Leaks and Delays

Part way through writing this, I thought about deleting it and writing about something else unrelated to my current travels. Then I thought no, it’s important for people to realize that not all travel days will be fun or exciting as a full-time RVer, and this post definitely shows that. There are few photos because it was too rainy to get pictures of the scenery and I’ve taken pictures of LHC before. The next one should be more interesting.

Saturday, December 26 (continued)

Not surprisingly, not everything goes according to plan. When I woke up this morning my freezer was starting to defrost so I cranked the thermostat colder to see if it helps, it doesn’t. I depart from Lake Tawakoni at 2 pm and am parked at a Walmart in Quinlan to get ice and evacuate the increasingly warm fridge when the wind picks up and thunder shakes the Casita. My phone beeps an alarm, it’s the first tornado warning.

Tornado warning #1

Tornado warning #1

I abandon the fridge mid-project and hustle inside Walmart where everyone is being shepherded to the back of the store. The lightning is close and it rains hard for a while, but passes over without producing a tornado. I finish emptying the fridge, dry it out with a towel, and turn it off. Back on the road.

leaks-and-delays2Impressive thunderstorms make sleeping difficult. Around 7:30 comes the second tornado warning, this is for the large tornado that strikes east Dallas and causes some deaths. It misses where I am in Greenville.

Around 1 am I wake up and it’s still storming….and my leg is damp. My Fantastic Fan is leaking. I pull my small side dinette into bed configuration and pull the bedding off the large bed and relocate to the tiny bed and put a pot under the leak.

Sunday, December 27

As if to spite me, there’s not a single drop of water in the pot when I get up in the morning. I put the big bed back together.

It rains continuously all day and the temperature struggles to 50. Streams and rivers already high quickly overflow their banks and flood warnings go out. When I drive from Greenville to Sulphur Springs my wipers are going full blast the whole way. Upon stopping I’m mortified to find water all over the floor of Cas. I eye the windows: the one that was leaking in the Thanksgiving storms is damp, but not dripping and the rest are dry. I eye the fantastic fan: damp, but not dripping. I eye the roof rivets: dry. Well, I’m getting some water in above the entryway door from a rivet holding my awning in place, but it’s not enough to cause the mess I’m seeing.

"Where's that water coming from?!"

“Where’s that water coming from?!”

After sopping up the water I eye the floor warily, trying to pinpoint how it’s getting in. If it was getting kicked up under the trailer and finding a way through it wouldn’t be on top of the laminate. The area under my cooler is wet again.

My cooler is leaking, that’s where the water is coming from. Well, at least that’s easy to solve!

The cooler gets thrown into the bathroom, where it can leak all it wants and simply drain into the gray tank. I’m parked outside of Sulphur Spring’s cinema, and it’s intentional. I’ve been wanting to see the new Star Wars movie and today is the perfect day for it.

By the time I leave the theater, I’m in a much better mood. I spend the night at the Walmart in Sulphur Springs and pick up a new cooler. It’s suppose to get cold, so I dig my sleeping bag out of Bertha and put that under the covers in Cas.

Around 1 am I wake up and am too warm. Well, better too warm than too cold. It’s still raining, but no longer storming. A truck has pulled in sometime after I went to bed and is idling noisily nearby. Eventually I get back to sleep.

Monday, December 28

I know for a fact that some of the roads between here and Little House Customs are closed due to flooding. Luckily I guess correctly and make it there without incident.

As always, Larry and Debbie are wonderful. Larry gets the Casita fixed up, but he says I should go to the factory to get the fridge work done. He’d have to order parts and wait for them to come in and if something was wrong with those parts it’d take even longer, plus he can’t compete in price since the folks at the factory do the work all the time and are quick at it while it would take him a lot more labor hours and thus cost more. I appreciate his honesty.

The problem is the factory is closed for two weeks for the holidays and won’t reopen until the 4th. So I’m stuck in TX for another week or more depending on how long I have to wait for an opening at the factory. It bums me out a little because it means I’ll miss the start of the first “rally” I was planning to attend out at Quartzsite, but it is what it is. The rest of the work (black tank valve replacement, wheel bearing replacement, A/C cover fix, and leak fixes) go quickly.

That wood furnace in the lower righthand corner helps a lot to dry Cas out

That wood furnace in the lower righthand corner helps a lot to dry Cas out

The “crew” goes out for dinner at East Fork, the same restaurant we visited this time two years ago when I stopped by LHC, and it’s the same group of people. Larry, Debbie, a couple from nearby Plano (who read this blog!) and a friend who also has a Casita and lives only a mile away.

I spend the night parked in the shop at LHC and let the heat dry everything out.

Tuesday, December 29

That Casita friend who lives near Larry and Debbie graciously offered her driveway for me to park Cas at until the factory opens (people are awesome!). This’ll save me camping fees for a week or from having to change Walmart or truck stop parking lots every night and even better, she has a 30 amp hookup. So I’ll be impromptu moochdocking for the next week. Better days are on the way!

