White Sands National Monument

White Sands National Monument
White Sands National Monument

Quetico Provincial Park

Quetico Provincial Park
Quetico Provincial Park

Warren Dunes Sunset

Warren Dunes Sunset
Warren Dunes Sunset

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Summer and Winter Bases

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We're currently in the winter home base and we're planning for the return to the summer base. We can winter or full time at the "winter base" but the summer base is only open from May 1 thru October 31.  That's fine as we may be in the winter base from fall through spring. Summers only at the summer base!

Because of the sun and ambient temperatures in the southwest, we have a covered site at a resort. We can park the Roadtrek in the shade of this site, too!

The summer base has some shade and that's great. We get afternoon direct sun, but morning through early afternoon we are shady and mild.

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Larger Rig Issue - Sprung Suburban Oven Door & Cinnamon Buns

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One of our "home bases" is a 5th wheel. We discovered the oven door would not close completely. I removed and dismantled the door but was unable to make an adjustment that would properly hold the door shut.

I decided to add a hasp, and this is a short video about that. It works very well and I tested it out on a batch of cinnamon buns.

Here's two short videos about this:

Sunday, February 4, 2018

The 26th Cochise Cowboy Poetry & Music Gathering

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Music, Dancing, Poetry, Storytelling, Wow, what a day!  This year's theme was "Barn Dance & Western Swing". 

On Saturday February 3 G and I went to Sierra Vista, AZ for the Cowboy Poetry and Music Gathering. This post includes a link to a brief video, a few photos and a link.

This is an annual event. This year's gathering had the them "Barn Dance and Swing". So, there was dancing, music and of course, poetry!   The event began on February 2 and ran through the 4th, but we could only attend on the 3rd. Bummer! 

The day was arranged into two segments. The first began at 10:00 am and ran until 5:00pm. During this period there were 30 poets, musicians and storytellers in 58 sessions in a variety of areas. The settings were informal and up close. Great opportunity to meet the artists and hear their performance. Each segment was 50 minutes in length. Pick your artists and venue and go to the segments you choose. Three segments were dedicated to lunch. The cost of the day was $10 for adults, and lunch is optional. I understand 30 musicians and poets from all over the US and Canada performed. This included several from Sierra Vista. In addition there were young students who performed their prize winning poems.

There was a break from 4:30 to 6:00pm for the "Barn Dance" with music by Syd Masters & The Swing Riders.  Lots of fun and we danced. Good for the soul.

A second ticket allows one to attend the evening's entertainment. The cost for this was $20 per adult and several hours of entertainment were provided in a stage setting after the break. 

We'll definitely be attending next year; need to keep early February open in 2019.

Our thanks to the 100+ volunteers who made this event happen. 

Books, CDs and so on are available:

We purchased a CD

Here's a short video sampler of the day:

A few photos:

OK Chorale Cowboy Trio

Cowboy Thatch

Dave & Kathy McCann

The Cowboy Way

Ron Hinkle

Ron Hinkle

Ms. "V"

Broken Chair Band & Doug Figgs

Evening Stage

Carolyn & Dave Martin

Trinity Seely

Doc Mehl, Washtub Jerry & Doris Daley

Doris Daley

Kylee Crowell

Camila Souza
Cowboy Thatch (Thatch Elmer)
Link to the website:

Additional websites:





Friday, February 2, 2018

Tucson Gem Show

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It's time for the Tucson Gem Show.

This is an annual event and it is unique. Here's a few photos from an earlier show.  G enjoyed it.

At the Gaslight Theater, Tucson

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While in Tucson we visit the Gaslight Theater, a family friendly place. This is our third show. Last night it was "The Lone Stranger" a musical comedy/parody of the legendary cowboy.   The show included a "sing-along", the musical and then a country-western salute.

All in all, a fun evening.

Before the Curtain Rises

Snacks during the show

Sing-along time!

Meryl and Me Hit the Road

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Here's a 190P blogger's  site:


Thursday, January 25, 2018

Useful RV Gadgets

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Originally posted January 25, 2018.... I'll expand the list from time to time.  This is one of three related posts.

I've found some useful gadgets and a few essential ones. I've been adding stuff since our first trek in October 2013. That was a rental Class B and very educational. When we purchased a 2013 Roadtrek 210P we began adding things or expanding our list of stuff to carry.

This post is a companion piece to the others about modifications and tools.

First Aid
I've updated this post to include the medical kit I carry with me. We do supplement this with additional items, but having a good first aid kit is smart and is a good building block, IMHO.  I prefer a "backpackers" model because it is pretty all inclusive. I also carry a tick remover, and the photo indicates my preferred tool.  To this one can add better bandaids, etc.

