Friday January 30, 2015 Two Solar Panels and an Inverter

Over night low was 54F and the high for the day was 70F. It was overcast all day, rained in the morning and sprinkled off and on all day.

After the weather settled down, I went over to Bob and Jane’s. They brought two 100 watt solar panels and a 2000 watt inverter to install. We put the Z brackets on the panels and lifted them up to the roof. Bob was on the roof, I was on the ladder and Alan and Jane were on the ground.

Bob laid them out behind the existing panels and marked the location with a marker pen. He then drilled a 1/8″ hole through the hole in the Z bracket and cleaned the area under the bracket. We then put butyl tape on each bracket and screwed them down to the roof. We then plugged in the MC4 branch connectors, one set on one of the new panels and one set on the last panel installed. We then realized we needed 8′ extension cables. We went to the “Preacher’s” solar store at the Christian Center to get the cables. He doesn’t use them, he just cuts the MC4 connectors off. We then decided to go into Yuma to Starlight Solar.

Starlight Solar didn’t have any made up, but we were able to get the 10 gauge UV resistant cable from them. We got duplex cable which worked out nicely. Windy Nation had sent along a set of connectors with each panel, so I put the ends on and we connected the panels. Doubled the current, which still wasn’t much because of the clouds.

Bob Cleaning for Solar Panels             Bob Mounting Panels

We then decided to mount the inverter. We found a nice location along the side of the battery box. We only needed 30″ of cable to connect to the batteries. Bob had bought 4′ of 2/0 cable at Lowes, but it was too stiff to allow the batteries to slide out. We went back to “Preacher’s” Solar. He did have 2/0 battery cable, but only in red and a whopping $8.50/ft. So we cut the cable and Bob forked over the $42.50. Bob had some 2/0 cable connectors, so I put a cable gland and crimped  two connectors on each 30″ length of cable. No one had a hole saw. We used a step drill and finally got the hole large enough to mount the cable glands.

Alan brought us a couple of beers.

Bobs Inverter  Inverter Mounted on Battery Box

Finally rounded up the appropriate adapters and turned on the inverter. Every thing  worked. Started sprinkling just as we finished.

Jim and Lucy took Bob and Doris in to the Arizona Market Place flea market and Alan followed in his car.  Alan stopped at Imperial Gardens Date farm on the way back and had a date shake.

Cathy made a delicious stir fry with vegetables and sausage for dinner.

Thursday January 29, 2015 Back at Imperial Dam LTVA

The low over night was 56F and the high this afternoon was 72F. It was overcast all day.

Gloria and Scott stopped by this morning to say hello. We talked to them for quite awhile. Scott looked at the Jeep charging problem and thinks there may be a fusible link causing the problem.

I took Alan on a tour of the Imperial Dam LTVA and Squaw Lake.

Squaw Lake                     Squaw Lake

Took him by the Liberry.

Liberry       The Imperial Dam “Liberry”

After we got back we had lunch and then Alan drove into Yuma so we could show him how to get along. First stop was Verizonwireless at Yuma Palms. Alan ordered a prepaid Verizonwireless Hot Spot. It will be in on Tuesday.

We then drove to the 99 Cent Only Store on 16th Street and 4th Ave. From there we drove down 4th Ave. to 32nd Street and then out towards the Foothills. We stopped at all the RV stores on 32nd Street looking for a couple of sewer parts, nobody had the 45 degree clear elbow that swivels or the new Revolution Sewer Connection Elbow.

We stopped at the Foothills Walmart and got a few things. We then stopped at OK Tire so Alan could get a price for tires on his Grand Cherokee. so far Walmart looks like the best buy by far.

We then drove US-95 back to Imperial Dam. They were still meeting at Bob and Doris’ for happy Hour. Alan and I joined them. We had a guest that reminded me a lot of my friends at happy Hour back in Buxton.

Burro Looking Me in the Eye Happy Hour Guest Looking Me in the Eye

Burro Wants My Beer  Happy Hour Guest Wants My Beer

At happy Hour we decided to have a campfire. It was a perfect night for a campfire. We sat around the campfire for more than two hours.

Campfire                       Campfire

Wednesday January 28, 2015 Imperial Dam

The over night low at Quartzsite was 49F and the high at Imperial Dam was 71F. It was mostly sunny all day.

