RV Boondocking the Good Life

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October 6, 2006 17:04 - Welcome to RV Boondocking News!

Hello!

Took me just a little while to struggle through the "technology" but I done 'er and the RV Boondocking "daily" blog for my website is now online! If you hadn't guessed you are reading my first "blog" entry. Quite a deal for a broken down old cowboy!

We are still working to get the house sold so we can leave, but as you all know the housing market is a little less prime than she was a bit ago! We took too long getting the brick and mortar place finished and ready to sell so now we pay the price I guess.

Anyway, we will be hitting the road soon (one way or the gol' durn other!) and I will be posting all the fresh RV Boondocking information, stories of our travels and misadventures right here!

I'm awful impatient to be on the road RV Boondocking, so if you have any conversations with the man upstairs, any help you can get him send our way would be greatly appreciated!

I'm still struggling just a mite with this "blog" technology. Stretching my old brain pretty tight. I expect things on it might be a little off, or slow for a bit! So give me a little while to really get the hang of it! While it will be a daily blog, in the future, of our RV Boondocking Adventures it will likely be a touch less than that until we manage to break loose from this place.

Anyway, please, come back and check up on us now and again!

October 7, 2006 20:06 - Still working out the bugs!

As you may have noticed, my RV Boondocking News blog is a little out of wack. It should look just like the rest of my site but you already know that ain't so!

I am working on it but it may take a couple days for this ol' hand to work the kinks out of this contraption. It's some new software I've got hooked in to do this, what I hope will be, daily travel blog. A gal I know is trying to give me directions over a forum, but heck, she talks about that html code like it was plain and simple .............. It ain't that way for me I swear! Please bear with me while I stretch this ol' brain just a little bit more! and figure out where things are wired wrong!

In the meantime I can still visit a mite!

This last bit, as we work to get out on the road RV Boondocking, is proving to be the toughest. between getting rid of junk and trying to get this house sold in a really lousy market, things have gotten just a little bit tense a time or two!

I've got to sharpen my pencil and rework the budget some! We're working hard to sell the place but it just ain't a fun deal. This real estate market is giving us some pretty good bruises for sure! Oh well, life in the west I guess!

The light at the end of our tunnel is the freedom we know up in the mountains in a boondock camp.

For me RV Boondocking is second only to Cowboyin' on a good horse in far country.

I so desperately love it. Just now, knowing I will make it back to that freedom is what's keeping me putting one foot in front of the other. That and a woman who has put up with me for nearly 30 years!

The only advice I can give to anyone planning to go full-time is (1)one, don't wait to start preparing and my number (2)two tip is: don't wait to start preparing!

The more time you can give yourself to overcome all the obstacles that for sure and for certain are going to crop up
as you prepare to make your break the less likely those obstacles will be much difficulty!

Till another day, travel safe and watch the sunrise!

October 11, 2006 14:33 - Haven't sold the house yet but there's still plenty goin' on!

My solar equipment is on the way from RV Solar electric! I'll chronicle it's installation in regular pages on the main website. I'm not by any stretch any sort of an electrical technician. I consider a job successful when there aren't any sparks! A very good friend, who puts up with me, is though. I'll be hauling up to his place near Devils Tower in Wyoming to do the hookup with his guidance.
That will be sometime in the next couple of weeks so keep an eye peeled!

The cost of, and unexpected difficulty in getting the place sold is forcing us to "stage" the solar installation a little. Though I'm putting all the inverter and control hardware in for 6 panels, we're holding off on 4 of the panels just now. I'll put them on with the 2 that are in this initial installation as soon as the house is sold!

Cleaned the roof last week! For a lot of folks, out of sight is out of mind. Don't neglect your RV rubber roofs! Leaks are a misery! So maintain it! I like to do it twice a year. Once in the spring and again in the fall. Being up there once or twice a year will let you find RV roof problems before they really become a problem. You can get that cracked caulking fixed before you have internal damage. I haven't gotten back up on the roof yet to caulk a couple of weak spots I found. The wind and rain the past few days in Colorado has kept my "kind of nervous in high places" butt on the ground!

I'll be winterizing this week as well. At least temporarily. ........ We remain confident that our real estate woes will soon be history and we'll be out there RV Boondocking!

Another little thing I did recently. I installed a folding hand hold at the entry door. A lot of new rigs have them from the factory. Ours did not. It really is a nice upgrade. Only costs somewhere around $35 at Camping World. Keeps that wobbly kiester of mine from hitting the ground when the steps are wet, or maybe when the wind is blowing.