Morning Coffee
I like a good cup of coffee in the morning. Space is limited, so we purchased an Aeropress.

Comfort - Heating and Cooling, etc. 
We  have Reflectix in all but the side door window. Really makes a difference on fall or winter nights. Also very useful if parked in full sun:

We added a front side screen; I made it but there are purchase options. It  is held in place with embedded magnets. The Roadtrek has rear and side door screens. The rear is handy, but we don't use side door screen. Adding the front window screen provides "cross through" ventilation:

We added a fan to move interior air, usually to cool the front of the vehicle and a 12VDC extension. The fan has side air entry and sits in the shelf immediately above the side door:

I added a solar sail to provide additional shade. Very helpful in full sun with the outside temp going into the 90s or higher. Note the Reflectix in the front window:

We carry a dual control electric blanket and with a woolen blanket G prefers this to a sleeping bag.  The one we chose has illuminated controls; less fumbling in the dark and no need to turn on lights to adjust:

We carry a 750/1500 watt 120V heater. This is very small and makes a wonderful difference when temperatures are below 40F, at which point the heat pump doesn't function very well:

I added a flat panel heater, this is intended for use in the front window of the vehicle. The photo is of a larger version which we use in the TT and 5th wheel. The one for the Roadtrek is 18x23 inches and 1/2 inch thick. It is rated 250 watts. Must be kept away from flammable things. It includes an Off-On switch, but I added a digital thermostat:

After spending a lot of time in low humidity regions (14% RH or lower) we added a small humidifier/vaporizor. This is a TaoTronic which measures about 8x10x5 inches and has sufficient capacity to run all night:

Temperature Monitoring: 
We added interior/exterior thermometers. Our first was appropriated from home but I upgraded to a very small with single remote. The small one goes a year on batteries and has a much better display (higher contrast):

I added an interior thermometer and one of those battery operated fans to improve distribution. We also added single and dual refrigerator bars to help keep stuff from bouncing around. We always keep an open box of baking soda in the refrigerator to control odors:

Cooking and BBQ:
The Roadtrek includes a convection-microwave over and a two burner propane burner. But we do a lot of cooking and so we added a few things:

I prefer a small Weber propane grill because it has a taller lid and easily accommodates baking potatoes, corn on the cob and so on. But due to space limitations we carry a Coleman. A digital thermometer is essential.

We also carry a small induction electric cook top. This can be used indoors or outdoors (when dry) and we use it a lot. It works very well with cast iron and so we carry two sizes of cast iron skillets, a small and a 12 inch, as well as a griddle. The cast iron also works well with the propane range top:

The induction top can be used with stainless steel if a ferromagnetic plate is used, but that isn't very efficient. We prefer the cast iron but can't boil water in it, and prefer not to make acidic soups in the cast iron.

For steaming vegetables in the microwave we have a silicone vegetable heater. Works well.

Dealing with water:
We use a water pressure regulator and a filter at most campsite with  a splitter so I can attach a second hose. I also added an improved water inlet spigot, which screwed into the plastic fitting on the Roadtrek and makes attaching the hose easier. I carry two potable water hoses. One is a standard 25 ft. and also a 50 ft. "handi-hose" which folds flat on its own reel (does need to be carefully laid to avoid kinks, which reduce pressure). After an extended stay in an area with very hard water I purchased a small, portable water softener. It goes a couple of weeks on a box of table salt. Really made a difference as we were getting hard water deposits and that actually messed up the water inlet check valve on the rig!  We like a small Brita jug, which uses carbon filters, as well a a jug to place on the counter..

Supplemental Lighting:
I purchased a 5-pack of these hockey puck style AA powered lights. We put them in some of the overhead bins to help in dim lighting conditions. We also carry two AA powered Maglite flashlights and some campgrounds recommend portable lights so when walking at night vehicles are made of the presence of pedestrians.  We picked up two flashing/steady red with a clip which can be put on one's belt, purse strap, etc.

Space Utilization
That can be a challenge. There are all manner of bins to keep canned goods in place, etc. We also have several varieties of "washline" with clips, which we use for hanging our hats, etc. 

If you don't have a digital voltmeter for monitoring the 12V coach battery then find a socket in the coach and a  plug-in digital meter. Here's a couple of photos:

Plug-in 12V DC Meter
Location of 12V socket in a 210P

I lock the tire carrier in position and I have a small diameter steel cable which also locks the tire to the carrier. I also use a small water meter (turbine style), useful when filling fresh water tanks. It includes a removable valve, and I use it with all of the rigs.  I also have a toilet tank wand, which is helpful for knocking crud off the sides of the tank. 

Last, but not least is a wand to rinse out the hot water tank. Really amazing how much crud accumulates in a hard water environment: