January 2019  "Love Your RV" Newsletter
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Hello, and welcome to the January Newsletter. Hope you are looking forward to another fantastic year of RVing.

Thanks, everyone for subscribing to and reading my monthly newsletters. If you're new or missed any editions, you can always catch up by visiting the Archive Page.

What's New With Us - Trip Reports

January has been a laid back month that saw our RV only move around 200 miles. We stayed in 3 beautiful campsites. The first 14 days were spent at Saddle Mountian BLM near Tonopah AZ, then 9 days at a little county park south of Phoenix and we are now enjoying Twin Peaks Campground in Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
Saddle Mountain BLM is free camping, Pinal West County Park was $80 total, and Organ Pipe has been free during recent the US government shutdown. So combined with the low miles traveled it's turned out to be an inexpensive snowbirding month. Got to like it. :)
Many days saw me puttering around the RV taking care of repairs and maintenance tasks. With the Cougar trailer approaching eight years old, more and more things need my attention. I don't mind though, its fun for me; I love to tinker and learn new things about the RV. And, it's another way to keep expenditures low.
Both our 30 lb LP gas cylinders were in need of recertification or replacement as they passed the ten-year-old mark on January 1st. I learned how to restring RV day night shades, then lubed the Winegard batwing TV antenna and disassembled and cleaned up our Fantastic roof vent fan.
With all the off grid dry camping, I got a chance to test out a Christmas gift from Anne; a 30-gallon water bladder called an Aquatank II. It worked perfectly! Aquatank a welcome addition to my boondocking gadget arsenal, making it easy to extend stays without breaking camp.
When not playing around the RV or doing day to day chores, I dragged my carcass out into the nearby desert terrain for hikes. Always nice to explore and get the heart pumping. I sure miss my little furry companion, though.
Weather in Arizona for January started unseasonably cold and wet but slowly warmed and is finishing up the month in the low 70's and mostly sunny!  As the days stretch longer, nights are warmer and the sun rises higher our solar system is easily keeping our batteries recharged each day.

I'm thinking of putting out a post/video soon detailing exactly what we run off our 500 watts solar and 4 golf cart battery system. Having had it in place now for a couple snowbird seasons I have a pretty good handle on our usage patterns and how things have performed. I figure the information could help other's that may be planning for some off the grid RV camping.
We are looking forward to increasing temps as we enter February allowing us to move up in elevation expanding our horizons. Plans are to visit a few "new to us" places, so stay tuned...

Recent Posts on "Love Your RV!"

Why I Replaced My Old 30 LB Propane Cylinders

Aquatank II Water Storage Bladder – Unpack and Demo

Repairing Broken String on RV Day/Night Shade

Morning Hike Saddle Mountain, AZ – Petroglyphs and Sweeping Views

RV TV Antenna Maintenance (Winegard Sensar Batwing)

Squeaky Dirty FanTastic Fan – Cleaning and Lube Attempt

Hike in the Sonoran Desert near Pinal West County Park


Recent Videos

Happy New Year 2019

Why I Bought Two New 30 lb. Propane Cylinders
Shop the Love Your RV! Amazon page
See my favorite RVing products, parts, and accessories
Image of the Month

Morning Fog Bank in the Arizona Desert

Ray's Pick - Helpful RVing Website/App

A YouTube commenter named Michael Coble (hat tip to him) clued me into this cool mapping website for the backcountry.  It's excellent for researching topography, roads, elevations, finding public land boundaries, etc.

CalTopo - Backcountry Mapping Evolved
"Powerful trip planning tools and high-quality maps. USGS and USFS topos, aerial imagery, printing to geospatial PDFs, exporting to KMZ and MBTiles." 

Click on the word Caltopo in the top left corner and select the guided tour.
(Note: I'm not affiliated with this website in any way - Ray)

RVing Tip of the Month


Pack Rats!

When I first started boondocking in the US southwest desert regions, I would sometimes see other campers with their vehicle hood left open. I didn't pay much attention to it figuring they were using the truck or motorhome battery for camping.

It wasn't until I first visited Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument that I learned about the Pack Rat (aka Wood Rat) and how much damage they can cause. They emerge from their burrows at night to forage, looking for food and nesting materials.
Unfortunately, they sometimes will crawl up into the engine compartment and chew on things like insulation and wiring. On a modern truck or motorhome, this can quickly cause thousands in damage and may render it inoperable.
By leaving the hood open enough moon and starlight comes inside to help keep the Pack Rats at bay. So, if you come across a place where campers have their vehicle hoods up and have night lighting set up around the RV take heed.
LED rope lights and lanterns are also often used deterrents. Here is an article I found with Pack Rat information plus some helpful tips and tricks
RVing Funny of the Month

Saw this sign at a trail head on Saddle Mountain
Notice: Nude Hikers

Thanks for following our RVing adventures. I hope you find these newsletters helpful.

Cheers Ray -

In the desert, the line between life and death is sharp and quick.Brian Herbert

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