Friday, March 08, 2013




It was bundled up against a cold south wind we were this cloudy March morning here in Congress Arizona.  A quick walk around the block & that was pretty much it for any outside activities today.



Now, a few thoughts on our shake down cruise.  With the much smaller Class C RV space we found ourselves bumping into each other like a couple mumbly pegs.  Certainly does require some getting used to when downsizing.  I think once we get our dinette problem solved we will have much more room.  Nothing we can do about the bathroom.  Small is what small is & there is no way around it.  I did try out the shower & if I had thought the Damon shower was small….I obviously had not met the Sunseeker shower yet.  I slept in the corner bed on our trip & Kelly slept in the upper bunk.  I think we will reverse that next time.   I didn’t find Crab crawling across that corner bed to my liking & Kelly did get a sore back from the upper bunk.  When I slept up there a few weeks ago I didn’t have any problem.  The kitchen stuff worked out OK but no handy counter space.  Of course our Damon didn’t have much either.  One of the biggest problems I had was where to put my stuff.  Cameras, books, computer, clothes, shoes, etc.  I do not like to be disorganized so I was in quite a state of mind for a couple days.  And with no comfortable place to sit while writing my blog, I either ended up outside in a lawn chair with a blanket over my head or on the bed.  But, that’s what a shakedown cruise is for.  Problem solving.  We’ll do better next time out & even better after that.


I was happy with the way the rig handled & ran.  No complaints there.  I do think Fords might have better closing cab doors though & for sure I do like the Ford front end grills far better than the Chevy’s.  Not being a brand loyal kinda guy it wouldn’t have mattered to me if this rig was a Chev or a Ford except it’s easier to get out of the Chevy’s driver seat to go into the coach.  Chevy engines are placed further forward.  Reading the write ups & reviews between the two, the Chevy does come out on top with it’s better performing & more fuel efficient engine.  Seems most Sunseeker folks prefer the Chevrolet chassis.  Made little difference to me.  Had this rig been on a Ford chassis with all the same upgrades for the same great price, then we would be driving a Ford today instead of a Chev.



I think the biggest mistake we made on our shakedown cruise was to not prepare a check list before we left.  We forgot a lot of obvious stuff & it was kinda embarrassing for an experienced couple like ourselves to forget so many things.  I did remember to take an extra pair of socks.



Donna, over at the CAVE DWELLINGS wondered about our eating arrangements in the Sunseeker because of no table.  We never had one in the Damon either.  Oh we had a dinette alright at first but we weren’t long in hauling that uncomfortable Mossmagator out of there.  We just kinda eat wherever we can.  Sometimes it’s a plate balanced on a knee, sometimes a TV table, sometimes my laptop is my tabletop.  We never have anyone in for supper or social events, so no need for a table.  It just gathers clutter & takes up valuable space. 


I really like Jif’s new natural Peanut Butter & Honey peanut butter.  Stumbled across it in a Walmart store a couple months ago.  But, there’s a problem.  In my opinion, it’s just tooooooo darn good & it’s just tooooooo darn accessibly simple to eat.  Before, I had to get out the peanut butter jar, the honey jar, & my piece of flat bread.  On goes the peanut butter followed by the honey which sometimes skids around in the peanut butter causing me great concern.  I then have to roll it up to eat it.  Lot of work.  With peanut butter & honey already mixed I have a tendency to go to ‘my stuff’ cupboard, crank the lid off the peanut butter jar & dig me out one mighty big whalloping hunk of PB&H with a kitchen knife.  In a split second it is down the hatch & I am back into the jar frantically digging for more.  Oh dear, this is not a good thing for the old weight program…………….


And a new Blog Follower today.  Welcome aboard TRAINMAN.  Or, is that, ‘all aboard’:))


New neighbors on the street behind us & it appears they have about half a dozen dogs.  I think that brings the total number of dogs on our block to about 10,000 now.

