I want solar!

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TonyL

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There's also a passport America site at Deming New Mexico that has full hook up for less than $13 per night, unlimited stay. Check out Hidden Valley RV.
 

RORA the EXPLORA

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Sounds good and I do have Passport America. I'll check it out...THANKS!
But, see, that's still $400 a month. There are RV campgrounds down in Yuma and Quartzsite that you can get for that price and you won't have to worry about having below freezing temps. I better try out the $180 for 7 months dirt and wind! :)
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Went to Quartzsite a few years ago and even have a T-shirt to prove it. I'm glad I went, at least for the rally and the gathering I attended. It's a bit surreal to see *so many* RV's scattered across the landscape. I think what can make that environment a bit more hospitable would be to hang with others, so you have someone to do things with and have a bit of security. There's still the logistics of managing food and water out there, so "remote" is only as long as your tanks last.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
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RORA the EXPLORA

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Check out SanTan Solar in Gilbert, AZ (Phoenix suburb). They have very inexpensive used solar panels removed from residential and commercial installations. They're physically large, but one or two of their 200-250 watt panels on top of your RV coupled to an inexpensive MPPT controller to convert them to 12 volts (which they also sell) and maybe an inverter will make a very capable solar system. Bob Wells' "Cheap RV Living" YouTube channel has many examples of using these on vans and RVs.

SanTan Solar | Wholesale Solar Panels For DIY, RV and More!
Okay, thanks, I've watched some of the YouTube vids by Bob Wells and I'll chec
I find it humorous when someone wants to live in an RV to save money.

k it out.
Went to Quartzsite a few years ago and even have a T-shirt to prove it. I'm glad I went, at least for the rally and the gathering I attended. It's a bit surreal to see *so many* RV's scattered across the landscape. I think what can make that environment a bit more hospitable would be to hang with others, so you have someone to do things with and have a bit of security. There's still the logistics of managing food and water out there, so "remote" is only as long as your tanks last.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
I'm pretty happy solo but I would get to know my "neighbors" when I land. Yes, there are a lot of logistics to contend with. That's why trying LTVA for $180 isn't much of an investment. If it doesn't work out for me...move on.
 

RORA the EXPLORA

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If you're going to pay someone, that's going to cost. You say you want portable panels, but unless you're prepared to keep moving them, you would be as well to install panels on the roof. To give you some idea, we fitted a 200 watt panel on the roof, and including all necessary cables, sealant, charge controller etc, it cost $300. The price we were quoted to supply and install was around $1200 for the same size.
Quartzite LTVA is a very cheap place to stay, but shopping in town costs. You will need to travel to Parker or Blythe for reasonable grocery costs.
Big difference in cost but I can't do it myself so I'd have to go with the $1,200. Do you remember who quoted you? Also, thanks for the info on going to Parker or Blythe for reasonable supplies! :)
 

PJ Stough

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Went to Quartzsite a few years ago and even have a T-shirt to prove it. I'm glad I went, at least for the rally and the gathering I attended. It's a bit surreal to see *so many* RV's scattered across the landscape. I think what can make that environment a bit more hospitable would be to hang with others, so you have someone to do things with and have a bit of security. There's still the logistics of managing food and water out there, so "remote" is only as long as your tanks last.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
Managing food and water is not a big deal, at least not for us. We can go 7-10 days before we have to dump and fill, and it might take a couple of hours but we are not in any hurry. We buy most of our groceries in Quartzsite but may go to Parker or Blythe every two weeks or so. We have never felt our security was at risk, but I do agree staying in the desert near Quartzsite is not for everyone.
As a side note, your 180 pass for the LTVAs near Quartzsite is good for a couple of more LTVAs down by Yuma.
 

RORA the EXPLORA

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Managing food and water is not a big deal, at least not for us. We can go 7-10 days before we have to dump and fill, and it might take a couple of hours but we are not in any hurry. We buy most of our groceries in Quartzsite but may go to Parker or Blythe every two weeks or so. We have never felt our security was at risk, but I do agree staying in the desert near Quartzsite is not for everyone.
As a side note, your 180 pass for the LTVAs near Quartzsite is good for a couple of more LTVAs down by Yuma.
Yeah, I was looking at Yuma Imperial Dam area. There's a dump station, potable water, showers down the road, garbage bins, post office, church...if you have solar, I would think you'd be okay. Glad to hear you felt fairly secure, that's important to me. I recently had an issue with a bit of a stalker type guy but I just left. If that happened, I would think there's enough space out there to move or go to a different LTVA.
 

