Seekin' My World

Subaru Outback traveling, ATC Bobcat on Tacoma in the past

Carizzo Plain April 10, 2016


This was the weekend for the Wander the West get together at Carizzo Plain. I got there but couldn’t find the dispersed camp, even though I went back and forth twice. It was raining and mucky, and I just chickened out. Headed for Morro Bay instead. I hope a good time was had by all, and I look forward to the reports.

Carizzo entrance      WTW mud

I have a few mods to share. I made a campsite occupied sign out of plastic corrugated sign material. It is called Coroplast. It is lightweight and waterproof. It came with a flimsy metal stake for putting in lawns, but the Death Valley gravel wouldn’t let it penetrate. So now I just clip it to 2 one gallon water bottles. I am hoping this solves my ongoing problem with losing my site even though I paid for it. Unfortunately with a camper you take it all with you. And I don’t want to leave anything too valuable out to claim it.

sign2      sign 1
With some leftover I made two turnbuckle covers that have screening to allow air flow without bugs. It really helps when the fan is sucking out to have cooler air coming in.  I blatantly copied this but can’t for the life of me find it now. He used a picture frame and bungee cords. Mine is lighter and uses the existing slides to keep it in.

vent 1     vent 3    vent 2

I also hung a cargo net I had leftover from my Toyota Highlander from the knobs on the sliding cubbies. It corrals my shoes yet allows opening the cubbies if necessary. I copied this from Bill Harr (Bill’s version). His is first, mine is next.

billharr shoes     net 1

I also got pictures of the ironing board inside as a table, since I shared it on WTW but didn’t have a picture.

table 1

I also needed a better way to corral my step stool. I lost the carpeted area that held it with velcro when I installed the Dometic. So I made two loops through the heater vents with zip ties. That lets me use a bungee to connect around the step. I am really trying not to make any holes in my rig. Takes some creativity, but that is half the fun.

step bungie     step bungie 2

This was the first trip with the Dometic and I have to figure out how to pack it better. But I was so pleased with the way it operated. My secondary battery was a little low when I left, so it was having trouble coming down to temperature, plus I put warm drinks in instead of pre-chilled as advised. So I grabbed the ice chest just in case. But in retrospect, the ice chest rides well in the space, is velcroed down, and fits more cargo than the Action Packer I usually put staple food supplies in, so I will probably switch the ice chest to my food locker. If I pack it with interior containers, I would have the benefit of having an extra ice chest if necessary. Double win! Plus the nice flat, metal top could be cooked on if necessary due to poor weather (like this weekend).

So it was an interesting trip with some high points and some low points, but the adventure continues.


Dometic Fridge March 13, 2016

Dometic in place

So excited, I got my Dometic CF-040AC110 CoolFreeze Gray Refrigerator from Amazon, through Camper’s Paradise for $539.00. (Thanks Mom and Dad!) It was a good price and didn’t have shipping or taxes added to it. I ordered it on March 8 and it arrived on March 11. I live in a rural area that takes an extra day or two to get anything from UPS or Fedex. So I was very pleased with the delivery time. The 35 and the 40 both take up the same footprint, and since they were the same price, I went for the larger, taller unit. It is a good thing that the lid comes off, because it wouldn’t lift fully with the camper top down.

Dometic lid lift

I used footman’s loops and web strapping to secure it. For now I only put two straps on and it seems to be holding, but I will have to see what happens fully loaded and on rough roads. I may put in an L bracket on the front edge to keep it from sliding.

Dometic strap down     Dometic strap close

It sure came down to the set temperature quickly. I put the external sensor from my thermometer into the fridge to see what it was running. There is quite a difference between what the external thermometer says and the digital readout of the unit. But I will know better when I test it with real food. It is also very quiet when running, shouldn’t effect my sleep at all.

I did put two of the Crystal Geyser 1 gallon jugs in, just to see. I haven’t really got a good place to store them and I like chilled water much better than lukewarm. They fit side by side well, but I don’t think 4 would fit. Oh, look, it does! No room for anything else though. (Where are the emoticons when you need them.) Insert “grin” here.

Dometic 2 gallons     IMG_3410

I really debated where to place it. I wanted to be able to access it from the ground, so I am chancing that the heater (which is right under it, behind the step stool) won’t interfere. This also places the weight pretty far back, but we will see. The provided cord reached the 12V socket, just barely. And there is still room for my ironing board and Thermarest pad to ride back there.

Dometic cord stretch

If it hadn’t, I would have been forced to put it at the other end of the bench, putting the weight directly over the wheels. It may still end up there, but for now I am pleased. The handle also nicely solved the problem I was having of things shifting and hitting the switches for the external LED flood lights and amber porch light.

Full view     Dometic switches

I also pulled a few things out of the couch storage that I haven’t used. No reason to keep carting junk around. And it made room for two more gallons of water in front of the battery and all the kitchen stuff to be consolidated at the back end, for ground access. Adaptations based on last week’s trip.

Anyone know how to store a cast iron pan so that it doesn’t rust? I am not a cast iron newbie. I “understand” seasoning.  I’ve been using it in the house for years, but in the camper I am already having trouble.

Edit: I liked the way the water bottles fit in so I cut the top off and use them as organizers in the Dometic fridge.