Driving From Montana to Arizona in FOUR DAYS Pulling an Rv. I’m Crazy

My Migration South out of the snow was long overdue.  I had enough of frozen water lines and installing snow chains on my tires. Unfortunately, my rig is not made for the snow, but I sure did love living in the snow.

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I found a window of time where the roads were pretty clear and we (The Girls and I) packed up and headed out. The plan was to explore Arizona and SoCal and then I would mosey back up North as it warmed. Still, I refuse to call myself a snowbird. Aren’t I too young for that?

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Above explains how I feel about the snow. I am going to miss it.

Day 1

Today was pretty easy as far as the drive. No snow, no freezing stuff on the roads. Well, except for late that evening I came across fog and dry snow flying across the road which made it virtually impossible to see any lines. It was pretty short-lived but got a little tense. Still, the views were outstanding as I left Montana and entered Idaho.

 

Can’t beat the view!

 

This looks MUCH better in person. And, this was taken ‘off course’. If you know me, you know what I am talking about. Dangit.

 

I found a Flying J in Idaho to stay the night. It was shower time, and I took advantage of the Flying J $12 shower for as long as I wanted. Their water pressure is SUPREME and their showers are quite spacious.

Really, as far as a shower experience goes, it doesn’t get much better. It’s better than most hotels I have showered in! Kudos to Flying J. A good shower is a luxury only a full-time RV’er can truly appreciate.

While I am traveling to any given destination, I much prefer staying at a truck stop as opposed to going through the trouble of finding a campground, (or a hotel- they would have to take dogs, of course) checking in, searching for your site, paying, likely having to back into it in the site in the dark, etc. Why not just pull into a truck stop or a Wal-Mart and park? It’s well lit, public and they are usually well plowed in the northern areas. Additionally, you don’t have to back up. (A pain when pulling an Rv.)

Day 2
On this day, Gizmo decided to see how many different places and positions she could find to sleep, mostly on my body. This kept me entertained for most of the drive.



  
  

Night two- Flying J in Beaver, Utah! No shower tonight. I was too tired and just wanted to sleep. My rig looked like a miniature toy next to the big rigs.


Looking back, I probably should not have parked where the big trucks go. I can park somewhere else that won’t take up one of their spaces. We don’t need a Trucker/RV war started for goodness sake. I don’t  think I will park in a big rig spot ever again.

Also- You sure can get a purse with some bling on it at these gas stations. Like, do you need a purse? You want it to draw attention to you? Shop at a gas station.

 

I’m thinking…..noooooooooo.

In the morning, a gas station tire store attendant mentioned that my tires looked low on the Rv as I was fueling up. I checked and he was right. I was low all around, truck and trailer! Not good. The colder temperatures and higher elevations can make this happen. So they filled me up all around and I got to meet the sweetest black Lab while they were doing so. Look at that face!


I tipped the guy for his time and for possibly saving me from a blowout. With plumped up tires, we ventured on…

Later this day I filled my propane at a gas station. Then this happened (photo below). I opened the ‘shower’ to see if I still had a key for it. I did. Then it wouldn’t lock back up. So I guess now I don’t have a key for it. You’d be surprised how much can go wrong with a small 24-foot travel trailer in 8 short months.

Day 3

I was cruising along highway 93 in Nevada minding my own business when suddenly I saw that I was about to cross the Hoover Dam! I got all excited until I wasn’t as excited anymore because It didn’t show up.

Finally, I looked at a map, and dangit, you don’t get to see it from the main road! Oh well, live and learn. I will check it out on my way back up North. It impounds Lake Mead, providing power to California, Nevada, and Arizona. That little tidbit is for all of you factoid nerds out there.

 

This little section of innocent looking wall is where I set my phone down and ALMOST drove off without it.

 

Day 4: Arrival day

I have arrived. Arrived at Quartzsite!

Right now I am living illegally on public land. That is, I found out that I am actually parked on long-term public land, which one needs a permit to stay on. I don’t yet have a permit.

The bummer is that I am about 100 yards from FREE public land where you can stay for 14 days at a time in a single spot. So, I have to get a permit or move. I’ve already been notified by a ranger:


I’m leaning towards the permit because I plan to live this way as much as I can. and, so I don’t have to move today.

Being on public land means you are not in a campground. You have no utilities to speak of and have to provide your own power. If you buy a long-term pass you do have access to potable water and an RV dump in the area, free of extra charge.

I have batteries, propane and a portable generator for my power needs. It’s really fun to live like this -for me it’s like I live in a mobile ‘fort’!

There is a lot of beauty in Arizona. I’m posting a few here, which you may or may not enjoy. Thank you for taking the time to read about my crazy little life, It means the world to me!


  

 

 


15 thoughts on “Driving From Montana to Arizona in FOUR DAYS Pulling an Rv. I’m Crazy

    1. Thank you Michael! The tree was actually pretty large- took a bit of back and forth to set it up so the RV filled the ‘circle’. I got a lot of great shots, but I guess the Internet is not quite as fast on my phone here because it took forever to get any of those photos to post. I even left a few out just so I could just get it published!

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  1. Awesome- enjoy reading your journal! We recently began full-timing only in a bigger rig. I like the idea that “less-is-more” so kind of envy these smaller rigs. I have visited Quartzsite, but not been able to boondock. Enjoy, it looks neat and at least you are OUT of the Snow!