PJ Stough

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Yeah, I was looking at Yuma Imperial Dam area. There's a dump station, potable water, showers down the road, garbage bins, post office, church...if you have solar, I would think you'd be okay. Glad to hear you felt fairly secure, that's important to me. I recently had an issue with a bit of a stalker type guy but I just left. If that happened, I would think there's enough space out there to move or go to a different LTVA.
Yes, Imperial Dam is quite the place with not only the amenities you mentioned but they have a community center where they have music jams and potlucks on holidays. They also, have quite a CB radio community where everyone with a CB can get on and check in. Also, the CB radio system is used for emergencies, and I believe someone is always monitoring the radio if anyone needs help.
One last amenity, it has a liberry. :)
 

RORA the EXPLORA

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Yes, Imperial Dam is quite the place with not only the amenities you mentioned but they have a community center where they have music jams and potlucks on holidays. They also, have quite a CB radio community where everyone with a CB can get on and check in. Also, the CB radio system is used for emergencies, and I believe someone is always monitoring the radio if anyone needs help.
One last amenity, it has a liberry. :)
OOOOH...a liberrry!!! I'm an avid reader so that's of great interest to me! šŸ˜
 

Lou Schneider

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I'm pretty happy solo but I would get to know my "neighbors" when I land. Yes, there are a lot of logistics to contend with. That's why trying LTVA for $180 isn't much of an investment. If it doesn't work out for me...move on.
If you're not sure you'll be staying for the full 6 month season, you can get renewable two week LTVA passes for $40. At this price it will take 8 weeks before you exceed the cost of a full season pass and you can stretch that by staying in one of the numerous 14 day free areas between two week LTVA stays. The only real difference is LTVAs have trash dumpsters and in most cases central water and dump facilities and the free dispersed camping areas don't.

The Midland LTVA just north of Blythe is a good escape when the hoards descend on Quartzsite in January. They have trash dumpsters, a small lending library at the entrance and a dump station but no water. Imperial Dam is nice with the lake nearby but it's in a bowl without any cell service and it's a 30-45 minute drive into Yuma for supplies, etc. Throughout most of the desert you'll find coin operated, fill your own jugs drinking water kiosks because the local water is so hard. Pilot Knob doesn't have water or a dump station but these are available at the gas station across the street. It's a convenient base camp to visit Yuma or head to Los Algodones for a day or two to stock up on prescriptions, get some eyeglasses or dental work done. Or just wander around taking in the street vendors and get some Mexican food in one of the inexpensive restaurants.

I suggest coming to Quartzsite and spend some time scoping things out in one of the free areas or with a two week LTVA permit before committing to the full season. If nothing else the desert can get awfully hot outside of the December to early March peak season.
 

RORA the EXPLORA

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If you're not sure you'll be staying for the full 6 month season, you can get renewable two week LTVA passes for $40. At this price it will take 9 weeks to equal the cost of a full season pass and you can stretch that by staying in one of the numerous 14 day free areas between two week LTVA stays. The only real difference is LTVAs give you have access to trash dumpsters and in most cases central water and dump facilities and the free dispersed camping areas don't.

The Midland LTVA just north of Blythe is a nice alternative when the hoards descend on Quartzsite in January. Imperial Dam is nice with the lake but it's in a bowl without any cell service and it's about a 30 minute drive into Yuma for supplies, etc. Pilot Knob doesn't have water or dump, but these are available at the gas station across the road. It's a good base camp if you want to head to Algodones for a day or two to stock up on prescriptions or get some eyeglasses or dental work done. There are also 14 day free dispersed camping areas around most of these. In fact, I suggest coming to Quartzsite with a full water tank and empty holding tanks and spending a few days in one of the free areas to scope things out and maybe getting a 2 week LTVA permit before committing to the full season. If nothing else the desert can get awfully hot outside of the December to early March peak season.
Excellent information...thank you so much!
 

Wasillaguy

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I'm a retired electronic nerd w lots of solar experience. If I were going for max boondocking, I would have BOTH panels on the roof, and portable panels. Maybe 400W up top, or whatever you have room for. That way you get some solar even when you're away from your rig, or driving.
In addition, tell them you want connectors installed on both sides of your rig, so you can move your portable panels as needed yet keep cables short.
 

TonyL

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Big difference in cost but I can't do it myself so I'd have to go with the $1,200. Do you remember who quoted you? Also, thanks for the info on going to Parker or Blythe for reasonable supplies! :)
There's a couple of solar specialists in Quartsite, their quotes were similar.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Gotta agree, you want to go with max panel, the difference in labor won't be a lot. You can always add more battery later if that's what you need but especially boondocking in winter there's no getting around the reduced insolation. I don't favor portable panels as a primary solution because they're a PITA but as temporary/supplemental power as needed you can bring along whatever you think you might need. Along that line, "just in case" you can also charge from the tow vehicle.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

RORA the EXPLORA

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I'm a retired electronic nerd w lots of solar experience. If I were going for max boondocking, I would have BOTH panels on the roof, and portable panels. Maybe 400W up top, or whatever you have room for. That way you get some solar even when you're away from your rig, or driving.
In addition, tell them you want connectors installed on both sides of your rig, so you can move your portable panels as needed yet keep cables short.
That makes sense. I have a Bluetti Portable EB150 with two 100W hard frame panels with LONG cables but being able to use short cables would be a real benefit. I keep the Bluetti inside when I put the panels out. Maybe put those two hard frame panels on the roof and get the more portable panels to put in the sun. Thanks for your help!
 

Kirk

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Yeah, I was looking at Yuma Imperial Dam area.
You do realize that the nearest real store is in Yuma, about 30 miles away? We spent a winter as RV volunteers at the Imperial Natl. Wildlife Refuge that isn't far from the LTVA but on the other side of the Co. River.

I am wondering if you have considered either work-camping to get some pay and your RV site or possibly living as an RV volunteer for a free RV sithe with hookups and some really great experiences? We started to do that in order to save money and found we loved the lifestyle and have even done several tours since we are back to part-time again.
 
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