Monday, December 30, 2013

Water, Fuel, Food & Friends

I started the day off by cleaning up my mess from cooking catfish outside.  I will reuse the deep fryer oil about 3 times total.  Not much oil is lost when cooking at high temperatures (375+).  I just pour it back in the same containers when it cools down.  It will all be reloaded back into the RV.  No bigee.

We called our mail service and requested our mail be forwarded here to Congress for pick up.  Hopefully it will be here by this Friday.  Monday would be cool to.  We’re expecting our monthly check and it is needed.  We are so poor we are eating spaghetti without any sauce.  Just kidding…….it does have sauce but no meat.   Just kidding…… it does have a dried cut up McDonalds $1 hamburger patty.  Just kidding…. it wasn’t dried up……..HEY! Happy Happy Happy Hey!

Next we drove the Jeep into Phoenix to attend an Escapees Chapter 32 luncheon at the Golden Corral.  A lot of people attended that.  They wouldn’t let us go in under the kids price.  They go by your age and not what you act like.DSCN0138

Then it was off to fill up the gas cans for the side by side RZR ATV and the Jeep.  I only had a 5 gallon and 2 gallon cans.  Saved about 30 cents.  Hey!, 30 cents is 30 cents for doing nothing.  We also went to Walmart and got some 6 gallon containers of water for the desert plus a case of small containers.  Water in Quartzsite gets pretty expensive when you buy it by the gallon for your RV.  We plan on going 11 days before needing water and a dump.  It cost $20 to do that in Quartzsite.  After the Escapees social on the 15/16 January there in Quartzsite we’re not 100% sure where we will go.  Anybody got any ideas?

We returned back to our Baby.  At 4 o’clock Denny & I went up to the Outdoor Adventure Club.  It’s just a group of residents and visitors here at the park who get together and figure out where to go 4 wheeling/ATVing next.  It’s not complicated or nothing.  So our schedule is this Wednesday at 10 o’clock is to to go on Jeep ride to – I forget.  It was set up by Dennis Swan.  Then this Thursday it will be an ATV ride leaving at 9 AM to go to Yarnnell for breakfast.  I wonder if they will let us order off the kids menu.  The Club organized this run.  Then for Friday there will be another ATV run at 9 AM led by Denny Orr towards Wickenburg somewhere.  That could always be a McDonalds with Denny leading.  Saturday who knows what we will be doing.  Sunday we will be loading the ATVs and prepping for our departure Monday for Quartzsite.

Somewhere in all this Denny & Ed said they would supervise the installation of our LP line inside our rig.  I think they mean I will be doing the work.  Hey, why not.  It’s only a LP line inside our rig for a LP heater.  What could go wrong?  Denny has a foot doctor appointment tomorrow morning.  I think he’s growing a third foot or something. I think tomorrow afternoon for this little LP adventure.  Ed just come down after lunch unless you like spaghetti with no sauce.  Bring your tools for me to use.

Then last night Denny & Susie had a bunch of us over for no special reason.  It was us, Steve & Lila, Arlette and Tom, Dave & Lois, Butch & Dot and of course Denny & Susie.  The girls played card games and the guys sat around watching college football.  We were only pretending to watch football.  Us guys were really having very intelligent and worth while conservations since the girls weren’t really listening.   When the girls listen we play dumb and act like we are just BSing.  We don’t want them to think we are capable of good conversation or we would have to play cards with them.   Shhhhhhh that’s a secret.  It was 10 PM when everybody was leaving.  Way past my bed time.  Carol & I watched some David Letterman and went to bed pretty close to midnight.  It’s now 5 AM and I am done.

See ya…..

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Fried Catfish – Sooooo Good!

Denny Orr came over and we tried to fix the bedroom TV in our rig.  It won’t pick up sat TV with it’s own sat receiver.  Well, we unplugged and replugged every conceivable possibility.  Nope couldn’t do it.  Modern technology, isn’t it grate.  Maybe we can figure it out by asking a few questions at Direct TV in Quartzsite.

While in Quartzsite I will visit Flying J/Pilot’s booth in the big tent.  They advertise 6 cents off per gallon with their credit card and being a Good Sam member.   They’ve been given me only 5 cents off.  Emails with them have been worthless.  So, I will see them in person.  They will explain to me what’s going on!  I’m taking no hostages.

For dinner I fixed some of my Tempura fired catfish for the Orr’s and Dudley’s.  Boy was it good.  Everybody liked it except Denny that is.  He don’t like fish.  So I fixed him a fried hamburger patty in Tempura.  That he liked.  We had leftovers for  more people but couldn’t find anyone at the time.  I guess the word is out about my cooking.

