We have been itching to get out of cold and foggy Sacramento since New Year’s and finally headed south on Jan 16 for the two day trip to Quartzsite, AZ. This year we are here in time to catch the biggest gathering of RVs and Rvers on earth! Think of Sturgis for RVs. Said to be 150,000 people in Quartzsite, which normally has a population of 3,600. It’s going to be a zoo. However, I don’t think we’re going to see a lot of drunk women flashing their boobs in this crowd! Ralph can only hope…
We (Ralph) drove 360 miles the first day and we overnighted at a rest area four miles west of Boron, CA. I think it’s one of the few rest areas in CA where you can stay overnight. I learned about this from the Day’s End Directory published by the Escapees. We joined the Escapees this year. It’s an organization based in Texas geared toward full-time Rvers. The Day’s End Directory lists free or very low cost campsites around the country and it is constantly updated by the membership. It’s a great reference for those of us who like to dry camp (without hookups). It was a great place to spend the night, except for the train that passed by every hour. With my earplugs in I barely heard a thing. It did get pretty cold; it was 45 degrees in the rig when we woke up. We started the furnace and within 15 minutes it was up to a comfortable 65.
We headed to the Dome Rock area seven miles west of Quartzsite to see if we could find the same spot we camped in last year. But first we had to find water to fill up our freshwater tank. We went to the RV Pit Stop to fill up our fresh water tank and then went to Love’s to fill up the gas tank. Arizona doesn’t add as much tax to the price of gas, so it is less expensive. And with gas so much cheaper; we are in hog heaven. Just look at the price of regular unleaded! Fill ‘er up! When we first purchased the rig gas was around $4/gal. Now half that…means we can go twice as far! Remember, we only get seven miles per gallon. Do I hear a collective gasp?? We are going to explore more of Arizona’s southwest corner on this trip.
We are in the same area as last year, Dome Rock, seven miles west of town. It’s boondocking at its best. It’s elevated so we can see the twinkling lights of Quartzsite and it’s not as crowded. However, it is much more crowded than last year because we were here after the big show. We can see the sun rise to our left and the sun set to our right. It is beautiful. We tried to get our same site as last year, but someone was already there. Not surprised. So we scouted another spot a little higher. We are right o the fringe of the area so no one can pull in behind us. Our friends, Diane and Ronnie are joining us in a few days so our location had to accommodate two rigs. They have a 5th wheel travel trailer so we will both fit it this spot nicely. It will be nice to have another couple along. I don’t know how long we will be together, but it will be fun while it lasts.
The day after our arrival we ventured into town for the BIG RV Show. I’ve never seen so many old people in one place! Oh…right…that’s me too! I keep forgetting…sigh…
I have to give some of these really old (smile) folks a lot of credit; they are using canes, scooters, etc to get around. Heck one guy was using crutches and lugging a large oxygen cylinder along…that can’t be easy. But yet, they are still out here, spending the winter in Arizona and going to the big show. I don’t know how some of them get up the steps into their rigs. Lesser folk would be home sitting on the sofa watching TV. As my Southern friends would say, “Bless their little hearts”!
At the show there is one very big tent, called The Big Tent and that’s where vendors set up their wares. And they are expensive wares. We hear the rent is high in the Big Tent. There are hundreds of other vendors that set up small tents on the streets and their prices are much more reasonable. We are toying with the idea of getting a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). There are sensors for each tire (including the car) that monitors the tire pressure and temperature. There is a monitor in the cockpit that alarms when things are not right so that you can pull over before you get a blow out or flat. Tire blowouts are a serious problem for these large vehicles and can cause expensive damage to the rig. And 95% of blowouts are caused by low tire pressure. We (Ralph) check our tire pressure every time we hit the road but, it would certainly add to our peace of mind if we had the TPMS. We will probably leave Quartzsite with one in hand. It about $450 dollars for the monitor and six sensors. Cheap insurance if you ask me.
We’ll pick up a few more LED light bulbs and then we’ll have replaced every light with energy efficient bulbs. LEDs use 1/10th the energy of incandescent bulbs. This makes a huge difference when we are living off of batteries charged by the sun.
Fred (AKA Freddy the Freeloader) is traveling with us on this trip. He has been really good. He doesn’t try to get out of the rig like he did when Simon was along too. We let him out to explore and roll in the dirt! Oh my, how he loves to roll in the dirt. We have to clean him every time in comes back in. He’s a great cat; friendly, affectionate, playful and comes when you call (mostly). However, he doesn’t like it when we are underway. He hides the entire time we are driving.
So that’s it for now. Til next time…