(Formally "Plan V: A Van Dwelling Blog", when I lived in a 1978 Dodge Xplorer 228 Class B motorhome van)

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Lazy (and boring) days

I still have been slacking off blogging, but I have a pretty good excuse, the cell data here stinks. I'm amazed Blogger's site loaded. The app is bugged and crashes, so I must use the site. (It has taken over an hour to do this post!!)

Anyhoo...

A couple days after my last post, I have started getting (overly) obsessed with the idea of getting a tiny old travel trailer. This stems from one being here for sale, but that I missed out on.


Something that small can be towed with my car.

However, my car needs rear struts badly first. It looks like it's heavily weighed down when it's not. Rather than pay $650 including labor (dealer quote), I'm going to wait until I get to Arkansas, where I can do the work myself for the $160 in parts. So for now, a trailer will have to wait for sure.

I enjoyed a bunch of Xmas episodes of MST3k and Rifftrax on Xmas Eve.



On Xmas day, I did more camp stove shopping. I have too many now, ha!



The next morning, I made (awful) pancakes. The mix is what's awful. I'll be throwing out the rest, I'm sure. Maybe if I had butter, not butter flavored canola oil spray, they would have been better.


Generally, it has started to get bloody boring here. Part of my boredom is not having much to do. I'm as socially avoidant as ever. I did find the dog park so I go there almost everyday.

Yesterday, I bought a nice little, older Yamaha EF600 generator. I did a short trial run with it this morning and it does just what it should.



Maybe I'll kill boredom easier now, even if it's just offline PC gaming.



I still have too many clothes, so... more need to go!



And finally for now, Lucy basking in the warm sunshine.



Thursday, December 22, 2016

Quartzsite 2016

I rolled in to Quartzsite a few days ago. The cell data speed (T-Mobile) is so bad from so many users, I haven't been able to do much online. The library wifi is excellent, which is how I'm posting so much tiday to catch up.

I'm still going through stuff and getting rid of more. I got a $15 ice chest and a $10 2 gallon water cooler. They take up a lot of space but I needed them. Honestly, more clothes probably have to go as much as I have it. I just can't justify so many shirts, as nice as many may be.

I also bought a "not working" Coleman 440 stove. After 75 cents in parts, it's working for the most part. It only seems to have "high" though. Im not sure if that's a generator or valve problem. In any case it does function. It might also need a new pump but the I've it has is working currently.

Oh and in the name of downsizing, I bought a smaller coffee percolator. 5 "cups" fills my insulated travel mug, so it's a better coffee ot to have than the larger 7 cup one that's much larger.






Some pics at the park......




Lucy digging in snow pile

Shastice Park in My Shasta, CA.


Oak Grove Regional Park

Way delayed post. Sorry. It's so easy to put off. I'm going to try to keep up with my posts.

I had planned to visit Sutter's Fort but I skipped it after all. Instead, I stopped off at the nice, paid admission Oak Grove Regional Park just north of Stockton, CA.

Lucy had a blast digging after rabbits(?). There is a video if that, at the end of this post.







Thursday, December 15, 2016

Loafing around

I hurried out of Oregon to avoid freezing temperatures in the mountains and ran into gushing rains in northern California. I'm not too far out from Sacramento, where I want to spend a day or two once the rain clears. It's still supposed to have freezing temperatures but at least it won't be rainy or snowy.

So, today is a big loafing around day with nothing much to do. I had a good hot breakfast at Denny's in Corning, CA this morning for $7 including a $1 tip. Their service was faster and better than most. Now I'm sitting in Willows, CA just wasting time until I head on to the next rest area for the night.

Lucy is acting depressed, probably due to the seemingly never ending rain. I can't say I blame her any. Hopefully this is the last heavy rain we see for a long while.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Brownsville, OR

I saw a sign for a museum along I-5 so I decided to take the exit and look for it. I ended up about 5 miles off the interstate in the town of Brownsville. A nice little town with a quaint, but busy, historic downtown.

I never did find the museum but it was still a nice little place to visit!







This is half a shed with a sign saying it is meant to be a tree house, for photo ops/selfies. Soooo....






On the road again

Well, I'm on the road. I got two days behind in vacating the apartment but it's done.

There is lots to say so this will be long.

I unloaded my huge 3 burner stove to someone from Craigslist. I badly underestimated my stuff vs space in the car so it had to go. Right after I left out Sunday, went down near Portland and bought and old Coleman Peak 1 stove and it's working out great.

This is how bad it was the first night.

((((Oops I will post the pic later))))

It's hard to see, but the driver's seat was reclined back half way with shirts on hangers piled up on it. It was not a sustainable way to do things.

I stopped at a Value Village and loosely filled a car with stuff to get rid of. While there, I bought a piece of used Samsonite rolling luggage for $7. Later in the day I went back and found a $2.50 (at 1/2 off sale) Samsonite bag for my remaining loose sweaters. I still have two move those to the driver's seat from the bed but that's easily manageable.

