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:


squire said...

You absolutely floored me with this news. Congrats on your new home. I know it will be like a PALACE to you.

Boonie said...

Forgive me, but I think this is a step DOWN for you. Step by step, you are turning it into a cargo trailer with windows, which is a great idea, but why didn't you just buy a cargo trailer (with windows) that was one size bigger than your stealth cargo trailer?

Throwing all that stuff away is wasteful. With a cargo trailer, you wouldn't have to do that.

Anyway, glad you're having fun with it.

Wandrin said...

Love the line from Thoreau. That gives me the out when I make that (eventual) major change in my RV life.

Rob said...

Changes in latitudes
Changes in attitudes
nothing remains quite the same
-Jimmy Buffet

Ty said...

What about the whole stealth thing that the trailer was so good for Randy? Maybe you could expand on this a bit. My guess is that you're parking 98% of the time in areas where stealth is not an issue. I do agree that change is good.
Best wishes!

Wayne (Wirs) said...

Wow! A game changer. When I met up with you last August, I suspected you were about ready for a more "sociable" habitat. I know that was a tough decision. Looking forward to your "adapting to my new worldview" posts. :)

Rojo said...

I just left you a sugar doll award.

go to above to pick up your award. pass it along if you would like. I got mine from Froggi Donna


Desert Diva said...

I WANT the awning! Seriously! Do you think it would fit on my Toyota Dolphin? If so, let's make a deal... Love your new digs!

Randy said...

Thanks all for your comments, and congratulations. So far, I'm enjoying my new accomodations though I must protest that I'm not dramatically more comfortable--the Stealth trailer seemed perfect for one. My motivation for the change is somewhat unclear even to me. On a few occasions I felt a twinge of shame and inadequacy at the humbleness of my accomodations--especially when in courting mode. On other occasions I crowed like Chanticleer about the wisdom and efficiency of it. Anyway, I move on. To Ty I say---you're right-- all my stealthy innovations were only rarely used--perhaps never really necessary. I estimate that about 20 nights it cloaked me effectively. I still celebrate it's lightness and ease of towing--I think a high mileage car could tow it successfully. And to you Desert Diva--hurry back--we miss you--and yes I think we could deal for the awning. But Have you not discovered yet that awnings are just a pain in the ass---why not just sit on the shady side of your rig. Randy

dixonge said...

21 whole feet huh? That's just crazy talk! I'm surprised you didn't upgrade to a HDT to haul that huge thing.....

Wimmin - do it to ya every time...

Did Thoreau say anything about selling out?