Saturday, February 27, 2010


HOLDING ON OR LETTING GO-----KODGER KING AT THE KROSSROADS---DECIDES TO SELL -----RESISTING THE HOARDING INSTINCT----PUTTING "STUFF" BACK IN CIRCULATION. Switching rigs has been agonizing for me---and revealing---part of me wants to hang on to it--still be perfect for long trips--like Alaska.----And what if I'm not happy with the larger rig?--I could hedge my bet by just putting it in storage. yadda---yadda---yadda. Finally, this morning, I gained clarity---a voice inside said:LET IT GO RANDY! Then I yammered about how much to ask-----A call to the dealer I bought it from (ph 888-657-4910) said it was worth $3,000 to $3,500 as a cargo trailer---so that's what I'll ask--never mind my work and the goodies inside. But I will only sell it to someone who wants to camp in it and with the understanding that they (at least yearly) tell me its travel story. I know I will miss it's splendid sufficiency and simplicity.
A buyer will have to come to Quartzsite, Az to get it. The following pictures show what is inside and on top. A few details may be helpful--Featherlite is considered by most as the premier trailer because it is far lighter than steel frame versions--a difference of 500 pounds. Empty, it weighs only 1200 pounds---fully loaded with my stuff, it weighed 2,500 pounds but can handle a thousand additional pounds---has torsion axels---6 foot headroom and 6 foot 3 inches inside-width.

These rear doors were my joy--they have opened on a world of wonder.

I've left two solar panels on it---removed the rest for my new rig. The ladders are hinged supports for additional panels. Note the two large hatches for light and ventilation (18x24 inches) Also left in place is the wiring. If you look carefully you can see the spring tension system which allows the hatches 360 degree opening.

My friends know that I carried 60 shirts in this closet---my new one can only handle 30.don't know what I'll do with the surplus.

This is the couch/bed in couch position---It is held couchlike by a chord which when released--

makes into this 3 foot wide bed. There is room for a 4 foot bed should you need it.

Here is the stove and sink--both stainless steel--work beautifully. Below are 4 large storage compartments containing cooking stuff, gray and white water tanks, Propane and room for 3 big batteries and a good inverter. The space beneath that seat contains water and food storage. All wiring has been left substantially intact.

Here's the potty---it is mounted atop a large holding tank. Below that platform is a mascerator--simply flip a switch to empty the tank via a (provided)garden hose.

A padded lid comes down to cover the potty and make a convenient seat.

Here's the 4 cu ft fridge---has served well. Thus ends the sales talk---I dearly hate selling things--so if it proves too much of a hassle, I will store it or try craigs list. Here are some final numbers about my 5 years living in it: Total cost of everything: $8,000--if sold for 3 then my cost of housing was about $5000 for 5 years---about $85 a month. It required no repairs at all--has only 2 moving parts---the wheels. (Never needed the extra wheel bearing set I carried.
Interested in carrying this experiment forward to new adventures--contact me by e-mail: or phone 602-402-9511.

Saturday, February 20, 2010



I travel in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, who as an experiment, lived two years by Walden Pond where he wrote his classic book WALDEN POND and his world-changing essay ON CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE---drawing inspiration (not imitation) from him. In 1849 he tweaked his lifestyle, leaving Walden pond to do other things. Now, I am tweaking my lifestyle---changing rigs --to go adventuring in the 21 ft travel trailer pictured below. No doubt some will chide me as they did Thoreau: " If life by the pond (in the stealth trailer)was so good, why leave it. Thoreau's answer was a classic for the ages and I borrow it for my own: " I leave for as good a reason as I came: I HAVE MANY MORE LIVES TO LEAD AND COULD NOT SPARE ANY MORE TIME FOR THIS ONE, " I have lived 4 years and 11 months in the Stealth Trailer--perhaps the happiest years of my life; thus far . I leave it while I still love it, having seen the staleness from "staying too long at the fair." I dragged both trailers to Quartzsite, Az for the dreaded changeover. "Boondockers" changing rigs are in for much work, knowing as only they do, that new rigs are merely "starter kits". Vast changes must be made to equipt them for true off-the-grid, outside-the-campground, living. Power is the bedrock issue , which means solar panels, batteries, regulator. I removed my precious 3 pack of AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries and 3 of the 5 panels atop the stealth trailer. (leaving 2 of them for the next owner) It took me 3 days of intensive work and creativity to get just that done. The TV , cell phone and internet antennas took another.

A tablefull of tools---I carry thousands of screws, bolts and assorted hardware in addition to pieces of wood etc, so that I did not have to go to the hardware store but once for an odd bolt.

Here's a typical problem---the standard tv antenna reaches too far--the solution: shorten it's support rods by 6 inches.

Two panels installed. Note that they must be engineered to rise up for winter efficiency.

Four old friends drop by to encourage my efforts---I think they sang: "He's moving on up---to the east side---He finally got a piece of the pie" Seated from left to right: Brian, Ken, Gail, Paul and myself.

Three panels up--just in time. The rainbow blesses my transition.

