September 18, 2019 – Border Binder

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Autumn is one of my favourite seasons here in Saskatchewan.

Sitting with my morning coffee and watching the trees begin a new transformation in preparation for the upcoming winter. I find it so calming and therapeutic. The leaves magically begin changing colours, and then gracefully fall to the ground.




The morning air is so crisp and fresh, which usually sparks our conversations on our morning walks to include homemade soups, hearty stews and of course, plans for our winter snowbird trip south.

Several of our Canucks On Wheels followers have sent us messages and asked if we would share what makes up our border binder.

Since it is now less than 30 days till we head south, and we are in snowbird prep mode, now would be a good time to share.

A little background for those of you wondering how our border binder started.

Travelling with anxiety can be difficult at the best of time. Now, crossing the border sends me (Becky) into a tailspin of what-ifs!

What if I didn’t have a document that can be requested! What if I lost our credit card or even worse our passports!

This says it all!

Before our first snowbird trip back in 2014, I had all our documents stuffed in a big brown envelope. It held everything that I thought we needed, but I started to get anxious that I didn’t have everything or that I could lose something important. Hence, why we put together this border binder, it contains copies of all our pertinent documents that could be requested by border security officers at the border.

I decided a binder with a zipper would be the most logical, and bright pink would be easy to spot if misplaced.

Get a binder with a zipper

Plastic sheet protectors work great for keeping everything organized.

Plastic sheet dividers

Here is the list of the documents we have in our collection.

Continue reading

September 12, 2019

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Woke up to another wet and cool morning, we had light showers on and off last night. It appears the nights are getting colder and I would prefer not having to run our propane gulping furnace very often. These furnaces are definitely not energy efficient and use a ton of propane. On the plus side, Mother Nature has other options to help keep us warm….. I have been handed the ability to self combust, yup that’s right, these wicked hot flash and night sweat. Seriously does it ever end? I swear I have had these sucks for 10 years now!

Funny, I always wished for a smoking hot body, menopause was not what I was thinking!!!

Last month I started working for our local campground. Staff were heading back to university and were going to be short-staffed till close up. It appears that my temporary fill-in will now be turned into a seasonal position next May 1-Oct 1. Perfect for us RV snowbirds as we head south middle of October, and are back home middle of April.

One month in., and I am enjoying it. Meeting new people from all over the world, I met a couple from Switzerland and a gentleman from Bermuda today. I love listening to their travel stories and hearing about their families.

Today’s project, the factory mounted the spare tire on the rear trailer’s bumper.

When we boondock, there are usually quite a few dips and washes we need to maneuver through. Our trailer is 38 ft, and that darn spare tire has been skidded a few times because it hangs so low. Today Myron relocated it, so now it is mounted just behind our rear trailer axle out of the way.

Spare tire has a new home

Besides truck and trailer maintenance, Myron has been busy this summer with his upholstery work and as a relief semi driver. It’s funny how things work out. He gets a call one day asking if he is interested in doing some relief driving. Lots of businesses don’t want to hire anyone full time as they may not have enough work for a full-time Employee, so hiring on a relief driver works perfectly for their business and us as well.

🍷, have a great one!

Condensation

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We soon discovered being in our Rv for an extended amount of time, the one thing we needed to carefully watch for was condensation. It will cause havoc in a camper.

Our friends Tom and Lori had an issue with condensation, and they strongly recommend we invest in a dehumidifier.

Pro breeze dehumidifier

These things are amazing. We purchased a large unit for our main living and kitchen area that holds 1500 Ml of liquid and then later purchased 2 small ones ( one for our bedroom and one for the basement solar compartment that hold 500ml each.

This past summer the humidity has been 85-99% so these units have done amazing collecting the liquid.

So we did our research, and discovered there are a few other things we could do daily that will help prevent condensation, so we thought we would share them with you.

Eliminate the source of the condensation as fast as possible!