We left Plamosa road at 11:00AM. Alan is coming with us to Imperial Dam. I stopped in Quartzsite to fill with propane at $2.29/gal. Then stopped at Plamosa South to purchase 2 week LTVA pass. Went to the dump site to dump, but after waiting 15 to 20 minutes, it was evident it was going to take a long time. Decided to dump at Imperial Dam.

Set out on US-95 south and stopped about half way at Stone Cabin. I bought Ice cream for Cathy, Alan and myself. I mentioned to Randy that he wasn’t open last year and he said he was out with a detached retina. There were several there getting hamburgers that really smelled good.

Stone Cabin        Cathy at Stone Cabin

After the ice cream we continued on. We stopped at the dump station when we got to Imperial Dam and dumped immediately. We then filled with water and headed to Ocotillo Flat. When we got there we saw that Bob & Doris, Bob & Jane, Lynn & Sandy, Dennis & his son, Bill & Lana and a new to us couple Jim & Lucy were already there. Lynn & Sandy have a dog named Oscar and Jim and Lucy have a dog named Chloe.

Alan and I got the motor homes set up and were ready for Happy Hour at 4:00PM. Happy Hour was at Jim and Lucy’s. Lucy had jalapeno jelly with cream cheese and crackers. It was really good. There was also nuts, chips and guacamole.

After Happy Hour, Alan and I, drove over to Bard to check mail. Didn’t have any yet. The Jeep quit charging again as we left for Bard.

When we got back from mail check, I set up the TV. We are now all settled in at Imperial Dam for two weeks.

 

Tuesday January 27, 2015 Fog and Entertainment

We woke up to fog. The low over night was 48F and the high today was 68F. It was mostly sunny all day.

Fog    Alan Taking Pictures in Fog

Alan and I went to the Holiday Palms RV Resort to see his friend Cliff in the swing band jam session.

Cliff      Alan’s Friend Cliff

The musicians were very good. There were about 10 vocalists and more than that with instruments. The musicians each played one solo and the vocalists two. One of the women vocalists was blind and her service dog took her up on to the stage.

Blind    Blind Vocalist & Service Dog

We spent from 1:00PM to 3:00PM at the jam session. On the way back to the motor home we stopped at the produce market. It sure isn’t as good as it was in years past.

We warmed up left overs from Sunday’s dinner at Silly Al’s and then headed to the QIA for the Laughing Bird comedy and music show. They have been together for 37 years and put on a good show. It is acoustic music and humor.

Laughing BirdTupelo & Janey Kenyon Laughing Bird

 

Monday January 26, 2015 Rain and Dug Comes from Fountain of Youth

Woke up to rain. The over night low was 48F and the high for the day was 66F. It rained off and on all day and is continuing in to the night. Total rain so far .06″.

Dug got in to Quartzsite from Fountain of Youth, about 2 1/2 hrs away in California, about 11:00AM.

As we were getting ready to leave to meet Dug, Joy escaped out the door. She ran for Alan’s motor home, but he shut the door just as she got there. She then took off running to the wash behind the motor homes at full speed. Cathy came with some treats and was able to get her.

We got together at the Bad Boys Cafe in Rice Ranch. Dug had a garbage omelet, Cathy had a chicken breast sandwich, Alan had a beef sandwich and I had biscuits and gravy. It was all very good. I highly recommend it. It is open from 6:00AM to 2:00PM. Dug and I got caught up to date a little and planned to get together, we will probably go to Fountain of Youth.

Bad Boys Cafe                   Bad Boys Cafe

Cathy and I drove over to Bealls Outlet.

Bealls Outlet                   Bealls Outlet

While Cathy shopped at Bealls Outlet, I went over to Discount Solar.

Discount Solar

Didn’t find any thing new there. Cathy picked up some clothes for David and got the Monday, Bealls Outlet 15% senior discount. She also found out the will be closing in April when their contract is up. The current contract was for $151,000/yr and they want $300,000 to renew the contract. This is sad news. When I got back from Discount Solar, I went over to the Quartzsite Bakery and bought some things for breakfast.

