Boondocking!, General info, NM, Remodel, Tiny Life, Travel, Uncategorized

Our New Rig

Well, new to us that is. 🙂 We have downsized to a 1986 Lance 900 series truck camper!

The camper is in great shape and all systems work! The only thing it doesn’t have is AC but it is wired to have an AC unit in it. At some point we will add one in.

Our 1986 Lance 900 series and 2006 GMC 2500 HD

Looking good on the GMC!


Inside is a bit dated of course. What can you expect from the 80’s? So, our mission is to totally update it and make it a bit more modern! And as we are leaving for South Carolina on July 25th we better get cracking!

What will we do for AC in the south? Well, we are just going to throw a window unit in it as a temp solution. Yeah, it will be a bit redneck-ish but better that than melting in the heat!

LOVE the counter space in the kitchen!
The fridge works great!
Large booth seating with a nice window for views
Queen size bed with lots of storage space
Full bathroom but will be using our composting toilet instead

In the next couple of weeks we will be adding solar, repainting everything and generally just giving it a really good cleaning. There are some minor repairs to make but nothing that is too difficult.

We will get as much done as we can before leaving for SC and our daughters college graduation and will finish up all the renovations when we return in August!

Our plan is to leave our little off grid cabin before the snow flies (generally October) and then hit the road for the winter!

Stay tuned for our maiden voyage. Hopefully it all goes as planned but you never know with us. 😜

Boondocking!, NM, Uncategorized

Snow Day in April!

This past week we knew we had a storm coming.  It mostly just showed rain but to be on the safe side we loaded up on propane, groceries and the like. And it’s a good thing we did!

Over the weekend we had a bit of rain and snow but it didn’t stick around and it really didn’t seem all that bad.  Then Sunday it all changed.  Around 3pm a little light snow started coming down.

A little light snow. No biggie!

And then around 5pm it really started falling.

Getting heavier!

The weather service predicted about 1-2″ of snow fall.  Boy, were they wrong!

Good morning! A good 6 inches or more and still falling!

The snow was supposed to stop by 10am.  But as of this writing at 11am it is still coming down heavy.  It’s supposed to turn to rain later in the day which will of course melt it all off and make everything a soupy, muddy mess.  As we are a mile and a half down a dirt road we will be staying put until everything dries out.  The 4 Runner can make it out if necessary but it’s better to stay put and enjoy this last (hopefully) snow storm of the season!  It really is quite beautiful and our new metal roof on the cabin is holding up well. Cheers!

Early morning light. Tons of snow!
The cabin looks so magical in the snow!  You see our wind turbine?  🙂

And the RV looks pretty damn cozy too.

Winter?? No wait, it’s spring! Hello, New Mexico! 

It’s a good thing we don’t have to be anywhere – we are pretty well snowed in for now. 🙂  We had to get up on the roof of the RV and clean off the solar panels and run the genny for a bit!  It’s always nice to have a back up system.

The road out. Not going anywhere!
Boondocking!, NM, Tiny Life, Uncategorized

Our tiny house homestead build!

We’ve been very quiet lately! We left Santa Fe back in early March and got ourselves up to our new hometown in northern New Mexico.  It was still COLD and there was still snow on the ground.  The road to our property was impossible to get through, but we were close and that’s what mattered to us.

The road to our property - a muddy mess!
The road to our property in late February – a muddy mess!

We did manage to buy ourselves a 4 wheel drive vehicle though!  We found a well maintained (older) Toyota 4 Runner and snatched it up.  It needed new tires but otherwise was in perfect shape.

Our new little Toyota 4 Runner! Perfect run around vehicle

After about a week or so of nice sunny weather our road managed to dry up and we made it to our cabin! It was nice to see that everything was still in great shape and it had handled the winter well.

Made it to the cabin after 4 months away

Our RV pad we had put in last fall looked in great shape too and we couldn’t wait to get started on our build.

RV pad on property looking west
RV pad on property looking west

Here is an update on our build.  As we are maintaining a separate blog for our Tiny House project you can read about that here:

http://offgridtinylife.com/2016/03/10/the-build-begins/

And the second installment:

http://offgridtinylife.com/2016/03/31/the-build-continues/

And yesterday (4/4), after spending a month at an RV park in town we were finally FINALLY able to get our rig up the mountain and set up on the RV pad!  The thrill of waking up this morning to the sounds of nature were beyond compare.  It is beautiful here and quiet and the wildlife abounds.

We are home! You can see the cabin on the hill behind the RV.

It is still a bit cold but nothing we can’t handle.  The solar on the RV is working like a charm!  We sure love this life.

Be sure to follow our Off Grid Tiny Life homestead blog!  We are building a tiny house cabin on 5 1/2 acres in northern New Mexico.  We are completely off grid and will still continue to travel in the RV from time to time or even do some truck camping!

Boondocking!, General info, NM, Solar, Travel

Headed south

Happy Halloween from northern New Mexico! 🙂

Well, we had grand plans of staying on our property through the winter in northern New Mexico.  We even went so far as to have a back hoe come in and build an RV pad.  But plans change and we decided to head to Arizona for the winter.

RV pad going in!
RV pad going in!