I got two pork butts in the freezer that are all smoked up and waiting to be eaten.  Maybe we can do that before we head for Quartzsite on 6 January.  Of course that would be a good dinner out in the desert.  We will see.

We keep changing our minds about putting electric here on our lot at North Ranch.  We’re in the NO electric stage right now and will put it for sale for what we got into it, $60K.  No realtors.  After Quartzsite we now plan to stay there and run off our solar and Honda 2000 watt generator.  We’re not allowed to run our RV generator because it’s too loud.  We found that out after we bought the lot.

See ya……….

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Polaris RZR Done & The Ducks Win

I felt a lot better today.

The side by side Polaris RZR -  What a friggin job.  It had to be done and it is.  Those sparks plugs finally got changed.  It took just a few days.  I guess at my & Denny’s age we can do the same things that we did when we were younger, it just takes longer now.  Glad, I don’t change the plugs every year.  It runs like champ.  Hey, it’s now a dragster.

Next is the EMS system to install.  I got everything ready and started to install it.  Opps there went a screw head in the rigs electrical box.  Everything is OK in that I didn’t brake anything that made the electrical inoperable.  It broke when I tried to loosen the screw head to get a wire out.  Now can’t get the wire out of the do dad to replace it with the EMS wire.  Oh well, the EMS will be put aside until I can find one of those not so common small parts to replace it.

Polaris side by side RZR test time.  Denny and another guy who I can’t remember his name went out for a test run.  We did a 21 mile adventure out in the desert.  It was fun and enjoyed every minute of it.    I was accused of getting lost.  I wasn’t lost.  I was taking a short cut with no trail in the river bed area.

Solar working good, Polaris RZR running good, now if I can get that rear TV to work on it’s receiver we will be good to go.

We’ve had the Winnebago 36M (AKA Baby) going on three months and about 3,000 miles.  I will do a report of it’s overall drivability and living ability real soon.   It will be what I think of this RV.  As most of you know, it won’t be a problem of saying what I really think of it.

Yea, Duck Dynasty.  I don’t care what A&E says why they are “letting them” continue.  Number one reality show since airing and 12 million viewers PER episode.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s MONEY for A&E…duh.  Happy, Happy, Happy!

See ya………….

Friday, December 27, 2013

Sick Day

I raised the other two solar panels on the Baby’s roof this morning.  It made a major difference.  Now it’s all working like I thought it should.   I left the inverter on and the frig on.  The system was staying ahead of itself the rest of the day.  Meaning everything was left on like usual and the solar system was still charging the 8 AGM batteries.

Shortly thereafter I got a major headache.  I don’t think I’ve ever had a bad headache like this.  I had to stay near the bathroom in case I got sick.  It was bad.  I stayed in bed most of the day.  Carol kept giving me pills.  I don’t think they worked.  About 6 PM or so I came back to life as long as I didn’t move my head to fast.

It was a long night but all is well.

See ya……..

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Enjoying the Lifestyle of Retirement

Denny & I started out before 7 AM to go and have breakfast in town with the “guys”.  They’re about 8 of us.  It was good food and conversation along with a few of Denny’s famous jokes.

When we got back to North Ranch we went over to Denny’s neighbor.  He had a wire problem with his tow behind car.  He had dragged his car cable and thus ruined one end of it.  Two plus hours later we had fixed it.  The dealer had switched the right and left tail light wires which confused me and Denny for the longest.  It was easier to rewire the way it was (backwards) than to do it the way it should be. 

Next was to put spark plugs in the Polaris side by side.  That didn’t work due to grime and mud in the plug socked.  We washed it out and will try again tomorrow when it dries out. 

Next was to change some ground wires on our Baby’s battery system that the installer suggested.  I had already picked up the extra battery terminal extenders.  We go that done.

I raised two of the four’s solar panels.  Starting to try different things with the solar.  We went unplugged (no shore power) for 24 hours.  It didn’t work as good as I was expecting with the 8 AGM batteries and 4 solar panels.  I even shut the frig off for over 8 hours and the inverter for about the same.  More testing will be done.

Denny & I sat out drinking beer and watching the sun go down.  Another day of enjoying the days of retirement and the RV lifestyle of doing a little of this and that.

See ya…………

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Keep It Simple

Merry Christmas DSC_0003

Happy Happy Happy

See ya……

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

30 Miles & Friends

Ed, Denny &  went on a run out in the desert for a total trip of 30 miles.  For lunch we found a back way into Carl’s.  We park just like a car. DSCN0137

Denny puts bags of sand on the passenger side to offset his weight.  No comment.DSCN0136

Then later Denny & Susie had a little gathering.  No need for me to name them if you know them.  No sense me naming them if you don’t know them.DSC_0001 DSC_0002 DSC_0003 DSC_0004 DSC_0005 DSC_0006 DSC_0007

We all had a blast sharing stories about each other.  They were 95% truthful.

Merry Christmas

Happy Happy Happy to all

Dennis & Carol

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Little Nippy Ride

Before 8 AM and we are off and running into the desert.  That is Denny & I.  Yes, it was nippy, in the low 30’s.  We rode the RZRs the back way up to Jack In the Box for breakfast.  That was interesting doing that in the early morning cold and the sun was in our eyes.  After breakfast we continued on for another 3 hours.  That’s North Ranch way out there.DSCN0127

Denny said this cactus is rare because of it’s top.DSCN0130 DSCN0131

We’ve been on top of this mountain and will again.DSCN0132 DSCN0133

Our cats.  Denny’s new kitten is named Penny.  It’s a character just like Denny.DSCN0135

Carol made some soup for all of us and it hit the spot. 

Since the solar panels were on the roof vice on the pull out tray underneath, it was time to reorganize the tray.  The Jeep was loaded almost to the roof with “stuff” to go back on the tray.  No problem just time to do it and it took about 2 hours to reorganize.  The Jeep is empty.  Another day I will put the back seat back into the Jeep that’s been in storage here at North Ranch.  I will start loading the Jeep for Alaska with come alongs, tow ropes and such.  It’s “stuff” that I picked up at Quartzsite last time there and it’s been in storage here for about 10 months.

All is well…..

See ya…..

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Back In the Saddle Again

Today it barely got into the 50’s and tonight is expected to be at freezing.  I guess this is prepping us for Alaska next summer.

We had breakfast up at the club house this morning.  We had biscuits & gravy for $4 bucks.DSCN0114

Then it was time to go and get my NAPA AGM battery for the RZR.  No problem.  Installed the battery, changed the oil & filter (Denny showing me how),DSCN0116 kicked the tires and off to the desert almost. 

First it was fast paced getting ready.  It was Ed & Sandy, Denny & Susie and Carol & I going out for a ride.  I don’t like being late or not prepared.  I was both of those things for this ride.  I couldn’t find my goggles, cold weather riding clothes and it seems like my safety harness had shrunk and it’s a real dog to adjust out.  Finally we got going.  It was great to be back in the saddle again. Maybe because I’m 25% Cherokee Indian that I like the desert so much. It just feels so “el natural”.  We all were out and riding and we ended up in a special place.  About a year ago I ended up like this on this trail.Dennis Hill 053

This could have been where I died very easy that day.  Denny Orr helped save my life that day.

Well, everybody but me knew that this trail had been dedicated to me and a little sign that Ed Kruty had made was put at the entrance. DSCN0119

THANKS EVERYBDOY……..I can HEAR what you are saying. DSCN0117

We went on and cleared some sticky bushes from the tight trail.  It’s a real nice trail with some tight turns that challenges ones ability to drive one of these go karts on steroids.  DSCN0122 DSCN0123 DSCN0125DSCN0120

  This is the machine I flipped pictured above upside down.  Better looking right side up.DSCN0124 

Susie was fascinated by this cow poo for some reason.  Maybe Denny was by earlier and Susie was looking for proof.DSCN0126

We were out for about 2 hours and went back.  We stopped at Joe & Jan Tenpenny’s place.  They just returned from a trip.  It was nice to stop and chat with them for awhile.  Hopefully we can spend more time with them this week.  Wow, Christmas in three days.  It just don’t seem like it for some reason.

Later than evening Denny & Susie and us went out for pizza.  That was fun.  On the way back we all stopped at the local grocery store in Wickenburg for sale items.  I got to race a kid down an isle with our shopping carts.  I just couldn’t resist.  He won two out of three.  That was fun and the kid really liked racing an adult - me.  He was smiling ear to ear.  The grown ups, his dad and Carol, weren’t around.

All is well and the night ended.

See ya.

Friday, December 20, 2013

RZR Almost Ready To Ride

It was a pretty dreary day with rain on and off most of the day.  Denny, George and I worked on my Polaris Ranger RZR.  We had to get it out the shed and all that goes with that.  We used jumper cables and it started right up.  The battery was shot though.  I got one on order from NAPA and it will be here tomorrow.  There went $108.  We didn’t realize the battery was a AGM and Denny’s 2012 RZR has a stock AGM battery also.  My RZR is a 2008 model.

