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!

Mesquite- Laughlin, NV

October 27,2018 – Arrived in Mesquite, NV just before dark, and settled at the Eurika Casino for a night of Casino Camping!

Short driving day for us today, as we make our way to Laughlin, NV.

A few photos from the front window.

Hello Las Vegas……..

We arrived in Laughlin just in time to check out a Halloween car show at the Tropicana Casino.

(sorry forgot the new camera lenses back at the 5th wheel, and the sun was bright)

Quite a few cars had already left by the time we arrived, but there was still a good turn out considering the temperature was quite warm!

We will be hanging out here in Laughlin for a few weeks as we still have lots of places to see in this area!

2006 Dodge 3500 Cummins 5.9L

Not only does Red still look good, she averaged 15.8 US / 18.98 Imperial MPG towing….. Awesome

The Adventure

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” If we were meant to stay in one place, we’d have roots instead of feet” – Rachel Wolchon

Today marks 1 year since we moved into our 5th wheel.

July 22,2017 we officially moved out of our house.

It was time to start the final demo on the last 2 rooms in the house.

We are pretty luck, we have 2 amazing and talented kids. They stepped up and helped Myron finish the renovations.

The master bedroom and bathroom were completely gutted and redone.

Our son Randy installed all our flooring, and he did an amazing job!

The only thing left in the kitchen was the completion of the backsplash. Our daughter Courtney picked out the tiles and our son Randy did all the installation.

Now with the inside done, the outside needed a facelift. Again our kids, son in-law Glenn and our friend Gwen stepped up. Without their help we wouldn’t have completed by the deadline as we were both still working full-time. For that we are thankful!!

Renovation now completed and it was finally time to purge our stuff.

We sold, gave away and donated whatever we didn’t want to keep.

With the house emptied, now it came time for Myron’s shop. This was a challenge to say the least. He still planned on doing upholstery when we are back in Canada, so that meant he still needed to keep a lot of his supplies.

Anyone that knows Myron knows if you need it, he will have it!

It took about a week and a half and it was finally done.

And on October 31, we said our final goodbye to the house that we raised our children in and locked the front door for the last time, as the next chapter of our story began.

Cocopah Casino

We decided that Yuma,AZ would be our next stop as there is so much to see and do in the area. We decided instead of staying out in the desert that we would blacktop camp at Cocopah Casino just south of Yuma. The casino will allow you to stay in their RV parking lot for $6.00/night or $35.00/ week. This is just blacktop camping with no hookups. They do have level sites, security that drives around, and daily garbage pick up.

A view from the RV parking lot looking at the casino.

The RV sites are wide enough to have your slides out and be able to park beside your rig.

Unfortunately we didn’t get to cross as much off our list as we had planned, we did however spent quite a bit of time at the Foothills Animal Hospital in Yuma. Our little Miss Bella ended up with stuvite bladder stones that required emergency surgery.

The surgery went great, Miss Bella is doing fantastic and has healed quite nicely.

We did manage to take in some Yuma history which I will post in another blog.

We are hoping to make it back to Yuma later this winter to cross more off our list.