Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The First Boondock Cometh

EEK!!!  We're really going to try to boondock.  This is not a drill!  We're really doing it.  x_x  I saved some money for camping fees in case we wussed out, but in two days we gots to go and I don't have anything booked.  BOONDOCKING IT SHALL BE!!

We had this lovely note on our RV door when we got back from picking up our mail today (got our first General Delivery).  It says:  GTFO The Park is Closing.  We've learned the Palm Springs Thousand Trails is only open October to May 15th.  This makes sense since it's so dang hot already here.

I think we're going to leave Thursday evening.  That way I won't have to stress about getting stuff ready in the morning.  Much needs to be done!!

1.  Climb on the roof and clean off the solar panels.

UGH.  This is a pain and seems so dangerous to me, but the panels are dingy as heck.  I really fear that skimpy little ladder on the back of the RV breaking off.  I'm not a small woman.  I also don't feel comfortable standing up there.  I see other RVers walking around their roofs like it's nothing.  This chicka is scared of falling.

2.  Check the air in the RV and SUV tires.

I have an air compressor to fill them if it's needed.  I also have three bottles of fix a flat if there's an emergency.  If an RV tire gets SHREDDED I have a spare and a jack capable of lifting the thing up.  We got a flat on a trip with our old RV and I watched to learn how to jack it up.  I shall manage!

3.  Get everything off the shelf which composes my 'bedroom.'

For this first trip I took some stuff down, but then thought 'this other stuff probably won't fall down.'  Everything fell down.  -_-  EVERYTHING.  So everything has to get moved onto my bed.  The shelf I have used to be the top bunk but I had them cut it at that dealership so I wouldn't be bumping my head on it, could sit up in bed, and could have a shelf.  It worked out well for me.  (Except when we travel.)

4.  Put everything loose in our kitchen, living room, and dining room into cupboards or a tub.

Sorry for the dirty dishes.  We just had lunch (left over pork and fixings).  But, yeah, all that stuff needs to be brought down where it can't get destroyed during the trip.  My spices can stay on that ridge thing (very handy) but nothing can be on the counters.  We also have to get stuff off the dining room table and U Shaped seats.  It does make relocating a bit of a hassle.  Especially when were only going to be at this new place for 7 days.

5.  Put everything loose in the bathroom in our mesh laundry bag that hangs on the back of the door.

6.  Find our three cats.  Make sure none of them are in the slide mechanism.

7.  Close the slide slowly, stopping every few moments in case a cat snuck into the slide mechanism when you weren't looking.

8.  Roll down the TV antenna.

Omg...may we never forget to do it.  I'm really enjoying all the free channels we seem to be able to get all over the place.  I SO do not want to pay for Direct TV or additional Internet data for streaming.  My mom is more attached to TV than I am.  Fortunately she's happy with old movies and shows, and extra happy that Gotham and Agents of Shield are on network television.  I say NO DIRECT TV!!!  Setting up a dish every time we move is just an extra hassle I don't need, and I sure as heck don't want to have the $90/mo bill again.  I will stream episodes of the Walking Dead from Amazon.com for $1.50 each, and the rest she can watch on the channels we get.  

9.  Put up the stabilizers and put away my levelers and wheel chocks.

10.  Put the hitch on the back of the SUV.  Hitch up.  Get the anti-sway bars hooked up.  Lock on the chains and the emergency pull brake wire thing.  Hook the electric.  Test and make sure the signal turns on in the RV when I turn it on in the SUV.

You know...basically all the things I'd have a man do if I was willing to put up with the trouble of having a man around.  :p  I'm all black grease filthy by the time I'm done.

I really wish I had a man when I'm tightening the sway bars.  That requires serious upper-body strength.  You're supposed to have 4-6 links dangling and I can barely lever up the bar with just two!  We swayed pretty bad on the drive here.  I think that's why absolutely everything on my bedroom shelf crashed down.

11.  Shut off the city water spigot.  Disconnect my hose from my city water connection.  Reconnect it to my fresh water tank connection and fill it up.

We have our fresh tank close to 2/3rds full from water put in at the dealership.  We'll top it off before we go since the only water we'll have is what we bring with us in this tank.