Unless it corrects with this post, my logo graphic is still missing off the top of the blog home page. I'm still working on it, and everyone agrees .......... it's operator error! ........... it's just that nobody can figure out how I'm goofing it up!

I'll git 'er done someday!

Till next time, Take care!

October 12, 2006 09:42 - Making progress!

Hey hey hey! I got the logo up there! Pretty impressive huh? Actually kinda sad ............. stove up ol'cowboy computer geek! LOL!
All I got left to figure out is the background color ................. and I thought chasing cows at twenty below was tough!

We're hoping to be able to spend at least part of this coming winter down "Home" in Arizona. Both Heidi and I grew up there. I guess we'll always consider it to be "Home". It's been nearly 20 years since we enjoyed a winter in the Arizona sun!

That Arizona desert has more places to set up RV Boondocking camps than there are RV Boondockers. From the dispersed camping in the Coronado NF, down on the Sonoran desert, to the Tonto Basin, up in Zane Grey country, the thousands of spots you'll find to spend a warm winter will remind you, every day, how lucky you are to be blessed with the RV Boondocking lifestyle!

A blessing which does not dictate that you set up in one of the Quartzsite LTVA "parking lots" either! There's a lot more Arizona than that!

You will want to keep to the southern part of the state though. At least below the Mogollon Rim. (Pronounced "muggy owen"!)The altitude is generally lower there and so it stays a little bit warmer!

If you do have a hankerin' for a change it's easy to accomodate you! All you need do is drive up into one of the "Sky Islands" for the day! Imagine this: You're camped down on the Sonoran desert somewhere where you can sunbathe or even swim if there's that sort of water or a pool around. So now, you jump in the truck or the toad and drive up to the top of the Catalinas to ski or build a snowman!

All within a couple of hours! It's actually pretty sweet!

We hope to see you, RV Boondocking, down on our old Home ground in Arizona this winter. If you get there ahead of us, keep a fire lit to guide us in OK?

October 13, 2006 17:45 - How old are your tires?

Getting ready to head south for the winter? Or already there? Did you remember your good old RV tires when you were making your preparations for the run?

The tires on RV Boondocking rigs frequently don't get enough miles put on them to ever wear out. Instead, they just die of old age. Unfortunately, they don't do their dyin', quietly sitting in some beautiful camp somewhere.

Generally, you're on the highway, sailing along, moving camp, when the age weakened rubber just lets go. The RV tire shreds, the wheel gets tore up, and in the worst cases, the sparks it throws as it's getting beat up starts the whole shebang on fire.

When you ask the feller what happened, he says, "I just looked at the tires, I had plenty of tread left!"

Only problem was, that tread was seven years old! Not a good tire, no matter how good it looked.

So, is it avoidable? You can bet both your kidneys and half your liver it is! If your tires are older than 4 years, you should seriously consider getting them replaced. Don't say "But they have half their tread left!" like that other guy hosting the barbeque!

It don't really matter! And don't expect them to warn you, getting all cracked and dry looking either! That warning often never comes.
They look fine. Right up to the point that they disintigtate. The rubber loses its' elasticity as it ages, until suddenly, without warning it just comes apart.

I was in the same position this past spring. Our tires had clicked over 5 years old. I was gambling just a mite. Although they only had maybe 15,000 miles on them, and most of their tread, they had to go. No checking or cracking. No sign of any problems. None at all. They were just to darn old to trust any longer.

Especially considering all the extra weight I've been adding as we prepare to go find some of that RV Boondocking good life!

So off they came and on went some shiny new rubber. Heavier rated too! And on down the road we rolled, worry free!

You know, I can't remember the last time I had a tire blow going down the road.

Take a few precautions. Take care of your tires. Change them when you know you should, and you too can erase the memory of smoking RV tires from your mind, and replace it with the new one of the smoked salmon you caught yourself!

October 14, 2006 19:45 - We go RV Boondocking with dogs, do you?

All the horses are sold. No way they were gonna fit in the fiver anyway! Feels pretty wierd. First time we've not had horses to take care of in nearly thirty years! I gotta say, it was a hard choice.

While we may be able to survive without the horses, the dogs aren't goin' anywhere! Though it does make for some cozy livin' with Heidi and I in a modest sized fifth wheel with two 50+ lb Australian Shepherds! It's a good thing we get along pretty well.

