Wednesday 20th January
After staying overnight courtesy of Walmart we made our way west again on the I-10 towards Quartzsite. The last time we came through this town was in April after having dropped John off at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport to catch his flight home. Then it was a quiet crossroads on highway 95 but this time it was a different story. As we came off the I-10 and approached town it looked like RV city because in January and February there are shows and fairs that bring in thousands of visitors, mostly travelling in RV’s.
This week there is the 33rd Annual Sports, Vacation and RV Show, billed as the largest gathering of RV’s and RV’ers on earth, including the ‘Big Tent’ with lots of vendors, exhibits, food and all things RV inside.
Tyson Wells Sell-A-Rama, this is all about gems, rocks, minerals, arts, crafts, antiques, precious metals and lapidary equipment. Quartzsite 2016, an event for everyone into ham radio and the 50th Annual Gem and Mineral Show, where there are dealers of gems, minerals and jewellery from around the world.
First we went to find a campground. Surrounding Quartzsite there are a lot of Bureau of Land Management areas and we found one five miles south of the town in the desert where we could free camp or boondock for 14 days. There are no services available and no restrictions on where to park and this will be an opportunity to try out the new solar panels and inverter. The only requirement was to get a camping permit from the camp host. Although there was quite a large Ham Radio group meeting in the same area they were all camped close together and there was plenty of empty space.
Thursday 21st January
Up early and went into Quartzsite to the RV Show and the ‘big tent’. Here it was possible to buy everything for RV's and more. We came away with a few bits and pieces and particularly liked the cupboard dividers that keep crockery and glassware separated to avoid clashes and breakages when on the road. Simple but effective.
Friday 22nd January
Quartzsite has the best music radio station we have ever listened to, KBUX. All fifties and sixties music and some good B sides of records that are not often heard. So far we have liked everything they have played. Stayed around camp and enjoyed the sunshine,
went into town this afternoon to the post office and bank.
Saturday 23rd January
Stayed around camp again. Tony printed off and mounted some photographs.
Went for a walk and noticed that most of the ham radio group had gone or where breaking down camp.
Sunday 24th January
This morning Tony lowered the pressure slightly in all the RV tyres. On the way to Quartzsite the tyre pressure alarm sounded frequently as the tyres got warm advising that the psi was too high, hopefully this should solve the problem. Next job was to wash down the solar panels on the roof. They have worked well over the past few days and we have had no problems keeping the batteries topped up. However, after five days the fresh water tank is nearly empty and will be the limiting factor to how long we can dry camp without topping up. Tomorrow we go to San Diego from where we will be travelling into Baja California, Mexico with Baja Winters and the RV caravan.