chilly week in Quartzsite

Tucson to Quartzite

The drive was easy and uneventful. I stopped at every major rest area to let Muffin relieve herself. On the way out of town I stopped ta Saguaro NP and replaced my Access national parks pass that was eaten by the dash. I put a binder clip on the card hanger to both retain the new card and to prevent it from falling into the dash crack if it does come off the rearview mirror.

The Arizona I-10 rest areas approaching Q have water spigots and I filled my aquatainers. It had a hose bib but the main tank still had ~25gal in it. I decided not to break out the potable hose and fill that up. Bulk water fill is cheap in Q at the RV Pit Stop anyhow. I did want to use my 4’ shorty potable hose section to make filling easier.

The spigot actually has two outlets:

  1. the threaded hose bib outlet mounted furthest from the upright
  2. a wide, unthreaded outlet nearest the upright

When you hold the valve lever down the water comes out the unthreaded outlet; nothing comes out the threaded bib. Since there are no other obvious controls on the spigot the bib operation is not immediately apparent. Helpfully, there are directions printed on the side. Less helpfully, the directions are illegible.

After a few moments of confusion muscle memory kicked in and I got it running; the unthreaded outlet is wide because there is a spring-loaded collar around it. Pull down on the collar with the water on and the flow is diverted to the threaded bib.

Next time I am around one I will take better pics or a video to post on the RVwiki article on drinking water.

Once getting to Q I immediately hit the salvage grocery tent south of I-10. I love that place. Progresso tomato basil soup, $1. Clif bars, 6/$1, etc. Fresh “snap” peas at the checkout, free with any purchase.

The Clif bars were 10/$1 last year, but supplies of overstock seem to have dwindled. Better supply chain management or sales forecasting by Clif? Coffee was in good supply but not aggressively priced. Best deal I found was Starbucks coffee at $3.55/lb. In line with bulk-packaged Maxwell House or Folgers pricing so I got only about a pound.

Plomosa Rd BLM

As usual, Plomosa was the least-utilized BLM area. Hi Jolly was as busy as usual.

I am at the northern edge abutted on the Day Use Area, so in theory no one should be camped north of me. In practice there are a few lost sheep out there who are either inattentive or have decided they want a ticket and forced relo by a BLM ranger.

Nearest neighbor to the west is about 300yd out. Nearest to south is about 100yd, and a group to the E about 150yds away. Unfortunately the eastern group contains a miscreant with a blatty open-frame contractor genny. Srsly, if I can hear it this far away your generator is to farking loud. Even the Harbor Freight Predator inverter gens are so quiet you can have a normal conversation right beside them.

My (no-cost) 14d permit expires on Jan 5, so I will relo around then.

cold spell

It’s been unusually chilly and partially overcast in Q. Most years I am in shorts at least part of the winter’s day, but I’ve been in long pants this whole time.

This morning it was 27F outside, and 34F inside the van. The LFP battery bank was 59.3F.

I’d run the mattress pad from sundown all night on power level 1 (lowest setting, ~16w average), and the battery warmer would have run as needed. Woke up at 55% SoC on the battery monitor, so I used ~40Ah from sundown to sunrise. That is in line with my expectations.

The good news is it should be sunny today and the next few. I’ll make lunch in the crockpot which should add some free interior heat.

next relo: Yuma and American Girl Mine

On the way out of town I will hit the salvage grocery again, fill propane, and maybe take on water. There is a free water source near my next boondocking spot but there is often a line.

I’ll stop in Yuma for reprovisioning and a Planet Fitness for shower and wifi. Maybe stealth overnight for water-related reasons (see below).

Next boondocking spot is American Girl Mine BLM just across the border in CA. California is a PITA for a couple of reasons and I typically try to avoid it. But AGM is such a good wintering spot that it’s hard to pass up. The nearest town is called Winterhaven for Pete’s sake. I do wish it were in AZ.

Just past the AGM is a small rest area with a water spigot. There’s often a line of people waiting to use it, but maybe stealthing in Yuma then rolling up in early morning will help be avoid the crowd at the spigot. As DC pointed out, it might be wiser to fill water near AGM than to carry the water weight from Q. Good point.


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