Honey, we shrunk the RV!

What a strange month this is turning out to be.  We hope everyone is staying safe, washing their hands often, and taking COVID-19 seriously.

Our goal this year was to lose weight.  On March 3, we accomplished that goal, shedding over 12,000 pounds!  We were up at 6 am to drive to Avondale, Arizona, to drop off our beloved 5th wheel, a 2014 Heartland Landmark, and then pick up our new home, a 2008 Host Everest camper, from Tom’s Camperland in Mesa, Arizona.  It was a very long day, and we did not arrive back in Yuma until 10 pm.  But everything went well, and we had a good experience with the staff at Tom’s Camperland.

We went from 40 feet of living space, to 11 feet!  It has been a bit of an adjustment.  Here’s the final view of our 5th wheel when we dropped it off at the dealership.




And the first photo of us with our “new home.”


The next day, March 4, we began the process of moving our stuff back in!


The above photo shows the stuff we are keeping.  We have a number of bins full of stuff that we are keeping, but not taking with us to Alaska (more on that later).  Thankfully, our friends Dave and Marilyn, who live here in Yuma, have offered us the use of their shed to store some of our stuff.  They figure this way we have to come back to Yuma someday to pick up our stuff!  Our friends Bob, Tom and Ellen let us temporarily store our food in their refrigerators.

We have made great progress, and this was our view yesterday, March 17.  The two big chairs will be going to Dave and Marilyn’s when we leave, as well as our grill.


Here’s some interior and exterior photos of our new home, that we took at the dealership.  Once we get a little more settled in, I can take some more photos of how it looks with our stuff.

The camper has three slides.  This view shows the propane, batteries, and a slide-out tray for storage.  It also has a 2500 watt generator, and a 150 watt solar panel, to keep the batteries charged.


Having three slides, very unusual for a 2008 model, makes the interior feel less cramped.  It has a side entry door and the couch and u-shaped dinette both fold into beds.



It has a small kitchen, but the two drawers below the stove are very deep.


I was pretty adamant about having a “dry bath” not a wet bath, which provides a separate shower.


The bed is a full queen, but the way it’s oriented, means you have exactly 60 inches of width.  I’ve bumped into the wall on the right a few times.  Sometimes Dan keeps the closet door (the mirrored doors) open when he sleeps, so he has a little more elbow room.  There is an emergency escape hatch on the roof above the bed.  It’s pretty easy to open and get out if necessary.   Hopefully we will never need to use it!


The only modification we have made so far is changing out the old 25 pound 19-inch television, to a 28 inch 7 pound LED-TV. We did this to not only get a better quality picture, but also so we could hook up our channel master DVR which needs to use a HDMI cable.


COVID-19 has certainly created a lot of changes here at Westwind RV.  The majority of the residents here are from Canada, and they have made a rapid mass exodus over the past 10 days.  Normally people start departing around the third week of March, but with all the uncertainty, many have left early.  With Canada shutting it’s border down, and a mandatory 14 day quarantine for anyone returning to Canada, the park has rapidly emptied out.  We wish all of our Canadian friends very safe travels home.   There are a lot of folks from Washington and Oregon here.  They are in no hurry to leave!

Next week we are supposed to have a Westwind work camper appreciation dinner with the owner of the park, and new managers.  Who knows if they will still have this large gathering?  Although there have not yet been any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Yuma County, Imperial County just to the West of us, in California, has had several confirmed cases.  And with testing finally ramping up, who knows what things will look like next week.

For the past several months, the golf course has been holding 50/50 raffles at the dances, as well as a raffle and golf outing, to raise money for Shriner’s Children’s Hospital.  This is an annual event, and this year, over $6,600 was raised, a record amount!  Here is a photo of our golf course pro shop staff with the local Shriner’s donating the check.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun as well.

Art, Terry, Jonell, Debbie, Henry, Dan and Yuma Shriner’s


The reason we downsized to a camper was for our trip to Alaska.  As of now, we still plan on going.  Our plan was to cross into Canada on May 18.  Today, they closed the border in Canada to US Citizens.  A lot can happen in two months, and it is certainly going to get worse as the number of confirmed cases rapidly increases each day.  We have not made a plan B yet for the summer.  We feel fortunate to have our health, our families are safe, and if we can’t go this summer, so be it.  It’s better to stay safe.

Our friends Tom and Ellen were planning on going to work in Skagway Alaska for the summer, but that has been cancelled.  Skagway is a major port for the cruise ships.  And since the ships are not allowed to dock in Canada until July at the earliest, they stores would not have any customers until late in the summer.  They are currently looking for new summer jobs.  If you need two hardworking work campers, let me know.

Now go wash your hands!

Quote of the Day:  “Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.” – Doug Larson


14 thoughts on “Honey, we shrunk the RV!

  1. If you are just passing through the Canadian Border Services should let you pass through. Call ahead and you might not have to cancel your trip.
    Be Safe and Enjoy the Lifestyle.

    It’s about time.

    • Thanks Richard! With 2 months to go, we agree it’s way too soon to worry about things. With this lifestyle we have a lot of flexibility. We will certainly call before we go. Take care


  2. HI !! Wow…I love the new camper, it looks like it’s in great shape!! Hard to believe it’s a 2008!! . I trust it’s a 4 season for those cold nights in Alaska.? Our Son will be working in Juneau again this year (God willing) so for sure hook up with him while your there. I”ll give you details as we all learn them in a few months. Not sure what the cruise ships are doing for Juneau yet. But there is so many wonderful things to do in Juneau, lots of hidden gems! . We are all hunkered down in Wi, practicing social distancing and keeping safe. Being home bound gives Dan and I more time to downsize without any distractions. Stay safe my friend and let’s pray this virus passes quickly without harm to anyone else.
    Dan and Nancy

    • We are glad to hear everything seems to being going well for you back in the Badger state. Hopefully we will be seeing both of you in the not too distant future!

      Sent from my iPad


  3. Dan and Jonell,
    I really like your new setup. It is about the size that I will want when I eventually get back to the states. My plans for Eastern Europe are indefinitely on hold, and I can’t really fly to anywhere else either. I have been in Mexico for about nine months and am currently in Puerto Vallarta, where it looks like I will be staying for a while. I have been in contact with friends at the Jeffersonville Fulfillment Center where it was announced that they would be allowed to go into negative UPT until the end of March. No infections yet, other than New York.
    Take care, Jim Shubin

  4. Wow your new rig is definitely bigger than expected. You are very brave but smart to downsize. Hope all works out for you. We are also on hold with class reunion(Indiana) in June cancelled and probably will hear soon about the wedding in May being cancelled as the bride and groom now live in Australia!! Still planning to do the Canadian Maritime in late June but of course who knows. Let’s pray all of this ends soon. Take care and safe travels.

  5. Hey you guys, nice to hear from ya’ll. surprised to see the downsizing, but looks real cozy. Now, it’s just getting used to it, right ? glad you are in good health, and are being cautious. We are as well, but shopping still seems to be a bit problematic. I guess, I, as well as, some friends, were a little slow on the stocking up , of certain items. But, God willing we will all get through this test. Love & hugs to you three . Jer ________________________________

  6. Wow, a fifth wheel to a camper. Close quarters for sure! Hopefully things will calm down and Alaska can happen. We’re sticking home as much as possible especially with 2 out of the 3 of us are over 65!

    • Thanks Laurie! We are trying to be positive with things. Staying isolated in the small camper…I have rearranged things several times. Stay safe


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