* * *

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My host’s cute Schipperke

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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. Mark Leonard on October 26, 2016 at 6:04 pm

    I love Supernatural and I assumed that you had named your RV after him. But you know what assuming does πŸ™‚

  2. Mark Leonard on October 25, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    How did you come up with the names for your RV/Truck?

    • Becky on October 26, 2016 at 9:12 am

      Bertha is named for a kooky song that my Dad likes from the early 70’s – Troglodyte by the Jimmy Castor Bunch:
      “She was a big woman. BIG woman.
      Her name was Bertha. Bertha Butt. She was one of the Butt sisters.”

      Bertha is by far the largest vehicle I’ve ever owned and the camper shell she came with makes it look like she has a big butt. πŸ˜›

      Cas is short for Casita, but you’ll notice I tend to refer to Cas as male. I watch a TV show called “Supernatural” which has a male character named Castiel, but it’s often shortened to Cas. I got use to thinking of it as a male name.

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      Thanks for sharing Frank. The timing for the egg rally is good because I’ll just be off the 14-day “cooldown” from my first gathering in Q.

      • Frank on January 3, 2016 at 10:22 am

        Egg Rally?
        Dunno what that is, but let me know if you need anything. I’m going to try to get pics of the area today… will post a link when they are up..

        • Becky on January 4, 2016 at 10:40 am

          Molded fiberglass RV rally Frank, it’ll be near Dome Rock and starts Feb 8th. Molded fiberglass trailers like Casitas, Scamps, and Escapes are called “egg” trailers.

  3. Reine in Plano on January 1, 2016 at 12:22 pm

    Just an FYI, the 2016 Quartzsite Molded Fiberglass Gathering is Feb 8-14 at Dome Rock. Last year there were 104 trailers of various brands that attended all or part of the gathering. Of course there will be lots of folks there earlier and later but those are the dates posted on the Casita Forum.

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 11:59 am

      Ahh, thanks Reine!

  4. Bill on January 1, 2016 at 10:24 am

    I think you serve as an inspiration to a lot of your readers. I appreciate the fact that you share the good, bad and the ugly. Glad you made it through the storms safely. Looking forward to a lot more posts!

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

      Thanks for reading Bill, glad you’re enjoying IO!

  5. Terri on January 1, 2016 at 6:51 am

    Also, I saw that Amazon is offering referral bonuses – can you respond to my email and I can send you the form to fill out with my info? I’d like you to get a bonus if they hire me.
    Terri recently posted..(re)discovering myselfMy Profile

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 11:52 am

      Sent you an e-mail Terri, thanks!

  6. Terri on January 1, 2016 at 6:43 am

    Oh Becky, I am so glad that the tornado passed by where you were, thank God. (And I’m not a religious person.) i’m also so sorry about your leaking problems with the cooler, but thankfully those are easily taken care of (so long, cooler!) But I am very sorry about the fridge. I told a few people about how I read your blog and that you had fridge problems, and they were like “oh, that’s not good.”

    Do you have any idea on how much all these repairs will cost? And how do you deal with knowing it will have to be taken out of your emergency fund and then you have to rebuild it again? It’s the money worries that stress me out, now that i am making a much smaller salary and am actively applying for workamping jobs.

    Btw, did you see that Camperforce is now accepting applications for next year already? (At least that’s what the workamper news hotline said in an email I got yesterday.)

    Thanks for the honesty – full timing is not glorious, and it’s good for us to see that.

    (Oh, and if you have seen a friend request on facebook from a Terri whose last name you don’t recognize, it’s me. And I understand if you only accept requests from folks who you have met in person.)
    Terri recently posted..(re)discovering myselfMy Profile

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 11:46 am

      Yes Terri, the fridge is the most expensive thing that can fail in a Casita, and when I was looking at Cas in particular before I made the purchase three years ago I knew that as a ’99 model he’d have the smaller rear window that the fridge couldn’t be taken out off, meaning the labor to replace it would be a lot higher. That factored in my decision to purchase.

      I haven’t decided yet whether I’m going to replace the cooling unit or the whole fridge, I’ll have to wait until the 4th when I can get the prices for each from the factory. Replacing just the cooling unit would be cheaper but then I’ll have to hope the rest of the parts hold out for quite a while yet, I’ve heard a new fridge retails for $1,100 before labor.

      If the money were to come from my emergency fund, my answer would be to go back to work immediately to fill in my usual employment gap from Amazon until summer park jobs start to replenish it. That’s what I did my first year on the road, when like you I wasn’t certain how much RV living was going to cost and I wanted to play it safe.

      Fortunately, the fridge failed at the best possible time of the year and I shouldn’t have to do that. I made a record amount of money at Amazon (today’s post), and December is typically my best earning month from affiliate income, book sales, and donations (’tis the season). I’ll be writing more about the repair and money matters after the 4th.

