and Julie!
    Your hitch and step look great! Spike looks so cute with his paws hanging over the ledge.
    Beautiful pictures….as always! Glad the sun is out and you are enjoying the weather.

    I’m petsitting a Jack Russell terrier who has glaucoma and recently went blind. Poor feller…he can’t be in our home because he doesn’t know the layout. So I’m at their house….no internet..what’s up with THAT?

    I’m home for a minute..Jules is cooking dinner and I had to check in with your blog! Wouldn’t miss it! Take care.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh, poor little terrier. I hope Spikey doesn’t end up like that. He’s lost enough vision already.

      Now that’s a dedicated follower of my blog! Run home for dinner and rvsue and her canine crew! Hope the weather has improved up there . ..

  6. EmilyO from KS says:

    Oh yuk, you would remind me I have to finish painting the framework underneath on the trailer – oh good, won’t be warm enough for a couple more months. Whew! Love the natural rock garden, man could not have done better.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I didn’t do the framework. Maybe next year. What I did was cosmetic. Very little sign of rust. I don’t look forward to crawling under the BLT to paint!

  7. Eileen P. says:

    It seems as though i recall reading a post from one of your readers that your Amazon link places a cookie on our computers that lasts for 24 hours. And that all orders placed within that 24-hour time period are associated with your account. For any order after the 24-hour, we would need to come to your link again. Is that correct, or did I dream that?
    Eileen in Phoenix

    • Vicki says:

      I believe I read that too.
      Mick also posted a few days ago to click RvSue’s link then to bookmark it, then you can just click the bookmark to order. I hope I read that correct because I placed a large order yesterday and hope Sue gets the credit.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yes, a reader did say that. I haven’t found where I can verify that, but it does have a ring of truth to it. It’s nice of you to care enough to question this, Eileen.

  8. tinycamper says:

    Your photos were special today, Sue!

    Wishing you great success in your Amazon endeavor!

  9. Pat says:

    The sunset tonight was the best!!!!!! Sorry you did so much work today, I went for a walk and enjoyed the sun. I have some Gorilla Glue if you want to use it to fix your step…….have to keep the repairs going…

    Thanks again for letting me share this perfect place.

    Pat, Darby Well Road

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Pat. I’m writing this the following morning. Did you see the sunrise! Incredible! The pink spread all the way from the horizon to overhead… all against a baby blue sky.

  10. Dedra says:

    For me, my Casita is the easiest RV I have every used. I have no trouble backing, so long as I don’t over correct. It’s a dream to pull, doesn’t catch the wind like other trailers. Gets out of tight spots, easier. Have a 31 feet motor home, after 60 miles of fight it, your worn out. Try getting that out of a tight spot. Don’t forget you have to pull a car, so you can get out and see things. Also, don’t forget the 6 1/2 miles a gallon. Casita are small, however, there easy, gas saver, bright and cheerful. Love it! Thank you Sue!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Dedra!

      It does my heart good to hear how much you love your Casita. You make a good presentation for why you do. “Bright and cheerful”… That’s so true! Casitas have the quality of “greater than the sum of their parts.” They epitomize “less is more.”

      When I see the BLT nestled in her campsite, my spirits rise. Any question what rig I favor?

  11. Connie & Mugsy says:

    Now about those flowers that turn the desert yellow in the early spring. One mid-March I was heading back home to ND, and it had been a very wet year. So, lots of flowers and lots of bees. On I-10 not far from Tucson, I kept hitting swarms of bees. It sounded like someone throwing handfuls of little rocks at you… and the whole front of my RV was yellow with pollen and bee bodies. It was a mess!! And I always feel bad when I run through a swarm of hard-working bees.

    • Rattlesnake Joe says:

      The Bees were dying back in 2006 or 07 because of the Suns rays making them go blind. They seem to be making a come back. Mother Nature will compensate I think.

      • rvsueandcrew says:

        Colony Collapse Disorder is partly to blame.

      • Connie & Mugsy says:

        It wasn’t the sun… it was us humans poisoning them with pesticides. 😦 The effort to ban this poison seems to be getting strong enough to finally stop it. We have a giant swarm in a grapefruit tree up the street… happens every year. Soon they will move on, but for now, I take Mugsy on the next block.

  12. dawnkinster says:

    I learn so much reading your blog and the comments of your fellow RVers. Plus I get to look at pretty things. Well, the hitch was interesting, but the mountains and the rock garden were PRETTY! Here I’ve been wondering about backing up with a towable v.s. going with a RV, but the driving into town thing bothered me about having a single rig. Hmm….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Yeah, hitches make lousy pictures! I feel like I have to put stuff like that to remind wannabes that it’s not all about glorious sunrises and fun in the desert.

      I enjoy making quick trips into the nearest town or just bopping around with no set purpose. Having a “free” vehicle is important to me.

      • Laurie from Southern Oregon says:

        Hi Sue, It is good that you put those little tid bits in about maintenance because as newbies, we don’t always think of those things. As a matter of fact the steps do need painted so I will pick up a can and wait for a warm day. Thanks!

  13. Sunrise pic is great. All your pics are great.
    You are right to not overdo it. Only so much maintenance for one day. Best to keep a healthy balance.

  14. Barb Brady says:

    Sue, I just love all the desert photos! Just wanted you to know I spent another $54 today on Amazon through your link. $30 of it was for a used item, though, so I don’t know if you’ll get credit for it.

  15. Sunny says:

    Hi Sue, I’ll be making a purchase today through your Amazon link. Nice pictures. Loved your “rock garden” and the sunrise! BTW, I had to leave abruptly last Sunday afternoon and had forgot my hummingbird feeder and a square mesh seedcake feeder hanging by where i had been parked the day we met. If you get back over there you are welcome to them. I am back in Tucson recovering from a bout of food poisoning, (my own , not anyone elses fault) Thanks for the tip on Belly Acres.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi Sunny!

