RV Life vs Camping Life

We’ve settled into a Green Valley slump. Living the easy life – not moving too much or  too quickly, with a couple of notable exceptions.

As we anticipated, life in the RV park is much different than camping in the wild. Our usual ways just don’t quite fit.20160209_105812-001 Lack of a picnic table inhibits our dining routines, and the campfire prohibition leaves us without a reason to hang around outside once the cold desert air comes in for the night. So, we had mixed feelings about the battle with the RV park over whether we had to move out for five days to accommodate a large caravan of  RVs who wanted to camp all together (we lost). A second battle was waged over refunding us a portion of the fees we paid for a full month of camping (lost that one, too!)

So, away from the hot sunshine and close quarters of a busy RV park in a retirement community, we find ourselves perched in Bog Springs Campground in Madera Canyon, about 10 miles away. Our campsite is about 5100′ in altitude, below the snowline of 6000′.20160212_101910 With the very notable exception of our neighbor with an ancient Winnebago with a generator that sounds like a cement mixer, it’s cool, shady, and peaceful.20160212_095753_120160210_182116 We’re happy that they seem to turn on the generator only when they want to watch tv, and they have limited that to a couple hours each evening. Unfortunately, that coincides with our dinner/campfire time, but it’s still a very good tradeoff for us.

The best part about February so far as been reconnecting with old hiking and cycling friends. Second best part is camping with my sistahs. It’s unbelievably sweet to be able to see them every day for a month. No photos exist of the three of us together, but we might be able to accomplish that before month’s end.

So far, we’ve had just one notable hike – an arduous climb up Picacho Peak. The relatively short distance of the hike (two miles each way), is more than compensated for by the difficulty of the climb.20160210_102627 Thin steel cables were often the only thing between us and the abyss.20160210_111109 One mercifully short section required us to basically haul ourselves up with cables on each side, and a dropoff of about 1500′ below.20160210_111633 20160210_122337Our reward was lunch with a spectacular view at the top.20160210_115824We were accompanied by our old hiking buddies David G and Tony, as well as our new endurance hiking hero Ed. In 2015, Ed hiked the entire Pacific Crest Trail from southern California to Canada – the trail recently made famous by the book/movie Wild (if you haven’t read it – do so. Highly entertaining). We were nervous about looking like geezer sissy hikers to him, but I believe the hike was difficult enough for us to uphold our reputation as respectable hikers.

Our axle situation (see last post) is going to be resolved with the purchase of a new axle and two tires. The manufacturer (Alko) of the existing axle has refused to offer any warranty relief for our defective axle (installed in May 2015), despite the repair shop’s intervention on our behalf. We don’t want this safety or maintenance issue hanging over our heads, so we’re going to cough up the $700+ to get the situation fixed before we hit the road again on March 1. It’s all about peace of mind.

So, that’s the early Green Valley report. A slow start, but we’re gearing up to a strong finish to the month.

27 thoughts on “RV Life vs Camping Life

  1. We’ve got some of these lovelies, moreover clover, thyme, & other unknowns in our lawn. Enjoy it. Striving to search out a fertilizer for your lawn (grass) that won’t kill our “grass menagerie” of a lawn. Appears to be most have some broad leaf killing agent of some sort.


  2. What a run of bad service you’ve had to endure. The campground kicks you out but refuses to return your money, and the axle manufacturer refuses to stand behind their products! I wouldn’t do business with either one again, and I’d post factual reviews on every website that is related to such things.

    I did love the views from along your hike, but that wouldn’t make up for all the hassles that you’re going through right now.


    • Hi Jerry. Seems like we just get ourselves into these ‘situations’ sometimes. Maybe it just goes with the wandering life. We are going back to the RV park Sunday until the end of the month. As it works out, were not at all unhappy about leaving for a few days, although the money part really rankles me. Oh well.

      Hike more than makes up for lots of bad juju. One good thing about being old is I have a convenient short memory. I try to use that to my advantage when possib

      Liked by 1 person

    • We really thought it would be much cooler up here than in Green Valley, but it’s really not. We are fortunate to have a great campsite with shade. You would love this place, if you and Glen get in the area.


  3. I can relate to using steel cables. To get to the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park you hang on for dear life to a steel cable for the last 600 feet to get to the top. If you let go of the steel cable you rapidly tumble down bare rock rock to your unfortunate death.


