Monday, January 21, 2019

Day 13 - Quartzite, AZ

The first talk of Quartzfest was this morning. There was a vendor providing free coffee, which was nice as it is a bit breezy this morning. This first session was mostly about portable power systems and PowerPole connectors which are somewhat standardized within the amateur radio community.

Last night was a total lunar eclipse and even though there were high cirrus clouds for most of the day, it was clear enough to get some photos. Challenging as manual exposure and manual focus was required to get any photos at all.

Today, Dom came by with his rig. He worked on the Ural some. After all, watching someone else work on their motorcycle qualifies as a spectator sport. Tom, the neighbor from across the wash, came over. He is here at Quartzfest with his 2013 Ural Gear Up that he brought out in an enclosed trailer along with his radio equipment. 

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Day 12 - Quartzite, AZ

This morning, we met one of the YouTube RVers that I regularly watch. Dan & Jen Nevada. They were in the LTVA camping area down the road. They have some of the more entertaining videos along with campground reviews including Thousand Trails. It was fun to meet them and they are as friendly in-person as in their videos.

We also met Matt aka Nomadic Native on YouTube but he was pretty busy upgrading from 6xCG2 flooded batteries to four Lithium Iron batteries. Probably 1/4 the weight and 50% more useable battery capacity.

BTW, Verizon throughput is pretty minimal so not many pictures. It’s been high cirrus clouds for most of the day so the battery bank didn’t recharge completely. I have the generator running now to try and get us to over 90%. It takes a while with the stock converter. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Day 11 - Quartzite, AZ

We are in Quartzite in the Roadrunner BLM area about five miles south of Quartzite. There was quite the traffic jam in Quartzite due to the RV show that started up yesterday. I knew that it was going to be crowded as there have been a number of YouTube videos showing all the crowds for RTR and the RV show setup. But I am here for Quartzfest, an AARL amateur radio convention which starts up tomorrow afternoon. This is our first real boondocking experience for multiple days. In the past, we’ve stayed without hookups for one or two days but never for more than that. We had plumbing issues that I believe have all been resolved.

We’ll see how it goes. Since we’ve been here, two cups of coffee with the Keurig and homemade chicken noodle soup in the Instant Pot. Batteries are still at 92%. I’m curious as to how much power we use on a typical night with temperatures down into the mid-40s (°F). If you go outside now, there are a lot of generators running. I’m glad that there are none around us.

Update - All of the generators were off by 8pm. 

Friday, January 18, 2019

Day 10 - Benson, AZ - TT

Today was our last full day at the Valley Vista RV Resort. Tomorrow, we pack up and head west. Most of the day was clear, sunny and windy with highs of 23 mph. It was rocking the trailer pretty good for most of the afternoon. Hopefully, it'll be less tomorrow and that's what the forecast claims.

By 6 pm, the wind has pretty much died down. Enough to get some packing done outside. The chairs and front mat are packed away, the tanks are empty and flushed out, and we have 60 gallons of water between the built-in fresh water tank, hot water heater, and the water jugs. Because of the full water tank, I went ahead and aired up the trailer tires to 80 psi (cold) and since I had the compressor out, I aired up the rear tires on the truck back to 90 psi. They were both a little different but I never bothered to fix it as they were still well within their load capacity. At 90 psi, they are rated at 3890 lbs per tire or 7780 lbs for the rear axle in a single rear wheel (per side, obviously) configuration. At 80 psi, you need to subtract about 250 lbs/tire. That is still over the rear axle weight with the trailer connected but not with a full tank of water.

I ended up going to a local clinic here in Benson. The PA gave me some antibiotics and some stuff to help with a never-ending cough. I think it was starting to bother Bridget. Anyway, it turns out that the local clinic, which is attached to the hospital, doesn't accept Aetna. I wonder how much of that we are going to run into.