Since we do most of our cook in our Rv, we alway use lids on our pots and have our stove exhaust fan running. This helps reduce the moisture in the air. (Remember to open your flap on the outside of your trailer or your stove exhaust will not work properly, ask me how I know, lol)

Showering is another contributor to condensation. We always have our bathroom fan running as this pulls the moisture out of the air. Immediately after our showers we use a shammy cloth to wipe down all our shower walls and use a squeegee to remove any left over water on our shower floor.

Roof vent covers

These install directly over your roof lids and allow you to leave your lid open in various weather conditions. Unless the wind is coming directly into our vents they always stay open, even and inch or so.

Dollar tree disposable moisturizer eliminators.

We place these in our closets, and in our cupboards. They are cheap and work great!

Indoor thermometer with wireless humidity level indicator.

We placed the 3 wireless units strategically in our rig, one in the basement garage near our water pump, one in the solar compartment, and our bedroom. Now we can monitor multiple areas at once.

If you are able, run your AC as this will also help to reduce the humidity level inside.

Cheers!!

Lippert Error LF Jack

It’s amazing how RVs have changed over the years. Our old Prowler 5th wheel had a manual crank levelling system on it, that drove us nuts trying to get level. Each corner had to be done separately, and this took time and patience, and our fridge was very picky, it had to be completely level to work properly.

With our Cougar we have been spoiled with our Lippert 4 point automatic levelling jacks! Just hit the button and it does everything for you, no guess work involved, just to be on fairly level ground.

Amazing system, until you hear that dreaded beeping noise, and the screen shows ” error LF jack”. Grrr, we tried everything and still that awful beeping and error LF Jack kept appearing on the screen. Thankful we have a manual mode override so we could get back on the road.

We found an article that said we had to reset the computer to clear the error code.

To do this we need the trailer still hooked to our truck, extending all jacks at least 6 inches. Then press and held the retract button until the jacks begin retracting. All of the jacks fully retract and clear the error.

Issue fixed!

Here are a few pictures from boondocking by Chirciaco Summit, California

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We sometimes have to do some fancy driving to get our rig to our boondocking spot, yes all the while I usually sit with my eyes covered! 🙈 The best views are sometimes the most awkward getting into.

It’s getting hotter!

We left Bluewater Casino in Parker, AZ on Wednesday April 3rd, and arrived at the Tropicana Casino here in Laughlin, NV a few hours later.

We prefer this particular casino over the other free ones on the strip as they have water, sewer dump station, security, and access to their pool and hot tub, for $7.00/night or $35.00 for the week!

The weather has been great since we arrived, sunny 28 C/ 82 F with little to no wind.

Yesterday we thought it would be a good idea to do some early morning shopping before the temp started rising. This way we can leave Bella and Rider in the rv and not have to worry about one of us staying with them in the truck.

This year we seem to have a long list of please bring me back………

Blue jello ✅

Enchiladas Sauce ✅

Diaper Rash Cream ✅

Hair conditioner ✅

Margarita freezies ✅

Now with all these wonderful grandchilden we have, we just cant stop ourselves, it seems we are always scouting for something cute or cool for them!

Ok, ok……. we can’t forget a few items are also for us! 🤪

Wine ✅

GF Vodka ✅

We sure do get some odd looks from fellow shoppers when our cart is plum full of alcohol……You can always tell the Americans from the Canadians. The Canadians just look at us with a huge smile and a nod as they push their cart to the till, full of alcohol!!!

Booze is so cheap here compared to back home. My wine is anywhere from $1.99 – $3.00 /litre USA 🇺🇸 / $ 2.66-$4.01/litre Canadian 🇨🇦

Back on the road for us tomorrow. It will be another short drive as we only have to travel 148 km/ 92 miles to Viva Las Vegas!

Time to change our view

This is the coldest winter, and the most rain we have seen since we became snowbirds.

It rained for about 1-1/2 days, and walking the dogs was quite the messy situation, thankfully our friend Amy gave us some Pawz Rubber Boots to try out.

It does take two of us to put them on, but I must say they are amazing and do not fall off, thanks again Amy!