  7. chuck on December 31, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    Ive had the leaky ice chest happen before too………
    I know whatcha going thru girl…
    hang in there it get better…..

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 10:59 am

      Least it was easy to fix Chuck, the new styrofoam one leaks just a tiny bit too and I think it must be the way they’re made. No matter, it’s staying in my bathroom where the water won’t hurt anything

  8. Diane on December 31, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Wow, you did have a few “challenges”, didn’t you? Hope you enjoy your holiday break and that Cas gets you back on the road again soon! My husband and I are full timers in a teardrop and also have a blog called Teardropping in Paradise. I invite you to read it, and hope you’ll enjoy it! Quartzite sounds interesting! Enjoy and safe travels!

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 10:56 am

      I’ve heard of your blog Diane, kudos to you two for being comfortable together in a space that small. πŸ™‚

      I did have a good New Year and thanks for the well-wishes.

    • Terri on January 2, 2016 at 11:08 am

      I’ve been looking for blogs of folks who live in something so small, thanks for mentioning it on here! I’ve been looking at fiberglass ones like Becky has, or even the Meerkat, made by Little Guy Trailers. Can’t wait to read about your adventures, Diane!
      Terri recently posted..(re)discovering myselfMy Profile

  9. Cathy on December 31, 2015 at 7:05 pm

    Sorry about your weather woes but it looks like it will work out fine with everything fixed. Thanks for the pic of Ru, the schipperke. It made me smile. We had our Schipperke, Jackie, for 17 years. She used to make a “ru” sound when she was happy or wanted attention so I called her Roo as a nickname.

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 10:54 am

      Hehe, yeah they’re a cute breed Cathy!

      Thanks for the well-wishes, everything has dried out now and once the fridge is replaced Cas should be good to go for some time.

  10. Gary Wood on December 31, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    There are so many of us Full Timers that can relate to your troubles. When I get a link anywhere, I panic. As soon as I identify it I definitely sleep better. I’m dealing with a commode leak now, but at least it is contained. Having to give up your home for repairs is VERY inconvenient.

    Stay safe, that area sure has had a rough year. I avoided it even this last spring when they were flooding on the Gulf.
    Gary Wood recently posted..The Aggressive Fire HydrantMy Profile

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 10:52 am

      Many times a year I am thankful that I chose a Casita for my RV, as there isn’t much wood in them that can rot when leaks happen. Structurally they’ll remain sound no matter how much water gets inside, the biggest problem comes from mold if things aren’t dried out properly which is why I’m so happy to have had electric since the rain ended.

      Hope your commode leak isn’t too hard to fix. Take care!

  11. Pamelab on December 31, 2015 at 1:14 pm

    Hi, Becky –
    Thank you for another informative post! I am happy for you that your attitude is a positive one. That will always help you through life, because our plans are just not what happens all the time.
    I was relieved to hear you are safe. While in Lubbock, we didn’t get out of the neighborhood for three days. Lots of big snow drifts and only two snow plows in town.
    Best wishes to you for 2016!
    I enjoy your blog. Thank you.

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 10:47 am

      Glad you didn’t get buried in snow Pamela! I have another friend who lives in Lubbock and she was saying how crazy it was to get snow like that there.

      You’re welcome as always, and thank you for reading.

  12. Jim@HiTek on December 31, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    I once had to outrun a tornado in my Class A. All the while listening to the local diskjockey freaking out because his wife was on the road and hadn’t called him yet. Kept us informed of the tornado’s track while he pleaded for his wife to call. They lived in downtown of the small town the tornado was heading for, and later ran through. The thing crossed the freeway around a mile behind where I was. Later that night, boondocking in a thundering rainstorm, heard on the radio that there had been a little property damage but no injuries.

    It was not a fun adventure as everything I own is in this RV and can’t really afford to lose it all in one storm. Not something I want to go through again, I can tell you that.

    But like you, back then I also wanted to see a tornado someday. Now I’d rather watch them on TV and no where near.
    Jim@HiTek recently posted..Inside Mexico…My Profile

    • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 10:45 am

      Yikes, glad you made it Jim! Strong winds, big hail, and bad drivers are the things I fear most full-timing as they are among the few things that could take Cas and Bertha out together and like you said, if I lost both of them at once, I’d be in pretty deep trouble.

  13. Dawn on December 31, 2015 at 10:39 am

    I grew up in southern Illinois and our tornado alerts were through the radio. We’d have that on, and then go hide in the bathroom – no windows and built partly into a hill. Eep.

    Glad you make it through okay. Stay warm, dry, and safe πŸ™‚

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:25 am

      Eep indeed. Is it silly for me to want to see a tornado someday, from a distance? Preferably with my truck as Casita far, far out of harm’s way. πŸ˜‰


  14. george w on December 31, 2015 at 10:21 am


    Even though I seldom comment, I still follow your blog and enjoy each and every post you make ! My hat is off to you for continuing your adventure, and for sure, some days are rainy days while out on the road. What amazing memories you are making. And of course I had to look at the picture of the Schipperke, because that is what my dog is ! She’s here with my now in the camper in Arizona for the winter.