There are a few things we do in an effort to keep it all a tolerable deal.

For starters, the dog food is kept in a cabinet in the bathroom they can't get into. At least not yet.

We ran across some "dog blankets" at Cosco some time ago that I believe were designed for the back of SUV's. We spread a couple on the floor like throw rugs. They're easy to shake out and launder. Helps keep the carpet and the rig in general a lot cleaner and easier to maintain.

Another blanket is used in the truck for it's intended purpose, protecting the back seat area.

Our dogs are pretty active. A day sitting in the truck, on the road, has them pretty wired. They need a good hard run to burn off the stored up energy. Walking on a leash with us just doesn't get it done. When we're traveling in new country we can't just open the door and let them out to play like we could on a 12,000 acre ranch! And, we absolutely for sure can't overnighting at Wal Mart!

We've gotten pretty good at finding the "dog parks" in the area. If you're unfamiliar with them, many towns and communities have set up fenced areas for the specific purpose of letting dogs have a run and let them just be dogs for a bit. And it makes them perfect for RV Boondocking travelers!

One word though. To use them when other dogs are present means that everyone has to be a "sociable" sort. Bullies aren't very popular.

Please, clean up after the pup! It'll get pretty nasty darn quick if we don't, and then we'll find ourselves unwelcome. Anytime Heidi and
I take the dogs out of the rig we each have a poop bag or two in our pockets. Though most of the "dog parks" seem to have a supply in holders along the fence we figure the least we can do is provide our own bags.

There are a number of websites listing dog parks across the country so look them up and see what you can find. Sure cheers our guys up to get some time to cut loose.

What do you do if your buddy gets himself lost out on the road somewhere? ........... Take some action in advance. Go to your Vet or maybe a local kennel or pet store and find out where you can get your dog "chipped". The first thing most animal control shelters do with stray dogs nowadays is scan them for an identification micro chip.

Make sure your best friend can be identified positively and easily, especially in strange country.

One of the most important things is their dog food. If your woofer is a picky eater, or has special diet needs, don't wait until the food bin is running out to go looking for a fresh bag.

Traveling cross country you may not be able to easily find that special brand you need. Prepare in advance. Restock before you need it and avoid some unneeded heartburn. Give yourself a little time to find it!

We have a dog with an as yet undetermined food alergy. Something in a lot of the second rate "store" brand puts her to itching and scratching like mad. As a consequence, we make sure we have a sufficient supply of a brand we know to be "safe". That way we don't end up with a sick dog deep in the bush.

Barking can often be a problem with "RV Dogs". Again, possibly the product of some stored up energy? Our dogs are "crate trained". They have to be. Thats where they spend quite a little time waiting at agility trials.

We've found a benefit of it is that being crated, for our pups, puts a lid on barking. That's a good thing, if we have relatively close neighbors and we need to leave the dogs in the rig for a while. Without close neighbors we generally just let them have the run of the rig.

Truth is we leave them "home" very seldom. Only when we're going to take a hike on a trail dogs are prohibited from or some such.
Otherwise, where we go, they go.

Just a few of the things we do. They're such good friends, I'd be willing to do a heck of a lot more to keep them healthy and happy.

October 17, 2006 12:33 - Thinking about RV Boondocking in the spring already!

Sorta got distracted for the past couple of days. Been getting home fairly late and in no mood for much in the way of "writing".

Let's just say my sense of humor hasn't been at its' best! So I missed a couple of days posts. Bad, bad ol' geezer!

Sometimes life has a way of gettin' in the way of living, don't it? A royal pain in my sittin' parts!

That and the first real storm of the winter is trying to make it's appearance here in Colorado. Lots of folks are looking forward to it. I on the other hand am for sure and for certain, not, a winter person!

As a way to restore my spirits, I've been thinkin' a lot about our plans for the spring.

It's been my dream, a hunger really, for as long as I can remember, to make a summer long journey, RV Boondocking of course, on the great Alaskan Highway.

My only regret is allowing life to bump it off the priority list for way too long. Well, not any more!

Just the sound of the names when you say them stirs my wanderlust. Dawson, Whitehorse, Yukon, Skagway, Denali, Tok, Kenai, Klondike. Do those names have the same affect on you?

I'm itchin' to head out right now! It's time to get them tires hummin' and go yondering!