DSC_8582 DSC_8583

In the 7 years we have been traveling to the southwest we have never crossed the mountains to the Pacific coast.  Just have never had a big interest in anything over there, except maybe the ocean of course.  Not to say there isn’t a lot of interesting things, but for me the thoughts of all that traffic & people chaos just isn’t appealing anymore.  However, there is one city that has always stuck in my mind.  Thought if I had a chance to pick one city to see, it would be San Diego.  So, maybe next winter we just may make a special effort to get ourselves on over there.  Chris & Caron from TRAVELS WITH CC & DIXIE have been having a blast in San Diego this past little while.  RETIRED ROD & Loyce just left there.  And San Diego is very familiar turf for well known fellow RV Bloggers Nina & Paul from WHEELING IT.  If we do make a trip over that way we will definitely be checking out Nina’s San Diego posts about where to stay & what to see, etc.  We met Nina last winter at a farmer’s market on Christmas Circle in Borrego Springs:))


And here’s an outdoor couple with a sense of adventure who like doing the same kinds of things & traveling to the same kinds of places we do.  Check out their moderate risk factor hike in Utah’s Zion Canyon.  OH, THE PLACES THEY GO.  Watch for their adventures on our sidebar:))


Although I do basically have a good sense of direction, I do get myself confoozled from time to time & especially here in the southwest.  This past week was no exception.  First, a few blogs ago while at the Clark Dry Lake Bed near Borrego Springs I mentioned about the night time glow of lights being visible as Riverside California.  Looking at my Benchmark Atlas this morning, I see that is incorrect.  I had been told a few years ago by another RV’er that glow over the Santa Rosa mountains was Riverside.  I should have double checked that.   The visible glow in fact is from the Palm Springs/Indio area of California, not Riverside.   Maybe my sense of direction is thrown off by the mountains or something.  And, I think I mis-identified the mountain range behind Borrego Springs.  I was calling it the Vallecito Mountains when in fact I think that mountain range is the San Jacinto mountains.  Made another geographical driving flub just a couple days ago in Indio as well.


RETIRED ROD was actually right when he said the Home Depot in Indio was right next to Interstate 10.  I was wrong in saying it wasn’t.  As another commenter said, coming from the south it can be confusing finding the I-10 cut-off east.  After looking at that area of Indio on MAPQUEST this morning I can see why it is confusing & where we got confused.  I hadn’t realized we were actually on I-10 heading west when we pulled off onto Jackson Street.  In the morning I again didn’t realize we drove back onto I-10 from Jackson Street when we headed south.  Oh the beefuzzlement of it all.  But, you know what, bet I’m not the only guy who gets beefuzzled sometimes.  But maybe, just maybe, I am one of the few guys who will admit it:))   



And our weather today?  Mid morning rains brought on early afternoon bits of hail & some big time thunder.  Wind gusts swung our shed doors around & it looked like a bird convention at our feeders.  Nothing seems to bother those guys when it comes to weather……DSC_8594

When the clouds lifted off the nearby Weaver Mountains late this afternoon they left behind a dusting of snow……….


But, we did end the day on a positive note under sunny blue skies & the promise of warmer days ahead:))


GROANER’S CORNER:((  The first boy says, "My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50."  The second boy says, "That's nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100." The third boy says, "I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon. And it takes eight people to collect all the money!"

- Tourists see the world, travelers experience it.
- Home is where your pet is:))
- "If having a soul means being able to feel
love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals
are better off than a lot of humans."
(James Herriot)
- The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails -William Arthur Ward
- The only thing better than right now will someday be the memories of right now...AL.
- It is not so much having nothing to do as it is not having the interest to do something....AL.


  1. Your house looks so wonderful, both inside and out!

    Re: beds. You might consider buying new thicker matresses. We found the New matress that was put into our Alfa by the dealership totally unuseable and after one trial night bought a new one. When we rented a class C from Cruise America our adult son said the overhead bed was the worse place he had ever slept. The matress was thin.

  2. We also got befuddled in Indio. Ended up at the casino for the night with a "few" other travelers. We had a dusting of snow here on the higher mountains in Borrigo Springs this morning. And the clouds cut off all the tops of the mountains.

