Thursday, January 17, 2013

Boondocking at Q

Everything is funny as long as it is happening to somebody else

By looking around the Quartzsite area you would think the majority of folks boondock here.  However, there are thousands of sites available in local parks.  Most of the parks aren’t fancy but they certainly are inexpensive compared to other places. 

We have stayed at a couple of the RV parks in the past.  The first time we were here in 2009 we weren’t really equipped to be on the desert.  We had a big, heavy contractor’s generator, only dwelltwo batteries and no inverter.   We needed that generator.  Even though we had done boondocking before, we never called it boondocking.  We called it camping.    We definitely had a lot to learn and it was much more than we thought it would be.

Some places the RVs are packed in 

No matter how big sites are in an RV park, most of us always want them bigger.  We also know not many parks have huge RV sites.  Most of them have you snuggled up to your neighbor and breathing on each other.  The window shades stay mostly down to keep folks next to you from peaking in.  Have you been there, done that? 

One of the important rules on the BLM is the minimum distance between two RVs.  It’s 15 feet.  Now I’m not saying there aren’t some who don’t abide by it.  We met a few last year.  We don't want to be parked here and have someone so close that all we see is their RV from our window and not the wide open spaces.  The BLM has plenty of area for everyone to have a little breathing room.  That is definitely one of the attractions of boondocking – wide open spaces. 

As you know by now this is our first year to have solar.  We’re on our maiden voyage.  We’re  constantly checking the gauges.  It’s a new toy and we like toys.  Our digital remote meter reports lots of facts on amps, watts, voltage and history of what the five 100W panels are doing. (Yes, we did increase the panels.)  Our Trimetric reports the draw on our six golf cart batteries and keeps us informed on how charged they are.  If you know me, you know I really like gadgets.   We knew installing solar wasn’t necessarily going to be a dollar saver on electricity.  Our friend, Julie, described it as a way to improve quality of life.  There you go.

We’re power hogs and we know it and we’re not going to stress over pushing a button? I figure if we use too much power, we’ll just top off the batteries.   I know how the button that starts the generator works. When we arrived on Saturday the sun was shining but it has been cold.  We’ve had to run our furnace a little at night.   We’ve had our TV, computers and sewing machine plugged in.   Now if we just had a real long sewer hose to the dump, we wouldn’t have to move for a while.

02 - Copy_thumb[3]
This is from Denise’s blog and was taken before 12 more rigs pulled in.

Our little group is growing.  What started out with just three or four RVs in our group has now grown to about 18 rigs.  I think we have a few more coming.   The winds have died down and beautiful weather is forecast beginning today.  However, I’m really behind on posting.  When we’re in Q and it’s January, so much happens so fast.  We’ve had a group outing at Silly Al’s. We’ve been to the Escapees Happy Hour, done the campfire ring and today we’re off to the Elks  auction.  However, I’ll have to post about all of that later. 

‘Tis life on the road.


  1. Just turn off the TV, you got the remote meter to watch now.

  2. Wow, you've got tons of solar and lots of batteries - you'll be doing just fine, for sure. I have about half that, and am happy as can be.

    Sounds like some fun times and more to come. Maybe next year I'll be there for the January events. :)

  3. Wow, looks like a great group, thanks for the invite this weekend, we will definitely take you up on that invite in the future.

  4. How much did your roof dish in from the weight of all those solar panels? On a sunny day, you could probably sell extra electricity back to the power companies. ;c)

    Looks like the panels are a perfect solution for your boondocking fun. Plus the free "juice" makes life that much more better.

  5. Wow I think you should be just fine with all that solar. We can do just fine with 130 watts and two six volt batteries, as long as we conserve a little.

  6. Boy we miss being with y'all. Glad you are together again and have added Nan andJohn. I feel like I know her from our many emails. Enjoy your stay. We will enjoy the desert through your eyes.

  7. You post and I'll read it. Mine would be the same anyhow.

  8. I've never figured out why people park so close to one another in such a BIG DESERT. Oh Well. Glad you are enjoying your solar.

  9. sounds like the party is growing! have fun and enjoy the new found freedom of solar power!


Thanks for taking the time to comment.