    • Becky on January 3, 2016 at 8:40 am

      Fun George! I hope you’re enjoying Arizona and look forward to joining you soon.

  15. Jodee Gravel on December 31, 2015 at 10:19 am

    What a ride πŸ™‚ Out of all of “it”, I’m glad the tornadoes and flooding missed you, it’s such a mess down there. Getting to Q later, but with everything working right, will be fine I’m sure. Still lots of folks there the end of January – maybe us too πŸ™‚
    Jodee Gravel recently posted..Ezra’s First ChristmasMy Profile

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:24 am

      Oooo Jodee, it would be nice if our trips coincided. There are still flood warnings out but the streams and rivers are starting to recede now. This part of TX didn’t get it as bad as some places and I think all the roads around here are open again.

  16. Dawn from Camano Island on December 31, 2015 at 10:12 am

    And Becky, glad you shared what’s happening. Glad you have a good place to stay until you get everything fixed. Enjoy & hey! Happy New Year!

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Oh yes, it is New Year’s Eve isn’t it? Happy new year everyone!

      Thanks for the well wishes Dawn.

  17. Sylvia on December 31, 2015 at 10:07 am

    Hi, Becky! I follow your adventures from near Sacramento, Calif.

    I was watching the crazy Texas weather with you in mind, and hoped you would post about it, so thanks for not deleting.

    Good luck with the repairs; hope you’re soon on the road to Quartzsite.

    • Becky on January 3, 2016 at 8:39 am

      Thanks Sylvia!

  18. Dawn on December 31, 2015 at 9:53 am

    HI Becky!
    Good luck with a quick and easy fridge fix!
    I’ll be at Quartzsite and i’m meeting up with some other not-retirement-age folks.
    I work a M-F job, so I’m just going for weekend.
    Drop me a note with your eta and perhaps we can meet up!
    ( find me at razorgirls.org )

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:22 am

      Thanks Dawn. I’ll post here once I know my arrival date for Q. πŸ™‚

  19. Roger Fell on December 31, 2015 at 8:56 am

    Have you considered an Arctic Cold replacement? I don’t know which model fridge you have, but they offer lifetime warranty and they have an outlet in Houston.


    I understand their cooling units are substantially more reliable than the stock coolers, and their prices are quite a bit better as well. Just something I stumbled over and bookmarked while reading other blogs.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:21 am

      Interesting Roger, thanks for sharing and I’ll look into it although I don’t really need a lifetime guarantee on a trailer this old and if it’s a different size it would be very hard to get into a Casita.

  20. J. Dawg on December 31, 2015 at 8:20 am

    Good reminder that RVing is not all wine and roses. One of the first axioms of owning an RV is that somethings going to break and learn to deal with it. I am impressed with your calm demeanor in writing about it. It can be frustrating when these things break and would be so easy to vent about it. Thanks for sharing and showing us how to deal with it.
    J. Dawg
    J. Dawg recently posted..My Big Fat Tire Beach RideMy Profile

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:19 am

      You’re welcome J. Dawg. I hope this is the end of problems for a while though… a girl can hope right? πŸ˜‰ Hope you’re enjoying the holidays!

  21. Joe on December 31, 2015 at 8:06 am

    Thanks for letting me know these problems can happen to everyone ,not just me! Lol

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:17 am

      Nope Joe, it’s definitely not just you. πŸ˜‰

  22. Shelly, Durham, NC on December 31, 2015 at 8:00 am

    So glad someone came to rescue to save you from bouncing around until the Casita factory opens again. I hope they squeeze you in quickly. I suspect your saviors to be Reine and Paul, they are great. Last year I drove from NC to FL for a small rally just to meet her. I so admire her wonderful loving comments on the Casita Forum. You will be in good hands with them.

    Hey while in Plano go to the IKEA they have get things for our little campers. I like their screw/suction cup hooks. I just bought a mattress from them too.

    I will get to Quartsite about Feb 8.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:16 am

      Went to dinner with Reine and Paul that night at LHC (they were the couple I mentioned, were getting work done on their trailer too) and yes they are awesome people, but my host is someone else. πŸ™‚

      I didn’t know IKEA had good stuff for Casitas, I’ll have to keep that in mind! If you’re attending that Dome Rock fiberglass egg rally thing (don’t know the official name), I plan to be there for it and hopefully we’ll get a chance to meet.

    • Reine in Plano on January 1, 2016 at 12:06 am

      Shelly, thanks for the kind words but although we were at Little House Customs the same time Becky was and went out to dinner with her, someone else who lives close to LHC is the Kind Soul who offered the “moochdocking” location.

