A Padre Island sunrise

Monday, July 18, 2016

What Happened to Rob? Or downsizing part 1

The Calif coast, south of San Fran

My last blog was months ago... I get to this point and it’s like I was in school again... 
I feel guilty even.  Ah..the dog ate my computer?  
What to do?  Just deal with it is the best!   
To make life interesting I moved to a new computer, a W10 tablet & the photo situation is iffy at this point. If I'm not able to put photos up, well that's a fine excuse not to post a blog! In this reality pictures will have to come later.

The old Ford E250

The T&C at the coast, a bit smaller

Back to the blog.  Reality struck and the blogging suffered. Do I just ignore the last 4 months?

 I thought I about that and I realized that "both" the people who follow me <g> deserved an  expatiation of some sort.
So in the immortal words of more Chief Petty Officers in the Coast Guard than I can count before they told a story, "trust me, this is a no shitter!" Here is my story.

The winter was spent in the desert ‘around’ Quartzsite Arizona & down by Yuma. A nice time. I left to spend the rest of the winter (well that’s what I told myself) in Florida.

There were stops on the way.. Tombstone, Bisbee (the Whitewater bird area from freecampsites.net was a great place by it self), Columbus NM (Poncho Villa SP), The Kitt Peak National Observatory, The Pima Air & Space Museum in Tucson to name a few. 

All of them recommend.

My van was an 1987 Ford E250 powered by a diesel 6.9 that burned a gallon of oil every 300 miles. It was comfortable but it had to go... I waited too long. 

The bed in the Ford

The bed in the T&C

Before I left the Q area both the truck batteries crapped out and was not even able to jump start it. It took $300 to fix that from the auto parts store across the street from the grocery store I was stuck in. 
Next my muffler fell off, that sucker was loud... That was another $135 in Tucson. Then I took off! 
Down I-10, heading for the rest area just past Van Horn Texas... My head lights were funny... They were dim... I had an electrical problem! I got behind a semi and followed along all the way (25+ miles or so) to the next exit which was Van Horn Tx... I forgot to turn the headlights off, they sucked ALL my juice. As I coasted down the off ramp my diesel engine died, seems that tiny bit of power needed to keep the fuel cutoff solenoid open was not there anymore. I coasted to first gas station in town (A Chevron), rolled into a spot and there I sat. That was Sat nite, the only parts store in town was not open until Monday, they didn’t have my alternator but ordered it. I put in to Tues. My solar panel did recharge the batteries over the 3 days waiting..

Flowers along the cliff by Plaskett creek campground
While I waited I texted with friends. My friend in WA had just bought a new jeep and was going to sell his ‘05 Town & Country with lot’s of miles on craigslist as the dealer didn’t want it. I wanted it... We cut a deal, when the Ford van started I set out towards Washington... Florida would just have to wait.

A not leisurely trip back to WA, & the vehicle swap and HUGE downsize begins. I probably spent a week doing that...

More to follow ... in around a week I'm hoping!


  1. Down sizing is good. I am trying to figure out what to replace the Castle with that I will be happy about. I want smaller and that is all there is to it.

    1. How small is too small? Set housekeeping in the back of a pickup? Too small if you ask me.

      I need a bed that's always a bed. I need a table with a chair (of some sort) so I can sit down & eat or mess around with the computer. I need a kitchen that's always ready to boil some water or fry an egg.
      I have to have a toilet and a shower would be real nice addition.
      Maybe you could find all that in a Casita? Then all you'd need to think about are hobbies... if all you do is read on a Kindle you're set. Bikes, fishing gear and art takes a bit of room.

      I wish I had the answer but downsizing is 'what will you do without' and that's a real personal question.

    2. I feel you have it figured out just right about what size is right.

  2. So glad to see you post again!

    Man, it sounds like a horror story what you went through... at least you are a DIY'er and knowledgeable in auto mechanics.

    With the T&C you are sure saving a lot of money on gas and oil. There is always a trade off.

    1. I should have gotten rid of the ford at the first of the month rather than after I spent $500 on parts... I got greedy & wanted to see how far I could push the van. I gambled & lost on the ford but I was in a position where I could afford it.

      I did luck out with the Town & Country!