Friday, February 16, 2018

Craggy Casualty

When you camp at Craggy Wash you are essentially camping on rocks.  Mostly gravel sized stones with an occasional larger rock thrown into the mix.  Readers of the blog know that I no longer have solar panels attached to the roof of my RV (the Mini) instead I deploy them on the ground outside the Mini, adjusting them occasionally to insure they stay perpendicular to the sun for optimal efficiency.  The "Solar Suitcase" I bought from Renogy, a California solar company, has produced well but, frankly, the built-in stand has been a disappointment and proven much too fragile for RV use where the suitcase gets deployed and redeployed frequently.  The weakness of the stand contributed to an unfortunate loss of my solar charge controller when wind blew the suitcase over and caused the controller, which is attached to the back of one of the suitcase's solar panels, to shatter against a particularly sharp-edged rock.

The KIA Solar Charge Controller post-accident.


I'm glad now I didn't make the decision to upgrade the controller to a much more expensive MPPT controller because I'm pretty sure that one would have bit the dust too.  As it is the one PWM controller in the picture above can be replaced for under $30 off Amazon.  You can get upwards of $200 really quickly if shopping for a MPPT controller (they're more efficient in the way they control charging) so I guess I partially dodged a bullet.

Guess I'll head to Amazon and get the order started.  I really need to design a tube stand for the suitcase like I made for the stand-alone panel - it won't be as pretty but it would be a hell of a lot stronger!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Return to Craggy Wash

Leaving the Quartzsite area after my two week stay was up I decided to return to the BLM land at Craggy Wash, just north of Lake Havasu City, AZ.  I reviewed the camp area here:  Craggy Wash Review . 

14 day free camping!

I like camping at Craggy Wash for a number of reasons:  It's removed pretty far away from Highway 95 so there's no road noise to speak of, there's an Anytime Fitness gym in Lake Havasu City and there's a Walmart Super-center two miles away.  Also there's great Verizon reception at the Wash.

The Mini's campsite in Craggy Wash.

I'm pretty sure I'm going to stay my entire 14 days, the weather is perfect - high 70's during the day and mid-50's at night for sleeping.

Topography.
More Craggy Wash scenery.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 29, 2018

The 2018 Quartzsite RV Show

I waited until this year's RV show was more than half done before attending with the purpose of avoiding possibly flu infected crowds, the show opened on Saturday and I went on Wednesday.

Guess which insurance company is a big sponsor?

First on my agenda was getting something for breakfast, a breakfast burrito jumped out at me:

About a pound's worth of burrito.

After eating 75% of my burrito (it was too big) I made a quick swing through the Big Tent where crowds are usually shoulder to shoulder in the aisles, this year, at least when I went, not so much.

Plenty of room in the Big Tent.

There are hundreds of different style RV's to walk through at the show, many are gigantic compared to the Mini (and cost many 10's of thousands more).

Big Fifth Wheels available for walk through at the show.

My favorite part of the show is outside the Big Tent north across Kuehn Street from the tent and all the model RV's.  That's where the stalls with every possible RV part or gadget is for sale.

If you can't find it in the stalls, they don't make it!

The good news (for me) is that it's been five days since I attended the show and so far I feel fine!  Knock on wood, maybe I dodged the virus?

Thanks for reading!