Sunday, February 20, 2011

Wet Weather

Rainy day at Quartzsite
The weatherman had said rain for yesterday and by golly that’s what we got.   Amazing how quickly little “streams” appear after a rain here in the desert.  Kinda funny,  two of the many bloggers I follow happen to be in the Quartzsite vicinity… Gundyville (in Brenda AZ) and  RV Boondocking (just leaving Bouse AZ) and they both posted about the weather too.  Guess we are all so used to blue sky and sunshine that a good rain in the desert seems like something to write home about!  I don’t mind if it rains for a day or two…what I don’t enjoy about the rain  is the stinky wet dog smell here in the trailer.  Oh well, that’s part of the deal when you have a pooch!  Not much rain today, broken clouds and breezy…a few big puddles around but the “streams” have all dried up.
Cheye after going out in the rain

We did take a nice walk this morning, out of the park and off into the desert.  Then a quick trip into town for a few groceries and now it’s reading, internet and the Daytona 500.  A very pleasant way to spend Sunday.

Muddy stream from the rain

rainy day

Walk out in the desert

Out in the desert

Another view out in the desert

Cute little Hummer

Thursday, February 17, 2011

La Posa South

Entrance to La Posa South LTVA

As I mentioned in a previous post, you can only stay  free on the BLM land near Quartzsite for 14 days.  Since our 14 days were up we moved to the La Posa LTVA (long term visitor area).  It’s $40.00 for 2 weeks which includes use of the dump station and fresh water…no electric.  There are a lot more people in the Long Term area than where we were parked out on Plomosa Road, of course you can stay here all season and there is the convenience of the water/sewer amenities.  It’s a huge area, no defined sites so you could spend hours picking a spot.  We had visited some friends that were camped here so we pretty much parked where they had been….easy way to pick a site!

Our site
The vendors that stayed after the “Main Event” here in Quartzsite are thinning out.  We did pick up a few LED replacement lights for the trailer from one of the remaining vendors.  You can definitely feel the heat from the lights in the trailer, not good when you are trying to cool the place down on a hot day…so we replaced a few of the bulbs with cool running (and low amp usage) LED lights.  

The weathermen are threatening  us with clouds and rain over the weekend.  I’m prepared with a few books and jigsaw puzzles.  Of course I’m hoping they are wrong…it’s been so nice today!

View of La Posa LTVA

Firepit by our site

View at La Posa LTVA

Sunset panorama before we left our site off Plomosa in Quartzsite

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Solar Panel System

solar panels on our roof

I think I have had more email asking about our solar panels than any other thing I have blogged about.  A number of people have asked what we bought…so I decided to do a post about it.

We have:
2  Kyrocera 135 Watt Solar Panels
1 Blue Sky 3024i Solar Boost  Controller
1 Blue Sky IPN-Pro Remote (display)
1 Xantrex PROsine 2.0 Inverter/Charger (2000 watt, also has a remote interface)
5 12 volt deep cycle batteries - 115 amp hours per battery  -  we bought these 3 years ago
top: inverter remote interface

bottom: Controller remote display

For the entire package (excluding batteries) with installation, we paid about $4,000.00 but you can definitely go cheaper.  We went with the best they had at Discount Solar for the Inverter and the display for the Controller.  It just depends on what all you want your system to do.

Something else people ask is what we can run off the inverter.  Today I vacuumed, charged my ipod and computer, ran the Keurig coffee maker, some lights, the water pump, used my curling iron, watched TV which includes running the satellite dish receiver, plus the furnace was on  for a while this morning.   It’s about 4:30 p.m. and our batteries are 100% charged.  I’ve also cooked a roast in the crockpot while on the inverter and we have run the microwave (only for about 3 minutes) and my hairdryer on low for just a few minutes.  The hairdryer and microwave are the two things that we use the least on the inverter as they both suck up amps like you wouldn’t believe!  

We’ve had no trouble fully charging our batteries on a nice sunny day.  If it is cloudy, depending on how overcast it is, we may have to use our generator to charge the batteries.  They say if  you can’t see your shadow then the solar panels aren’t getting enough sun to charge the batteries.  If we had a couple cloudy days then we would definitely have to use the generator.

Hope that helps!  Feel free to ask if you have any other questions!

sunset in Quartzsite - 02-05-11

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Return to Quartzsite

We had plans to come back to Quartzsite in a few weeks, however, the display that gives us info about the solar panels (how many amps they are getting, how full the batteries are and a bunch of other stuff) wasn’t working properly so we decided to move up our schedule.  Discount Solar was great, we pulled into town, set up, drove to the store and they scheduled us in for the next day.  They decided to switched out the display panel for a new one and all seems fine now.

Today Dave noticed a couple getting ready to take off in their ultralight so we took a few photos…it just looks so fun!!  I would imagine Quartzsite is a great place for ultralights, so many gravel areas to land or take off.  They were out about an hour … got back as the sun was starting to go down.  What a beautiful sunset and it must have been fabulous to see it from the air!

Sun setting today at Quartzsite
Our trailer with the sun setting 
getting ready to take off
away they go
almost off
up in the air