Then Carol & I went to the DMV to get the tags and the Off Highway Vehicle (BLM) sticker.  Two years for the state on the highway tag.  That was $10.  The one year BLM sticker was $25.   I guess it takes more money to take care of the dessert than state highways!  What’s wrong with that picture?

We had dinner with Denny & Susie.  Carol used a slow cooker to cook a pot roast and veggies.  It was real tasty.

Then Denny & Susie made us watch hundreds of pictures of their Alaska Trip.  We were polite and watched them all.  It was like watching someone else’s family pictures.  I really didn’t snore that loud.  Seems like Susie's camera was broke except around Palmer and she only took pictures of Palmer.  Just kidding of course.  We really enjoyed ALL the pictures to include Palmer even.  It was fun and we could tell they really enjoyed their trip especially around Palmer.  smile, smile…..

The local day time temps are staying in the low 60’s and nights are in the 30’s.  It’s bearable as long as that wind and rain stay away.

The Jeep is still loaded inside to the roof just about with “stuff” out of the underbelly of the Baby.  Now that the solar panels are gone I got room to unload the Jeep back on to the slide out tray.  All I need is a little good weather, time and energy.  Oh well, it ain’t going anywhere soon.

Tomorrow another action packed day….

See ya…..

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Fun Filled Day

Evelyn and Mel Nobis from our visit to Yuma.  They’re doing great.  Not traveling via RV anymore and enjoying their jobs as managers at the SKP park KOFA.  It was nice to visit them.  It’s been years since our last visit.DSCN0104

Here’s our site Wednesday night and part of Thursday.  It was so quiet.  This area will be jammed next month with RVers.  We will go further out then if we come down this way.  We went into town to see what’s happening.  Carol got in about 2 1/2 hours of line dancing in town thus is very Happy Happy Happy.DSC_0001

We got a surprise visit from Bob & Donna before we left Quartzsite in the afternoon.  We shared our adventures as RVers do.  It was really nice of them to stop by and see us.  Thanks guys.DSC_0005

We left Quartzsite about 3 PM with 100 miles to go to Denny & Susie’s place at North Ranch in Congress, AZ.  It’s suppose to rain here tonight and in Congress.  We figured we would be better off in Congress.  The road into Quartzsite reminded us of the roads in Alaska. DSC_0009 DSC_0016

This picture is in front of the Big Tent area.  They don’t put the big tent up until after the New year.DSC_0022


You go to Silly Al’s to party and LaMesa to eat free.DSC_0029

Carol got all excited when taking this picture of the book store but the naked guy was not out and about.  Maybe too cold!!!DSC_0037

And then there’s the pole.  This place will have a lot of Escapees here next month.  It’s 15 & 16 Jan 1-3 PM on the south frontage road east side of town.  Come on and visit.DSC_0046

Onward to Congress.  The real Congress has a lot of this.DSC_0058 DSC_0059 DSC_0064

We are well protected.DSC_0071

Dark clouds are not good.DSC_0072  DSC_0087

yea we made it without getting our Baby soaked.DSC_0088

It was close.DSC_0090

Ed & Sandy has a little green man too.DSC_0091

Here’s Denny trying to show us how he can dance like Michael Jackson.DSC_0093

Susie fixed a nice dinner for us and we relaxed with them and played with their new kitty.

All is well….

See ya…

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Here A Wire, There A Wire - Everywhere

8 o’clock sharp Wednesday and Starlight solar is working it.  I was ready for them.  My 4 panels (490 volts) I had got out last night along with the accessories that they might be able to reuse.  I removed the cover for the 6 factory AGM batteries plus access to my two additional nearby AGMs. 

I told them where I wanted the panels on the roof and why and they did not agree.  They suggested another way and I agreed to let them do it their way.  Hey, their the professionals.   I gave them options where to put the solar controller.  Again they had other suggestions and I went with their choices.    When you have true professionals that really know what their doing, it’s time to let them do their job.  I gave up control and let them to their job.

They said it would take about 6-7 hours and we had to leave our home.  We’ve learned to deal with that – kinda.  No need to go into 6 hours of doing nothing but killing time.  We did get gas at the Sam’s Club for $3.02.