      I looked for you and you had left. Food poisoning? How terrible! I asked a person once how he knew he had food poisoning. He said the doctor asked him, “Do you wish you could die?” and he said, yes. The doctor said, “You’ve got food poisoning.”

      I’m sorry you had to leave so soon. I would’ve loved to have seen your paintings.

      I’ll look tomorrow for the bird feeder. Judy reads this blog and she’s parked closer to it. Maybe she beat me there! 🙂

      Thanks for ordering Amazon through my blog. Get well soon!

  16. john says:

    so what were Bill and Ann’s reasons for getting out of a casita? I like all the reasons pro-casita listed above (small easy to pull, better mpg, etc.), and they are the reasons I am leaning that direction myself. So it would be interesting to hear why someone who was in was has chosen a different model.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Bill and Ann had their Casita for several years and they enjoyed the trips they took with it. (That alone is amazing to me. I can’t imagine sharing the BLT’s space with another human being.) However, after 7 mos. of full-timing in their Casita, they decided they wanted more space and a walk-around bed. So they went from 17 feet to, I think, 23 feet.

      • john says:

        makes sense. That is why I follow you. I am envious of your lifestyle, plus I want to see how long you can full-time in 17 feet. You make it seem so easy and comfortable.

        • Timber n' me says:

          Hi John, I have been full timeing in a 6,5×6,5×8.2 home made camper that has a bed,woodstove,porti-pot,a table with my buddy Timber, on the back of a 1975 F-100,,,,i can walk from the bed 6 ft., to the rear door,,,,,,,been liveing in it for 4years and i have a big yard all arownd my rig to play in,,,,,And I just mite live in for the rest of my life, if I can keep the ol’ gal running another 37 years,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I’ll be a 100 then,,,,And Timber sess right,,dad

          • john says:

            yes I have enjoyed reading about you and I am so happy for your reunion with Timber. You and Sue are inspirations for me. I never dreamed of full-timing until I started peaking into your lives through the blogs. Best of luck to you and with any luck I will run into you when I begin my own journey

  17. DeAnne says:

    And I just need to add here that if you love the look and capabilities of a Casita, please take a look at the Parkliner. No, I’m not a paid spokesman, but it is a sweet little trailer and my future retirement home.

  18. Reine says:

    Paul and I love our Casita and really enjoy camping in it. However our trips are usually 2-4 weeks long and we have no plans to full time. I can understand wanting a little more space and a walk around bed if you’re LIVING in your Casita. To live together in a Casita you have to be very good friends in addition to being spouses.

    • Rattlesnake Joe says:

      I agree Reine, my wife and I have full timed in our 17′ Casita SD for almost 5 years now. We would love a bigger home but the trailer is not built that we want. I would like a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, a trailer that can fly, be used as a boat and a car. We can go to the moon but where is that technology for We The People? Where is that trickle down effect we used to hear so much about? Popular Science magazine use to tell us ” in the future we will be going to work in Air Cars, taking off from home and landing at work”. Oh well maybe next reincarnation I suppose?

  19. Bob Lowry says:

    Check out my blog for some pictures of Ajo and the area. We just returned from a few days over the hill from you and the crew. Aren’t the night skies amazing? So many stars.

  20. Caroline says:

    I’m sure you’ll miss Bill and Ann, but next winter in Puerto Penasco sounds pretty darn sweet. We’ll be looking forward to hearing all about the experience. Do you have any plans to return to the SE?
    I’m headed to the Seattle RV show today.. lots of RV’s to check out and some interesting classes to attend. I have another 5-6 yrs before retirement but I can start my research now. I sure like the looks of the Casita and other fiberglass TTs, but I haven’t seen one with a separate shower. I’m looking at under 20ft. So today will hopefully be an eyeopener for me.
    Thanks for providing so much great information on this blog, Sue. Whether you write about little details like touch up painting, or emptying tanks, backing up, finances,or whatever, it’s all good info to know. Thx again, caroline

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      You’re welcome, Caroline. I hope you learned a lot at the RV show. You’re smart to be researching now, even though retirement is 5 or more years away.

      Since your comment is at the end of a discussion, you might mention again under a new post that you’re looking for a small travel trailer with a separate shower. Maybe a reader will be able to help you.

      It’s my pleasure to help people like yourself attain a simple and enjoyable lifestyle. Good luck as you prepare for it!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I forgot to answer your questions. Yes, I’ll come back to the Southeast. There are three places to stay warm in the winter in the U.S…. south Texas, Florida, or southern California and Arizona. I like it here.

  21. Rattlesnake Joe says:

    Caroline, if you camp only in the summer or nice weather, you can use a Shower Tent. You can get it on Amazon for $100 or so. Dementions are like 4’5″ x 4’5″ x 7′ . Run a garden hose through your bathroom window and using a Water Thief hook up to your bathroom sink faucet. Run the garden hose up and over the top of your shower tent. Put a shower wand on the end of the garden hose and you’re ready to go. Or you can buy the outside shower unit as an option when you get your trailer.

    • Caroline says:

      Hi RJ, Thanks for the advice. But my first big trip will be 3 months to/from Alaska so I really want/need an inside shower. And I prefer the kind that has a little tub enclosure ..don’t know the correct vocabulary for it.
      The RV show was disappointing …. no casitas or any eggs for that matter. And only a few TTs under 20ft. It was still interesting though.

      • Rattlesnake Joe says:

        Here are a couple of sites for you on the internet. and

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