I've only been as deep into Canada as Banff and only for a couple of days. Then, back in '86 Heidi and I took our daughter on a cruise up the inside passage to Skagway. Other than that it all remains the great unknown for us.

The plan is to cross into Canada near Glacier park about the last week in May. Just after my Daughter ties the knot in Colorado in the middle of the month.

I'm calculating on spending several days in the Banff / Lake Louise area. Then it's maybe three weeks of fairly slow RV Boondocking as we roll North to Alaska!

From mid June to around the 1st of September or so we'll wander around the Denali area and then enjoy the last part of the summer down on the Kenai Penninsula.

Like I said I figure to hit the border again around the 1st of September and roll south, hopefully, ahead of the weather.

So, it looks like it's back to work for me! Lots to do this winter making sure the rig is in proper shape for this circle.

Talk about shinin' times and finding heaven! This year is gonna' be absolutely awsome! I am absolutely sure there's a 50lb Salmon with my name on it, just waiting, wondering where I got lost at!

The freedom of the RV Boondocking road and rolling through the Yukon!

I'm hopin' your year is looking as bright!

October 19, 2006 16:43 - Do you Have Enough Money to go RV Boondocking Full-Time?

Just a few more words about money and RV Boondocking to go with theBudget calculating pageI posted some time ago.

This right here is one of those "Delicate" subjects. Some folks can get their noses out of joint when you start talking about money! There is an old saying on the ranches: "Never ask a man the size of his spread."

It's considered pretty rude. Kind of like asking a fella how much he has in the bank. A little too personal! So I need to walk just a little lightly here. I'm tryin' to not get too nosy!

Just the same, you have to think about it! People always wonder, how much will it cost? Problem is, that's a "How long is a piece of string?" sort of question! The smart alecky answer is, "How much have you got?"

But that is really the truth. The general agreement amongs most of the old timers who have gone this way before is that your lifestyle really won't change much. Outside of swapping the brick and mortar house for your RV (which generally saves quite a bit) the rest pretty often remains the same.

The answer is really up to you. My guess is pretty much everbody who can even think of goin' full-time can do it.
It's my totally free opinion (so you get your money's worth!) but I think if you plan carefully and carve out a realistic, disciplined, budget you can get it done.

Even if you, like Heidi and I, don't have a bank account with a whole lot of zeroes!

Likely, a lot of you are going to need to, again like Heidi and I, have some sort of supplemental work that you can do "On the Road" to help make ends meet. I recently added a page on Camp jobs. It's what I am doing, if you hadn't already figured it out, to supplement our subsistence when we get on the road.

Give it some thought. Sharpen your pencil and charge up your calculator batteries. You can make it work!

Don't let money stand in the way of your RV Boondocking Dreams! See you out there on the road!

October 19, 2006 17:41 - The Solar Power Hardware has all Arrived!

Forgot to mention that RV Solar Electric down in the Phoenix area shipped all the hardware for the initial installation of our Solar Power setup and it arrived yesterday noontime!

Working out my schedule to get up to the Pine Haven area of Wyoming where my "Techie" buddy lives. I figure with his assistance I can't screw to much up!

And if I do, I'll have him standing right there to push all the blame off on!

What with the house selling not going so well, I only ordered in two of the six PV panels for the roof. The other four will go on real easily as soon as the house goes. Other wise I've got all the hardware to handle six 130 watt panels.

I ought to be able to light up the night sky in camp with that don't you think? ........ at least for a couple minutes!

I'll get the story of the tribulations of installation posted just as soon as we get her done!

October 21, 2006 07:46 - Keep your fingers crossed! Shooting to do the Solar Power installation next week!

It looks like there will be a "hole" in the weather big enough for me to drive the rig through. I am hoping to pull out Monday night and head for the Devils Tower country of Wyoming.

I know a couple of spots where I can pull off to sleep for a few hours, about half way or so. That way, I can get up early and finish the run Tuesday morning.

With luck the weather will hold and we can get the complete Solar Power installation done with no major "burps". They say you learn from your mistakes, but right about now I could really do with a little less edcuation and a lot more recreation!

Hey! A little bit of tooting my own horn here! I recently discovered that "Goin' RV Boondocking" or www.rv-boondocking-the-good-life.com, however you think of us, has recently hit a pretty big milestone! At least for us!

Sometime in the past few weeks we have moved into the top 3% of websites according to the Alexa outfit! Pretty cool huh? Never thought it would get that high, let alone as fast as it did.

