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Trapper Cabin

Spring in the puckerbrush

Spring in the puckerbrush

Been talkin’ to somebody about the ins and outs of gate guarding south of the Burrito Border and when the subject of suitable RVs came up I said “think about a trapper’s cabin on wheels.”  Ya think maybe I been watchin’ too many Alaska reality shows on NatGeo?  Y’all know I am a fool  for that DISH TV and a hunnert movie channels. But you know when I look around the NO Princess Palace,  it sure reminds me of that.  I am not saying you can’t come down here in your RV-mahal diesel motor coach and not get by but then again, why would you?  I think the real answer lies somewhere between the decrepit  FEMA trailer that would have been better left in that GOV camp in Louisiana and a half mil $$ Prevost.  Gate guarding is evolving and the increasing use of 12 hr shift guard shacks  might make that Prevost more suitable.  Parking in an RV park and commuting to your shift somewhere down a remote caliche rock road does make more sense than driving your RV down that same same road.

When it comes right down to it you have to survive the environment first and then worry about being front and center when a truck hits the gate.  For instance…..  I often recommend 2 rooftop ACs if you are planning on enduring a summer in South Texas.  The Palace has one 15k btu rooftop recently replaced and a window shaker in the bedroom – it ain’t enough.   I haven’t slept in the bedroom since August since I can’t drag my dead ass up to get to the gate if I do but the little 5k btu AC does help. The first step to cooled air is removing the moisture in the air and the little unit contributes to that.  So if you are runnin’ all the BTUs you can muster and you still sweat, what is left?

Infrastop radiant barrier on my picture window

Infrastop radiant barrier on my picture window

If your RV is broadside to the evening sun like The Palace is, the answer is pretty obvious when you feel that afternoon heat radiating off the windows and walls. You have to block it out and the best way of doing that is a radiant barrier.  I swear by the InfraStop Double Bubble Reflective Foil Insulation. It falls in the same category as EternaBond white tapeDon’t leave home without it. I did – leaving a good roll of Infrastop behind at the Secret Hideout.  I paid the dumbass penalty and ordered up another roll from Amazon.  Covering the big window, the kitchen window over the sink,the window on the door and the skylights has reduced inside temps by 5-7 degrees. For those of you who have the luxury of sleeping in the bedroom of your RV, it does a good job on all the windows in there by blocking out most of the light in addition to the heat.  It does look like a cave inside The Palace now but I prefer cool over a scenic view.

Another pearl of gate guarding wisdom discussed was the ability to be reasonably handy and have enough goods on hand to effect simple repairs.  You can’t pull off the gate to go get an AC replaced and if you are like me,  a Mobil RV repair fella is just too damned expensive.  They wanted $400 to come out and remove and replace my rooftop unit.  I took that saved money and added it to the bowling ball fund.

Busted up light

Busted up light

Someway, some how, I cracked the glass shade on the dinette light.  I figgered I could google fu me another shade pretty easy but that ain’t happening. As a matter of fact, finding any RV ceiling fixture besides the generic two light  plastic is just plain troublesome.  I finally found one I liked on Amazon and it was LED to boot so I ordered it up quick.

Maybe too quick–  When it came in I discovered it did not have an on/off switch and it was just my oversight which resulted in the misstep. (Here is the same one, with the switch.)  Not having a switch was not going to work and returning it wasn’t an option either.

I removed the switch from the old fixture and drilled and wired it in to the new fixture. Good thing I had the tools to rig that up, huh?   I really like the new light. It does not collect dead gnats like the old one. It is brighter while running cooler and  more energy efficient. I dig it.

New light at work

New light at work

Just another thought about that trapper cabin motif……  I am running solo down here in the puckerbrush if you don’t count the pup and blog reader and good friend Vince commented the other week:

“Andy, I’m thinking you need another sage hen to help you out around there. Don’t need to know how  to cook, just know how to drive and not wander too far off the shopping list. hehehehe oh, and doesn’t like beer or whiskey. BWAAHAAHAA. Gotta be a looker though. Enough ugly running in the brush.”