My first trip--to Yuma--Paradise Casino--free parking--Now I start getting rid of stuff--first to go is that table--too big and heavy(40 pounds)--took it to a thrift store. Eventually I'll remove lots of unnecessary stuff--the awning(50? pounds) and the air conditioner (100 pounds of unnecessary weight). Only Buckminister Fuller seemed to understand what a house is: A living machine. Only he, asked the question--how much does your house weigh. Some Haitians are now asking that question. The Japanese are beginning to make houses out of foam---earthquake proof.

See that thing hovering above the stove? It was next to go. Removed it as well as a clumsy barbecue--takes up too much room.

My first solo boondock--at an abandoned air base near Dateland, Az. The new rig tows like a dream--weighs about 3500 pounds loaded---only 1000 pounds heavier than the stealth trailer--seems to get 1 mpg less.

Now that I can accomodate guest, I picked up a camera shy one at the airport and took them to America's lushest desert near Ajo Az. The finest Saguaro forest outside a park.

I challenge my readers--especially those settled too comfortably in some trailer park to consider whether they have been too long at the fair and need to move on to another life. I think even good relationships have a shelf life and need to be amiably dissolved so each can get on with the adventure of their life. Often We cramp each others style. I'm already pondering new and different things to do.

As for the Stealth Trailer---I've stashed it at Quartzsite, Az untill I sell it to an appropriate person--If you are interested---e-mail me:

Monday, February 01, 2010


KODGER KING KOGITATES THE KWESTION IN QUARTZSITE ARIZONA I'm camped 7 miles from town---150 of my friends have gone on to new adventures. I take a walk in the desert considering the comment made by Rob in the previous blog. He gently urged me to be mindful that the lifestyle we mobile citizens lead is made possible by the vast majority who work to produce the goods, services and infrastructure we consume and use. He's right of course---BUT IT NEED NOT BE THAT WAY. IT IS POSSIBLE, I'M CONVINCED, FOR THE VAST MAJORITY OF US TO LIVE IN LEISURE WHILE ONLY A SMALL MINORITY WORK. WE HAVE FAILED TO ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION. I SAY WITH BUCKMINISTER FULLER: "MACHINES OUGHT TO WORK---PEOPLE OUGHT TO THINK."
I BELIEVE OUR WORKING CAREERS NEED NOT BE MORE THAN TEN YEARS. (that's how long mine was and I never made a lucrative salary) I go walking in the desert considering how to make my point.
I encounter this little fellow---moving slow.

So slow that he lets me pick him up---I stroked him---seemed to like it--then gently let him walk away. Interesting---but unhelpful---I walk on.

BINGO----Here's part of the answer---an anthill--alive and functioning even after the recent fierce rainstorm. I'll back away a few steps so you can see it in the context I saw it:

It's located in a vast bare area of only rocks and dirt. What do they eat? Whatever it is ---is very sparce. And hidden underground are 500,000 termites (on average) surviving here. THEY THRIVE BY CONSUMING VERY LITTLE RESOURCES. AND SO DO I---AND SO CAN YOU! FRENETIC GREED AND WASTE IS WHAT KEEPS AMERICANS WORKING THEIR LIVES AWAY. The nearest human equivalent of this situation is the tribes of South Africa's Kalihari desert--who work much less than we do. Come with me---I think I will show you 100,000 people who are not working---who have chosen (more or less) to live in leisure---consuming little.

Here they are--in downtown Quartzsite, Az from a postcard taken one typical January. But this is only the downtown campers. Thousands more are camped a few miles north, south, east and west of here. Only a small fraction are working and the vast majority are camping free on BLM land(government owned)----Here's a fragment of a poem I wrote celebrating this wonderful 3 months long gathering-- suggesting that it is the wave of the future--- when more and more will renounce drudgery, live frugally, experience deep freedom, increasing their chances of "finding themselves." (poem title: Hi Jolly returns to Quartzsite)......
Something grand and dear is happening here,
Hi Jolly could not have expected
The mobile domicile and a new lifestyle
In Quartzsite are being perfected.
The sprouting seed of a brand-new breed
Living simple and light and lean,
Living happy and free as wild cherokee
In cozy little living machines.
A life that is bold, with oneself in control
and clusters of friends--in affection
re-inventing the tribe --- helping revive
Our long lost natural connection.
Choosing sunlight's glow over ice and snow;
Acceptance over sorrow;
Adventurous game over riches and fame;
and today---over iffy tomorrow.

Here's downtown this morning---from the eastern overpass.

and panning right. But I've not done the place Justice for better coverage of this phenomenon see Diana's last 2 or three blogs:
A final thought: Thoreau, long ago, proved that a person can win freedom with frugality. A miserable life doing work you don't like is not necessary. Read the first chapter of WALDEN and be convinced. I did so 38 years ago and am living proof of its truth. His grand experiment was to see how little a man could work and still live satisfactorily---his answer: 6 weeks in a year. He spent the rest of the year enjoying himself---like I do. To those who cannot handle freedom, Thoreau said they should keep on working till they pay for themselves.
Obama should say this to Americans: There are millions of you who have worked long enough and you should consider retiring---downscaling your lifestyle if necessary---to make room in the workforce for others. This is the smart way to create jobs.
And when you do get a job---live smart--save money--let us end the stupidity of spending all we earn. Learn from German workers---who save more than 50% of their earnings.