  4. You all are so brave! I am allergic to vertical hikes especially when there’s a great view of the possible consequences. So sorry to hear about the jerky RV park & the axle nazis. You sound very philosophical. Better to be safe of course but I say it’s ok to secretly harbor some bitterness. Happy valentines day & hope to see you at the BRR so we can hoist a beer or two & thumb our noses at convention. 😄


    • The vertical thing is a big consideration for me when descending. Hard to look down to find a foothold and see the penalty for making a mis-step.

      I’m all about harboring bitterness – I am my mother’s daughter, after all.

      So much to discuss over a beer. Save your good stories….

      See you soon. John is worried that we are going to lose you and Chuck to the Airstream gang. Say it ain’t so.


  5. If you have time, I would check with state regulatory people. I suspect the first campground is taking advantage of your out-of-state status, assuming you won’t push the matter. Likewise, the axle issue. You should not be holding the bag for a defective piece of equipment or shoddy workmanship. But peace of mind is definitely important, and the second campground was certainly more beautiful. Hope this is the last of your troubles. Enjoy your family and the beautiful sights. You sure write an engaging blog. It makes me feel I’m right there with you.


    • Oh! I love it! I like that it has a see through cover instead of a sifter lid. Envy much your freebies! True skincare can be addicting! You just look at how pretty they are, and you just want more! I want freebies too. Wh;71#82&tas an affordable Iope product that I can first try to get really nice freebies?


  6. I don’t understand how the RV park can kick you out and keep your money.

    I’m also curious about your new axle. Are you going with a different brand or model? I’d have a hard time putting on another Alko after your experience.

    I really enjoy your blog. Mary and I very much look forward to the time when we, too, can have such adventures as you and John! Perhaps this will be the summer we can camp together.


    • We are getting a different brand of axle, based on the recommendation of the shop who is going to do the work – Dexter is the brand. We are happy not to have to get another Alko. One bonus to this is that the new axle should give us another two inches of road clearance or so. We are hoping that this will eliminate the need for the wooden ramps we use to back out of our driveway. Without them, we scrape. Your T@B has better clearance, I think.

      Hope we get a chance to camp with you this year. Got some ideas ’bout that up my sleeve.

      I’ve got this great mental image of your tandem fattie strapped onto the back of the T@B. Your retirement will be action-packed, no doubt.


  7. Rats, what a bummer. You need to come to Florida with us next winter and hit some really cool state parks. Thanks, as always, for some really cool photos and interesting tales of your travels.


  8. I really don’t understand how you could have lost any money that you gave them for the entire months’ rent. Unless, of course, their answer was “sue us”……


  9. Oooh, no wonder you are mad at the RV park! It would make me furious, too! Reminds me of a guy who talked about Laughlin/Bullhead City snowbirding and he said a couple of the RV parks would overbook, so you would arrive, all ready to spend 3-4 months, and find out you had no spot or the park has “lost” the reservation.

    Last year we camped at Picacho Peak state campground on our way to and from Tucson and loved it. Didn’t get to hike up to the peak, and glad as I don’t think I could take that ledge part. Gave me the willies just seeing your photos.

    I don’t get people who have to run generators to watch TV while camping in a nice area. We had one near us in Tahoe last summer and they would run that thing from the time they returned to camp until bedtime. We could never figure out why unless they were watching TV the entire time.


      • It’s a long, ridiculous story, Ron. The disputed amount isn’t worthy of your legal talents, but we’ll give you the blow by blow over a beer when we get home. In the meantime, we are in the best spot.


    • We haven’t camped at Picacho yet, and it’s not really on the list. Once you do the big hike, there doesn’t seem to be much else nearby. Maybe Casa Grande has things to offer? Three days posthike, my quads are still screaming. Must be getting old.

      We rant about generators all the time. Can’t remember where it was, but one CG we stayed in on this trip had an Absolutely No Generators sign. Love that! At Big Bend, they have sections of the campground where generators are not allowed. Seems reasonable to me.


      • That was what we thought about Picacho, the campground was great (wide spots with electrical hook ups, clean showers, and beautiful sunrises and sunsets, but there just wasn’t that much around for day trips. It is a good place though for passing through and spending a night.

        Liked by 1 person

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