Real Life in a Casita

 

A storm moving in over the lake

A storm moving in over the lake

As our trip is winding down, Ron and I are in agreement that we are happier living in our Casita than we have ever been before in the 23 years that we’ve been married.

We love living on gorgeous lakes, in landscaped flower gardens with peacocks, and in quiet woods. We love the idea of leaving cold winters and hot summers in the rear view mirror. And we love the friendly people we meet in campgrounds.

In sad need of defrosting

In sad need of defrosting

I could be happy fulltiming in the Casita. But Ron feels that we would need a bigger rig.

At least we are beginning to look toward making it happen. First, our place needs a lot of work before we could think of selling it. We are hoping to get most of that done this summer.

And if we change our minds, the house would be nicer for us to live in after the repairs and improvements.

Anyway, it’s something fun to dream about at this point.

I had no idea the refrigerator fins were so iced.  I keep lunch meat in front and never bent down low enough to see this!

I had no idea the refrigerator fins were so iced. I keep lunch meat in front and never bent down low enough to see this!

As far as life in the real world, 4-1/2 months in humid Florida meant that we couldn’t wait until we get home to defrost our freezer. (Ron holding the door open while he tries to decide what he wants probably had something to do with it, too. 🙂 ) It also was a great opportunuty to deep clean the refrigerator.

So I got it cleaned and cooled down. Then we headed to Eufaula to restock.

Good as new -- almost.

Good as new — almost.

I was surprised at how the refrigerator warmed up after putting refrigerated meat in the freezer and lots of fresh veggies in the refrigerator. For a while it got up to 60 degrees. It’s still in the mid 40’s now but should be at 40 soon. So tomorrow I’ll probably get rid of more foods I’m not confident will be safe.

Little Sunny is doing so much better than he was as far as his anxiety attacks. We left him in the truck while we grocery shopped. He was pacing when we got back, but exhibiting none of the hysterical yipping that I was afraid of.

No pretty photos today. It’s been overcast and raining.

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23 Comments

  1. That ice really insulates the fins and keeps them from doing their job very well. When you have a lot of room temperature food to put into the refrigerator, try to stage the insertion of them. If you have something that can safely stay at room temperature for a few hours, just leave it out until the refrigerator has had the opportunity to cool down the first load without undue stress.

    Alternative storage measure: Keep produce in a cooler with purchased ice, if your refrigerator can’t make sufficient quantities. It doesn’t take much cooling if you are going to use it up in just a few days. Items like carrots and cabbage, and of course most fruits, do just fine out in the open for a while. Just try to keep them in the coolest part of your rig.

    Do you have any kind of a fan in the refrigerator to move the air around? This one:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/370591777926?_trksid=p2059210.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    is very well regarded by those on the Lazy Daze list who have used it. We have ours installed, but have not been out on a trip since the installation was completed.

    When our refrigerator went out on a trip, I managed for over a month with a big cooler and a small one. Hint: Dry ice is not good for keeping things cold. It will just freeze everything quickly, then evaporate, and you have warm food again. I’ll bet you can guess how I know this, yah?

    Virtual hugs,

    Judie

  2. I appreciate the tip about staggering the addition of food so the refrigerator can handle it better.

    I used to have a cheesy little battery powered fan but took it out. I really like the look of the one on the link. Is it wired to 12v or is it battery powered. Hard to see details on my phone. Anyway, I have it bookmarked for one of the projects on my to-do list.

    We keep bottled water and soft drinks in a cooler on the truck, so using it to prechill items or as a temporary refrigerator would be easy.

    Ha! Thanks for the dry ice tip. I didn’t know that either.

  3. Marsha

     /  March 13, 2015

    Our refrigerator in the Casita was acting up when we were in Oregon last summer, so we tried defrosting it to see if that would help. We always take a cooler along and put all the refrigerator food in the cooler and then before we put it back in we dumped some ice in a container and put it in the fridge while we were waiting for it to cool down. It really helped keep the food cold and cool the fridge down quicker.

    • Putting ice in the refrigerator to speed cooling is a great idea! Thanks, Marsha!

  4. Our little 16 ft Casita has no freezer but our cooling fins look just like yours! The fridge cools down to 8 degrees at times..we have no problem keeping meat frozen if it stays in the back on the middle shelf. We also use a cooler for drinks and all our produce.

    We will have been gone for 11 weeks as of this Sunday and, like you and Ron, we could not have been happier!

    • Lynne, I am surprised your refrigerator works as a freezer also. When I was doing van plans I had settled on a 12v freezer for meats and a cooler for everything else. It’s fun to hear from you that it would have been workable.

      There must be a gypsy gene in those of us who love roaming!

  5. Glad that you Guys have found your slice of heaven……it was a treat to ride along with you this winter…wish I could convince the Bride to try this way of life , at least for a while…take care and keep smiling…Horst sends

    • Wish you could, too, Horst. I enjoy having Ron along most of the time. 😀

      It’s nice having someone to share sunsets with.

  6. Diane (Teardropping in Paradise!)

     /  March 13, 2015

    Isn’t it fun to dream about full-timing? You will know when the time is right. Doesn’t Casita make larger trailers? Maybe that would work out for you both. Glad Sunny is doing well!

    • Yes, dreaming is a large part of the fun.

      No, Casita doesn’t make larger trailers. Escape and Oliver do, but they also have a bigger price tag.