You reckon Vince likes pokin’ at me?  Uh huh, I been studyin’ on Vince’s comment and determined the Trapper Cabin thing probably wouldn’t fly too good with “another sage hen”  because the first thing ya know they are nestin’ up.  Little shelves with knickknacks and geegaws on them, frilly ruffles around the bottom of the bed and bar soap in the bathroom you can’t use unless you are company.   I would have the devil of a time livin’ like that.   Just sayin’………..

**********************************

How can a pup sleep like that?

How can a pup sleep like that?

Dogs is funny. Vela Von is 7 months old now and just about the time I think I got her green broke she up and does something like leaping effortlessly and nipping me hard on my shoulder.  I am 5’11”.  WTF is up with that, hound?  A pup is still a pup I reckon and they tell me these dogs don’t reach maturity until they are about two years old.  Some basic cipherin’ tells me I still got a ways to go.  I go on about her but the fact is the good times far outweigh the moments when she thinks she lives in Crazy Town.  She has been sportin’ that e-collar for six weeks now and I do not know what I would do without it.  Working dogs have a huge amount of drive or they would not be worth a damn. Purists divide it up into prey drive and food drive and I don’t no what else drive but me;  I just know she has a buttload of energy that has to be focused and harnessed or she will just be a plain ol’ wild dog. The e-collar forces her to focus, sometimes she don’t like it worth a damn and she will let me know.  I have never had a dog that will fuss back at you if they are pissed.  This one does it plenty.

Dammit, Outside NOW fatman!

Dammit, Outside NOW fatman!

My intention when I decided I wanted a GSD was to train an edgy one.  I did not want one that peed in the floor when it thundered or run the other way when a sounder of wild hog crossed the road in front of them.  All I got to say is be careful what you wish for.  Vela Von is all teeth and muscle and eats twiced what I think is necessary.  If I get slack and inattentive on the leash, she has almost pulled me over when she runs out to the limit.  You dang sure don’t lollygag around these dogs!  The only thing that seems to bother her in the least is when we are walking full on into a stiff breeze.  I guess those ears act like wind scoops or something but I can tell you if she had her druthers we would be travelin’ downwind at all times.

Back when I was grievin’ over the loss of Tuco the Dog I knew I had to find another one to fill that void in my heart. It wasn’t optional.  Vela Von is filling the void handily – in ways I never imagined.  Trust me, that is a good thing.  A very good thing.

 

End Note: Big City Blues by Charlie Robison from the Good Times cd. Bonus because it was recorded live at Floore’s Country Store.

“My daddy was a no count, bull riding sonofabitch; that’s what my momma said.” Heh

 

 

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Rating: +15 (from 17 votes)
Trapper Cabin, 9.9 out of 10 based on 15 ratings
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3 comments to Trapper Cabin

  • Byron Eckhart

    Andy,

    Messed up on my thumbs up vote. Dam little iPad screen plus my big index finger didn’t synchronize and accidentally hit that thumbs down by mistake. Hope you can take care of that. I tried punching the thumbs up but seems like my error is sealed.

    Anyway, really liked the read and got to thinking, “What would ole Augustus do?” Well he would do exactly what he wanted and wouldn’t listen to Woodrow one bit. Now you know there are plenty of hands down there that probably know a maid that needs work. Every so often you could have one come out and tidy up the place. Just a thought!

    Take care sir. I am really understanding that bond developing with Vela Von. She is definitely a good decision and hope you have many years of trusted friendship.

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    • Andy

      Don’t sweat the vote thing Byron.

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  • vince

    Morn’n Andy,

    My dad was a gov’ment trapper in the 50’s and 60’s. The house we lived in up in Old Harris, Ca., is now a landmark known as The Ole Trappers Cabin.
    Went to school in Old Harris. One room, 21 students 1st thru the 8th. I was the only boy in the 8th grade. 2 girls. Like to go back there and see
    how it’s changed.

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