After getting dumped, water, & new 15” tires, we picked a spot at Dome Rock where 70-80 fiberglass trailers would be accumulating next week. Last year we got here early too but picked a spot that was right in the middle of all the foot traffic, so this year we backed away from that busy area for a slower pace. Next year, we’re backing up even further to park on the small, black gravel (more comfortable walking & sitting on).
We’ve enjoyed meeting up with numerous folks from last year, & also seeing our friends Lynn & David (of Casita in the Desert, Casita in the Mountains blog) here this year too. We sat around a comfy campfire next to their trailer, but also used our Little Red Campfire (propane campfire) finally this year to knock the chill off the evenings. We’ve had way more clouds this week than expected. . .but NOTHING bad like the winter that won’t stop in most states east of AZ.
So, we with the 15” tires now (a little higher off the rocks & ruts), the double step is functioning perfectly again, & the two new AGM 12v batteries seem to be working out well. But. . .since we acquired the solar panels separately & battery configurations separately, we’ve had four different people advising us on getting the most power into & out of our batteries while boondocking. We just couldn’t get the batteries to charge above 12.5 even with full sun & nothing running (we thought) in the trailer. However, Gene (webmaster of Casita Travel Trailer Forum & master Casita guru) showed us that our two solar panels should be connected directly to our batteries — not to the battery block as originally set up for one panel & one battery. We also learned connecting four 6V batteries (in series) is different than two 12V batteries (in parallel). (Geez, where is that manual for all this different stuff?) And we should also be turning off our 1000W inverter when not watching TV since it draws amp hours all day long. We also discovered the 19” TV & DVR will run off a small 175W inverter. ALL THESE TWEAKS HAVE DEFINITELY HELPED so not only is the inverter lasting all night, Jeff doesn’t have to hook up the truck battery (directly to the batteries instead of thru the trailer cord to the truck) anymore either [our solution for not lugging a generator around].
The gathering had a little camping-related swap meet on Saturday morning, & thankfully we didn’t find anything we just had to have (& make room to haul around). It’s still hard not to acquire additional stuff that might be useful down the road tho.
Either both of us or by myself strolled around at least daily, taking Kira for a walk (meeting & greeting all the other dogs), & talked with people we’d met last year or new this year. A number of folks strolled by our trailer too (even on the outskirts of the gathering) with various questions about mods or fulltiming in such a small space.
We went into Q to eat a couple of times. First to the Quartzsite Yacht Club with our friends Larry & Betty (Mountainborn) who’re showing the 22’ Oliver Travel Trailers in town this month; & then alone to the Mountain Quail Café. Both had decent food but the prices seemed a tad high for the atmosphere.
In addition to touring the new 22’ Oliver Travel Trailers (one with a king-size bed, the other with twin beds), we also got to see a couple of 19’ Escapes here. Again, lots of great features — MORE scrumptious room plus bigger frig & freezer — but no other brand has the floor plan style of the Liberty Casita that we really, really like. We prefer the frig across from the sink/stove (split galley with more counter space – like the 19 Escape), & the front bathroom & the big bed area where I can rearrange the furniture if wanted (Casita & Oliver). Since we seldom have a table set up (it would just collect stuff), we don’t really need a separate dinette area which all other makes & models have. And in all honesty, I really LIKE my Casita rat fur [carpeted walls] compared to shiny fiberglass or soft vinyl of other brands. It’s warm, sound absorbing, & cozy. Plus hanging things on the walls is super easy – and I definitely live vertically. But I seriously wish we had another foot or two of trailer sometimes just for walking around space.
We did decide to get a tad more floor space by rearranging our bed to sleep side-to-side, instead of back-to-front, with ME on the isle side this time. I can move out of the way if Jeff needs by me while we’re reading or watching TV, & once I’m under the covers asleep, he can crawl over me easier than I can crawl over him. I never liked getting over him for a potty run in the night. I’m still perfecting the arrangement, but it’s really got possibilities. Plus during the day, I put our pillows at the back & move one little tray table between us so then Jeff can stretch out flat & I have my recliner (pillows arranged to support knees & back) on the other side. Kira’s still confused where to sleep at night tho & hogs bed space.
Many, many trailers left Sunday (morning & afternoon), & the majority of the rest left by Monday noon. After 10 days at Dome Rock, we loaded up Monday morning also, dumped our tanks in town, & headed south back to Yuma for another dentist appointment in Los Algodones, Mexico. I sure have become very fond of the silhouette of the raggedy Kofa Mountains SE of Quartzsite, & hated to know I probably won’t see them again until (hopefully) next year.
I had a couple of old fillings fixed Tues & Wed, so we boondocked along the All American Canal near the Casino (at I-8) so it was a 5 minute trip to Los Algodones. It was so nice sitting on a little hill, facing north, sitting in the shade of the trailer all day, looking at water from the Colorado River flow past. I also got more fresh asparagus in Mexico. Yum, yum.
From here, we’re heading to Phoenix to visit my cousin, & slowly, reluctantly start our migration back to MO. Considering how the winter is non-stop anywhere east of Arizona, it might be May before we want to reach the Plains states. Love our jello plans!