I still have too much really but it's already getting better as I find more to get rid of along the way.

I ended up buying a MetroPCS ZTE ZMax Pro and case/screen protector (those two cost more than the phone, bought from a separate store) for good internet on the road, for $60/mo totally unlimited on the phone, plus 8GB hotspot for my Android car stereo. (In dash navigation). I'm posting from it now, in fact, at an Oregon rest area!

More later. I need to clean up from lunch and walk Lucy before I put a few more miles behind me.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Heading out on Friday!

It's almost time, already. November went by a lot faster than I thought it would. But, I've almost got my apartment emptied out and my storage unit is 99% full. One more small load will finish it off. Then I have to scrub pretty much everything in the apartment so I can get my deposit back.

I think I am going to rejoin Anytime Fitness for shower access. Last time I used it quite a bit. Just twice a week even is enough to pay for it, so yeah. I am going to check into what the local club charges since they won't think twice about letting me join since I have an ID and address here currently. Trying to join anywhere else would be harder since they want you to mostly use THEIR club. Otherwise I could find a location with cheap prices and join there and then never go back. Which is actually what I want to do with the one here basically, but yeah.

I have put a new Optima Yellowtop D35 battery in my car since the old battery was 5 years old and was noticeably starting the engine slowly on cold mornings. So now I have a starting/deep cycle hybrid battery for charging my phone/tablet with the engine off. I have also installed USB charging ports (1.0A & 2.1A), a 12V port and a digital voltage meter in the rear of the car, wired directly to the battery so I don't have to turn the key to use them, unlike the factory 12V outlets located in the front of the car. I also put a switch for each function so it they don't power when not in use.


Monday, October 10, 2016

Going back on the road? Looks like it!

Well, after two and a half years of being mostly idle (besides 2 road trips), I'm sick of it. I've been pretty bored, depressed and quite unhappy in many ways. Socially, it's been no better for me here than anywhere else. So, I am in the early stages of getting rid of stuff again so I can return to the road, in my car this time. I realize that "running away", as some people put it, won't fix things but at least I won't be (as) bored.

I got a used Yakima roof rack (specifically for my car) and roof box for extra cargo space. The biggest problem with the Xplorer was the fuel consumption. This car gets 3 to 5 times the fuel economy as the van did. The van got about 5-10mpg. The car with the roof box gets about 24-30. HUUUUGE difference in terms of how far I can go per gallon!


Sure, it lacks a bathroom and kitchen, but camping gear can make up for that. Restrooms aren't THAT hard to find. Nor are showers, really. Truck stops like Pilot/Flying J have nice showers for about $10. Most developed campgrounds have showers too. Once in a while, I can always splurge on a motel room if I feel the need to sleep in an honest to goodness bed for a night or two.

I'm considering a trailer hitch and hitch mounted cargo carrier as well. One can never have enough storage. I'd like to keep the inside of the car free of excess cargo I don't need in a pinch. A change of clothes in an emergency (without having to access the cargo box), sleeping pads/bags, food, tiny single burner camp stove, tools and not much more.

My initial plan is to haul a load of stuff I don't want to get rid of (in addition to everything that will go with me traveling) back to Arkansas where climate controlled self storage is CHEAP compared to the PNW. I can get a 3x5 unit for $30/mo, or a 5x5 for $40/mo. Up here, it costs 2-3 times as much. Yes, it sounds like a big hassle, and it is, to haul a carload of belongs 2/3 of the ways across the country to store it all, especially when I will probably bring it all back to the PNW some day. But it's either that or get rid of the stuff. Some of it is hard to replace, so I'd rather keep it. Depending on how long it ends up in storage, the hassle VS cost is probably worth it.

I won't take 2 years to get ready this time. More likely, a few months at most. I can't have yard sales in an apartment, so I'm having to give away, donate or try to sell stuff on Craigslist. Most will end up donated or given away, though. I don't have as much as I did before, nor do I have the loose ends to tie up as before. I might have to wait until February or March, though. I'm not 100% sure yet. I'd rather not if I can help it.

Oh by the way, I have a traveling companion now! A few months ago I adopted a pit bull mix from the local shelter, who I have dubbed "Lucy". As you can see below, she's already getting in the mood.


The only phrase that gets her excited more than the word "food" is "Wanna go for a ride?" She loves to get in the car and go places, especially dog parks where she can visit and play with other dogs. Sometimes when I take her outside for a walk, she tries to drag me to the car. She's got more motivation to hit the road than even I do, ha!

So there you have it. I'm itching to go again... so I may as well. I have little to lose, besides this apartment. But what good is a nice apartment if you feel like you're imprisoned in it, to some degree? Being a drifter is in my blood, I guess. I'll probably never want to stay anywhere for very long, for as long as I live.