Back at the rig at 3:30 PM they were just finishing up.  Starlight Solar did a very professional looking job.  I’ve seen some wiring jobs but these guys are on top hands down.  The installer went over his work in detail with me.  Of course I acted like I knew what he was talking about.  Then I went inside and saw the boss man.  He went over ALL the parts and explained why he used certain parts and gauges of wire.  Again I did my best to appear to understand what he was talking about.  I did understand that my AGM batteries are really made by Deka and he (Larry the owner) gave me the information on them.  ALL parts including the Blue Sky Controller (no batteries/solar panels) came to about $900.  Labor was $740.  Is that a lot? Hell yes but if you want quality parts and labor that you can trust bottom line,  you have to pay the price.  That’s all there is to it.  Now when you pay the price and don’t get the quality, then it becomes a horror story.  Everybody has those stories.  This place is good.  Oh, lifetime warranty on their work.

I will get some pictures of their install later on for you all to take a look at.

We pulled out about 4:45 PM and headed north to Quartzsite which was about 75 miles.  Got there as we were losing light.  Not crowded at all at mile marker 99 1/2 south on route 95 just south of Quartzsite.

home at last………DSC_0019

Tomorrow we will take the Jeep into town and have a lookie look.  I want to test the solar panels while here in the desert and see how they charge and that kind of stuff.  Since they are calling for rain here this evening I think we head to the SKP North Ranch in Congress, AZ later this afternoon.  Denny & Susie Orr have offered us to stay hooked up at their place and we will take them up on it.

I’m testing the automatic generator start out here also.  It came on early last night when the voltage got down to 14.1 volts (I sat at).  The 8 AGM batteries weren’t fully charge when we got here.  At 10 PM the generator automatically shut down.  I set the Quiet Time for 10 PM to 7 AM.  It won’t come on during those times while boone docking.  The generator had ran for 1 hour and 20 minutes and the batteries still weren’t charged 100%.  The voltage is now (6 AM) setting at 12.4 with the inverter on.  The frig drawls about 7-8 amps when it runs.  I’m drawling another 10-12 amps of misc stuff like TVs instant on, and other little juice grabbers.

It’s 6 AM and I’ve been up for two hours.  It’s 48 degrees outside and 63 degrees inside.  I will go back to bed now.  Later when I get up I will turn on the LP heat and heat the place up for my lovely wife of 42 years (brownie points).

See ya………..

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Mexico, Move, Booze & LP

Carol’s dental appointment in Algodones, Mexico went fine.  It’s called LaCholla and Chris and Charles Yust referred us.  If anyone wants their U.S. telephone number just email me at dennisrving@gmail.comDSCN0082

It’s a small office as you can see.DSCN0084

But they had room for their Christmas tree.DSCN0085

Here’s our favorite taco eatery. DSCN0090 DSCN0089

some pics of the local area…..DSCN0083 DSCN0086 DSCN0087

Coming back across the border was a breeze with no line.  That’s unusual.

Next we stopped at Fry’s to get some special booze.  It’s called Fireball and it’s a special whiskey.  Carol even liked it.  It’s the kind of stuff you drink setting out by a fire when it’s a little nippy.  After a few shots you don’t care if there’s a fire or not.  At least that’s how Carol acted.

We straighten up the RV and left our friends Chris & Charles for our overnighter in an industrial area next to Starlight Solar.  We got LP for $1.99 a gallon (normally $2.09) with a Fly J credit card on the way there.  Also, we got diesel for $2.68 ($2.73 normally) with the card. 

We got the cat a new toy as seen on TV.  It’s a cover with a doo dad that goes around and around underneath.  I don’t know who likes it more the cat or Carol.DSCN0092 DSCN0093  DSCN0095 

Then she just got lazy…..the cat not Carol.DSCN0098

Starlight Solar owner, Larry, came by and checked on us around sunset.  He said he would get here about 7:30 and they would start work at 8 AM sharp.  Great. 

I got up about 3:30 AM to check on our power and to do this blog.  With the inverter on due to the electric frig we are setting at 12.3 volts.  We got here about 5 PM and have been on battery power with the inverter on ever since.  I have to relearn what to expect with the electric frig and the AGM batteries.  It seems like the voltage is lower but the amperage is higher compared to regular batteries.  Right this moment the frig is drawing over 5 amps.  I can hear it running and see the amp gauge.  My computer is running about 3 amps plugged in.  Plus I got a freezer down below probably doing at least 7 amps at the moment.  I’ve been told that turning these electric frigs off like a regular RV frig doesn’t work that well.  They supposedly don’t hold the temps as well.  I well test that real soon.  I would like to turn the inverter off when we go to bed.  Too much phantom drawls on these new rigs.

It’s 4:30……

See ya……..