  3. Thanks for the shout out on our blog! We appreciate you taking time to join us.

    Glad your shake down cruise went well.

    We put new recliners in our motor home. We wanted something less bulky than what we had. We found narrower, wall hugging recliners at Bradd and Hall in Elkhart, IN. Check them out online. They sell RV furniture. All of it is hand made by four Amishmen. We love our new chairs. They take up less space, swivel, and recline! We drove up, they took out the old ones and brought in the new ones. We even added the perfect little table in between with a magazine rack underneath.

    Good luck with all your new dog neighbors!


  4. When I was looking for a small RV, a decent size bathroom was at the top of my list. I am sure you will get the storage worked out in the smaller rig, I am still moving things around and I have been in this RV for about 16 months now.

  5. I bet you are doubly happy that you have that wonderful house in the southwest now. The Sun Seeker may work out great for shorter trips but the Damon would definitely be better for spending all winter in. Things will work out, I'm sure. I bet Pheebs is loving the new neighbors.

  6. Love that last picture!

    When we wanted to cross the mountains to the Pacific, friends said to go to Del Ray. We drove past Borrego area right into Del Ray to the beach. It's one of the few "dog friendly" beaches there are in that area. We drove right up to it and enjoyed ourselves with our doggie pals learning about the ocean!

    Karen and Steve
    RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  7. I wasn't worried about who was right or wrong, I just thought I knew my way around over there and what you were telling me didn't jive... But coming from the South is more confusing... And I always have the GPS running to keep me honest.... Loyce kind of unilaterally trusts that I know where I am going and doesn't check up on me... Sometimes that can get me into trouble...

    As far as San Diego, I don't like driving in that city one bit... Everyone is hell bent to go 80 mph on the freeways and have little concern for those of us that really don't know our way around... and have to study the GPS just to find the right exit... I'm afraid you won't like it one bit....

  8. Loved your Groaner joke tonight! I had Joe come sit beside me while I read your blog tonight because we are very interested in you thoughts on the Sunseeker. It's the one we've had our eye on for quite awhile. Joe was dissappointed he was so sick and missed the RV Show this weekend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and feelings regarding your shake down trip. I printed it out and we are going to "chew on it for awhile". When we were first married we traveled for 22 months in a 19' fully self contained Chevy Horizon Van and loved every mile of it. So we think it will for work for us. We are big game players so Joe likes that table set up you don't care for.

  9. Hope you can workout the issues with you Sunseeker.
    And enjoy your trip to San Diego. We did the area a couple years ago and really enjoyed the area. Especially for going to a city that we don't usually do.

  10. I'm not happy about seeing that snow on the Weavers.

    I sometimes turn on the wrong road here but I mostly know which direction I want to go.

    Change in rigs creates havoc for a while but I'm sure you'll get used to it.

  11. OK, now I get it...You eat wherever you land :-) We are table sitters for meals in the Hiker..The recliners aren't comfortable for me to use TV tables at..Being vertically challenged, I sit too low. I think a new mattress for the upper berth might really help..We also keep a small step ladder for me in the Hiker...That might be an idea to help you get up to the bed..They fold up nicely when not being used.
    We have found that sometimes even our Tom Tom GPS (I call him Carleton) gets lost..Knowing we sometimes cannot trust him,I ALWAYS have the Atlas in my lap!!

  12. If you can't find the Jif Peanut Butter and Honey when you get home you could try what my husband does.
    On your plate put peanut butter, add honey and mix with your knife before adding to your bread/toast. That way the honey doesn't skid. :o)

  13. definitely a lot of space management going on. It'll just take some time to get comfy, but I bet you love how mobile that Sunseeker is. And as for getting lost, I'm an expert there I totally get it.
    Cheers for the mention! If you need any tips at all on San Diego feel free to e-mail me. We really like the county parks there (and one of the private parks) especially for doggie. It's a big city, but you can find some really neat and relaxing spots.