Many thanks to all you folks for coming by! You're really the reason!

Till next time, take care!

October 24, 2006 21:03 - I'm Baaaaaaaaaaaack!

Been a busy few days! So far so good! Made it to the Pine Haven area south of the Devils Tower area of Wyoming. Left Monday night about 9:30 pm. Pulled into a rest area south of Wright, Wyoming about 1:30 am when I figured my eyes were going to start crossing if I didn't go to bed!

Got up early and finished the run in fine style. Mike and I spent most of the day doing the preparation (7P's) work of laying out and planning this RV Solar Power Installation job.

You remember the 7p's don't you? Proper Prior Preparation Prevents Pathetically Poor Perfomance! OK guys, I know we didn't use "pathetically" in the army ......... but there might be delicate eyes reading this so I "edited" it OK!

This evening we ran over to Gillette to pick up some wiring and miscellaneous parts not included in the kit, that we (spell that M-I-K-E) decided we needed for a proper installation. Our Plans ( Again, spelled M-I-K-E) look awsome!

Tomorrow, brite and early the hardware starts getting bolted and screwed into and onto the Eagle!

Real soon, the Eagle will be able to thumb her nose at the oil barons in her RV Solar Power glory! Keep praying for clear weather ...................... so far you guys have done perfect! The weather couldn't be better!

Till Later! Adios!

October 28, 2006 21:19 - The Goin' RV Boondocking Solar Power Company is in production!

Hauled back to our place in Nunn Friday night. Buttoned up the work late Friday afternoon, got loaded up and headed south, about 7p.m. pulling in about 1a.m.

I'll sure be a happy ol' buzzard once we get all this "stuff" handled and we don't have to keep on with all this scrambling to get things done!

The new system is working well. The little bit of testing we had time to do revealed some weak connections in the battery bank though. I ordered a new crimping tool today which will arrive Tuesday. Or at least that's what was promised.

I have some really heavy 4/0 cable laying up in the shop, and intend to just replace the existing inter-connection cables on the battery bank when I correct the faulty battery terminals. I didn't have the proper tool to complete really solid crimps when I put the battery bank in so I have to go back and correct that.

Lesson learned! You can't do good work with poor tools. Leastways, it's a lot harder!

I'll be posting a complete story on our new solar system hopefully this week, as soon as I get caught up with the honey do's that stacked up this past week!

Hope the dropping fuel prices have shined up your RV Boondocking! Let's hope it stays down for a bit! Later Friends!

October 31, 2006 18:43 - Hey folks, my RV Solar System story is finished!

Got myself caught up finally, or mostly so! Put my literary hat on and started bangin' the keys! I may have to go back and edit a typo here and there when I find them but the story of the installation of our RV Solar Power System is there now on the solar power page. RV Solar Power Installation(My eyes were starting to cross a mite)

That Yamaha of mine is starting to get just a little chilly! It's time to get this here place sold and haul it (the yamaha) and me south, somewhere warm! 65 mph rolling home in the dark at 25 degrees or so takes more "cowboyin' up" than I may still have!

That trip to Northern Wyoming reminded me just one more time how much I dislike getting pushed to rack up miles.
I had to run hard going up and same thing coming back. Still caught in that situation where some other folks are pulling the strings just a little too much!

It's an easy trap to fall into. The feeling you have to hurry up and see as much as you can. Do as much as you can.
Don't you get caught in it. RV Boondocking shouldn't be about volume. It is and should be about quality.

RV Boondocking is about capturing the shinin' times. Not spinning an odometer.

Close your eyes. Stand under the awning of your rig at sunrise. Listen to the breeze sifting through the pines. Smell the freshness of the desert after a late summer storm settles the dust.

Read some guide books. Study the plants and critters living in the area around your camp.

Take a hike ......... paddle a canoe. Take your time. There is no hurry. Take the time to live!

I figure I 've been successful when the truck hasn't been started for three days and I no longer feel guilty about not being in the hurry this world teaches us to be in!

It takes a conscious effort early on, to slow down. But once you get the hang of it you start to become aware of just how blue the sky is. How much clearer the High Country air, and how much sweeter life can be.

Some folks have asked me. Don't you get bored? How can you go RV Boondocking?

I think ........... How can I not?!

Keep it rolling folks ........... but slowly! I'll see you down the trail somewhere.

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