      Larry got the “same story second verse” while we were there. He fixed a leak in Becky’s fantastic fan and then fixed one in ours! I got Casita repairs and a bathroom fan mod for Christmas.

      We had great fun visiting with Becky. I continue to be amazed at how neat she keeps her Casita. No clutter laying around.

      • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 10:41 am

        Hope the rest of your repairs went quickly Reine, it was great seeing you and Paul again!

  23. Kimberly Saunders on December 31, 2015 at 7:38 am

    We started following your blog about six months ago, and you are a big inspiration to us, as we became non-retired full timers ourselves last August. We appreciate your honesty and thoroughness in all aspects of this life, and have learned a lot from you. We are in Texas this month as well, and I read your previous post right before the storms hit, so we were really worried about you and your rig, knowing you were right in the thick of it. I hope this doesn’t seem weird, because we don’t even know you, but after seeing all the loss of life and devastation on the news, we were SO relieved to see this post and know that you are okay – sorry it’s been such a rough week for you but glad you are safe! These are the stories that are really funny well after the fact, but no so much during, right? πŸ™‚

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:13 am

      Kimberly, so glad to hear that my blog helped get you on the road! I hope you’re having fun and enjoying yourselves.

      Yeah, those two days make a better story now that I’m in living them. πŸ˜‰ I hope you missed the bad weather, I know it covered a pretty wide area.

  24. Jim Schmechel on December 31, 2015 at 7:36 am

    Oh my, Becky! You have been through a rough stretch. I am so sorry you had to go through this. Thankfully it sounds like you are in a good place right now. Spend some time with that cute little dog πŸ™‚

    I won’t make it to Quartzsite for the gathering of the nomads in January. Plans were written in jello, and subject to change. Mine have changed.

    If you end up back in Wisconsin, maybe we can try to meet in person (again).

    I sincerely hope much better times lie ahead for you!
    Jim Schmechel recently posted..who is God?My Profile

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:56 am

      Yeah Jim things are looking up.

      Sorry that we won’t have the chance to meet in Quartzsite, but I hope your new plans go well and I wish you the best.

      Take care.

  25. Furry Gnome on December 31, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Glad the problems weren’t more serious, and yes i enjoyed the post too. Realistic looks at life and your ability to cope and remain positive are really helpful.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:52 am

      I’m glad too Gnome, it seems far behind me already with the sun shining through the clouds and a warm place to park today.

  26. PamP on December 31, 2015 at 6:41 am

    Moochdocking! A new word! Its what I’m doing during January in Florida while getting some work done on my CCoachman TT.

    Love your attitude to adversity. As a kid in Kansas & Missouri, I’ve been lucky enough to live through many in my 75 years. You can moan and cry or you can be glad it wasn’t as bad as it might have been. I believe that a positive attitude is necessary if a person wants to fulltime it in an RV.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:51 am

      To be honest I didn’t coin that word Pam, I got it from another RV blogger, can’t remember who now. I hope the TT work goes quickly and inexpensively!

      I’d agree, if a person doesn’t have a positive attitude they’ll see every little problem (and there are many of them) as a trial and likely go back to a sticks n bricks where life is easier, if less fun.

  27. Sandy on December 31, 2015 at 6:32 am

    This is part why I love your blog so much. Honesty that isn’t sugar-coated. There WILL be bad days on the road. For those of us who are planning to go full-time, information like this is beyond value…..the real, balanced picture.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Glad you found this post helpful Sandy. The good news is the good days far outweigh the bad, or at least they do for me. πŸ™‚

  28. John Hussey on December 31, 2015 at 5:05 am

    Great post…and everything worked out for the better…Another adventure on the road…I envy you and enjoy your writing.

    I now do all my Amazon purchases through your portal so I hope it helps you out some.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:46 am

      Glad you enjoyed this John and thank you very much for using my affiliate link. It does help, and I appreciate your support.

  29. Dave Burdick on December 30, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    I know how those storms go living in Arkansas or 23 years…just glad you did not have any tornadoes go through your area because little “Cas” would have ended up in Arkansas! I had straight line winds blow through the RV park I lived in, and that as not fun at all as I listened to the trees falling while my 5th wheel was rocking and rolling at 2 am! Not fun at all.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:45 am

      Yikes, yeah not fun Dave, glad you and the 5th wheel made it through alright!

  30. Rick on December 30, 2015 at 10:10 pm

    I’m wondering if you may write about your observations about working at the Amazon warehouse you did recently compared to other ones.

    Thanks for blogging.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:37 am

      Yeah Rick, I’ll be doing a wrap up post for Amazon soon. Probably would have done it already if the fridge stuff hadn’t cropped up and changed my plans so dramatically. You’re welcome and thanks for reading.

  31. Gus Payfer on December 30, 2015 at 9:53 pm

    Becky – Interstellar Orchard is my favorite blog because of your remarkable upbeat attitude. You said it perfectly: β€œit’s up to you how you choose to respond to something”.

