Getting Ready for Quartzsite

The big RV Show in Quartzsite starts this Sunday (Jan 22) and we’ve been doing some things to the coach to make sure we’re ready to go.

We’ve been watching some of the YouTube videos about the Quartzsite RV Show and “The Big Tent” and we’re looking forward to the event and seeing all that it has to offer.

We’re planning on dry camping just a few miles south of town on BLM land with hundreds of other Ham Radio Operators that have an area that will be used for Quartzfest 2017.  This is an official ARRL Amateur Radio Convention.

In our cars, we get so used to everything working just fine that we take it for granted that all will be “ok” when we turn that key.  It’s too easy to do that in the motor home as well.  But if something should go wrong, it could cost thousands of dollars and make for a really lousy day – especially since the coach is not only our mode of transportation, but it’s our home as well.  If it has to go in the shop for mechanical issues, we’d have to pay for a motel bill – and that’s not good.

Before we head out we always want to check the following.

  • Check the water level in the deep cycle batteries since we’ll be using those to power our; lights, fresh water pump, refrigerator, water heater, and tv.  I try to water the batteries monthly anyway even while we’re hooked up to shore power because they can boil off even while they are in “float” charge sitting here at the park
  • Check the engine oil level and radiator water level
  • Check and adjust all tire pressures (coach at 90 psi cold and the car at 30 psi cold)
  • Check the food inventory to make sure we’ve got enough in the fridge and pantry to last us a few days
  • Empty the black and gray tanks and fill the fresh water tank
  • Do a visual check of all the exterior lights (turn/brake/hazards/headlights)
  • Lower TV and radio antennas

The day is just about finished and all the above has been completed and we will be ready to head out Sunday morning.  We work here at the RV park on Fridays and Saturdays, so our plan is to leave Sunday morning, (it’s only a little over 3 hours to Quartzsite) and come back Thursday afternoon.

I’ll have plenty of pictures and video to share with you after we get back.

In the meantime, we’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog.  Do you purchase any products from Amazon?  If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below.  By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more.  We’d really appreciate your help.

Thank you,

Herb & Kathy

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

Our Adventure to Quartzsite

For over 35 years now, there has been a group of people traveling to a once barren area known as Quartzsite, Arizona. These seekers come by the thousands and are often referred to as “gypsies of the modern world”. Entering the grounds of Quartzsite is like entering another world… Back to the good old days in many ways.

But now, this town of 3800, in January of each year, grows to nearly 100,000.  People in their RV’s come from far and wide to hang out for the winter and enjoy each other’s company while visiting some of the attractions including; rock and gem shows, the worlds largest RV show, ham radio convention, and countless other venues.

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Although there are some RV parks at Quartzsite, most folks stay in “campgrounds” of sorts at BLM (Bureau of Land Management) lands.  There are berg-quartzsite22nearly 12,000 acres of open desert where one can “Boondock” for up to seven months (for a low fee of $170) or other desert sites where you can set up camp for free.

Although there are pit toilets, black water dump stations, and fresh water stations at the entrances to the BLM campgrounds, it’s easiest if the RV is self-contained to make your stay self-sufficient for a few days or more.so

We have a 70 gallon fresh water tank, 52 gallon gray and black water tanks, a pretty hefty battery bank (to power the 12 volt lights and water pump) along with both solar panels on 2016-12-19-09-21-14the roof and a 8000 watt diesel generator to recharge the batteries.  We also have a 2000 watt power inverter that will take the 12 volt dc battery and convert it to 110 volt ac power so that we can watch our TV at night and make coffee in the morning.

Our refrigerator and water heater both run on propane when we’re boondocking and 110 v shore power when we are connected in an RV park.

So Kathy and I are excited as we plan on heading to Quartzsite on Jan 22nd.  We’ll be there for three or four days and hopefully we’ll have enough food in the fridge and propane in the tank to keep us self-sufficient for that time.

We’re looking forward to being at Quartzite, we’re counting on seeing a lot of cool stuff, meeting a lot of great people, and hopefully NOT spending a lot of money at “The Big Tent” RV show.  We’ll update you with pictures as we get them.  Stay tuned.

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We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy

We didn’t know anybody in Kansas (past tense)

We really enjoyed Lazy Days RV Park near Danville, MO and I took a few extra pix to show off the wonderful artistic talents of our host Kim. Although we talked a bit when we registered and when we went back to buy ice cream bars and pick out a couple of movies to watch back in our coach, I never did ask her if she had any formal art training. At the very least Kim is one very talented person! Check out the slide show below. By the way, if you are reading this blog post directly in your email client, you may not be seeing the pictures, I suggest you click on the link at the top to open a browser window to see the photos.

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So we headed out of Danville, MO on Friday morning and I had, on Thursday night loggged on to “Boondockers Welcome“. This is a subscription site where a few thousand folks around the country (typically fellow RV’ers) offer their driveway or back yard to other RV’ers passing through. They typically offer not only a free site (for a night or two max) but also often offer electricity, water, wifi.

I looked on the map, found Roger and Jan at Randall, Kansas then sent them an email to see if their driveway was available Friday night. I received an email back in a matter of minutes!

What a pleasant stay we had. Their directions were perfect, they had us park in the circle drive right in front of the house and they offered us electric and water, but we’re self-contained and so we didn’t require either. Unexpectedly, they invited us to join them for dinner.2016-09-10-07-31-45

While Jan was finishing up dinner prep, Roger showed us around the farm. Roger was raised here and has worked the farm since a boy only with some time out serving in the U.S. Air Force in Vietnam. Roger and Jan, now retired, had operated their nearly 1800 acre grain and hog farm for years. The farm is now rented out to their son (Brent) but Roger serves as Brent’s “hand” as needed.

After our tour of the farm, we enjoyed a wonderfully prepared dinner and lively discussion with our gracious hosts. We are about the same age, but Kathy and I are just starting our RV’ing life while Roger and Jan have been to all 50 states, most of the Canadian provinces, and much of Mexico.

Our hosts live in their “earth home” that they built in the 80’s to take advantage of passive solar and the earth’s thermal mass. We said our goodnights about 8:30 and bunked down in our coach for a very nice cool and ABSOLUTELY QUIET evening of sleep.

We were up at dawn and had our coffee. Roger and Jan came out to the coach to say their goodbyes and Kathy and I headed down the road (along US-36) westward through Kansas on into Denver.

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Herb and Kathy with our new friends Jan and Roger near Randall, KS

It was a very comfortable and easy drive passing through small towns about every 45 miles or so. This is the same US-36 that runs through Delaware, OH and on through Indianapolis and ends at Denver.

Oh, and the BEST part?  Now we have FRIENDS in Kansas!

 

We’d really appreciate it if you would do us the favor of helping us continue to publish this RV / Travel / Workamping blog. Do you purchase any products from Amazon? If you do, it would be great if you’d use the link in the sidebar or one of the links below to get to Amazon … after that you can change your search. By making your Amazon purchases from our site, we will receive from Amazon a small percentage of your purchase and it doesn’t cost you any more. We’d really appreciate your help. Thank you, Herb & Kathy
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