Friday, December 9, 2022


RV Life in a Coronavirus World: A cold beer, a sunset, and a lot of cleaning


CAVEAT: Comments, posts and/or tips in our newsletters are those of the authors and may not reflect the views of or its staff.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We have asked readers to tell us how they are adapting to life these days. Here is Dave’s story: 

How quickly plans can change. Recently retired and newly full-timers, this winter was to see us tour southeast Arizona and attend our first-ever FMCA Convention.

Well, we are currently at Desert Trails RV Park, south of Tucson, where we came for a week… over a month ago.

With the advice about no unnecessary travel and pretty much anything that you would want to see or do being shutdown, staying in place right here just seemed to make sense.

Marilyn is making great progress on digitizing her photos and albums. I have good access to desert trails with the mountain bike as well as miles and miles of roads for my road bikes.

Let me see what I can recall off the top of my head as to things that can be accomplished in a month in an RV Park with no place to go…:

• Cleaned the cabs on both the motorhome and our vehicle and got Armor All on anything that remotely needed it
• Cleaned and waxed the motorhome, the trailer and the vehicle
• Washed all of the windows (twice now)
• Cleaned the carpets
• Cleaned the leather furniture
• Cleaned and waxed all of the wood in the motorhome
• Caught up on all of the recommended appliance maintenance
• Rubber treatment on all of the tires
• Cleaned all of the wheels
• Scraped and repainted the self-leveler legs
• Took off the step, cleaned up all of the rust and repainted it
• Degreased, cleaned and repainted the hitch
• Rotated the tires on the trailer and greased the wheel bearings
• Added fittings and bought enough hose that I can now put air into all tires without unhitching

Between Amazon Prime and Walmart delivery, we are able to get anything that we need delivered right to the park.

Walmart Grocery Pickup allows us to order and pay online. At the prescribed time you just drive to Walmart, pop the rear hatch, they load the groceries and you drive away.

“I have a new-found appreciation for happy hour and keep looking for ways to make it interesting. A sunset in/on my beer just appealed to me.”

We have an adequate bathroom plus a washer and dryer in the motorhome so we don’t need to use the park facilities.

Overall, basic isolation is not an issue for us here.

We still have Friday happy hour with two or three other couples. We bring our own drinks and chairs, no food. Each couple sits together and at least 6 feet from any other couple. For the most part, everybody seems to hear everybody else.

As we are Canadian and have to return home, we are currently planning to make a run (literally) for the border later this month. Other than grabbing some sleep at the truck stops when we get fuel, we plan to drive it straight through.

My retirement was moved up a couple of years when my employer decided to voluntarily shut down operations. Fortunately, that now leaves a 5-acre site, 3 miles out of town with an office building, which still has power and water. We will cross the border with the cupboards, diesel and fresh water full and the holding tanks empty. Our plan is to go straight to the old office site and sit out our mandatory 2-week quarantine period upon returning to Canada.

For now, that is as far as the plan goes.

Dave Johnston

Your essays wanted

Here is your assignment (should you choose to accept it): Write an essay no longer than 500 words on this subject: “How I have adapted to a life in self-isolation.” Tell us what you do with your time, how you keep active physically and/or mentally, how you communicate with friends and family and other ways you occupy your time. Have you taken up a new hobby? Started writing a novel? We can’t pay for these articles right now, but you could earn a place on our staff if you impress us with your creativity. Submit your article here. Please include a photo of yourself or of something that helps illustrate your essay. We’ll post many, if not most of these every day in our RV Daily Tips Newsletter. If you’re not subscribed, sign up here.

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Tom Gutzke
2 years ago

Love the sunset photo!

Donald Nedrow
2 years ago

You took the step apart and painted. you did not say you put it back together. Ha Ha Ha

Lauren Baker
2 years ago

Rules have changed in the last week or so. You now have to file all details of your 14 day quarantine period with Border officials. They will check up on you to make sure you are keeping to you plan. If you don’t have a good plan then the tax payers will put you up in a hotel, keeping a better eye on you. This happened to a couple of my nieghbours.

2 years ago

Just curious if one of our Canadian readers wouldn’t mind a question – we’ve often heard that you cannot carry fresh veggies and/or meat in any form from the US to Canada. Is this true? I just wonder how it would be possible for our Canadian travelers to cross with enough supplies to see them through 14 days of quarantine, especially since you can’t shop once you arrive. A good support system could do some shopping for you but what if that’s not available?

Lauren Baker
2 years ago
Reply to  Goldie

yes that is true you can’t bring fresh veggies or meat into either country.