    My wife and I boondocked in Quartzsite a few years ago and we had a great time. I’m sure that you will enjoy your stay there and maybe meet some of your readers. Take care.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:36 am

      Gus, glad you’ve found IO enjoyable and thanks for reading. Not too much longer and I’ll be enjoying the peace and quiet of desert boondocking…

  32. jerryc on December 30, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Glad that friend offered her driveway for you. Isn’t she the best? Tell her and Roo hi.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Yep Jerry, will do.

  33. JimS on December 30, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    Not so fond memories of tornadoes as a kid. Long before NexRad, text alerts and the Weather Channel, it was a common practice to tune the TV to an un-used channel and watch the static for a particular pattern to see if a tornado was near. No joke!

    • Becky on December 30, 2015 at 8:52 pm

      Huh Jim, interesting! Do tornadoes produce some sort of electrical interference that analog TV channels picked up? It would have been scary to live in a tornado prone area without the warning we have today. Tornadoes were an occasional threat where I lived in Wisconsin, but not like in the center of the country.

      • JimS on December 31, 2015 at 6:50 pm

        That was most likely the idea. Probably as much fiction as fact, but that didn’t stop me from tuning into the numerous blank channels every time a storm hit. Today that would be quite a sight: a kid sitting in front of the tv watching static.

        • Becky on January 2, 2016 at 10:38 am

          It sure would Jim.

    • Sandy on December 31, 2015 at 10:29 am

      I was raised in Iowa. Many Midwestern kids have nightmares about tornadoes. They do put you in awe of Nature, though.

      When I moved out East, I asked a few people whether they ever had nightmares about tornadoes….not a one. Guess you have to live in Tornado Alley to get a full appreciation.

      • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:33 am

        I’ve dreamed about tornadoes before, but not nightmares. I bet it would be different living where you did Sandy.

  34. Ed Brownfield on December 30, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    Oh yeah if you are feeling discouraged let me suggest that you read https://interstellarorchard.com/2013/03/22/facing-down-obstacles/
    written by a wise person!

    • Becky on December 30, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Ooo, yeah Ed that’s a good one. πŸ˜‰

    • Sandy on December 31, 2015 at 10:27 am

      Thanks for reminding us all about this one, Ed. Becky is a philosopher on wheels. πŸ˜‰

  35. Norm H. on December 30, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    So glad you, Bertha, and Cass are ok. It could easily have been a much different story! Enjoy the remaining “relaxation,” celebrate the arrival of the new year, and you’ll be in Q soon enough. If need be drop down to I-20 or below to get El Paso and West. Wishing you all the best in 2016! P.S. Thanks for the honesty of your posts, keep’em real.

    • Becky on December 30, 2015 at 8:50 pm

      Yeah Norm I’m thinking I’ll take I10 out there for the warmest weather, I’ve never been on that interstate before so it’ll be something different.

      And yeah, these two days really weren’t too bad in the big scope of things. I say it a lot and I’ll say it again: it’s up to you how you choose to respond to something. For some people, this would have been an intolerable situation. For me it wasn’t the best of times, but I was able to maintain perspective and know it wasn’t the worst either.

      Thanks, and happy new year to you as well.

  36. Ed Brownfield on December 30, 2015 at 7:39 pm

    Becky, I am glad that you didn’t delete this blog, it is a teachable moment at least for me. I admire your attitude, you seem to find the ray of sunshine in things. I’m sorry that you can’t get your refrigerator fixed while you at Little House Customs. I have never been to the big rally at Quartzite (hope to go sometime) but I understand that every vendor selling anything having to do with RV’s is there and they perform work right there as well. Unless the Cassita factory is on the way or fairly close by why don’t you see if they are going to be in Quartzite and if so if they could fix or replace the refrigerator there. The show starts in just over two weeks, I know that’s along time to go without a refrigerator but maybe you wouldn’t have to go out of the way. Just a thought. The good news is the leak in Cass wasn’t really a leak and you and your home are safe when many others in the path of these storms did not fare as well! Your attitude is terrific! Now I know that you are really going appreciate the southwest desert!

    • Becky on December 30, 2015 at 8:46 pm

      Glad you found this, if not enjoyable, at least informative Ed. πŸ™‚

      The Casita factory is right here near Dallas and they don’t travel or attend rallies (they get all their business word-of-mouth and make everything to order and it seems to go well for them) and they’ll be the most experienced at doing the job in my trailer (the fridge cannnot physically make it out the door in one piece and fixing/replacing it is a very involved process, I want the best!) but your suggestion is a good one for more mundane repair/replacements.

      Thanks for thinking of me either way!

