Thinking Out Loud

Yesterday I did a good bit of thinking about what day I should give as my last at The Job. I need to be in Coffeyville on the 28th of September, and I’d like to get South Dakota residency set up before then.

The current tentative plan has me off work by September 13, which is a Thursday. Then I take that weekend to pack and say goodbye to everyone down here. On Monday the 17th I depart bright and early for SD, it should take about 24 hours of driving, which if I split it up into 8 hour days gives me three full days of driving when you account for breaks and the fact that I’ll be going slower towing the Casita. If that is still too much, I’ll make it four days.

If I arrive at Madison, SD late on Wednesday that gives me two days before the weekend to get driver’s license set up and do anything else I have to do there to be able to claim residency. I’ll be spending a night at a campground in the area so that I get the required receipt for getting a driver’s license.

All going according to plan, I’ll still have several days left after this before I need to report in to Coffeyville. I may hang out in SD for a bit and find things to go see in the area, or I might head down to the Coffeyville area sooner and find things to do down there. In the coming weeks I’ll take a peek online to see which looks like a better area for sightseeing, with the understanding that I built this extra time into the plan in case something goes wrong and I may not end up having it.

Posts about mail forwarding, RV insurance, etc. haven’t come yet because I still haven’t done them myself yet, if that makes sense. I want to wait to write about them until I’ve actually got the first hand experience to share. I’ve picked out My Dakota Address in Madison, SD as my mail forwarding company and thus ‘home location’, but I haven’t started the process of setting it up yet. That will be coming sooner rather than later though, I can get that set up while I’m still living and working here in SC and the earlier I switch my mail over to it the less likely I’ll forget about something and end up with lost mail when I make the move.

* * *

I think the most common pest problems I hear about when it comes to RVs are mice and ants, mice being a bigger problem if you’re using the RV infrequently and storing it a lot. Since I’ve been living in my RV, my biggest problem with pests has been spiders. I find (and kill) them inside the trailer on a pretty frequent basis. Twice I’ve been bitten overnight while I slept, the first bite got really bad looking, the second one was probably a different kind and wasn’t as bad. I’m not sure if spider repellant exists, but I’m leery of putting any sort of pesticide in the RV with Fish here, and most of my neighbors have outdoor cats which makes me leery of putting anything underneath the RV since the cats will hang out underneath them during the day when it gets hot.

Lately though the ants that live in the yard have finally made their way inside, lured by an unsealed box of raisins. I got rid of the offending raisins but they’re still here, not in great numbers but there is one little part of the RV in the kitchen where they have a path and travel back and forth, I don’t see anything else that they’re eating inside the RV and wonder if they’re just using it as a road to get to somewhere else, but since they haven’t disappeared guess I’ll need to do something about it.

Two days ago I finally went out and bought a cordless drill and rivet gun, to take care of that one rivet that’s a bit loose and leaking. The sealant I used on it is still holding up really well, but I have a feeling that once I get on the road the bouncing around will loosen the sealant and it’ll start leaking again.

I got both items at Home Depot, since it’s in the same shopping center as work. Both were the cheapest I could find since I won’t be using them regularly, but I did go online and read reviews first to make sure they weren’t total junk. The drill is by Ryobi and cost $30, the 1/8 and 3/16 size drill bits I needed for the rivets in the Casita cost about $6, and the rivet gun was $10. All total with tax it was just over $50, not too bad really.

Riveting is a two person job – one needs to be on the outside with the rivet gun and rivet, the second person needs to stand inside with the nut that the rivet is going to go into. Since Julie and my schedules dont’ line up well it looks like it may be Sunday before we have the time to do it, I’ll go into more detail about that when it comes.

Well there is plenty to get done today and a limited amount of time before work. Have a good weekend all!

Image courtesy of worak

Other Articles You Might Enjoy

Looming Decisions

June 14, 2012 |

In the midst of a dramatic lifestyle change things don’t stay stationary for long. First there was the huge shift in perspective when I decided that yes, I really wanted to go full-timing. Then came the planning and research stage where many of my free hours were devoted to learning more about RVing and what…

Read More


November 24, 2011 |

Sometimes, I struggle to do things that seem so easy to others, and I feel frustrated. Sometimes, I look at what everyone else has and I don’t, and I feel jealous. Sometimes, I think of how much time I waste trying to put it all together, and I feel angry. Sometimes, I worry that my…

Read More

Odds and Ends

May 8, 2012 |

I’m done with work for the day. It was cool and comfortable enough to eat lunch outside at the picnic table, and now a light breeze blows through the Casita while I type this up and watch the mid-afternoon goings on in the campground. It is a good day. It was very surreal, coming back…

Read More


At IO I teach people how to ditch the status quo and travel full-time before retirement, and share stories of my adventures (and misadventures) to inspire future nomads and armchair travelers alike. Included at no additional charge: seizing your dreams, living boldly, and making a difference.


