Saturday, November 18, 2017

New Starter, New Stove, New Sites in Truth or Consequences

Getting towed out of my parking spot behind Sun Gallery

When I wrote a week ago, I was holed up behind my art gallery in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, in Brownie, my 20-foot 1984 Lazy Daze mini-motorhome.  I needed a new starter and was scheduled to get that done on Tuesday, when my mechanic (Austin at Rio Grande Automotive in Williamsburg, NM) was available to do the work.  

I called Coach-Net, my roadside assistance provider, on Monday morning, and my tow arrived Tuesday morning as planned.  The work wasn't complete that day, though, so I had to camp out in Sun Gallery overnight.  That went fine, except I really should have read the directions for the inflatable bed first.  Somehow I managed to have it set somewhere between "inflate" and "deflate," which translated to my butt being flat on the floor at 2:30 a.m.  Next time, I'll know.

Finally back in nature!

Wednesday, I finally got out of town and was thrilled to be on Bureau of Reclamation land just south of Williamsburg.  Free camping right on the Rio Grande.  If you want locations like this, make sure you check out the Free Campsites website.  

Yesterday, I had another RV repair scheduled.  I haven't had a working oven in either of my last two mini-motorhomes, and I really like to bake.  The stove in Brownie couldn't be repaired, and, due to the cost of a new stove, I had to think really hard about how much was the ability to bake actually worth to me.  My RV mechanic (Chip Baker in Elephant Butte, NM) recommended that I check out RV salvage yards in Arizona while I was there recently.  I did so, and found out that a used stove was going to cost about $325 to $400, which sounded like too much for a used stove, to me.  

 My new Dometic stove from the scratch-and-dent RV appliance guy on eBay

Off to eBay, where I was successful in finding a scratch-and-dent seller of RV appliances.  I watched his sales for a couple of weeks before ordering one of his stoves, to make sure he always got positive reviews from buyers, which he did.  I got a brand-new stainless steel Dometic three-burner stove for about $280 and paid $50 to Chip to install it, so I came out ahead of going the RV salvage route.  The oven door has a couple of small scrapes, but nothing more than I probably would've had within six months or a year, anyway.  And the stove works beautifully!  The flames on the burners are bigger than my old stove had, and the oven is going to be a lot of fun.  I can visualize myself baking cookies in Quartzsite for my van dwelling friends during the Rubber Tramp Rendezvous in January.  

 Free camping on the Rio Grande

Yesterday was a slow day at the gallery (one $8 sale over the course of two days!), so I closed up early and went to explore another Bureau of Reclamation site.  This one isn't in the Free Campsites website.  It's at 3rd and Turtleback, on the other side of the Rio Grande, and there's room for only one small RV and maybe another car.  Beautiful site.

 My wrist tattoo, which I got just about seven years ago, on the day my divorce was final

So, it's been a little over a month now since I moved out of my large Class A motorhome and started living full-time in Brownie, with no RV park space anymore.  I have saved myself $200 in rent and perhaps $50 in utilities, and I am having the time of my life.  The freedom to choose where I want to stay each night is exactly what I needed.  I know this life wouldn't be for everyone, but it is exactly right for  me.  And Sonja.

Sonja Shop Cat supervising from a stack of seats


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