  37. Joe Shlabotnik on December 30, 2015 at 7:04 pm

    I’ve been reading your various posts and articles; I am very soon going to transition into a solo, small-RV lifestyle myself. I have an online job that pays quite well, so I don’t need to be in any one place. I’ve done the national park job thing (four times) and was appalled at the living conditions, the low pay, and the working conditions. I have heard horror stories about working for Amazon, but it apparently has worked out for you. But I think that you should seek to find a way to generate all your income online and thus not be tied down to any one location, working minimum wage. The insult added to injury in these jobs is that they actually charge you to park your RV on a slab of concrete, when you obviously HAVE to live somewhere nearby in order to be able to do the job in the first place. You don’t get to experience the wonderful places you’re in, except hurriedly and for a few hours at a time, so what’s the point? Those jobs are exploitative.

    As far as a place to visit in the coming months, I heartily DISrecommend Quartzite, even for an afternoon. Why? Everybody there [EDITED OUT BY WEBMASTER]. Also, the place is so ugly and barren, it could also be said to have negative scenery. Not a lack of scenery–negative scenery. And it’s not within screaming distance of anything. You won’t find anyone who will treat you with anything better than mild curiosity–mostly, you’ll be an outsider, and considered a weirdo.

    The experience is roughly similar to a young party animal dude traveling to the moon to have a meeting with a bunch of Dominican monks. Long trip, nothing there, people who are as much your direct opposites as it is possible to be. Yecccch!

    I plan to boondock on southern California’s beaches as much as possible. Stealth camp when I can, Wal-Mart when I have to. 4-5 hours a day online, make $150 a day, and the rest walking on the beach. I see that you can write well, and in truth, it’s very easy to pull in $100 a day online without breaking a sweat if you have that talent. Feel free to PM me if you want to know more. Then you can tell Amazon to stick it and wind up in someplace a lot less repulsive than Fernley, Nevada (ecccch!!!).

    • Dawn from Camano Island on December 31, 2015 at 10:10 am

      Whoa. Hold up there, Joe. Waay too many generalizations here. We’re over 60, we don’t have a big ass Class A, B OR C & we’re not 3/4 dead! I for one wouldn’t stay any longer in California than I had to but the point is we all get to choose where we land & in what style.

      Take Quartzsite for what it is–a big, no, giant, actually–flea market with some great camping. We’re down at Tyson Wash & we have a really nice campsite with water, dump & garbage available for $40/2 weeks. The sunsets & moonrises are beautiful & we’ve met nothing but friendly people.

      • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:20 am

        You handled this very responsibly Dawn, thank you for not turning it into a flame war. I’ve edited out the inappropriate part of Joe’s comment.

        • Dawn from Camano Island on December 31, 2015 at 11:45 am

          Thank you, Becky. I understand strongly-held beliefs.

    • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 10:18 am

      Hello Joe,

      It seems that you and I have a very different opinion on work-camping jobs. I’m glad to hear that you have a solid income plan in place and will get to work for yourself, it’s nice to be able to set your own hours and decide where to camp. I’ve been slowly working on building up location independent income projects myself, started with 100% of income coming from work-camping and now it’s about 70/30.

      That being said, I’ve never felt like I’ve been exploited at the national park jobs I’ve worked. Your example about having to pay for housing… outside of parks a person is in charge of paying for their own housing so why should this be different? In fact RV site rental is much cheaper working at a park because it’s subsidized – I worked for Best Buy before hitting the road at $9.50 an hour (more than any national park job) and it wasn’t enough to cover my cost of living because I had to pay for my RV site in full out of pocket and it was a lot more.

      I’ve enjoyed these summer gigs a lot more than any “real” job I had before hitting the road and I’ve always found time to get out and explore the park. This past summer I hiked over 100 miles in Yellowstone, it was a very satisfying experience. Maybe you just worked for bad companies, had bad bosses, or worked too many hours and if that’s the case I’m sorry to hear it, although it sounds more like it just wasn’t a good fit for you and that’s fine too, I just hope you see it’s not that way for everyone.

      I’ve met a lot of people in my travels who are going to be at Quartzsite this winter, friends that I have plenty in common with and many of whom are under 60 and not in Class A’s (although a couple of them are and that’s fine too!). I’m guessing when you visited Q you didn’t find the right group of people to hang out with.

      I also happen to enjoy desert scenery and like being far away from civilization so I really think I’ll enjoy it.

      It sounds like you and I have significantly different needs and wants. I wish you the best and hope you enjoy SoCal, but I caution you that your comment about the kind of people who visit Q was insensitive and inflammatory (hence why I edited it out).