Even with all the rain and wind, we still enjoyed our time near Ajo.

A day trip down to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, with a stop at Why. AZ!

Why you ask? Why not! 😝

Spent a morning in Ajo at their 6th Annual Food Festival and Flea Market. The black bean brownie with mesquite flour was a hit with Myron, and we even came away with a few bargains from a garage sale. 😜

We had a couple of great hikes, and welcomed our daily visits from a group of hummingbirds that always kept us entertained.

It wasn’t always cloudy and rainy, we only had to run our generator 1 day as most days we were pulling in some great solar and were fully charged by 10 Am.

Hey, we even had a few relatives come out for a visit!

A crazy family pic would not be complete without some crazy faces.

North Ajo Peak Hike

What a great day for a hike. We are getting our hiking legs back and today we did the North Ajo Peak Hike 9.2 km, and we even beat the forecasters call for rain!

Baby cactus

Myron is still loving his new binoculars.

Garry taking the led, I had to run to catch up with him to grab this photo!

Desert flower

Came across these jugs of water in the desert.

We took a slight detour and found two little caves.

Crazy selfie time

We made it back to camp just in time for wine time!

March 6, 2019

Being back here in Ajo (pronounced Ah-ho) means hiking time now that the weather has warmed up. Today was a great day to hit the trails and get our legs back.

First hike 5.5 km

Sunny with a slight breeze

Saguaro cactus country

Selfie time

Can you spot our campsite? Hint, zoom in and look for the red Dodge!

Group selfie with our hiking partners Garry and Karen.

Ajo, Arizona

We are back at another one of our favourite places to boondock just outside of Ajo, Arizona, and of course it’s Free to stay here on BLM land for 14 days!

Here is our view for the next couple of weeks!

There is just something about nature and the sounds of the birds chirping that make us love this place.

We are looking forward to some hiking and site seeing!

I think we have these Canadians hooked on snowbirding! 😉

It’s 5 o’clock somewhere!

It’s not always hot and sunny in Arizona

We don’t always bask in the sun when we are south, in fact it gets quite cool as soon as the sun goes down. Off goes the shorts, t-shirt’s and flip flops and on goes the long pants, bunny hugs, socks and shoes.

We have even been known to put on our winter jackets and a toque to watch the Super Bowl outside while we were in California a few years back.

This morning our phones were buzzing away, we have a weather freeze warning here in Yuma.

Guess today would be a good day for a pot of stew and fresh biscuits!

Even with these temps we can’t complain. Holy heck Batman, at least it’s not as cold as back home in Saskatchewan.

Stay warm our friends and family!

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

After leaving Quartzite, we made our way south about 20 miles to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to spend a few days taking in the view, and hiking to Palm Canyon.

Location – Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Cost $- Free 14 days in a 12 month period.

GPS:

Notes: coming from the north (Quartzite) heading south on US 95, turn left just past Mile marker 86 onto Palm Canyon Road.

Our view from our patio

We heard about the California Palm that are growing in the Palm Canyon, so of course we had to hike in to check it out.

2 km/ 1.2 Miles in and out with a 90 meter/301 ft climb in elevation.

Some pictures from our hike.

A few signs posted at the beginning of the trails.

Borders hold rain water from last nights rain.

Hey, we have to do selfies!

You can see the Palms along the canyon wall.

Lots of climbing

Here are a few fun pictures.

It sure was a great day for a hike!

Boondocking- Quartzite, AZ November 27, 2018

On our way south to Yuma we always make a point of stopping to boondock/ dry camp for a few nights 6 miles North of Quartzite, AZ on Hwy 95.

Locations: BLM Land — Plomosa Road

Cost: $ Free — 14 days stay

GPS: 33.7489160, -114.2163560

Notes: stop at the camp host as soon as you turn onto Plomosa Road for a camping permit.

Even have a few visitors show up!

Now that Myron’s knee has healed up from his surgery this past September, we decided it was time to venture out on a short 4 km hike in the desert.

Here are a few pics from our hike today.