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    1. Thank you first, for reading! Don’t fret about your size, now I even think I may have to go larger with my rig size. Still lots of research and decision making to be had. I love the simple life, but I’m not sure just how simple I can go yet! Time will tell!

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  2. I’m a new reader and spent a cold snowy afternoon in Indiana enjoying your adventures. I cried over your description of Glacier National Park. My partner and I have been campground hosts at Sprague Creek Campground during my summer breaks from teaching college biology for the past three years. I am so in love with the simple life style (we fixed up a 35 year old 16 foot camper) and with the west that I am retiring early after this semester to full time. I look forward to my Quartzide adventure next year. Thank you for the lovely afternoon and happy travels to you!

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  3. Hi Kelly. Just found your blog. Glad you made it south. As a solo female full-timer, I recommend staying at the Quartzsite LTVA, convenient & safe. Plus you only move when you want – not every 14 days.

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    1. Thank you for writing, Glenda- yes, I want to hadn’t got the LTVA pass, and that’s where I’m staying. For now at least! Wow, you’re in a Casita? Boy do you sure know how to pare it down! I have a 24 foot travel trailer and maybe it’s just that there’s horrible storage in this thing but I just still find I can’t find anywhere to put my things, and I don’t have much! : o
      : )

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      1. Pam- thank you for taking the time to write. It makes me so happy to hear that you were so moved by my Banff article! That’s wonderful that you’re going to get to go full time – your life will start to become a series of adventures! I’m so happy to have you following along with me on my adventure, and if you ever decide to write about your own I would love to read about it. : ) Quartzsite was really nothing until I got with the Xcapers group and finally got to meet people. It was weird coming here to meet people but really, I found myself pretty isolated here first. Encourage you to join different groups, it’s easier to meet people and you’ll make forever friends. Good luck in your endeavor! I love and appreciate any and all feedback on my blog. Feel free to chime in anytime you like, positive or constructive!

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  4. Hey Kelly! Just had some gigs to burn on my data plan (near the end of my month), so I have read all your posts from the beginning to here today. I am also a solo female traveler with a fur baby in my 40′ MH.

    I had to laugh when I heard about your stop in Beaver, UT. Number one-you are right don’t park near the big rigs (I am a former professional driver). First, you run a much higher chance of getting hit over there . Second, it is not the best thing for you to breath their exhaust all night. Those guys runs their engines (and refer engines) 24/7. Number two (pun intended 😉 – Beaver is notorious for their tire scams. I had to laugh, because I was surprised he didn’t tell you that you rig needed new tires. I used to live in Utah and locals know that this happens, even if we don’t admit it.

    Finally, as a former driver and current Rver, I am surprised you enjoy the truck stop showers so much. But since you do here’s a secret – If you get through Flagstaff (and I do mean through as that town is notoriously anti-RV – don’t even try to park in town much less overnight) stop at the Little America Truck Stop. They have a lovely driver’s lounge (yeah, you can sneak in no one will care), great laundry (while you’re watching TV on the big screen in the leather seating), and wait for it…….. amazing showers! Actually, it is the huge soaking tub with granite (? some kind of stone) surround and tiling and the crazy fluffy towels (ask for an extra one).

    Another thought for you is Passport America https://www.passportamerica.com/joins/signup (if you use my number I get an extension on my subscription [ GS-672218 ] but I would recommend it regardless). I get most of my campsites at 50% off from this membership and that is almost always $20 or less here in the southwest. I just remember you paying $12 to shower and $10 to dump at a Flying J and thinking to myself that I would have gotten electric and cable tv (and maybe internet) for that price at a PA campground. I too prefer the wild outdoors, but would rather stay at a RV park than a parking lot. Too each their own 😉

    Happy Trails,
    Mush & Teena

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    1. Hi Mush (CUTE name!) and Teena!
      Thank you for all the advice. You’re right about the campground deal, I am already a passport member. However, I still find it easier to just pull into a truck stop and park or Walmart and park them to find the campground, check in, paying the morning or pay that night, backend, hook up, etc. I tend to stay on the road all day 8+ hours. I could’ve been a truck driver! I love to drive…
      They were really nice to me about the tires. No way in hell they could’ve said I needed new tires as they are brand-new! I would have smelled shit from a mile away!
      So, if I do you park at a truck stop, I should just park somewhere in the gas station area? I’ve done that before, with little or no trouble.
      And hey, I’m honored that I was chosen to be the one that ate up the rest of your data plan! 😂

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      1. I’m taking it a lot slower than you. Teena would come unglued if we traveled for more than 3 hours in a day. She IS a pussy after all 😹

        As far as the truck stops go, most these days have a separate RV (or just two regular spaces) parking. If not park as ar from the big rigs as reasonable. Just be careful about the exhaust. It can really do a number on you.

        Hope to meet you down the road,
        Mush

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      2. Hi Mush!! Well, I have only seen a few dedicated Rv spaces at truck stops, and I primarily stay at Flying J’s, at least thus far. It would be nice if they did all have just a smallness of dedication so that newbies like myself might not make that mistake of taking a truckers spot. Maybe some of them are not large enough. But dang. I can imagine if you had to do that word there is definitely plenty of room to have a dedicated spot. And, if you ask the attendant behind the cash register, they will not tell you that you are allowed to stay there legally. At least that’s what I got from the last place I stayed at. I stayed anyway. She hinted around that I could.
        So much to learn!!! I hope to meet you down the road as well! Thank you for reading…

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