      Little Sunny is a joy. We will have to get a stroller for him so we can take him on walks. 🙂

  7. Going fulltime would be such a huge decision. Even if I lived in the Fireball eleven months of the year, I’d still like to have my home and community. Really miss my neighbors after being gone for a few months. Of course, those warm, fuzzy feelings can evaporate if we get hone to find snow and ice damage to the house again this year!

    It’s been nice reading along with you this winter. Its obvious that this was a good plan for you.

    • Judy, we would eventually buy a small, easily maintained place in Florida near family as a home base. It’s living so far from them that’s hard for me.

      I’m glad we had this time to find out how we would do this long in a tiny rig. I didn’t expect Ron and I to get along so well in such tight quarters. That was an important discovery, too.

  8. Gene Masse

     /  March 13, 2015

    If you want bigger and want to stay with a fiberglass unit check out the 19′ 5th wheel Scamp. There are also a couple other brands that are also bigger. Of course going bigger will likely mean a different towing vehicle too.
    Another option to the cooler situation is a portable electric cooler. Here are tow possible unit you can check out. I have both.
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Coleman-40-Quart-PowerChill-Thermoelectric-Cooler-with-Power-Cord-Black-Silver/21156022

    http://www.adventurerv.net/dometic-coolfreeze-portable-refrigerator-freezers-cf40-p-1226.html?gclid=CKv2uMu1pcQCFW0V7Aodo2YA-Q&utm_campaign=partsfeed_ppc&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=Froogle
    I got my freezer on Ebay cheaper.
    I live in a small town so when I go to a bigger city and want to get frozen food it comes in handy when not camping too.

    • Gene, I apologize for the delay in answering. For some reason, your comment was held for moderation and I didn’t see it.

      Thanks for the info on the electric cooler. I like the idea of not having to buy ice.

      We really wanted a Scamp 5th wheel, but decided we would take whatever used unit came along. I almost bought a Scamp 16, but it was terribly oxidized and I didn’t know bout PoliGlow then.

      Our Casita showed up on Craigslist 25 miles from our home, so that’s how we ended up with a Casita.

      Now that we have it, I love the big windows so much, it would be hard to give them up.

      I think we’ll start out in this rig if we do fulltime, but keep our eyes open for a replacement. If I could find a deluxe Scamp 19, I’d grab it in a heartbeat!

      Thanks for commenting. It’s been a long time since I’ve heard from you!

  9. lovely thoughts about why you love living in your Casita, thanks

    • We can live in gorgeous places that we could never afford to buy. We consider them ours while we are there, having paid for that privilege. It’s a beautiful feeling!

  10. Great tips, Judie. Thanks for the reminder to check my fridge.

  11. My laptop is in the hospital and I have tried to type a comment on my tablet and somehow it didn’t go through so I am now trying on Mike’s old old Sony laptop. Here goes! I am so excited and happy you guys have found your niche!! How wonderful!!! It’s interesting because Mike and I have been throwing around the idea of full-timing again. We look around and with Stephen married and living elsewhere we wonder what we actually have to keep us here. I am not sure of the size of the Casita for full-timing but there are more and more folks doing it in a Casita. I think we might try an extended outing to see how it unfolds. The thing I like about the size of the Casita is where you can go and camp in it. We could never get in some of the fantastic sites in our Dutch Star and of course the fuel cost were out of this world.
    I am just so excited for you guys!! Thank you so much for allowing us to travel along on this latest journey of yours.
    So glad to hear Sonny is doing better!! Bless his heart!! Our Casey (18 yr old Shih Tzu) had another mild stroke on Sunday. I (we) aren’t sure how much longer she has with us. She has recovered pretty good but her eyesight is totally gone and her dementia is a tad worse. She is not in any pain and still enjoys eating, drinking, sleeping and going potty outside. We’ll see…….
    Take care and safe travels!!

    • Gerri, my laptop is dead and I an pecking out text in slow motion. I tried using Ron’s (that used to be mine) and it just felt too huge and too foreign after getting used to the small Asus.

      Your looking around and wondering what is keeping you there resonates with me. As I see it, the house owns us and demands our time and money for its upkeep. I’d much rather put our money into a way of life that we love. That would include a small home base in Florida eventually probably.

      We do love the freedom to camp almost anywhere in the small trailer.

      Thanks for being excited for us!

      Poor Casey. As long as they can love us and feel our love, and eat, drink, pee and poop, their little lives are worthwhile.

  12. Those are my feelings exactly….Mike’s laptop is sooooo much bigger than mine and slow as everything. I just heard my laptop was ready so I should be up and running soon. I sure have missed it!!
    I know what you mean…if someone had asked me Sunday if Casey would be with us today I would have said no. She is a fighter and as long as she is fighting I suppose we’ll fight with her. We know she is at the end of her life so we will take care of her until….

    Take care !!

  13. Why am I not surprised to read about your possibly going full time. You sure had a good test with the time you have been gone this winter and knowing you can live together in 16′. Now to get the house ready. I know you have been following me on all my missed out trailers but I’m sure you noticed the repairs going on at the house. I’ll keep looking for something better than the last camper while I continue to work on the house. But the tug of not having a forever place kind of sticks in the mind too. Your thoughts of a small home in FL. sounds like a good plan.

    • Yes, I have watched your search for the right rig. I hope with all my heart that you can find one that’s just right this year.

      It’s funny that no matter how much we love to roam, most of us do need a home base.

      I’m glad you are getting your house repairs done. It’s a good feeling. 🙂

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