12.  Shut off the city water spigot and put away my fresh water hose.

13.  Take out my garden hose and hook it to the now available spigot.  Then attach that to the black tank flush connection.

13.  Open the black tank!  RELEASE THE TURDS!!!  And then I turn on the water from the spigot to flush it out good and clean.

Even though this didn't work last time, and we showed 1/3rd full.  We weren't *really* 1/3rd full, but poop was on the sensor so we got a false reading.  Which apparently is common.  I've put in a cup of dish detergent and plan on getting water softener as recommended by another RVer to fix this.  For now I just want to get it as clean and empty as I can because we need to go 7 days without a flush.

Seven days without a flush?  For your huge 40 gallon black tank?  That should be easy!!

Yeah...um...it's not for us.  Even when we don't flush toilet paper.  Your faithful narrator Milly (me) has a medical condition that means 7-9 trips to the bathroom a day with loose #2s.  That's the reality of not having a large intestine.  I had it removed when I was in my 20's due to ulcerative colitis.  Sorry for the TMI.  I've tested how long before the tank reads 2/3rds full and it's right at 7 days.  We should be okay.  We'll have to be!!!

14.  Once the black tank runs clear I'll turn off the water spigot and put away my garden hose.  (All this stuff I'm putting away goes in our back 'basement', the storage area that doesn't contain our battery bank for the solar panels).

15.  Close the black tank and grey tanks (we have two grey tanks, one for kitchen and one for the shower and sink in the the bathroom).

16.  Put on some gloves and pack up the stinky slinky (our poop tube) along with the stinky slinky stand.  This is the windy plastic thing you use to make sure the poop tube is on a downward slope into the dump hole.  Cap off the hole.  My slinky has a cap too.

17.  Disconnect the electric and put away the wire.

18.  Make sure all the RV windows are closed.  Especially the ones that you push out with a bar.  The bar has to be in the locked position or it's going to fling open and flap around as you drive.  x_x  Happened to me on the way out.

19.  Make sure the doors are closed tight and locked both with the bolt and the handle lock.  I missed one or the other once on our old RV and the door flung open.  x_x

20.  Do a final walk around to make sure you didn't forget anything.

21.  Get in the SUV.  Get Garminsita set up.  And drive into the sunset!!!

Before we go too far I like to get out again and make sure everything still looks good.  My God, so many things can go wrong when moving a trailer!!  I seem to have found every possible way to make myself a moving landmine on the road.  I seriously have to wonder why other RVs aren't flapping doors, windows, or throwing out basement stuff as they drive along.  I always think I've battened things down tight and then learn a new lesson in a horrifying way.  x_x

Prayer is my #22 on this list.  If we make it safely with our cats and home in one piece we've had a successful move. 

I've already plotted the best route to our destination, which are just GPS coordinates on BLM land.  I wrote down back up instructions in case Garminsita (our Garmin GPS) gets confused (she's been getting senile lately).  I also gassed up the SUV.  God willing we can make it all the way there without having to stop for gas.  I have a terrible time getting gas with the RV attached.  I have to struggle not to hit stuff.  I'm still learning that you can't get too close to the pump if you want to be able to pull away with out any trouble.

We also checked our propane tanks.  I've been doing long baking sessions here, as you may know.  I was getting worried we'd be low on propane.  We especially need to have propane during a boondock since that's what operates our fridge.

Well, the RV has two big tanks.  I closed and disconnected one and it felt pretty light.  Did that mean it was empty?  I don't know.  So I took down the other one.  It was heavy!!  So...yeah.  One tank seems to be empty and the other seems to have some propane in it.  Probably enough for the boondock (I'd be surprised if we ran out).  I will put off filling them until I get my Amazon royalties for next month.


  1. Hi from Australia.I found the link to your blog ln RV Sue. I've read from the beginning and thoroughly enjoyed it. I'm sorry you had problems with the sale of your house but hopefully your new adventure will make up for all the stress. Looking forward to reading your future entries.

    1. Hi!! I'm so glad to have some new readers! I'm finally getting comments! :D Welcome!

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