March 6, 2019

Being back here in Ajo (pronounced Ah-ho) means hiking time now that the weather has warmed up. Today was a great day to hit the trails and get our legs back.

First hike 5.5 km

Sunny with a slight breeze

Saguaro cactus country

Selfie time

Can you spot our campsite? Hint, zoom in and look for the red Dodge!

Group selfie with our hiking partners Garry and Karen.

It’s not always hot and sunny in Arizona

We don’t always bask in the sun when we are south, in fact it gets quite cool as soon as the sun goes down. Off goes the shorts, t-shirt’s and flip flops and on goes the long pants, bunny hugs, socks and shoes.

We have even been known to put on our winter jackets and a toque to watch the Super Bowl outside while we were in California a few years back.

This morning our phones were buzzing away, we have a weather freeze warning here in Yuma.

Guess today would be a good day for a pot of stew and fresh biscuits!

Even with these temps we can’t complain. Holy heck Batman, at least it’s not as cold as back home in Saskatchewan.

Stay warm our friends and family!

RV Mods – Solar

When we purchased our trailer, our intentions where to purchase a 5th wheel that we could head south where we could bask in the sun for the winter months. Staying in campgrounds or rv parks every-night was not on our priority list. We love to travel and see new places, some would say we get itchy feet!  So dry camping only made sense to us. In order to drycamp/boondock for extended period of time, we would need to invest in Solar.  We wanted to be self-sufficient and not rely on rv parks, campgrounds or a generator, so we invested in ourselves.

We did  a lot of research and called everyone we knew with any knowledge on the subject, and Myron and I came up with our present system of: 690 watts of solar and 440 amp hours of battery.

This allows us to use our Instant Pot, Induction cook top, bread maker, coffee pot, basically everything with the exception of our A/C and Microwave (we do not use the microwave, it’s become our bread storage compartment)

Solar Panels

12v 38.14 Amps 690 Watts wired in parallel.

2- 12v 9.37 Amp 170 Watts each

2- 12v 9.7 Amps 175 Watts each

Each panel is wired in parallel with #8 PV- Solar Wire (Sunlight and weather resistant), ran to a junction box.

(Prices have dropped lots since we purchased our first set of panels. You can now purchase high quality 200 watt panels, made in the USA, for $185.00 USD/ $240.00 CAD. So if you open your local weekly flyer and see solar panels from Canadian Tire or Harbour Freight don’t waste your money, they are a ripoff, more than 3x the price per watt and they do not compare.)

Installing roof junction box and drilling hole in our roof for the wire drop. This required precise measuring as we needed to make the drop directly into the wall between the kitchen and bathroom.

Myron had perfect alignment from the roof, directly in the wall, straight down to the electrical panel compartment.

# 4 Pv-Solar Wire was used to run from Junction box to Charge Controller. (Over kill? Maybe, but we didn’t want any voltage loss, and room for expansion)

This required team work, as this #4 PV (Solar) wire was heavy and very tricky to pull. Thanks for the help Tom!

Front storage compartment houses our 40 Amp Blue Sky MPPT charge controller with a 500 Amp Shunt that send a signal back to our Blue Sky IPN Pro-Remote.

Our battery bank is 440 AH, wired in series & parallel with 1/0 cable

4- 6v Golf Cart Batteries

2- Costco Interstate- 210 AH ea

2 – NAPA -230 AH ea

We installed a 1000 Watt pure Sine inverter with a remote and dedicated solar plugs.

I must say, I have one talented husband! Having solar has worked out great for us, as we invested in ourselves instead of the Rv parks and campgrounds!

We will have an update coming this winter, as we will are making a few changes to our system to make it more efficient.

Note:

This is not a how to, this is just how we did it!

Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

After leaving Quartzite, we made our way south about 20 miles to the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge to spend a few days taking in the view, and hiking to Palm Canyon.

Location – Kofa National Wildlife Refuge

Cost $- Free 14 days in a 12 month period.

GPS:

Notes: coming from the north (Quartzite) heading south on US 95, turn left just past Mile marker 86 onto Palm Canyon Road.

Our view from our patio

We heard about the California Palm that are growing in the Palm Canyon, so of course we had to hike in to check it out.

2 km/ 1.2 Miles in and out with a 90 meter/301 ft climb in elevation.

Some pictures from our hike.

A few signs posted at the beginning of the trails.

Borders hold rain water from last nights rain.

Hey, we have to do selfies!

You can see the Palms along the canyon wall.

Lots of climbing

Here are a few fun pictures.

It sure was a great day for a hike!