      • Maria V. Levy on January 3, 2016 at 7:19 pm

        Becky, You are a class act, my dear. You know how to respond to opposing points of view with respect and courtesy. Something we can all learn from. I am enjoying all that your writings have to offer. Thank you for sharing the good and the bad. It’s honest and true.
        I am just a dreamer right now. My hope is to live full time in an RV once I can figure out how to swing it. I’ve had a very good job for the past 15 years and own my home. My goal is to sell the house and travel the country as a workamper….someday. My one big obligation is to allow my dogs to live out their doggy lives in their home. So, I am here for a few years, anyway.
        I e-mailed you a few months ago and you were very kind to reply. I am sure you are a very busy gal.
        If you have the time to comment, I would love to know what you think about the airstreams as a full timing home. Also, what do you think about buying a used airstream and remodeling the inside? I see pictures on the internet but it doesn’t appear that many serious RV’ers remodel. I personally dislike the dinette set up and would replace it if it’s feasible.

        • Becky on January 4, 2016 at 10:38 am

          Thanks Maria. Every now and then I get a comment like this and it’s always difficult to decide whether to accept it or delete it. I kept Joe’s because for the most part it was “clean” even if it varied from my own viewpoint.

          You’re welcome for the e-mail. I make it a point of responding to every comment and e-mail I get although I’ll admit occasionally one slips through the cracks.

          Airstreams are just as feasible for full-timing in as Casitas. As you probably already know, they’re pricier than Casitas and are heavier, but the quality is very high and the aluminum shell lasts a long time. You may want to check out http://www.thesilversnail.com/ written by a young single woman who full-timers in an Airstream. There are also forums for Airsteam owners just like there are Casita forums. Do a google search for one of those and I bet you’ll find all the advice you could need for remodeling projects. Good luck!

          • Terri on January 4, 2016 at 12:16 pm

            Also, Maria, check facebook groups if you are on facebook. I have joined several lately since I’m a bit undecided about what kind of rig my next one will be, and people, by and large, are super helpful on there as well.

            And i agree with Maria, Becky, you are a class act.
            Terri recently posted..(re)discovering myselfMy Profile

    • Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets on December 31, 2015 at 10:48 am

      Wow Joe, don’t hold back. Let it all out. I’m thinking your not a desert person. Or a regular reader of IO. Becky does okay…by choice. She’s had, and shared, some wonderful experiences. I have no doubt she could do better financially. But everything’s a trade-off. She does not HAVE to do what she does. She does it by choice. Just like the tens of thousands at Quartzite that apparently did not get your memo.
      Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets recently posted..Merry Christmas to AllMy Profile

  38. Frank on December 30, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    Mann.. I’m glad you posted and not deleted.. It sounds like a typical trip… for me everything happens at about 3am… wind-dust storms out here in the “Q”…

    Let me know when you come out here to Quartzsite, AZ, I’m over on the SW La Posa Tyson Wash area…

    I was thinking when reading the above, boy, it could have been worse in a “Tear Drop”…..

    Weather here, “Q” was sunny today, but rain if you call it that, coming next week? but nice here, a little cool… fun..

    • Becky on December 30, 2015 at 8:42 pm

      Yeah Frank, I’ve heard from a lot of people about the dust out in Q, that’ll be something different!

      Once I have an ETA for Quartzsite (won’t know till the 4th at the earliest how long I’ll still be here) I’ll put it up on the blog for sure.

      Hope the rain isn’t bad, enjoy those sunsets for me until I can get out there!

      • Frank on December 30, 2015 at 9:02 pm

        Yah, kewl, I gotta admit the Sunsets are worth watching…. grab a beer or two and just sit and watch’em… Let me know when you’re around… don’t know if you’ve been here before or all the time, but it’s just a big flea/Swap meet with an interstate Hwy 10 running through it…



        • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 9:27 am

          Nice Frank, that’s what I’m talking about!

          I’ve driven through Q but haven’t stopped and this’ll be my first time boondocking. A lot of people I’ve met on the road are going to be there so it’ll be more of a social gathering than a shopping opportunity for me.

          • Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets on December 31, 2015 at 10:38 am

            Becky: We are going to be there starting Jan. 12th. The folks from Outside Our Bubble are hosting a 1st annual “get together”, come one, come all out on BLM land on Plumosa Rd. north of Quartzite about 4 miles. Great boondocking area. About 45 rigs so far. Join us if it works. Nobody knows anyone, but they will. πŸ™‚ Morning coffee get togethers, evening campfires, car pooling to the Big Show daily. Maybe we’ll see you meet you.
            Ed@Chasing Sunrises and Sunsets recently posted..Merry Christmas to AllMy Profile

          • Becky on December 31, 2015 at 11:27 am

            Thanks for sharing Ed, if I have time I’ll stop by!

          • Frank on January 3, 2016 at 6:27 pm

            I just posted some area photos to give an idea of the area.
            Little “White Specks” are RVs… town has one main road running parallel to the interestate, East -West 10…. it’s just beginning to fill up now. Saw a Casita like yours off the wash area.. heheh, fun…

            Pics here:

            Good Ice Cream too… LOL…

          • Becky on January 4, 2016 at 10:28 am

            Great photos Frank, thanks for sharing!

            …ice cream you say? I’m seeing some in my future…

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