Monday, December 27, 2010

Boondocking Prep for a Month???!

Blue Boy
Yes, it's true, we are going to "Attempt", with a capital "A" an entire month of boondocking in the desert with NO, being the "civilized" folks that we are (and you can read that anyway you want!) we plan to partake of some of the services offered out there like the "Honey Truck" that comes by every now and again (WE HOPE) to empty our black water tank - that would be "poopy tank" to you non-RV'ers out there and also to have our propane tanks refilled by the trucks that come to you.  We purchased  a 25 gallon "Blue Boy" to empty our gray water (from the sinks & shower) into. This tank fills up very quickly but we hope to use our "Burning Man" techniques to slow it down a bit. Most likely we will need to empty this every other day or so. This thing is HUGE & you hook it up to your tow hitch on your car and drive verrryyy slowwwly to the dump station, it came with cheap rubber wheels, which Bill replaced with pneumatic tires (he is so very HANDY!). All of this will be easier than packing up Bebe and driving her over to the refill stations that are available out there every few days, because we like to set up our "home" and feel somewhat permanent!

Bill's new French Press in his "indoor office"
For Christmukkah we each got several gifts to help us with this journey - Bill got a "French Press" (which our friend Pix turned us onto!). We just tried this morning to use it for the first time & it would've helped if I was not still in recovery mode from the sleeping pill I took last night! As I added 3 scoops of coffee and then filled the water to just under the "4" line on the measuring cup - MEANING 4 ozs not 4 cups, DINGBAT, Bil kept saying you need more water & I sat there with a quizzical look on my face saying over and over, but I filled it just under the 4!! OMG, the bleach has definintely gone beyond just the roots in my hair!

 Let's see we also got a battery inverter, to hook up to our generator charged batteries, so we can have some electrical power for our computers & such when we aren't running the generator. We PLAN to run the "genie" in the morning and dinner time for an hour or two & work off the batteries the rest of the time. We can plug a power strip into the inverter to use our electrical stuff.  Unfortunately the inverter I ordered did not come with the cables for the inverter so we spent yesterday with "the boy"
looking for cables that would work. Today Bill gets to fiddle around with that and hopefully it'll all be good!

Also amongst our gifts were various and sundry solar lights & power chargers - one for our cell phones & a cute little computer flexi light that fits into the USB port....

So here we go...wish us luck & good weather, we could use a lot of each!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December, December, December....where oh where do the days go?!

We had a great time spending the holidays with my family in Palm Desert, but it was time to move on, and I was anxious to get to Arizona where we plan to spend the winter. On our last day in PD Bill discovered a leak - oh no, here we go is really never ending! He found a super RV repair shop in the western Phoenix area very close to Luke AFB where we could stay overnight in one of their "officer suites" for $40. Luckily we have this great home warranty insurance plan that covered everything but $50 & once they got the part the next morning we were on our way to Tucson, just a day later than planned. But, of course, Bill did lose a day's work over it which meant that he'd have to work the weekend to make up for that...all these little things are pretty exhausting...

The U.S. Military runs a bunch of RV parks on their bases all around the country. They are usually quite reasonable and you get the use of all of the facilities on base.  Bill is retired Air Force so we are able to use them. I had been reading about the "FamCamp" on the Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson - it was rated #1 three years in a row, and I just had to see what all the fuss was about, especially at $17/night.  They have a 21 day limit if someone is waiting to get in and parked in their "overflow" lot.  People stay the whole winter just moving in and out of the overflow lot which does have electric hook-ups. One usually only has to stay a few days before there is an opening in the full-hook-up area.
We were able to get in with no problem. I loved the change of scenery!
The base had a fabulous 2 story gym with an indoor lap pool and I managed to get over there a few times.

Tucson has a great hash, the jHavelinas - they r*n every Saturday and every Friday night they have a "hashy hour" at some local spot. We had met a Tucson hasher while at the Las Vegas Red Dress Run & he made sure we had all of the right info - we had a great weekend hashing and then on that Sunday we helped man a " Hash beer check", well I guess it's really called an "Aid Station" for a Tucson marathon. Bill ran into...(literally) 3 old running buddies from his Phoenix hashing/running days.  THAT was a lot of fun!
We were supposed to hang out in Tucson until the end of December when we're leaving for Quartzsite, but like all good plans....we are now parked in Queen Creek (just south of Phoenix)in the driveway of Bill's Phoenix hash buddies.  They have a great house with a ton of chickens & a goat.  We got here Friday in time to go to a wonderful Hash Happy Hour at another friend of Bill's, he saw sooo many of his old friend's there it was great.  Saturday we spent the day looking at RV parks, which was incredibly disappointing, BUT the highlight was that we finally met Eric and Karla in person! I met them through the NuRVers group that I found online & we have been conversing online for awhile now. We had a great happy hour with them & it was nice making that connection.  I got really sick on Sunday and Bill found a "doc-in-the-box" where I was diagnosed with strept throat & got some meds, so I should be good as - whatever- in a few days. I have been having a very difficult time sleeping & just getting really run-down. Having that military insurance sure does make it easy with this lifestyle we have.

We've had a few more interesting mishaps with Bebe, like trying to start the generator while plugged into our friend's power - guess we shouldn't try to do that again. And, oh, it took us about 3 days to figure out how to make the TV work just off the antenna and not plugged into cable. We made a real mess of everything though and who knows if we'll be able to get it working again once we want to plug into campground cable again - oh the joys...

Bill's son, Will got into Phoenix last night and is staying with his step-dad for a week. We plan to find an RV park close by on Friday and hang out with them for Christmas.

I can't believe in a week it will be 5 months on the road....what was I thinking???? We both agree that we went into this prematurely and because Bill is working full-time the only time we can see the sights of the area is on the weekends.  We have definitely learned a lot and hopefully will get smarter at this.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Money, Money, Money!!!

So we went into this thinking we were going to save ALL this money, well, please, someone tell me exactly when this will happen?! Bill keeps reminding me that we just started and really have only been 2 months out of Tahoe - but in the RV full-time 4 months.  We have realized that spending a week or 2 here and there is NOT cost-effective and to really get the best deals at the campgrounds (except the military campgrounds) one must stay at least a month. The Palm Desert parks are pretty pricey, it's also the warmest climate in the winter, and my family lives here BUT it's also not a place we really want to spend too much time in - it's very spread out and I've done more driving and spent more money shopping than I should. 

We have stayed at Shadow Hills Campground once before when we had our little 24' Lucy & have enjoyed our visit here again except for the train noise throughout the night. It's a nice campground and very close to my parent's house & about 2/3rds the price of all of the other top campgrounds here. We checked out some of the other cheaper ones around here and except for one on a lake close to the mountains nothing could here we'll stay...