Winter Break for Betsy – Tucson, AZ

After camping at Regional and State parks on the outskirts of Phoenix for several weeks we moved south to Tucson for a longer stay.  Our drill each winter is to stay in one place long enough to take care of all the maintenance and repair issues that Betsy requires.  This year the spot of choice was Tucson, surrounded by five mountain ranges and set in the middle of the stunning Sonoran Desert.

View from Wasson Peak

Tucson, looking northeast at the Santa Catalina Mountains

The Lazy Days/Tucson KOA is also surrounded by several large RV parts and service providers, some so close that Steve actually walked to them for parts!  This stop also meant camping in a park where our neighbors were just a spit away, and we had to deal with traffic, blaring train horns at night and roaring military jets flying around the area most days.  But we endured all of this for Betsy, our home on wheels!  It also turned out to be a great place to meet up with fellow bloggers for a lot of fun.

Santa Catalina Mountains

Peek-a-boo at the Santa Catalina Mountains behind us

Roaring jets

Just another A10 flying overhead – please don’t bomb us!

An upside to this campground is that we drink and cook/bake with the freshest juices you can get.  That’s because many sites have their own citrus trees, loaded with either oranges, lemons or grapefruits.  Ours has an orange tree, and the way my “harvesting” is going it’ll be plucked clean by the end of our one-month stay.  Steve keeps the ladder ready for my regular assaults on our tree!

Orange tree

These are sweet oranges!

Each day here in Tucson brings us cool mornings, sunny days and gorgeous sunsets – all of which enhanced Steve’s mood and eagerness to get on with his long list of to-do’s on Betsy. We have both rolled up our sleeves and gotten busy during the past two weeks.

First we dusted and vacuumed every nook and cranny inside, and cleaned and waxed every square inch of the outside:

We had pros do the major annual wash and wax, and Steve will maintain it throughout the year.  Betsy never looked better!

As many of our followers are well aware, a downside of living on wheels is that things can loosen, crack, fade and just not work so well over time.  Among other things, Steve serviced our toilet seals and linkage, caulked the shower pan, repainted the entryway door frame, replaced a light fixture that he broke with his head (ouch!) and many other small maintenance items.

And for those items that we’re not comfortable doing in the RV park – like air conditioner and generator maintenance – we went just a couple of miles down the road to Fisher’s RV Repair.  Many thanks to Gay and Joe of Good-times-rollin for alerting us to Jeff, who runs the shop.  We were happy with his work and got Betsy back after only a few hours.

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A freshly washed and waxed Betsy shows up for maintenance

A week later our good friends John and Pam and Dave and Sue arrived fresh from their golf stint in Naco, AZ to be our neighbors for a while.  During a happy hour, avid hiker Pam outlined some hikes we would take together – yay!  Then Steve’s ears perked up when he learned that Dave was going to help John replace his slide toppers the next day.  Perfect! Steve asked to help them, and in return they would help us replace ours since it was already on our to-do list.

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The gangs all here (well, except for the photographer)!

The following day Steve and Dave brought their ladders and tools over to John’s site and together they took on his slide topper replacement project:

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What’s this part?  I don’t know, what do you think it is Steve?  I don’t know.  John, do you know what the heck it is?

A blogger taking pictures of bloggers taking pictures of their husband

A blogger takes a picture of bloggers taking pictures of their husbands as Lewis (Dave and Sue’s cool doggie) tries to figure out what’s going on

When the hard-working crew successfully finished the project, Pam gathered everyone together and served up a healthy lunch of chicken wraps and fruits.  That red bag Pam is holding in the image above was later filled with oranges that we picked at their site.  She lent me her juicer so I could fill several containers with fresh-squeezed orange juice and freeze them for our future enjoyment.  Yum!

Orange Juice

It doesn’t get any fresher than this!

Steve’s learning experience from helping John motivated him to immediately order our new slide topper material from Tough Toppers.  As soon as it arrived he verified the measurements were correct and then removed the old toppers and cleaned up the slides for the upcoming installation.

This is a simple job, but it really needs at least a couple of people with ladders to do it without possible damage to the new material.  Betsy will be looking even better in a couple of days!

Slide Topper

Verifying correct measurements, we left the material out in the sun during the day to let it stretch and flex

While Steve was removing the old topper, he was surprised to find a mummified frog on top of the slide.  We have no idea how the poor guy got up there, he must have been a tree frog.

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R.I.P. Mr. frog…

Our first two weeks in Tucson allowed us to complete every project on Betsy, and some medical appointments. Now it’s time to focus on having fun with our friends and following as many hiking trails as possible.

A blog from southwest Arizona would be incomplete without some sunset photos, even if they were taken in a large city.  Different day, different mood, but the same palm trees sit center-stage:

Lazy Days Tucson KOA

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Next up:  Hiking with John and Pam