Ian Anderson
2 years ago
Reply to  Lauren Baker

Not true !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lauren Baker
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Anderson

We have had to surrender fruit and veggies on a return to Canada border crossing. The apples we had were bought in Canada, had a sticker that said BCFruit, but we were bringing them back into Canada. Friends had to surrender their fresh ground beef to US officails on their return to Canada in Feb. So yes it can happen.

mark b
2 years ago
Reply to  Goldie

Dry and canned are safest bet. Powdered eggs or pancake mix for breakfast, fancy people can make muffins. Canned tuna/chicken for lunch. Pasta/sauce, rice and instant potatoes with canned green beans & corn for two weeks. Tortilla chips and salsa for snacks.

Below is current info, although some borders have their own interpretations, and rules change with the day or season. Declare everything. You might be able to bring a turkey, but not any beef.

Ian Anderson
2 years ago
Reply to  Goldie

Until they closed the border we used to do the majority of our grocery shopping in the state of Washington (Bellingham, Costco & Freddies, Lynden, Safeway). We buy fruit, vegetables and meat and all sorts of table products with no questions asked at the border other than “How much did you spend”. A lot of items are considered necessary , milk, bread, butter etc. etc.

2 years ago
Reply to  Goldie

Goldie as predictable the answers are all over the place. Here’s a good one for ya tho. Crossing at the Coutts/Sweetgrass crossing in southern Alberta the officer asked if we had any meat or fresh veggies etc. Geri said we had just bought some famous Taber corn to take to Idaho for the kids. Where’s Taber? “About an hour north of here”. Cananda???? Yes.
We had to give that corn up. Strangely enough if it had been grown in America we’d have been alright. Talk about protectionism eh? All good fun!

Kathy Hedegard
2 years ago
Reply to  Goldie

I returned to Canada a month and was not asked about an food supplies at all. The rules do change from year to year it seems, and possibly from province to province.

2 years ago
Reply to  Goldie

We have never had a problem in the past with meat🍗, veggies🥕 and fruit🍌 from the US into Canada. 🇺🇸🇵🇪 But we cannot carry any of those items into the US from Canada. US Border people even took an orange 🍊 from us at the border. The little sticker on the orange had “Product of the USA” on it but they took it anyway. Could not understand that one!😊

2 years ago


What an eager beaver you are. Great job with all those chores you’ve done. Love the picture too. Hope you get home ok- drive safely, it’s worrysome you’ll be covering so much ground so quickly.

2 years ago

sounds like a good sensible plan Dave, not at all surprised you’re Canadian – smile – be safe, you already are sensible (and you have such a clean and well maintained rig)

Pat HS
2 years ago

DAVE JOHNSON: You may want to check out how easy it will or will not be to cross the border into Canada.

2 years ago

Dave, some comment about whether you should have headed for the border when the Prime Mistake suggested it (I did not see or hear of that dictate)
I don’t understand what difference it would make unless you folks got sick south of 49, then perhaps you would become a burden on the health system where you are. However I doubt it.

What is admirable about you still being in the states is the exchange rate. It hovers somewhere around 60 cents last I checked, So for every USD you spend it has cost you another 40 cents.

As Canadians we spend a lot of time stateside, we love the people we meet, who often welcome us with open arms. curious as hell about our politics and FREE health care (hahahah) (which I am more than happy to fill them in on).

Away from the crazy taxes (that beer in most cases three times as much in Canada, milk which I drink gallons of half the price.

When we Canadians get finished with the math, that 40 cents starts to look weak. We’re very careful with our finances and come out of a trip in America, very close to par, since in most jurisdictions Americans are not taxed to death as Canadians are.

Dave glad you folks are happy where you are, You’re not missing anything here. In the south zone of Alberta, (Lethbridge) where we reside, there have been ZERO deaths due Covid-19, and very few hospitalizations.

Safe travels.

2 years ago

Hi Dave. You mentioned about painting your tires. My tire guy told me not to use anything on the tires and I have seen others comment that it is not good for the rubber. Happy travelling from a fellow Canadian.

2 years ago

Ahahahahaaaa! Einen guten morgen euch! I see the brownshirts are up early this morning!

Littleleftie, how about improving your imperfect world before you run around telling others how to improve theirs?

And Dave Johnson, we love our Canadian cousins down here in the states. Don’t pay attention to my annoying little friend. Since this shutdown started, littleleftie has lost his Kommandant des campingplatzes job and hasn’t been able to yell at campers who didn’t pay their fees within 10 minutes of arriving at the campground. I need to get him to focus on his new job of cleaning toilets.

You take as much time as you’d like in Arizona. We appreciate you keeping our state green with your money. See you next year my friend! And thanks for visiting.

2 years ago
Reply to  Willie

Funny post.

Mike Schwab
2 years ago
Reply to  Willie

If they don’t go back in time they lose their health insurance.

2 years ago

Unless this essay was written a while ago, the writer should have returned home to Canada when directed to by the Canadian Prime Minister, mid-March. If he ignored that directive, he was very irresponsible.