Quartzsite Bakery

I dropped Cathy off at Gem World

Gem World

and went to RV Lifestyles RV west of town to pick up some toilet paper. When I came back to Gem World I parked at the store to the west. There was an old pickup there with North Dakota Pioneer license plates.

ND Plate

ND Pickup

The man who owned it came out and I talked to him for quite awhile. He is from Bottineau, ND. He bought a lot with a Casita and cool shade in Rainbow Acres last year.

When Cathy finished shopping at Gem World we went to Herb’s Hardware so Cathy could buy some picture hanging hooks.

We had left over pizza for dinner.

Sunday January 25, 2015 High Spots of Quartzsite

The over night low was 48F and it got up to 73F this afternoon. It was partly cloudy all day.

Watched Fox news this morning. At noon Alan and I set off to  see the high spots of Quartzsite. Cathy stayed at the motor home with Joy.

The first stop was at Holiday Palms RV Park to see the sister of Alan’s former neighbor in Seattle. We had a nice visit. They have been coming to Quartzsite for a long time and bought a park model last year. They had a 14 year old Pug named Bosley.

We then drove by the Pow Wow at the QIA and then to Readers Oasis Bookstore.

Readers Oasis

We both had our picture taken with Paul Winer the owner.

Paul and Alan    Paul & Alan

Paul and Me       Paul & Me

Paul came to Quartzsite for his daughter Celia’s health. She however died at age 8. His first store was on the west end of the Main Street and in a tent.

We then went over to Celia’s Rainbow Garden, a memorial to Paul’s daughter Celia.

Celias Rainbow Garden          Celia’s Rainbow Garden

From Celia’s Rainbow Garden we went out to La Posa South. La Posa South is one of the four BLM LVTAs and the one with water and dump stations.

We then headed to Hi Jolly’s Tomb.

Hi Jolly               Hi Jolly’s Tomb

We then went back to the motor homes to pick up Cathy and go to dinner at Silly Al’s. Alan and i had Lasagna and Cathy had Al’s Salad. Alan bought us dinner. After dinner we went back to the motor homes. On the way we stopped to see Jerry and Diane. They showed us the remodeling that they had done on their Vectra. It was really nice. They changed out the original table for a credenza and table with Corian exactly matching the existing counter tops. They also  covered the steps with Corian. Got to the motor homes and sat outside and talked for awhile. Then went in and watched Storage Wars on TV.

 

Saturday January 24, 2015 Alan Arrives

The over night low was 42F and the high this afternoon was 72F. It was sunny all day. Windy until near sunset.

Alan, a friend I met on an Internet RV Forum called and said he was leaving Parker, AZ. I told him to call when he got to the camp host on Plamosa Road. About 10:30AM he called from the camp host site. I drove over to meet him. On the way the Cherokee stopped charging again. When I got to the camp host site, I rode into Quartzsite with Alan so that he could fill with water. We went back to the camp host site and I picked up the Cherokee. On the way back to the motor home, the Cherokee was charging again, but quit before I got to the motor home.

After eating lunch, Cathy and I rode in to Quartzsite with Alan. Cathy shopped at Tyson Wells and Alan and I went to the Big Tent. After the Big Tent, Alan and I stopped for a beer at Beer Belly’s Adult Day Care. Smokin Joe Lonsdale, who I’ve seen at the Quartzsite Yacht Club was the entertainment.

Smokin Joe Lonsdale                 Smokin Joe Lonsdale

We drove back to the motor homes and sat outside in the nice 70F weather.

RV Travel posted a video taken from a drone flying over the Big Tent and BLM land near by.

Friday January 23, 2015 Rice Ranch and Pow Wow

It got down to 37F over night and up to 65F this afternoon. It was overcast most of the day, but cleared up about 4:00PM. After that it was a beautiful evening.

Had kind of a lazy morning. Left for Quartzsite at 2:00PM. Cathy went to the Pow Wow to check out rocks and minerals and I went to Rice Ranch.

Rice Rance is a vendor area on the east side of AZ-95 and south of I-10. There are 32 vendors.  Rice Ranch Merchants. There is also a 40 acre RV park open all year.

Rice Ranch

It even has a Barber Shop

Rice Ranch Barber Shop

After checking out Rice Ranch I went over to the Pow Wow.