Mesquite- Laughlin, NV

October 27,2018 – Arrived in Mesquite, NV just before dark, and settled at the Eurika Casino for a night of Casino Camping!

Short driving day for us today, as we make our way to Laughlin, NV.

A few photos from the front window.

Hello Las Vegas……..

We arrived in Laughlin just in time to check out a Halloween car show at the Tropicana Casino.

(sorry forgot the new camera lenses back at the 5th wheel, and the sun was bright)

Quite a few cars had already left by the time we arrived, but there was still a good turn out considering the temperature was quite warm!

We will be hanging out here in Laughlin for a few weeks as we still have lots of places to see in this area!

2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins 5.9L

Not only does Red still look good, she averaged 15.8 US / 18.98 Imperial MPG towing….. Awesome

Day 2 of Snowbird 2018-2019

October 26 – We must be excited for warmer weather, since we got an early start this morning from Idaho Falls, by early I am talking 8 AM!

We have another long day of driving, as Mesquite, NV is our overnight stop!

Every year driving through Salt Lake City is a challenge. It is always interesting to see what obstacle course they have come up on the I15 as they seem to always be doing construction. This year they did swerve lanes……… multiple swerve lanes!

If you look up ahead you will see these swerve lanes, yes it’s exactly as if you had to swerve to miss something on the road.

Now I’m talking 5 lanes of traffic, all doing 100 +km/hr or 62 mph and there were several of these along the way! Congratulations Salt Lake City, you always make the trip through exciting for us!

We have a video we will upload later with our drive through the mountains from St. George to Mesquite, NV. (Once I figure out how to do it 😉)

Washington, UtahLittlefield , Arizona Oak City, Utah

Solardocking at Casino Lethbridge

After crossing the border into Canada, we decided to spend a couple days at Casino Lethbridge in Lethbridge, AB 🇨🇦

Cost: FREE

Stay length: 2 nights

This would be a great location to use as a home base, lots to see in the area.

Note: Dump Station with potable water located at the Chinook County Tourist Association

Chinook Country Tourist Association 2805 Scenic Dr S, Lethbridge, AB T1K 5B7 (403) 320-1222

Boondocking

We have been pretty low key this last month and half, as we haven’t been doing a lot of traveling or site seeing since Bella’s surgery before Christmas.  Myron has been busy helping friends with their solar, and doing updates to ours.

Our solar updates are now complete (for now). Myron has equipped our 5th wheel with 690 watts of solar, Blue Sky MPPT Charge Controller, 440AH battery bank and a 1000 watt pure sine inverter to run all our electrical devices.  We can’t run our roof AC or microwave (bread storage compartment), but I can run my Instant Pot!!!! Since we have solar we have not been at an RV Park since Bakersfield, CA, which was at the end of November. We have been casino camping or boondocking. Boondocking is basically camping without service in a completely undeveloped area. For us we enjoy boondocking in the desert as we both enjoy being outdoors, the peace and quiet and seeing things in its natural beauty. Boondocking is perfect for us, and for the cost-free or cheap, even better! The best part is, we do not have to pay to stay at RV parks unless we want to!

We spent 4 1/2 weeks down by Yuma, AZ enjoying the warm sun, the breathtaking sunrises, sunsets and the beautiful views.

Cost break down for that time:

Camping fees $ 35.00 (Cocopah Casino)
Fresh Drinking water  $  6.00
Dump fees $ 35.00
Propane fill $ 16.80
Gas – generator  $  7.80
Diesel for Dodge  $ 62.00
Total cost:  $162.60 US/ $202.51 CDN

I did not include costs for food and booze because we all have to eat and drink 😉. But let me say this, the booze is cheap down here and the food is also much cheaper for the most part. Cheap for 4-1/2 weeks, in the sun.We are at Cibola National Wildlife Refuge until tomorrow. We are staying on BLM Land directly across from the visitors centre and the cost is free for 14 days.

Tomorrow we pack up and will head west to Indio, California for a busy week of visiting, site seeing and who knows what’s else!

We love being snowbirds!