Why, may you ask?  To start off, we are still in the month of October and we have already had snow and freezing temps.  While our RV is well insulated it isn’t designed for that kind of weather and it’s only going to get worse before it gets better.  We came to the conclusion that we had better be safe than sorry.

Snow at the RV park on October 20, 2015!!
Snow at the RV park on October 20, 2015!!

We have decided to head down to the LTVA area in Quartzsite and will stay there until it thaws out again out our place and possibly explore some other areas as well.  Next year once the cabin is done and we have a wood stove then we can stay through the winter if we want.  But, the really fortunate part of being a full time RVer is that we can go where the weather is mild and not worry about things like frozen water lines.

Chama, NM on October 22, 2015.  Gonna be a hard winter!
Chama, NM on October 22, 2015. Gonna be a hard winter!

The weather people are predicting a really hard winter here this year and frankly we are just not equipped to deal with it.  So we are erring on the side of caution and keeping ourselves safe. 🙂  We will really miss our property and our little community we have met here but there is always next year!

RV pad on property looking west
RV pad on property looking west

So our next post will come to you from the warmth of Arizona!  We will enjoy warm days and cool nights and hopefully meet up with a bunch of other full time RVer’s and have a great winter.  All in all a smart decision.  Until next year, New Mexico!  We will miss these glorious sunsets at our place but I’m sure we will see many more that are just as wonderful in Arizona!

Riding into the sunset only to return next spring!
Riding into the sunset only to return next spring!
Boondocking!, General info, NM, Travel, Uncategorized

Catching up

It’s been a crazy 6 weeks!  We left Mammoth Lakes, CA and headed to Albuquerque, NM.  The intention was to catch up with some errands, do some shopping, meet up with Mark’s friend and then hit the Balloon Fiesta.

That’s when it all went south.

On our drive into Albuquerque, the transmission on the truck went out.  As we were towing the trailer up some steep grades into the city.

Fortunately we were able to limp our way into town and get set up in an RV park before the truck gave up the ghost. We were just thankful we didn’t get stuck on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere.

City of Albuquerque
City of Albuquerque

We started to notice the tranny was shifting really hard going up the last few grades.  With Mark being a mechanic I could tell by the “oh shit” look on his face that it wasn’t good.

Now granted, the truck has 97,000 miles on it. The people who owned it before us also towed a travel trailer.  So it’s not really surprising the tranny decided to put up a protest.  I mean, it’s worked pretty hard all its life!

Fortunately we were able to find a fantastic tranny shop in ABQ. If you are ever there and are in need of even a tranny service, Mikes Transmission is the place to go. The owner (Mike) is a good and HONEST mechanic. He is busy tho. It took 3 days before we could drop off the truck and then it was another 5 days before we got the truck back. Granted, that was over the weekend and he to order the transmission. So really it wasn’t too long.  But being without our truck wasn’t fun.

Mike of Mike's Transmission
Mike of Mike’s Transmission

We ended up going with a new tranny (not rebuilt) with a 3 year/100,000 mile warranty through GM. Considering we hope to have this truck for at least that long we figured it was the way to go.

So where are we now? Weren’t we supposed to be in ABQ for the Balloon Fiesta?  Where are all the balloon pics?  Well that WAS the plan. But we decided we needed a break from ABQ. The RV park we stayed at really sucked. It was right on the freeway and it was loud and noisy.  And with my anxiety issues I was just DONE with city life.  So we headed up to Chama, NM for a week or so. Talk about peace and quiet!

The Chama River, Chama, NM
The Chama River, Chama, NM

Our plans were to go back to Albuquerque for the Balloon Fiesta but then something happened in Chama.  We fell in love!!  With the town, with the scenery and with the people.  We just felt at home!  So, we looked around for a piece of land to call our own and within 5 days we were property owners!  We bought 5.5 acres with a little (unfinished) cabin.  With all that going on we never did make it back to ABQ but the good thing is the Balloon Fiesta will be there next year.

Here is a preview of our little tiny cabin and land:

Little cabin in New Mexico
Little cabin in New Mexico
Our 5.5 acres of rolling hills
Our 5.5 acres of rolling hills
Cheers!! This is our glorious view!
Cheers!! This is our glorious view!

So what’s the plan, you may ask?  Well, we’ve got a lot on our plate as you can imagine.  Our goal is to eventually off grid homestead this little piece of dirt.  Before winter sets in (it snows here!!) we’ve got to get the RV pad done on the property.  We’ve been delayed because of weather and our trip to Texas for the State Fair (post on that soon!) but we are hoping to have it finished in the next couple of weeks.  We are currently staying in town at the only RV Park that stays open through the winter.  I hope we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew by staying around.  It’s already snowed here (today, in fact) and it’s only October 21!  Thankfully it didn’t stay around long.

So does that mean we are finished being full time RVer’s?  Nope, not at all!  It just means we have a game plan for our future!  We will be taking trips over the winter while we are working on the cabin and land (hopefully, if we don’t get snowed in here!!) and we have plans to visit Mark’s family in southern California for Thanksgiving.  But for now it’s time to work on projects, get some work done on my businesses and just be homebodies!  🙂

We hope you will stick with us and follow our adventures!