  1. Angela on October 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Becky, going through the archives… Did you find a way to repel the spiders?
    If there’s one thing I cannot tolerate is spiders INSIDE my home. They belong outside!
    I got bitten in the face and it was swollen for days and was so very unpleasant. Since then, I am scared of them, especially crawling on me at night. I’d take a billion mosquitoes over 1 spider any day!

    Where would they be coming in from? If your valves are closed or hooked up, is there an opening i’m not thinking of are they just getting in through tiny spaces and cracks that are normal for Casitas?

    • Becky on October 2, 2015 at 5:54 pm

      If you google “spider repellent” you can find home remedies ranging from moth balls to cleaning products. Once I left South Carolina I never had a big problem with spiders in the Casita so I never bothered to try any of them but if they scare you that much you’d probably want to look into it.

      No RV is airtight, none. Bugs will find some tiny hole to get in through no matter what you do. Don’t leave food (or dirty dishes) sitting out, if your spot is grassy keep it trimmed, don’t leave doors open longer than you have to. All of this helps.

  2. Twiddledee on August 9, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    If I remember correctly you do not have a lot of experience pulling the trailer and believe me 8 hours a day is a long time. We just got back from a month on the road. Have you thought about going to Kansas first and dropping off the trailer then just making a quick run to SD to take care of your license. I’m not sure what kind of gas mileage you are getting but you just might save enough in gas to pay for a motel room.

    • Becky on August 10, 2012 at 11:24 am

      Well it’ll be a bit less than that now since I’m doing the first four hours the Friday before to get to the Indian Springs in Georgia for that weekend.

      I’ve thought about that but Amazon won’t pay for the campsite before the 28th so I’d be spending money to both keep it there without me in it and for the motel, the 3-4 mpg I’m saving won’t cover all that. Plus if I have extra time once I get there I might like to stay in SD for a while to see the sights and I’d like my RV for that.

      Thank you though for the suggestions though, I do appreciate the input and having second opinions.

  3. Craig Hopkins on July 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Becky, take some extra time. I agree with Pleinguy. 4 to 5 hours a day pulling a trailer is enough. There are some very interesting places you could visit since you are now a full time rv’er. The Badlands National Park, Custer State Park, and Mt Rushmore National Monument in the Black Hills. Once you start working it could be awhile before you return to that area.

    • Becky on July 29, 2012 at 9:24 pm

      Last time I was in South Dakota was when I was 15. We did the Badlands and Black Hills and Mt. Rushmore. it was beautiful and that’s why if I have extra time I was figuring SD would be the place to spend it.

  4. Pleinguy on July 28, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Wow! Eight hours a day driving is going to wear you out; especially pulling a trailer. I’d recommend cutting that back to no more than four or five a day. I know you’re young and eager, but remember you are now full-timing and can move around at a more leisurely pace.
    Pleinguy recently posted..Progress ReportMy Profile

    • Becky on July 29, 2012 at 9:23 pm

      That’s always the trick isn’t it, finding that balance. 8 hours is about what I did bringing the trailer home from Florida, not exactly fun but doable. Money is the motivating factor, I dont’ yet know how much exactly I’ll be spending while I travel, and I’d rather not spend more than I have to this early on in the game. But I do have extra time built into the plan, if it takes 4-5 days that’s fine too.

  5. Kim S on July 28, 2012 at 10:19 am

    New reader here, we were told to stuff bounce dryer sheets in every nook and crannie to repel spiders. Good luck to you on your travels.

    • Becky on July 28, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      Huh, never heard of that trick before. I have dryer sheets for wiping bugs off the RV already though so I guess it’s worth a shot.

      Anyway, welcome to IO and glad to have you here. 🙂

  6. Ross Macintosh on July 28, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Regarding your travel plans – I agree with Marvin – give yourself a bit more time. Having more can save you lots of stress if you have engine trouble or any other setbacks. The odds are that nothing will go wrong; but, if they do hopefully you won’t also have to deal with a time crunch.

