Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Boondocking Rally Last Days


Wow, the two weeks we spent boondocking went fast.  During our two weeks we have learned a lot about solar, batteries, inverters and such. We also discussed how to find great boondocking locations and inexpensive places to camp.

We made a trip to the desert bar in Parker and had a great time listening to the band. We had been there before and it is always fun to go back. The bar is totally solar and is only open on the weekends. It is about 5 miles up a rough gravel road.


A pretty good band playing and plenty of food and drink


We spent a couple of hours there and then headed back to our community circle in the desert.

Several nights we have had  pot luck dinners while we watched the sun set.


One day the temperature took a nose dive and it got really cold and windy. We even had hail for a few minutes. This is the first time my truck has seen ice! I was wondering if it was enough to try out the 4wd. I have never put in 4wd mode before. Probably not.


After the hail we had a beautiful rainbow appear over our rig. Cool!


On our last weekend, Maxine’s sister Betty and her husband Randy drove out from Phoenix to spend the weekend with us. We visited the shops in Quartzsite and really enjoyed the campfires with everyone at night.

There are several solo Rv’ers here, and three of the ladies started cooking breakfast every morning for anyone that would show up. We soon started calling it the solo café. Saturday their menu was english muffins, eggs, ham, hash browns and for our morning wake up, Tequila Sunrises.

Our chef Gina busy preparing.


Our bartender Kyra showing how to make Tequila Sunrises.


We had a great breakfast and the Solo’s go way above and beyond to make sure everyone enjoys their meal. Thanks ladies!

We met so many people and had a great time at the rally. Some of the group is going to head to Organ Pipe National Monument to camp for another week. We plan to head that way for a few days after we get our solar install done.

On our way out of Quartzsite we had Howard and Linda weigh our rig. I was nervous about the weight and my fears were confirmed. We are over weight on our combined rating and a little over weight on our 5th wheel. The good news is that our tires, axles and hitch are capable. We just need to shed some weight.

The bad news is that we are adding 400 lbs of batteries for the solar. I knew right then that I was going to have to take all of my hobby tools out of the rv and purge as much as we can. I think the purging part will be on going for awhile.

We left Quartzsite with a very strong wind and made it to Glendale for our solar install. As of right now we have the 4 panels installed, 4 300 amp hour AGM batteries and the monitors installed. They are working on the inverter and a in house surge protector today. They should be done by mid day and we plan on dry camping here for at least a day to make sure we know how to read and operate everything.

Hopefully by Wednesday or Thursday we will head down to Organ Pipe to catch up with some others that are already there. By adding the solar we are able to enjoy some of the campgrounds that the National Parks have that do not have hook ups. It will give us so much more freedom to move about the country a little more easily.

I do not think we will ever recoup the cost of the solar by boondocking, but it gives us more choices to see parts of the country we would not have camped at other wise. Seeing the country is the whole point of doing what we are doing.

Now, back to purging the RV.

Enjoy Your Day!



IL Camper said...

Dave and Maxine, Thank you for the summary of the Boondocking Rally that Howard and Linda had. Sounds like everyone had a great time. I'm sure the knowledge you gained was worth the trip too. I would like to know where you are having your solar installed. We are about 2 years from going fulltime and following several RV'ers like your self. Just starting to get into researching solar and the good discussion that Howard has on his site. I know he talks about AM solar but from what I understand they only supply the parts. I was wondering if you went through them for your parts and are having someone else do the installation or you got everything through a different source. Thank you for sharing your experiences in your blog. It helps keep my dreams alive. Curt

Dave and Maxine- Wandering Wingers said...

Curt, AM Solar was the first choice but Oregon is too cold and far away. We are getting our solar done at D & R Family RV in Glendale Az. They are "On the list" of installers that Jack Mayer lists on his web page. Howard recommended them as well. They ordered all of the components and so far are doing an excellent job of doing the install.

IL Camper said...

Thank you for the response. I was not aware that Howard recommended any other solar companies. I agree Oregon would be too far and cold. Good to know there is another company that can do the job and do it right. I will definitely keep them in mind when it comes time for me to consider solar along with AM Solar. Next year is our year to attend an RV-Dreams Rally to get prepared. I have added your blog to the list of RV'ers I follow. Thanks again. Curt

gypsygirl said...

Glad you had a good time at the rally. Having solar will be great. We will get ours done in Montana tis summer. Enjoy your freedom.