Pow Wow

Cathy called and said we should get something to eat. We went to the QIA snack bar and got the vendor box lunch. The box lunch was a good deal, sandwich, potato chips, drink and two cookies. Cost was $5.00. The cookies were really good.

Box Lunch

On the way back to the motor home we stopped at Dollar General for some root beer. There was quite a line at the check out.

We stopped at Dorothy and Toto’s for kettle corn.

When we got back to the motor home we sat outside with Joy and ate kettle corn. Neighbor to the north came over and visited. He was from Washington state and had been in the area since early December. Cathy took Joy for a walk to the neighbors east of us. They had a German Shepherd who tried to kill Joy and jerked her master out of his chair. They were from Mesquite, NV.

Heated up left overs for dinner. I also set up for satellite TV. First time since Casper we have watched TV.

 

Thursday January 22, 2015 Quartzsite RV Show

It got down to 39F over night and was up to 64F this afternoon. Nice and sunny and not too windy. We spent some time on the Internet this morning and were getting ready to go to Quartzsite when Patrick and Janet, the WIT Central Reps came to the door. They are camped with some friends about a mile away. They invited us to a chili dinner tonight.

I made a short video walking around our camping spot.

We went into Quartzsite and went to La Mesa RV, hoping for a free lunch. They discontinued it this year. They do however, still have free breakfast. Checked out the surplus parts at La Mesa RV, but didn’t find any thing this year.

We headed over to the Big Tent for the RV Show. We walked around the perimeter and then stopped for hot dogs. I finished the whole show in about 30 minutes, but Cathy was just getting started.

Entrance to Quartzsite RV Show

I left her and went to Beer Belly’s Adult Day Care. The beer is inexpensive, $3.00 for a large glass of draft beer.

Beer Belly's

The entertainment was good.

Beer Belly's Entertainment

I left Beer Belly’s and checked out some of the vendors at Tyson’s Wells. Got an email from Jerry. He and Diane are camped at last years WIT spot. Cathy met up with me and we headed home.

Got to the motor home and picked up Joy and went to have dinner with Patrick and Janet. They are here with 4 other couples from Oklahoma. They are killing time waiting to go on the Winnebago Adventures trip to Puerto Penabsco, Mexico. We had great chili and enjoyed sitting around the camp fire. Joy enjoyed herself and was well behaved.

Had to find our way home across un marked desert, but made it back to the motor home. Surprisingly, the hardest part was when we got near the motor home.

Wednesday January 21, 2015 Quartzsite at Last

I got up early and started preparing to go to Quartzsite. Dumped and cleaned the holding tanks, filled the water tank, filled the drinking water bottles, filled extra containers to flush toilet. Emptied all the garbage. Cathy and I both went to take showers at 11:00AM. About 11:45AM someone came by to ask us to leave as soon as possible, as someone wanted the spot. Unhooked the cable TV and power. Cathy pulled in the bedroom slide and I pulled in the living room slide and raised the jacks. We pulled out exactly at checkout time 12:00 Noon. There were two motor homes parked in the entrance/exit. Just to make it more challenging, the wife of the inner most motor home pulled their Jeep along side the motor home, further narrowing the exit.

Pulled out and headed for Parker. Took awhile to drive through Lake Havasu City, but were finally on our way. It was very windy out of the northwest. It seemed to be amplified by the many canyons we traversed.

When we got to Parker, we stopped at the Walmart. To my surprise, I found they had actually designated pull through RV parking in the lot. The store was very busy. On the way out we commented to the checker on how busy the store was and that it must do a large business even though it is a relatively small store. She said that she thinks they wished they had built it bigger. She said it is on tribal land and that the tribe spends about $250,000 in the store at Christmas.

Parker Walmart                  Parker Walmart

Parker Walmart RV Parking     Parker Walmart RV Parking

We got to Plamosa Road at 2:00PM. Pulled in to register, but they were closed. Passed the usual turn off and went to one with a flatter road so we wouldn’t bottom out with the Jeep.

Signs on Plamosa Road at Turn to Our Campsite    Signs at Turn Off to Our Campsite

Found a nice level spot with a fire ring and set up camp. After getting every thing ready, I finally tried the Jeep. Unhooked it, started it up and drove around seems to be fine.

Plamosa Road Campsite         Plamosa Road Campsite