    With regards to riveting & needing two people: The riveting I did years ago did not require two people. I would imagine the kind you need is the same. The rivets looked like a pin with formed aluminum sleeve over one end. The end of sleeve at the pin end had a little flange. You stuck the pin in a manual riveting tool and the aluminum part in the hole until the flange stops it from going in any more. The two pieces of material being riveted together do need to be touching each other. Actuating the tool would pull the pin, the rivet collapsed, pin snapped out, and you’re left with the rivet tightly pinching the materials together. In this system there are different rivets available — allowing riveting of two pieces of thin sheet metal or thicker materials like fiberglass-to-fiberglass. The rivets themselves are inexpensive. Does this sound different from what you have bought?

    I have seen much bigger (and expensive) rivet-like systems that used a separate “nut” but they are used clamp heavier metal pieces together instead of welding or bolting. These systems need a power tool to install the rivet. From your price it seems that is not what you bought.
    Ross Macintosh recently posted..on trend…My Profile

    • Becky on July 28, 2012 at 6:33 pm

      Nope it’s a hand tool, it’s just the rivets in the roof of the Casita have a bolt on the inside that the rivet snaps into. I haven’t actually tried it yet so I can’t tell you exactly how it works. Once I find out I’ll let you know, haha.

  7. Sam on July 27, 2012 at 9:14 pm

    Pick up some Terro at Home Depot. Lowes or possibly Wally World. Many hardware stores carry it in the south. It comes in a bottled liquid (1 oz) or liquid traps and contains 5.4% borax. To ants, it’s like “Jim Jones kool-aid”. They love it. Set the Terro where you see an ant trail and with-in a few days… no more ants on your site or either side of you… LOL. You may be literally stunned to see the number of ants that are drawn to the bait. Have patience and don’t remove the Terro. It will generally kill the worker ants within 24 hours.But, not before they take it back to feed the colony and the queen. I use the liquid Terro inside and the traps outside (under the awning). Ant infestation is common in the S.E. Terro is a winner.

    • Becky on July 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      Thanks Sam! Home Depot is quite close, guess I’ll head there this weekend and check it out.

  8. Glenn on July 27, 2012 at 9:11 pm

    for the ants, get some Borax laundry powder. Desolve a table spoon of Borax in about 1/8th cup of hot water. Mix a table spoon of honey or jam with about the same amount of the water/borax solution. Put this in a small container like a bottle cap and set it in the ant path and cupboard. They will either die or take it back to the hive and feed it to the queen.
    Problem solved in about 24 hours or less.
    Good luck,

    • Becky on July 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks for the tip! Stupid ants…. More like stupid me for not making sure the raisens had a tight seal. Oh well, live and learn.

  9. Misty on July 27, 2012 at 7:39 pm

    You are so much more organized than I am… XD Good luck to you!
    Misty recently posted..ExploringMy Profile

    • Becky on July 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm

      Sort of, in some ways. And in some ways I feel so very unorganized. 😛 Your way got you way on the road faster though, so there is something to say for that. I’m having fun reading what you’re up to too though while I wait these last couple months. 🙂 I know I still owe you that e-mail…

  10. Marvin on July 27, 2012 at 6:28 pm


    Becky ,

    I would add an extra day on each leg of the journey as a problem solver – if no issues you are still on schedule . Plus , you never know what interesting item you might want to stop for .

    About ants / bugs – keep everything in sealed plastic or glass containers so there is nothing to feed on . I save most plastic or glass jars with proper lids . If I don’t need them , I always find someone to share them with .


    • Becky on July 28, 2012 at 6:26 pm

      Well I could have left on the 22nd and made it on time, so leaving on the 17th is adding extra days. 😉

      It’s funny because the raisens did have a lid on them, but apparently it wasn’t air tight, they’re really teeny tiny black ants.

  11. Kim on July 27, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Looking forward to following your journey. Maybe you can leave the spiders behind!
    Kim recently posted..MovedMy Profile

    • Becky on July 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm

      Heya Kim! I’m hoping to leave the spiders behind, we’ll see. 😉

Enjoy what you just read? Have new blog posts delivered right to your inbox!

Your email is safe with me and you can unsubscribe anytime. :)

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.